Saturday, June 5, 2010
ow 'bout a quick tour of London and Paris? Hold on, 'cause I *really* had to pare down my photos for this recap. Upon arriving home from our trip, my beloved camera held a total of 1187 photos from our 12 day adventure! Yikes! I knew I liked to take pictures, but honestly!
After a week of living with, reviewing and sorting my photos, I am down to a more manageable 879 pictures. Don't worry, I'm not going to show you all of them here, at least not on this post!
This trip was a graduation gift for Hannah from my parents, and I got to go along! How's that for a deal... she studies and graduates from high school and I get to go along and play in Europe too! It was also a "gift" from my beloved husband, who willingly took vacation time to stay home and supervise the remaining nine children! I don't think I know many other husbands who would so graciously undertake such an endeavor!
To get to the UK, we had two flights, a short commuter flight to Charlotte, NC, then a longer flight across the Atlantic to London.
The airport in Charlotte was huge. I didn't realize before flying in there that it was an international hub. We loved the white rocking chairs that were situated by almost all of the large windows in the airport. No, that isn't our commuter flight in the photo below, merely a display. Had you fooled, huh?
The apartment my parents rented in London was beautiful! In addition, it was only a few blocks from an entrance to "the Tube," London's very efficient subway system. Loved the door knob in the center of this door. Actually, I became quite enamored with doors in general during this trip. I'll show you some of the beautiful entrances that I captured on another day.
Hannah at the front door to our flat.
The absolutely adorable kitchen. Note the appliance to the left of the sink. It's a washer/drier combo! It would wash and then dry a grand total of one pair of jeans and one shirt at a time. While not on my "wish list" as a mom of a large family, it was *very* handy to be able to wash some clothes during our week in London.
Check our these little lambs that were sitting on the kitchen windowsill.
Is this not the most adorable door stop for the kitchen door?
The very British sitting room.
Hannah and I's bedroom.
While technically we all speak "English," I found myself tickled with some of the language differences between America and the UK. For instance, in Europe, if we wanted bottled water, we had to specifically request "still" water (not carbonated)! Makes total sense to me, but still funny.
Or what about orange juice? In London, we purchased smooth, pulp-free OJ... notice the label: "No bits!" Again, not sure why, but that totally cracked me up. OK, so I'm easily amused.
Upon our arrival at our apartment, we all took a nap for several hours (some major jet lag!), then headed out to do a little exploring and see "Phantom of the Opera."
The subway station near our apartment. I was so impressed with "The Tube." I don't think we ever had to wait more than 2 min for a train to our destination.
One of the British phrases that we loved was the admonition to "Mind the gap," on the subway. I actually began to fancy that the kind automated woman's voice on the train was concerned about me, so frequently did she remind me to be cautious in that respect!
The Phantom of the Opera was preformed fantastically well. I found myself completely amazed at the special effects that can be done on a relatively small stage. And of course, the singing talent of the actors and actresses was phenomenal. I highly recommend seeing it if you ever have opportunity.
On the docket for our first full day in London: The Tower of London and the London Eye!
The climate in the UK is so much more conducive to flower-growing than our 100+ degree heat here in the Midwest. We passed flowers like this so many places!
And, the Tower of London, one of London's most popular tourist destinations. The Beefeater who gave us our tour did a fabulous job~ so many interesting stories played out within these walls (and gruesome ones too!).
Loved the history that is part of Europe! This wall portion is from almost 2,000 years ago when the Romans occupied London. Amazing! For us in the US, a 200 year old building is "old!"
A view of Big Ben as we walked to the London Eye.
The London Eye.
And some photos taken while up in "The Eye."
Next up: photos from the Kew Gardens and other adventures along the Thames River!