|at Tower Bridge|
|National Gallery/Trafalgar Square|
Here are some favorite moments from our time in England:
Seeing so many places that feel like dear old friends to me - walking around a corner and seeing these iconic places feels to me like walking around a corner and seeing a friend I've missed and I'm so excited to see again. Sharing these dear friends with my family was such a long-awaited pleasure!
Meeting up with Charity and Moses at Trafalgar Square and seeing the kids so delighted to be with their adorable, happy, sweet little cousin and their wonderful aunt (their favorite aunt as they've been instructed to say by Charity)
Entering Trafalgar Square and seeing Nelson's column and seeing the twins climb on the lions that I used to climb on when I was little, seeing the twins SO excited about the column and the lions since they had built them out of paper with their "Paper London" set before our trip.
Walking down the Mall and seeing Buckingham Palace.
Coming around another corner and seeing St Paul's cathedral and setting on the steps to eat dinner while the bells were pealing like crazy for like half an hour.
Introducing the kids to digestive biscuits and Pret a Manger and Marks and Spencers treats (the fruit jelly candies are so good and the kids love the tubs of yogurt and rocky road treats)
Seeing my dear friend Irene (went to Wellesley with her) after so many years and sharing Jared and the kids with her and catching up on our lives. She is such a fine person and so fun to talk with.
Watching storm clouds roll in as we stood on the ramparts at the Tower of London and looked out at Tower Bridge - such beautiful light and so few visitors at the Tower.
|The Tower of London|
Visiting some of my old favorite paintings at the National Gallery and the Tate Britain - paintings I studied, sharing a few tidbits of information with my kids to share my love of art without making them hate it with too much information...
|a replica of this painting hangs in my parents' great room so this was fun for the kids to see|
|Eliza has a print of this painting hanging in her bedroom|
Showing these guys the lovely old row-house where I went to school for 6 months when I was on study abroad in London - the housekeeper even let us inside and it was so cool be inside, the memories rushing back, and maybe plant some seeds for great learning experiences the kids may want to work towards in their futures.
Seeing our great cousin Aubrey who's studying at Oxford right now, hanging out on the grass on a perfect evening outside Wesminister Abbey then taking this photo together right around the corner.
Going to Evensong at Westminster Abbey, the choir music seeming to come from the vaulted ceiling, the names of famous poets all around us where we sat, feeling such a sense of history imagining all the royal weddings and coronations there plus all the regular people who have offered up their prayers there for over 800 years.
Loved Evensong at Kings College Chapel as well - nothing like sacred music echoing through a gorgeous building with it's architecture pointing to Heaven and speaking of sacrifice and ingenuity so many centuries old.
Wandering through Cambridge with the wonderful Schwartz family and a couple friends on the most perfect sunny but cool day, going on a boat down the River Cam with so many happy teenagers and such great views and SO many other boats.
Hanging out with and having great talks with the Schwartz family who are some of our very favorite people in the world, seeing our kids get to be such good friends. (sad that I don't have more pictures with the parents, mostly kid photos...)
Visiting Hampton Court, some complaints and surliness from one of our children ("I'm just not into old stuff" to which I just had to reply "what did you think England would be about?"...) that made my heart sink for a while but then it was OK and I relaxed a bit about trying to make sure everyone saw and learned about everything. Loved wandering the gardens and having the place almost to ourselves as Ashton got some great drone footage then finding we had it too much to ourselves and were locked in along with about 5 other people - finally we found a gate we could get out of.
|Hampton Court gardens and palace|
|Tudor section of Hampton Court|
|Georgian section of Hampton Court|
|The house where we lived in Epsom|
|St Martin's School|
|The gym at St Martin's Infant School where we ate lunch (or dinner as they called it) and did gymnastics in our underwear for PE|
Dover castle - seeing the kids so enjoy exploring such a great castle where they've set things up like they were in the 13th century and the walls are so thick and the ramparts and staircases are so cool and you can go down into the medieval tunnels as well as the tunnels where they managed the front line in World War II - imagination can run wild there. It was so blustery and a bit rainy but felt sort of right for a medieval castle on the coast.
Sweeping beauty walking along the white cliffs in hold-you-up wind and looking out towards France across the steel gray sea. Freak 3-minute pelting rainstorm then sun.
Meeting up with Charity, Ian, Moses and my brother Josh at Regent's Park - so fun to be with two of my siblings in a place we all hold dear. Gorgeous roses, wonderful company, mellow and sweet evening after a crazy time with half our family missing the Eurostar back to London. Glad to all be safely back in London and to be with people we love, perfect weather, perfectly lovely restful place.
Seeing the Trooping the Colors procession in celebration of the Queen's birthday. We were so lucky to happen to be in London that day! We saw all the queens horses and all the queen's men, bands, bagpipes, brilliant pageantry followed by the whole royal family in carriages. It was just such a perfect send-off (our plane left London to bring us home that afternoon).
|Here's the queen and Prince Phillip in their carriage|