England

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We finished Europe in England. Primarily London, but we did venture to Windsor one day. We intentionally chose our last week in England because we knew we’d want some place where we could just be chill and not feel like we needed to see and do too much.

Basically, if J told me to pack my bags because we were moving to England tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t even bother packing. I’d just go without batting an eyelash. London is my favorite city in the world. I know J would prefer Spain if we were doing Europe, and I’d be okay with that too. But a little piece of my heart will always be in England.

We stayed at an amazing Air BnB for the week – it was the home of a family on holiday and it was so nice to explode and decompress and make our own meals and do laundry and just basically live for a week.

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We met up with one of my good university friends at St. James Park one day. The kids loved exploring the grounds and the birds and ducks. And of course, the amazing playground. And it was nice to catch up with my friend and feel like a real human who has relationships outside of my children. I mean, they’re cute kids, but sometimes it’s easy to feel a little lost with who I am apart from them.

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Of course, being at St. James Park meant that we were right by Buckingham Palace, so we knocked out some sight-seeing as well. We are pretty good multi-taskers.

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We took lots of naps and explored the nearby parks and ponds where we were staying. It kept things real and everyone happy.

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This fox just walked right up to this lady and drank the water from her water bottle. Like no big deal.

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She’d take a lot of steps for over a month, but London is where she truly started walking like the boss she is.

We also enjoyed walking around London City. We took the kids to Tower Bridge and the Globe Theatre. We will for sure go back again one day when the babies are big enough to sit through shows and we will just go go go and watch a million shows. The plays and musicals in London are better than any I’ve seen anywhere else. And I’ve seen quite a bit. I mean, I don’t have a theatre degree, but I know what I enjoy watching. And London is where it is at. And I’d love to watch Shakespeare at the Globe since it’s something I’ve yet to do.

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But we’ve got plenty of time for all of that. I want them to enjoy their travels age-appropriately. The big kids love the theatre, but so do J and I and neither of us wanted to be the one to stay behind, haha.

We trekked over to Windsor for a day and visited another friend. That was so lovely and fun. The kids enjoyed seeing the castle (one of my favorites!) and the town of Windsor. The heat wave was breaking around this time, thank god, so it was a bit cooler and more enjoyable.

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Don’t mind Freja’s look of pure terror. She’s used to being that deeply loved. We are working on toning down the love though, because people should only be touched if they consent. And yes, even a 2 year old can learn that.

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We hit up the Natural History Museum one day. We didn’t even see everything there was to see and we spent most of the day there. It was an absolute blast and I would not be opposed to returning there again. And we wanted to go to the Science Museum as well, but just not time.

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Our last day of London was an epic trip to Hamley’s. I’d been telling the kids about Hamley’s loooong before we even went to Europe, and it did not disappoint. I mean, what kid does not love a toy store? I enjoyed Hamley’s all those years ago when I was studying in England, and I was long past the age of playing. We had so much fun exploring each floor and all the gems they held. And the kids were so awesome about choosing just one toy to take home with us. As crazy as they drive me sometimes (oftentimes?) I really do have to give them all credit for being pretty much the best humans I know.

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It was also pretty entertaining that none of them picked anything “new.” It was all the things they love most. H got Calico Critters. B got Legos. M got Duplos. And baby F got a stuffie with an “I Love Bean” shirt (which was just kinda perfect since we call her Bean). But I love that I know those kids inside and out. I grabbed a few fun books for them because books always have my heart, and you can simply never  have too many.

And then that was it. We were off. Back to the mainland where we hadn’t been for a year. Back to our house that we hadn’t lived in for a year. Back to resume lives that, for a year, we had disappeared from while being island dwellers. But more on all of that later.

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