August 20, 2009

Our Piece of Chester

Welcome to Chester! We arrived in town after a short 4 hour drive from London. While getting out of London was one of the biggest automotive challenges we've ever faced, the rest of the drive was much like any American highway drive. Once we got to Chester we phoned our leasing agent and no one answered, we figured since it was the lunch hour that they'd taken a short break. However, when we phoned the agent appointed to us by MDH's company we were told that the owners of the leasing company had taken all the clients' money and skipped town. Not only does this mean we lost our deposit, but the keys to the apartment were also inside the leasing office. To make things even more exciting, Drew had been allowed to put all the luggage that he travelled with originally in the apartment and the owner was on vacation until August 20th. Woohoo! After everyone pulling some fast strings, the owner's mother-in-law drove the spare set of keys to a friend, who met our agent, who brought them back to us and we were finally allowed in our apartment. A huge thank you to the owner who was kind enough to let us in even without any official paperwork...
The girls in our new living room...
Our kitchen...I'm sure you all recognize the oven, but what you can't see it that the next cabinet opens as a dishwasher and the one beside that is the washer/dryer =)
The washer/dryer as one unit with no actual words on it to direct me really scared me at first but I think I've got the hang of it now. And after standing in the laundry soap aisle at the store for 20 minutes I've found something that gets our clothes clean and doesn't irritate anyone's skin =) However, it holds about 1/4 of the amount of clothes as our American washer so I do laundry A LOT. But I can only do warm and hot load in the morning before we lose all the hot water because our hot water heater only reheats at night.
This is the master bedroom before we put sheets on and before all of our stuff was delievered to cover every inch of the floor except for a path to my and MDH's sides of the bed.
This is the park just across the street from our house. It also has a playground and lots of open space to play catch or turn cartwheels or whatever. I don't know what I would do without it, we go there everyday.
This is the train that runs around the park. It only costs 75p for the kids to ride and it's actually pretty fun!

Here is the teeter-totter at the playground, neither girls weighs enough to make it go so I have to help.
In front of our apartment building...
Our trip to the Chester Zoo. The monkeys were the best part. We saw the biggest, hairiest ape I've ever seen. I wish I had been fast enough to get a picture of it.
This is our upper balcony. It's the 4th floor of the building so it has a pretty good view of our part of the city. The weather has been so nice lately we've been able to sit up there quite a bit.
That's our little part of Chester. The next time I go into the heart of the city I will bring my camera and show you around town. Cheers!

August 16, 2009

Here We Are

Alright, after much anticipation here is my first blog from Jolly Old England! Our first two days we spent in London while MDH worked out of the Harlow office. Our first dinner was at a Mexican restaurant...I use the term "Mexican" very loosely.
Since our hotel room was about the size of our closet in Texas, the girls and I tried to keep ourselves busy out of it, which turned out not to be too difficult. The first thing we did was buy a ticket for the tube. Since our hotel was on the west side of London we took the train all the way to the east side to see the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We got to see some demonstrations about the weapons they used way back when and Peanut thought these were very cool. Princess was more interested in the Crown Jewels.

Then we headed over to Westminster - "look kids, Big Ben, Parliament" and this cool new farris wheel that I guess is a fancy restaurant-type thing.

We also went to see Westminster Abbey which Princess was very excited about because I told her the Prince and Princess got married there. However, since I spent a ridiculous amount of money getting into the Tower I didn't have enough left over to pay for the Abbey (which, seeing as it's a church and all, I expected to be mistake).

We then climbed on the lions at Trafalgar Square and ate the best fish and chips I've ever had.
Day 2 - we are now pros at riding the tube and we're headed toward the National Gallery. I love art so I'm very excited about this. However, the girls' idea of looking at art and mine differ vastly. Whereas I like to study and ponder, they're more casual observers. The best part was that Peanut got to see the original "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh which she painted and had entered into an art show last year.
We tried to get into Buckingham Palace at 4:30 but apparently they stop selling tickets for the current day at 3:45. So we walked down the street to Marks & Spencer and bought a delicious picnic lunch to eat in Hyde Park. We found a bunch of kids sliding down some sort of marble stucture and it looked like fun so the girls had a go.

It wasn't until about an hour later that I saw this...
My apologies to the residents of Canada.

Then we were on our way to Chester...but that's a whole other blog =)