Monday, April 16, 2012

Bonnie England

At Trafalgar Square (Lord Nelson monument behind us)

There was an egg hunt all around London for Easter
 Though I said I'd post an update about England right after my last post, obviously its been a few days :) I accidentally planned a bridal shower for a couple of days after we got back in New Jersey and the rest of the time we've just been sort of in recovery from the week. Par example: Levi is on his third hour of a nap that began at 5 p.m. tonight. I'll have to wake him up put him to bed at his normal bedtime.

Anyway. First off, everyone's wondering: how was he on the flights? Answer: surprisingly good! On the way there, we took a red-eye flight, so he mostly slept. Granted, it was six hours instead of his normal ten, but he was surprisingly resilient about staying asleep even though the plane lights were on for most of the flight and every time there was turbulence I had to take him out of his little baby seat and hold him buckled in my lap.

On the way back, he wasn't nearly as good but a) Levi not nearly as good is still pretty calm and b) there were three other babies on the flight, so it was just par for the course. On the way home, he got confused about sleeping because many of our passengers left their window shades open, and even though we flew for 8 hours and landed after midnight on British (Greenwich Mean Time) time, it was daylight the whole flight. Levi slept a bit when we first got on, amidst some tears, and a smidge bit toward the end of the flight. The rest of the time he played with toys, peekaboo and threw things on the floor for us to pick up over and over again. So overall, he was great, but also overall, completely exhausted after each flight.

Playing at Grammy and Grandad's
Now, as to what we did in England: ate lots of food. Went for walks. ate some more food. oh, and drank lots of tea. Its amazing how natural it seems to start drinking tea a half-dozen times a day when I only have it when I'm sick at home.

We stayed with Tim's uncle Colin and auntie Ann. Tim's parents were also there during the first part of our stay. We spent time visiting Tim's grandparents who lived down the road and playing Granny's favorite game: scrabble. We also saw his various cousins and had a big Easter dinner on Sunday. We introduced his family to Dutch Blitz, and spent most of the afternoon playing it -- after the Easter egg hunt outside of course.

With Uncle Colin
While there, we spend time visiting the local (flea) market, walking some of the nearby hills and even getting some home-made ice cream from a local farm. It did almost rain on us directly after the ice cream - being early April in England and all, but it was delicious! We also explored the local town of Wimbourne, walking through the church there (Wimbourne Minster) and seeing all the tiny shops and boutiques in the main section of the village.

On Easter Sunday, Levi was slated to find the yellow eggs in the garden (yard) of Tim's aunt's house. Levi's...cousins (Tim's cousins kids), a three year old and five year old girl, were slated to find all the purple, pink, blue and green eggs. Levi got the concept of putting the yellow eggs in his basket really well, though when we tried to video tape it he put his sock in the basket instead...

At Covent Garden, an outdoor market
After a few days with Tim's family, we continued our trip onto the London portion - we got two free hotel nights in Kensington with our flight tickets, and spent some time walking around the city. I forgot how compact London really is - we saw a good bit of the major sites on the west side of the city in only a few hours over a couple of days. Levi mostly slept in the ergo Krista graciously let us borrow, but woke up for a few pictures here and there!

We also took time to visit Warner Bros' studio tour recently opened north of London, full of actual sets, props, costumes and authentic butter beer from the Harry Potter movies. It was SUPER exciting.
The quintessential telephone booth

Tim in front of Westminster Abbey
Levi and I in front of Buckingham Palace
Tim from farther in front of the palace, with the monument and a thousand yellow tulips
With the London Eye in the background, on the Thames (one of Levi's top ten places to nap)
At St. Paul's Cathedral, where we got engaged
The great hall set of Harry Potter
In front of the staircase to Dumbledore's office
Driving Mr. Weasley's car
In front of the larger than life chess pieces from the first movie
No 4 Privet Drive
Diagon Alley set
The enormous model of the castle that was used to make all of the soaring shots
After walking through some of Harrod's
In Hyde Park
Kensington Palace is in the background

Getting ready for our last tube ride
And now we are back on home country territory, still getting back into the swing of things. 

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