Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birmingham and the cousins

happy days! i went to go visit my family in birmingham last week and had an awesome time, much too short but time flies when youre having fun!
Snow in Rome was eventful but mild compared to what i found in london
Rio, ready to take on the world and the walk to school

walking through the park to school

what meeka enjoys most about the snow is... eating it

very cute, she is also a very good poser!

Robyn showed me around the shops. the odd building on your left houses Selfridges.
my mom was right when she said she was glad my return ticket to rome was already booked because when two shopaholics get together....

the bull at the bull ring

fetching the kids from school

lying in the next morning, or trying to!

Mayah and the gang waiting for the train to Stratford Upon Avon. it was about -2 degrees outside so we waited in a real British Cafe (pronounced Caf) which smelt like fried food and supplied us with buckets of tea to keep warm! a real local experiance :)

Amber looking cute

and this... is my fit look! girls hold onto your hearts cos Rio is going to be quite a looker in a few years!

trying to keep warm playing hop scotch while our train was delayed

amber, mayah and me. we were waiting for our train and the nice train guard who sold us our tickets came up and asked what we were doing? Rio abruptly stopped charging up and down the waiting room and we all looked guilty for a few seconds before he told us we were waiting on the wrong side of the tracks! lucky he was so kind and told us because the train only comes once every hour!

finally we boarded our train and we were off to Stratford to see the: swans, butterfly farm and shakespeare's crib.

Mayah and Robyn. dont they look stunning :)

i was enjoying a delicious Berry flavoured Swedish CIDER at this pub. you dont get ciders in Rome :( 

we also had a yummy pub meal, look at my bangers and mash! thanks mom and dad :)

the river Avon

on our way to discover that the butterfly world was closed already! heads up gramps, they are planning a trip back there when you visit them in april!

lovely old houses of Stratford, we also went to another cosy pub to wait for our train home. it was so nice to be somewhere so english

Amber loves the history of the Tudors and is learning about it in school, this is the gang exiting the Tudor museum which was also closed. but promises have been made to return when  its open. (watch out gramps)

quite cool for old brits

there were a few of these old fashioned sweet shops.  yet every single one had this strong magnetic attraction to children. the attraction increases as the target gets closer to the shop, in close proximity the target breaks into a run and ends up glued to the window of the shop pointing, jabbering and slobbering. They then have to be forcefully removed in tears. This phenomenon can also be seen in older children... like myself for example!

Shake a spears house. it looks very very old. and surprise! it was also closed but very worth seeing the outside of

shopping with kids is somewhat of a minefield. this is in the Shakespeare souvenir gift shop

why chose an ordinary house to buy when you can own a piece of history, a manor, villa, country house  all ancient and radical!

next morning heading off to Cadbury World. it was a whole -5 degrees and I thought i would make myself useful by de-icing the car windscreen with warm water. So i poured warm water over the windows and went inside to star the trek of getting all three kids out of the house at once. Eventually this feat is managed and Robyn comes out last, takes one look at my proudly de-iced vehicle and bursts out laughing because, that wasn't their car.
So, now we are rushing and i had to de-ice the correct car which as you can see was useless anyway because as soon as i melted the ice, it just froze right up again. We then watched Robyn hilariously scraping the ice off the window without the help of the liquid de-icing stuff because that ran out... and we were off to gorge ourselves on chocolate!

on a ride at the factory where you see the world of the cocoa beans, and at Cadburys, they treat their beans very well.

beans relaxing and tanning in the park

beans in the winter...

an entire tank of melted chocolate..

writing our names in chocolate

apparently this gorilla is famous from a cadbury advert. but he is pretty amazing, he  is a highly detailed robot that plays the drums and sings along to the phil collins song : I can feel it coming in the air tonight. they had a museum of all the characters in their  adverts in one section.

my favourite part of the cadbury factory was the digital interactive games. this one the kids all chased around things on the floor and jumped on them but there was an entire room filled with games like this. balls that your shadow plays with, camera projections that turn you into chocolate, grow your own cocoa tree, it really was state of the art digital interaction stuff.

and then there was this guy who took his job way too seriously

this was a film projection of these characters in a room setting, so they moved but  their props didnt, it was very effective

last day :( playing in one of the massive parks that is around their house

what a good dog.

it was great to get outdoors and be able to walk so long in so much greenery


can you spot her?

now this was confusing for Meeka. having only recently been introduced to snow, she had no clue what was potting with her pond that was now ice.

quite thick ice.

so thick you could even stand on it if you were 10 and someone held  onto you. thanks so much for having me Robyn, i really enjoyed seeing your city and spending precious time with you guys xxx


glenda said...

Looks like you had a fantastic time despite the cold! I'm sure you'll be baaaack!!!

kirst said...

omg the kids are SO grown up!!!!!!!