16 September 2012

Mom & Dad Brum Visit. . .Tower of London

February 2012. . .

After a bit of a frustrating and exhausting delay for them getting here, Keith's parents made it to the UK!  Keith, the girls, and I had stayed at a hotel in London the night before, after going to the Aquarium during the day.  Keith got up first thing and drove to Heathrow to pick them up.  The girls and I got up and got ready, ate some breakfast, and then hung out in the lobby waiting for them to arrive.  And since it was the 14th anniversary of my 21st birthday, I decided that I would celebrate with an amaretto & orange juice while we waited!

After we got Mom & Dad's stuff settled into their room, we headed out for a pub lunch and for a tour of the Tower of London via the Underground.

 Trinity Square Gardens

After lunch, we headed to the Tower of London.  In the 1070s, William the Conqueror began to build a massive stone tower in the center of his London fortress, the likes of which had never before been seen in England.  His intention was that his "White Tower" would not only dominate the skyline, but would also dominate the spirit of the people of London.  

 The menagerie at the Tower of London was moved & eventually evolved into the London Zoo--these were some of the statues that represented the animals that used to live here.

 This gun and carriage was built in 1607 and weighs 5 3/4 tons. . .or tonnes :)

 Above is a picture of a Roman city wall built in the late 2nd or early 3rd century which was used by William the Conqueror to form the eastern side of his castle.

The White Tower. . .Charlotte and I stayed outside because it was all steps. . and like many of the Royal places we have visited in the UK, photos weren't allowed because the items displayed are the personal property of the Royal family.

 More "animals"

 One of the antique pieces of weaponry we could see throughout the Tower.

 I love Big Ben (and all the buildings right there along the Thames) when they are lit up at night!

 This little one had a long, chilly day!!

And Mom & Dad were ready for a warm bed, too!!  More on their trip soon!

10 September 2012

January & February 2012. . .is it really September?

I am hoping to get back into a more regular habit with this blog. . we'll see--I've wished that before!  Maybe one day I'll work from the start of 2012 forward, another can be anything that comes up, and the third can be working backwards--then I can catch it up!  (I could do Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays like Jimmy Buffett AND have at least one margarita per entry!) It sounds like a plan and it would be great to reach a point that I schedule writing in to our lives, but how many Mommies (Mums) actually pencil in things that fall under the category of "me time"?  But I really enjoy writing this blog and will keep poking away at it!!  And who knows, maybe a pattern will emerge and it can be my own little free therapy (the cost of margaritas aside)!!

So January and February 2012. . .

Hanging out in Grammy & Pa's room. . .obviously still in the States here!
Our niece, Annie--my brother, Mike's youngest.

The Butler cousins!

LOVE this picture of Charlotte and cousin Brynn (Mike & Beth's oldest)

It was time for Charlotte's first haircut. . .
I had to snap a picture of Charlotte's baby curls in case the first haircut knocked them out!  So far the curls are still there and we have had three or four!

It's good that our little Tennessee girl got to rock the mullet once in her life!!
Hey. . I say whatever works!

On to Charlotte's 2nd Birthday!!

This pushchair ranks near the top of the "best presents we ever bought them list". . .it's up there with Legos, the play kitchen and the Matchbox cars!!

Daddy teaching Mags to ride without "stabilizers" (training wheels).
The pep talk!

Potty training this child will break me!

Hannah's first cross-country race. . .she finished 30th, but couldn't have been more proud!  Bless her!

Let it snow. let it snow, let it snow!
The view from our bedroom window.
The girls were so excited to wake up to a snowy weekend!

This is the first snowfall that she might remember!!

Good to know that our "snow apples" fall in the UK, too!

Our Minnie Mouse snowgirl. . . who progressively did the limbo lower and lower as the week went on!

Mid February, we headed to London to pick up Keith's parents for their first visit. . .they ended up having their flight cancelled because there was an engine fire in the plane they were supposed to take.  While we were waiting for them to arrive, we took the girls to the Aquarium.

Always gotta find Nemo and his menemone. . .anem. .e nemone. . .:)

No one could figure out if this crocodile (alligator?) was real or not. . .it was perfectly still in this position for the whole 10-15 minutes we were in this section. . the only thing that convinced us that it was probably real was that it finally shut its eyes. . . 

Maggie and Hannah with the "dum-dums"

Just got in to a pub by our hotel before kids weren't allowed anymore. . .sampled some steak & ale pie and cottage pie. . .delicious!

The next morning Keith headed to the airport to pick up Grandpa & Grandma. . .that post coming soon! ;)