Real life just gets in the way sometimes… I’ve been so busy recently, one day just looks like all the others, wake up, breakfast, chores, homeschooling, lunch, more chores, errands to run, dinner, bedtime for my little ones, a well earned glass of wine, an hour of tv then finally bed… wake up and do it all over again. I was so in need of a vacation…
Now traveling to the U.K. can be viewed in two ways… one it’s not really a vacation because you are constantly busy seeing different people or you can just take a huge step back and enjoy it for what it is, a huge break from normal life, a chance to revisit places you remember in your past, see new things and just enjoy the company of your family and friends that you just don’t see that often anymore, and this was exactly how my vacation went down over Spring break.
After 36 hours of no sleep and a 6 hour plane journey, I woke up in our hotel room in Kingston upon Thames on our second morning in England at 5am, Paul made us both coffee and we both just sat there in the quietness of the morning looking out at fantastic view as the sun came up over London… I felt finally refreshed to have had 7 hours of sleep, my babies were still asleep in our bed, still on US time I think and my three big babies were still asleep a few dorms away from us… I quickly went over the day before, arriving at Heathrow seeing my parents and my brother waiting patiently for us to come through with our luggage, then sitting dozy drinking coffee, collecting our rental car then heading to my brothers house for a while and seeing his family… wow we even fitted in a visit to our old house even though we were so tired, day one of a busy vacation.
We decided to not go too far on our first full day, we shopped, had lunch in Carluccios, my choice and then visited the beautiful Hampton Court Palace… later we strolled along the riverside in Kingston and ate a very cheeky Nandos for dinner, Jordan’s choice. Good Friday began our carpool karaoke journey of the vacation, 5 children and some iPhone music in a car… we played the sound track to Moana switched it up a bit and sang all the words in time together, maybe not that much in time or really that tuneful, but right then our family car journeys began to be a lot more fun and a lot more musical. We headed to Brighton, one of my favorite seaside towns to visit in the U.K., it did not disappoint, despite the crowds of people, we strolled along the arches, visited the pavilion and the Lanes, ate fish and chips and had a quick very windy visit on the pier, before heading back to the car and stopping for an ice cream. Our trip back to Kingston took far less time than our journey to Brighton as we didn’t get lost, the story of our vacation, driving in the wrong direction, despite having a GPS, we arrived at our hotel 10 minutes before our lovely friends messaged to say they were in the lobby, a quick freshen up, organize of the children with money for food and pjs, then Paul and I headed out for a lovely evening by the river, no children with us, just us and old friends ready to catch up on a years worth of gossip.
I won’t bore you with all the details of our vacation, we spent a very full three days in London, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, we met up with my brother and two of his children on Saturday, and my parents on all three days… we walked and walked, chatted, rode red London buses, took lots of photographs, ate lots of yummy food and drank a few glasses of wine and prosecco along the way… by far my most favorite place to eat was the food festival along the south bank near Waterloo Station, the choice and quality of the food was amazing, from gourmet burgers, fresh made crepes to chicken biryani, everything was freshly made and was absolutely delicious, I had a pesto mozzarella gluten free wrap, I watched them make it from scratch from the freshest ingredients and it was superb, all washed down with plastic flute of prosecco. I think the highlight of our three days in London has to be the Sky Gardens in fenchurch street, the weather was beautiful, up on the 35th floor we looked out over a magnificent London glistening in the slightly clouded sunshine, we had eaten in a small sandwich shop opposite the walkie talkie building, as it’s known, the food in there was phenomenally fresh and full of flavor so once we were in the Skygarden we ordered prosecco and just sat there enjoying the view… totally well worth booking and it didn’t cost anything until we decided to order a drink… thank you to my friend Diane for telling us all about this wonderful place. Paul had a much needed few hours with old work friends, he was a little tipsy to say the least when he arrived back at our hotel, Florrie was a little worried about him finding his way home, but he managed ok without us nad much to mine and Jordan’s surprise he joined us in the hotel bar for another beer… oh Paul you are just so funny sometimes.
The rest of our trip was spent visiting with family and friends, whilst most of us watched a local soccer/football game I met up with my Mum and a close friend and her daughter for cocktails, food and a lot of chatting, later in the day we ate Indian food at my brother house, we shopped a little bit more, we saw Pauls family, I drank prosecco and had a much needed chat with my close friend again (girl stuff) Fish and chips again was a must, we met old school friends in a local pub near my Mum, that was such a nice last evening despite the M3 being closed on our way back to the hotel and the long diversion back to our hotel… finally we just breathed in our old life for just a few hours before we had to fly home… it was a busy 10 days but in all truthfulness I wouldn’t change a moment, we laughed, we sang songs in the car together as a family, very loudly I might add, we chatted to family and friends, we all got on so well, but next time we go on vacation I do not want to pack a coat, I want to pack a book and some sun cream and sit and relax in the sunshine by the water, of course prosecco may feature a little bit again but I just want to relax.