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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Revisiting an Old Post...Our Top 10 List

So back in January, Keith and I wrote a post about the 10 ways the UK is better than the US. Now, after almost a year under our belt in the UK and a whole month of being back in the's time to write the 10 ways the US is better than the UK...

1. First and foremost has to be our family, friends and our cat, Prince. There is something so comforting about being back in close proximity with those who know you best. We have totally reconnected with so many of those near and dear to us and it is such a great feeling to know that we pick right back up as if no time has passed.

2. Driving on wide roads with familiar traffic signals and signs. It was easy transitioning back to the US side of the road, and even nicer to know that we don't have to bob and weave through traffic and parked cars. Everywhere you go you need to drive, and parking lots are for the most part, free to park in. No need to rely on public transportation.

3. Large, efficient appliances. I cannot tell you how much I love my washer, dryer, dish washer and refrigerator here in the US. Laundry takes a 1/4 of the time as does the dishwasher.

4. Space to run and play. There is no need to go to a park or playground to run and play, the kids can do that in our own backyard.

5.  Convenience. Everything just seems so much easier here. From running errands to mailing packages to meeting people for play dates or dinner.You can get whatever you want, whenever you want, where ever you want. Many stores are open late 7 days a week and drive though food, coffee and pharmacy only adds to the ease.

6.  The weather. I know that the winters are cold here in Connecticut, but the summers are hot and sunny, which is a stark contrast from the consistently mild and grey weather of London.

7. Good Authentic Brick Oven Pizza. The choices for great pizza are endless in this part of Connecticut. From New Haven to the restaurants right around the corner from our house...Delicious!!

8. Good Ol' American Baseball. Nothing says American Summer like kickin' back and watching a baseball game! Go Yankees!!

9.  Living near the water. It is so nice to be able to jump in the car and be at a beach in 10 minutes. The sun, sand and water is no longer taken for granted by this family. Not to mention, being this close to the water means fabulous seafood!

10. Finally...Our house. It's new, modern and spacious very different from the 100+ year old Victorian we live in back in London. Not to mention the comfy, gigantic bed that would never fit in our UK bedroom!!

So there you have it! Our Top 10 List on why the US is better than the UK...from our perspective anyway...

Friday, August 5, 2011

July in a Nutshell...

July has been yet another month full of fun. As previously posted, the first two weekends we had the Darell School Summer Fair and we went to Stonehenge and Bath. Other fun stuff for the month...Ryan had a school picnic in Kew Gardens and Sport Day at school, the last day of school finally came, we had an early birthday party for Mandy with her friends, tennis camp, Keith's Dad came for a visit and we went to Hampton Court Palace.

School Picnic in Kew Gardens July 14th

Ryan's class did an end of the year picnic in Kew Gardens. They got to explore the lilly pad pond, the treetop walkway and enjoy a picnic in the gardens. While in the Gardens we were lucky enough to see a Peacock family in the grass near the Lilly pad pond.

Female Peacock

Baby Peacock

Male Peacock

Sport Day July 18th

Getting ready for games with his team, Bijan, Evan and Freddie!

Waiting for and receiving his "Gold Medal"!

Mandy & Mrs. Tucker on the last day of school, July 22

Mandy's Birthday Party July 23

Seeing as Mandy's birthday is the end of August, we decided to have a birthday party here with her friends before heading home for our summer visit. The kids had a great time, and it was great for them all to have one more chance to get together before summer holidays began.

Playing a game of Pass the Parcel

Yay!!! Littlest Pet Shop!!

Blowing out the candles

Everyone is ready for some cupcakes!

Rustam & Minky

Anushka & Mandy

Jada, Molly, Mandy & Freya

Tennis Camp July 25th-29th

Mandy began showing an interest in tennis after having played it in gym class. We signed her up for the week long camp where she was able to participate with her friends Georgia, Jack, Tom and Anushka. She loved it!!!

Ready to play!

Practicing forehand and backhand

Cheering his sister on!

Day in London With Eddie P. July 29th

Keith and I took Ed into the city for the afternoon. We started with a Fish 'n Chips lunch at St. James Tavern (My Fav!!), and then made sure to show him the sights. We walked by Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Parliament and the London Eye.

Buckingham Palace 

My Favorite spot in St. James' Park

Big Ben 

Hampton Court Palace July 30

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond, it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. It was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, in 1529. Eventually, the palace was passed to the King. The following century, William III began a massive rebuilding and expansion project, work halted in 1694, leaving the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque. Today, the palace is open to the public, and is a major tourist attraction. Here is a link with information on all the different Monarchs associated with the palace.

The Palace from the River Thames

The Butcher's Kitchen

"Ewwwww Gross"

The Kitchen

"It's not real Mom"

"Soooo Toasty mom"

Fountain Courtyard

Pretending to be statues

Palace from the rear gardens

Momma Swan

Baby Geese

So sweet

Our garden Photo Shoot

Rear Palace Enterance

Funky Trees

Close up of the garden flowers

Mandy with Jim the Carriage Horse

The Ceiling in the main foyer

King's Receiving Chair

This wrapped up our July Fun!!! August will be filled with fun back in Connecticut and all of our family and friends back home!!!