We leave for an Easter trip to Poland in two hours and for once, gasp, I am all packed, the house is clean and I’m sitting here waiting patiently for Allan to come home with smoked salmon and rolls so that I can make some lunch/pack a supper for the airplane* and do the dishes before we head out. Somewhere in Ontario, those who know me best (Annie, Anna, Lydia, Mom, Jane) are nodding approvingly.

This past Friday evening we finished another term of school and I crawled out of a very dark hole of assignments and exams, emerging squinty-eyed, to find that Spring had arrived (though not its hallmark warmth), Easter break had arrived and – best of all – brother Henry and sister-in-law Diana had arrived!

I spent Saturday doing some ‘recovery’ things. I baked a cranberry-orange-walnut loaf. I took a nap. I read a book. I declined Allan’s invitation to accompany him to the gym. I had dinner Henry, Diana and Diana’s family. I had ice cream with Jenn and Stephen. I Skyped my parents. I Skyped Allan’s parents. The last few days since then have been a blur of ‘catching-up’ things (laundry, e-mails) and fun things with Henry and Diana like visiting Stonehenge and Bath.

Those rocks are really old

Last night, in advance of my birthday, Henry treated us to a guided night photography walking tour of London, and we snapped some awesome and very iconic pics.

Red double-decker bus zooming past the Houses of Parliament

Red double-decker bus zooming past the Houses of Parliament

London Eye

London Eye

Along the Thames

Along the Thames

Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral

Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

More updates and pics from Poland!

*Side note: Allan and I had a good laugh the other day about how we had identical experiences as kids with our moms insisting on packing lunches instead of buying when we went out. I distinctly remember having to exit the gates of Wonderland at lunch and walk to the parking lot to sit in our car and eat packed sandwiches. I yearned for my parents to splurge on hot dogs and funnel cake like the other families. Ditto all the snacks that the other kids got to have – pudding cups, Gushers, Dunkaroos, etc. I was convinced that my lack of these treats had to do with my family being Asian (and frugal) but Allan assures me his mom always packed food too and he never got processed snacks in his lunch either. It’s only taken us 30 years to realize what our moms knew all along:  junky food is crazy expensive and not always very delicious (let alone healthy – Allan and I scanned the ingredients on a package of Handi-Snacks the other day and were very grossed out). Moms, we hope it pleases you that we are publicly saying “You were right.” Thanks for not letting us eat so much garbage, and for teaching us the value of saving your money for the good stuff. Do you think our own future kids will catch on any sooner?

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