Friday, August 12, 2016

Best Holiday I've Ever Had

I asked Sophia Valentine, (who was the organizer of this blog challenge) what she meant by holiday. She said it was up to me - whether I wanted to write about a vacation or a day of celebration such as Easter or Christmas. I chose the former because that meant I got to go through all the photographs that were taken when my family and I spent a week in London back in May of 2013. Being able to relive that trip was something I was very excited about doing.
London was a place I'd always dreamed about. I'd always wanted to visit, and when we had the opportunity to go, I got really serious about planning our trip. There was so much I wanted to see and do - too many to fit into six days, but we gave it our best effort. 
My son, Scott, took a lot of the photos I'm going to post. He's an excellent photographer - and considering the fact that he was not quite eleven when we traveled to England, I'm astounded at the shots he took. His were some of my most favorite photos taken during the entire trip.
We stayed in Notting Hill, just down the street from Kensington Gardens. Remember I mentioned that I was the one who planned our adventure? Location, location, location. You'll find out what I mean a bit later.
We were on the top floor of our hotel in Notting Hill.
The room was very small, especially for four people - we had to climb over beds to get from one side to the other, but it was a great hotel.
We didn't get settled in until late afternoon our first day, but we were off to Kensington Gardens as soon as we'd dropped our luggage off in our room. I wrote a post for #LifeBooksWriting on July 8th about things I collect that will explain why this had to be our first stop. This visit was a long time coming for me.

Me and my daughter, Maya. She understands why this was important.
I've been a fan of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan since I was a little girl, and have a collection of the book in many different languages. I was able to pick up a beautifully illustrated copy at Waterstones, which was between our hotel and the Notting Hill Gate stop on the Underground.
On our first full day in London, we wound up here ...

Trafalgar Square with Big Ben in the background.
It's so wild to finally be in a place you've thought about for a huge portion of your life.
If I had to choose only one photograph as my overall favorite from the whole trip, it would be this one.

It's enlarged and hanging in my house - and it's one of the many that Scott took. We were on top of a bus at the time, which was the only thing he said he really wanted to do while we were in London. He's talented. I think I'll keep him around.

I've often thought about writing a book that takes place in London. If I do, I'll be using this photo for the cover.

When I do use this as a cover photo, Scott will be getting all the credit.
This was taken while we waited for the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace ...

... and later, I talked a stranger into taking this of the four of us. Maya teased me throughout this entire trip because I looked so outrageously happy. It's true - I was.

This was taken at St. Paul's Cathedral ...

Me, Maya and Steven
... and these at Westminster Abbey. Maya actually had the camera for these shots.

I can assure you, he was doing or saying something goofy.
We haven't really done any traveling for the last couple of years. I'm sure we'll plan another fun, family adventure in the not too distant future. I have a feeling, though, that our trip to London will always remain one of the best holiday's I've ever had.