Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London 2012: Part 4

This is my last post for our London trip... I know you must be sad! ha!

Our last full day in London was one of my favorites. We took a train to the Windsor Castle. More than 500 people live and work in the Windsor Castle. That makes it the largest inhabited castle in the world. The Windsor Castle is a venue for hosting state visits and the Queen stays there over the weekends. We were there on a Sunday so the Queen was there when we were. Unfortunately we didn't get to see her but it was neat knowing she was there. 

Photo Credit: wikipedia 

This is the view of the whole castle. It is like a small city. It is HUGE!

One thing I loved about the castle is that it wasn't really old looking. Most of the castles we have been to haven't been lived in for century's. This one was very clean and looked fairly new... even though it wasn't.

We got to take a tour of the castle. Our first tour was of Queen Mary's Doll House. The Doll House was made in the 1920's and completed in 1924. The Doll House was given to Queen Mary as a gift from family. Artists and craftsmen contributed to the doll house. The plates in the dining room were made of real silver and the crowns were made of real diamonds. The pictures were all hand painted by artists. The house is over 3 feet tall. It was amazing!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

After we saw the doll house, we visited a picture gallery of the queen in celebration of the Jubilee.

Then, we got to see the castle. We saw the dining room, meeting room (where the queen meets people), and a few other rooms. It was really neat!! No pictures were allowed inside the castle.

Cutest. Town. Ever!

This is where the Queen was!

This is the chapel and the Queen attended earlier that morning and if we would have gotten their earlier, we could have attended church with her!

We just had to get another picture with the guard.

After we left the Windsor Castle, we headed to Wimbledon to see the tennis courts and where the Olympics will be held. We walked around the entire town twice trying to find this thing. Finally we figured it out and got there and figured out it was closed. Oh well. It was neat to see it from the outside.

This little girl was eating up all the attention she was getting on the train.

After Wimbledon, we headed to a music exhibit where people could play all different kinds of instruments. This was Bryce's idea. He is the musician in the family. It was fun though. It took us forever to find a place to eat and we finally settled on Jimmy's World Grill. It was a buffet on crack. They had everything you could imagine. Just like any buffet, it wasn't that impressive. The dessert was good...that's about it.

After we ate, we headed back to our hotel to get packed up to leave early the next morning. On our way home, Bryce wanted to go to another castle that was about 30 minutes away. The castle was on the Rhine River and it was beautiful.

This little girl was so tired from our long trip.
 Beautiful drive to the castle!

Beautiful, right?

The Rhine River

This big girl was SO glad to be home!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

London 2012: Part 3

We got an earlier start on Saturday to head to the London Zoo. On our way, we came across a shopping center called Stables Market. It was the neatest thing. I could best describe it as the Canton Trades Days but smaller.

Don't you just love that little monster outfit?!?! I HAD to get it! I know I don't have a boy (yet) but it will be put away for the FAR future!! :) I also got the London shirt for Ava.

We spent a few hours at the shopping center and ate lunch and then headed to the zoo. This zoo was amazing! They had every animal that we could think of and we didn't even have time to make it around the whole zoo.

Ava was scared of the fish.

I will spare you all of the animal pictures.

After the zoo, we went to the Tower of London and the London Bridge. Every time I say "London Bridge", it makes me want to sing the song. ha!

Me and my sweet girl!

The two loves of my life!

This is the Tower of London. It was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. It was the Royal Residence of several and also served as a prison. Today, it is home of the Royal Jewels! Seeing the Royal Jewels was one of my favorite parts of the trip!

I didn't know it when we took this picture but this is where the Today show is taping for the Olympics!

This is where all the weapons and armory are on display.

I was sad that we couldn't take pictures of the jewels! They were BEAUTIFUL! Some of the diamonds were as big as a baseball!

I just had to take a picture of the guard!

We went to dinner at a place called Garfunkel's. There were several around the city so we wanted to try it out. The food was really good and they had free refills on drinks! Over here in Europe, they don't give free refills...even for water!! 

Some things that I want to remember about our trip:

Ava- I have never...and I mean NEVER seen anyone get as much attention as you did on this trip. We probably got stopped at least once ever 5 minutes so people could touch you and talk to you and comment on how big your bow was or how happy and alert you are. It probably didn't help that you were waving and saying "HI" to everyone that passed by. I think you made a lot of peoples day! When people would ask how old you are, they would ask, "How many months is she?" Funny how people word things differently in other countries. 

When we were at Garfunkel's, there was this one particular man that you did NOT like. I have never seen you not like anyone before but you did NOT like this man. You were playing with a toy and dropped it and he came by and picked it up and gave it to you and you started crying. About 10 minutes later, he was waving at you from a distance and you just looked at me and gave me the biggest pouty face and cried a little bit. It was so funny! 

You did SO good on the trip! You traveled so well. You slept on me or your daddy in the carry thing most of the time and sometimes you slept in your stroller. 

London 2012: Part 4 coming soon!! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

London 2012: Part 2

Our second day in London started off pretty late. Nothing in London opens till 10am or later. Our first stop was Buckingham Palace. Everyday at 11am, they do changing of the guards. Changing of the guards is a ceremony where the guards switch shifts. There is a band that comes to play and the guards do a small rendition.

This is where William and Kate had their first kiss!

The band.

We ended up leaving before it was over because it was really boring and we didn't have a good view. Ava was also really starting to lose it. I don't think she liked being in the middle of a bunch of people because as soon as we left, she got happy.

We ate our sandwiches and went to The Queen's Gallery. It was a display of Leonardo Da Vinci's anatomy sketches. We didn't spend much time there because it was really boring, too!

We then headed next door to the Horses Stables Museum. The museum carried all of the carriages that the royal family uses for coronations, weddings, funerals, and important events. That was really neat to see.

This is the carriage that the Queen rode in for her coronation. Beautiful!!!

We stopped by the gift shop on our way out and Bryce kept saying how much he thinks I look like Kate Middleton. I never believed him until he made me take a picture... what do you think? I could use whiter teeth, more makeup and a clear face and I would be more convinced! ha!

We then jumped on a train and went to see Big Ben (the big clock). It was way bigger than I expected. It started raining so we headed next door to Westminster Abbey. That is the church where William and Kate got married...and many other royal members. We sat under an arch right outside the church for about an hour. When the weather started to clear up, it was time to go inside the church for a 45 minutes simple church service. It was SO neat to see the church inside. Over a year ago I was watching all these celebrities and royalty in the same church and here I am a year later in the SAME CHURCH! It was unreal.

Had to get a picture with the guard!

Y'all probably think I'm crazy!!! A little obsessed with the royal family? maybe.

After the church service, we got dinner at a pizza place and then we headed back to our hotel for a good nights rest.

London 2012: Part 3 coming soon!