Many people that I talk to in Central America don’t have the fascination with cold that I do. That good old-fashioned love of winter. But I’m sure that somewhere out there, someone will understand how ecstatic I was when I came across these lines in the Eyewitness Travel Guide for London under the section on seasons.

Some of the most striking images of London are drawn from winter: paintings of frost fairs in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the River Thames froze over completely; and Claude Monet’s view of the river and its bridges.

Christmas trees and lights twinkle everywhere–from the West End shopping streets to construction sites. The scent of roasting chestnuts pervades as street peddlers sell them from glowing mobile braziers.

Seasonal menus feature roast turkey, mine pices, and Christmas pudding. Traditional fare in theaters includes coloful family pantomimes and popular ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Skaters use open-air ice rinks at Canada Square, Greenwich, Hyde Park, Hampton Court and at Somerset House.

I love roasted chestnuts!!! And I’ve always wanted to go ice skating with my hubby and to teach our little boy how to skate. They also have loads of carol singers around the holidays in the U.K.

And I just miss Christmas. Even in Antarctica, Christmas was always in the austral summer, so it didn’t have the same feel to it. That preceded by a decade in Florida. I’d say in the last 25 years, the most traditional Christmases we’ve had were during the two years that we were in Colorado (sans chestnuts, skating and carolers) before joining the Foreign Service, and now we’re back in the tropics.

So believe me when I say that I can’t wait to get to London. Although this year, we’re looking forward to spending Christmas in my hometown in California for the first time since 7th grade. So that should be pretty special too. 🙂