It appears his meetings went well:
Brian had to take a work trip to Singapore the week before we left for Paris . His team took him out one night and he was able to get some cool pictures as well as some "local BBQ", which included stingray (pictured in the center dish above). While he was gone, we had a crazy week. Elle finished up her last day of work on Tuesday so we were strategizing about what we just had to see before she left for home. But, life had other plans! On Tuesday morning, I woke up around 1:30 AM to severe stomach pain. I'd never had anything like this before and I was nervous about what to do. Insurance here is complicated- I could wait until morning and use my private insurance, or go into an ER and use the free NHS system (eek!). I was thankfully able to talk with Brian over the phone due to the time difference and he told me that it sounded like appendicitis, so I felt like I needed to make a decision. At 3 AM, I could no longer stand the pain, so I got dressed, gathered my things, and ubered a car to take me to the nearest ER thinking I was going in for surgery. (Side note: I ended up at St. Mary's hospital, where Princess Charlotte had been born a few weeks previous!!) As I was entering, there was a guy leaving with a bloodied shirt and shoulder bandages in addition to several inebriated old men fighting with each other and the on-call doc about their care. Totally sketchy. I was so grateful when the doc said I had some sort of stomach infection (no surgery!) and sent me packing with some medicine right on the spot. I went outside to uber a ride home, but couldn't get my phone to work, so I walked around for a half hour in the middle of the night in a less-than-ideal part of town trying to get service and talking to Brian on said phone. Finally, I got service and was able to get home and fell into a peaceful, pain-free, drug-induced sleep. I was totally wiped out the next day so we just relaxed at home.
Things kept getting more exciting though. Wednesday morning we were supposed to meet up with some friends to go to a pool in Hyde Park because it was going to be hot! We were getting ready, when Lauren came to me complaining of an itchy head. I did a quick look of her hair and found my worst nightmare...lice! It was bad. Of course I had to check the other kids...3 of my 4 kids were down for the count. Minor mom meltdown ensued as I texted my friend to cancel, she came to the (major!) rescue...brought me a lice comb and took two huge bags full of laundry to wash at her house. I ran to the pharmacy to grab a treatment and Elle and I got started on a full day of washing, combing and picking nits. Elle was awesome, seeing as it was her first day off of work and she was treating kids for lice...future mom points right there. I spent hours picking nits and doing laundry in my top-floor apartment with no A/C on the hottest day in London in 10 years...yes, it was 88 degrees in our house by the end of the day. I would have lived in the freezer if I could have. Miserable.
Feeling better about the lice situation, Elle and I talked that night about going to Wimbledon on Thursday. I wasn't sure so we went to bed without making a decision. The next morning we decided to just go for it! We heard that late afternoon was the best time to head out there, so we spent the morning/early afternoon checking more stuff off the bucket list. Harrod's to see the famous Food Hall, a walk through their Toy Kingdom and a quick look at the perfect Laduree cafe, we boarded the tube (laden with Harrod's brownies, cupcakes and the most amazing pistachio creme croughnut you've ever tasted) to the one-and-only Wimbledon. After a miraculously short wait in the famous #QUEUE, we got general admission tickets to the grounds. We walked around, trying to find a match with room for 5 +1 in a stroller...it took a while. ;) We finally saw an open court with mens double match that started in about 30 minutes. We rested our weary legs and waited on our front row bench. The match began as the sun was setting and the feeling was so awesome. It was an intense match (as it would be when you pair some of the greatest players in the world) and it was beyond thrilling to experience it from the front row. Elle explained the game that she loves, and we were all totally mesmerized with every moment. It was so perfect. It was getting late and we were getting hungry, so we very reluctantly gave our seats away, grabbed dinner and then headed home filled with gratitude that we took the train to Wimbledon. It will not be our last time.
Brian came home on Friday and we all took a last walk to Westminster and Big Ben. Brian and I loved being there with our kids and remembering our March trip where we excitedly talked about nights just like this one and now they were happening right before our eyes. Perfect weather, perfect company, perfect place.