Thursday, March 19, 2009

London Jolly Ol' Times: Day 5

Well we had a nice surprise visit today from Matthew Mort of Wales. He came into London on his Motorcycle and spent the day with us. We started the day with an English breakfast then went out to do more tourist things. We headed straight for the Tower of London. This was once a fortress/prison where many famous kings and queens were held prisoner. We joined a tour where one the Yeomen Warders ("Beefeaters") led us around and told us some very horrifying tales that took place at the tower. Our Guide was named Dickie and he very entertaining. He led us through some of the more famous spots in the castle. After the guided tour we had time to enjoy the other great sites that the castle had to offer including the crown jewels, the ancient armory, and other various jail cells.

After the Tower of London we went to the Tower Bridge.

Many people think this is “London Bridge” but that bridge is further up river and is pretty ugly. After the Bridge we went to the British Museum.

Many of the exhibits close after 5:30 but we were still able to see their extensive wing on the Egyptian empire including the Rosetta stone. It was fantastic.

We capped of the day at a noodle house where we had some fantastic Japanese noodles.

Oh did I mention we also visited Hogwarts. We weren’t allowed to take cameras with us so we just got this picture of us entering 9 ¾ before boarding the Hogwarts Express.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

London Jolly Ol' Times: Day 4 Paris Edition

We just got in from Paris. We decided we would do a day trip and hit the big sites. We had unlimited access on the subway so it made it really easy to get around, but even still our feet hurt and we are tired. It is a lot to do Paris in a day. We got there and went straight for the Eiffel Tower. The top floor was closed so we could only go up to the middle floor. There we had a baguette sandwich and took in the city of Paris. After being on the tower we walked out to the grass mall in front of it and got some great pictures. After the tower we went to the Arc d'Triomphe and the champs elysees. We had to use the restroom so we stopped in at the McDonalds for a Royal Cheese :). After a quick bite we went to the louvre. This was worth the whole price to go to Paris. I loved the Louvre. We only saw like .01% of it but even still it was amazing. After the museum it was back to London on the train.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

London Jolly Ol' Times: Day 3

So we just got in pretty late so I am going to keep this one short. We did the typical London experience today. We saw Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, the Thames river, Westminster Abbey, and had pub food in honor of St. Patrick's day. We walked from Big Ben up to Trafalgar Square to see it less crazy. On the way we say #10 Downing street, and the Royal Horse Guard dismounting Ceremony, pretty amazing stuff. I Loved Westminster Abbey. No photography is allowed :( so I can't show you the cool stuff we saw, but man it was amazing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

London Jolly Ol' Times: Day 2

A little tip for you world travelers out there, Nine month old infants do not adapt well to jet lag. After I posted last night I stayed up until 1:30 am with a not tired baby ;) It was fun though, since I don't get much time with Elaine during the week, I take what moments I can. That being said.... We had a very early morning today. We awoke at 6:00 am to go meet up with our tour bus. We visited three fantastic locations today Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. We traveled from 7:30am until 8:00pm traveling over 300 miles round trip, needless to say it was a long day, but an amazing one.


Our first stop was Windsor Castle, on of the official residencies of her majesty the queen. It is one of the largest castles in the world. It was a pretty amazing site to see. Oddly enough the Queen was actually there in the castle, but the royal families' quarters are away from tourists. We started our tour on the grounds then moved into the castle.

Photography is not allowed in the building itself so there are not pictures of that, but believe me it was pretty amazing.

It is kind of sad when my entire home could fit in the King's closet. We did take some time to watch the changing of the guard at the castle as well.

As we left Windsor we got this shot in front of the statue of Queen Victoria. A queen and two princesses (awwwwhh!)

All my life I have wanted to see stonehenge, I was afraid I would find it disappointing, but I wasn't disappointed at all. Stonehenge is pretty amazing. It is really neat to see something that was created so long ago. Every stop we made today had an audio listening guided tour, which made it nice to have extended explanation for the things we saw. Stonehenge really is a lot smaller than I imagined, but it is still pretty amazing. For those of you that didn't know we traveled here with some friends of ours.

Here is the five of us at stonehenge.
Laney even liked it!

This is the Heel Stone.
This is the stone that on the various important lunar and solar dates marks the
passage of time.

Bath is trully one of the most amazing cities I have been to, and by far one of the highlights thus far of my trip. We needed more time there to really explore, but we did get to see "the" roman bath house that gives bath its name.

The bath sits 15 feet below ground and is not in use, but the architecture is pretty amazing. Right next to the bath is the Bath Abbey. This was amazing, complete with flying buttress arches.

At the end of the tour they let you taste some of the water from the spring. Not very tasty, it tastes like warm well water.

After we toured the Bath we found our way up to the Jane Austen center to get some souvenirs for people. Jane lived in Bath for nine years.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

London Jolly Ol' Times: Day 1

We arrived safely in London for those waiting for news. The flight went really well and for the most part we slept. We arrived at 6:40 am, not so bright-eyed but happy to be done flying. After going through customs we were officially in London. Can't you tell that Laney is just thrilled. We were going to ride the Heathrow connect to get into our hotel, but instead we found a Direct Door to Door service that would be only a few pounds more. After a nice ride, and a very talkative driver we arrived at our hotel and got checked in to our "huge" room.(I guess sarcasm doesn't transcribe well to text ... oh well.) We took the time to get cleaned up, and after a quick sandwich we were off to see the sights. Our driver told us about going to covent gardens on Sunday, he said it was not to be missed. We decided we would make that our final destination. On the way we would take in the other 3 big squares: Leicester, Picadilly Circus, and Trafalgar square. Since Tuesday is St. Patrick's day there was a huge party going on in the square. It was packed but we thought that we would still get in on some of the action. Elaine loved the sights and giggled the whole time from her pack that we bought to carry her in. People were really getting into it so I snapped a few shots of the locals.

Amanda bought a green coat from target and blended in nicely.

After trafalgar we went to picadilly circus then on to covent gardens where we were treated to some street performing and yummy ice cream.

I will wrap up quick because we are tired and have to get up early for stonehenge tomorrow.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Elaine's Easter Pics

We recently had some easter pics done of Elaine. She is getting SOOOOOO BIIIG. She still isn't crawling, but she can stand on her own while holding on to something. The dolly was a gift from her Grandma and Great Grandma for christmas while we were in Utah. Stay tuned to the blog we are going to London next week. I am going to try to keep the blog posted with pictures as we travel. It will depend if we have internet access.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Elaine Giggles

We were at Amanda's uncle's House. Porthos and Rhett were playing with Amanda's uncle (that is the jingling) and Elaine thought it was hilarious