Monday

Where Am I?

In the country of course!!
We took the train out on Friday night to Kenilworth to visit a friend of Kevin's from his mission and his family! They were so great to have us out! And were great hosts! thanks Atkins fam!



Saturday we went to Warwick Castle!



It was really fun and a different atmosphere than the other castles we have visited! They have people in costume and do play acting! Here we are waiting for the trebuchet to go off.



Joey was too busy taking pictures of the swan that was walking around! She would hold up the camera and say "cheese swan!" I wonder where she learned that?



Jowin and Hazel! Instant friends! Hazel was so nice to share all her toys and they played so nice together! It made the weekend that much more fun! I got a day off from being her constant playmate!




Some shots of the castle! It dates back to the 11th Century!






The city of Warwick from the castle tower. We walked up 567 steps! It was a lot!



Oh Jo Jo!



Oh Hazel! It is fun to take pictures of other kids, they actually look at you!



The girls just running in the fields! It was so nice to be out of the city and actually have a field to run in!







Did I mention the Atkins live across the street from another amazing castle! yep it is true Kenilworth Castle! I made every one pose for a picture! Susan was a good sport! Thanks guys it turned out great!



So happy to have some space! And a friend! And ride in a car! And rent a paddle boat! It was a great couple of days for Joey! Can't you tell?




This is how I think a castle should be! We didn't get to go inside but you can and walk up to the ruins! It was so beautiful!









We were sad to say goodbye! and so happy that we went! Joey loved Hazel, she wanted to do everything she did. She even got a bike out of the deal! Thanks again! And she went to the bathroom on the potty! Just like Hazel!
The funniest part about enjoying the country was we didn't get home until midnight and only to find out all the tube lines to our house were closed. So we had to switch three time and get off pretty far and walk. And on top of that the lift in our building was broken! It was a long walk up to the fifth floor! Bike and all!

We had so much fun! Thanks again Atkins for showing us the English Countryside! To say the least... We loved it!

Sunday

Summer... Well Sort of!

"Summer is here!" is what all the signs around town keep telling me, but for some reason I have yet to see it! It has been cloudy and rainy and since we didn't get to the beach in Spain all I have wanted was just a little sunshine to brighten my week! Hasn't happened so I decided I would bring summer myself!







Joey and I had a "drive inn" the other night. Okay not really because, 1 we don't have a car. and 2 we watched Nemo on my tiny computer screen but it was fun nonetheless! Kev had to work late so he missed out on the party! We missed you babe!
























Then it was off to the zoo! Well the living conservatory here in London! It was really cool! We saw all of it and that is saying something, it is huge!















Joey's favorite part was the slide! She begged to go on it, and by the third time down she was racing kids three times her size and leaving her dad in the dust! It was funny! "mark, set, go!" is what she would yell as she slid down the huge slide.







We then headed out of town to Brighton! "You all must go to Brighton.. That is the place to find husbands!" Pride and Prejudice, newest version.


We saw the Royal Pavilion and Place. The palace was built by King Henry IV and the whole thing is Chinese inspired. Dragons everywhere! Too bad you aren't aloud to take pictures inside, it was unlike any palace I have been in! Really funny and fitting to the place I thought.































The Pier was fun and I almost felt like I was on the Jersey shore! (ah, Ocean City..) Joey got to go on a ride and we got some donuts so all in all it worked out!






















Then it was time to get in the water! Just kidding! But Joey was really excited about getting to throw rocks and since the whole beach was made up of them, she never ran out! She did however make every one look for the biggest ones and throw the "high, in the sky."



















Searching for rocks to throw.. Hello thats all there is!































We went out with two other interns Kev has been working with. Rob and Jeanie. Rob lives right across the hall from us and Joey loves him! All day it was Rob this and Rob that! He is a good sport and plays with her. It must have been a real change of pace for them to come hang out with us. We are "old" and have a baby! But they are cool and it was fun!












The "cool" interns! There are only five total for this summer. Now I know Rob has his eyes closed but this it the only shot I got of just the three of them. They all sort of like work and are all ready to go home... Sounds about right to me!
































So happy with the day she even posed for some pictures! I love it when that happens! It was cold and we probably stayed too long but it was a good time and I am glad we went! I really wanted to go!



















































That is our taste of summer. I saw it is supposed to get up to 80 this week! I don't think I will get my hopes up though!

Monday

For My Jojo and Kaykay



Even though we didn't exactly love Paris, I can still want to hang this on my little girls wall right? Oh for the day when she has her own room again! Three is really a crowd!

Saturday

I see London, I see France... again!

So if you are wondering how we ended up in Paris this week instead of Spain... well the answer is "it is impossible!" repeated several times by a not so kind french man at the ticket counter.
We bought Euro Rail passes but unfortunately you can not reserve seats on the trains from London so we got on the Euro Star and got to Paris to find out that all the trains to Spain were booked and had been for some time and it was impossible to get out of Paris on a train until Monday. Well since our train going back to England didn't leave until Sunday we decided to try and make the best of it....



It was Frances National Independence Day on the 14th so the city was crazy! I mean everything was booked or taken or not available. We thought we could salvage the weekend by renting a car and going out to Normandy but there were no cars left. So we thought hey Euro Disney would be fun... booked solid! So we stayed at the Holiday in right by the train station and hopped a sight seeing bus!







These were taken with my point shoot camera. I left my "real" one in the hotel thinking I was just here.. what can I possibly take more pictures of? Oh just my adorable family! Bummer...



Isn't she cute?



I brought her home a light up Eiffel Tower from my trip last weekend and she loves it! She was not exactly impressed with the real one though!



She did however love the sand and the grass and the attention she got! Okay she was a little nervous, as she well should be. I have had people take her picture here on the street a few times but nothing like this! It was crazy! They swarmed in and honestly took over a hundred pictures of her and tried to get in them with her! It was so funny and a little much! Kev turns to me and asks "do you think they are going to let us leave?" It was all in good fun and Joey was a sport! I mean she is used to posing for the camera!

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The city of love! Can't you tell?



By the end Joey had had enough! Oh and so had Kevin! Poor guy! He was so ready to go home and yet we couldn't exchange out tickets, we had to buy new ones! It was crazy how much this weekend cost us! Both financially and mentally! The good old U S of A was looking pretty good to us right about then! I guess it is like they say, you don't know what you have, till it is gone!



We did however get home in time to celebrate Kevin's 26th Birthday! Oh yeah! He was so happy to be back in England even if it was probably the coldest birthday he has ever had! So after our little vacation we weren't feeling too adventurous. We headed up to Angel and got some lunch at Tortilla!(missing Cafe Rio any one?) Found a plaza and played some futbol!



Then walking home we stumbled upon a community celebration. A mini fair with a parade, ride and real owls that you could hold! Joey loves owls and rides so it worked out! We came home had some cheescake and watched a movie! Not exactly the most exciting party but we are sure are glad he was born today! Love ya Kev!



Joey loved the rides! Kev made sure she was in the "bat mobile!" way cooler than the "Barbie" one! The funny thing is she had to hold down the lever on the side to go up in the air. She wasn't the least bit phased and rode that thing up in the air almost the entire time! Sorry about my voice, it is really annoying! It just hits me every now and then how big my baby is! Almost two! Wow!

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Wednesday

Born In the USA, I was Born in the USA




We spent the 4th of July in Paris! If you ever want to feel really patriotic go to another country on your country's birthday and trust me, you will! We got to Paris on Friday night, got checked in to our hotel and set out for a little sight seeing, shopping and dinner! (the best way to start a trip!) We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe, to pick up our Paris Passes and stayed for dinner. We figured it was the Fourth of July and they were playing Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA"! I almost teared up listening to it!





The next morning we set out to see the Sights!
We went to the Louvre first.








of course being an art major, I could really appreciate the art!.. and the crowds!



Then it was lunch time, on the Tulleries!




And off to the Notre Dame! Which really was amazing! Everything in Paris is!









We stopped on the Seine for a photo op. By the end of the day my, Eryn's and Stephs mouth were so tired from smiling... and posing!








Napolean's Tomb! We made it just before they closed, and we were so glad we did!! by this time our feet were so tired and we were so thirsty we needed a rest. And this was the perfect place!





Think he is compensating?

And on to the Eiffel Tower! The one thing I really wanted to see and take some photos of! (more on my photo blog) Eryn and Steph were good sports while I took my time taking hundreds of pictures!






I would set my camera up on the grass and set the timer and run over, people kept asking if they could take the picture for us, I politely declined, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!







So in the end, I would say I would not be heading back to Paris anytime soon. The food was gross, the people were rude and the city was dirty! But we are going back today on our way to Barcelona so I will be back! I am glad I saw it and was even happier to be back in England where they speak English and often with a smile!

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