Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas in London

Wow, I can't believe I am finally getting to blog about Christmas in London! I say this because when Hubs asked me in spring of 2012 if I wanted to spend Christmas and New Years in London, I don't think either of us really thought it would happen. In fact, the night before we flew out, we talked about how surprised we were that we were actually going.

Because we planned to fly to the UK on December 23rd, we had Christmas a couple days early, on December 22. It was a pretty great Christmas. Little Bean got a Nabi, which is an Android tablet made especially for kids. Hubs had spent days loading it up with movies and games for Little Bean to play on the flights and during our trip to the UK. I have to say, it was an awesome present for her. It took her no time at all to figure out how to use it, and use it she did!

Hubs gave me a Kindle Fire, which I am definitely in love with. I have an iPad that I got from work, and after having it only a few months, I can honestly say I am glad its not mine, and that I didn't spend money on it. My Kindle, however, is a different story. Big fat puffy heart love it. I also bought myself a nice maternity coat that Little Bean "gave" me for Christmas. This also turned out to be an awesome buy for the trip.

On the evening of December 23, we hoped on a 9-hour flight from home to London. Thanks to being pregnant, not taking a nap that day, and running myself ragged, I was actually able to sleep most of the way to London. We had kept Little Bean up all day too, and she konked out an hour or so before I did. We got into the Heathrow airport around 8:30 in the morning UK time on Christmas Eve. Amazingly, I had zero swelling from the flight! I was amazed when I didn't have any difficulty at all getting my wedding ring off that night.

The first thing we did after riding the tube for what felt like forever, was take our bags to the hotel, and then go find some tasty pub food while we waited for our room. At the pub I got my first taste of bangers and mash and a scotch egg. The food was actually pretty good. Oddly, the scotch egg was cold, and both Hubs and I had expected it to be warm. We asked at the hotel later if it was supposed to served cold or warm, and we were told warm. I think it would have tasted better warm.

After lunch our room was ready, so we checked in, and we got spoiled with a room overlooking Big Ben.

This was our actual room view. Little Bean LOVED it! She would sit in the window every day and watch the people on the bridge and listen for the clock to chime. She would constantly say, "I just love London," while looking out the window.

She only knows how to give cheesy smiles anymore
I don't remember why we didn't go out and go site-seeing right away, but we didn't, so I ended up taking a nap. That night we went in pursuit of an Indian restaurant called Roti Chai we had seen on a food show. I was not disappointed in the food. After dinner, we went to visit a Winter Wonderland carnival that was kind of a disappointment, so we didn't stay long before hopping on a train and going back to the hotel.

On Christmas day we had a nice sleep in (11 hours), and then had a large lunch at a Cuban/Chinese fusion restaurant that cost a ridiculous amount of money (because it was Christmas). The one good thing was that the food was really good, and I mean really, really good. We knew that everything would be closed as far as sites and attractions, so the only thing we planned to do was the only thing we could do, take the Dickens walking tour. It was supposed to be a tour that took you around all of the place in London where Charles Dickens lived and that inspired his writing.

The tour started in Trafalgar square with the guide telling about Dickens' life.

During this time, Little Bean took the opportunity to chase a few pigeons.

We made it half way through the tour when all of the water I had drank at lunch caught up with me, and I had to pee so bad I could barely walk. I'm sure on a normal day the tour would have stopped by places with public loos, but because everything was closed, we had to abandon the tour to find a bathroom. However, this was not before we got to see the church where Chaucer himself was married.

That night we paid the high price to get internet in the hotel room and called friends and family via Skype to wish them all a merry Christmas. This was when we found out it had snowed back home. There have been two white Christmases since we moved here almost 5 years ago, and both of them have been when we were out of town.

After the phone calls had been made, we sat back and watched the Dr. Who Christmas special 6-7 hours before anyone else at home. There was something really cool about watching Dr. Who in London, and both Hubs and I enjoyed it immensely.

That night at bed time, I hooked up the Baby Plus for the first time with this pregnancy (if you don't know what that is and want to, you can either follow the link or google it). It made Sweet Pea (which is what I am calling the baby going forward) flip and jump, and for the first time this pregnancy, I saw my tummy jump and move when the baby did. Let me tell you, this baby is a mover and she is strong in every sense of the word.

That's all I want to write about tonight. Rest assured, there is much more to come. I am going to have to break the trip up into multiple posts because I want to remember it all, and it was a 13-day trip. For now, enjoy a few more pictures I took that day.


Leah said...

LOVE hearing about this trip! I love traveling, and would love to do it with my kiddos eventually. Perhaps when we are diaper (and tantrum!) free. So, I'm curious, what made you do this trip over Christmas instead of spending Christmas with extended family back home? I think experiencing England at Christmas would be amazing! :)

Making Each Day Count! said...

It looks like so much fun, I can't wait for more!!

Fran said...

Love the pics!! Your hotel was definitely in a premium spot!! Delighted you had no problem at all with the long flight, being abe to sleep is a big big plus!

I meant to say, yes I'm Italian! But have been living in Ireland for the last 11 years (doesn't feel that long at all of course I'm still 27 inside!!) so we go to Italy often to see my family.

Love, Fran

*Jess* said...

my husband has been to the UK several times, but I've never gotten to go! How amazing! I can't wait to see and hear more!

Heather said...

Loved the photos! But the part of this post that made me smile the most? The nickname my friends have for me is sweet pea!

Barb said...

Sounds wonderful! We want to take E to visit family in Germany but cost and his age have stopped us.