Friday, July 27

A Foggy Day...

Today was an amazing day! Sarah didn't have work, Gemma and Callum are finally on summer break from school... so we decided to make a day of it by going into London! We had a really great time! There is a new venue, called the O2 center that just opened a couple weeks ago, and it was absolutely amazing! The O2 center is huge, I mean huge huge, it has a big indoor/outdoor (you know... an indoor area that looks like its an outdoor street) look that is full of shops and restaurants and fun things for the family to do. My favorite thing was an indoor beach!!! (who though of that??? they are genius...)

This is the beach, on the big movie screen there they show movies like Jaws etc for people to come sit on the beach and watch...for free! Every activity in the place is free which makes it really great!

This is the O2 chill center, which is a big bubble that has comfortable chairs inside and earphone jacks all over, so if you bring earphones (or buy some) you can "chill" and listen to music!

This little thing you see here is neat because again-its free- and you dance inside the bubbles there (they are just a big blue-screen) and make a music video that is shown on the screens above. Kinda cool!

This is the sign in front of the pizza place we ate at inside the O2 center... pretty much I thought it was really funny.

After the O2, we caught a boat into central London, it is a really neat system because the boat goes from the O2 right to the London eye and it is quick and cheap!

Me and Gemma on the boat!

View of tower bridge from the boat- yes, that is rain you see. The weather was HORRIBLE!
After the boat ride, we got a taxi to the natural history museum. On the way we saw big ben and Westminster abbey and Buckingham palace and all of those cool places! I got some really neat pictures so I was happy!

This is the natural history museum... it was soooo cool!!

Gemma and me in front of our favorite dino!

After we were done at the museum we walked out and what had been torrential rain had turned into gorgeous sunshine! So we went to Queen Victoria's monument... I am not exactly sure what it is called but it is the monument that Queen Victoria built for her deceased husband Albert.

From the monument we continued on to Trafalgar square, looked around for a minute, and climbed on the lions!

All in all we had a really nice day!!! I can't wait to go back to London and see more!

Saturday, July 14

National Trust

So upon bleeders request I am posting yet again for a record breaking number this week! pictures were taken when I visited the National Trust, which is UK equivalent to US national park. It was SOOO pretty!

What can I say... I was a bit excited about the lilies!

Everything was so beautiful, I love England!

And I was also a little obsessed with the birds...

yes...yes they do.

Pretty Pretty!
(actually, I get made fun of because to me everything is 'so pretty!' So as the English would say it- I had a really lovely day)

I would also like to point out that in the national trust land near the house there is an old WWII shelter where the English used to watch for German bombers to come into the valley (towards London.) Since Kent (where I live) was bombed to shreds during the war a shelter/lookout of this sort would have been essential during the war. The best part is that it is literally untouched by anybody, and nothing has been done to it since was left in WWII. I don't have any pictures of it because I didn't have my camera during that part of the day-but I will go back and take some pictures soon! I think stuff like that is so cool!

My London friend count is growing. The number has now reached 3.
Pascal is French, and was friend number one.
Martina is from the Czech Republic and was number two.
and Lida is also from the Czech Republic and is friend number three.
Hopefully we will see numbers rising soon!
I am having a great time though!
Love you all and miss you!

Monday, July 9

Brighton & Tour

For starters I would like to inform you bleeders that I have been dying to write on here for like 4 days, but I have restrained because of my fear of posting too much or too often. haha. Ok well, first I am going to tell you about where I am living! My house is named (get ready grandma....) Memories Cottage, and it is 200 years old! The village I live in is so tiny and rural-the milkman actually comes every morning. The roads all look the same because they are covered in a canopy of trees, and they are only wide enough for one car at a time. It is really different, but its great. Hard to believe that I am only a short train ride outside of London huh?! Well ok, on to my weekend!

On Saturday the fam and I went down to Brighton. It is an incredible place on the Southern coast of England. We went down there to see the Paddle 'Round the Pier competition. It was so beautiful there! The beach was just lovely, although it wasn't a sand beach it was a rock one, it was still fun. They have so many shops and restaurants on the beach front, along with basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and football (soccer) platforms. Its a really lively place and just a lot of fun.

This is Brighton

This is the Brighton pavilion, we didn't go there we just drove by, but it is really beautiful!

These are the chairs on the beach...and me sitting in one!

This is the old pier that was burned down, from this view the new pier is on the left. The paddle around the pier competition goes around the new pier, then around to the right-hand side of the burned pier for the finish. The competition is fun because people make home made rafts and try and paddle them around the piers. Some people have come up with really clever ideas! It really is a lot of fun.

This is the last leg of the race by the finish (left) and the winner (right)

They really make a big deal out of this event. There are loads of tents set up on the beach with free things to do like a surfboard simulator, mechanical bull, and carnival games. They also did a coast guard demonstration like in the movie "The Guardian", it was really cool!

After we watched the beach we went over to the pier to get some fish and chips and to ride the rides! The actually have an impressive entertainment area on the pier, and the rides aren't bad!

Gemma and Me on the Crazy mouse ride that goes over the water on the pier (very scary) although my face is a pose...I really wasn't that scared. hah. And yes we are really on the ride when I snapped the photo! Middle picture is of Sarah, Gemma, and Callum on the log ride, and the last one is Terry and Gemma on the twirly-sick ride. Pretty much we had an awesome time!

Sunday we went and saw the Tour de France. It was a really big deal here because it is the first time in 10 years that the tour has come through Britain. It was really neat to see it! They did a whole parade bit before the bikers came through and handed out loads of free stuff! Then the first 5 bikers which were in the lead came by-it was so fast I hardly had time to get a picture! But i did manage to snap this happy cyclist :)

So the first 5 in the lead went by, and then the huge lot of them came through after about 4 minutes. There were so many and they were zooming, but I managed to get a few good photos that weren't too blurry!

After all the cyclists came through they had a marching band and some dancers, along with people riding some really different bikes.

This was the band!

And basically...that was my Sunday!

Monday (today) was my first trip into central London!!! It was amazing! I didn't really get to do all the touristy things because I spent the better part of the afternoon filling out paperwork at the visa office which left very little time for much else before I had to be back to pick up the kids from school. Anyways, I got to take some pictures and just enjoy myself as somebody who actually lives here rather than rushing around to the sites! It was really nice :)

I ended up taking a cab whilst I was in London today, and my cab driver was a former rock band member who toured the US coast to coast twice opening for the band RATT. Keep in mind, this was in 1894, so I am counting on some of you who were listening to music in that year to know who they are! I guess they had a number one hit...??? Anyways, the cab drivers band name was Bronze. He told me to look up his music video on youtube, so I did of course and sure enough-here he is. He is the drummer! I don't know if I like the song very much, but that's alright it's still cool!! check it out-

Alright well that's about it for now! I am having a wonderful time and I really love it here!