Monday, May 12, 2014

London through the eyes of the Children!

It was so much fun to have our Julie and her family with us for a week!!!  We LOVED every minute of it!!!  The little kids, Luke & Anna were FUN to have with us!  Every clock tower we saw, Luke was sure it was Big Ben.  The kids Loved the double decker busses and were totally Fearless.  We would get on and they would run straight to the top.  There were mirrors and we could see them running from window to window & then running back down the stairs and then up again.  I couldn't believe Anna, she wasn't afraid of anything!!!  It was a blast seeing London through the Kid's Eyes!

Our first stop on the way home from the Airport was the London Temple.  It was Beautiful!!!  Nick & Sharon Palmer (our head gardener and his wife--our wonderful friends) were there and took a family picture for us.  Thank You Nick & Sharon!
The kids were pretty wiped out after not sleeping all night so we took them to "Ghandi's" next door to us for some Delicious Indian food--which they Love and settled in for the night.  That was an adventure itself trying to sleep 6 people in our little flat, but we did it and were Very Comfortable!!!
The next day we got up and went to Dover!  It was a misty day, but fun to walk around the streets before heading to the cliffs.
Brian and Luke and Anna overlooking the White Cliffs of Dover.  We almost started singing, but then realized it was Brian and I, so we quit.  Now if Julie & Byron had been out there, we might have tried.  ha ha ha
Sorry friends, but I wanted to be in the picture too with our Darling Grandchildren!
Obviously it was windy, but Oh Well.
Next stop was Canterbury--need I say more?
We found a little side street to park on and Julie fell in Love with It!  It wasn't even the Charming
High Street--but she Loved it anyway!  She fell in Love with all the different Door Knockers
Unfortunately you can't see them in this picture.
Then the Famous Canterbury Cathedral.
We took a picture by one of the canals on High Street.  The city is just so Charming!
They all Loved it!
Here's another shot of High Street.  We ended up eating at Pizza Hut of all places, but
they didn't seem to mind.  We were all Hungry by then.  And due to the timing,
there wasn't much to choose from.  (After we had eaten, we found that IF we had walked One More
Block, we could have had more choices.  Oh Well!
We took the High Speed train to London and started our Adventures!
Luke & Anna at the Tower of London.
Julie & Byron at the White Tower inside the Tower of London. 
There was a dinosaur made out of armor inside the White Tower.
By the way Anna was
so interested in Everything!  She LOVED the Crown Jewels and Read Everything
much to Byron's chagrin.  ha ha  The one time He has really enjoyed a Museum! ha ha
We did make a Big Mistake--we were Hungry and bought fish & chips right outside the Tower of London! WORST fish & chips I have Ever tasted!!!  Don't eat Next to a Tourist Stop!  (Unless
of course you have some Good Information!!!
I had to get a picture of the bridge too, but couldn't resist the close up, so here's another
view.  As you can see Luke Loved it!
The kids were really FUN to have in London!!!  They LOVED it and were Great Little Travelers!
The phone booths were a Must!

The kids were Excited to get some Ice Cream.  But then Julie noticed that we were right next to
the National Art Gallery and they were having a Special Exhibit of Van Go's "Sunflowers."  It was 4:30 pm in the afternoon and the gallery was closing at 5pm.  Julie insisted that we try to make it.  Well Luke had a meltdown in the elevator because he wanted his ice cream, so Brian & Byron took him out along with Anna's ice cream cone.  Julie, Anna, & I went in and there was a long line (queue as they say in England).  I thought we'll never make it.  Julie said, "trust me."  So she bats her big brown eyes at the guy in charge and asks where to go to see Van Go's Sunflowers.  First he said it wasn't possible, but then he looked again and said, "there's an elevator over there.  You can try, but they may not let you in."   We got in and Anna at 7 yrs. old was able to see an original Van Go.  We also saw some of his other paintings as well as some other great impressionist artists.  Quite Exciting!!!  Thank You Julie!!!
After we came out of the art gallery we spent some time in Trafalgar Square--where???  On the Lions of course!!!
Brian couldn't resist.

This was a Fun, but we were tired.  Didn't get home until after 11pm and we'd been going strong all day.  We looked for somewhere to eat and ended up at TGI Friday's in Leicester Square.  Kind of interesting when you go to London and then get TGIF--Oh Well.  We were hungry and glad for some food.
Day Four
Luke hit the wall!  He was Wiped Out!!!  Julie was Worn Out & I was Tired.  We took the morning off and rested.  Byron, Brian, & Anna went for a walk and Anna saw the statue of Pocahontas and posed in front of it.  (She is buried just a block and a half from where we live.)  The guys and Anna went out for a "proper English breakfast."  Brian has the pictures.  Anna is quite the Adventurous girl when it comes to food.  She tries just about everything.  We were so proud of her!  Anyway they also walked along the Thames which is right out of our flat.
Later in the day we went
It's the Largest Sikh Temple outside of India.  It's right here in Gravesend.  We decided to visit it
this day and check it out.  This was our lazy day--R&R.  You have to cover your head when you
go inside, but everyone is welcomed and they are so nice!
Day Five
Back to London on the Fast train to St Pancras.  It's a beautiful station.  We'd never heard of it until we moved here.  It's a very old station, but was completely renovated for the 2012 Olympics.  We had adventures on the double decker buses and also taxis.  This was our main hub.
This is the day we got to see Big Ben officially!  Luke was so Excited! (We all were.) Just
realized Luke wasn't quite in the picture, but Big Ben was.  this was Julie's telephone booth
where she had her picture taken with Big Ben just a two or three months before she met

We found a new place to eat--EAT, and it was delicious.  Much better than the fish & chips we had at the Tower of London!  That afternoon we went to
The kids Loved it!!!  So did we!!!  It was an excellent production and a beautiful theatre!  We had
Great seats and the animals went right past us.
Anna LOVED it!!!
We're glad we did it!  It was quite a sight!
I swear, How did that "Old Bloke" find me Up Here???
I'm being Followed, I Know It!
Julie & Anna inside the Eye! 
It was a beautiful day.
It was a beautiful day to walk along the Thames.
Anna & Grandpa in front of Buckingham Palace.
Grandma & Anna also in front of Buckingham Palace.

This was the End of our pictures.  Luke was hilarious and Anna was a Great Tourist!
We LOVED being with them!!!  & Brian & Julie of course!!!
We had a Great visit and it went way too fast, but we enjoyed Every Minute!!!  We were trying to get earlier nights, but we never succeeded.  We were just having too much FUN!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Have You Ever Been to Camden Town???

Have You ever been to Camden Town???  It's a city of Great renown.  I would say it's an "Alternative" city!  ha ha ha  It was so Fun!!!  We went with The Johnsons, a couple we met at the MTC.  We were the Only ones going to our mission and we became fast friends.  We don't always get a "P" Day because of our schedule--we teach Institute on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so Monday is a very busy day for us because of all the preparation.  (I guess if we had "devoured" the scriptures all our lives, it wouldn't be quite so challenging, but we LOVE it!!!)  Anyway just wanted to Share a special "P" Day we had with the Johnsons.  Here goes:

We had the men pose under the "legs."
The Marques are almost all 3D.
 I don't know how he does it, but there's this Bloke Again--following me.
The store fronts are Fantastic!
Notice the Airplane on the store across the street.  No there are Two English Blokes.
Cute aren't they?
If you're into hobnail boots and chains, buckles, etc. You'll find them All in Here!  I wondered where all this stuff came from.  Now I know.  We also saw all sorts of hair styles, hair colors, and make-up.  I just missed a girl with turquoise hair and strange make-up.  I tried to find her, but she disappeared.  She must have sensed that I was after her.
It's really quite an Amazing place to see.
It's probably better to go in the spring or summer as it was a bit rainy and cold, but still a lot of Fun.  The river goes through the town and they have outdoor cafes all along it and you can also take a boat ride.  This day we preferred to East Inside where it was Warm!
Like I said, you can find just about Anything in this town.  Good place to shop for costumes (if you have a good budget)!  I was in layers, so looked a bit Larger.
We had just had some Hot Chocolate to warm us up.
What could we do???  We Had to Fit in!!!  ha ha ha  (The weather ruined my hair.)  I ended up having to wear my coat over my jacket because it just got too cold, but we did walk around like this for a little while. 
All in all it was a very Fun & Needed Day!!!  We went to "Byron's" for delicious hamburgers and then we went to the movies.  We saw "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and really enjoyed it.  It was interesting.  We were in a small theatre and we had chairs like you have in "Home Theatres."  There were only about 50 seats.  There might have been a few more, but it was very small. 
We left the Johnson's at around 5pm and were going back to Gravesend, but when we got to our station, it was so Busy and Crowded, we suddenly thought, why are we going home???  So we walked over to Leicester Square and looked around and saw a big movie theatre there and on a whim, we decided to go see another show.  So we bought tickets to Hunger Games.  They reserve the seats over here, so you don't crowd in an get there early.  All the seats are assigned.  We could only go in 10 minutes before the movie started.  So we walked around Leicester Square and ended up getting some KFC.  (It was packed, but we found a seat.)  The only thing about it over here, is you have to add Salt!  They don't use as much salt over here as they do at home.  But it did the trick!  Because Hunger Games has been out for so long, the theatre was even Smaller than the one in Camden Town.  I guess with real estate at a premium, they don't like empty theatres, so if a movie is real popular they get the Big screen, and they graduate them down.  I think we were in the smallest one.  Like I say, more Adventures!!!
We're Loving it here!!!  We're hoping to be able to get a few more "P" Days, but Byron has got us so booked (he's trying to keep us Busy) that we don't have a lot of spare time for our Adventures, but that's the way we wanted it.  We came over here to Work! 
Oh, and we got a CAR!!!  We went 5 months to the day without a Car!  We think we've died and gone to Heaven!!!  We got our car on January 10, 2014.  It's GREAT!!!  We can accomplish a Lot more.  Now we just have to be Careful about our waistlines!!!  Anyway it's late but I thought you'd want to see our Adventure in Camden Town.
Bye for now!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Christmas with the Lovells

John, Amy, & Preston came for Christmas!
This is the front of their flat.  Amy's brother was staying in London and they had extra room, so the kids stayed with them for two nights & got a chance to visit before he had to go back to Israel.

They came a couple of days early.
This English Bloke keeps popping up, especially when we're in front of a Byron's.  They make the Best hamburgers!!!  Would definitely recommend them!
  We met up with the kids on Christmas Eve Day and spent the entire day with them in London and loved every minute of it!!!  Our first stop was in front of Big Ben.
We got caught in a downpour and when it stopped we took pictures in front of West Minster Abby.
It was closed for the day, so we weren't able to go inside.
We Never get tired of London!!!  It's a Beautiful City!!!

Couldn't resist this one.
We did a first--we Walked across Tower Bridge!
We Explored the "other" side of the Thames & it was Fun!
It looks like we're in front of a backdrop, but it was all REAL!
Christmas Morning in our little flat.  It was Great!!!
Our Missionaries--came over to call their parents.  Elders Kgwatiane & Palmer. 
They were pretty Excited!!!  It was fun for us to hear their laughter and Excitement
as they talked with their families.  (We couldn't hear their conversations, we gave
them some privacy.)
Just a couple of "Old" people looking at wonderful pictures!!!
Preston in his little Tug Boat sweatshirt.
Boxing Day--we went to Canterbury.  Lovely city!
One of the canals that goes through the Old section of Canterbury.  Very Quaint!
This is the Famous Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.
For all of you who studied the Canterbury Tales in English, this is where Chaucer & his
tales were going on their pilgrimages. 
Some of the stained glass inside the cathedral.

We also made it to the White Cliffs of Dover while the sun was still up.  We
were lucky, because we only had 7 hours of daylight while the kids were here.
We didn't get to Dover until about 3 in the afternoon and it was DARK by
This is the English Channel.  We could see France in the distance.
On Friday after Christmas our Bishop and his wife and daughters were so kind to us and invited
Preston over to their house to spend the day with them so we could take John & Amy to the Theatre.
We went to Les Miserables  and LOVED it!!!  Preston was spoiled rotten by the Warner's.  They
played with him, took him to the park, had a huge bouncy ball for him, read to him, etc. etc. etc.
He didn't even Notice that we had left!!!  When we came back Preston was still Loving his new
found friends.  Not only did they babysit for us while we went to the show, but they insisted that
we have dinner with them before we left.  Couldn't have asked for a Better Day!!!  Thank You Warners!!!
Saturday we sent John & Amy to London on their own & we kept Preston and took him down
to the Thames and let him feed the birds.  He Loved it.  We took all kinds of bread and the
birds loved it too.  We took him for a walk around Gravesend and just had a great day!!!

Sunday after church we drove over to East Grinstead and visited the London Temple Visitor's
Center.  It was a Beautiful day. 
We couldn't have had a better time with the kids.  It was GREAT!!!  What
a Wonderful ending to spend our last afternoon on the Temple grounds.  It was
Beautiful!!!  (Our Close friend is the Head Gardener there--Nick Palmer.  He has
done an Excellent job with the grounds!!!  Can't wait to go back!)
This was a most Great Holiday!  I don't think it could have been better.  Thank
you John & Amy for sharing your Christmas with us!!!
That's all she wrote! 
Bye for now.