Thursday, May 12, 2016

London Part 2

Chasing the birds at London Fields next to our flat

Tuesday: Shopping, Parks & the London Eye

Tuesday we wanted to visit some of the great parks around us. Unfortunately, London was much colder than we had anticipated -- even with several layers, watching the kids at the park was still pretty chilly! Still we managed to fit in a few and the kids had a super time.

A little bit of one of the playgrounds at London Fields, the park next to our flat. 
Our flat was right next to London Fields which had tons of beautiful giant trees, lots of green space, pigeons to chase, and a few playgrounds too.

We stopped at one for a while on our way out for the day and another on our way back in the afternoon.

From the top of the London Eye, the kids spotted a log playground and when we made our way down, Landon knew just how to get there. This was one of the kids favorite places we visited.

The kids favorite playground, made all of logs and rope

We found a great little department store where we were able to buy Porter some shoes (and he was so happy to be out of the stroller and walking at last!) and a few other fun little things to bring back home. (Scarves for me, a soft fluffly heart pillow for Ellie, British flag socks for Jordan, and a flag shirt for Landon) (That evening we stopped at a grocery store for dinner groceries, and I think because we were all a bit hungry and tired, I ended up leaving with a basket full of all sorts of treats :)

Then on to the London Eye!

The London Eye! (View from a stop on Monday's bus tour)

This is basically a giant ferris wheel, except that each little pod is fully enclosed in glass and fits about 25 people. You take just one rotation and it's about 30 minutes long giving you great views of London.  I think everyone really loved it.

Jordan + Big Ben from the London Eye

The Thames river from the London Eye + Landon & his new London sweatshirt

By Tuesday evening, Porter was correcting us when we'd tell him we were going home -- "You mean back to our flat?" About this point in the trip, Owen was also starting to ask, "Why do we keep doing adventures each day?"

Wednesday: Hampton Court Palace

Jordan and Ellie and I all had visiting a castle at the top of our list of things to do in London. Jordan and I realized as we were searching for where we'd like to visit that we were both picturing something that would have to wait for a visit to another European country someday (or enjoy in our imaginations)  -- a beautiful countryside with rambling stone walls (and maybe some sheep) where we'd walk through for a while and then suddenly stumble along a beautiful castle...

But we still made it to a castle and Hampton Court Palace was very cool. 

Three little princes/kings/wizards at Hampton Court Palace

The kids all got to dress up as we arrived and were excited to tour the castle as princes, princesses, kings and wizards. 

They had a great little show that they acted out, with us as members of the court, as they led us throughout the castle (a fun and much more interesting way to get a tour :) Landon was mesmerized by this and thrilled when he got to take part a bit near the end. 

Ellie worked hard on completing the garden scavenger hunt type game -- and the gardens really were beautiful!

Beautiful gardens at Hampton Court

Me and my sweetheart!

One tiny part of this amazing playground

There was a really amazing playground that the kids loved. A sandbox surrounded by a giant dragon, tall towers and high narrow bridges, smaller palaces, and tons of green space to run and play... so fun!

Our London crew (minus Jordan as the photographer here) after a train ride to Hampton Court Palace

More to come! :)