Unbeknownst to us, everyday life got in the way of our little blog! Can’t believe it has been over a month since the last post…sorry about that.
Matt has been traveling quite a bit and English weather has finally arrived, so there has been alot of inside time. Along with the beautiful cold, rainy weather, area schools have started back up, so we’ve been trying out new activities at home and around our little village. With that being said, I have a newfound respect for daycare/preschool teachers…it’s hard finding the right activities to do with a baby. Thankfully Pinterest and the internet have been great resources.
Fortunately, another way to entertain a baby is to travel! Last Thursday-Sunday we had the opportunity to visit London. (My first, Matt’s second.) We took the train into the city, which was wonderful since neither of us had a death wish to drive. Sarah was a superstar on the train, reading books, knocking on the window, watching everyone around her and finally napping. Considering everything we had to take with us, we were suprised at how well and easy it was to travel by train. (Even though Scotland is an easy drive from where we are, we have already decided that traveling by train will be the way to go!)
Now……let’s talk hotels in London. Again, this was my first experience here and prior to making reservations, I scoured internet sites, read reviews, got referrals, etc. I thought the hotel we ended up with would be great due to location, options for a triple suite (since my mom was meeting us there), availability of a baby cot (aka pack and play), breakfast offered, and a block away from a major underground/train station. And I did read a few comments that the actual rooms were nothing like what was pictured on the internet, but I wasn’t prepared when we stepped off the elevator.
To say this room was small is an understatment. We had to physically move furniture to find a place to put the baby cot. You could sit on the toilet, brush your teeth in the sink that was in your lap, and stretch your legs into the shower, if you wanted–nice! To top it off, there was no floor space for Sarah to crawl, so she hung out in the cot when we were in the room–we just piled her books & toys in it with her, almost like a playpen. (When we finally got home, all she wanted to do was crawl around her playroom and be left alone.) Since we didn’t plan to spend very much time in the room, we dealt with it and moved on!
The possibility of seeing everything on our list during the 2 1/2 days we were there was next to impossible. And the cold and rainy weather didn’t help. Fortunately for us, the Underground was right around the corner so we bought 3-day passes and traveled everywhere by subway. I LOVED IT! I think every major city should have this form of transportation.
Since it was cold and rainy, we chose activities that would keep us inside for a good chunk of time. On Friday, we visited Westminster Abbey. We purposefully got off the subway a stop early so we could look around. Even though it was raining, everything was still so beautiful. The rain broke long enough for us to walk down Whitehall and see the Horse Guards, take pictures with some (human) guards, and wave at the horses. Sarah especially loved them and all of the birds everywhere. She would break her neck to watch a pigeon walk anywhere near her.
We made it to Westiminster, waited in line (in the rain) for about 20 minutes and walked in to complete breathtaking beauty. Unfortunately you can’t take pictures inside, so no pictures for you. We did take advantage of the offered audio tour, which we loved. The history of that place can be overwhelming…the number of souls buried there and their tombs. Apparently there are close to 3,300 people, from kings to scholars/poets and composers. I love history, so I could have stayed there all day reading each of the descriptions. This was Matt’s favorite part of the trip…he found Sir Isaac Newton and other noted physicists.
We had better weather for Day 2. Still overcast, with some sporadic wetness (aka rain). We decided to visit the Tower of London since it had some inside/outside attractions. Here you have options for guided tours, but we decided to go out on our own. We bought a visitors guide book and made Matt our leader–which lasted all of 15 minutes before I took the book. This was my favorite destination…from the invidual towers with their own histories, the Crown Jewels, the armoury, the torture chambers and the ravens, ‘there was something for everyone!!’
The time difference for mom was finally catching up with her, so she went back to the hotel to catch up on a little sleep. Matt and I took Sarah to Hyde Park to walk around and play on a little playground. She made some friends, as she always does.
Our last day there was the nicest day for weather. It was bright (aka sunny), but breezy. We decided to ride the London Eye. Taking the Underground to the other side of the the Thames, we found it pretty quickly. But once we got over there, the line was crazy long and we had to bail because we were concerned we’d miss our train home. Instead, we walked back over the Thames, hopped on another Underground train and went to find Harrod’s.
For those of you that know me, I hate shopping. While this place would be heaven to some people, I was immediately overwhelmed and just wanted my good ole’ Super Target. It was beautiful, smelled good and everyone looked perfect. Scary!!!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. There is no question that we will be going back…there is entirely too much to do in one weekend. I promise though, we will definitley find a better hotel when we do!