London may 5 first day
Today was our first day! Today we were in London. We got in at 8:30 AM, London time and 12:00 PM Vancouver time. We were very tired. We got off the plane and got on the train all of the sudden James’ stomach started to hurt and he almost barfed. After the train we hopped on the tube and road to our flat. Our flat is quite nice and it is in a great location, it is on Clapham common road. Then we hopped on a double-decker bus to Trafalgar Square and saw the Big Ben, house of parliament, Notre dame, River Thames, London eye, Victoria Station, and St. James's Park. At St. James' park we were asking at guy for directions and he gave us peanuts to feed the squirrels with. So we took the peanuts and fed the squirrels. The squirrels came right up to our hands and ate that peanut. After that we took a taxi to our flat.
London May 6
Today I woke up at 6:30 AM (super early for me.) We waited for James to wake up (not until 9:30) and got going. The first place we went to was a boat tour on Thames River. We saw lots of cool buildings and I took lots of pictures. We learned a lot on that tour for example, the Big Ben isn't actually the clock at all it is the bell inside the clock, it weighs 19 tons! The clock is called the Elizabeth Clock. Another thing is that WARF is an acronym it stands for warehouse at river front. After the tour we got off at Greenwich and went through a market we got some gobstoppers at humbug’s sweet shop and kept going. Then we went into the Royal Martine Museum. There was a huge map of the world on the ground and we walked to all the places on our trip. After that we went to the prime meridian and saw kids in their underpants splashing around in a tiny crowded pond (by the way there was about 3000 people there.) Then we went to Canary wharf and rented some bicycles at a drop off drop on bike rack. We rode them around a little old cobblestone English street for about two hours. We went over the London Bridge, dropped them off and took the tube back to our flat.
London May 7
Today we got up and went to watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace. There were about 3000 people there and was kind of crazy. It wasn't too exciting but it was kind of cool. After that we went to the shop IN Buckingham palace. I got a little reusable bag and James got a little souvenir of a guard at Buckingham palace with its little house type thing, we also got a Christmas tree decoration. After that we walked to Andrew and Yeye's house. Andrew and Yeye's house was like a museum and it was 8 story's high. Then we drove by our Grandpa Richard's old house and our Granny Val's old house. After that we went to the Natural History Museum. It was super cool there was a life size blue whale hanging from the ceiling. After that we took the tube to the London Eye. It was amazing! We could see all of London from up there. The London Eye ticket came with a 4D movie about London. Then we took the tube back to our flat.
London May 8
Today we did a lot. First we went to Buckingham Palace to see the parade. There were so many beautiful horses and lots of guards and marching bands. We actually saw the Queen. It was the coolest thing in the world! We also saw Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles. Duchess Camilla waved to us. It was super cool. I loved it. After that we walked about 400 meters and saw cannons shooting. It was so loud and so smokey. Then we walked back along the padre street and were throwing cherry blossoms in the air. It was like a spring snowfall. James then lost his camera. So we went back to the place where we were throwing the cherry blossoms and thank goodness the Bobby's had it. James got a picture with them and we walked across the street where the parade was coming back from parliament. We saw the Queen again and Prince Charles wave to us twice. After that we went down to Piccadilly Circus and had fish and chips in a cool restaurant (it was really good). Then we went to the London Tower and it was very interesting. We got these little phone things that we put in a number in and it tells us about the exhibit. There were torture rooms to polar bear ponds to weapon museums to a crown jewel room. We even saw a play on a judge who killed a lot of people in the 1800s. Then we rode the tube to an Indian restaurant and had dinner with David and his girlfriend Priti. I did not like the food there. We went home and then went to bed.
London May 9
Today was great! Today we got to sleep in a little bit because we got to see the parliament buildings at 11:00am. It was sooooo cool. Inside we saw the first lobby. The ceilings were so high and were pure wood. They were one of the highest freestanding wooden ceilings in the world. It was so beautiful. Then we walked into another room and the ceiling was a huge mosaic painted with real gold. Then we went into the House of Commons room and sat there and watched the members of Parliament talk about the Queen's speech. It was super cool because we were learning a lot about government in school. After that I had lunch at the Westminster Abbey with Mom and Kate (Mom's work friend). Then Kate showed us around her office. After that Mom and I walked to the Ripley Believe It or Not Museum to meet the boys, but the boys were not quite finished. So we walked around Regent Street waiting for them. Then we went back to get the boys and we all walked to Hamley's Toy Store (the biggest toy store in the world). The boys went to Hamley's Toy Store while Mom and I went to Esprit. James bought a mystery UFO at Hamley’s toy store and I bought some new clothes at Esprite. After that we got on a bus to Westminster Abbey but it was taking too long so we got off to take a taxi. James thought he left his backpack on the bus so he started to scream. He sounded like a gorilla giving birth but Dad had his backpack the whole time! So we took a taxi to Westminster Abbey for the 5:00 service. We got there late so we didn't get the best seats but that was okay. The singing was beautiful and the organs were so loud. After that we went to dinner at this Thai restaurant, it was very yummy. Then we got really good seats at the musical "Wicked". We were the third row from the front, in the center. Wicked was one of the best things in London, it was so so so awesome! Wicked is about the three witches and how they came to be before the "Wizard of Oz". After that we hopped on a tube and rode home (it was 10:30).
Paris May 10
Today we woke up and got packed up. We had a really frantic day. We got on a tube to the Chunnel. We were in such a rush but still got on the train. We got served lunch and had a coca cola. It was a very nice train. Then we got off and bought our Metro tickets. We got lost but did find our bus eventually. Then we got off at our street and it was like Hastings and Main in Vancouver. It was awful. We went up the stairs and almost said forget it but we didn't. We got into the room and our place was really nice, but I still couldn't get over the location. So Mom talked to me and we went walking through the streets the other way and the other way was very cutesy so then I liked it as long as we don't come in on the right side.
Paris May 11
Today I woke up and watched Monte Carlo. It was really good. We then went to the Arc de Triomphe and then we went to a nice French cafe for lunch on Champs Ellysse. I got salmon and James got chicken. We both got chocolate crepes for dessert. James tried Dad's escargot and did not like it. We then went to the Eiffel tower but the lineup was huge and the top was closed. So we stayed at the park a little bit. We were sitting on a bench and all of a sudden a pigeon pooped on Mom and it was not a little poop either but it was a humungous poop. So, we washed it off and took the metro to the grocery store, then we went home and had dinner and skyped Granny Franny and Papa Jim and Dexter. Granny and Papa gave us our birthday cards with 50 Euros each.
Istanbul Turkey May 21 to 23
We arrived late at night to Istanbul. We had to wait for our driver. We got in the car and started driving to our flat. It was quite nice but there was black mold on the ceiling. The next day we got up and met our tour guide Sema. She showed us a bunch of historical places in Istanbul such as the Hippodrome, Haga Sofia, Blue Mosque, Ancient Water Cisterns and a pottery shop. The man at the pottery shop gave us a glob of clay to play with all day. My favourite site was the Water Cisterns underground because we got to feed huge goldfish and see really old medusa heads. I also enjoyed the Hippodrome because we got to see the big statue from Egypt and learned what the calligraphy on it meant. One side it said it took 31 days to put up and the other side of it said it took 32 days to put up. Later that night we went to a restaurant on top of a high building and ordered gold fish. We could see all around Istanbul which was great. I didn’t like the goldfish but I still ate it. The goldfish were bigger than the ones in our fish tank.
The next day we took a brand new ferry to the Princes Islands. These Islands are a group of Islands that have no cars and only horse and carriage and bikes. Once we got to the main island we rented bikes. We rode up and down the streets and took the road around the whole Island. It was 12 kms and very fun. After we took another ferry to another Island and rented a horse and carriage. We rode around it and stopped at some places like a soccer field and played soccer as a family and a dirty beach with garbage all over the place and brown water. We didn’t spend much time at the beach. Then we had dinner at a nice restaurant on the water and got Turkish ice cream for desert. Turkish ice cream is so delicious. It’s a lot different than our ice cream back home.
I really enjoyed our time in Istanbul but one thing I didn’t like was we had women putting their heads in our ground floor hotel room window and begging.
Dubai UAE May 24 to 29
From Istanbul we went to Dubai. The plane ride was terrible. My ears were super sore the whole way and Dad had the stomach bug. James’ ears hurt too. We got to Dubai late at night and it was smoking hot!
Our first day in Dubai Dad was sick so Mom, James and I hung out at the rooftop swimming pool all day. Dubai is very different than North America. Dubai is super super clean and there is barely any crime. All the women are dressed in black Habibs with only slits for their eyes showing.
We got up and Dad was better so we decided to go to Atlantis Water Park. We took the monorail which was really cool because we got to see a lot of Palm Island. The Palm Island is a man made Island that is shaped like a Palm Leaf when you fly over it. Once we got to Atlantis Waterpark we went straight for the rapid river. Atlantis is like a massive water park with amazing water rides that are beautiful and very clean. The rapid river is 2 km long and you float on tubes and go through rapids and pretty water areas around the entire park.
We were told Dubai has nice beaches so the next day we went to the beach. It was 42C so the beach was perfect. It was a beautiful white sand beach and we snorkeled and swam. Our beach was right next to the famous white sail hotel called the Burj Al Arab. It was a beautiful sunset. We watched the sun go down while we listened to all the people in the mosques praying and singing. Dubai’s religion is Muslim and mosques are everywhere.
The next morning we woke up at 5:30 because were going on a desert safari tour. We had to leave early because the desert gets too hot during the day. We were picked up in a big off-road truck and started the drive to the desert. I felt really carsick. We then got to the desert and we got on two camels. Camels are really big and I was nervous. When camels get up you feel like you are going to fall off. We then started our walk through the desert. I felt even sicker because camels are not smooth to ride. It was very hot and my leg got squished by James’ and Dad’s camel and it really hurt. James and Dad’s camel kept farting and pooping. I felt even sicker after following behind that camel.
We then went sand boarding which was fun. It’s not as fast as snowboarding but it was something I was curious to try and glad I did. We then drove through the desert to a place where we could drive dune buggies. Mom and I drove together and had fun. Dad and James were crazy drivers. The desert is hot. We had a great morning but I was glad when our safari was over as I was hot and tired.
In the afternoon we went to another Waterpark called Wild Wadi. It was great for another super hot day. There was one waterslide with a trap door that you stand on in a glass tube and it counts down from three and then the trap door opens and you go straight down. I did it three times. The waterparks in Dubai are amazing!
The next day we left Dubai and flew to Bali.