Parting Thoughts

On the eve of our departure from the UK, we reflect on our time here by listing some of the things we won't miss, and some of the things we will. Some items are representative of the family; others an individual or two. Some are in jest; others, not so much.

And so, in no particular order...

What We Won't Miss
- The weather... it's cloudy enough over here that weather forecasts differentiate between white cloud days and gray cloud days.
- Urban congestion
- The three conventions in which phone numbers are written... is it 123 4567 8901, or 1234 567 8901 or 12345 678901?
- Being blocked from using Pandora
- Transit strikes
- The lack of competency and professionalism displayed by the agents and managers at Foxtons Richmond
- Trying to use "fortnight" properly in conversation
- The food selection in grocery stores, dry bread, and fatty cuts of meat
- The Wedding hoop-la... well, I [Kurt] won't be upset about not being around for that.
- Lack of good hiking, cycling and skiing
- High Street stores that leave their doors open during cold weather
- Single pane windows and drafts, combined with an antiquated heating system
- Hard water, for it makes rinsing shampoo out of hair difficult [clearly not a "Kurt" entry]
- Having to buy a license to watch TV
- The jingling and weight of coins, and the size of the paper money
- The "It's not my job" mentality
- Cricket... tried to understand it, but failed.
- Netball... understand it, but don't get it.
- Unnecessary bureaucracy
- Having to withdraw pounds at my UK bank's ATM using my US ATM card, just to deposit those pounds in my UK account
- $12 glasses of sub-par wine in pubs
- The rudeness of the Swiss
- Converting temperature from C to F
- Cookbook recipes in metric... AGH!
- Skype phone call quality
- UK customs and their holding of packages as hostages for money
- Cell phone plan shopping
- Washing machine drums the size of a thimble

What We Will Miss

- Meat pies
- Green vegetation in the summer
- Pub culture and the Sunday roast
- Friends
- More oxygen-rich air
- The lack of stop signs and the use of roundabouts
- Hearing/reading different perspectives of US policy and people
- Racing at Ascot
- Cathedrals and castles
- Being able to walk to a lot of places, including school
- Borough Market and those grilled cheese sandwiches
- Opportunities to visit other parts of the UK and Europe
- School uniforms
- Saying and hearing "brilliant" and "cheers" and "whilst" and "anticlockwise"
- Richmond Park
- Fan assisted ovens
- English mustard
- Warnings by newscasters that an upcoming clip contains flash photography
- Going out for high tea
- Watching Rugby Union... though we've been here for less than a year, I have seen enough to know that I do favor it over Rugby League.
- Rhubarb yogurt
- Rapid-boil tea kettles... seriously, you should see the thing we had and how fast it got water bubbling.
- Paddleboating on the Serpentine in Hyde Park
- Brouge Bistro... there's something to be said for a good pot of mussels, a nice Belgian beer and banoffee pie for dessert.
- Taking the Eurostar train to Paris or Brussels
- "SatNav Sally"... she guided us safely for many trips, and probably prevented a few speeding tickets, too.
- Caffe Nero skinny lattes... those things put Starbucks to shame!
- Being able to buy anything at Harrod's... it's like the McGuckins of London.
- Hamley's toy store
- "Mock the Week," "An Idiot Abroad," "QI" and being able to catch a football (soccer) match on TV at almost any time of day.
- The frantic search that takes places by retail staff not for a pen, but for the pen -- as if there is only one in the entire store -- when we need to sign our credit card receipt
- Early morning runs along the Thames
- Driving on the motorways... pass and get over, it really is that simple.
- The politeness of the English people


And, of course, Hi Kristin.

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