Museums, a castle, a birthday party and more, this was a busy month!

By October the autumn season was in full swing, we pulled out our warm jumpers and prepared ourselves for rain with raincoats, brellies and wellies! I love British English.

At the beginning of the month, we received a surprise by the one and only Charmayne, who prepared for us the most wonderful care package filled with all things we love. For Lua, chocolate of course and a book about God, for Gabe a hilarious bug toy and red chili mix and for me my favorite California perfume, candle, and blue cornbread mix just to name a few. Care packages from home are always such a thrill to receive.

October was the first time that Gabe went to work in Palo Alto for 2 weeks since we moved to London and Lua and I managed ourselves well, though Gabe was terribly missed by us both. We were able to Skype with him every night and before you knew it the two weeks were over. Here is Gabe while skyping with us, Lua’s new favorite thing to do – taking pictures of the people we Skype with! We met Gabe at Heathrow, waiting patiently watching 100’s of people exit and then finally we saw him. Lua ran through the crowd of people, shouting, “Daddy!” and wrapped herself in his arms. It was such a beautiful moment, we were all together again!

Later that day, Lua and I attended a birthday party for one of her friends, Naia and Francine, her mother, prepared the most beautiful table of birthday cupcakes and cakes. Lua’s eyes lit up when she walked into the play area and found a table filled with cupcakes! We had a lovely time and Lua enjoyed her party favors filled with new candies she had never tried before and little toys that kept her quite entertained for the train ride back home.

On the day before Gabe left for sunny California, we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday together with a walk down Northcote and play time and lunch at Wandsworth Common. I should mention that Gabe was supposed to leave on Sunday morning, however after a couple of unfortunate public transit delays and confusion at the airport, he was checked in 58 minutes before the flight was to leave – the cut of is 60 minutes. Yes, they would not let him on the flight! I was shocked to receive a text from him that he missed his flight an hour before take-off, but Lua and I cheered and were thrilled to be able to spend another day together.

On the way to the park, we stopped at The Breadstall, Gabe wanted a coffee  and after the morning he had, he treated himself to one of their homemade doughnuts! They are a beautiful sight.

However, Gabe did depart the following day and Lua and I prepared ourselves with activities. We continued the usual Monday – Playball, Tuesday – Waldorf Hedgesparrows Group, Friday – Tap/Modern class, then added a few extras like play dates with friends, going to the Science Museum and the Tate Modern, and going to Windsor Castle for the first time.

The first time we went to the Tate Modern, Lua loved it, she was especially drawn to one of Picasso’s paintings and would talk about it for weeks. Here she is doing her Picasso impression! So she wanted to return to that painting, but then quickly after she mentioned that she felt scared. I shared with her that modern art sometimes scares me too. On the first floor of the main entrance there was a live exhibit with a group of about 30 people who would do a variety of things, sing, chant, walk, dance, run around all while people looked on. We asked on of the members about the exhibit and he said he could not talk to me about it, so it was very much an experiential living art experience.

After that we went to the cafe, had ourselves a long lunch, and then ended with a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.  We decided to walk back to the train station and took the footpath along the Thames, it was a cloudy, but dry and beautiful day to enjoy outside.

Our most memorable outing for the month of October was going to Windsor Castle. It was our first weekend alone with Gabe being away, so Lua and I wanted to do something really special. The train to Windsor Castle was only 52 minute ride and it offered us an opportunity to see some of the countryside, which is lovely. The town of Windsor is incredibly charming, there was the hustle and bustle with all the tourists there on the weekend, but the village had a really lovely energy. After walking up a large hill to the castle’s entrance we saw a large line with at least a hundred people. We had purchased our tickets in advance so I sheepishly walked up to the guard at the gate at the front of the line and he let us into the “advance ticket” line, hidden by the large crowd of people. Words of advice, when going to Windsor Castle ORDER TICKETS IN ADVANCE. This was a huge time-saver. We squeaked right in and were able to start the tour.

Windsor Castle was everything I had imagined a castle to be, complete with a moat, beautiful gardens, a cathedral, guards, opulent State Rooms, and a large display of knights of armor and swords. Our favorite display was Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, it was absolutely exquisite – and just about the size of our entire living room. The dolls’ house had all the rooms you would imagine a castle to have, including a multi-car garage, and it is complete with running water and electricity! It is decorated by works of art of 1,500 of the finest artists, so the teeny, tiny little pictures and paintings are all authentic and real. It was worth the long wait in line, and a definite must see for both children and adults alike. Photography was not allowed, but you can check it out here. We were lucky that it was a dry day so we had plenty of time to explore the grounds of the castle which displayed beautiful gardens and views of Windsor and the surrounding area. Lua and I are excited to bring Gabe with us next time!

October was an event-filled month and we are excited to now be into the month of November. We have dear friends Sarah and her daughter Baye coming from California to spend a couple of days with us and then at the end of the month we will be traveling back home to The States to spend time with family and friends for the holidays. We are so excited to see everyone very soon!!