july in london

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i have a lot to catch up on here on the blog! life is wiiiild right now as the arrival of our twins draws nearer and nearer (not to mention the continuing global pandemic…!). it’s been a memorable, crazy summer for sure. here’s some photos from the beginning of july in london – we took off for a road trip through france (and dipping down into italy!) on 10 july and returned when the month was nearly over. i am so glad we were able to have that adventure and have lots of photos to share from it as soon as i can!

to celebrate the fourth, we did a big family bike day out. after taking some photos of our patriotic outfits (a beloved independence day tradition for me! – you can see previous years here), we biked to the thames river beach across from st. paul’s…
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…which was so cool – i’ve been wanting to go hang out right on the bank of the river since we moved to london.
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then we spent some time eating yummy things at borough market…
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…and hung out on the southbank near tower bridge for a while.
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we stopped by covent garden to get some epic ice cream…
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…and then met some friends in the park with some real good classic american food (shake shack takeout!):
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independence day took on a new meaning this year as the fourth of july was also the day that many shops, restaurant and pubs opened in london. i biked home down oxford street (ian took a less-busy-road route with the boys in the trailer) and it felt kind of crazy to see so many people out and businesses open.
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it was a happy independence day for sure! although i have to say we are not feeling particularly proud to be americans right now, we are deeply grateful for our home country and we love america.
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a few days later, we had our first date night outside of our flat after many months of lockdown. as the uk government had advised that two households meeting indoors was okay, we had a friend come over after our kids were in bed and listen for them while we got out for a bit. since we are still avoiding all public transit, we did another bike ride into central central london! (riding “santander” bikes – ones that you rent out and can pick up or drop off at hundreds of docking stations around the city; we have an annual membership – is one thing i will definitely look back on with fondness in remembering coronavirus lockdown. i have loved cycling through our city on so many different occasions.) it was such a gorgeous summer night!!
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covent garden was soooo empty – we anticipated it being a tiny bit bustling given that restaurants and shops had had the go-ahead to reopen, but we couldn’t find anywhere open to get takeaway for dinner! we got some smoothies from a corner store and just enjoyed our old neighborhood in the pretty sunsetty light and reveled in how much we love our city.
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another very exciting thing we did in early july that we hadn’t done for many months – we went to the playground! it was pretty exciting to be back on slides and teeter totters soon after playgrounds reopened. of course we were still very careful with distance and hand sanitizing. i have loved how lockdown has forced my kids to embrace natural playgrounds in nature, but i gotta say, those man-made ones are pretty dang awesome too.
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on july eighth, moses had his last day of nursery school. we were all so so glad that he was able to go back to school for a few weeks after nearly four months off. we quickly snapped some last-day-of-school pictures that mirror his first-day-of-school pictures (here). moses did these poses totally unprompted, haha.
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then gabriel didn’t want to be left out! (picture on the right is just some glorious summer flower boxes in our neighborhood!)
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and here’s craft wall number eleven! we became much less prolific in crafting after moses went back to school and as lockdown started to ease, but still our craft walls have continued to be filled up albeit at a slower rate!
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we celebrated moses’s fourth birthday on the ninth of july (more on that coming next!) and then headed off in a rental car to the continent!
our big road trip that took up the rest of the month turned out to be pretty epic – over sixty hours and three thousand miles of driving and sooooo much diverse gorgeous scenery from chateaux to lavender fields to stunning alps to cliffside italian villages. it was a really awesome, amazing family adventure.
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wild times for the wrights and for the world!

20 comments

  1. LasVegas reader here coming to say his donut is my favorite memory of Borough Market. I might have eaten two. I enjoy reading your blog.

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  2. I find it very odd you are celebrating the 4th in public in England of all places for two reason. First they are who we successfully got free from. Second you don’t want to be an American anymore. Unless I read something wrong? Glad the pregnancy is going well and jealous they let kids go to school there.

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    • what makes you think I don’t want to be an american anymore?? it does always feel a little funny celebrating independence day in the country from which we fought for independence! but we have loved meeting other americans that notice our patriotic garb on the 4th. it makes a lot of people smile (and i’m sure some people shake their heads – i don’t blame them 🙂 ).

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          • The 1%. The super special people who think they should be able to have a say in the composition of the governments of multiple countries. Do you really think the precious spots should go to a family of American’s with education and means when there are people on rafts in the Mediterranean and suffering in Hong Kong? Giving all the meddling England has done throughout the world I would think the person from one of the places should have priority. They will do their best to last there until the youngest is 10 or they get citizenship that can be passed on. Even England doesn’t have birthright anymore.

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            • sorry it took me a while to respond to this. we are applying for permanent residency because our visas expire and that is the next step to continue living and working in this country. children who have been born in the uk to parents who are permanent residents are eligible for citizenship, so we are excited to give the gift of dual nationality to our children. we definitely don’t want to renounce our american citizenship. as noted, we are really grateful for our home country.

              thanks for sharing your thoughts, kristine. your comment made me think about this process we are going through with permanent residency and citizenship for the kids in a new way, and I appreciate that. I don’t think we are necessarily taking spots from others, but i do think it’s important that we consider the broader situation of seeking residency/citizenship outside one’s home country and that we feel and express deep gratitude for our immense privilege.

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            • Yet again, I encourage you to learn about how the process actually works before commenting on it. There are not restrictions on the number of people getting citizenship in the UK. So Charity and her family aren’t taking a spot from someone else if they decide to do that. One person getting it doesn’t mean another can’t. They evaluate each person on their own merits. And you can’t be on a visa indefinitely – at some stage you are required to get permanent residence. Get informed.

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  3. I don’t know why, but it makes me sad when you say that you are not particularly proud to be an American right now. You are not the first expat that I have noticed saying this. It makes me wonder what the media in other countries is reporting. I mean, I can COMPLETELY agree that we certainly have had/are having some serious issues currently. Not proud though?!? I will always be proud of the country I live in, And I will NEVER EVER take the freedoms that living in the United States affords me. Having said that though, I think you have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities that only living abroad can bring. And that is a true gift for you and your family!

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    • Have you ever lived abroad for an extended period of time?

      I think most Americans are ignorant about how narrow their view of the world is. The view on freedom illustrates that. I was talking with a load of Americans that praised their religious freedom relative to other developed countries. I said, “Uh, guys, do you think it’s still 1750? I can worship how I want in the UK, Germany, etc. etc.” To be clear, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be grateful for what we have – Americans should be grateful for religious freedom. But they should not be ignorant of what is present in other nations and that this may be better than what is in the USA.

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      • Dear Anonymous,
        Yes! Yes, I have. Twice, in fact. Once about 25 years ago (not married) and once married. Both times I was ever so grateful to return to American soil. It is (after all) my home, and it always feels good to come home.

        I do not feel as though I am an ignorant person, nor my comment. I can appreciate your thoughts and feelings. You are entitled to your opinion, so Thank you for expressing it.

        I was not referring in any way to religious freedoms. However, you do mention a good point…”Americans should be grateful for religious freedom”. I very much am.

        I rarely comment on blogs, and this is why. I have no interest in going back and forth. And more importantly I am sure Charity has FAR better things to do than have people go back and forth on her beautiful blog. Which I enjoy very much.

        I will end by saying Thank you for responding to my comment, I can see that we have different points of view. It is important to hear differing points of views. It helps with ones awareness and appreciation of others. Again, my desire is to not go back and forth on this, but I will (once again) say I truly appreciate your response. You sound like an amazing person who enjoys stimulating conversations with friends. Good day

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        • Anonymous…you had me tricked for a second! You are American! Only an American (and from a very specific part of the United States) would refer to their friends as “guys”. But then again maybe I am being ignorant…hahaha
          I think you are great!

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      • 1750? Tony Blair could not convert until after he left office. They just allowed a royal to marry a catholic less than 10 years ago. Still burning an image of the pope once a year at the bonfire? All countries have warts but you don’t publicly criticize your country on foreign soil and people seem less connected to your country when they are trying to get citizenship of the other country. I suppose there is the elite 1% who wants a vote and voice in multiple countries. Super special people.

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          • I wasn’t trying to trick you as I didn’t say I wasn’t American and even said “we” when referring to Americans. Thank you, all three, for illustrating my point quite well. (1) Bonfire night across the country burns an effigy of Guy Fawkes, not the pope (which, yes, was done before 1750, so sorry, not “still burning”). Read up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night, (2) Charity has favored, welcomed and asked for back and forth on her blog and voiced it numerous times, on the blog and instagram. The very lack of back and forth (people saying “here is my view and response but please don’t reply to it because I don’t want to discuss it, have it challenged”, etc. etc.) is the reason ignorance is so pervasive and increasing in pervasiveness. Is a discussion really that scary?, and (3) way to give an “Amen!” to #fakenews. Not sure they seem less connected when they are wearing USA clothes all around London, have loads of American friends, etc. And do you even know their motivation for getting citizenship? Pretty sure not. And I would hope we publicly discuss and think about countries’ governance, lest we just become sheep!

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            • interesting discussion here. i’m sorry i haven’t been able to engage much. i truly appreciate learning about the different perspectives shared here. to be clear, i also hope to never ever take the freedoms of that being an american affords me. that doesn’t mean i always feel proud of my country.

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            • When will Ireland be whole again? You are obviously not catholic. I have family born that I was old enough to know and remember from county mayo and Belfast that lived a different reality past 1750. Did you want to be a catholic in Belfast in 1973 and interact with the English?

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              • Kudos Kristine on responding to nothing that I wrote in the last post! Sounds like a Trump interview – just pound with your message and ignore the conversation.

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  4. Stop B is not so far from where I live! 🙂
    It’s hard being an expat from any country in any other country, and we have the right to feel more or less proud of the things happening in our homeland. I certainly do sometimes! For instance I think Spain is doing a slightly better job at holding this whole pandemic under control whereas the French are a bit too lazy… but they don’t like me saying it 😉

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