08 September 2011

Mom and Dad's visit--Part One: London. . .

My mom and dad were our first visitors to our new UK home. . they flew into Heathrow on July 21.  It was the first time out of the States for both of them.  Keith and the girls and I went down to London the night before so that I would be able to meet them at the airport; their flight got in around 6 am our time.  It was wonderful to see them come out of the terminal and to have my first hug from back home be my parents!!

We headed back to the hotel on the Hoppa Bus--the shuttle bus transit system for Heathrow.  It was early so the girls were still asleep, but I snuck in and grabbed Hannah and Maggie to come out in the hallway for hugs.  After breakfast and some showers, we grabbed the Hoppa back to the airport to catch the Tube (London Underground train) into the city.

Since Mom and Dad would be fighting jet-lag, we planned on just doing some sightseeing on one of the double-decker buses.  It was the girls' first trip to London as well, and they were insistent on riding one!  Here are the pics from London:

At the hotel

On the Hoppa bus

Dad getting friendly with the "locals"!!

The sight-seeing was just too much for her!!  Luckily, she is getting really good at stroller snoozing!

We hadn't planned on seeing the British Library and just happened upon it. . my mom is a school librarian, so she was thrilled!

St. Pancras International train station

Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame at St. Pancras train station. . .we decided to walk (a LONG way) to get to it and were all a bit disappointed that it wasn't grander!  But at least we can say we have seen it!

This ship in a bottle was a statue. . so it was as big as maybe a car.

Shot of Thames, London Bridge, and the HMS Belfast.

London Bridge

London City Hall (one that looks like a helmet) and the Gherkin Building (one that looks like a torpedo)

The London Eye on the left and County Hall on the right--on the Thames.  Keith and I stayed at the Marriott in the County Hall building when we came over for our house-hunting trip.  It was very nice. . thank you, Caterpillar! :)

Close-up of Big Ben

The Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace--built for Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch in British history.

Outside of Buckingham Palace. . .it is only open for tours in August and September.

In front of Buckingham Palace. . like this picture, even though we aren't looking in the same direction!!

Hannah reading the paper on the Tube.