Months ago while the kids were still in school Michelle booked us a one way trip to London. The plan was to fly over and travel around the EU for a few weeks without much of a plan. Fast forward to end of last month and our bank balance was getting lower than we’re happy with so we turned the open-ended trip into a week tour around London. This trip is our second week in London since moving to Ireland, Hence London trip 2.
Michelle booked a return flight and hotels and worked out a rough schedule. We’re staying Greenwich for a few nights, Windsor for a few to visit Martin and Dennis then ending the trip at Brighton breach before heading back to LGW to fly home next week. Good thing we reworked the math and shortened the trip because our main bills account hit 86€ as we boarded the plan this morning. We’ll have to float today and tomorrow out of cash and my play account until my pay check hits on Friday. We should be fine end of the month, as this month is a three paycheck month, but still annoying to have slow balance.
Frist few days of the trip are low on pictures because the camera in my phone was busted.
Getting to the Airport
Last flight to London we woke up at 0300. This time we slept in an extra hour and woke the kids up at 0400. Maddex was already up in bed with us. Mila I woke up by putting my hand over her face and growling, just like she asked me too. She giggled a bit then asked me to help her out of bed. Khaleesi I woke up by tickling her until she laughed, just as she asked me to the night before. I like giving the kids the option to pick and they seem to enjoy coming up with options.
We’re getting so good at this; everyone is dressed and feed and we are out the door walking to the aircoach by 0430 right on schedule. Travel season still being in full effect the security line is just as busy as it was mid day last month. As an added bonus for some reason there looks to be a Japanese airline using the same X-ray machine as the family line we’re in and they all get to cut in front of.
For some reason, we’re told the kid backpack no longer fits through the X-ray machine like it has on every other flight so they have to hand scan it for us. Which adds to the already stressful security check. Shockingly they didn’t find any knives or explosives in the pack and they returned it only a few minutes longer than it would have taken if we’d been able to scan it like normal.
Kids were great on the flight despite me forgetting Maddexs phone in the kid backpack. They shared three phones between the four of them without any argument at all. It feels like someone wants ice cream or something. Asking the kids the night before what they are excited about. The theme was the Princess Diana memorial park with the pirate ship and the carnival went to last time . We explained that the carnival was most likely transitory and not there, but said we’d be willing to look.
Made it to LGW
First stop after landing will be the pirate ship park followed by an apple store where I hope to be able to swap my phone for a new one. Some how the glass over my camera is broke resulting is not the best picture quality
At the airport we had to wait longer than normal for our luggage because, who knows, science most likely. When the kid back pack finally came out it came out without Maddexs phone in; shit. I was more annoyed than Maddex. I looked for a lost luggage desk then I saw a guy holding a pink phone. I walked over to him and he asked me if the phone was mine!! He was holding Maddexs phone and our large power brick. Both had fallen out into his car seat – day has been saved. Maddex shook his hand and said thanks !
We took the Gatwick express train to Victoria station then another tube ride exiting near the park. By now everyone is hungry and underground exit is next to a Pizza Hut we ate at last time. All you can eat salad and pizza, I guess if it makes the kids happy. Mila and Khaleesi were both into the salads and asked if can we do salads more at home – yes we can kiddos.
After lunch I left Michelle and the kids at the park and took the underground to Oxford headed to the regent street apple store. They put me on the list for a phone swap a few hours from now. I took the tube back to Michelle and the kids where Michelle said it was too hot for the park without enough shade. When I made it back all of the kids were covered in sweat with dark red faces from the heat. It’s about 30 out today. WAY to hot for us. The theme for the entire trip – It’s too hot!
After drinking a few water bottles we all went back to the apple store where we were told it could be another hour or more. Ugggg, guess I’ll cancel and we can head to our hotel. We’re staying in Peckham and have to take the overland train to get there which means about 40 minutes one way.
The hotel is tremendous. We have a two-story room with space for the kids upstairs and a bed for us downstairs. Best of all We have AC, and not hotel window unit AC but a nice quite mini split AC unit we can leave on without the need for earplugs. Maddex asked if we’re staying at the gear hotel because of all the gears on the walls. Perceptive little kiddo.
For dinner we went to a Lidl down the street and purchased cereal and such. The kids ate an apple and oats cereal tonight loaded with good things vs the sugar they normally eat; drum roll; they enjoyed it. What’s happening our kids are going for better food options ?? The lidl did not have popcorn, and the kid asked for some. On the map there was a Morrison a short walk away that looked like it might have popcorn. We checked it out and it did have popcorn. Score one for the kids.
Back at the hotel we watched a show, ate, then passed out; Sweet AC thank you for making it cool
Exploring Peckham and Greenwich
Morning quote from Khaleesi, she said with her arms stretched out ” I’m the queen of the universe, and, I just farted” she’s so cute she makes fart cute.
we took some train from the Peckham rye train stop to the next stop and got off because it looked like we were in the wrong train. After some serious map and phone consulting it turned out we were in fact in the wrong train but we were in the correct track. A short 13 minute wait and the correct train arrived. We took it two stops to BlackHeath at the top of Greenwich park.
It’s already 27 out and feels more like 50 to us in the direct sunlight. The first 10 minutes of walking in the park were totally out in the open sun void of shade. The sun was really starting to get to us. Kids were moving slow and whining. Michelle and I were cranky snapping at the kids. No fun in the sun and heat. Eventually, we made it to some shade and walked to the play area at the bottom of the park.
The whole walk Maddex kept reading signs. His reading skills are improving every day but it still shocks me when he reads a sign out load. 90% of the play area is not in the shade and bathrooms don’t open until 1000. We let the kids play and try to over heat for a while then we sat by the bathrooms and waited for them to open letting the kids play on some bouncy things in the shade.
After the toilets were usable we walked to a Tesco and raided their discount selection for fruit and donuts, and tossed in some sausage pies and crisps and other random bits. Back to the park for a bit of a picnic in the shade and another visit to the toilet. After the park we hit the Queens house and maritime museums for a break from the sun then walked back to room for AC.
After the AC break, we walked to Camberwell park for an energon burn off before heading back to the hotel. The sun is behind some trees and clouds and it feels more like 26 then 50 it felt like earlier in the day when we had to walk in the sun with no cover. Looking forward to this day being over not sure if it was heat or something else but we were all crabby and annoying today.
Saturday onwards to Windsor
First stop of the day, about 45-minute walk from our hotel is Kennington Park adventure land. While looking for the adventure land we came up a small carnival. The kids were all debating about when it would open asking if we could wait. We played in the adventure land for a bit until we were told it was not generally open to the public and were asked to leave. The door was open and no one was there and the sign did not say anything about no entry. – shrug, oh well.
From the adventure land, we walked to a small play area by the carnival and played for a bit before finding a tube station to take us to Oxford and the apple store. The check-in agent at the apple store told us it would only be an hour so we walked about a bit looking for shade. Eventually, we found a McDonald’s with ac and feed the kids some lunch. As we wrapped up apple texted letting me know it was my turn
Thanks apple care for replacing my phone with a brand new phone. Thanks too for filing me in the apple care loophole. If you replace your phone in a country that does not match your apple care purchase then your repair is free. I love free phone replacements, so I’ll be traveling next time the phone breaks if it breaks. Knock on wood hope it does not break, but if it does I get one more repair from my Apple care.
After apple is more underground rides to a train with no AC where we baked for a bit followed by a mile walk in the sun baking to a sweaty wreck before we made it to the hotel with the sweet sweet AC. Ahhh AC is so nice. We showered and took a break for a bit before we walked back near the train station to a mega Tesco extra for toys and snacks and watermelon ice lollies. I might have eaten an entire box by my self in the time the kids each had one. Might have, no one can prove anything.
The Tesco has a car park below and shop above. We took our Shopping trolley up a moving slanted walk way. As soon as the wheels touched the walkway they locked. As soon as they came off they unlocked. Impressive attention to detail there. After Tesco We looked about for something to do with the kids in the shade and eventually gave up. We went back to our room and watched the parent trap with Lindsey Lohan and had some take away for dinner.
By the time the kids were in bed finally had my phone all setup – normal picture mania can resume.
Windsor Castle Tour
In the morning we had the free breakfast from the hotel then walked along some walking trails next to an arched rail way for a mile or two until we met up with martin the tart near the town of Windsor. Martin works in town and lives about 9 miles away. He took us on a tour of the river, the. Town, and walked us around the castle. The queue to tour the castle was about 49 tour buses too long for us to care to wait through.
We did walk a mile of the long walk from the back gate of the castle. All in the direct sun; shade would be awesome. Thinking about getting some umbrellas to block the sun. Roxi had a bit of radiation burn on her face from the sun the day before so we put her in the pack and covered it with one of my shirts to shade her from the sun. She was not in love with it but she ended up not bright red by the end of the day.
By about one the kids were showing signs of too much sun and in need of naps so we called it a day touring and walked back along the arched rail way for our hotel where we hid in the AC of our room. Khaleesi has a fever and did not want to move for the rest of the night. Our poor girl. I stayed in the room with her and Michelle went off to get some food.
Monday onward to Brighton
The morning was nice in our hotel shielded from the heat with AC. We had the 14£ each free buffet for breakfast again. This time the kids ate most everything on their plates. After breakfast we hide out in our room watching some television. And slowing picking things up before headed out into the oven that is London during a heat wave. It’s already 28 out when we leave the hotel. Pushing a buggy and carrying a backpack with a two-year old in it, direct sun beating down on us, it feels more like 45 out. By the time we made it to the train station my head rag and shirt were both drenched with sweat.
The train is not air-conditioned, but it does have small open windows moving air and making it for an extremely loud train ride. On the plus side we are on a direct route from Windsor to Paddington station so it’s only a 20 minute ride. From Paddington we take the under ground to victoria station then another train to Brighton where we’re staying in a fourth floor loft with no AC. the listing says super fast internet, we’ll see how it is when we get there.
The second train from Victoria to Brighton did have AC and boy howdy did it feel nice. It was the coolest hour we had for the entire day. Made it to Brighton with about 3 hours to kill before check in and being able to drop off our luggage. We walked towards the beach for a bit until we saw as small side street with no cars to duck down. For the next 35 minutes we were walking in a maze of tiny streets with tiny shops. Such a massive mazes shopping zone. Fun!
We walked into some big swanky hotel on the water like we owned the place and used their toilets then walked to the beach. There are tiered layers of walking areas as you get closer to the beach. We walked a mile or two down the paved path about 10 meters above the street at beach level. Eventually the path ended and we walked inland a bit for a road we could walk on where the buildings to our left would provide shade from the sun. We walked back 2km until we found our hotel. As we were arriving we saw the cleaning crew pulling away from the building.
We’re in it turns out a fifth floor loft up some narrow stairs. It was not hotter than outside, it was not cooler – meaning it was hot but not horrible. By now the kids needed a rest because they were getting cranky, so we unpacked and watched a few shows. Then we went back out into the town for food and a load of laundry. We did not plan to drench all of our clothing in sweat everyday and packed to recycle outfits. You can only wash so much in the shower and recycle so much in the heat. – it was about 6£ to wash and dry everything we packed minus what we had on.
While waiting for laundry we bought Michelle some new sun glasses to replace the ones she broke on the under ground and scouted our dinner. While waiting for our clothing to dry we picked up dinner and breakfast then went back to our hotel where we almost finished freaky Friday Before telling the kids it was time for bed. Took then almost 2 hours to all finally sleep – the heat was a lot to fall sleep in.
Khaleesi was talking to herself. Roxi kept kicking the floor, Mila was moving around like a puppy trying to catch her tail, and Maddex was building things with his blankets and pillows. The girls all passed out after about 70 minutes. Then Michelle passed out and finally Maddex slept. Then it was just me awake until about 1am alternating between Reddit and a book. By 1 it was cool enough I could cover everyone up and I passed out.
I asked Maddex what he was building avoiding sleeping, he said ” I’m not sure, I was trying to use my blanket and pillows to build a nest to crawl into, I think “
Swimming on a pebble beach
The kids made it sleeping until about 6:20. We made it trying to slowly wake up and have breakfast until around 7:10 when we finally said no more. We dressed the kids, covered them in sun cream and were on the beach with our feet in the ocean by 7:40. Much earlier then it seems most everyone else in town. The pier does not open until 10am; gates are locked shut. We went to the right of the peer down a ramp straight into the water
Pebbles are not fun to walk in bare foot but they mold to your body and make a comfy place to sit / lay down and watch the kids. If only the sun was not glaring radiation down on us trying to melt our flesh off. The beach and water are great but the sun is so hot up there beating heat down, it’s difficult to enjoy everything.
From the beach we carried on west towards and past the tower of the 360 thing until we found the kids wading pool. We spent a good hour or so there letting the kids play in the water. I tossed 2p coins in the water for Mila and Maddex to find for a while, and Khaleesi and Roxi spent some time in the play area on the slides. Momma hid in the shade and worked on some writing with her snazzy blue tooth folding keyboard.
Next stop, back where we stared at the pier that’s now open. We walked to end and looked the at rides and did pricing math. We decided they were not worth it. Instead we spent an hour in the arcade playing 2p coin dozer games. Michelle loves penny slots and commits to one machine where she won two little winged dogs for the girls. Khaleesi could only reach a minions dozer thing that rewarded tickets. She exchanged her tickets for a pencil and foam glider.
Back to our apartment for a rest followed by a walk in the narrow street shopping area. We found a pizza express we stopped at for lunch. The kids all behaved themselves well at the restaurant; shocking and enjoyable. At lunch the kids debated between the pool or arcade some more for the rest of the day. We settled on the arcade for another 20£ worth of 2p coins in the coin dozers before heading back to our room to pack up, eat and sleepy time.
Roxi walked away from the arcade the second time missing a section of skin on her nose. She pulled the front off of one of the machines and the corner took some of her skin off. Ouch. I was filling coin buckets and momma was off playing when it happened. Thankfully someone held my coin bucket for me while I was tending to Roxi and finding someone to fix the machine. – one of them always ends up with an injury, this time it was Roxi
We woke up at 0530 in the morning. Had some muffins and finished packing before our 20 minute walk to the train station. We found 1£ in coins on the walk to the station. Add that to the rest of her loot from the trip and we came home with 4£ of found coins plus some other bobs and bits. Train to the airport was uneventful. At the airport we had some snacks and waited for the gate loading are to empty before we ended up being the last in the queue and the last to board the plane.
The rest of the pictures