We are on day 5 of our big European adventure, and we are having a great time so far. We didn’t know what to expect of the kids on a 7-hour flight and a 5-hour time change, but they really surprised us. We lucked out and there were two empty seats on the flight, so we were able to bring Roman’s car seat on board. He fell asleep during take-off and didn’t wake up until we landed in London! Harper, on the other hand, watched 4 straight hours of Paddington Bear on her personal TV before taking a 3-hour nap. The extra seats were in the back of the plane and our reserved seats were in the bulkhead row just behind business class, so Portman and Harper moved to the back o’ the bus and we switched off sitting with Roman. It was extremely bright and noisy in the back, so I don’t blame Harper for not sleeping!
We breezed through Immigration at Heathrow since 3 of the 4 of us are British citizens, and after a $150 taxi ride into the city, we settled into our apartment near Buckingham Palace. Harper and I took a 5-hour nap since we hadn’t slept at all on the plane, and Portman and Roman hit up Marks and Spencer for some lunch. The only hiccup in the trip so far was that I didn’t realize until we passed through security at Dulles that I was wearing Crocs, not the running shoes that I planned to bring, so we walked over to Harrods to find some appropriate footwear. We were all pretty tired, so we were in bed by 9 (4 pm EST). Roman, Portman and I slept for 14 hours and we had to wake Harper up after 16 hours of sleep! When I woke her up she said: “Help! Help wif my eyes! Too hot sun!” I feel the same way every morning, kiddo.
We spent our second morning at the Science Museum. The London Science Museum is HUGE and tons of fun. It is mid-term break for students here, so there was a line around the block to get in. Harper really enjoyed the airplanes and the hands-on exhibit, and Roman spent a long time crawling around the George III exhibit since it was completely empty. After a nap we headed down to Piccadilly for dinner and a stroll. We took the Underground, which was quite an adventure with the kids. Most of the Tube stations don’t have wheelchair/stroller access, so Harper had to walk and we put Roman in his carrier. Harper had the following to say about it:
Me: “Harper, isn’t this a big adventure?”
Harper: “No mommy, it’s just a little adventure.”
Harper LOVES the red telephone booths and insists on going in every single one. We let her go in a lot of them at Piccadilly, but we’ve learned to be careful because some of them feature advertisements for, ehem, naked ladies.
Yesterday was warmer and less foggy, so we walked down to Parliament and saw “Little Ben,” as Harper insists on calling it, and rode on the London Eye. Roman was completely hysterical on the Eye and stood up at the railing the entire time banging on the glass. Harper pointed out all of the “big red buses” and entertained our fellow passengers with comments like “Oh my goodness! Another telephone booth!” After an appropriate amount of fish n’ chips, we headed over to Kensington Gardens to play on the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. I’m not even going to attempt to describe how amazing the playground is. Suffice it to say there is nothing even close to it in the States, not even at the best theme park or children’s museum that you can think of. Harper and Roman romped for hours and we had to pry them away when they were so tired they could barely stand. Roman, in fact, fell asleep completely upright in Portman’s arms. He was literally sleeping in mid-air – I’ve never seen anything like it!
Here are a few more Harperisms from our trip thus far:
Upon seeing a picture of the Queen: “Hey, it’s Abie!”
At Kensington Gardens: “I need some swans!”
Everywhere: “How ‘bout we go in that telephone booth?”
”Ooh, a flag! So many flags!”
Since Roman is passed out and I have time time, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about travelling with kids. Our kids travel a LOT, and they are really good about it. We took Harper to the Dominican Republic when she was just 9 weeks old, and Roman was on his first flight at 5 weeks. We’ve learned a lot about travelling with little ones, so I’ll share my top 10:
We still have a week and a half to go, so I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn! A note on photos: we are paying by the GB for internet access, so I’m going to hold off on uploading photos until we are home. Stay tuned!
We still have a week and a half to go, so I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn!
A note on photos: we are paying by the GB for internet access, so I’m going to hold off on uploading photos until we are home. Stay tuned!