Tag Archives: London

A Pretty Good Day

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Last week was half term here in England, which means schools were out and London was very crowded.

Most of the museums have special events on during half term for all the little ones. We decided to go to the National Gallery, which had on an Imaginary Worlds Family Festival.

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The last time we came to the National Gallery with Josh was about a year ago and was clearly not a great place to bring a one year old.

But now that he’s a bit older he seemed to enjoy it, and I especially loved looking at paintings with him and listening to him tell me about what he thought was happening in them.

My personal favourite was when upon seeing Seurat’s Bathers at Asnieres, Josh was very concerned that the boy in the river had lost his dog and was calling out for him, though the dog didn’t seem to look too concerned to me.

We had a great time though looking at the paintings and doing some of the children’s events like listening to a pop up orchestra.

The fun didn’t stop either when we left the gallery, as we even managed to see a somewhat creepy puppet show happening in Trafalgar Square.

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And of course we had lunch, which was possibly the highlight of the day when we found a new Mexican place on the Strand.

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And dessert.

Dessert was pretty good too.

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Yup. It was a pretty good day.

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London’s World Famous Sea Life

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Last week, Josh and I made our first trip to the London Aquarium.

I have been to every touristy place in London; multiple times.

But I had never been to the aquarium, which, every time I pass by it, is packed with tourists.

It just seemed so weird to me that tourists, coming to London, would take the time to go and visit an aquarium.

Is London known for it’s sea life?

No. They do castles here.

Castles and old places.

So I was a bit skeptical about going, but I felt that as a good mother, Josh should learn a bit more about fish, other than they come out of boxes in the freezer as fish sticks, or fish fingers if you’re British.

So we went.

And he loved it.

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He had so much fun running around and seeing all the fish.

And turtles.

And penguins.

He loved the penguins.

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The sharks…

Not so much.

After the scare of the sharks, Josh spent most of the time, pulling my hand and dragging me toward the exit, waving “bye bye” to all the fish, saying “we go now.”

At least he was polite, telling them we were leaving.

I think the fish were sad to see him leave though.

I mean, I swear this fish looks like it’s smiling at Josh.

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This fish must be from America.

A Little Bit of Barcelona in London

20121003-160808.jpgMy family is very close.

Insanely close.

We all grew up living about five minutes from one another and it was amazing.

Imagine how happy I was then, when I found out my cousin would be moving to Barcelona for a year.

And imagine how happy I was this last weekend, when she came to London to visit.
20121003-161004.jpgTurns out Josh was pretty happy too.

It was the best experience, seeing Josh run to her and jump into her outstretched arms for a big hug.

He sure loves his Aunt Laura.

We had so much fun this weekend, showing them around London and taking in some of the sights.

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20121003-161516.jpg I told Laura having her here made it almost feel like home…

If only for a weekend.

20121003-161922.jpgCome back and visit soon Laura.

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An End of Summer Science Museum Adventure

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Fall is in the air.

I decided Josh and I should have one more adventure out (while we are still able to wear shorts) to celebrate the end of summer; and so last week we headed off to the Science Museum.

I’d been bringing Josh here since he was barely able to walk, but always bypassed all the galleries and just headed straight for the children’s play area in the basement.

As he’s a bit older now, we decided to walk around and explore a bit.

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Josh was in heaven.

Planes, trains and cars everywhere you looked.

I felt pretty silly for not having realised all this was there long before.

I mean, it’s pretty hard to miss a big rocket, right?

But Josh really enjoyed exploring and looking at all the old cars on display.

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He also liked the space section, though not as much as the cars.

I suppose a command module just isn’t quite as flashy.

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I’m sure he’ll come around eventually though.

The museum had loads of fun things for kids also, including a little play area dedicated to patterns.

Josh especially enjoyed the big fish display on the floor which reminded me very much of an iPad app Tara downloaded for her cats to play with.

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All the kids were gathered around tapping the water and trying to catch the fish.

It was pretty cute.

After we left the museum, we walked down to the Natural History Museum, which is right next door.

I was curious to see if Josh was half as interested in dinosaurs as he is in cars.

We didn’t spend much time there though; the animatronic tyrannosaurus rex wasn’t a big hit with Josh, as you can see from the terrified look on his face.

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Maybe I need to start with the fossils next time.

The End of the Olympics

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To say last Friday was a bad day would be an understatement.

We had tickets to see Korea vs Japan in the men’s bronze medal football match in Cardiff.

To make a long story short, after three broken cars and three hours stuck in traffic driving to Wales, we eventually got the hint and gave up, missing the game and eating dinner at a McDonalds roadside service station.

Sadly our dinner was probably the high point of the entire day.

But today more than made up for that horrible Friday.

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Today is the final day of the Olympics and the men’s marathon took place in central London.

Not needing a ticket to watch most of the race, we joined the 1,000s of other fans lining the route and cheered the runners on.

We headed for Big Ben because, well, what a great place to watch the runners from.

It just doesn’t really get more British than Big Ben.

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It was a lot of fun to cheer the runners on, especially the American runner Keflezighi. Can you believe fourth place? Amazing!

And of course, a great excuse for Josh to get to wear his USA t-shirt that I made for him for the Olympics.

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We continued watching the race and walked along the route to St. James Park so Josh could have a bit more room to run around.

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I can’t get over what a wonderful, exciting atmosphere it was.

London just seems so happy at the moment, and why shouldn’t they be after a great Olympics and some great medal results.

Everyone is smiling and friendly and stops to talk to one another.

It’s almost joyous.

I suppose all the flags around people’s necks are good conversation starters, but I really hope that this happiness won’t fade away too quickly.

It really has been a wonderful Olympics and I am so glad we were able to experience it.

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Men’s Indoor Volleyball

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On Monday night, Tim and I were able to go to Earl’s Court where we watched the men’s USA team beat Tunisia.

During the Olympics, I have been lucky enough to see many individuals compete for the US, namely in rowing and swimming.

But there’s just something different about watching a team sport.

Especially when they are representing your country; and especially when they win.

I am so grateful that Josh’s Godmother, Lucy, was able to watch Josh while we were out. She is honestly the best Godmother ever and Josh is so lucky to have her in his life. It sounded like they had a great time too and he was thoroughly spoiled while he was there!

Thank you again Lucy!

Tim and I had a quick dinner and walked through some typically London little streets to get to Earls Court.

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The game had already started when we got there so we took our seats, in lucky row 13, and really enjoyed watching the game.

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The only thing that bothered me was that far more of the British fans were cheering for Tunisia. It didn’t feel like there were very many US supporters there and I asked Tim why they would cheer for Tunisia over the USA.

He said that Britons like to root for the underdog.

I told Tim I’ll remember that next time Britain is playing another country. . .

But Tim helped me hold my flag and cheer for the US, so all in all it was a fun night.

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And did I mention they won?

And that they are first in their group?

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Go USA and good luck on Wednesday.

Beach Volleyball London Style

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Tim and I continue our whirlwind tour of Olympic venues and we were lucky to be able to go and see the beach volleyball on Friday night at Horse Guards Parade, right down the street from Buckingham Palace.

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It is a beautiful venue, next to Downing Street (how does David Cameron sleep at night?) and the crowd on Friday night didn’t disappoint.

I started chatting to one British lady in line for the bathrooms who excitedly squealed “it’s like you’re at a party with 15,000 people you don’t know!”

There was beach volleyball.

Men’s Spain vs Brazil.

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Women’s Austria vs Russia.

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Inflatable Uncle Sam’s being tossed around in the crowd.

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And scantily clad men and women dancing during the time outs.

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You might have almost mistaken it for America.

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Until on the walk home, we saw this.

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London really is so beautiful at night.