Kenwood and Bat-mitzvah celebrations, family time

Angie and I ended up having more time for ourselves yesterday than we expected. We decided to get out of the hotel and take advantage of having the use of a car (thanks Susan and Melvyn), and decided to go to Kenwood House, a stately home in northwest London that I used to love visiting when I was young and still living in the UK. We stopped at a supermarket en route to get some food, so that we could have a picnic there. The drive to the property brought back fond memories as we went by many sights I remember from my youth. And then we picnicked here:
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Oh, and for the film geeks, this is also the site of the location scene in “Notting Hill.”
After lunch, we strolled on the grounds a bit, before going into the house, which has an amazing art collection, including works by Joshua Reynolds, Constable, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and van Dyck, among others. There were many pictures that I know I’ve seen in books and online before.
Here are some pictures of and from the property. Some of the best views in London.

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We also strolled by the Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth sculptures in the gardens on our way out.
All in all it was a lovely afternoon out.
The second part of the day was the Bat-Mitzvah celebration for my great niece Charlotte. The party was held at the lovely Hartsbourne Country Club.

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We had a spectacular evening. My niece Caroline and her husband Michael clearly know how to throw a simcha (celebration). The entertainment was spot on, the food was plentiful and delicious, everyone looked fantastic and we had a great time visiting with nieces, nephews, cousins, and even a sibling or two. It was hard to leave but we were dead on our feet.

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Today was a bank holiday here in England, so we were able to spend some time with family. My sister Susan invited us to lunch, joining her and her husband, their kids and spouses and kids, along with Caroline’s in-laws. This, I have to admit, was the highlight of my weekend, because it gave me a chance to visit properly with Caroline, David, and Elizabeth. They are my sister’s children and I adore them all. It was really great and hard to say goodbye, but I’m so happy to have seen them at all.
By the way, I want to note in closing that much as I love to write, I have only taken on most of the blogging for the past few days because Angie is very busy figuring out the next legs of our trip, which involve getting back on the bikes and working our way down towards Dover. Angie is now feeling almost completely healed from the root canal and infection, so we want to get riding again without overdoing it.

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