Ma Mère & Ma Sœur: A Weekend in London

For our first weekend with my mom and sister visiting we headed down to London. We started off with some classic sites: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square.Big Ben Collage As we walked from Big Ben/Westminster to Buckingham we stopped in St. James’s Park for an ice cream cone and a rest. A pro and a con of traveling with a pregnant woman and a toddler is lots of resting time and plenty of bathroom breaks. While perhaps not always time efficient, it is a nice way to travel. Another pro is more bonding time with Grandma:IMG_2784IMG_2802We weren’t at Buckingham Palace for the official Changing of the Guard that happens at 11:30am, but we did see some guards switching places. It was official enough for us.IMG_2814I keep expecting this blue chicken in Trafalgar Square to disappear. I mean, we’re only in London every few months, but it’s been there since we moved here! I love silly pop up art. IMG_2817Typically on a normal day at home daughter takes a two hour nap in the middle of the day. When we’re out and on a trip she usually has no trouble taking an hour long nap in her stroller (ideally) or in a baby carrier (if needed). These can be tricky to time (we have to make sure we’ll be walking around and won’t need to get her out of the stroller during the hour + of the nap, they’re usually after lunch in order to stick to her routine, and ideally before 4:00 when I want her up for bedtime) and she sometimes has a hard time falling asleep if there’s enough going on around her. On our first day in London the stroller nap never happened, but she fell asleep in my arms around 5pm. What?!? She hasn’t slept in my arms in ages. In a baby carrier, yes, but in my arms? NO. Oh well. She slept. My arms healed.
IMG_2819After dinner at Covent Garden my sister and I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while Derek and my Mom popped into the National Gallery then went back to our place in time to put Daughter to bed.
The next day we toured all of St. Paul’s Cathedral including a climb to the top. We bought our tickets in advance (a good idea if you’re there in peak season) and while our entrance came with an audio guide we ended up listening to the Rick Steves free podcast tour of the cathedral. We saw the inside of the cathedral first, then left to get some lunch which we ate on the front steps of St. Paul’s (I don’t think we fed very many birds, but we did hum this song way too many times). IMG_2826IMG_2867IMG_2865We then re-entered to climb the dome. St Pauls CollageWhat a view! I think a great activity for any big city is to get up and see the city from a new persecutive. Especially if the city has recognizable landmarks.St Pauls Skyline CollagePhotobombed! Thanks, mom.IMG_2855Once we left St. Paul’s we got attacked by some dementors on Millennium Bridge, because, you know, classy classic tourist pictures like this are used to be my specialty. IMG_2889We walked past the Globe Theatre, ate some snacks at the Borough Market (always excellent) then checked out the Tate Modern.
IMG_2894 IMG_2910That evening Derek and my mom saw a show while my sister and I had baby duty.
If you don’t have much time in London, or really, even if you do, I really like this series of sightseeing spots we did this day: St. Paul’s, (or, if you want you could listen to the Rick Steves “City of London” tour that walks past St. Paul’s and ends on the London Bridge) Millinnium or London Bridge, Borough Market, Tate Modern. It makes sense, doesn’t make you go too far out of your way, and could easily take you a whole day. Plus the Tate Modern is free and Borough Market provides a huge array of food choice so it should please the foodie and the art enthusiast in you. Additionally, I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ll say it again – I’ve found Modern Art Museums in general to be better museums for toddlers than most.
On Sunday we went to Hyde Park for church then wandered through the V&A Museum before heading back to Birmingham on a train.
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2 thoughts on “Ma Mère & Ma Sœur: A Weekend in London

  1. Pingback: Mi Madre & Mi Hermana: Around Birmingham | Our Second City

  2. Pingback: My Mom & My Sister: Southwest (ish) England | Our Second City

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