Location: London, UK
Hi Everybody! Yes I know that it's been a while, but life goes on and we have been even busier here than at home if that is possible. But I had to post today, because it is our last night in London!! Boy has time flown. Since last posting about seven weeks ago we have been on quite a few day trips and tried to see as much as we can around London. We headed into the countryside to visit the 100 aker wood, vist Pooh and throw sticks off the pooh bridge. We went on a day outing with Jeremy and Alannah to the beautiful town of Canterbury where we visited the cathedral and then went to Leeds Castle. We headed out of London to the Cotswolds with Alannah where Adam got enjoy yet another maze and we wandered around beautiful little English villages. We have been to see a number of theatre shows - Avenue Q and Wicked to name our favourites and we even lined up in a 1/2 mile long line in the freezing cold to be one of the first 200,000 to buy the first Harry Potter book. To say we have had a ball would be an understatement! We have loved our time in London and are a little sad to be saying goodbye, but we have a feeling we will be back some day. Well we are ready to start the next adventure. Adam has scored himself a fab job as a co-teacher at one of the top international schools in Hong Kong. I have a year one class and will also be Year One co-ordinator for 4 months of the year as the principal wants to give us all a go so we can see is that is an avenue we would like to pursue. It is all exciting and a little scary too. We send you all our love and hope everyone is well. The school puts us up in a hotel whilst we find a house to live, so I will post again as soon as I know our new address. Big hugs to everyone!!
Location: Oxford, UK
It is half term and Adam and I haven't got a lot of money so instead of heading off to somewhere in Europe for the week we decided to stay in London and visit some places closer to home. So we went to Oxford for the day, another city we didn't get to last time, but had always wanted to visit. So we hoped on the bus to Oxford and slept (or rather I did) for the hour journey there. Unfortunately the weather was awful but it didn't dampen our spirits as we popped on our waterproof jackets and took in the beautiful sites of Oxford. Unlike London which is becoming quite modernised, Oxford is what you imagine England to be like. Quaint cobbled streets, beautiful churches and stunning buildings. We did a walking tour with a very knowledgable man who took us around and showed us into some of the University buildings, Harry Potter film sites and told us some of the history of this stunning city. There is actually only one university in the city - Oxford University, but the university is made up of 39 different colleges - each with their own campus and chapel where the students live, study and eat. As you probably know many famous people have been educated at Oxford - CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, many world leaders including Tony Blair, KIm Beasley and Bob Hawke who still holds the record for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. He still holds this record today. We had a lovely, but rather wet day and the rain jackets came in very handy! Adam was in his element when he found a cafe that sold over 200 flavours of milkshakes. He had a turkish delight one and I had an After Eight (those yummy dinner mint chocies). Delicious!!
Location: Chelsea Flower Show, UK
Just a quick entry as I don't really have a lot to write about the Chelsea Flower Show, but you will see the photos and it is famous worldwide, so I guess it deserves a diary entry. Our friends were going, Mum told me it that Better Homes and Gardens was doing there show from there, so we forked out the money for the very expensive tickets and after work headed to Slone Square in London for the Chelsea Flower Show. It was absolutely packed with people and well gardens and little shops selling all things garden. We had a loovely time and even saw the Australian designed garden and it was great to talk to the Aussie who stood out the front even though he thought Melbourne was a rubbish city to live in??
13 Aussies & Kiwis and 1 English want a be Aussie, took a Minnie bus to the greatest place in England, Alton Towers - rides set in the grounds of an old Estate with a Castle and huge gardens.
Loz's favorite ride was a rollercoaster called Air, were you face the ground like your flying. Mine would have to be the oblivion, were you free fall face forward straight down through the ground.
We were able to buy a ticket that let us jump the queue on 4 of the most popular rides. You take a lot of satisfaction in walking past the people waiting at the 1 hour mark as you take your position at the front.
Location: Great Missenden, UK
We had such a great day today, although it poured and poured the whole day. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a big big fan of the late Roald Dahl and his wonderful stories. After doing a nd internet search the other day I found that in the town where he lived they have set up a museum in his honour which houses many of his personal possessions including photos, writings etc. So being such a big fan we decided to head out of London for the day and go to the town of Great Missenden. It was only a 40 minute train ride away and after all this time Adam and I are only just beginning to realise how much there is to do in this country and nothing is that far away.
I had a lovely time at the museum looking at the many things that the family of Roald Dahl have donated to help preserve the memory of him. He really did lead a fasinating life as a pilot in his younger days to settling down in his home town of Great Missenden to write. He built a little shed in his backyard where he did all his writing. He had his favourite chair, a thermos of tea and the pencils and yellow paged notebooks that he used to write his stories in. They even have a little shed set up in the museum just like Roald Dahl's would have looked. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to visit his grave as it was pouring with rain and we were going to miss the train, but it really was a super and interesting day out. He may now be gone but he certainly lives on through his stories.
Location: London, UK
A bit of a randon day today. We started off by visiting Madame Tussauds, one of the most visitied London attractions. It is very expensive, but we had a buy one get one free ticket so that was probably the only reason why we were going. We actually went last time we were here, but they do have different faces to see and some parts have changed. We enjoyed having our photos taken with many famous faces although for some reason they just wouldn't talk back!! Adam enjoyed the one ride but wanted it to go for longer - doesn't he always!! We left Madame Tussaud's and headed across to the Sherlock Holme's museum. Unfortunatley it was pouring with rain so we didn't get any photos. After that he went to the British Museum for a couple of hours, which you think would be plenty of time but we didn't even see one floor. This place is huge and we got to see my favourites - the Egyptian exhibit and we also hunted out the pieces that are kept here from the Acropolis in Greece. This is a bit of a touchy point between the British and the Greeks. The Greeks think that the British shouldn't have the relics they should and the Brits think they can look after them better! It was great to see them having just visited Greece. We also go to the Rosetta Stone which is on show at the moment - I love to see things that I learnt about at school!! Well it was quite a busy day but we are really trying to see as much as we can before heading to Hong Kong.
Location: The Lakes District, UK
I couldn't wait to get going this morning as we were heading to the town where the Beatrix Potter museum is. So after about another hours drive we arrived in the town of Hawkshead which is very closw to where Beatrix Potter's house was and were her museum is now situated. You can actually go and visit her house, but unfortunately because we were only in the town for an hour and it took 50 minutes to walk there we had to settle with the museum instead. The museum is actually situated in the office in which her husband had his lawyer's firm. The museum holds original drawings and writings from many of Beatrix's famous books and photos of her pets and the animals that used to live at Hilltop (her home) and she based many of her books. We then headed back to the town of Windermere where we had just had time for a bite of lunch and a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Basically this is a lovely place for kids to go and see the stories of Beatrix Potter come to life, but it was equally enjoyable for big kids. We then got back in the coach ready to sleep for the 4-5 hour journey back to London. We had a lovely weekend and it was really nice to get out of London and to see so may things.
Location: The Lakes District, UK
We got up fairly early today as we had an hour journey to our first stop for the day, the town of Keswick. Here we visited the site of the Derwent Pencil factory which certainly bought back memories of the precious pencils I recieved for Christmas one year. Legend has it that in the early 1500s, a violent storm in the Borrowdale area of Cumberland led to trees being uprooted and the discovery of a strange black material underneath. This material turned out to be graphite, and shepherds began using it to mark their sheep.A cottage industry of pencil making soon developed, culminating in the formation of the UKs first pencil factory in 1832. We toured the factory finding out how pencils are made and even got some pencils made with our names on them. It was fasinating. Next we headed to the Cars of the Stars exhibition. It was great! We saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Bat Mobile (new and old), Mr Bean's Mini, The Dukes of Hazard car, one of the cars from 007, Kit from Nightrider and my favourite - Herbie the Love Bug. Unfortunately we couldn't take photos due to copyright reasons. After lunch we headed to the town of Gramere, where we visited the home of William Wordsworth and also found the Grasmere gingerbread shop which is world famous. The gingerbread was first made in 1854 using a secret recipe and it is acknowledged by food critics as 'the best gingerbread in the world'. After that we headed to the nearby town of Ambleside famous for it's house on the bridge (look in our photos). Then after a long and busy day we headed back to the hotel for a much needed feed and rest.
Location: The Lakes District, UK
Another part of England that we really wanted to visit the last time we were here but didn't get too was The Lakes District, which is meant to be one of the most picturesque parts. So Adam and I headed about 4 hours out on London with a bus load of others to visit this area famous for it's lakes and famous writers. William Wordworth was born and lived in one of the areas small villages and Beatrix Potter loved this area so much that she bought a house and wrote many of her famous stories here.
We started our trip by visiting the biggest lake Windermere. We took a cruise on the lake and had a look around the beautiful little town before heading to were we were going to stay for the night.
Location: Hampton Court Palace, UK
Adam and I headed out of London to visit the beautiful Hampton Court Palace, once home to Henry the Eighth and famous for it's beautiful gardens. We had always wanted to go especially Adam because of the famous maze. We didn't realise it was quite so close to London - it only took us abotu an hour to get there. We had a lovely day. As you can see in the photos the sun is shining and it is quite a warm day. We enjoyed looking around the many rooms of the castle decorated in the style of years gone by. The gardens we just beautiful and we cracked the maze in uder 15 minutes. Adam was a little disappointed with the maze - apparently it used to be alot bigger. We went out for dinner in the nearby town of Richmond which is on the outskirts of London. It is set right on the river Thames and we had a lovely wander along the river. Everyone had come out to sit in the sun on the bank of the river to drink and have picnics. It really was a lovely sight to see.
Location: London, UK
WHAT IS YOUR NAME? WHAT IS QUEST? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOUR?
Adam Crowe, to be part of the worlds largest coconut orchestra , red no blue aahhhhhhhh.
The challenge was set, the Yanks had put on their own coconut orchestra with the current World record of 1,800 people playing their two half coconuts, while conducted simultaneously in one place.
The poms were used to being beaten at their own game, but this is Monty Python!
So with the two Terrys who directed, wrote & starred in The Holy Grail, the cast and Musical Director of Spamalot (the Monty Python musical in the west end) and the Mayor of London, we gathered in Trafalgar Square. They had 5,000 coconuts halves to give out ( the migrant swallows had been busy) and I am happy to say they ran out.
So 5,000 of us armed with our coconuts were conducted to the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. To make the record book the conductor had to stop and start us and keep us together yes there are rules to this sort of thing. Had to be one of the funniest thing Ive ever done!
Theres one thing more I love than beating the Poms its beating the Yanks!
Afterwards they played the Holy Grail on a large screen, so 5,000 of us sat around Trafalgar Square and watched it.
P.S dont think Ill be writing again, thats whats Loz is for!
Location: London, England
Today I possibly had one of the funniest moments of my life. Whilst heading home on the train the other night from the airport I happened to be reading in the paper about how an attempt was to be made of the weekend to break the Guinness World record for the number of people bouncing on Space Hoppers together at one time. The invitation was open to all and we decided that this was something we had to be apart of. So early this morning, Jeremy, Alannah, Adam and I headed down to the Millennium Bridge in London to register and receive our free space hopper. I am proud to say that at 10.30 am London time 600 people (the previous record was 545 people) bounced on the Millennium Bridge in London for a total of one minute. We will now be in the next addition of the Guinness Book of Records will definitely be buying that one for the coffee table. I had not been on a space hopper since I was a child and I had forgotten how much fun it was and looking at the other 599 smiling and laughing faces around me I guess they had forgotten too. Definitely a story to tell the grandkids. A proud day!
Location: Athens, Greece
Day 10 Athens
We enjoyed our last day in Athens by catching up on souvenir shopping. The boys decided that they were over following us around the shops so they took this time to go and look around Olympic Stadium that was built for the 2004 Olympics. They had a great time looking around the stadium and were even given exclusive access by one of the security guards. We all met up, bought the last minute souvenirs and headed out to the airport for the journey back to London.
We all had a fantastic holiday lots of fun, delicious food, good friendships and exploring another part of this amazing world. Its back to reality now. Unfortunately my time at the Nursery has come to an end so who knows where I will be working this week. Lets hope they go easy on me!!
Location: Naxos, Greece
Days 8 & 9 Naxos
Even though we only visited 3 islands we couldnt believe how different and lovely they all were. Naxos is very much a fishing sort of island. The town was not set on a cliff face as the other islands. We arrived mid afternoon, walked into town and had a late lunch. We were all a little exhausted so we went back to the place were we were staying and had an afternoon nap. We headed out fairly late that night to have dinner.
We got up early the next morning to for fill Jeremys dream to hire a scooter for the day. Initially Alannah and I were going to ride of the back of Jeremys and Adams bikes and Jess was going to get a bike of her own, but on the way to pick up the scooters Jess laid her eyes on a green little convertible so it was decided that the girls would explore the island in that. We had a simply wonderful day touring around the beautiful island of Naxos on scooters and in a convertible. We had a few hairy moments in the convertible a mixture of Jesss first time driving a left hand drive car, driving on the opposite side of the road, very small streets were cars just park anywhere and the Greeks being scary drivers. But Jess did a wonderful job and we returned the car (much to the hire car mans delight) unharmed. We were all exhausted after busy day - had another delicious dinner, grabbed Snickers gelato (now Adams and Jeremys favourite!!!) and had an early night.
We got up fairly early the next morning in order to catch the ferry back to Athens. We were lucky to be leaving that day as the weather had suddenly turned cold and windy. Lets just say our journey back to Athens was very rocky and took 4 and a half hours instead of three. We all felt pretty sick and tried to sleep most of the way. We were very pleased to be back on solid ground in Athens!!
Location: Ios, Greece
Day 7 Ios
Ios was just gorgeous and I think we were all disappointed that we werent spending more time there. We arrived about 1 in the afternoon after enjoying a one hour ferry. We walked the 20 minute journey to the beach and took a wrong turn so it ended up taking about an hour. The weather was lovely, but the water was still freezing so the boys swum and the girls sunbathed.
We headed back to the town on the bus and enjoyed a lovely dinner at a little Italian restaurant we needed a break from Greek salad.
The next day we got up fairly early so that we could get some shopping in before we had to catch our next ferry to the island of Naxos where we were spending 2 nights.