In June 2008, when I was 17, my family traveled across the pond to the mother land a.k.a. England.
My mum was born and raised in England but while traveling in Canada she met my dad and after they got married they settled in Toronto. Our time in England was part of a larger trip that also included France but those are stories for another day.
Primarily we used our 12 days in England to visit family. We stayed with my nana & granddad in South England in a tiny town near Kent. Their little bungalow was bursting at the seams with my larger 6 person family but we made it work. A lot of relatives came down to see us while we were there. Aunts, Uncles, but most importantly cousins! I don’t have any cousins in Canada. Well I mean I have some distant second cousins but we aren’t close. I may have 3 younger siblings to play with but I always wanted cousins. It was possibly the best part of that trip for me, getting to know my family members. I am the oldest of the sibling/cousin clan so we played a lot of kids games but it was such a blast.
My grandparents live right along the coast (the eastern one I think). So we also spend some time at the beach. It wasn’t a great day for tanning but the waves were wild so we had a lot of fun attempting to stop the water from reaching our strong hold.
Maybe that is just the way it is with families or maybe it is because we were all so young and carefree, but we all got along swimmingly. Would it be the same if we went over today? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I hope so. We don’t really keep in touch all that much but I follow their lives on facebook and what not. I plan on going back again in the not-to-distant future so I’ll report back when that happens.
Here is a picture of my siblings and one set of cousins. Can you tell who belongs to which family? I’ll give you a hint… I don’t look like any of them.
From Left to Right: Tasha (sister). on her back is Molly (cousin), Me, one my back is Fred (cousin), beside me is Henry (cousin), beside him is Amy (sister), on her back is Carter (brother).
The second half of this trip consisted of… you guessed it… being a tourist!!! We did all the London touristy things that you can think of. We took the train into the city from my mum’s friends place in Redding. We went to the Tower of London. I loved it there! I find British history so fascinating. We saw the crown jewels, we saw the armory, we saw the draw bridge, we were told some haunting stories about the princes who went missing in the tower and about Ann Boleyn being beheaded. Like I said, fascinating.
We also walked across to the Tower Bridge, we took a ride on a red double decker bus. We went to see Big Ben (the parliament buildings), we also took a spin on the Eye of London. It is basically a huge Ferris wheel. It was one of those trips where everything we did was uber touristy. Next time I visit London I’d like to go to some lesser known spots. I’m of age now so grabbing a pint in an English pub is on my bucket list. I’d also love love love love looooovvvvveeeee to visit the Harry Potter studio tour. Here are a few more pictures from London.