Sunday, February 21, 2010

Widnsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford

We had an great day visiting Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford. I'm sure everyone was thrilled when they saw our two small children loading the tour buss.

There was a bit of a mix up at the bus station which put us on the road about 30 minutes later then scheduled. We were a little rushed through Windsor Castle and could of had some more time to walk around the grounds.

We visited the Queen Mary's Doll House and the State Apartments. The Doll House was any little girl's dream! It has working electricity, plumbing and the little vacuum even works. It really was quite spectacular. It was killing Eleanor that she couldn't play with it.

The days leading to our visit to the castle, Eleanor had been asking if she could wear her princess dress to the castle and if she could live there. Well, right after the Doll House she was pretty persistent about putting her princess dress on. We tried talking her into putting it on over her clothes (keep in mind that it's not particularly warm inside the castle) but she would not have it!! So, in the middle of one of the State Apartments John took off all of Eleanor's clothes and put her princess dress on.

So, we thought she would be happy with her princess dress on, but she wasn't! She now wanted her princess shoes. We tried explaining to her that we did not have them and that she had to wear the new tennis shoes Mimi brought her. She was ticked!! She kept saying that she hated her shoes and that they were not princess shoes. When ever someone made mention of her pretty princess dress she was quick to respond back with, "but my shoes aren't princess shoes and they are dumb!". To say she was in a foul mood would be a slight understatement! I finally started threatening her that the guards were looking for notty children to take away. It helped for about 2 minutes. Needless to say I did not get to enjoy too much of the castle!

By the time we got out of the castle and back onto the buss Eleanor had snapped out of her foul mood and was saying some pretty cute things about the castle and the Queen. She couldn't understand why we couldn't see the Queen or any princesses. She asked us where the Queen was and we told her she was sleeping. She then said, "I know, let's take her a birthday cake and tell her to wake up. I know she'll want to play with me then".

While leaving Windsor we got to see Prince Henry and his entourage ridding horses. He was right off the side of the street. Very cool!!

Stonehenge was our second stop and it was freezing cold!! Luckily it was just a short walk around the stones. Little Amelia did not want her face covered under the blanket! She was enjoying being outside and loved the cold air on her little face. Eleanor wouldn't take off her princess dress so she was all bundled up in the stroller with a blanket around her face.

Right after we left Stonehenge Eleanor told John and I that her throat didn't feel good. John suspected that she was car sick and I thought she just might be getting a sore throat. Well, about 15 minutes later she was throwing up all over her princess dress and into my hands. Poor little girl! She was really good, the girls in front of us didn't even know she had thrown up (other then the smell of course). It's a good thing we had her clothes to change her into.

Oxford was our last stop of the day and it was amazing. All the old buildings were beautiful and it was fun seeing all the thousands of bikes! I told John I want to take our kids back when they are freshmen in high school to give them some major motivation for good grades! Our tour guide took us on a short walking tour and pointed out some interesting things. He told us the story of JK Rowling not knowing what the shape of Harry Potters scare was going to be until she stepped on a stone with the mark on it.

We didn't get back to London until 6pm and we were all pretty exhausted! The tour guide gave an announcement on how well behaved the little girls were and thanked them!

For dinner we tried finding a place for Fish and Chips but were unsuccessful. She ended up eating at Nando's, a Portuguese restaurant and it was delicious! So far, we have had the best food! Everything is great and the deserts are amazing!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mimi and Grandpa Arive

Mimi and Grandpa got to London early this morning! Eleanor was so excited for them to get here. The buzzer to the door woke us all up and I was a little worried that Eleanor would be in a bad mood (remember, she is NOT a morning person!). Thank goodness she was in a good mood and was thrilled to see my parents!! She had the biggest smile on her face for the first 5 minutes they were here! Amelia was excited to see them as well. She could not stop smiling at both of them. It was really cute watching all of their reactions.

We let my parents sleep for a few hours and then sent Eleanor in to wake them up. The sun was shinning and we knew we had to take advantage of it! We ate lunch at Strada which is right across from St. Paul's. After lunch we visited St. Paul's. Dad, John, Eleanor and I hiked the stairs to the Whisper Gallery and the Observation Gallery while my mom stayed with Amelia.

The Whispering Gallery name comes from the fact that a person who whispers facing the wall on one side, can be clearly heard on the other. We tested it out and sure enough, my Dad could hear John talking to him. Being up there helped us get our barrings a little better and the view was amazing!!

John and my Dad decided to go up to the very top of the dome and they said the view was even more spectacular! Eleanor was a little freaked out on the way down and I had to carry her down every single stair. I thought my legs were going to collapse before we made it down!

From St. Paul's we walked along the river to the London Eye. The walk was a great and we got to see a lot of amazing buildings along the way. My poor Mom was in a lot of pain. Her leg has been hurting her the past few weeks and the cold weather didn't help it much! Eleanor slept most the way. I'm so grateful for double strollers. There is noway I could survive London without one!! It is kind of a pain carrying up and down stairs, but it's totally worth it!

The London Eye was spectacular! We lucked out and made it just in time for the sunset. Again, it was great seeing more of London and it made us more anxious to get out and see everything. A couple in the capsule below us got engaged, which was fun to watch.

We finally made it home around 7pm and then John and my Dad headed off to Waitrose to get a few things for dinner. We knew my Dad would love going to the grocery store and find all sorts of fun treats. He introduced Eleanor to fruit cake and I can't believe how much she loved it. Disgusting, I know!

I couldn't believe what troopers my parent's were! They were exhausted when they finally went to bed! I'm so happy they came to visit!

Eleanor with her suvior from the London Eye.

Amelia slept the entire ride. She was the most perfect baby all day! She didn't fuss once! She makes going out so much more enjoyable. I only wish Eleanor was as easy as her!!

Walking along the Thames.

John's work is the buliding with brown and green on it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

She Did It!

Amelia has learned to roll over!! She was really close last night and then this afternoon she did it! When she rolls over she makes the cutest little grunting noises. She's all over the place now. Whenever I lay her down she thinks she has to roll over. The only problem is we only have a small rug in the family room and I don't want her rolling off of it onto the wood floor.

Lunch and St. Paul's

While living in Chile, almost any given day you could hear my Dad say, "Girls, can you believe we are here?". Well, I keep saying the same thing about us being in London. I can't believe we are so lucky to get to live here! We are having a great time!

Today we got to meet up with John for lunch again and enjoy another day of sunshine. We went to a great place called Japanese Canteen. A few guys took John there the other day. Its so nice being able to walk to John's work in less then 10 minutes. I've gotten pretty good at maneuvering a double stroller on the crowded streets. The most confusing part of walking around is looking for cars when crossing the streets. My first reaction is to look to the left, but here the cars are on the opposite side of the street so you have to look to the right. I really don't think I could ever drive in this city. I'd be so confused!!

After lunch the girls and I hung out on the steps of St. Paul's. (John's work is right across the courtyard from St. Paul's). Eleanor had a blast chasing around the pigeons and running up and down the stairs. I tried getting her to wear her heavier coat, but she said it was "freaking" bugging her! So since she didn't have her warm coat, Eleanor started getting cold so we didn't stay out too long.

When we got back from lunch it was nice coming home to a clean flat! I really could get used to having a house keeper!

I just got off the phone with Amy and she dropped my parent's off at the airport a few minutes ago. I can't wait for them to get here!! Hopefully we'll have a few days of sunshine while they are here!

I just spoke with Amy and she dropped my parents off at the airport. I can't wait for them to get here! It's going to be so much fun going to all the sites with them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our Lazy Day

It's has been raining off and on today and I didn't feel like bundling up the little girls, so we are had a lazy day. Eleanor was up last night from 1:00-4:00 playing. I thought she had totally adjusted to the time change, but I guess I was wrong. I'm sure our neighbors loved hearing her singing and playing at such hours! It was actually really cute listening to her play. I was laying in our bed and could hear her in the family room playing with her window decals. She was pretending to be all three different characters and had a different voice for each. I love how she can entertain herself!

I hate to admit this, but I'm really glad we have such good t.v. here! They have at least 6 different kid channels. I have to be careful not to let Eleanor watch t.v. all day!! I'm glad I thought to bring watercolors and play dough and allowed Eleanor to bring a little suitcase full of toys!

It's been fun watching Eleanor play with Amelia. Amelia adores her! Eleanor loves to get her smiling and laughing. I feel so lucky to have such cute little girls!

We had quite the adventure tonight!! We tried going to the grocery store last night, but got there a few minutes after it closed. So, we decided to meet up when John got of work and go to the store. Well, when I got outside it started POURING!! It's a good thing I had brought the stroller weather cover. By the time I met up with John at the meat market (which is just down the end of our street) I was soaked!! We debated weather to just go home or go to the store. We decided we'd better just brave it and make the walk. It wasn't actually all that bad because a good portion of the walk is in an underground tunnel, but we were pretty wet by the time we got to the store.

So stocked up on a lot of food! I had no idea England had such good "puddings" ( I didn't know that's what they call desserts)! We've had delicious rice pudding, custard, tarts and pies. We've also have had great cheese and my favorite, Spanish chorizo. It's a good thing we have to walk every where we go!

I wish I would have gotten a photo of all of our good stuffed in the stroller. It's amazing how much you can pack in there! I'll have to remember on our next trip to Waitrose.

Eleanor's Surprise

These were well worth the £7. Eleanor has played and played with these little wall decals. It's fun for her because we are up on the third floor and she can look across at the people in the building or all the people walking on the streets. She got a little frustrated the other day because no one was waving to her.

She loves looking for John each night when he comes home from work.

On the Streets

On the way to meet John for lunch, Eleanor spotted a store with squishy things (window decals) and could not stop talking about them all afternoon. So, after we got home from lunch and Amelia woke up from her nap, I took the girls out again and we went to the little shop. Its a cute little store about 3 doors down from our flat.

After her big purchase we went out behind our building and played a little in the courtyard. Our flat is the third set of windows above Eleanor's head. I love looking down into this courtyard and watching all the people. I still can't believe we get to live in such a cool city!!

Our Flat