By Marcy Morrison Pearce
Editor's note: Marcy Morrison Pearce is not only performing with Dance/10 but also visiting extended family in England during the Olympics. You may read her earlier report here.
The euphoria a mother feels triumphantly walking her child off a remarkably trouble-free, 10-and-a-half hour transatlantic flight is not unlike the euphoria a mother feels immediately after giving birth …”Thank you, Dear God, it’s over!” The euphoria would have been even more intense for this mother if I didn’t have to watch my husband Matthew swim upstream like a wayward fish, pressing against the mass of hundreds of exiting passengers to retrieve his “special pillow” that he says I left in his seat.
Actually, the trip couldn’t have been better. Virgin Atlantic with its purple neon bar and its first-class individual sleeping pods absolutely rocks. Not that I got to experience such in-flight luxuries, but Maddy and I wandered in the middle of the night to see how the other half travels.
The perfect touch came as we passed with total ease through customs to arrive in a duty-free shopping area and were offered a welcoming taste of Pimms in a little dentist's Dixie cup. “The drink of England,” the sharp-dressed man told me with a smile. It was the delightful equivalent to a welcome mai tai in Maui!
By the time we napped, hydrated and totally tore apart what used to be suitcases packed so beautifully that Rick Steves would be envious, it was 4 in the afternoon. We were rummaging through our bags for our shorts and flip flops. After weeks of flooding rain here in England, summer had arrived with us. 85 degrees! Bloody hot!
Our plans were to take a stroll through Hyde Park, grab a pub dinner and head back to the hotel. We didn’t know that a crowd of 70,000 was also heading in the same direction for a pre-Olympic concert and to see the torch run. Surprisingly, the streets through Hyde Park weren’t too crowded because most of the tens-of-thousands were already at the Park’s concert, so we got a prime viewing location on the street.
We were thrilled to stumble upon the Olympic Torch Run. However, once the torch got to us, the run had decidedly slowed to an Olympic Torch Saunter. A bit anticlimatic. Anyway, watching the BBC, I can confirm, the torch made it to this evening’s Hyde Park venue and the sun was still shining on the news footage, so the runner I saw with torch in hand didn’t dilly dally for too long.
Next, we strolled the stylish Mayfair area, devoured our pub dinner of steak and kidney pie with my Pimms, talked Maddy into taking a sip of shandy because she’s 18 and shopped Selfridges.
Not a bad check-off list for a half-day in the Motherland!