Dispatches from Abroad, Part 1

Last year we went to London and Paris, spending a full week in each city.  Of course a good time was had by all and as expected, with time, I’ve managed to forget some of the small details.  And that’s when my text history came to the rescue.  I remembered sending my parents and sister frequent text updates about our trip.  So I dug them up, dusted them off, cropped them, and presto.  They can now be shared for your reading pleasure.

FullSizeRender (4)The first text set the tone for numbered lists and I stuck to that format for many of the others.  As you can see, the most pressing update is the revelation that English muffins are just muffins.I wish I could claim to find that less interesting than I do but it was the first thing I sought out at the grocery store.

Catherine’s dissatisfaction with menu options will be a reoccurring theme.  Definitely not the last time we see that mentioned.

Successfully managing our first tube ride was also no insignificant task.  Though I take the subway all the time where we live, the system in London is quite a bit different.  I was delighted that kids ride free but it took a few attempts before we figured out how to get 1 adult and 1 child through an automatic ticket gate. I’m relatively certain people had no idea we were tourists…

FullSizeRender (5)I was so excited to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.  I had carefully plotted out the days which we’d be able to see it so as to be sure not to miss out.  Maybe a slightly over hyped attraction, at least for kids who hate waiting.  Unless you can get in the section right at the gates and a better view of the action.  Which would require waiting.  I don’t know about anyone else’s kids, but mine do not do waiting very well.  So while they held out for the pageantry, they were clearly unimpressed.

At least we tried.  Right??


Our 3rd update rolls around and sure enough, and we were back on the tube and still eating lots of food.  Only in this update, I have children happy with the food.  Yay!

Well, we tried to experience some cultural highlights and be frugal at the same time.  Free doesn’t always translate into “fun had by all” when  you’re traveling.  Especially when creepy organ music is involved.

I also entirely forgot about how poorly my kiddos were adjusting to the time zone change. Before re-reading these texts, I would have humble bragged about how my kiddos just seem to adapt so easily, blah blah blah.  But it’s all coming back now.  Just wait for the next text…

FullSizeRender_2[1]Catherine wasn’t about to go down quietly.  Oh no.  It’s definitely all coming back to me. I don’t know how I managed to forget.  I guess it’s kind of like childbirth amnesia.

Maybe we made too big of a deal about having them look left before crossing the street.  I’ll consider that one a lesson learned.

I can’t remember if I made good on my play date promises but something tells me she held me to it.  Catherine doesn’t forget things like that.


FullSizeRender[1]The next text update I sent my parents and sister while we were in London hits upon one of the delights of having kids old enough to realize what’s going on around them.  They understand when you’ve done something wrong.  And they don’t let it go.  Such as when we took the bus headed in the wrong direction.

We had a lovely tea at the Orangery and it’s location couldn’t have been better if you have kids.  It was right near the Princess of Wales Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens.  The grounds were lovely and the kids could run and play and blow off some steam.  As you can see they had lots of energy to play, despite lacking the energy to walk the few blocks to tea.

FullSizeRender (6)As part of my trip planning, I scoped out numerous dining options that offered a free kids menu.  We took advantage at a lot of places where we ate.  But as you can see, there were some challenges.

The Mission London book was awesome and helped tremendously when we were doing some traditional sightseeing. It kept the twins engaged and the adults had fun too.

The book must be what prompted our discussion of spy names in the next text update I sent.  Have I piqued your curiosity?
Nate is really really into skyscrapers.  So it was no FullSizeRender (7)surprise he was over the moon at the prospect of going to The View at the Shard.  My pictures from that visit are some of my favorite of the trip.

And as you can see we made another visit to Westminster Abbey but this time sans creepy organ music.

Why didn’t anyone tell me about salt beef sandwiches?

And yes, my kiddos really really hate walking.  Any time we have to walk more than a block, they whine, moan and groan, and complain. It makes sightseeing by foot such a delight.

Well, I hope these real time dispatches are somewhat entertaining to read.  Though you likely won’t be as amused as my parents were but they’re the grandparents.  They’re genetically obligated to be amused.