Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mark's Graduation Trip: Part One

Sorry for the delay in blog posts lately. Between being out of town, being sick, and getting back in the swing of things, blogging has fallen pretty low on the list.

Belle before boarding the plane to London.

The flight to London was....interesting. I think I can sum it up in this statement: when we took off no molar was present, when we landed the right molar had broken through the skin. Get the picture? It was not. pretty. She screamed and screamed. She finally fell asleep towards the end of the flight, and about 45 minutes after she fell asleep they turned on the lights for breakfast. NICE. I think I might have asked Mark at some point if we could take a boat back!

We arrived in London on Monday morning, and after a short rest we headed out for a picnic in Green Park. The weather was gorgeous and Belle soaked it all in. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the park and over to Buckingham palace. We ate dinner that evening at a French restaurant in the Shepherd's Market area.

On Tuesday, we took the Underground to the British Museum and spent the day enjoying the different exhibits. I recommend this for people travelling with children. It is stroller friendly and free! We ate lunch there at the museum and then brought Belle back to the hotel for a nap. We ate dinner that night with my parents at a tapas restaurant that we had been to before. It was very interesting eating out in London because you rarely see anyone out to eat with their children; however, we found all of the places and people to be very accommodating and receptive of tired Americans with a wild 14 month old.

Wednesday, Mark's parents took a day trip, so we met up with my parents to tour Kensington Palace. We got to see some of Diana's dresses and the state rooms in the palace. The views of Hyde Park from the palace were absolutely gorgeous. We ate lunch at The Orangery where we discovered Belle's love for three bean salad (I mean the girl was turning up her nose at her chicken for the bean salad). Mark and I then split from my parents and walked the entire length of Hyde Park only stopping in at Harrods along the way. We ate dinner that night at a wonderful Italian restaurant named Prezzo. It was so exciting because it was incredibly kid friendly, and the staff doted on Belle all night.

Thursday morning, Belle and I went on a bus tour with my parents while Mark relaxed before graduation. It was the perfect way to spend the morning since the rest of the day was bound to be pretty hectic.
Belle listening intently to Pops' headphone on the bus. It was so cute because when they stopped talking she would hand it back to us.

Mark and I before the ceremony.

The procession and seating of Princess Anne.

Mark bowing before Princess Anne.

It was so neat to see a gradation ceremony in a different country. There were a total of 700 graduates that walked that day representing 70 countries. Lets just say there were some "interesting" names called. I was so proud of Mark for this HUGE accomplishment. After the ceremony we went to a reception that Mark's specific program put together. We met this cute couple from Switzerland, and the wife actually did foreign exchange in Lithia Springs, GA. It is definitely a small world. We went to dinner that night to celebrate. We met back up with my parents who had been watching Belle (adventuring in Notting Hill), as well as, a girl that Mark's family knew in Louisiana whose boyfriend she was visiting lives in London. After dinner we hurried back to the hotel to pack to.... leave for Paris in the morning.

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