Before I left for England, my parents told me that because my dad was also going back to school they wouldn’t be able to afford to come and visit me. The previous several years my dad had had a job that required him to travel all over the world, which allowed him to rack up frequent flier miles, plus he had a job, so traveling was never out of the question. Sadly, their new circumstances prevented them from traveling anymore. So I left for England knowing that I would never be able to share my England experiences with them first-hand.
However, my dad happened to come across some cheap tickets at some point and decided to surprise my mom for her birthday/Mother’s Day by flying her to see me for a long weekend. To add to the surprise, I arranged with several of our family friends from Oman, now living in the UK, to come into London one afternoon for a surprise lunch. While my mom was excited to come and see me, she was sad that she had too short of a time to visit these friends. Little did she know…
I love surprises, and this one was executed perfectly! Mom flew in on a Thursday night, and we stayed with some friends near Heathrow. On Friday morning we all went into London to do some sightseeing. Around lunchtime one of us mentioned that we should find someplace to eat. We wandered, seemingly randomly, down a little street past an Indian restaurant called Woodlands. Woodlands was one of our favorite restaurants in Oman. I said, “Oh my goodness, look, there’s a Woodlands here! How’s that for lunch?” Mom, of course, thought that sounded good. And when we walked in, there sat all of our friends!
I have much prettier pictures of the changing of the guard and mounted policemen and Harrods, but this one is my favorite: my mom laughing (on the left) with some of the friends we met for lunch outside the restaurant. I have a friend from middle and high school who used to spend a lot of time at my house and always said, “I love your mom’s laugh.” Me too.