Thursday, April 30, 2015

Links to England

{Roo turns 9}

The day I came home from London happened to be this little ladies 9th Birthday!
I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

She woke up to a new motor scooter (heaven help me!)
and lots of loves from her sister and I.  She celelbrated all day at school and we had family and friends over for strawberry shortcake to celebrate.
She was all smiles!

She is such a happy little girl, who's heart is just huge.  She is always making us laughing, and is incredibly sweet and sensitive.  She is smart and funny and full of life.
This girls is a dream kid and I utterly adore her!

I 'm so glad my little squinty Roo was born!
I can't imagine life without her!

ENGLAND: {Day 10: More London}

We headed straight to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards.
They were roping it off and had quite a bit of extra security there...
we asked why and they were quite closed mouth about it and we put 2 and 2 together and realized that the Queen was coming out in the car!
We staked our claim right at the front and made a bunch of friends while we all waiting.
This Bobby was our buddy the entire time-we made him laugh once of twice.
"What's a girl Bobby called?  A Boobie?"
He liked that one.

After about 20 minutes out she came!
I wish I could get my video on here!
We were squealing like idiots but so was everyone else so it was ok.
We saw the Queen, Prince Phillip, and Prince William was behind in another car.
So cool!
We watched the changing of the guards and made our way down the road.

We found Mexican food!
(I promise we sampled a lot of English food, but by day 10 we were so excited for something different!)
And bought theater tickets and took the tube to Notting Hill.
We shopped Portobello Road for a while before finding our way to the British Museum.
Julie couldn't wait to see the Egyptian section and it was fascinating!
We also got to see the Rosetta Stone.
We wandered the streets a While before one last pub dinner and then we were off to see Wicked.
$30 tickets for the West End. Unreal!
I was thrilled!
This trip was a dream.
We met so many interesting, kind people
We seriously couldn't believe how kind the British people were!
We laughed so hard we cried numerous times.
We learned a lot about real Enlish people, and Londoners.
We saw history we've dreamed of seeing and I loved every second.
I missed my girls so incredibly much!
But I also am proud that I did this.
I want them to see the world and love new things like I do and have to guts to do something new.
I hope that they can come with me next time!
It was such a dream.
(Is anyone Asthmatic??)

ENGLAND {Day 9: London}

First thing to do in London?
A double decker bus, of course.
We drove through the city seeing the sights we've dreamed of for soooo long!
We hopped off in Piccadilly Circus for a little shopping, and exploring.

We made our way to Covent Garden for some shopping, and some AMERICAN food!
A peanut butter shake?  Yes.  I wish I had one right now.
We made our way to the portrait gallery and Trafalgar square.
And then to the TOWER of London!
Oh how many books we've read about this place!
We were so excited to tour it.

The most interesting part to me was the graffiti.
So sad to think of all the people locked in there for so long.
And a lot of them for no real reason.
One of Julie's ancestors was locked in for 35 years till he eventually died of the plague. 
They wanted him to renounce his Catholicism, and he never would.
This is his graffiti.

After the tower we took a boat trip down the Thames.
I'm 1000% sure that people thought we were drunk because we were laughing so hard.
It was one of the funniest moments of the trip.

We hopped off the boat in time to see Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abby.
And the Eye.

Once again, at Westminster, we found ourselves talking to a guard.
He works for the Westminster private boarding school.
I'm so amazed at the money people drop to send their kids away to school. Unreal!
We ended the night eating delicious Thai food in Kensington before heading to the Ablert and Victoria museum where they were holding a big party.  Half of hip London was there and we danced and laughed our guts out.  It was the best ending to our day!

ENGLAND {Day 7 & 8: Eyam, Bakewell, Chatsworth House, York, Platform 9 3/4, London}

We said goodbye to our new friends and headed towards Chatsworth House.
But of course, because we have "squirrel syndrome" we ended up in the village of Eyam.
This was another favorite of mine.
It's a TINY tiny village in Derbyshire, and very old.
During the plague, this village was the only village outside of London that was affected.
Once they realized what they were dealing with, they barricaded themselves inside their village,
with food being delivered to a well outside of town.
They stayed that was for 14 months, losing over half of their village.
One mother lost her husband and 8 children.
Also worth remembering: The story of a girl in the village, who loved a boy outside.  Each day they would walk to the fence near the same time and wave at each other..and then one day she didn't show.
She eventually fell victim to the plague as well.
It was a neat place to see!
(Also noted that I bought my favorite gifts here:)

After another quick drive through the town of Bakewell (darling!)
we finally made it to Chatsworth house.
And wow!
The pictures from the front don't do this place justice!
It's HUGE!
I mean huge.
And beautiful!
And people still freaking live there!
No surprises here that my favorite room was the library.
I'd never leave my house!
160 acres of Gardens there.
And they are stunning!

I kept trying to find Mr. Darcy, but I guess I failed...
how sad.
A quick stop at a little village
(where I ate food that was reminded me of Spain)
and we headed on a long drive to York.
We got to York and checked into our "hotel"...or "brothel".  
This place was awful.
It was cheap....clearly.
And we just laughed it off and went to explore.

York feels old.
And a little haunted.
It's a cool place to be.
Romans built it, Vikings took it over for a time,
and it has a little pieces of their history inside.  Amazing.
The shambles are rows of old houses, some built back in the 1200's.
They are crooked, and bowed, but still standing in their crooked lanes filled with tea houses and shops.  So cool.

We found what's left of the old castle.
(Origionally built in 1086, with quie an impressive history)
I google the crap out of all this stuff...
I can't help myself.
As we were wandering the streets we found some Sisters!
We were excited to chat with them,
and they were thrilled to chat with us!
They said it's the first time anyone has ever stopped them on the street.
Left from CA right from Finland.
York is still surrounded by a medieval wall.
We walked on top of it for a while and then beside it on the way back to our swanky hotel.

we made it to our hotel room and couldn't get the heater to work in our room.
Ok fine, we dressed warm and went to sleep.
The next morning I went to shower to find that the shower WOULD NOT work.
It was funny. And not funny.
So we went to find some help only to discover that throughout the night, the staff left the place and we were left ALL alone.  Not a soul in sight.
It's not 10:00 am and we are still alone, so we figured it was time to face the facts:
A shower wasn't in the cards.
We threw on some clothes and went to a cafe overlooking  a plaza in the city.
We sipped cocoa and ate scones and people watched for a while before we did some more exploring.
I was excited to see the York Minster.

My Dad's father, who died when he was 12, had told my Dad how impressive it was,
so I was excited to think he had been there before.

We stumbled upon the ruins of St. Mary's Abby,
because in England you just stumble on history every where you turn!

And then headed to the train station to catch the train to London.
Smelly and tired and laughing about it!
We pulled into Kings Cross and I forced Julie to let me have my Harry Potter moment!
I was embarrassingly excited!
Julie was a good sport.
She has the best pic of her standing there confused captioned "where the hell am I?"
I loved it!
After a tube ride to our hotel in Kensington,
we explored London!
We were so excited when we stumbled on an LDS church downtown in Kensington.
We went inside and found a YSL meeting going on.
It was amazing to see how incredibly diverse the church is there, and how packed it was with people.
We saw lots of missionaries and chatted with a few.

We watched a little video of the history of the building there.
As we left Julie remarked how easy it is to feel at home when you are in an LDS church.
She was right.
It was so nice.
We wandered through Kensington Gardens.
And of course to the palace.
Afterwards we strolled through "Billionaire Street" where we chatted with the armed guards.
We especially loved the BIG guy carrying a tiny glass tea cup of tea. So very British.
We found a few stores to wander in before calling it a night.
A good night!
(Things to remember: finding a Carmel slice in the hotel starbucks. Another TK Maxx. The Mews.)