What a fabulously productive afternoon! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t spend half an hour battling your 5-year-old to get in the car…20 minutes driving her to her piano lesson while listening to her whine the whole way…30 minutes killing time waiting for her to suffer through her lesson…and another 20 minutes driving back home again while listening to her beg to never take piano ever never ever again. Yes, I let Emma Kelly quit piano after 2 lessons. She hated it. I justified letting her quit because she never asked to sign up for it in the first place. I just did it. And I’ve regretted it every Wednesday since and the days leading up to those Wednesdays and the days following those Wednesdays. Wednesday, in fact, officially became the day I hated most in life, thanks to a whiny 5-year-old piano-hating child o’mine. So enough of that! Maybe we’ll try again later…

But I managed to fill my piano-free Wednesday with a cocktail-laced birthday lunch for Amy, a personal grooming appointment, a DVR’d episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” and about 6 levels of Plants vs. Aliens. Yeah, my eyes are a little blurry and blood-shot after that. Curse you, Patti, for introducing that game to my daughter who turned around and introduced it to me!!! It’ll be like every other computer game I’ve ever discovered on the computer, from Word Racer to Mahjong. I’ll play obsessively for about 3 weeks, embarrassed if I’m ever caught and then pretending as if I’d just begun my first game of the day when I’d actually been playing for about five hours. And then after that, I just have to quit cold turkey. I can’t go back. Ever. I just hope I’m over it by the time we leave for London. If I don’t handle up on this thing, I will sit there for that entire 9-hour flight across the ocean and land in a Plant vs. Alien induced coma.

So we leave for London a week from Saturday and I’m starting to get a bit anxious about different things. I’m beyond freaking out over the airport situation. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like at Heathrow when the entire world flies in for a fun-filled vacation at the Olympics. I’m sure I’ll survive that part. At least I think I will. But in the more immediate future, I’m worried about what to pack. Do you know how hard it is to find cute walking shoes? I remember going to London 12 years ago with my friend Amy and her family and I thought these in-style-at-the-time shoes would do me fine. Remember those slide sandals that were set on a 3-inch platform of black rubber or something-or-other with that thick strap of black elastic across the top part of your foot and nothing else? Remember how hard those slapped up against the heel of your foot when you walked around the mall? Imagine having that shoe slap up against your heel across London, Stratford-on-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge, and all of Paris. It was MISERY. It never crossed my mind to buy another pair of shoes. I think it was because I was afraid of customs. Declaring things freaked me out to the point that the only souvenir I bought was a 3-inch tall replica of the Eiffel Tower. Let’s just say I’m not the savviest international traveler…….

But this time, things will be different. I’m gonna BUY stuff over yonder. Stuff I have to DECLARE, even though it still makes my tummy a little nervous to think about it. I’m not sure how to declare. Is there the possibility I could end up in airport jail if I screw it up? I’d better go ahead and buy those comfortable shoes right here in the good old US of A.