Friday, July 8, 2016

Back Home

Hello! We're back with another sky high fast moving blog post for you.

After an exciting week in Paris we were all looking forward to our journey back to London on the Eurostar. After an early start and a while packing everyone was eager to get some food in their bellies. We found a café right across from Gare du Nord, our train station. We all ordered what we call a Full French (like a Full English), which consists of a croissant, baguette, jam, butter, orange juice, and a hot drink. It was delicious! We had to wait a while for our train, as the previous one was running late. Once we were on the ride went fairly smooth. We were an hour late getting in to London St. Pancras because there were migrants on the tracks near the chunnel, so we had to wait for the police to arrive!

Once in London, everything was fine. We quickly dropped our luggage off at our hotel, The Premier Inn, then went right back to St. Pancras to get another train to Olympic Park. We had never been to Olympic Park, but have heard so much about it, so we were all very enthusiastic about this excursion. But it wasn't something from four years ago that we came to see, it was something kind've brand new, the Orbit Slide. Some of you may have seen pictures or videos of the Orbit, but it is so much larger in real life. This slide is the tallest and longest tube slide in the world. At first, we were all very scared, my mom especially, but once we finished it we all would do it again. This slide was more fun than ANY roller coaster I have ever done, and that is saying something. Here is a link to their website with some amazing pictures and where to book tickets if your going:  I would highly recommend it. After that we walked down the Orbit (we took an elevator up), and went to a playground. We were all soon tired so we had lunch and took a train back to our hotel. We got back just in time for the Iceland game, where they beat England!

The next morning, everyone was very sad because today was the day we would be going home. In the morning, we went to Pret a Manger for breakfast, then spent a while ensuring everything was packed. We called an Uber to take us to the airport, and surprisingly traffic wasn't too bad. At the airport we said our goodbyes to the "fresh" air of England, and hung out for a while. Before we knew it we were on our plane and coming home to America. We had an excellent trip and we can't wait for the next one!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Paris Part 2: "Let them eat cake"

"Let them eat cake." This was supposedly said by Marie Antoinette upon hearing that the peasants did not have any bread, in the early stages of the French Revolution. On our third day in France, we spent the day in the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, where Louis XIV, Louis XIV, and Louis XVI lived. Our exciting day started by taking a train from a station near our apartment in Paris, and when we got there, the Versailles station was just a short walk away from the Palace. The line to get in was incredibly long, so we had to wait about twenty minutes. Once we were inside, we took audio guides in order to learn more about the palace. First we saw the main chapel, which is considered one of the finest examples of French Baroque architecture and decoration. Next we walked through multiple drawing rooms/salons, all with a theme of a classical god or goddess. I was incredibly impressed with how intricate the decoration was, and the amount of gold used, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, considering what I've seen of Baroque Rome. Next was the most popular destination in the Palace of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors. At the time (late 16 early 1700's) it was so impressive because quality mirrors were so expensive, and a room of mirrors to this scale was simply unheard of. In modern times, the Hall of Mirrors was where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War One.
 After the Hall of Mirrors, we finished our tour with a look at the King's bedroom and guard's accommodations before buying sandwiches to eat outside for lunch. We went outside, which although hot, felt amazing, and sat down with a spectacular view of the famed Gardens of Versailles. After lunch we took a "stroll" through the gardens. We walked down the steps to the Grand Canal, a huge man made lake in the shape of a cross, nearly two kilometers long from the Palace to the opposite end. After marveling in awe for a while, we walked to the Petit Trianon, the house that Marie Antoinette lived in prior to the revolution. After taking a brief tour, we went on a short walk to a little village that looked like it was taken out of a fairy tale. This little village, with a working mill and farm, was used by Marie Antoinette to play in during her time at Versailles. After that, we looked around the farm before a long and painful walk back to the Palace. During that walk, towards the end, we decided to rent a rowboat for a quick ride on the Grand Canal. That was one of my favorite parts, though afterwards the whole family decided we'd had enough for the day. We all wanted pizza for dinner, so we went to a decent pizza restaurant on the way back to the train station. After that we took a half hour late train back to Paris, a cab back to our apartment, and our legs to our beds for some well earned rest. We had an excellent time at Versailles and would highly recommend it to anyone traveling in the area!

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Hi everyone! We're back with another blog post. After our long drive from Conwy, we finally arrived in a town called Aldershot, where Granddad Tom and Davina live. We went out to Nando's with them for dinner. It was very nice to see and go out to eat with them. Afterwards we drove to our hotel and went to sleep.
In the morning, Nan and Bob met up with us for breakfast at the Premier Inn we were staying in. After that, we headed straight to London. We were soon there, and we parked in Islington to see Sharon, a family friend. We went to Wahaca, a restaurant that serves Mexican street food tapas. It was great to see Sharon and the food was great too. After that, we drove to the hotel. We relaxed for a bit, then went to a playground by the London Eye to meet up with our friends, the Keelings. We played for a bit, then walked to Covent Garden to find a restaurant for dinner. Eventually we found a decent Italian restaurant. We soon parted ways, but it was fantastic to see our friends.
The next morning, Sunday, we got an early start, as we had plenty to do. Dad dropped us and Mom off at King's Cross, because we were headed to Welwyn, and Dad took the car back to the rental car company. We hopped on the train about an hour later, and soon arrived at the Welwyn train station. We walked to Auntie Tracy's house, and met her about half way. We were soon at her house, and some of the first things we HAD to do immediately was make a cup'o'tea (A.K.A Amber Nectar), as well as her knifing us. Now you may be thinking OMG, are you still alive, what is that? Trust me we are alright, but it is as dangerous as it sounds. According to the Feldmann Dictionary; Knifing: a method of measuring height against a wall by wielding a sharp and big knife by the measurer, then sliding it along the victim's head to place a mark in the wall at their height. Eg. The scariest experience of my life was when Auntie Tracy knifed me last week. After that, a cup o', chatting, and a small gift exchange, the 4 of us hopped in Auntie's Electric Blue Mini and headed into the Garden City. We toodled around for a bit then drove to lunch. We ate at The Plume of Feathers for the second time this trip, and we met up with Max there. I had steak and chips, which was incredible. After lunch, we had to part ways with Auntie Tracy, which was very very sad. We took a train back to King's Cross.
Once our train arrived, we met up with our Dad and went for a nice Father's Day dinner at a trending Indian restaurant. The food was spicy, but so flavorful and we all loved it. It was a delicious lunch in a lovely restaurant. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to play Uno and pack for Paris. We had a calm, relaxing evening. The next morning we got up, got ready, and got on a...
See you next time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Paris Part 1

   Bonjour! We're back with another blog post, and this time it's about Paris. We started our trip to Paris by taking the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, then checking in with our AirB&B. We made ourselves at home, then took a walk to Place de la Concorde, where Marie Antoinette was beheaded. It was at the end of the Champs Elysses, so we walked down that to get a stunning view of the Arc de Triomphe, which was built in honor of the soldiers who died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. We stopped along the way to eat some excellent French bread from a bakery. After taking loads of pictures, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower, one of Paris' most iconic buildings. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair, and it's named after the engineer, Gustave Eiffel. We walked along the river Sen, towards the Louvre after getting some pictures. 
   We walked towards the Louvre, which houses many pieces of art. It's actually the 2nd largest museum in the world! To get there, we walked through Tuileries Gardens, the massive gardens in front of the Louvre. The Louvre was originally a castle, then a palace, and now an art museum. After looking at the Louvre, we walked towards another Parisian landmark, the Cathedral of Notre Dame. First finished in 1345, more extensions were added on, such as the spire and the two towers. After admiring the cathedral, we headed to a classic Parisian café for a little snack. (Otherwise known as some bread and French onion soup.) From there, we took a taxi back to our apartment for a good sleep.
   The next day, we got up and went straight to the tourist office, while having a croissant on the way. We got tickets for a tour bus of Paris, and went to the nearest stop. We weren't too impressed with the bus, because a lot of it was music, and it went everywhere we went the day before. We did pass an interesting building called Invalides, which was a hospital for disabled people in many wars. We stayed on the bus until we got to the Pantheon. It was interesting to compare the facade at the front to the Pantheon in Rome. We walked to the top of the Pantheon, where we got amazing views of Paris. We went for a crepe, then walked to an old bookstore called Shakespeare and Co. Funny thing is, all the books they sell are in English! We looked around, then took a taxi to the apartment, relaxed, then went to an amazing dinner on the Eiffel Tower. We couldn't go up to the top, because it was too late. We then walked home, going to sleep at 1:00.
   This is where we leave off, and we'd say Paris is EXCELLENT!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

North Wales Part 8: Our Final Days

   Hey everyone! We've finished up our trip in North Wales and we're excited to tell you about it! On Wednesday, we got up early to drive to Llanberis, to hike up Mt.Snowdon. Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales, making it hard to hike up. Edmund Hillary and his crew trained on Snowdon to climb Everest. We drove to Llanberis in the morning,  and took a bus to a visitor place called Pen y Pass, where we started on a trail called the Pyg Trail. The Pyg Trail was only 5.5 kilometers, and we made it up in 3.5 hours. We got breathtaking views of the mountains of Snowdonia while we were hiking. When we got to the top, Snowdonia was in a cloud. We still went to the summit, and we were lucky enough to the train down. At the bottom, we were so grateful to have lunch after climbing 3.5 miles. We were so tired, that night for dinner we got Indian takeaway from a local Indian restaurant in Conwy. It was delicious. 
   On Thursday, we headed out to Anglesey, a large island on the North coast of Wales. It is the largest island in Wales, and the fifth largest island surrounding Britain. We went to a town called llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which is a small town on Anglesey. We then went to Beaumaris, a beautiful town looking over the Menai Strait. There, we bought tickets for a boat tour of Puffin Island. Puffin Island is an uninhabited island, but people lived there from the 6th century. We saw remains of the 12th century monastery on the tour. Puffin Island is a bird sanctuary now, and we saw lots of birds, including puffins. We also saw some grey seals. We had an excellent lunch of sandwiches inBeaumaris, then headed to the pub to watch a football match. We headed home to Conwy after that. For dinner, we went to a fancy restaurant called Signature's, which was voted best restaurant in Wales in 2015. The funny thing is, it's in a caravan park!
   On Friday, we packed up and headed to London. So overall, we'd say North Wales is EXCELLENT!


Friday, June 17, 2016

North Wales Part 7: Caernarfon (Again)

Hello everyone! We're back with another blog post... About Caernarfon! We loved this town so much that we knew we had to go back on Tuesday. We first went to meet up with our tour guide from last week, Emrys, for lunch, at a restaurant called Blas. Just so you know, Blas means taste in Welsh. Anyhow, we met up with Emrys mainly so that he could help us with our Welsh pronunciation and maybe learn a few words. He helped a lot. In addition to that, we also had an incredible lunch. I had a Ploughman's Lunch, which traditionally consists of bread, butter, cheese, ham, pickle, and ale, but I passed on that. My Dad said it was the best restaurant and meal we've had in Wales, and we'd have to agree. 
After lunch we went into Caernarfon castle, which we didn't get to go in last time. I was very impressed, and we probably would've stayed for a lot longer. A cool thing we did was go up to the top of the Eagle Tower, the highest point of the castle. Then we went into the museum about The Royal Welch Fusiliers. They were an infantry regiment in the Prince of Wales Division of the British army. Matthew wasn't too interested, so him and Dad left a little ways through the museum. Mom and I found it fascinating, and we took so long that they had to kick us out when we were only a third of the way through because the castle was closing. After that, it was raining very hard, so we tried and failed to find a cafe, so we got in the car for a drive. We bought a few sweets and just drove around for a bit until 6:30, when we could visit Auntie Gwenyth again. It was very nice to see her again. After that, we went out for a quick dinner then went back home. Our second trip to Caernarfon was excellent! Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

North Wales Part 6: Blaneau Ffestiniog Slate Mines

Hi everyone. We had an awesome day yesterday and are excited to tell you about it. But first, here's a rundown of Sunday. We slept in, relaxed, and went to the movies. But at 8:00 pm, we went to a Welsh male voice choir concert, which was beautiful. So after our day of rest and relaxation, we wanted to do something exciting. We headed out around noon to go to Blaneau Ffestiniog, a Victorian town that boomed in the slate industry. We found a cafe to have lunch in, sandwiches for us, before we headed over to the slate mine. This mine was huge. After purchasing tickets, we walked around and downs a little playground, that we played on for about half an hour. We also found a few pieces of slate we wanted to take home. After that, it was time to go to where our tour started. We all got helmets with headlamps, for safety. Then we took a col car down the track 350 feet into the mine. The tour was interesting, and it was so cool to see the equipment the miners used, and also the utter scale of the large man made caverns. A few things I found interesting is that a boy would first go down to mine aged 8, and would start work at 12. The lifespan of a miner was sadly only 40-45 years. Lastly, considering how dangerous the work was, only 9 miners died in the first 20 years the mine was open. Below is a picture of one of the giant caverns made to extract slate.
The way miners make the caverns is that the would dig holes, put gunpowder in them, and blow the gunpowder up. We got to try using the tools to dig the holes for the gunpowder. It was so heavy, and it hurt! We also got to try the way miners extract slate. They put a chain around their thigh, and let go to pick up slate. We also learned about a special job called the danger man. He would go up on a ladder to the top of a cavern and knock down any loose rocks. It was scary, but cool! Lastly, we saw a guy whose job was to split the slate. It's amazing how thin they got it with such basic tools!
   Overall, we'd say the Slate Mines were EXCELLENT!