When I was 7 my mom took my sister and I to London to visit our family over there. I remember having the best time ever. We stayed at The Royal Horseguards Hotel and this guy that worked there would bring us the most delicious hot chocolate every morning served on a silver platter. I remember visiting with my Uncle Johnny who was just the coolest. I remember going over to his apartment and he surprised everyone with a bunch of lottery tickets. We also went with my cousins to Pooh country (I looved Winnie The Pooh) and saw A. A. Milne’s old house that was now owned by The Rolling Stones. Then we went back to the city and I went to a 7 story toy store called Harrods that was stocked to the ceiling of every toy that I had ever wanted in my whole life. It also had every type of chocolate and ice cream and candy imaginable. I was in heaven. I loved London.
My mom also took us to Paris and we went to the Louvre and to Monet’s house and to the Eiffel Tower and all that good stuff, but I was like “Eiffel who? Bring on the Disney store.” The Disney store was two stories (Europe’s largest Disney store in fact) and also stocked full of everything I’d ever wanted.
All in all, I had a great trip.
It wasn’t until about 12 years later that I was able to return to London & Paris, so I had a huge list of things I wanted to do while I was there. One of the first stops was London so I immediately took my friend to Harrods. I walked in wide-eyed and partially drooling because I could already taste the ice cream and cookies. When I stepped in I was immediately taken back by the huge Versace, Louis Vuitton and Prada signs. There were purses and sunglasses and scarves and no stuffed animals whatsoever. I walked up to the salesman in a fit of rage and said “um, where are the toys?” He told me it was on the 4th floor. I went up there thinking they had done some major renovation since I was there last but then realized that I must have just imagined it being bigger than it actually was. I was pretty sad but being that I was 19, I didn’t really need 7 floors of toys to look at.. one would do just fine.
The next day I visited with my Uncle Johnny and we were reminiscing about my last trip. I told him I remembered the lottery tickets he got us. He didn’t quite remember that part but he was getting pretty old so I just figured he’d forgotten. I hung out with my cousins and they also said they didn’t remember him giving us lottery tickets but that they did actually remember him sorting out a handful of parking tickets that he got while we were there.
I had also realized a few years before this trip that The Rolling Stones didn’t own A.A. Milne’s old house, Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones did, but it was back in the 60’s and it was famous because he was found dead in the swimming pool. I figured I must have tuned that part out when my mom was telling me about it.
I guess as kids we only see things how we want to see them. However even as an adult, I still truly think The Avett Brothers notice me in the crowd and are singing to me every time I go to their shows.. so maybe some things never change.