For two weeks my husband and I traveled to London, Paris, Zurich and Bern—familiar haunts where one can drink water from the tap.
I had tourist eyes just the same, framing pictures in my mind—the royal architecture of Hampton Court, the symmetrically laid out gardens with brilliant rhododendrons. It did not take effort to imagine Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn strolling these grounds.
Scanning the London crowds, I tried to define what made them different from Americans. It wasn't just the red double Decker buses and the square taxicabs that told me I was abroad. It was the faces in all shades and hues, the accents, the clothes—a subtle difference that told me I was not home.
The conversations on our travels were more intense, when having tea, lunch or dinner with cousins and good friends. Not seeing them often makes seeing them now a focused experience. We talk about what matters. Inevitably, politics comes up—the lively British elect