Thursday, 2 July 2015

On the train: London - Day 3

Monday morning brought the start of our last half day in London. On the tube we hopped and got ourselves to St Paul's Cathedral. It was a lovely quiet morning and we could really take in its size, and all the detail and a cup of coffee as we walked around it. It was a lot bigger than I expected. We only ventured into the front foyer - no photo's allowed inside - but what we glimpsed was awe-inspiring. The girls mostly wanted to know where the birds were so we could feed them ;)

We loved using the tube. So easy, so accessible, even for a complete and utter stranger to the whole thing like me. We got some Oyster cards for the weekend and it was such a breeze. You could also just use your contact-less bank debit card - it really couldn't' be easier. Next we walked the Tower Bridge. It was a beautiful day again and we had lovely views of the bridge, the surroundings and the river Thames.

Right next door is the Tower of London which we visited next.  Again the history of this place is fascinating and deep.  We visited the Crown Jewels which would have been a highlight for the girls.  They could not believe we were seeing the real deal!  All so shiny and sparkly! (No photo's allowed!)

We also ventured into the White Tower and loved the amazing nooks and cranny's and displays. The detail on some of the armour was astonishing - hard to believe they would do battle in something so intricate and beautifully made. We would have loved to visit some of the other areas too (it's such a huge place with so many stories and areas!) but we needed to get going and catch the train back home.

We got home high from a fab weekend and still pinching ourselves that we had really been there and done it! It's not hard to see why people love it and we will be back for more visits in the future!
L xx

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Twenty Six/52

A: How you managed to get in the tree with your ice-cream intact was a surprise to us. But there you just hung out and enjoyed yourself. You have gone from reading a book a day to finishing three or four a day... So speedy! And you are getting close to finishing all the books in the Rainbow Magic series. No small feat considering there are over 200...

H: We couldn't Not have a cake for your birthday so of course the celebration continued after our weekend. You were delighted and loved putting the candles on and cutting pieces for us. You spent a lot of time this week working on all your birthday Lego sets. Despite not getting any from us, you still managed a few and had a ball! From Elves to Storm Troopers to Pirates. You are such a diverse little person.

L: You went on your kindy trip to the petting farm and had a ball. You brought home an egg and were torn between having to use it for food and wanting it to hatch. I loved seeing how beautifully you played with one of the neighbours' boys during the week. So much so, that you kept wanting to just wander on over and play all the time! Is he home yet? Is he home yet? Now? You love running - you will run what seems like "mindless" laps around the backyard. The way you all continue to be so different from each other is always a joy to observe.

Halfway through the year!  Unbelievable.
L xx

Sunday, 28 June 2015

On the train: London - Day 2

Sunday morning dawned bright, sunny and beautiful so we decided to go and see the sights first thing. Southbank, Big Ben, the Parliament Buildings, Parliament Square, then on to St James Park and Buckingham Palace.

There was a chartity fun run on around the place and it was packed, so it took a while to get to the front, but we did manage to see a guard changing. The girls especially loved being in front of a real palace, where a real king and queen live!

On the train and off to a scrummy lunch not far from the Natural History Museum.  We had been hanging out to come here.  The girls were terribly excited about the dinosaur skeletons and the mechanical t-rex.  I was terribly excited about the gorgeous building and the amazing details in everything.  Little things like monkey's scaling walls, birds and animals watching from carved hidden corners.  Patterns everywhere.  Such serious eye-candy.  The museum was beautiful, the exhibitions fantastic.  We didn't get to nearly half of what there was to see but gosh it was great!

We decided to make a small detour on the way back to M&M World.   So much chocolate and colour.  L just about lost her mind being the little chocolate nut that she is.  Well worth a visit :)

Another awesome day in the Capital.
L xx

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

On the train: London - Day 1

At the end of May there was a second Bank Holiday weekend. We made plans and set off for London-town right after school on Friday afternoon. The train trip took about 1.5 hours from Birmingham and besides having to find the right platform, was an exceptionally easy and relaxing trip. We packed ourselves a light dinner, some books, sat back and took in the English countryside.

We stayed at a simple and central hotel, close to a train station. Super easy to get up and out in the morning and start exploring! On Saturday we headed to Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The weather came and went during the day but the morning was gorgeous. It was a lovely quiet morning and we strolled from the Circus down to the Square. The fountains, the buildings... so lovely in the sunshine and a wonderful way to start our trip.

Next up was the London Zoo. The girls quite enjoyed it, so did we, and it was amazing seeing gorillas there. It is a lovely lovely place, though personally, it's not a patch on the Auckland Zoo that we frequented once a week for almost two years.

We headed off to Westminster Abbey next. Exiting the tube after arriving at the Westminster station, and walking into the street, you are met with Big Ben.  A was speechless, she couldn't believe she was seeing it - for real!  After a lovely lunch, we skipped the super long line to get into the Abbey with pre-booked online tickets - phew! No photo's allowed inside the Abbey, but to say it is breathtaking is an understatement.  It is almost painful in it's beauty and history.  Everywhere you look inside is amazing and rich with history and detail.  So much detail.  Mind-blowing to think of all the time, people, hours, and history in there.  Stunning, just, stunning.

The girls know all about Coronations now thanks to Frozen, so got a kick out of seeing the strangely ancient looking chair that is used for the occasion.  And then the chapel... amazing architecture and centuries old wall murals...  Wow.

A short stroll afterwards got us at the London Eye.  And we were going up!  The two older girls and I were so excited... The other two in our party... not so keen on heights but came along for the ride :)  L is mainly just going through a phase so it didn't take her long to start peering out the windows.  Although a little grey at the time, it was still spectacular.  Views and sights for ages.  We had a great time spotting and identifying different landmarks.  H who had been hanging out to go since first spotting a "wheel" in Liverpool, was thrilled to bits about this experience.

Such a great first day in London. London!!
L xx