Thursday, August 2, 2012

Royal Digs, Part II

Our rowers may be staying at Royal Holloway but John and I are no less fortunate. 20+ years ago, my sister Sheila gave her four year old son, Will, twin brothers, James and Michael, to play with. Although she is very competent in every area, she and her husband George thought it might be a good idea to have some help managing all those little guys. Enter Julia Oldham, their first au pair from overseas, in this case the UK.

We met Julia when the whole family came to visit us at our home in Cleveland, Ohio. What a perfect fit Julia was. In addition to obviously adoring the twins and William, she was even more organized than my sister. She was a dedicate list maker and very observant about the details of childcare. She also planned ahead so that travel, as well as daily life at home, was certainly facilitated for a busy mom and dad. She also has a lovely personality, is very smart and well educated, loves art (made her an instant hit with my art teacher/artist sister), and is fun to be with.

Long period of time intervenes until 2012 when Margot makes the Olympic team. Sheila had mentioned previously that if Margot made the team, Julia had offered to have us stay with her. So, I called Sheila and said "Do you think Julia was serious when she made the offer?" Sheila said, most definitely. So Julia and I began the communication process and shortly after Margot and Sarah qualified the double, John and I had arrangements to stay with Julia and Nic and their daughter Rosie. Nate and Tom had a room at a hotel next door to the Clapham South tube station and about a 10 minute walk from Julia's.

Julia lives in a row house in Clapham midway more or less between the Clapham tube station and Clapham Junction train station. So the location is terrific. We can take the tube (Northern line) to London Bridge which is close to the P&G Family house, or take the train straight to Windsor which we did on Monday and Tuesday. Free trip with the transportation tickets we received with our event tickets.

This house is beautiful! I will take some pictures before we leave. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, after a day of rest and jubilation, all of us (except Nic who was off on business) had dinner together her, Indian delivery. Very good!!! Best part was the fellowship -- that's something no hotel really can offer. We are so blessed to be here with such warm, loving, hospitable people. So here are a few pictures of last night's festivities!

Rosie, Julia and Nic's daughter

Samuel, Rosie, and Michael wearing their USA gear (boys belong to Julia's brother Nic and his wife, Iabella 
Nate and Tom

India food - yum

Sister-in-law Isabella and John

More Indian food

Rosie and our lovely hostess, Julia

Isabella and Samuel


Michael and dad Nic (Julia's brother)

Tom and Nate

My sister Sheila's son Will (brother of the twins) and his fiancee Erin

Nic and Samuel

Appropriately dressed UK children!

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