OK, so we go, out of my favorite airport, LA-HEX. After nearly a dozen hours in steerage (limited toilet use, poor food), we land in Londontown, renowned for its sordid and hasty royal weddings (a topic I know a little something about).
And we are off. . . .
On the frenetic London streets, my daughter dashes this way and that. She is proud of how assertive she has become, a trait she links to growing up in Los Angeles, a trait I link to the boiling bloodlines of her dear mum.
"This way, Dad," she says.
"No, this way," I say.
In a crowd of 10,000 screaming idiots at Buckingham Palace, I find her, then lose her, then find her again.
Fortunately, the sun hits her like an autumn day. I can locate her in a crowd just by the chestnut in her hair, the reds and browns of mid-October.
"If I lose you, we'll meet back at the hotel," I tell her at one point, fearing we'll get swept apart in a crowd, then spend too long looking for each other when we should be enjoying the sights.
"How about we meet at the subway platform?" she says.
"Back at the hotel," I say.
It is our only real argument, though I do scold her for pulling out her iPhone during a profoundly stirring service at Westminster, then the next evening in a spectacularly ancient English theater.
"You need cellphone rehab," I tell her later.
"I know," she says sheepishly.
At times, I want to throw the damn iPhone into the Thames, so hooked is she on its little screen and messages from her buddies back in the States.
But I don't.
A daughter is a gift, remember? No refunds, no returns.
Next week: The lovely and patient older daughter weighs in.
MAN OF THE HOUSE
Conquering London, not-so little daughter in tow
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