I was lucky enough last week that I got to visit some very close friends while they are living in London.
It was wonderful to visit London, but even more wonderful to get to see friends who are like family. I never got to have a little sister, but I sort of feel like I have three honorary ones. I was visiting my friend Dara and her three daughters: Molly, Ashley and Katie. Dara’s husband, Kit, was away for most of the time, but I did get to see him on my last day. I’ve known them for about eight years—I started babysitting for them when Molly (their oldest) was almost two; now she’s nine!
This trip was slightly whirlwind, but we packed so much in that it really seemed longer than just six days. Seven if you count the flights there and back. And I would count the flight since it’s one of my favorite things. I enjoy sitting back, relaxing, eating a good meal and having dozens of movies on demand to watch. It’s just nice.
But anyway, back to the part of the trip that didn’t happen on an airplane.
The first sight we saw was Windsor Castle and the little town of Windsor:
Where we ate dinner at a pub and did a little shopping. In the bag in my hand is a Will & Kate 2011 mug for my mom.
The next day, we went to the Tower of London. We made some friends:
Although it doesn’t look like Katie was a big fan.
We saw the royal jewels and some torture devices.
The next day, we went to Hampton Court Palace.
I was excited because I had just recently re-read The Other Boleyn Girl. It was interesting to see the setting where much of that takes place. We ran through a giant maze and enjoyed the gardens, which seemed like they were straight from a dream.
I liked this part of the gardens best. The part with long grass and flowers growing all over the place.
Pure sunshine and happiness.
But, there was something to be said for the pristine, manicured gardens as well.
The weather that day was beautiful so we frolicked in the gardens for quite some time. Eventually, we went in to tour the palace. We saw the wine cellar, the kitchen, and a play put on in the bedroom. I thought everything was so interesting, probably because I know a bit of the history.
After dragging the girls to see two historical places, we decided to do something fun for them, so we took them to Legoland.
Legoland, for those of you who don’t have kids, is a theme park. Made out of Legos.
That’s Big Ben made out of Legos. This part of the park really reminded me of mini Europe in Brussels.
Hagrid and Harry Potter made out of Legos.
We rode rides, waited in lines, ate hot dogs. It was a true theme park experience! I think the girls had a blast.
The next morning, it was off to the farm.
At the farm we got to see lots of animals and feed lambs and goats. This made it kind of tricky when I had to go through customs and they asked if I’d been on a farm or touched any livestock. It seemed smartest to say no…I washed my hands afterwards!
After the farm, Dara and I had a date in the city. We left the girls with a babysitter and went off to shop and have a nice Indian dinner. It was so fun and so delicious!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. The weather was great, the company was great, and we packed so much in! Especially great was getting to see my second family. 🙂