Friday, July 17, 2009

We're No Longer Americans in London

This is my final post. We've just returned to New Jersey and are already waxing nostalgic about our time in London. Here's to hoping that the memories won't fade as quickly as Pascale's and Josephine's adorable accents. I have had a great time with this blog, and here's a tremendous temptation to continue it under another name. I will resist. Pascale is 5 now. Before long, she will realize that this blog is tantamount to talking about her in public, and she will demand that I cease and desist. I would like to stop on my own before that happens.

To all (both?) of my faithful readers, I hope you've enjoyed the photos of the girls and accounts of our European adventures. I have enjoyed our time abroad immensely, and I will always treasure the memories of spending time with my family in such a great city.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Last Week of School

This was the last week of school for both girls! Josephine had her end-of-term party, and Pascale had her field day. It is now officially summer, and we have an eventful one planned.

We had a rainbow last week! This is the view out our living room window.

I watch the sunsets every night. They have been great lately. This is the view from our kitchen, showing the Natural History Museum.

Josephine loves this car, which is always parked near her school. She thinks I should get one just like it. If you know me, you know that urban assault vehicles are not really my kind of thing.

Josephine after her end-of-term party

Pascale at her Field Day

Me at Pascale's Field Day

Helicopters flying over Field Day. This happens in my nabe a lot, but I never have the camera ready.

Pascale goes to an International School. They asked each student to bring in the flag of their home country to wave during the Field Day Finale. Pascale is slightly right of center, wearing a green hat.

Pascale did some nice artwork

Pascale built a sand castle today at the Diana Playground. She's wearing a dress-and-cape ensemble that I made for her a while back.

Josephine climbing at the Diana Playground

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It was 90 degrees this week! In a country without air conditioning, that's really hot. No one could sleep. It looks like it will cool down a bit next week, though.

We got to see some Fourth of July fireworks from our window. It looked like someone in Fulham (where loads of Americans live) was setting them off.

I made Hello Kitty Jello.

We saw a bubble show at the science museum.

Josephine at the Science Museum

On the bus

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Undocumented Week

Many things happened this week, and I have no photos of any of them. I'm not sure what happened to my obsession with photographically documenting all events. You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that we had our second trip to A&E this week. Josephine broke her thumb in a door. Poor kid! She has a cast, and it has to stay on for another whole week! The cast is on her right hand, and she is right-handed. It took her a couple of days to get used to using her left hand to eat and do other things with, but she is pretty accustomed to it now.

Luckily, Bernie took some photos around our neighborhood that I can post. There are all kinds of great shops that are a 15-second walk from our front door, and I'm glad Bernie has documented them.

We also went to Rebecca's recital at the Royal College of Music. I don't take the kids to live music performances very often, and was not sure how they would behave, but they were really interested! Of course, no photos of that, either.

Rebecca had taken them to RCM once before, but without me. She got them ice cream when they were there. As we were leaving, I told them I would get them some ice cream, and they took me right to the place Rebecca had taken them. This involved crossing the street, going up some steps, entering a building, then going up more steps. I was so impressed that they remembered how to get there.

The days have been really long, and the light at twilight (which lasts like an hour) is fantastic. I have some photos from our windows taken late in the day, including the one above featuring the Natural History Museum.

Pascale looking silly

A restaurant on Chelsea Green, right outside our door. I like it, Bernie does not.

Continuing our tour of Chelsea Green, the pharmacy where we get all kinds of stuff.

Again right ouside our door, the rug shop where we have bought nothing.

The butcher and wine shop that we frequent.

This shop always has nice window displays.

On the left, the location of the fish-and-chips place that closed. On the right, a chichi clothing shop

The framer's. Josephine likes to sit on his doorstep.

The stratospherically expensive hair salon.

Battersea Power Station, seen from our window at sunset.

Bluebird cafe has outsize tennis balls to celebrate Wimbledon.

Bernie took the girls to Gambado today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend at the Seaside

For Father's Day, we went to Brighton for the weekend! It was really a lot of fun. It's a great place to bring kids. Not much traffic, very compact and walkable, lots of places for them to run around. We stayed overnight on Saturday. I did not make the reservation until Friday night, so there was not much available, but I managed to get us rooms at the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn is located a little to the west of the main attractions, which I was at first disappointed about. But then I realized that right across the street, there's a playground and several funfair attractions for kids 5 and under! It turned out to be the ideal place to stay.

We ate lunch on the beach when we first arrived. It was a little chilly there.

Me watching the kids on the rides.

Josephine on the trampoline.

Pascale on the bouncy castle

The weather was rather blustery and chilly, but Josephine still braved the temperatures in order to wear her swimsuit in the paddling pool.

We walked A LOT, but the girls managed well.

Giant inflatable slide

Josephine on the beach

Bernie with the girls

A lovely painting by Pascale

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Many London Parks

The nice weather is continuing, so we are spending as much time as we can outside. This week, we hit St Luke's Park, Battersea Park and St James's Park. Both kids were back in school this week from their half term holidays, and they are enjoying the second half of their summer terms. Both schools make an effort to get the kids outside as much as possible on these nice days.

Josephine's artwork is improving by leaps and bounds! At this point, she draws a head and body with multiple appendages.

Butterfly hunting in Battersea Park. They saw some butterflies, but they were unable to capture any.

Josephine in motion

At St James's Park. Notice the parade of horse riders on the street past Josephine

Bernie and I went out for drinks and dinner

Josephine showing off

Pascale drew this picture of herself and me at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She hurt her right arm on the way there, so it is bent and she looks a little sad.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pascale's half term

Pascale had her half term last week. I kept Josephine home for a couple of days so we could all do stuff together. We went to the V&A, the Diana Playground, and Gambado, and did lots of fun crafts at home. The beginning of the week was freakishly warm for London, so it felt very summery.

We had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe today. I thought the girls would love it, but they just thought it was OK. I liked it, though, because the girls were entertained enough by the atmosphere that Bernie and I could actually converse during lunch.

I love the black swans at St James's Park

Climbing at the playground

At the Diana Playground

At Kensington Gardens

Pascale made a hair bow