Saturday, October 31, 2015

Five Magical Days in London!

We have been excited to visit London with the kids ever since we moved to Europe more than a year ago! And the anticipation was worth it.....this trip was our favorite European vacation so far. Madeline, Charlie and John would have been happy the entire trip to do nothing but ride on the Tube, the red double decker city busses and the London black cabs. While I poured over maps and travel blogs to plan easy, fun days, the kids prepared for the trip by reading Paddington Bear (and watching the hilarious movie), sipping tea and speaking in exaggerated English accents.
At last! Riding in a double decker bus!
And the Tube! They squealed when it went!
The flight was quick and our flat was perfect (sadly, poor sick Bitsy threw up three times going though customs and every day thereafter. What a trooper!). The day we arrived was Halloween, so we celebrated by visiting the mummies in the British Museum. Rob ran to the grocery store, and we finished the night with an assortment of meat and fish pies (including Scrummy Fish Pie) in our toy-filled flat.
The British Museum....we could spent all five days there!

Our rented flat was filled with toys and felt like home
On our second day, we saw the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, crossed Tower Bridge on foot, ate lunch on the 31st floor of the Shard (Europe's tallest building) and popped in the Tate Modern hoping to show Madeline a Monet for her school biography. Sadly, it wasn't currently on display. 
The Shard rising behind the Tower of London.
Looking down on the trains from inside the Shard!
Tate Modern
The third day, we walked through the beautiful St. James Park and Green Park with coffees in hand, visited Buckingham Palace, watched the changing of the guard, walked to Big Ben, ate fish and chips and took a spin in the London Eye. 
I guess Bitsy isn't afraid of heights!
Day Four was a very special day....Bitsy's first birthday! We celebrated with a fancy tea party at the Ritz London. That afternoon, while the kids rested and played, I explored Liberty of London and Oxford Street....heaven! 

For our final day in London, we went out with a bang with a visit to Hamley's, a 300 year old toystore. It was an assault on the senses, but 6-floors of of pure magic for the kids. Everyone picked out a Paddington Bear like the one I grew up with, and then we ate the best Indian food we have ever had for lunch. We finished with a fascinating visit to the Churchill War Rooms. 

What an amazing trip!
Amazing to see where Churchill strategized during World War II
Public transportation was part of the fun for the kids!
They had so much fun in our apartment.
Black cab!
Matching dresses from Grammy for the Shard!

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