Saturday, April 27, 2013

12 Do's and Don't's for the American Tourist in London



1. Don't stay up for an ENTIRE NIGHT working. It's vacation, man! Oh, you're here for work? Party pooper.

Do expect to spend a couple of days with headaches, jetlag, and heck, why not a ruptured ear drum? Have a little fun, for goodness sake.
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2. Don't try to take a picture without other tourists in it. We're all in this together, man.
 I'm in this picture! you can find me!

 
 oh look! we almost did it that time!


Do expect to see movie stars.
what, you don't recognize him from Mary Poppins? 
St. Paul's Cathedral, guys, come on.


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3. Don't forget to pack your coat! Who just brings a hoodie to London in April? No, but really.

Do take a walk on a blustery, rainy day. You'll share the moment with Londoners who will say quaint things like, "It's no good, is 't?" in British accents. Can you believe people actually talk like that? Me neither. "Have a think about which entree you'd like."

 
 look, the sun came out!

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4. Don't expect to see Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral for free. Money money moneyyyyy. What? It's a church? I don't believe you.

Do go to an Evensong church service. The one at St. George's Chapel was probably the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

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5. Don't miss the mormon.org buses. They're everywhere!


Do walk along the Thames River and enjoy the modern art. No, not the Tate Museum of Modern Art
is this for real?

you look inside these long tubes while a loud droning sound rings in your ears. 
inside is aluminum tubing with a light at the end. I waited in line for what....?

aahhh. that's more like it. modern art at its finest. 
much better than those nakey Picasso pictures.

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6. Don't go all the way to Great Britain just to buy American food. Josh actually ordered "The American" at a pizza place. Really? Who does that?

I may or may not have bought these cookies and eaten every single one myself. 
if it helps at all, they weren't as good as American cookies.

Do expect to gain a couple pounds. (No, not £. You'll have no problem getting rid of those.)

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7. Don't try to buy day-of tickets to Matilda. They are SOLD OUT FOREVER. You can try Wicked, though. British Glinda is charming.
  yes, that is a giant rainbow-haired bun blocking my view.

Do visit the British Library. Handel's Messiah manuscript! Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn manuscripts! The Beatles' original scrawlings on envelopes and scraps of paper! And the Magna Carta. And a Gutenberg Bible. And don't get there an hour before closing, because they'll kick you out when you've just gotten started.

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8. Don't try to take pictures of yourself -- yourself -- with famous landmarks. It never works.

 St. Paul's.

  yes, that's Big Ben. no, not the tourist.

 
 no, that's not a crown, that's Windsor Castle. well, I guess that's appropriate.

Do expect a ride on the Eye to cost an arm and a leg. We paid like £40. Worth it? Not sure. I sound so cheap don't I. Dangit.

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9. Don't expect to find toilet seat covers. Ever. Just kiss them goodbye. No, don't, that's gross.

British toilets look funny.
 
Do enjoy the street performers. Sure, they're probably not all British, but then, neither are you, so don't be judging.
yes, that's a bicycle on his head.

fire. coming out of a tuba.

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10. Don't bother the Queen's guards. It's not very nice. They have an important job to do.

Do watch the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle.
yes, the chap in front is walking a dog.

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11. Don't expect to know what your gate is before boarding time at Heathrow Airport. If your ticket says "Boarding 11:05" that means you will find out what your gate is at 11:05. Don't freak out, man. "Boarding" really means they finally let you in to sit at your gate and wait for a long time. Yeah, lost in translation.

Do check in those wooden bows with your other checked airline baggage. Sure, it's a child's toy, and sure, you left the suction-cup arrows in your suitcase so you're just carrying two pieces of wood with string on them, but you "might be able to launch something with them while on the airplane," you know, like one of those little mustard pretzels, so if you try to take them through security you're just going to have to go all the way back downstairs, check the dang pieces of wood, then go back up and through security all over again.


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12. Don't think about your squishy baby at home. Just trust me on this one.

Do thank the lovely, wonderful people who watched your kids so you could take the trip in the first place! Thank you thank you thank you to Josh's parents!
I wonder which was more fun to clean up:
this little adventure, or the day Bennett pooped his pants six times?




Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Easy Edible ABC's



 

drawing with frozen blueberries


delicious dirt...


mmmm hot fudge

sugar peas from our garden!


homemade ice cream

six different kinds of juice


                                leaves are edible, right?                                            if you're not buying it, here's an L made of wafers.

marshmallow men



 
we made a pie for a friend's birthday and this tasty number with the extras

 
quick... quaker...


 

 

ugly bugs

homemade oatmeal playdough volcano. 
don't ask for the recipe because it was gross!

witch sticks


yellow



I did "preschool" with Bennett every time we dropped Joshy off for his preschool. Super simple and short, without advanced planning, with whatever we had in the house. Sometimes the pickins were slim, but Bennett never seemed to mind.

-Benny picked a letter
-we practiced writing the letter in his notebook
-we drew pictures of things that started with that letter
-we read a book that featured the letter, and he had to pick out and point to the letter in the book
-we did an easy project, preferably something Bennett could eat