Sunday, July 6, 2014

Headgear for Heading to London

I haven't posted for a while, but I have a really good excuse. I was out of the country.

(How I love saying that! As someone who didn't make it across the pond until I was 25, it has been a source of adult delight that I'm fortunate enough to visit other countries from time to time. And particularly wonderful that I'm able to take my teenage daughter.)

Two years ago, my daughter and I went to London for the amazing bat mitzvah of my best friend from high school's oldest daughter. Ten days ago, we headed back for the equally amazing (yet utterly different) bat mitzvah of the girl's younger sister.

Although the celebrations were unique, we experienced some distinct similarities. In both cases, we had only about 36 hours between the end of school and the start of our trip.

Can you say ... "Stress!"

It would have been bad enough to face two finals Wednesday prior to a flight on Thursday, right? Wrong. My daughter had to add a concert in Boston (One Republic with The Script — two of your favorites, right? Mine too. Not.) and a trip to the stable. There was no way she could actually fly across the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks without saying a sentimental good-bye to her trusty steed. In between all of her commitments, I needed to do laundry, wrap up some client projects, write an essay about the 4th of July, and pick up my sister who was coming in from New York to housesit.

"British Air, take me away!"

Everything was more or less under control, when I heard my daughter pull into our driveway. She immediately called up the stairs with what sounded like worry — no, it was more like panic — in her voice. She realized as she was walking into the house that she had grabbed another girl's riding helmet instead of her own. No big deal?

No. Big deal! Big, big deal.

After our bat mitzvah weekend in London, my daughter was scheduled to fly to Barcelona, where she would be riding with our friend (and recent exchange student) at one of Spain's premier dressage centers. There was no way she was going without a helmet and, sadly, there was no way she could simply borrow the one she had inadvertently borrowed. It didn't fit.

Of course, my daughter needed a shower and hadn't even begun to pack. And, we were getting precariously close to our departure time. So, ever the quick-thinker, I put my sister in charge of the duffel bag and drove to the stable myself with the purloined helmet in hand. Thirty minutes there, thirty minutes back. (Sixty minutes total that I really didn't have.) Crisis averted.

I'd warned my sister that they needed to work efficiently, but also think through everything carefully. My daughter's agenda included four dress-up bat mitzvah events (two nice dinners, services, and a wild party at a Camden Town club, complete with DJs, dancing girls, smoke machines and lasers), comfortable shorts and tops for sightseeing, riding clothes and gear, and beachwear. (We've had some packing issues in the past. Too many of this, too few of that. Most recently, it was an ensemble for an evening at the theatre: heels, a dressy top and trendy belt all meant to go with a particular skirt that somehow hadn't made it into the suitcase.)

But, I was pleasantly surprised. I arrived home (expecting chaos) and found a number of well-organized piles ready for inspection. Everything fit (including two tubs of frozen cookie dough for our Spanish friend — don't ask) and we weren't even over our weight limit. Within the hour, our driver arrived and we headed to Logan airport. 

We had somehow pulled it off (yet again). 

Or so we thought ...

Next post: "Footwear Follies" or "The Battle of the Boots."

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

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