We leave today.
My husband has never been across the ocean. This will be his first time visiting the European City where People With Lovely Accents Buy Fish and Chips Wrapped in Newspaper. I'll be showing him the neighborhood where I lived 25 years ago, when I was a college student studying abroad. He still knows the address by heart because he wrote to me every single day that semester. (Yes, every single day. The other American students were jealous that I got so much mail from home.) I will take him to my favorite pub, which I know is still there because I googled it, and my favorite bakery, which may or may not still be there. We'll walk around the streets near Train Station With Same Name as the Bear. We'll eat afternoon tea, buy flowers at the market, and take a train to the countryside for a night.
We'll be seeing stained glass windows that shape light into vivid colour, museums full of artwork that will look familiar because we've seen it in so many books, and cathedrals where old women stoop low to light candles. We'll be eating in pubs full of British chatter and French cafes that smell of onion and garlic. We'll take the new fast train under the channel, the train that hurtles through a tunnel that did not exist when I lived there last. We'll take a boat ride at night along the River That Flows Through the City With the Famous Tower That No One Liked at First. We'll see churches older than the country we live in: we'll see bits of a medieval wall.
But most of my readers can guess what the best part of the trip will be: we'll be seeing Wonderful Smart Beautiful Daughter.