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A Very British Romjul

 

 

My mom and dad are recent empty-nesters and while they are mostly loving it, this year when Christmas rolled around they decided that with us in Norway and my youngest brother on a mission, it was a little lame to have a tiny Christmas with just the two of them and my brother, Rick. So they decided a better option was to fly to London. Chris and I happened to agree with them, so the day after Christmas we flew in and met up with them to explore London for 5 days!

 

Mom and I went to London when I was 15 on a band trip (and I had just been back again 3 weeks before), but it was Dad, Rick and Chris’ first time in the city. We got the London Pass and spent 5 full days taking in as many of the sights as we could. We walked Hyde Park and stumbled upon the annual Winter Wonderland theme park  (where this pregnant lady got fairground churros, which pretty much made her entire week!). We toured Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, Hampton Court, the Churchill War Rooms and the Tower of London (which we went back to two days in a row because we didn’t get enough of it the first day).  We visited Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and saw all the primary London landmarks. My family indulged us in waiting in line almost a hour and a half to eat at Pizza Hut (oh how you miss food like this when you live in Norway) and we dragged Rick to see the newest Hobbit with us so we could read the Elvish/Orcish subtitles in English rather than Norwegian. It was a pretty magical trip.
Trafalgar Square
Did you know pelicans were this big? I had NO idea. Hide your small children!
Hyde Park
Westminster Abbey 

 

Walking around London 8 months pregnant started off hunky dory, but after about day 2 I started to feel it in my bones. Literally. I have never been so aware of my pelvis in my entire life. Luckily our hotel room had a bathtub, which was glorious beyond all reason. I’ve sure been missing baths something fierce during this pregnancy! Chris was also the best husband in the world and massaged my poor swollen feet and ankles whenever I needed him to. I don’t think I could have walked as much as we did without him! A little tip for anyone planning to go to London while pregnant: Keep a ready stash of change handy AT ALL TIMES. Most of the public restrooms charge you to get in and the precious moments needed to frantically search for the right coin are murder when the baby decides to kick you right on your bladder! Overall though, it went much better than expected and was the perfect little babymoon!


The Tower of London
Animal art installation at the Tower of London made out of chicken wire.

 

The Tower of London was one of the highlights of our trip. On the first day we went we hardly got to see anything due to the extremely long lines to see the crown jewels (which were totally worth the wait! So cool!) and technically you can only visit an attraction once using the London Pass, but we asked nicely and they gave us a pass to come back the next day. We were so glad they did! There was a lot more to see than we expected! Chris and I took lots of notes on what we liked and didn’t like for when we build our own castle someday.

 

Best picture of Rick ever.
Because Christmas. 
The view of the Thames from the sky walkway on the Tower Bridge.
There were some good views and interesting history, but we decided later that if we were to go back and drop anything from the trip the Tower Bridge Exhibition would be what we wouldn’t miss. The lines were too long and the payoff wasn’t really worth the crowds (unlike Pizza Hut ;) )
Props to Dad for timing this picture perfectly to get Big Ben and the red buses! 
Buckingham Palace

In Norway, the period between Christmas and New Years is called romjul (rom-yool) and this was definitely the best romjul ever!