Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Primrose Hill & London Zoo

PRIMROSE HILL

on sunday afternoon we decided to take a walk to Primrose Hill, the actual hill and surrounding area is just north of Regent's Park (which we live on the south side of). it was a beautiful walk, the leaves are starting to change, but the grass is still so green. from the top of the hill you get a clear view of central london all the way to the London Eye & Thames River... as well as the sunset.
video
here is a view from the top (sorry, the quality isn't the best)
the boys walking up the hill (blake for the second time, the first time we ran up together, part of which he was on my back!)
me and my guys
(don't worry, we got his hair cut the next day! :)
ahhh.... the sunset
LONDON ZOO
jonathan had monday off and it was SUNNY outside so we decided to go to the zoo. so did everyone else in London. apparently it's a school holiday week, so there were tons of people there. once we got in it was fine, but we stood in line for a good 45 min. it was worth it though, the boys had a great time, and it was a beautiful day! (unfortunately i forgot to charge my camera before we left, so i only got a few pictures before it died)
the zoo is also on the north end of Regent's Park, so we walked...
i love these cut-out things, but this one is SO fitting! the monkeys were adam's favorite, he loved watching them swing, jump, run, and chase eachother around. and he would growl at them if they looked his way :)
blake's favorite were the zebras and giraffes
i love these boys!
of course we had to take a ride on the safari jeep!
and this is where my camera died... we saw tons of other animals, and had a great time together!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Brighton

For our first trip out of London we decided to go to Brighton, a little city on the south coast of England. We spent 2 days and 2 nights walking around the city, visiting Drusillas Zoo and Park, driving through the countryside, and relaxing in the hotel. It was a fantastic weekend. Here is a little bit (or a lot a bit) about our adventure.

It was beautiful:
(i did not take these pictures, because my camera is not capable, BUT it did look EXACTLY like this)

The pier extends out 524 meters (that's a little over 1700 feet for us Americans!) over the water, and is full of shops, restaurants, arcades, and has a huge carnival at the end.

We rode the train into Brighton on Thursday evening and spent the night in a hotel along the waterfront. The next morning we planned to rent a car and take the kids to Drusillas Park (a zoo, playground, Thomas the Train park, and much, much more...).
This is where the real fun begins:
here is Jonathan... with the steering wheel on the right, driving on the left.......in a manual none the less (because he was too cheap to spring for the automatic)! with the odds stacked against him, we somehow made it out of the parking lot and on the road. 40 minutes and 2 or 3 car stalls later (one of which was in the middle of a round about.) we finally made it to Drusillas Park:
we walked through the zoo part first. it was an incredible zoo, very interactive and educational, perfect for kids... in fact we saw a couple school groups going through as well. the boys had a great time looking at all the different animals, and touching and playing with everything along the way.
couldn't pass up this little gem.... (what an appropriate look on Adam's face... "my dad is such a dork.")
.... that's more like it
after the zoo part, we ventured into the gigantic park area... this was hands down the most amazingly fun park I've ever seen. endless slides, jungle gyms, swings, zip lines, trampolines, mazes, the list could go on, seriously, it was incredible.
this wasn't even half of the park... SO FUN!
i had to throw this one in there, i thought it was cute that blake wanted to catch daddy when he came out of the slide
Now we come to what originally attracted us to this park... Thomas the Train
i was a bit disappointed in the lack of actual 'Thomas' stuff to do (their website was quite misleading), but the boys were not... which is ALL that matters! They got to ride around the park in Thomas' coaches, see some other Thomas characters, and of course there was a huge gift shop, but that was about it.
they loved it!
After we left the park we decided to go for a drive and let Adam take a nap. We didn't realize that we ALL miss having a car... they both fell right asleep and we enjoyed the drive. We started driving toward a little town that a taxi cab driver had told Jonathan about just to see some of the countryside, and it was gorgeous, like really gorgeous... green rolling hills, leaves changing on the trees, old beautiful houses (with the occasional CASTLE in the middle of nowhere). As we got further into the towns the roads got more and more narrow, and were lined with walls of shrubs cut to the exact width of the road. People were driving SO fast toward us and riding our bumper from behind. I was sitting on the wrong side of the car and it seemed that we were going to crash at any moment. Between Jonathan's staring out the window at the country side and veering into either the wall of shrubs or oncoming traffic i thought i might either throw up or have a heart attack. 2 hours later after my body was trying to recover from continuous surges of adrenaline i was spent... so much for a relaxing drive through the country!
AS WRITTEN BY JONATHAN:
Lesson Learned: After having a nice three hour drive through small towns and the country side my shoulders and neck were quite sore. I recommend braking the bank and springing for the automatic. Having a GPS is essential in a foreign country, unfortunately after a couple of wrong turns and a few recalculations by the GPS you may end up on a single lane farming road. GPSs may know every road there is, but just because a farmer names his dirt road that doesn't make it a legitimate road. Then just when you are miles into the brush and there is no place to turn around you just have to forge ahead. The only problem is when you see an oncoming car and think CRAP. A lesser man couldn't have done it.
All in all we had a great weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

worth every penny



we bought this amazing little 'buggy board' last week, and it has changed my life! ok, that's a bit dramatic, but it has improved my life considerably. it has wheels and attaches to the back of our stroller for Blake to stand on while i push. i know that sounds silly, but we have been struggling a little bit going places that are very far away because Blake gets tired of having to walk so far, and i can't carry him and push (i can hardly carry him anyways), and he's just getting too big to ride on Jonathan's shoulders. so every outing was getting pretty frustrating and stressful. then we found this lovely little thing and it has made all the difference in the world! (and came in very handy on Sunday when the bus wasn't running it's normal route, and i had to walk about a mile from the last stop to our flat.... in church clothes and shoes no less) so the kicker was that this thing cost 40 pounds, which is roughly $60 (gasp). i would normally never consider paying so much for something like that, but in this case, i probably would've paid double!

they both love it, and usually take turns riding on it (or fight over it, whatever you want to call it).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

18 months.... already!?


this boy melts my heart, and has us ALL wrapped around his little finger!

i can't believe how fast he's grown, he is such a smart, independent, fun, sweet boy.

i don't have any pictures to show how he's grown in the last 18 months... my computer with all our pictures on it is at home, but if you'd like to see some click HERE.

i don't have his height/weight etc... we're going to skip his 18 mo check up since we're not home.
but i can tell you he has grown :)

he LOVES to take showers

he KNOWS he's cute, and plays it to his advantage


he frequently gets sick of my camera, but will still say 'cheese' whether he's looking at the camera or not


he is SO funny, and LOVES to laugh


he is very good at sharing and loves doing whatever big brother is doing


he also just got his hair cut-- it was more traumatic for me than him, it makes him look so grown up, but i draw the line when people start asking me if he's a girl or boy!


adam is such a joy to have in our family, he loves to talk, play, run, jump, and be crazy! he is so smart, and amazes me everyday. we love him so much. happy 1/2 birthday adam!