At the end of February, my college roommate, Kim, came to visit with her wife, Jessica, and new baby boy, Rex. But first, a little history about the two of us. Before moving into the dorms, our university sent a letter to all incoming students with the name and phone number of their future roommates. Upon seeing my very foreign name, Kim consulted her friends and it was decided I was definitely a Russian beet farmer. Her name was as girly as it gets – Kimberly Brooke – and I automatically assumed she was a preppy, snobby cheerleader who would want to decorate our room in pink and glitter. Oh how wrong we were! As it turns out, we were both innocent and naive, from small towns and with the maturity level and design sense of 12 year old boys. We spent our freshman year piggy-squealing (our version of giggling and yes, it was as obnoxious as it sounds) and gorging on Arbies within the confines of our primary-colors decorated room. It was like a low budget after school special about coming of age at summer camp.
Luckily, we both matured enough to become functioning adults and parents and even found spouses who could tolerate our senses of humor. As soon as Lena laid eyes on Rex, she was obsessed so hopefully that bodes well for another generation of friendship and laughter. Knowing they would all be jet-lagged, we spent the first day at the house reminiscing and loving on each other’s kiddos.
The next day it was off to Anglesey Abbey and thankfully, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The girls had told me beforehand that they really wanted to visit historical sights so I knew they would love the winter gardens and Lord Fairhaven’s house. Rex was a trooper despite not sleeping very much and working on popping out a few teeth.
Ely Cathedral was having an Anne Frank exhibit so that was next on our must-see list. I had never actually ventured past the front entrance so this was new to me as well and I could have stayed there forever taking pictures of all the beautiful details.
This picture is a great visual representation of life with a baby. Right as Jessica hit the shutter, Rex pooped on Kim’s hand. Amazing.
With a baby around, Lena regressed a little bit which was quite interesting to see. She wanted to be held a lot more and every time Rex nursed, Lena needed to do the same. So we found a side chapel and turned it into our own personal lactation room.
Since Kim and I initially bonded over fat kid snacks, it only made sense to pop into an old-timey candy store on the High Street. I had also told the girls how American candy is a huge novelty here and that they were selling PopTarts and Lucky Charms for three or four times the amount of money you could get them in the States.
To finish off our first couple days, we paid a visit to Peacock’s Tea Shop as it had come highly recommended to me by some British friends. It did not disappoint! Everything was delicious and the number of teas on offer was staggering. Kim and Jessica both opted for a full chocolate course including chocolate scones, brownies and chocolate tea. I was a bit skeptical about the tea but after trying it, I will definitely be recommending it to future guests. I even let Lena have some ice cream – a rare treat for her which meant we could enjoy our tea in near-silence.
After a quick walk along the river, we headed home to the let the weary travelers get some rest. Or as much rest as possible with a sleep cycling 6-month old!