It's OK, I have a good excuse :) I was in England (sans computer) for a couple of weeks for my sister's wedding... and then there was the planning before that... blah blah blah.
So what I thought I would do, is spend the next couple of weeks telling you about it and uploading my photos... the decent ones anyway :) Some of the other photos I am hoping to use in my own travel journal. Yes, I know, I should have drawn while over there. If you have young children, you might understand the lack of ability to do this. Although I often wished to get out my sketchbook on the train, I had left it in my hotel to stop it getting beaten up ;)
So, without further ado... my trip to England.
(a few abbreviations have been used here: DD= Darling/Dear Daughter; DS= Darling/Dear Son; DH= Darling/Dear Husband)
|DD also took photos. Between the four of us, I have high hopes of a decent selection!|
It started on Monday the 18th October, 2010. We had booked the trip months before, after I finally convinced my sister she had to give me a date so we COULD book a flight.
The morning was spent packing and doing last minute laundry. That is all the stuff we wore the day before ;) before setting out for the airport in the afternoon.
Our first airport is the local one, Richmond. It is perhaps the nicest airport we have been through- a small hub, recently expanded and not very busy. My Permanent Resident status apparently upsets the computer, so we had to check in over the counter- and all of our luggage was well within acceptable limits (phew!). Even better, our luggage was booked in all the way through- so no grabbing the luggage halfway and transporting it through the airport!
From there we go through security- quickly and efficiently handled at Richmond I will add. Of course, for no apparent reason, I am picked to go through the scanner machine. You know- the ones where you hold your arms up and it looks at you. Seriously- I had dressed in very light clothing, I don't think it was necessary!!
Once through THAT, we were into the airport lounges. There we picked up a nice drink (not the Sam Adams bar that was next to our departure lounge, but some iced coffee further down), and waited for a couple of hours. I did draw there!
|I learned that a lot of people use computers in airports. And they are rather good as models because they move very little. It is enough to mess you up though...|
We got on the plane (on time) and made a short journey to New York (JFK) where we were to change. It was the first time the kids had flown, and they were very excited. Our tiny plane meant that there was one chair on one side and two on the other, so my husband and son sat in the single chairs, while DD and I shared a double seat and peered out of the window. Being as it was daytime, the views were quite spectacular, and the kid's enjoyed cloud spotting and looking at our home from the air!
A little while later we were in New York waiting for the plane to get attached to the building. That took a while, and of course, DD was desperate to use the toilet right now!! Luckily there were some just outside the area where we deplaned, and after a quick potty break, it was time to find where we were due to catch our plane to England. Since we still had a couple of hours, we ate a Burger King meal, and sat. None of the airports had free wifi, so we couldn't surf the web. The kids used their Nintendo DSi to occupy them, and I watched the news.
|The gentleman on the bottom had such an expressive face. That was unfortunate because he did change his expression some ;)|
Our plane was called, and we boarded. Only to find people in our seats! Luckily the flight attendant sorted it out for us, and we all sat down, ready to go.
I set up DD with Toy Story 3 to watch, but the system was rebooted and we had to start over. She was NOT sleepy at all, and even though she ate the meals, she would NOT sleep. This was, mind you, an overnight flight... my husband and I got very little sleep. The kids managed about 3 hours apiece- DD because I put spa music on her headphones and DS because my husband HELD him!
The arrival into England was beautiful. I watched the sun rise as we began to pass over the land. The familiar patchwork countryside came into view, and we circled Heathrow a few times before landing.
Quickly through customs, we grabbed our bags and headed out to where a driver was supposed to be waiting for us.
He wasn't, and DH had to go looking for him. We eventually found him, and took a relatively quick drive up the A4 to our hotel in Hammersmith, London. Unfortunately, the room was not ready for us, so we dropped our luggage off and went to take a tube train to Piccadilly Circus, where our travelcards and London passes awaited.
We then went back to Hammersmith, ate a little, took a look at the shops some, then went back to the hotel. We had to wait a little in the lobby for our room to be finished with, then we went upstairs (third floor- fourth to Americans) and took over the tiny room that was to be ours for the next twelve days.
A shower and change later, we jumped back on the tube (emailing my parents from the lobby of the hotel), and went to King's Cross St. Pancras, where we took a train to Mum and Dad's house.
|DD and my baby Nephew meet and cuddle. He is an extraordinarily happy baby :)|
There, the kids and I had a fitting for our wedding outfits, we ate dinner and met my baby nephew and chatted to my siblings (who were all there).
Very tired, we headed back into London (via the express train- how I loved those) and the tubes.
|The kids are in constant motion in so many of my photos! We're waiting for the train here, loaded with books and stuff from Mum and Dad :)|
And we fell into bed, exhausted, and forced the kids to go to sleep.
It was a very long day (the reason there are few photos is that I was too jet lagged to think about it) but a lot of fun- and it had only just begun!