Wow…life is good. I feel so lucky every day to be able to do what we are doing right now as a family. Life cannot get any better than this. To see all we are seeing through the eyes of Caitlin and James is magical. Right now we are enroute to Cappadocia, Turkey. It’s been a very busy time since we left but busy all in a great way. We’ve experienced so much already in our first two weeks that I’ve decided I’m going to just do some highlights or I’ll never start my blog.
May 4 – May 11 – London, England
A fabulous flight from Vancouver on Air Transat to London. The screens they now have on airplanes are so technically amazing we were all transfixed to our own screens watching movies, playing games and TV shows. A 9 hour flight flew by for all of us.
We arrived into bustling London and started our whirlwind 5 days seeing ALL of London. We quickly learned Caitlin and James are amazing travellers. So independent and adventuresome. We rented a great flat in a charming neighbourhood called Clapham Common. Perfect for us in every respect.
Highlights of London –
Renting bicycles in the late afternoon sun and riding all along the Thames River, over London Bridge and on the cobblestone streets.
Walking and walking and more walking….we did a ton of it!
Watching the Broadway musical “Wicked”…an expensive evening but absolutely worth it.
Watching the kids eyes when we got on the public transit for the first time – a double decker bus- they were both so excited. The enthusiasm for the double decker’s never waned.
Having a private tour inside the Parliament Building by our friend Sarah (thank you Sarah and Kate!)
Watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
The huge procession of 100s of horses, carriages, bands leading the “Royals” to Parliament.
Watching the Queen, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla drive by us in horse and carriage enroute to opening parliament for the year. (What timing for us) Camilla and Charles both waved to us.
Walking through St. James Park and feeding the squirrels. Walking along Regent Street and discovering some great stores and the biggest toy store in the world – Hamleys! Picture a large multi level department store with nothing but toys!
Listening to the beautiful organ and voices of the choir resonating in Westminster Abbey.
The people of London -- soooo friendly and helpful!
May 11 – 17 Paris, France
Depart London and then to Paris for the week. Again, just highlights here as we are finding we’re so busy with travels that our time on screens is very limited (that’s the way it should be I’m sure you’ll agree).
Another fantastic week…this time with the Parisians. Tons of Pain au Chocolates, crepes, baguettes and more. The food was amazing and soooo kid friendly with all the boulangeries on every corner.
We all so enjoyed the charm and architecture. What we didn’t enjoy was the constant hustle bustle of tourists and Parisians and the few not-so-warm personalities. The metros (underground subway) were our main form of transportation and every time we made our way to a metro station poor James really didn’t want to proceed in. Always jammed full with “all sorts”. He had his share of exposure to not so comfortable looking neighbors on seats next to him. We even were in the centre of a pickpocket mishap that ended with the police catching the girl on our train. A bit of excitement that he didn’t enjoy. The poor economic times were really noticed by us in Paris…lots of signs of hard times.
We enjoyed Mother’s Day, which was extra special. We all climbed the 700 stairs up the Eiffel Tower and had a wonderful day roaming the streets and taste testing different patisseries along our way. Our flat was the greatest value and offered the welcomed solace at the end of 6 busy days of touring. We also celebrated James’ 8th Birthday here so per his request we made our way to Versailles Palace. Our birthday boys’ interest in the palace waned after wandering through the magnificent rooms with 8 million other tourists (sooooo busy) after 1.5 hours, so we all went out to the gardens and did more the theme of what an 8 year old would rather do. Explored the beautiful gardens, watched the water fountain shows and rented a rowboat and chased geese! A great bday for our James no doubt.
Gotta run… Love to all.