SLC-LAX-GATWICK-FLORENCE

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Kinder Eggs are like gold at our house so when we landed in London, the kids beelined to the local shop and stocked up. Sankt Niklaus (German Santa) has been putting them in our children’s shoes annually on December 5th since our oldest can remember. When the U.S. banned their import five or so years ago, (because of the small, choking hazard pieces) Sankt Niklaus helpers had to get creative and turn to Mexico and Canada which still imported them. 

IMG_0387IMG_0391We flew Norwegian from LAX to Gatwick nonstop and loved our experience. Great price, clean and sleek new fleet of planes, good service (you have to pay for food and drink but still a competitive price overall) and great in-seat programming—music as well as children movies. I was delighted to find that they featured my newest favorite music find, Swedish band First Aid Kit and various classical music options that lulled me to sleep (okay, the hydrocodone for my ripped AC helped a bit too).

I’ve been so moved by the kindness of people around us. The immigration officer at Gatwick moved us up to the front of the line and invited Emmaline and I to sit in a gated off area while we waited. Another airport employee retrieved another trolley for our luggage after he saw our towering, puzzled stack of suitcases—it truly was Mike’s masterpiece!

Another example of kindness was yesterday when an Italian woman offered her seat to Emmaline when there were no seats left and her short little legs were tired. I tried to refuse but she adamantly insisted. Another Italian women chased down a bus on our behalf when I asked for directions for a bus route.

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure—self-determined, self-motivated, then risky—forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black and white.”  Mark Jenkins

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What is wrong with this picture? Isn’t the pregnant women’s belly the wrong direction? Come on, get it right! It’s hard enough to be pregnant. Or maybe mother is reaching back for the child? Or maybe she has ‘all the right junk in all the right places’ but should that deserve priority seating?

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