Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Just Call Me Cruise Director - Touring Tuesday

I have to pat myself on the back with the itinerary I planned for my sister & eleven year-old nephew's visit at the end of March.  Maybe my new name should be Julie McCoy

Day 1 (Monday) - The kids and I picked them up at Heathrow.  Thanks to the real-time data on the Flightradar24 app, I knew exactly when to leave The Manor.  We only waited for a few minutes before they emerged from passport control.  We spent the day back at The Manor trying to keep them awake with a trip to the park, a quick shop on the high road, and a few games of Chutes & Ladders.
Day 2 (Tuesday) - There's no better way to get over jet lag than to get out into the sunshine!  Our day started with a spin around The London Eye (be sure to buy your tickets online for a discount).  We grabbed lunch and walked up to Trafalgar Square so the kids could climb around on the lions.  Then we walked up The Mall to Buckingham Palace.  Our day ended with a walk through Hyde Park so the kids could play pirates with sticks.  

Day 3 (Wednesday) - Youngest Kiddo got sick overnight and was down for the count on Wednesday morning.  I did not want our guests to miss out on a day in the city so I gave the reins to my understudy, Oldest Kiddo.  She was elated to play cruise director and navigate them to South Kensington for a day at The Science Museum & Natural History Museum.  She also happened to suggest a stop for fro-yo on their walk back to The Tube.

Day 4 (Thursday) - The boy was back on track so the whole crew could head back out into the city.  We started at The Tower of London to hear about various beheadings and see the gorgeous Crown Jewels.  Since we were so close, a tour of The Tower Bridge was a no brainer.  The new glass walkway is stupendous.  

Day 5 (Friday) - Youngest Kiddo was left at home with Matt so we could have a day of magic at The Harry Potter Studio Tour.  It's a bit out of town, but public transport is very convenient.  The studio recently opened a new section with a Hogwarts Express steam train which was adorable as they set up some of the cars with memorabilia from the movie.  You must prebook tickets if you decide to visit this phenomenal place.  We met Matt and Youngest Kiddo back in London for dinner to round out the day.

Day 6 (Saturday) - Youngest Kiddo was back to not feeling great so he stayed home with Matt again while we made a day in the city.  Our first stop was the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street.  I cannot emphasize how lovely this FREE spot is to visit.  The views of the city really show off how London is a mix of old, old buildings and new, new buildings.  Across the street from 20 Fenchurch is Leadenhall Market, which was used for some of the Diagon Alley scenes in the Harry Potter movies.  To round out the day, we went full on tourist and went to Piccadilly Circus for a stop at a crap from London store, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, and Hamley's Toy Store (not recommended for a Saturday).  

Day 7 (Easter Sunday) - This was our only day of rest.  The kids had fun playing games and consuming Easter candy while the adults enjoyed time on the couch.

Day 8 (Monday) - Matt joined us today as Easter Monday is a day off for the UK.  The day began at the British Museum to see the mummies, Elgin Marbles, and Rosetta Stone.  We grabbed lunch at Wagamama in Covent Garden then trekked to Paddington Station to show them a proper European train station.  Since it was a gorgeously sunny day, Youngest Kiddo and I played in the grass while the rest of the family toured Kensington Palace.  We hurried home for dinner because my sister and I had tickets to see Shakespeare in Love at the theatre.

Day 9 (Tuesday) - On their last full day in London we visited St. Paul's Cathedral and climbed the 200+ steps to the Whispering Gallery.  We also made a quick stop at The Museum of London to see the exhibitions about the city.  This museum is certainly a cool spot; I especially like seeing the Olympic cauldron and the elevator from Selfridge's Department Store.  Our day ended with a stop at the shops for British candy to go back to America.  

Day 10 (Wednesday) - This was leaving day for everyone.  My sister & nephew had their flight back to 'Merica, and our little family had a flight to Berlin!

We crammed a lot into their visit, but I know they will always remember it!


  1. Wow!!!! You packed so much in in a short amount of time!!!!!! Way to go, Julie!