Saturday, June 21, 2008

a royal anniversary...

June 14th was Stephen and my 17th wedding anniversary--WOW!!! Because our anniversary fell on Steve's weekend to work , we decided to celebrate it this weekend.

Friday morning, we got Michaela off to school and dropped Emma Shea off with Ms. Holly. Once we were children-less, we headed north to Walworth Castle Hotel in Darlington.

The Walworth Castle

We had a great time stopping along the way when we saw an interesting 'tourist' sign, eating at a historical pub----without the usual "parent" talk!!!!, driving three hours without hearing, "I have to go potty." and talking without hundreds of interruptions:):) And of course, we LOVED our hotel suite. We stayed in the King James suite--he stayed in what was our lounge (living room) in the 1600's. Our bedroom was in the tower--2nd window up.

And while I usually do not take pictures of the hotels we stay in....I have added some because I usually do not stay in a castle from 1066!!

Our royal chamber

The fabulous jacuzzi

Our lounge--King James stayed here (without the plasma tv of course:))

This morning we woke up and went horse back riding--that is what we did on our first date. Can I just say, English saddles are not comfortable and riding a horse was alot less painful 21 years ago! We then headed back to pick up the girls with a few sightseeing stops in the rain on the way home.

This is how you keep them in line!!!!

Thank you Chuck and Holly for watching the girls for us!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

let's go fly a kite....

Finally....a windy day. (We had the air conditioner in our van worked on yesterday, so of course it was grey, windy and cold today:)

Steve walked in from work and asked who wanted to go outside with him to fly a kite. (which is why he is in uniform still). Emma, who had been playing dress-up, jumped up and down and said, "I do! I do!" She ran to the garage to get her kite and headed to the field--with Steve and Michaela trailing behind.

Emma thought flying the kite was fun, but she was still in her dress up clothes so she was COLD!!! When it began sprinkling, she climbed into the van and sat until it cleared up.
The princess staying dry
Michaela enjoyed getting her box kite up..and even had both kites for awhile.
Of course Steve had to get in on the fun

The real fun was when the string flew out of Emma's hand and the kite flew away!!!! Steve ran for 1/2 mile before the kite finally came down---on the street next to our house. That is some kite!!!!!
Daddy saved the day--he brought the kite back AND a fleece to wear!!!!!!

***I actually flew the kite also. I was the only one to get it stuck in a tree!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

emma's new joys

Today after lunch at Taco Bell (our treat after church each week!) we walked through the BX and Emma found a pink baseball mitt that she 'needed'. (She wants to play T-ball, but the base requires you to be 5 years old--silly rule). So Steve bought it. We also bought two kites because I have been promising Emma a kite flying day.
She and Steve had a good time throwing the ball back and forth to each other!
I found it hysterical that Emma kept coming in to wipe out the hand opening of her mitt because it was sweaty!! What a girly girl :)
After about an hour of tossing the ball, Emma came in and asked if we could fly the kite. We tried to explain that there had to be a good wind for the kite to fly... but she wasn't accepting that until she saw for herself. (Wouldn't you know the day we buy kites in England is a sunny, beautiful summer day with NO wind!)
We took the kite out to the field and what do you know--Mommy was right (the pic of Emma looking sad is when she realized I was right.) There has to be wind to fly a kite!!!!

should we be worried!!!

On our drive home from London last night, I asked the girls what their favorite part of the trip was. Michaela said, "Walking up the steps, the mosaics of the dome, the chocolate from Harrod's..." Emma thought for awhile finally said, "Swinging on the pole in the Tube!" (We were the only one's left on the Tube when she was doing this.)


final farewell to london

St. Paul's Cathedral

Yesterday, despite the forecast for rain, we loaded in the car after Michaela's dance practice and headed to the tube station for our final trip to London. We had only two things on our agenda--St. Paul's Cathedral and Harrod's Department Store!
Our favorite seats on the Tube!!
St. Paul's was beautiful. We climbed the 500+ steps to the top of the dome and got a great view of London. (And you can tell school is out in the States because there were Americans everywhere!)
View of Shakespeare's Globe theatre across the river

After St. Paul's, we headed back to the tube station to visit Harrod's. We went two years ago on Boxing Day--and so had 3/4 of the UK--so we headed back to walk through with a few less people! We loved walking through the food shops--Emma was repulsed by the seafood shop that had SNAILS for sell. She sees those all over the place while we are outside, so she was appalled that people eat them!!!! Both girls LOVED the chocolate cafe and I was quite taken with the jewelry departments:)! We bought some chocolates and a Harrod's tote bag--last of the big spenders!!!! Michaela did see a large glass ball she wanted. I told her I had not brought enough pounds to pay for it, but to ask her daddy if he had a spare L20,000 ($40,000.00) he could spare!!!!!! HAHAHA

Emma reminding us it is important to stop and smell the roses And then of course we had to head to the original Hard Rock Cafe for one last time. We decided to walk the two miles to the restaurant. There are 124 HRCs around the globe--Steve has decided we should visit them all! (If he gets the State Department job, we can eat at a good bit of them!

Orange smiles after too much food at HRC St. Paul's has been crossed off the list of places we have to go to before we leave. Unfortunately, the list is longer than the time we have left allows--but we will make the most of every minute we have!!!!!

***No photography is allowed in the cathedral***

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

a night at the ballet

A few months ago, Michaela and I went to London to see the Royal Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty. The next day, Emma Shea asked if she and I could go to London to see a ballet also.

I got online and began searching for a ballet that would not be too much for her to sit through. What did I find???? The National English Ballet performing Angelina Ballerina in The Sleeping Beauty!!!! What could be better!!! I called the box office, reserved three seats (Emma wanted Michaela to go with us too.) and the night finally arrived!!!

Emma had the best time and her facial expressions and excitement were worth twice the pounds we paid!!!!

She crashed on the way home and is now tucked in bed dreaming of dancing mice:)

***Photography was not allowed, so these pictures are off the website.