Thursday, June 23, 2016

London Part 5: the end :)

image (our flat had a print like this up on the wall :)

Saturday market day
Our flat was just a few blocks from Broadway Market, where we picked up groceries a few times. The first time I walked down the street was just after we arrived and I'd barely woken up. It was a Saturday evening and very busy with young 20-somethings ready for an evening out + kind of a mess with market stalls all cleaning up for the day... and a bit overwhelming for me in my sleepy state!

The next Saturday though we visited in the morning and strolled through the farmers market and it was one of my favorite places we visited in London! I kind of just wanted to spend the whole day there. Grab breakfast, then browse for a few hours, grab lunch, listen to the musicians and relax at the park, then grab dinner...

Jordan and the kids tried some scotch eggs (fun to see just because I remembered my mom making these when I was a kid... familiar, though not a favorite :)

This man from France was really fun to watch as he made our crepes, "You will love these because I use only the best ingredients!" On the savory crepe, he set a buckwheat crepe out on his hot plate, then broke the eggs right on top, and spread it around to cook through the crepe -- very cool. I have some buckwheat waiting in the cupboard now for me to try these at home. And a nutella/banana crepe was delicious of course too! 

As we finished up, we picked up lots of pastries and desserts to save for the evening and then sat and watched the kids run and play on the grassy hills nearby. 

Saturday afternoon we visited Madame Tussauds, which was kind of crazy. No strollers aloud (and there wouldn't have been room inside for them with crazy busy crowds), and some extra tired children...

Landon + Einstein at Madame Toussad's wax museum

One funny thing - particularly in the first area where the crowds were the thickest and the wax statues were celebrities who we didn't recognize, a few times we'd be looking at what we thought was a group or a pair of statues and suddenly one would move and we'd realize one of the 'statues' had been a person posing for a picture!

Despite the crowds, the super hero movie and the star wars exhibit at the end left everyone feeling a bit cheerier. (The super hero movie was a disneyland type theater room where it's 3D plus your seat moves, pokes, sprays, etc. along with the actions in the movies. Porter wasn't thrilled with his seat, but happily watched without 3D glasses from my lap :)

Sunday we attended church at another ward a bit outside of downtown London. It was such a happy friendly ward, with many new members and many missionaries (Jordan was happy to talk to a sister missionary from Brazil even). A group of BYU study abroad students had just arrived and were quickly put to work filling in the gaps for primary teachers, nursery leaders, etc. I went to primary with the kids and got to fill in as the pianist for the day, and later in Relief Society got to play piano again.

(And here's a good embarrassing moment: I was wearing my favorite super comfy skirt, which unfortunately tends to slide down a bit with the combination my pregnant belly + a slippery slip... I'd just finished playing the opening song and sat back down when they started introducing everyone. As they asked my name and I said hello, a woman across the aisle said to her friend "she's losing her skirt!" and as I felt down, sure enough my skirt had slip, slip, slipped quite down leaving my slip behind! I laughed out loud and mouthed a thank you! and hoped that it had happened after I sat down and not while I was in the front of the room playing piano!)

They weren't quite ready with a nursery when I went to take Porter, so he came to primary with me. He was a little upset still though and I said something like "If you want to stay in primary, you have to be a big boy" to which he answered a little tearfully  "But, I am a little boy!"

Sunday was the first really warm day since we'd arrived, and on our way home from church, the park by our flat was completely filled with picnic-ers and friends out relaxing and enjoying the beautiful day.

Monday we packed up our bags, Jordan got ready to move flats for one more week and we set off for home!

Poor Ellie often gets car sick and driving to the airport was pretty miserable. After we arrived, she was still feeling pretty terrible - worse than we realized.  We stopped for a moment just inside the airport to figure out where we needed to go next, and she threw up all over the floor. (And then we were so grateful that she'd had such excellent timing where all that was needed for clean up was a mop instead of what might have happened if she'd still been in the car...)

Our flight was only about 1/3 full and so we had tons of space to spread out and extra relaxed and cheerful flight attendants. The kids watched movies (I think Landon saw Minions at least 3 times, and Ellie watched Mulan enough to memorize most of it) and I read a book most of the way home! 

Lollipops + lots of movies = a great plane ride home!

And last of all, a few London favorites: 

Riding front row, upstairs on a double decker bus (the kids favorite spot).

One of my favorite things to do was ride from place to place on the double decker buses and watch the businesses, homes, and scenery as we rode past. (And watch the street signs for good baby boy names!)

I loved all the interesting, creative parks and playgrounds. I was recently at a planning meeting for some parkland near our home and I asked if there would be any interest in some kind of a playground, and in particular maybe a more natural playground of wood/rope/etc. rather than a typical plastic set up. The parks director quickly vetoed the idea, explaining how much the city likes to pass on any liability when possible and so pretty much always avoid anything but manufactured/standard playground structures. I could definitely see some of the parks we visited wouldn't be awesome liabiltiy-wise, But oh, these London playgrounds were fun! 

We were in London for Spring and I loved all the beautiful blossoms! Ellie saved a little pink blossom one day from a low branch on a tree, and wanted to go back and pick some more to take home to all of her friends.  

I just loved all of these classic rows of homes.

And I loved having this adventure with my sweetheart!\