Saturday, 31 October 2009

31 Oct -- Happy Halloween

So I choose costumes that don't usually look like costumes. It seems easier to convince my hard-headed son to wear something that isn't out of his normal wardrobe. This year, we dressed them up as Charlie and Lola. That basically meant, Charlie wore a baseball ringer shirt with "Charlie" written on it, jeans and sneakers and Jane wore a funky and/or stripe-y dress with clips in her hair. This is what transpired during my photo shoot.

"Charlie, don't squeeze Janie's neck, please"

Someone pushed someone

Tackling ensued

A lot of giggling

"Let's try this one more stay over there, Jane."

"Could you stand up so I can get a picture of your outfits? No? Okay, good job, guys"

Saturday, 24 October 2009

24 Oct -- Saturday Morning Cartoons

This is how my children watch television. It doesn't matter if it's Sesame Street or Dr. Oz (Today it was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). They love these chairs (They are Pottery Barn Anywhere Chairs, since I've gotten a few questions about them)!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

16 Oct -- Dover and the trip home

Dover Castle was our last stop on our trip around England. It was a bitterly cold and windy day, but it didn't stop us from exploring the grounds (well, maybe it stopped us a little bit, but we tried not to let it stop us!) It's a huge castle that's oldest section is about 900 years old and the keep was built in the 12th century and remodeled to let you see what it would have looked like back then. There are underground medieval tunnels and a Command Center and hospital from World War II. It sits at the top of a steep hill and our brakes on our new car decided to seize as we were headed up. We managed to get to the parking lot and when we went to leave we held our breath, but the situation seemed to correct itself and we didn't have to call a tow truck after all.


The keep's bedrooms

At the top of the keep

We ate our lunch outside the cozy (Warm) coffee shop behind us after the man at the counter said we couldn't bring our own food in. It didn't seem to matter that the shop was almost completely empty and we had a screaming toddler and hungry preschooler with us. The wind only partially froze us, thanks Mr. Coffee Shop Manager. No hot chocolate or coffee was bought there after we left on bitter terms.

Exploring the underground tunnels

This place was huge!

Dan and the kids seek shelter from the fierce winds behind a wall
Due to a workers strike on the ferry that we had bought tickets for, the ferry company gave us vouchers to use the Euro tunnel (Chunnel) to get back to France. It was really exciting and despite the slight claustrophobia I developed in the train, it was a short and relaxing trip home.

Waiting to load onto the Chunnel train

All snug in the train

The girls

15 Oct -- Bath, Megan and Farleigh Hungerford!

After Stonehenge, we headed on to Bath. Bath is a beautiful city with tons of history. I couldn't wait to walk around the town. Also my good friend, Megan, drove up from Poole to see us for a few hours (Thanks, Meg!) with her son Oliver. Dan even took the kids to a park to play soccer and run around and I got to go tour Roman Baths all by myself (sooooooo relaxing without kiddos in tow). Then we headed back east towards Dover for our last leg of the trip.


Crossing the Pulteney Bridge

Megan, Oliver, Anna and Jane

The man behind Dan had this clever machine that let him play the violin in his hands and the guitar with his feet. Charlie loved it (and took this pic)

Charlie flirting with another free spirit daring enough to go barefoot on a cold day

Megan and Anna in front of Bath Abbey

Roman Baths

Looking down on the main Roman bath

Inside Bath Abbey, just gorgeous

Jane and Bath Abbey

Jane and Charlie get a geography lesson on the giant map

Running across the continents
After Bath and our visit with Megan, we stopped by Farleigh Hungerford on our way back to the east coast of England.

There's something irresistable to a father about flinging his child up into the air, as Mom stands by and holds her breath.

Arriving late at the hotel

14 Oct -- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge

Wednesday we drove to Windsor Castle for a tour that was interesting and stressful. Neither of our kids cared about the signs that asked visitors to stay off the grass, Charlie and Jane were less than impressed with the tour of the interior of the castle and Charlie voiced his opinion loudly in St. George's chapel when it was time to exit. But even with all of that, Windsor was impressive and beautiful. I've never seen a castle so massive.

Heading up to the castle
Ummm, need I say more?

Then we had lunch and headed on to Stonehenge, about 2 hours west of London.
We were surprised that it was just there as we came over the crest of the hill.

The powers of Stonehenge allowed Charlie to fly across the field into Dan's arms

Hrmmm, can you say "Ham"?

Charlie took some great pics of Dan and I, but Stonehenge was obviously not a priority in his vision.