Mr A and I have had many many trips down to good old London town over the years, we both have family who live in and around London and over the years a LOT of our friends have migrated down there.
As with a lot of people our age there are weddings pretty much every year with friends tying the not and this year we were invited to a really good friend of Mr A’s wedding in London. When we were told about the wedding and received our “save the date” we knew that we were actually trying to get pregnant again….. hmm timingI. If we had fallen pregnant straight away (like the 1st time) then we wouldn’t have been able to make it to the wedding, but as fate would have it we took a few months to fall pregnant this time round.
Although we were really excited to head on down to big old London town to see lots of our friends and family the wedding date was quite close to our due date, not to mention the cost. Flying from the north east of Scotland to London has become so expensive, or maybe it just seems that way now we have a mini person to pay for too. I spoke to our midwife about the trip and she said that if things continued the way they were with the pregnancy that there should be no issues with us flying down. And as luck would have it one of the airlines that flies our route had a sale….wooohoooo. So we booked our flights and my fab Aunt and Uncle offered to put us up during our visit.
We were excited for our little summer holiday and our last trip as a family of 3. We made plans to see as many people as we could while down there but also not overstretch ourselves, trying to remember that I was going to be 31 weeks pregnant and have a 2 year old….. We decided to make our way to Kent to see my Grandmother for a few days while we were down that way and my aunt was able to come over there while we were visiting also which was fabulous. I have so many memories of spending time with my mums family and it always fills my heart when i get to see my little monkey making memories with them too.
As everyone does I’m sure, we were keeping an eye on the weather in the week leading up to heading down and woohooo it was showing sunshine the entire time we were going to be there.
Finally it was the night before our trip, the bags were packed and little miss A was fast asleep and the alarm was set for 04.20 (YUCK). We managed to get up without waking our sleeping princess, of course she chose that night/morning to sleep soundly, and get dressed and all sorted. As soon as Grandpa arrived to take us to the airport I tried to gently put shoes and a jumper over little miss A’s PJ’s, she instantly woke up and just smiled and said time for holiday.
She loves traveling and of course charms everyone we come into contact with through out the airport. But nothing put a smile on her face more than looking out the window at her Purple Aeroplane, her patience once she had seen the plane disappeared and she wanted to get on NOW. The excitement level grew once we got on the plane and she realised that she had her own seat this time. Despite having some breakfast while we waited to board our flight, homemade peanut butter sandwich, as soon as i busted out my granola/yoghurt snack she decided she would have a taste, which translated into I will eat the entire thing mummy.
Planes, trains and tubes are all exciting things for a 2 year old and she loved every minute of our time down there, even with the 32 degrees. We arrived on Wednesday morning and made our way on the DLR from the airport to my uncles apartment and after having a little rest and settling in we made our way out to a huge park that we had discovered was near bye (by that I mean Mr A found it during his research on what to do in London with a toddler). Snacks in the park and lots of running around made for a fab first afternoon before making our way back to meet my uncle and aunt at their apartment for a BBQ on the balcony, this made us really feel like we were having a mini summer holiday.
We made our way to Kent the next morning on the train and with all the excitement of snacks and watching out the window with little miss A it actually didn’t feel like it took that long at all. She was so excited to see our Mama and my aunt and within about 20 mins she was making herself at home making smoothies with my aunt. We had a great 2 days in Kent, going out for lunch, making smoothies, having tea parties, playing in the park and little miss loved getting everyone to chase her outside Mama’s place the most.
On Friday afternoon it was time to make our way back to the big smoke and get wedding ready. I am so impressed a how well little miss A did with all the traveling and jumping from trains to tubes etc. I know a lot of toddlers/kids do it but it really isn’t something she is used to, we are lucky enough to generally be able to walk to most places we need to go and if we do any shorter trips we jump in our car.
The wedding we were attending on the Saturday didn’t start until 3pm, which meant we could have a sort of lazy morning (as lazy as life with a 2 year old allows) and we made our way to Tom’s Kitchen in Canary Wharf for brunch. They have a great kids area there which was a saving grace and although we tag teamed our way through the food (and the fact she turned her nose up at the lovely pancake we ordered her and instead ate the beans that came with the rest of our orders) we managed to have a lovely brunch before heading back to get wedding ready.
The wedding was in a fabulous building and we were very greatful for the air con on a very warm day travelling through London. Little miss A was really well behaved, we sat at the back of the room in case she decided that she had enough but it wasn’t until right at the very end when she decided that she needed the toilet so we snuck out and then did some running around in the hallway. That was after she had been leaning out into the aisle so that the wedding photographers could get her into their shots. Isn’t it funny how these fab little people are so used to us always taking pictures of them that they assume everyone must want pictures of them too. After a quick bus ride in an old London bus (which was super cute but very hot) we made it to the super cool reception location. It was super funky and lots of room for the little people to run around and they had some great things for the kids to do, colouring in, giant jenga…….. not to mention the photo booth, little miss A found the box with accessories to use for photos and kept grabbing someone to go play dress up with her.
It was really great for MR A to get to hang out with all of his old buddies and let his hair down. Most of his old school friends live down in London and the surrounding area so its not very often that he gets to see them all at the same time. Little miss A had a fab time and of course had everyone ready to play with her whenever she asked. By 9pm however we had one very overtired little lady (i even took her out for a walk in the stroller but of course she refused to give in and sleep) and a pregnant mummy who was ready to head home. MR A decided that he would come back with us and we grabbed a taxi back to my uncles house, being in a taxi was even fun for our little monkey who chatted to MR Taxi the entire drive back and had him in stitches. Little miss A and I hit the sack while MR A sat on the balcony with my aunt and uncle chatting over whisky and cigars until the small hours of the next morning (so don’t feel too sorry for him leaving the wedding early).
Luckily little miss A did sleep in a bit for us the next morning, as everyone in the apartment needed it. We got up and organised and made our way to Mudchute Farm to visit the animals and grab brunch, little miss A and I had obviously already had round 1 with breakfast. What a great place and so fab to have somewhere like that in the city. If you are in the city and fancy a bit of green and super yummy food its a must, https://www.mudchute.org/plan-your-visit/opening-times . After eating far too much and saying hello to all the animals we made our way over to Greenwich, we decided to take the tunnel which may have been a mistake after we arrived and discovered the lifts weren’t working… luckily there were enough of us to carry little miss A and the pushchair down ALL the stairs separately and it was lovely and cool down there, we weren’t so excited to find the lifts out of service at the other end too and the walk up ALL the stairs again made sure that we were all ready for something cold to drink.
We made our way to the Greenwich Brewery and in perfect time to grab a big table in the shade and order something lovely and cold (soft for me obviously) and wait for one of my besties to arrive. My bestie moved to London a few years ago and we love catching up with her when ever we are down there, and little miss A loves hanging out with her auntie A and uncle S. It was a great afternoon with us all catching up and running around after little miss A, in as much shade as always.
Monday was our last day in London and seeing as everyone was back to work we really wanted a day that was filled with fun things for little miss A and the family to enjoy. Mr A had done lots of research, obviously, and lots of places said that the science museum was a great place for toddlers as they have a great interactive area for preschoolers. What a great find, she LOVED it there and we spent HOURS there, we made it out of the toddler area to grab some lunch and then we made our way right back there.
We also managed to squeeze in a quick catch up with a family that we met at our birthing group. They lived right beside us and us mummies hung out a lot before and after out little babies arrived before they also moved down to London (thanks to the oil industry slump) so it was really really great to be able to spend even a little bit of time with them while we were down there.
It was such a great week down there and we certainly managed to squeeze a lot into our time there. We felt like we were in the med with the weather (which seems slightly easier to deal with when you can dip into a pool or sea) and we were so impressed with how little miss A coped with the weather and all the running around, she really loved spending time with so many of our friends and family and even aspects we thought of as boring she loved. And it’s hard to believe that was our last trip as a family of 3?!?!?!?!?!?
As much fun as being on a holiday is I still think there is nothing better than getting back to your own bed. And travelling with little people is as easy as you make it but i love seeing little miss A’s face when she gets back home to all her ‘stuff’.