Thursday, August 18, 2016


Back in the middle of July we went to England.
I was excited but then as it drew closer I was pretty scared at how the long flights were going to work out with the kids.
Luckily they were about as good as I could ask for on the planes.

{my cute seat mate}

{flying over the beautiful English countryside}

We had taken an overnight flight out so we took it easy the first day, just settled into our airbnb apartment and checked out Big Ben and a playground.
Big Ben turned out to be our kids favorite thing about England, probably because they thought of it as 'Big Bentley' from the movie Cars 2.

This building, the Houses of Parliment or Westminster Palace, is so neat and pretty.

We found a playground nearby and played for a long while.
Our trip can maybe also be appropriately called a 'tour de London parks' as we visited at least one new one a day to let the kids get their play on and their wiggles out.

Our second day was Curt's birthday and we visited the Buckingham Palace area.

{in front of Buckingham Palace}

{on the bridge over the lake in St. James Park}

{Regent Street, love the Union Jack flags}

{a playground we went to multiple times because it was right next to our apartment in Southwark}

The next morning we figured out the buses to head to Battersea Park to meet up with a high school friend of Curt's and her little family.
The buses were a game changer for the rest of the trip, much easier to navigate with a stroller than the tube and they went everywhere.
Carrie, her boyfriend, and her daughter had just moved to London from Paris.
I loved spending time with them and Battersea Park had some amazing playgrounds and green spaces.

 From there we took the train and headed back to the airport to pick up mom, who was joining us from Salt Lake. So glad she was able to come explore with us.
We wandered around the Trafalgar Square/Covent Garden area and that evening Curt, mom, and the kiddos visited Big Ben and a playground while I took a nap.

The next morning we went to the British Museum.
I would really love the time to look at and read about everything in here, but that is not the season of life we are in with little kids. 
Curt took the kids to where we thought there was a kids area so mom and I could get a little bit of focused looking at stuff in, but then we couldn't find each other and I stressed out (seriously, we rely on cell phones so much these days, and I felt so handicapped not having an international phone plan). And then we found each other and just had to leave because I was done.
I'm not a fan of crowds, which doesn't really mix well with touristy things.

But we got ice cream outside and all was well.
The first couple of days we needed jackets, but the last couple days got really warm.

We went to a playground in Regents Park then took a bus back to the apartment.

The next day we went on an all day bus tour through the Cotswolds, a beautiful part of the English countryside.
This was probably my favorite day.

First stop was Bibury.

We then drove to Bourton-on-the-Water for lunch.

{this was a yummy meat pie and chips for lunch, Curt got the fish (cod, I think) and chips and it was good too. I don't usually even like fish}

Then we drove to Bampton, which is where they filmed many of the outdoor and town scenes for Downton Abbey.

Lastly, we went to Blenheim Palace, a place I had never heard of but it turned out to be a spectacular estate.

{that lake was man made, crazy}

{this was a large tree on the palace grounds, but I wanted to note that there were many old and gigantic trees throughout the parks in London. Hard to capture the awesome scale in pictures.}

The next day mom gave a fabulous gift and watched the kids while Curt and I went on a date.
It was super fun and probably my second favorite part of the trip.

We stopped by Borough Market to get some food and then headed to St. Paul's Cathedral.

{one of my favorite things in London, all of the flower box adorned corner pubs}

{all the young professionals on their lunch break, out to get some sun}

We climbed the many hundreds of stairs to go to the top and my legs felt like jelly the rest of the day.

That night we walked around some more.

{this is mom's 'why are you making me take a picture?' face}

{the baby was obsessed with all of the birds he saw everywhere, but sometimes he called them 'puppies'}

Our last day there we had reservations to go up to the Sky Garden, a public garden with views over the city.
The kids were really done traveling by this time and were a bit grumpy. 

{yeah, are you done yet mom so we can go?}

We then walked towards the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. I made sure to swing us by this place called St. Dunstan in the East.
It was a church that got damaged in the war, but instead of rebuilding they made it into a garden.
It was very beautiful and peaceful.

{Tower of London}

{Tower Bridge}

Then we just vegged around the apartment and packed up. 

{one last visit to the next door playground}

In the morning we rode the train to airport and flew home.
All of us flew into Philadelphia, mom flew to Salt Lake from there and we went to Atlanta.
 The kids were good all day for the flights, I am so so thankful.
Evie then Des completely lost it when we got in our vehicle to drive home from the airport, so we had almost an hour of screaming, but I can't blame them one bit because it was a super long day.

I'm really grateful to have been able to go.
I was really grateful to get home.  

One thing I appreciate more now is the bounteous space we have.
No sharing walls, we have a big a yard to play in, a washer and dryer {!}, and just space to spread out into.
Some people thrive on city life, I've found that I'm not one of them.
But I can appreciate a little dose of one.


Anonymous said...

That looks pretty cool. I love that Curt has his standard-issue baby carrier in half the photos. (Good man!) Seriously, I admire you guys for taking the whole family on an adventure. We've never been brave enough to do that, not in a city, and I bet it was a handful.

Thanks for sharing the pictures! I keep thinking that we should get together, we're only a few hours away from you guys.

Carmen said...

We really do need to get together, it would be awesome!

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