Jan 8, 2012

Ye Olde Epic England Recap

Tower of London.

So we went to England. Had a blast. Said things like rubbish, and collywobbles, and pardon me, which way to the Ministry of Magic? And when people spoke to us we stared at them and said (loud and slow), "Sorry, we only speak English." We ate the fish and the chips. Dropped in on the Queen. Did the double-decker. Captured some castles. Wore our "Operation Revolutionary War: Mission Accomplished" t-shirts. The Brits LOVED us.

My brother John moved with his family to England about a year and a half ago, so our first stop was to spend Christmas with them in Coventry (coincidence: my family lived on Coventry court for over 30 years). John and Dakin were excellent hosts in that our daily quota for chocolate and delicious food was continually fulfilled, and then some. We all went down to London together, and enjoyed trying to keep 6 kids and 4 adults together throughout the City. With 5 potty-trained kids, we spent less time looking at tourist attractions than we did looking for a loo, which we always have fond memories of. We celebrated New Year's in London, and by celebrated I mean that we ate mediocre food in our hotel restaurant and then sat in our dark hotel room while the kids slept and we checked Facebook on our phones. And then we came home, but not before cramming in one last historic site just to ruin Mia's life.

Thanks to digital photography, we came home with no less than 6 million pictures. So be warned, there are a lot of photos following, and it's not even the half of it (plus, the formatting is all weird with the captions, sorry). There's a very good chance you will get bored, even if you happen to be my parents. But that's not to say it wasn't jolly brilliant (that's British for super fun, I think). 

We played the "how many people can we fit in a Volvo" game, and the answer is 10.  
Our favorite vacation past time: standing around looking bored in an amazing location. 1,000 year old castle ruins? Is that all? 
But really, one of these kids was not happy to be at an old castle. Hint: it's Mia.

Guess who also wasn't happy to have her picture taken at a castle? 
True story: we saw signs for a duck race and thought it would be fun to watch.  It seemed oddly quiet, and when the ducks came into view we found out why. Yes, it was actually a rubber duck race. Such tomfoolery! 

Nate and Elizabeth. I love their expressions. You looking at me? 
The view from Warwick Castle. Seriously, there are a lot of castles in the UK.
We talked Mia into going to the castle just for the Sword in the Stone exhibit, and then it was closed that day. I would say something derogatory about Fate here, but you know what they say about Karma. 
But for someone who hates castles, she loves old castle toilets.

You can't go to England without getting a picture in the old pillory. Ha ha, traitors! 
Releasing some castle angst.
All 10 of us took a train to London. It was just like going to Hogwarts. 

A rare moment where no one had to go potty.

Sam was super excited about Big Ben.
Riding the London Tube at rush hour. That's Mia and Nate at the bottom of a pile of commuters. 

Yes, we rode the bus.

Buckingham Palace.
Look closely at Nate. He is starting to come down with a fever. He pretty much slept in that stroller for the rest of the trip. Unexpected bonus: the 3 year old was our best behaved child on the trip.

Me: Hey kids, this is where the Queen of England lives.
Sam: You mean this is her house?
Me: Yep.
Sam: Good, because I have to go potty.

Another awesome looking-bored photo in front of something cool.  Oh, is that the Tower of London? Yawn.
This is what I look like while saying the word "schedule" sarcastically, in case you were wondering.  
We occupied Occupy London.
I got busted after taking this picture in St. Paul's, but they can't stop me from putting it on my blog. 
Climbing to the top of the dome. 
View from the top.
Harry Potter Tour (yes, we did). 
Diagon Alley, except not really. 
I love that Kings Cross Station did this. 

Countdown until London becomes even more crowded. Have fun with that London! 
Speaking of the Olympics, we were staying just a kilometer away from the 2012 Olympic site.  If my brother had been there, he would have googled something on his iPhone and found out what that red thing is, but being us, we just stood there and went "uh, der." 

My old college roommate, Farhana, who lives in London because she's cool like that.
New Year's Eve on the Big Red Bus. We seriously know how to party.
Nate sleeping at dinner one night. Is it bad that I kind of like it when my kids get low grade fevers? 
Hey kids, look at that old thing! Amazing, right Mia? 
Sam however, actually enjoyed most everything and begged me take pictures of him, like this one. 
And Nate kept begging to go home, and when we finally got there, this is what he did. 

Blimey, are you still here? 


Dakin said...

The kids all miss their cousins. So glad you came. It was awesome.

Carrie said...

Sooo jealous! Keep posting pictures.

Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

Looks like a great trip Mia's grumpiness not with standing.

Julia said...

You are hilarious. Awesome trip.

Sara said...

love all the pictures! Looks like a great trip!

Jen said...

I can't wait to go to London! And your post was so funny as always.