Across the Pond

We're back from a week in London where we did a whole lot of nothing.  That's the beauty of going back to a favorite destination - the pressure of hitting all the sites is off but you revisit some favorites.

It's the sign of a good vacation when you completely forget you have a job and believe for a minute that you are a lady of leisure.  Oh how I miss that minute!  But it's back to work and I'll have to pour through my photos and mental notes to do a proper trip recap.  In the meantime, I leave you with this bit of bliss.




Since this trip was very much about entertaining a 3 year old while enjoying the city ourselves, I'm going to focus on my favorite (and not so favorite) London tourist kid friendly sites. Anything you want to know? Just ask and I'll be sure to include it.

18 comments:

  1. One question, not related to London: how was Hamilton???? I want to go so badly! How on earth did you get tickets?! My dad and step-mom went because my step-mom works at Hamilton College and got to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda (!).

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    1. It was great. I didn't think it could live up the hype but it totally did.

      Our friends got tickets months ago. Not that long ago you could still buy tickets online if you were willing to wait a few months for the date. Now its impossible.

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  2. I'm heading there on Saturday with my husband for the first time- any dinner/lunch suggestions? We've got our touristy spots picked but can always use some food recommendations! TIA!

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    1. Hi Jane. We are big market people. Borough Market being a favorite but its definitely crowded and frequented by tourists so be prepared for that. A new one we visited this time around is Maltby Market which is smaller and much more local but still pretty crowded. There is a pretty cool antique store right in the middle of the place as well.

      As for sit down, good English food, our favorite is the Princess of Shoreditch. Think old english pub + hipsters.

      Hope that helps! Have a great time.

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  3. Flying travel tips with a three year old or one year old would be hugely appreciated! We are taking ours on their first plane ride next week. I'm very nervous lol

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    1. Well I'm not ane expert with traveling with 2 children as I'm sure that is more difficult but here are my tips.

      1. Don't bring too much stuff! Dragging a heavy carry on with you crammed full of stuff is never worth it. You only need a few essentials so make it easy on your back. IN my experience, any toy brought on the plane ends up being more hassle (b/c you are constantly picking it up off the floor) than its worth. I usually bring snacks, an ipad, one very small book and one very small (preferably something new to maximize novelty factor) toy.

      2. In my experience (and I know this will vary), I find a 3 year old far easier to travel with than a one year old for one major reason: TV. I can give my daughter an ipad and she will be reasonably entertained for a while. On the other hand when she was 1, we had to do endless puppet shows and peekaboo to keep her entertained. So I say all that to say that if you are traveling with your husband, take the 3 year old and let him have the 1 year old :)

      3. Snacks are a must. Airplane food is never child friendly (why they have a vegan, gluten free and kosher option but no child option is crazy to me) and now is not the time to enforce any long term diet changes. Bring a giant bag of cheerios or whatever is your childs favorite snack to munch on whenever they get antsy.

      4. The window is the ultimate entertainer. Get the 3 year old the window seat. It along with the inflight magazine, safety brochure and seat belt will buy you at least a few minutes of entertainment.

      5. If its an overnight flight, bring whatever lovie or blanket they find comforting (provided its small) to make bedtime easier.

      6. Consider the length of flight. It always amazes me that the most overprepared parents (meaning the ones dragging 100lb carry ons and looking the most frazzled by even the idea of flying) are the ones going on a 45 minute flight. Anything less than a few hours is really nothing - you don't even need tips for that. Just think of what you would do if you were trapped in your living room for a few hours and prep for that. Now if you are going on a transpacific flight, that is where you need real prep.

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    2. I've been traveling with kids for 14 years, starting with 1 and now we have 4,ages 3-14. So I've done it all, every combo of ages and stages of kids, alone and with my husband. He works for American Airlines so we travel a ton.

      I second everything said here. The less you bring, the better. Don't bring coloring or anything with small parts that can fall and roll around and get stuck places.

      Bring an empty soppy cup and have the flight attendant make them a "fancy drink" right into the zippy.

      Car seat! If they use it in a car, bring it for sure. (Not boosters - they aren't rated for aircraft use). It's a hassle to drag through the airport and Install on the plane but it's worth every hassle on the plane when your child is in a familiar seat. My kids are only seat monkeys when we decide to skip it. Ask the flight attendant for a belt extender - it will make your car seat install a TON easier. You can get clip on wheel things to push your seat like a stroller. But I just wedge my britax seat into my Maclaren stroller. I usually need a stroller anyway at the destination. Keep in mind that your kid won't be able to use the tray table with a car seat. It won't come down all the way. Also, car seats can only go in the window. Let your gate agent know you have a car seat to arrange your seats accordingly.

      Don't do the "presents throughout the trip" thing. There is enough new and exciting things on a plane. The crash instruction cards are very entertaining for littles. ;-)

      If you have a layover, get food. Most Airports have fun food and many have play areas for kiddos.

      I always have my kids travel in one step above pajamas. (Leggings and a hoodie, soft dress, leggings, cardi, sweats and a hoodie, etc). I just want them to be comfortable with options for taking a jacket on or off and not have Anthony binding their little tummies like jeans.

      iPad and kid size headphones, not ear buds. That's honestly the best magic on a flight. This is the time to keep the peace and make it throuh, not manage screen time allowances. We have headphone splitters so two kids can watch one device. Also, depending on airline and equipment, in seat entertainment has come a long way and there is some great free content for all ages. (Not all planes have this).

      I hate to pre board. It's just 45 min. Longer spent on a plane. Even before Steve worked for American Airlines, I hated to pre board. (We are standby so board last now anyway). If you have minimal stuff you are carrying, have your carseat Install planned out, you can get on fast.

      Also in general I don't overpack. I pack for 6 of us in 4 carry ons for a week trip. It's just so much easier to not have too much stuff. Plus we only carry on our luggage because with employee standby, we could have something go wrong and need to change plans quickly. I want my bags with me.

      I hope this helps! My toddler usually sleep most of a flight comfy in their car seats. From 30 min to 6 hours. I just took my 4 kids to Hawaii by myself with ZERO issues on the plane.

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  4. Love that photo. I can't wait to take my kids to London - it's been years since I was there myself. Looking forward to your recap. We are planning to visit all the places Mr Chicken went to when he landed on London !!!

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    1. Thanks! Its a very child friendly city surprisingly enough.

      Who is Mr. Chicken?

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  5. I love London! My sister lives there and is engaged to a Brit:) Just got back from a trip to visit her that I took by myself, it was heaven! But taking our 3 year old and 5 year old in October, can't wait to show them around. Did you take Aggie on the Eye? Was she scared at all? I guess we will bring a stroller and check it on the plane..but we will be needing to ride in a car once or twice while we are over there...how do you handle car seats? Bring them, get one over there? Anything else you can recommend for traveling with 2 pre-schoolers in general would be helpful:) Thanks! I'm so jealous that you guys get to travel this much!!

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    1. We did not take her on the eye. I don't think she would have been scared but we did it once before ages ago and I just didn't think it was worth the insane line and expense. If you haven't been on it, its worth going one time for the view if the weather is nice. It goes VEREEERY slowly so I can't imagine a child being frightened unless they have an unusual fear of heights.

      Yes, you will definitely need a stroller. There is a lot of walking! A small umbrella type will suit you best. Don't bring anything you can't fold up.

      We do not rent cars while in Europe (we do public transport everywhere and its very easy in London) but on the rare occasions we need to take a taxi, we just strap her in the seatbelt. Taxis never go very fast and have different rules. I would definitely NOT drag a car seat around with me when I traveled. If you want a bit more safey, you can buy one of these travel car seat harnesses: http://www.amazon.com/Ride-Safer-Travel-Vest-Booster/dp/B00KBWZMD2/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 But ultimately, public transport is usually the best, cheapest, fastest option anyway while in any big city.

      Have a great trip!

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  6. What a cool picture. So, since you've traveled a lot what is your favorite place?

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    1. I don't have one favorite really...it depends the kind of trip I'm looking for. But If I had to pick a favorite, our Kenyan safari was pretty amazing.

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  7. Looking forward to this post. Any tips or tricks to help your daughter with Jet lag and the time difference when traveling?

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    1. Actually the time difference between NY and London doesn't really create any jet lag issues once we get past that first day weariness. We simply move bedtime later and sleep in. My daughter can always grab a mid day nap in her stroller if she is tired so it's really a non issue in Europe. Asia on the other hand is quite a doozy but ultimately I always find it worse on us than it is for her because she can nap whenever the mood strikes her.

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  8. Brooklyn Limestone has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-sunday-drive_10.html

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