After staying up until 2:30AM to
finish packing, we got up at 5:30AM to get ready and out the door
for our 9AM flight to London. We
arrived in London at 22:00, after flying all day. (It is strange flying to
Europe during the day since most Europe bound plans leave Chicago in the later
afternoon or evening.) Immigration was a breeze, but we had more
difficulty in baggage claim. Newenka's suitcases came right off, then came
Anika’s and then Yannis’, but Tasha’s didn’t come and didn’t come and didn’t
come. So we ended up having to stand in the lost luggage line at midnight on our very first
day of the trip. (Tasha was a bit upset, but luckily she had a change of clothes in her
backpack. Her suitcase arrived the next day. Phew!) We think we’ll need a pool
about how many suitcases we will have get delayed over the course of the year!
<<<Waiting for a taxi after midnight at Heathrow
actively working on reducing our book volume ;-).
Dorking and our "Quintessential
Our first excursion in England was to visit
our friends the Gazzards in the lovely hamlet
of Dorking. (Yes, Yannis asked what people from Dorking are called.
Nick suggested "Dorks," with the smirk of someone who grew up in Dorking.)
On the Train to Dorking, trying not to fall asleep!
<<< The first church in the
movie "Four Wedding and A Funeral" is in Dorking!
Dorking we had a lovely pub lunch, hiked the local hill and visited with
Nick, Karen, Emma and Matt. It took the kids all afternoon to warm up, and
they were just starting to really have fun when we had to drag them away!
<<< The tree Anika is standing in front of is a Monkey
Puzzle! The whole trunk and all the branches are covered with spines, thus
We visited the British Museum:
We checked out King's Cross Station
(and we weren't the only ones!)
The fiction and
We spent a lovely day in Regent Park:
We visited the Tower of London:
We took a ferry to Greenwich
The ever popular Tower
See those naked guys standing
on the buildings? They are apparently the result of a multi
million £ art project.
The common species, "London
Crane," is prevalent around the St. Paul Cathedral ;-)
Here we are standing in both the eastern and western hemispheres! The
ball on the top of the tower is dropped every day at 1200 Greenwich Mean Time, which
was 13:00 hours local time, of course, because of Daylight Savings Time!!!
We gawked over Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
We watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
There's one of the guards...along
with his replacement and the formal confirmation of who everyone is
And there he goes. Though the guards seemed pretty peripheral to the
whole ceremony, which included the band playing a strange selection of 5 or 6
songs, among them Over the Rainbow and the theme song from Dallas!
Yannis really liked these two, he thinks they look like a
pair of toy soldiers. They are real, really!
While enjoying the
proceedings with faces planted against the fence, Yannis wondered what
we might look like to the guards. This is his attempt at
We popped into Westminster Abbey
Of course, no photography is permitted inside
the Abbey and wow is it cool inside!!!
Guess you'll just have to come to London to see it for yourselves!
And just hanging around!!!
Anika, "Why do all the postcard show these red houses? I haven't seen any
Talk about observant - we spent the next day pointing them out
"They are everywhere!" she then observed!
Tasha on the Millennium Bridge
Anika "Minding the gap!" on the Tube
Anika watching a 3-D Dinosaur movie at the Science Museum
And look at the store right around the corner from us - it sells
See our favorite Fazioli Dealer.
ArvaMont World School
The poor girls had to start school right away -
their vacations are when we have things scheduled that will preclude their
At least their classroom has a nice view ;-)
We are on our way to Wales on June 16! See