Thursday, March 24, 2016


Last Thursday evening, Matthew and I were able to go to London!  Alone!  We haven't ever been away from our kids for that long.  And I can't recall going somewhere overnight without a baby since before Ibby was born.  So it was exciting!  We were a little stressed before leaving -- making sure that there was enough food in the house, that everyone would be fine, printing out boarding passes... That last one took four actual trips to the library!  Nothing is simple, haha!  We decided to take the little trip because we found plane tickets for $68 round trip from our little local airport that is just 10 minutes away.  It seemed like we should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.  Our flight was at 9:00 PM so we left the house after dinner and drove to San Javier.  But we couldn't find a place to park our car!  We drove all around for a bit and finally found a place on the street that looked okay.  Then we ran as fast as we could to find a taxi to take us to the airport.  Started to get stressed about being on time, but deep breaths, we were fine.  Fly, land at the airport, getting through customs took longer than we expected, try to find the bus to the train station, walk back and forth a few times, it is freezing in London!!!!  Finally get to the train station and the worker tells us we're too late for any subways and we have only one train left to take us into town.  We wait 45 minutes for that one, arrive in the city centre, take a taxi 15 minutes to our hotel -- which costs almost as much as our plane tickets!  Get dropped off at the wrong hotel, walk to the correct one, and finally get settled in the wee hours of the morning.  

The view from my hotel room -- I adore Boden!  I think there was some synchronicity at play here.
 We decided to take the train our to Hampton Court since we had gotten a bit of a late start anyway
 There was a little play going on inside so we enjoyed that for a bit

 These were starched napkins!
 In one of the sections, they had all of these outfits made of paper with descriptions of different people written on them.  
 We were missing the boys a lot as we looked out at the gardens  -- they would've loved to have explored there!  Phin has told me that he doesn't necessarily need to live in a palace, but he would like a big garden/park with mazes, etc.  I'll see what I can do about that!

 On our list of things to do was to enjoy high tea so we found a little place near Hampton Court.
 One price included tea and milk; four kinds of sandwiches; scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam; and for "dessert" creme brulee, brownies, and lemon panna cotta.
 Every single bite was delectable and we enjoyed the location by the river.
 Our hotel served a hot English breakfast every morning so we made sure to take advantage of that.  We only needed to eat one other meal every day since breakfast was so filling.
 The second day we went to Westminster Abbey, which was lovely.  We made sure to get a picture of Big Ben (or technically, the tower which houses Big Ben, the bell) for Phin since it is apparently his favorite thing ever -- who knew?

 We found a statue of our favorite home boy right there in Westminster
 I love all of the different pubs!

 We took a little bus tour around town and then went to Tower of London.  We were happy to come upon another little theatrical in the square there.

 We then took a boat down the Thames and were able to go to the Tate Modern until it closed at 8 pm.  Our last order of business was to hunt down some curry, so we hopped on a regular double decker bus and got off when we saw something that fit the bill.  It did not disappoint!
 The third day we decided to go out to Windsor to see the castle there.  In the morning on the news, the weather forecaster said, "It will be dry, but disappointingly cloudy."  Hahahaha!  It made me laugh so much.  Yes, it was very cloudy, but is anyone really surprised?

 It was so fun to see the signs of Spring everywhere and the sun finally did appear right before sunset.
 We stopped at a little pub to eat a traditional roast dinner (for me) and fish and chips (for Matthew).  We were obviously too hungry to remember to take a picture before we ate, but I did want to remember these quaint little plates.  So cute!
 Matthew wanted to see more of the countryside so we decided to take the train further out of town until the sun went down.  We went out of the station in the village of Twyford and took a turn around the block.  I adored the lines on this house.
 We came upon a  little church that was holding a Palm Sunday service right then so we decided to run in, but then found upon entering that it was really a concert and would cost about $10 per person, so we changed our minds.  We were also the only people under the age of 70, but I don't know if that means we wouldn't have enjoyed it.
 Our last morning there was spent enjoying the streets of London.  We went to Covent Garden and even bought a lovely vintage apron at the flea market there.
 Took some last shots of the city and then made our way unsuspectingly to the airport...
Stay tuned for the next chapter.
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