Justin's 2022 sabbatical trip
  • Day33

    Travel... and travel.... and Milan

    July 26 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    This update encompasses 2 days for us. Yesterday was mostly travel with an overnight stop in Paris. We had to first get our cars back to Rouen from Caen. Last time we were taking the backroads, but this time it was all highways and toll booths. The speed limit on these French highways is 130 so we were just buzzing down the road. I am not sure what I prefer. Scenic drive but narrow winding roads and slower speeds... or blinding speeds, multiple lanes but so much traffic. Anyway, it was nice to experience both. And we managed to get our cars back with no accidents so that is a win.

    We hadn't purchased our train tickets back to Paris yet as we were still trying to decide... do we go straight to Paris, or do we go to Giverny first. It was a tough decision but the stress of high speed highway driving and with the prospect of a long travel day the next day, we decided just to get to Paris. So we booked our tickets and we were off.

    All in all it was a pretty uneventful day. I don't think I even took any pictures. We got to Paris, bought some metro tickets for the trip to our hotel as well as our trip the next day to the train station, and then headed over to our hotel. The room was great and spacious which was nice. We wish we could have stayed there longer. We found a place around the corner to eat and enjoyed a very nice, long lasting, unhurried meal on their outside patio. After that is was off to bed because we had to get up around 6 am in order to make sure we got to our 7:26 train to Milan.

    The next day everything was going well. We arrived at the station really early, got some breakfast and some lunch for the ride, got on the train... and... sat there. A breakdown on the line had us delayed for well over an hour and a half. It wasn't bad though. We watched downloaded content on our phones and just waited it out. The train ride after that was beautiful but they put this wrap over the whole train to advertise stuff but it ruins some of the view. Oh well.

    We arrived in Milan and it was hot. 35 degrees I believe. We checked in to our Hotel. Here, we had to settle for 2 rooms which ended up fine. We could do with a little time away from each other 😉.

    Once settled we walked down from here to the Milan Duomo. It was about a 40 minute walk but hey.... it's Milan. After taking in the sights for a bit we were off to find food. In the end we walked all the way back to our hotel and found a place to eat across the street. Everyone enjoyed their Italian food and then we were off to our rooms to relax and have a great sleep.

    Tomorrow we are off to La Spezia as our launching point to the Cinque Terre. Another travel day so we are looking forward to being able to settle a bit there. And the sights should be amazing. So off to bed. Chow Bella.
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    Traveler

    Amazing once again!! food looks scrumptious!!

    7/27/22Reply
     
  • Day31

    Our Day In Normandy

    July 24 in France ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The reason to come to Caen was really to get to Normandy. After all, the whole trip can't just be about where to find the best Macarons at a reasonable price.

    Again, Jenny wanted to follow me in my car, and once again, my GPS acted like a drunk local who just wanted to see how many crazy things this idiot tourist would do just because they said so. There were paths my GPS led us down that Google maps had never heard of. But... man was the drive scenic.

    We started off the day at the Canadian Cemetary. It was very pretty but a lot smaller than what I was expecting. I guess we have 2 cemeteries.... who knew?!?! We took our time, read a pile of names, looked for graves from the south saskatchewan regiment (Jen's grandpa served in that regiment) , and the Regina rifles, and then we left on our way to the Juno beach centre. Once there, we made our way through the museum part and then took part in a tour of a couple of bunkers. It was all very interesting. Apparently the Germans had a cataloge you could order bunkers from. They got really good at it and had like 900 different types of bunkers.

    After that we went to find Canada house which is famous for having been the first house liberated.... and having survived. You can see it in some of the earliest photos after D Day.

    Then it was the adventure to find food. It was a Sunday so a lot of the stores and restaurants were closed. We decided to head to Omaha beach because we figured it would be more open. And boy..... was it ever. After a relatively quiet experience at Juno, Omaha was insane!!! We drove up and down the beach looking for somewhere, literally anywhere to park. And we just couldn't. We lost each other at one point and spent 20 minutes trying to find each other, so we decided it wasn't worth it and we decided to leave. It didn't help that we were hot
    , tired, and running on empty stomachs. So we drove 25 minutes to Bayeux, finally found some food, and then regrouped. After settling down a bit, we decided to give it one last try. While Omaha beach would be cool, what I really wanted to see was Pointe Du Hoc. It was enough out of the way that we thought it wouldn't be as busy as there are no beaches because it is on a cliff. We wanted to see the bunkers and the really big craters left by the shelling of the bunkers during d-day.

    Again, my GPS led us on an adventure driving down farmers lanes and restricted areas with gates. I finally pulled over, had a little talk with it, and said "Forget you" and I let Google take us the last kilometer or so.

    And we are really glad we did. Pointe du Hoc was not busy and was really cool. It is surreal seeing craters bigger than my house littering a field right beside a large bunker. After taking it all in and reading every placard we could find we were back in the vehicles heading home. This time, my GPS took us down the highway and we were home in no time with no miscellaneous death defying adventures. I guess the GPS just needed a talking to.

    Then it was time to pack up again, clean things up in the apartment, and prep for our journey back to Paris tomorrow.

    All in all, we didn't get close to seeing all we wanted to but I am greatful for what we did see. We could have spent a week here trying to get to everything and really immerse ourselves in the history of this place and what it went through in ww2. I will definitely come back... but for sure in more of the off season 😉. And there is no way you could do it without a car or a tour company so I am glad we had the cars.

    Ok. Off to bed. Good night and we will talk to you more tomorrow.
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  • Day30

    On To Caen

    July 23 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Well, our Paris adventure is almost over (we do have one more night when come back to Paris to catch our train to Milan) so today we are off to Caen.

    In everything we read and watched, it talked about how hard it is to do Normandy without a car. You can do a tour but that is expensive. And there isn't really any public transport from Caen to the beaches, so that leaves renting a car. And this proves to be immensely hard when you have 6 people. I had managed to book 2 different 7 passenger cars out of Rouen knowing sometimes they let you book but cancel you. This happened to one of our vehicles a couple of weeks ago. But we still had one vehicle left and they were still sending us confirmations so we felt like that would work out.

    So we rode the train from Paris to Rouen and figured out the metro that would take us from the train station to the car rental place. We arrived ahead of time, walked up to the counter to get our vehicle and...... they didn't have one.

    They say they were trying to get ahold of us to tell us, and they had one but it was in an accident.... and the dog ate our contact information.... and they called around to all the companies in the area... but.... no 7 passenger car.

    But.... they could give us 2 cars for actually less than what we were going to pay for the other one. But Jenny doesnt have an international drivers license as she had no intention of driving. But luckily, you don't need an international drivers license to drive in France so that was great. But... the cars you rent are all standard transmission. It is nearly impossible to get an automatic and Jenny don't drive no standard. But... as it turns out they did happen to have one more automatic car that was just getting cleaned up. So... 2 cars instead of 1 for cheaper than the 1 car we reserved and Jen could drive because it was an automatic. I would drive the other one that was a standard. But, that also means we would pay double the tolls so the car rental people further reduced our car fee to compensate.

    So we decided to just go for it. It meant we were split between 2 cars but it would be fine. And, as it turns out, both cars came equipped with GPS. So, we signed our life away and took the cars on the road to Caen.

    Now, I am not sure what the settings on my GPS were, but I am sure it was set to.... no tolls, middle of the country, and please seek out the narrowest and curvy roads possible. Because it didn't take long before my GPS had us off the main highway and we were going down every backroad and through every small town on a path that I guess kept us moving in the direction of Caen. Jenny was in the car behind and she had to listen to her GPS losing patience for her not following it's instructions. Jenny swears she could start to hear "tone".

    But, eventually the GPS did in fact get us here. In the end, the drive was great and exactly what we had hoped to be able to do when we thought about this trip many months ago. Get out of the city and into the country. It just took a creative GPS to get us there.

    I am not sure what I thought Caen was like but it is way bigger than I thought. We only got separated and I lost Jenny once but we eventually found our place, parked the cars, got into our place and sat on the couch to catch our breath. Jenny didn't enjoy the narrow back roads as much as I did so it was a relief to get here.

    After a little break we headed out to get some food, look around a bit and then back to our place to relax and plan our day tomorrow. The apartment is really great and we are looking forward to tomorrow.

    So, there isn't a lot to show for pictures. I had the kids in my vehicle take pictures as I drove so I will share some of those. And the step counter is under 10,000 so it felt like a pretty low key day.

    Look for more pictures and more walking tomorrow. Until then....
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    Traveler

    omg steal it!

    7/26/22Reply
     
  • Day29

    Paris, the City of Museums and Parks

    July 22 in France ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Well.... it turns out that walking for 34.7 km the day before will actually slow you down the next day. Who Knew???

    Today we had tickets to go to the Louvre. We booked them later in the morning thinking we could get there early, scout out the area, visit the Gardens and leisurely make our way in.

    As it turned out, we slept in, still managed to get on our train early, got almost there before we realized we had left the coffee pot on, went all the way back, turned it off, then back on the metro with a brisk walk to the Louvre and we ended up 5 minutes late. Whew...

    The Louvre is huge and confusing with 2153 different stair cases. We did the prototypical tourist thing and decided to head straight to the Mona Lisa. Get her out of the way early. We did the stand in line thing to get close, took our snap shots, and we were off to ping pong around that place trying to see as much as we could while hitting our personal highlights, such as the Venus De Milo and the Egyption mummies. Oh... and I was most excited to see, Winged Victory. For some reason, I find that statue of a headless winged angel so beautiful.

    We did a lot of walking.... again... and the kids were dragging so while we were there for like 4 hours, there was still lots we didn't see. I want to go back again sometime just to spend more time admiring all the lesser know pieces of art at a more leisurely pace.

    After that we ate some lunch and did a bit of souvenir shopping and then we got to relax in the Tuileries Garden which is just outside the Louvre. We finally got our outside pictures of the pyramid (the ones we didn't get because of our mad dash to get there in time) and then we decided to head for home.

    One of the things on Jen's bucket list was to sit in the lawn of the park just south of the Eiffel Tower. That is the iconic place where to see people picnicking and laying down kissing with the tower in the background. So we jumped off the subway a couple of blocks away, grabbed a 6 pack of overpriced Macarons, and went to the park. It was everything Jen hoped for. Nothing more French than eating Macarons in the park by the Eiffel Tower.

    We soaked in that moment, and then the rain came to gently nudge us into the direction of home. And so ends our time in Paris. We spent the rest of the night cleaning and packing so we could get up early to make our train to Rouen. All in all, Paris was great but we left a lot of things undone. So... I guess we will just have to come back.

    Oh... and even though we were dragging a bit and sore, we finished the day with 19,185 steps (for those of you who are only here for the daily step counter 😛😉)

    Ok. Off to bed to dream of baguettes... again. What is up with that???
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  • Day28

    Paris, the Day Not In Paris

    July 21 in France ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Ok.... even I think someone should call social services for what happened today.... BUT... in my defense, they were asking for it.....

    I guess I should go back a few hours to where the day began.

    Today was Versailles day. This is the day that made Jenny tear up in anticipation. After a long time trying to figure out the best way to get there and try to figure out if our Travel Cards would work or do we need to get special tickets (spoiler alert, our cards did work so the trip was already covered) we decided to go especially early in case we had to buy tickets. Everything went smooth and we got there well before they opened and over an hour and a half before our scheduled entry time.

    So we stopped at a pastry shop to get some croissants and pain de chocolate and made the walk to the Palace. Once there we decided to check out the gardens. We were almost the only ones in there and let me say, they are spectacular. You could send the kids out into the backyard to play and not see them for 3 weeks. The kids just kept talking about how you could have an epic paintball fight or play hide and seek where the person hiding would most likely die before they are found. It was amazing.... but... we came to see the inside too. So we wandered around for over an hour before we had to race back to make our entry time.

    What can you say about Versailles? Words don't do it justice. We spent many hours walking the halls and listening to commentaries, and staring at the art or the architecture. It is all amazing to think about the history of that place. So I am not going to even try. But, if you come here.... go to the Palace.

    After the inside we were back into the garden. We walked and walked and walked. Sure there were trains or golf carts you could rent to get around... but that isn't the Mooney way gosh darn it. One of the things we really wanted to see was the Queens Hamlet. It was a fake little village they created so the queen could see what regular people lived like. There is so much more to the story than that but the point is, there was a tiny village out there and we were going to find it. And find it we did. Charming buildings and a working farm. Very cool little place. Then we walked some more to take in some of the fountain shows. Not all the fountains are on all the time so you have to time it for when they are scheduled to go.

    Then, after a long day of walking (just wait, we aren't done yet) we walked back to the train, caught a congested train back to Paris and headed back to our flat.

    And that is where the day "should" have ended. But... it didn't.

    At this time we were sitting at just over 32,000 steps. It was already our longest walking day.... but.... the kids got it into their head they wanted to get to 40. So we decided to take the subway to the far end of the Champs elysees and walk up it towards the Arc de Triomphe at sunset. It certainly sounds nice... right??? Well... it was nice (geeze... not everything good to be so dramatic). The street was bustling, the Arc was beautiful in the setting sun but some of us were starting to fade. We got to the Arc, went under the busy round road to get right under it, took some pictures and rested, and then we looked at the watch. Only 37,000 steps. Now we are faced with a dilemma. Do we call it a day and catch the metro home... or... make one last march to the Eiffel Tower.

    This is the point in the story where the authorities should get involved. The kids all wanted to make the walk, get the 40,000 steps and see the tower at night. We decided to go for it. It was about a 2 km walk so we headed in that direction. Now, we are leaving heavily populated areas and walking in the dark down much quieter streets. We never felt unsafe and I think the areas are fine, but when you don't live in the city, you just never know. And... the length of the day is really starting to affect a couple of the kids. But they are committed so we march on. In the end we get to the tower but some of us were too exhausted and mentally drained to really enjoy it, and we still had to walk the remaining 15 minutes home. The kids pretty much got in and went straight to bed. And... we ended up overshooting a bit. Our final step counter clocked in at 43,332. It goes without saying none of us have any desire to see if we can break that one so I am sure it will stand as our longest walking day of our trip.

    Tomorrow is the Louvre though so this may have been a huge mistake.... we shall see.

    Thanks for tuning in.... and... don't really call social services on us. We won't do it again. I promise. 😉
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    Traveler

    wow... just wow! That's a full day!!

    7/23/22Reply
     
  • Day27

    Day 2 in the City of... Sidewalks

    July 20 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Well, the heat wave finally broke, which helps with the sleeping, but Wednesday was supposed to be a day of rain. And it started off a bit rainy so we decided to go visit Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur Basilica. It was by far our longest subway ride but we are getting pretty good at it. Haven't left anyone on the subway in day.....

    Montmartre is a beautiful artists haven. Canvasses line the streets, portraits and landscapes are being painted with loving care and sometimes a bit of whimsy. The cobblestones of the streets take you back to a simpler time when the journey was the adventure, not the destination. And the scent of fresh pastries fill the air with a magical sense of hopefulness and the possible.

    And... there are tonnes of people which make you constantly worried someone is going to pick your pocket and walk away with your favorite Kenny G CD (and YES... I take it everywhere!!)

    But the Basilica is cool, the views of the city are great, and the singers on the sidewalk that get the crowd to join in just makes you smile. We don't tip those guys though. Heck, we are doing half the work. 😉

    Then Jen says, let's go see.... something.... I don't remember. We look at the maps and it's like a 30 minute subway ride. But we don't want to keep whizzing by the city underground. So we decide to take a bus... but there are "disagreements" about which bus to take and where the stop is. So "someone" suggests.... LET'S WALK IT!!

    And that is where our day turns. The idea is great. We knew the general direction... south and to the east... (I guess I could have just said South East but I get paid by the word). So I tell Jenny, put your phone away dear.... I got this.

    So we started walking... and we walked and walked and walked. We saw amazing streets and cool buildings and some arches I never heard of. And Jenny gets a bit... uh... "twitchy" when she doesn't quite know where she is... so that was a bit entertaining too. In the end, I got us to the neighborhood she wanted and it only took us like 2 hours... of straight walking.

    In the end, we got to Place Des Vosges. It is a famous Palace sort of thing that many rich people like Victor Hugo lived at with a courtyard for doing duels.... that kind of thing. We just finally laid on the grass for awhile soaking up the ambiance.

    As you lay down in a historical place, many thoughts come unbidden into your mind. What is the legacy I will leave? Is there anything I am doing that will leave such permanency?...

    Then it started to thundershower so I thought, how do get home without dying....

    And so that pretty much ended the day. We had plans to go out but the constant threat of thundershowers kept us in. So it was a long day but in the end, we truely did find more enjoyment in the journey than in the destination.... SEE WHAT I DID THERE?? THAT IS STORY TELLING!!!

    And now we are prepping for a big day tomorrow at Versailles. Should be a good one. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.
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    Traveler

    thank you! for sharing. Everyone like the snails.

    7/21/22Reply
    Traveler

    And what was your step count after all your wandering? Come on, Justin! I am here for the step count updates!! 😂

    7/22/22Reply
    Traveler

    My apologies for the oversight. It was only 18,248.

    7/22/22Reply
     
  • Day26

    First Day in the City of...Burning Heat

    July 19 in France ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

    So, when we were planning our trip to Paris, we never thought about packing for record setting heat waves. What does one wear for that? Speedos and tube top? Anywho... crippling heat really did hinder our site seeing plans. We didn't have anything booked... and that turned out to be good. The day started off late because everyone slept in after our late night the night before, and then Liam had a long lasting bloody nose that we think just knocked him off kilter the whole day. He wasn't feeling great and was dragging a bit. But we decided to head out anyway by about the time the heat was really hitting its stride.

    We jumped on the metro and headed over to the Spanish Section. There we...... what's that dear ??? Sorry. It is the Latin Quarter. Same thing.... right??? Don't know why she keeps getting angry with me. So... we headed over to the Latin Quarter to walk around a bit. Stopped at a crepe place because Evan really wanted to. The crepes were great and surprisingly filling. Then we wandered over to the river bank and got our first glimpse of Notre Dame. It is sad that we couldn't really get in to see it but they are working hard on it to have it open by the Olympics in 2024. I guess we will just have to come back.

    Then we had to stop for cold drinks/ice cream because of.. well.. near death. And then we wandered some more. We stopped at the Shakespeare and Company book store which is famous for being an English Language bookstore that many famous people have visited.... or something like that. It was famous enough that there was a long line to get in so we didn't even try.

    Then we headed over to the Parthenon... a French version of the one in Rome. It was very grand. By now the kids are dragging. So we headed down the street to the McDonalds, got 6 of their largest drinks, crossed the street and hung out in the Luxemburg Park. The kids were so tired that we couldn't even explore the park. So after sitting for a bit with the Eiffle Tower as our backdrop, we jumped on the Metro and headed home. Jen and I went out one more time to get some groceries but our day was done. Fairly disappointing outcome for our first day in Paris but our kids were just worn out from the heat and the dangerously low blood levels.

    Tomorrow should be a lot cooler and we are talking about hitting it hard tomorrow, so we will just let this one slide. We finished the day with only 10,758 steps. Now it is off to bed and hopefully the cool weather comes to us in the night so we can get a better sleep. Until tomorrow...
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    Traveler

    I do not envy your heat wave but definitely love your trip so far. It’s making my list of European stops longer and longer! Thanks for letting us tag along.

    7/21/22Reply
     
  • Day25

    The Never Ending Journey

    July 18 in France ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    That title is way more dramatic than it was. It is just click bait. But. Read all the way to the bottom for some exclusive bonus content.

    The day started off with a notification that our train from Bath to London was cancelled. We needed to get to London to make our train to Paris so there was just a tiny bit of worry from you know who.

    But, when we looked closer, we found that only every second train to London was cancelled. Our original train was at 10:43 but we could catch a 10:13 train and our tickets would work for any train between today and Wednesday. So that was good to know. We headed off to the train station early just missing a 9:15 train and waited for our 10:13. Because we weren't using our original tickets, we didn't really have seats reserved on this train so there is aways the possibility all the seats would be ful and we would have to stand. But that was just useless worrying as there was lots of room and we had a pleasant trip to London. I had also built into the schedule a lengthy layover to make our Paris train so we had a good cushion to work with.

    The next worry was... are the subways running in London. A lot of the lines were severely delayed due to speed restrictions on the lines and running fewer trains. For us, we caught our direct train to St. Pancras International. The train was a bit slower but it wasnt busy so it turned out not to be a big deal at all.

    So... now we are 3 hours early for our Paris train. The boarding area was packed because many of the trains were delayed. Some by more than an hour. So after a quick lunch we got in the long security line to leave the UK and enter France, all the while wondering how late our train be and what that will mean to us finding our place. But again, there ended up being nothing to worry about. Our train arrived and left on time.... no problems other than some sub par wifi.

    So, now we are in Paris. We figured out on the train what we had to do to get to our new place. There is one change we had to make. It turns out that Paris trains are not like London trains. You have a very finite window to get off the train and if the door starts closing, you can't stop it. So, as we were frantically trying to get off the crowded subway, sadly, we didn't all make it. I had to watch as the train drove away with my wife and Dylan. As I contemplated how we will continue the trip without them, she texted she got off at the next stop and she was going to come back. Whew.... another crisis averted. But.... she had left the station and her ticket wouldn't let he back in. And i had the only extra tickets in my pocket. So she decided to walk back to our station. But there are so many entrances she couldn't find the right one. After some trail and error we found each other once again, used 2 new tickets and continued on our journey.

    We managed to find and access our place without much difficulty. The instructions were written in a way that even I could understand them.... so... let's just say there were pictures involved. We got the place organized for sleeping, got a pile of laundry going and then we decided to get some take away pizza amd head down to the Eiffle tower for a late night picnic. The walk was long but the views were magical. Then it was back to the apartment, do up some showers and settle down for the night.

    It is going to be a hot one tomorrow so we will just play it by ear as to what we do. But it will just be nice to be in this city and experience the culture.

    Oh... and putting your kids in French is really paying off. Caden ordered our pizza like a boss and carried on a short conversation with some passersby who wanted to know where we got our pizza from. It was all Greek to me. One person even apologized to me after seeing the blank expression on my face, saying something about... sorry you are so stupid (I am pretty sure that is what he said) .

    And now for your bonus content. It literally took until we were walking back from the tower to hit our 10,000 steps. Ended the day at 15,749. So.. it was a very sitting intensive day.

    Now... aren't you glad you stick around to the end? Well, maybe it isn't that exciting, but wait until you hear about the earth shattering realization and life altering decision we have to make tomorrow. Stay tuned....
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  • Day24

    AWhole Day In Bath

    July 17 in England ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    So, when we were planning the trip we thought... let's get out of London for a night. See more of the country and save some money on a hotel. At the time it was a great idea. Now with the heatwave hitting Europe, all our travel plans are at risk due to cancellations... but... we went to Bath anyway. We will leave tomorrow's travel plans to God.

    The train out if London was packed. We had seats luckily but there were lots who had to stand for much of the journey. But hey, the train was running so all is good.

    Like everywhere else, Bath is beautiful but with much more of a Roman feel. We got tickets to see the actual Baths and we were surprised it was so big. 1st century architects could do amazing things.

    After the Baths we spent the rest of our time just wandering around the city. There are lots of beautiful areas and buildings. We missed the Michael Buble concert by a day but we saw them taking down the stage. Bath is a rich town and there were amazing cars everywhere.

    Then we made our way to our Youth Hostel. I was very impressed. Our room was spacious and even though we didn't have our own bathroom, they were right outside our door. It had self cooking spaces with everything you need to cook your own meal but they also had dining rooms and a Cafe. And the building was an old Italian style building surrounded by trees up the hill from the city center. A great relaxing place and it never felt busy.

    We walked down the hill to get some groceries for supper and then trekked back up to cook and eat the food. It was a hot day so we pretty much packed it on for the day. Kids were fine too settle in and do nothing. I was a lot more ansy. So when the sun had set, I convinced Jenny to go out for a walk and take some night time pictures. It was very pleasant.... and quiet. 😉.

    Tomorrow we will eat breakfast at the hostel and then start our adventure to get to Paris. Wish us luck.
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  • Day23

    Final Day In London

    July 16 in England ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Well... after a lot of debate and working through the pros and cons with each side presenting some compelling arguments, we decided not to stalk Reese Witherspoon today and instead try and hit some things we would probably regret not doing.

    First on the agenda was to go back to Notting Hill and buy a book that Dylan wanted to get. That was an eye opening experience as Notting Hill on a Saturday is very different from a Wednesday as the picture I took illustrates. But we managed to part the crowd like Moses and the burning bush, get that book, and escape with no major difficulties.

    Next we tracked down a couple more filming locations from the Notting Hill movie and while we were at it I took out the big camera for some artsy photos. I was having fun while at the same time annoying the family. It was a good day.

    Next we jumped on the subway to head over to St. Paul's Cathedral. Again.... subway on a Saturday is very different and my claustrophobic wife was experiencing some... uh... tense moments with the number of people who manage to fit inside a moving metal projectile.

    After the cathedral we were off to find the market that inspired Diagon Alley from Harry Potter... which we thought we found but actually didn't. But that didn't dampen our mood because next we were off to walk the Tower Bridge. And it just so happens we were within 20 minutes of them opening it for a boat so we stuck around to watch that.

    Then we walked up the South Bank all the way to the Millennium Bridge so we could cross it ( that one was mine). And after all that we headed back to our apartment so we could pack things up and plan our day in Bath tomorrow (if this heat wave doesn't wreck our plans.... fingers crossed).

    So, that concludes our time here in London. Amazing time but we are ready to go. The next big step in the trip is Paris so everyone is getting excited for that. But I know we are leaving here with many fond memories. Until tomorrow.
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    Traveler

    Sounds like you guys are covering lots of ground and seeing incredible sights! My kind of trip... except like Jen .. maybe minus all the crowds. 😃

    7/17/22Reply
    Traveler

    that is really cool

    7/17/22Reply
    Traveler

    Jen... you're kids are growing up!

    7/17/22Reply