Monday, March 28, 2011


Happy Sunday!  Unfortunately we didn't go anywhere this week.  We stayed close to home and gave the bank account a rest.  Being home all week has given me some time to reflect on current events. 

First I would like to say that my heart goes out to all the victims of the earthquake & tsunami in Japan.  The tragedy is beyond comprehension and the threat of nuclear exposure hangs over their heads.  I pray for them and hope that they will soon be safe and able to rebuild their lives.

To the people of Libya, may your country find peace and freedom.  I hope that the sacrifice is worth the end result and that the death of so many is not in vain.

To the young men in Apex stealing freon from air conditioning units so that they can get high...shame on you! 

 To Wake County's decision to not give Jack a placement at suck!  You spout your "ohh we need diversity speech" and yet the children who really need alternative placement because of learning difficulties are denied spaces in the schools best suited for them.  I'm willing to do what I can to help my son succeed, why aren't you? 

I also reflect on myself and some of the decisions I have made lately.  For instance, having Kimberly get her eyebrows done.  Now, if I had really done my research, I would have learned that the string method really isn't less painful than waxing.  As a matter of fact, it is extremely more painful.  I know this because my poor daughter endured it because of me and my grand idea.  I spent all weekend making it up to her.  The fact that her eyebrows look fabulous is really overshadowed by the trauma experienced while having them done.  Lesson learned.

Now, I am done reflecting.  It is time to move forward and seize the day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Storming the Castle!

Last Saturday, March 12th, we headed back to Windsor to once again "storm the castle."  We had hoped to be there for the changing of the guard but got a late start and missed it.  The weather was cooperating so we got to explore the grounds more and made it to St. George's Chapel.  This again was another amazing architectural beauty and, once again, we could not take pictures inside.

Side Note:  Since I have been here, I have been seduced by the Showtime series The Tudors.  It is about Henry VIII and his six wives.  Henry the VIII is buried at St. Georges Chapel with his third wife Jane Seymour.

We finished up at Windsor with a little shopping, of which I still have not purchased anything for myself!

On Tuesday we packed up and headed back to London and made it in time to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.  Now, we got there about 45 minutes before it started and the gate was already packed.  The kids couldn't see anything, I had to stand on my tiptoes to see.  Needless to say, we didn't make it to the end.  (There's more after the pictures)



Our second stop of the day was supposed to be The Tower of London.  However, we became side tracked at the Churchill War Rooms and Museum.  I had the genius idea to just stop by the gift shop to pick up something for Grandpa and then head to the Tower.  My children on the other hand, wanted to go inside so they could tell Grandpa all about it.  Once we went in, we spent over an hour touring through the maze of underground tunnels and rooms.  It was fascinating.  The kids loved it!  We spent quite a bit at the gift shop and then headed back above ground.

By this time it was already 3:00 and there was not enough time to hit the Tower so we headed towards the tube and back to the car to get back home.

Saturday we decided to drive to the Home of Charles Darwin.  This made my husband very happy.  He was able to get his "geek on" and teach the children something all in one day!  The totally best part about the whole trip was seeing the sign for Hever Castle on the way to Darwin's.  Hever castle was owned by the Boelyns (see side note above).  We decided to do a drive by on our way home.  Unfortunately we arrived at closing time and weren't able to see anything.  However, they have a yew maze and a water maze and we are so going back in two weeks.  Next week we are planning a trip to Wales!

So, until we head out to storm the next castle...


Monday, March 7, 2011

Two Abbeys and an Eye

We made it to London on Friday.  Though it is only about 50 miles away, it took us about 2 hours to get into town.  We drove to Wimbledon and hopped on the tube to take us into the city.

Our first stop was the London Eye.  It is the tallest ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere and it takes 30 minutes to go around once.  It takes you up over the city with spectacular views of Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and most of the city.  That was Kim's must do while we are here.  She was a bit nervous about the height but she made it.  It was amazing.  Check out the pics we took, pretty awesome.

Our next stop was Westminster Abbey.  We walked across the Thames to get a better view of Big Ben, which was Evie's must see.  The houses of Parliament are next to Big Ben and heavily guarded.  The semi-automatic weapons the guards were carrying gave Kim a chill.  We decided it was best to keep moving right along.

We got to the Abbey (which incidentally is the place where William and Kate are getting married) and paid our admission to get in.  They have audio recordings to guide you through but you are not allowed to take pictures inside.  I was in awe.  Beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it.  You could feel the history and the importance all around you.  We sat in the Abbey and listened to the audio about the architecture but the really interesting part came when we started exploring and seeing the tombs of the Monarchs and famous people buried in the Abbey.  Queen Elizabeth I, her half sister Queen Mary, Mary Queen of Scots, George III, Newton, Darwin, and of course my favorite, Chaucer.  I wanted a picture next to Chaucer's tomb so badly, but I didn't dare.  I started reciting those infamous 27 lines to the Canterbury Tales that all Meredith students must memorize.  It was surreal.  I never in my life would have thought I would be there.  We were able to see so much history in that one building.  Saturday evening we went to see the King's Speech.  There is a scene when they are in the Abbey before his coronation.  John and I both said, "we we're there!"

After John and the kids pulled me out of the Abbey, we hopped back on the tube and heading for the next Abbey on our list, Abbey Road.  Yes, I know, it doesn't really compare with Westminster Abbey.  Kim was wearing her Beatles t-shirt and we stood in front of this nondescript white building with a gray roof.  There was a little sign over the door that said Abbey Road Studios.  Ya could have walked right past it and never knew what it was.  Of course we took pictures in the famous crosswalk.  It was quite funny.  There is not a traffic light there, but the locals realize it is a famous landmark and will stop to allow fans to pretend to be the Fab Four for a few moments.  We had our fun and the sun was setting so it was time to head back home.

There is so much to see and do in the city that we are spreading it out and not trying to do too much at once.  Our next trip into the city will include Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.  The week ahead has not yet been planned so there is not telling what adventures await us next.  My love to you all!