27 June 2011

The family takes London

My family left early yesterday morning after a wonderful 8-day vacation here in London. We did a lot of fun things, but most of all it was just amazing to be able to spend time with them. I'll let the photos do most of the talking.

They arrived early Friday morning. After making our way into Central from Heathrow and doing a few odds and ends type things, we made our way straight to the pub.

It was Pimm's o'clock...almost all week.
B was a huge fan of the fish 'n chips. I think he ended up having 5 rounds over 8 days.
Later that night, we went back to flat and my mom surprised me with a package from my Aunt Martha...3 boxes of funfetti cake!! Of course I made one (or two) that night.

On Saturday, we went to Borough Market for lunch and did a lot of wandering around town to see the main sights.
B and I in front of Millennium Bridge. 

Siblings at Buckingham Palace.
The fam (minus Timbo) at Westminster.

 On Sunday, we took a trip over to Greenwich via riverboat. We saw the Royal Navy College, the Queen's House, Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory, and wandered around the market where a few purchases were made. I won't lie...they involved a vanilla raspberry jam cupcake and a piece of lemon cake. My sister and I have a similar love of sweets.

K and I in the Royal Navy College, Queen's House in the background.
View from the Royal Observatory.
Later that night, we did a night bus tour so everyone could see London by night in an efficient manner!

We then woke up at about 5:30 a.m. Monday morning to go to Wimbledon! We had a few grounds passes for the day, but needed to get in the queue to pick up a couple more.

I read...
While we waited for this to get moving.

K and I watching the Mardy Fish match.
Tommy Haas.
On Tuesday, Kellen left for a short trip to Edinburgh, and I took Mom, Brett, and Julie to the Tower of London.

On Wednesday, Mom and Julie went to the British Museum while it rained in the morning. After that, Brett and I met them down around St. Paul's. 
Purdy momma.

I made good use of my
After that, mom and B needed to experience the best London chips. They weren't disappointed.

Thursday was the Kings of Leon concert in Hyde park with K and B.

On Friday, the family went to Westminster Abbey and the War Rooms museum, while I stayed behind to get a few things done and go for a run. We met up for lunch at Lupita after, and of course K and I had to end on a sweet note with ice cream cones. :)

That would be St. Martin in the Fields in the background, but naturally mom chose to focus on what was really important: the cones.
That night was a chill one. Well...for most of us. I made some homemade pizzas for dinner, which were enjoyed with salad and wine. The girls decided to stay in, which led to us watching (and falling in love with) the British reality show 'Made in Chelsea'. Holy it. Brett ended up going out with my friend Ed, and didn't make his way back to the flat until 4:30 a.m...the sun was already up! 

Finally, on the last day of their trip, we decided to wander over to Notting Hill for most of the day.

After perusing Portobello Market for a while, we headed over to Hyde Park and the Kensington Palace gardens.

After that, we appeased K's intense craving for Wagamama, and then went back to the flat to get packing. Later that night, we spent a last little bit at the pub, and Brett was able to have his last round of fish 'n chips. I told you, the boy was obsessed. 

We had to wake up bright and early on Sunday morning (ehh, 5 a.m. early) to get to Paddington for the train to Heathrow. And such was the end of the family's vacation to LDN.

I wish I could say that I've been super productive for the past two days, but I haven't. I'm sitting in my new room with an unpacked suitcase and several full bags of odds and ends scattered around me. I also have my last dissertation supervision meeting on Friday, and I haven't made much progress on that. It's definitely time for me to get my head back in the game -- I've got 9 weeks left here and so much to do! 

I feel very torn. I know that when the 9 weeks are up, it's going to be hard to leave London and my friends behind so I want it to go by slowly. At the same time, part of me wants the time to pass quickly, because I'm feeling very eager to get home to my family, friends, and dogs. So, I'm finding it difficult to reconcile my different feelings about the situation.

Okay, enough deep thoughts for now. I'm off to the gym to attempt to work off some of the chips, funfetti, pizza, and Pimm's that I consumed last week. 

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