4 posts categorized "England (2009)"

July 01, 2009

Visiting relatives (and the park hereafter referred to as the Allergy Park)

We spent last night and today in Sheffield visiting Andrew's Aunt and Uncle and cousins.  Between thunderstorms, we dashed over to a nearby park so the girls could run off some excess energy.  The park was beautiful.  Here's a pic from last night.

Sheffield gwen and maddy trees

Gwen played "tennis" with Daddy.  He would pitch the ball to her and she would swing at it like a baseball player.  When she was successful, she'd grin and huff some moist breath onto her fingernails then proudly buff them on her chest.   What a silly girl!

She picks up these cute little expressions from watching people and movie videos closely and she has a special knack for incorporating them into her everyday life.  For example, if I ask her to do something, she'll always say "Yes, Sir!" with a sharp salute. Sometimes she'll say "Aye aye, Mommy Captain!" and instead of saying "yes", she'll almost always say "sure".  Instead of "no", she'll roll her eyes sweetly and say "I don't think so!"  And that's just a small sampling.  She's really quite a character, our Gwendolyn!    

Gwen with tennis racquet

Gwen is such a fun loving and happy child.  She's sturdy and capable.  She's always up for an adventure and isn't one to shy away from something because it's risky or uncomfortable.  She'll attempt anything.  Climb anything.  Jump over anything.  She almost never falls and when she does, she's likely to jump up, wipe the blood off of her scraped knees or elbows and take off running again.   She's hardly ever sick and when the rare illness happens, she doesn't complain about it.  So today was especially hard because she had her first ever allergy attack and it really looked like a miserable one! 


It started with one itchy eye and quickly spread to both eyes.  Five minutes later, she was a mess.  She was sneezing and crying and rubbing her itchy red eyes. 


We left the park and popped into the pharmacy on our way back to Auntie Barbara's house.   About an hour after some eye drops and some Benadryl, she was back to her cheerful self.

After all this allergy drama, we drove to Andrew's birth town and visisted his incredibly sweet neighbors.  They are two of the nicest people I've ever met and their home and garden are beautiful!  The camera battery was dead but it's charging now and we'll have plenty to share tomorrow when we return. 


June 30, 2009

Goodbye London...

We left London three days ago.  Michael flew back to New York to spend the rest of his summer break with his girlfriend and we rented a car and headed north to visit relatives.  I'll post later about the experience of driving on the left side of the road!

Our first stop was Calcot Manor, a charming little cottage just outside of Tetbury in the Cotswolds.  We spent two days here. Calcot Manor - Tetbury England 021

We stayed in the Malmesbury Suite.   The master suite was downstairs and the kids' room was upstairs.  We had our own little enclosed/fenced garden.  This really was the most quaint place I've even been.  From the mossy roof shingles to the sweet little chirps of the baby birds calling to their mothers.    I could live here forever, I think!

While we were here, we visited Andrew's Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in Chipping Norton.  We had a nice visit while the girls played in the garden - watering the many beautiful flowers.  Later, they found an assortment of old toys that their Daddy also played with as a child.  It was fun to imagine all the little hands that have held these over the years.

Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton Chipping Norton More photos on flickr in our Calcot Manor and Chipping Norton sets

Yesterday, we headed to Yorkshire to visit more family.  I'll post more on flickr and here about that later.  Today, we're visiting the old family farm and I hope to also catch a glimpse of James Herriot's veternary practice.  

June 27, 2009

Windsor, Stonehenge & Bath

Winsor Castle 
Daddy, Maddy and Gwen at Windsor Castle. Stonehenge Gwen and Maddy at Stonehenge.

 Roman Baths   Roman Baths

Gwen, Maddy and Michael at the Roman Baths in Bath, England.

More photos in our Flickr 2009 Vacation Collection <here>

June 24, 2009

More London Pics (Paris tomorrow!)

Day four collage resized  Yesterday, we went to Portobello Market in Notting Hill (yes, where the movie was filmed).  Then we took the girls back to Princess Diana's Children's Playground at Hyde Park and they played for several hours before we hopped on the tube to Kew Gardens where we met up with Andrew's cousin, Catherine, and her daughter (Grace).  While the grownups chatted, the three girls had so much fun together!  We went to their house and the kids played dress up and loved posing for photos.   Be sure to click that large collage above to get a bigger view.

Maddy at Covent Garden Market.jpgToday, we went to Covent Garden Market and Soho then Saint Paul's Cathedral and millennium bridge. Then back to the apartment for a quick nap before meeting Andrew's other cousin (Caroline) for dinner. Busy day! Here are some more photos:

Millenium Bridge behind us.jpg

 Me and my kids (Millennium Bridge is behind us).

 Maddy and Gwen on Millenium Bridge.jpg

Maddy and Gwen goofing off on the Millennium Bridge. 

Saint Paul's Cathedral

 Gwen and Maddy at a side door of Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Donna and Andrew St Paul's Cathedral.jpg

Donna and Andrew in front of Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Today was a very busy day! Tomorrow is going to be even more busy since we're getting up at the crack of dawn and taking the Chunnel to Paris where we'll spend the entire day and return back to our apartment late that same night. Oh, and a certain very special little girl will turn FIVE YEARS OLD tomorrow! I can't believe my Gwenny is 5! I hope we can find a birthday cake for my little big girl so we can sing her happy birthday in French!

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