Our Little Prince

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Our Little Princess

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cinema

Today was hot.  Funny how my definition of hot has changed.  It's mid 80s.  But -- when there isn't air conditioning anywhere, it seems really freaking hot!

So, in search of an indoor activity that wouldn't be overly crowded, we headed to the cinema for the kids' second ever real movie experience.  Movie tickets are insanely expensive.  For the three of us, it was £26 for a 3pm showing.  That's $45!  For one adult and two kids?!?  Good grief.  No wonder we normally wait and watch things at home!!

But, we saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 in 3D and the kids loved it.  I loved it.  It was rather fun.  And, we got to ride the bus there and back.  Always an adventure to be had!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photo Management

For most of my adult life I've used a PC.  A couple years ago, we switched my home laptop to a MacBook Pro.  When that happened, all of my beautifully organized photos from Picasa went haywire.  I blame my husband.  Not sure why - just seems like a reasonable place to lay blame.  :)  Yes, I have Picasa on my Mac -- but I also have iPhoto.  And I have apparently 12 copies of some pictures.  1 copy of others.  And they are so disorganized it's making me nuts.

I decided to start tackling the issue so that I could update the blog more regularly with photos.  I mean, it shouldn't be this difficult. Google now owns Picasa and Blogger.  It shouldn't be so complicated to get a freaking photo of video inserted into my blog.

I'll keep working on it.  Right now, I've been organizing my iPhoto pictures back into Picasa albums.  Then, I'm trying to sync my albums with my web albums but it's not allowing me to upload any video clips.  I mean, I CAN put them into YouTube (also Google) but why?  I want them inside my web albums.  Ugh.

Rant over.  I'll keep trying.  More photos and hopefully video soon.

Quiet Week

Not much happened last week.  Well, not much it terms of getting out and about around London.  We went to the common almost every day.  We had friends over for a play date.

Oh... and our refrigerator decided to stop working.  Ugh.  The fan had been making a bit of an unusual noise for a day or so.  I'd even sent a note to the landlord letting her know there was a bit of an odd sound, but so far -- that was our only indication something was not on the up an up.  Then, we came downstairs on Tuesday morning and blam-O -- no fridge.  And it was due to be the hottest week yet of 2014.  Seriously?  On the upside, it appeared only the fridge was affected.  The freezer was still going nice and strong.  The silver lining because, as we discovered the fridge at about 8 am -- I already had a grocery delivery scheduled for 11 am that day!

Thank goodness for neighbors with coolers and ice packs and for our dear friends, the Verhilles.  They were prepping to travel at the end of the week and had a relatively sparse fridge.  And they live literally around the corner.  I packed up my wheelie trolley and carted over a ton of food to their house.  And the landlord (and her Dad) were quite helpful and had an under the counter fridge delivered that afternoon to tide us over until our main fridge can be repaired.

The good news - the part that failed is a common/known issue.  The bad news - it's common and apparently the parts are on back order until who knows when.  Boo.

So - a rather mundane post.  Sorry about that.  :) More soon from the birthday weekend, which was pretty calm too....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Regent Canal

Another wee surprise tucked away in the middle of the city... I mean, it's not Venice -- but there's an actual canal.  With cute little skinny house boats.  And working locks.  And some little coffee shops and a bar and restaurant every now and then...

The kids and I tubed up to Angel Station.  (Our corporate apartment funny enough was just down the road way back when....) We first walked up to Chipotle for a treat! Nom, nom, nom! Then we tucked down a side street and found a gem... Regent Canal!  We strolled, we talked to a swan, we popped into our favorite little £1 bookstore.

Then, it was time to tube it back home...and meet up with friends at the plastic playground to run some more! :)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Science Museum

It should be quiet.  Most kids are still in school.  Ha.  The kids and I met up with Atticus's friend Edward and his little brother Jack (and the nanny, Minerva) and we rode the 345 to the Science Museum.  The really cool thing about almost every museum in London -- they're all FREE.

The kids loved the water play down in the basement, all the interactive play bits - the pulleys and levers and slides attached to the play structure.  I'm pretty sure they were loving the steam engines, the rockets,  the floating globe, the airplanes and old cars too!  There was a bit of interest in the "Who Am I" section that showed all our body parts but they were still a tad young I guess.

A short trip, but still fun.

Of course, we first entered the Natural History Museum on accident and saw an escalator that went up inside of a big Earth.  That'll be another adventure this summer.  Probably several adventures based on the size of the museum!

And -- my totally random thought from our time at the Science Museum?  When you see groups of school kids from London -- it really is like looking at a real life version of Harry Potter.  Seeing the kids all dressed in uniform and holding notebooks, it was all I could do not to look for Harry, Hermoine and Ron!

Friends in the Neighborhood

There is a lot of movement in our neighborhood.  House prices in the near vicinity are soaring so many long time owners are selling and those that can't afford to buy here (and honestly - who can?) are moving here to get into the local schools.  Good luck with that last one - ha - we live practically on top of Honeywell Primary and can't get in!

Anywho - some of our current Parkgate school friends were being forced out of their current house because the owner wanted to sell.  On the upside, they are now leasing a house that is almost directly behind our garden!  The kids (and the adults) are pretty stoked to have such good friends literally around the corner.

So -- while the movers were moving boxes and furniture from one house to the other, I had an entire house full of kids!  Wren and her friend Marc along with Atticus and his friend Chloe -- we painted, we colored, we lunched, we blew bubbles, we had a tea party, built legos, jumped on the trampoline, kicked the ball in the garden, watched a movie... it was exhausting, but good fun.

Should either of the families have to relocate to another country -- the kids are going to be crushed!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tour de France - In London

Huh?  The Tour de France is in London you say?  That was my response too.  Apparently, the Tour hasn't passed through London since 2007!  So... I decided that since the kids were out of school and this was quite likely the only time we'd see the REAL Tour de France, we might as well look like the other million plus goofballs lining the streets and hanging out for hours only to cheer for 30 seconds as a peloton of bicyclists came hurtling past us...

After checking out the TFL's Spectator Information we were fairly ready to go.  I made sure the kids went to the loo.  I purposely did not pack any additional drinks and away we went off to the tube with our friends Kate and her daughter Heike.

After somewhat careful consideration, we hopped on the Northern Line and headed to Charing Cross.  Then we walked through the Victoria Embankment Gardens and found a cozy couple of squares of pavement (that's UK speak for sidewalk).  Then we waited.  Then it rained.  Then we waited and made friends with our new neighbors.  Then we waited.  Then the caravan passed through and the sponsor trucks threw out swaag kind of like Mardi Gras, but not really.  The kids were excited though.  They caught hats, keychains, a new sports kit bag, and CocoNut Water bottles.  Then we waited.  Then it rained.  Then we waited.  Then the peloton whizzed past us in about 30 seconds while we cheered madly.  Of course, I don't have any of the cyclists on video because my phone chose that exact moment to turn itself off -- you know, the moment I pushed RECORD as the crowd started cheering.  Ugh.

But, we did it.  We saw the racers zoom past and it was good.

Then I took the kids to Pizza Express so they could eat and drink and go to the loo as many times as necessary before heading home.  (Total trips - 3!)

Tour de France - check!

Seriously folks -- my kids have led a pretty privileged life thus far and they don't even know it!   How many of you have gone to Christmas church services at Notre Dame in Paris?  Gone to Mardi Gras in New Orleans?  Seen the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City?  Crazy.  I'm thrilled that life has been able to take us to so many great places thus far... let the fun continue!!!