BEGIN England | Corina's Corner



We recently returned home from a fast, fun-filled week in Europe with our girls and my mom. You might be thinking, didn't they just go to Europe? And the answer is yes. This was our third trip to Europe in 16 months. Ca-razy! We bought these plane tickets back in April when we were still planning on moving to England for grad school. The tickets that we bought were non-refundable/non-transferable (and the girls and my mom's tickets were already round trip because we bought them during a sale when the round trip was actually cheaper than the one way!) so we decided that we'd still go instead of losing out on the money we spent on the tickets. I felt a little bit like a psycho the days leading up to the trip because I never planned on bringing my 4 year old and 2 year old on a European vacation (and sheesh! I didn't even make it to Europe until I was 27!) but now that we're home I'm glad that we brought them. It wasn't the same type of trip that we've done with just Jordan and I, but it was still a great trip.

Our trip had a pretty fantastic start. Our flight was around 5pm. We got to the airport and through security with no problems and headed to our gate. Our flight was from Salt Lake to St. Paul where we had a bit of a layover and then on to Heathrow. While walking to our gate we passed a gate that was marked as the non-stop flight to Heathrow and we joked about how sweet it would be if we could get bumped to that flight. We love getting bumped because they compensate you with airline vouchers and generally make it worth your while. While sitting at our gate waiting for our fight, the gate agent announced that our flight was indeed overbooked and that they were looking for volunteers with flexible travel schedules. You better believe I was the first one up to her desk to talk to her. In my experience they usually like bumping us because we have a large group. She said that they could bump us to the nonstop flight (which only got in an hour after our original flight) and give us each $800 in Delta vouchers and $15 for dinner. Of course we said YES! $3200 for future trips?! Ummm, YES! We actually bought Reagan and Naomi's tickets for this trip with vouchers from our Disneyland trip in January. So instead of flying out at 5, our new flight was at 8 (and then delayed until 9:30 because the plane got struck by lightening on the way to Salt Lake). The wait wasn't too bad with our $75 for dinner at the airport. We had a bit of a smorgasbord, which included 3 smoothies from Jamba Juice, some Chinese food, a burrito from Cafe Rio, and a gyro from the Greek place.

We put the girls jammies on before we got on the plane and they both did so awesome during the flight. Naomi literally slept for all but maybe 30 minutes at the very end when she woke up for some breakfast and Reagan watched one movie and a few shows, ate a few bites of the airplane dinner and then slept until morning.

Upon our arrival in London (after passing elder Holland at the airport! He was boarding the plane we had just got off to head back to Salt Lake on the non-stop) we stopped by our hotel to drop off our bags. We stayed at the Countyhall Marriott which was a really cool location, right off Westminster Bridge with a pretty sweet view of the Palace of Westminster.

We had tickets to tour the state rooms at Buckingham Palace and headed straight there after dropping off our bags. We thoroughly enjoyed actually being inside the palace. They had audio guides/iTouches for everyone with voice recordings about the rooms and the special exhibition about royal gifts. They also had some fun activities for kids which Reagan liked.

^^This lawn is where they have all of these lovely garden parties. It is my life goal to be invited to one someday.

After a walk through the gift shop (and trying on some upside down crowns) on our way out, we couldn't resist some ice cream from the palace ice cream parlor out in the gardens. Great way to kick off a vacation!

After the tour we walked across the street to St. James Park where the girls played on the playground for a few minutes and we wondered about what movie they could have been filming with Victorian era clothes and horse drawn carriages.

We were just about spent after our flight and the tour of the Palace so we headed to our beloved Nando's for a quick dinner, after a stop at Cath Kidston, of course! and then we went straight to bed. On our way to dinner Reagan begged us to skip dinner so she could go to bed, but the rest of us were starving so we trudged along to the restaurant.


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