England, Day 1: flying plus Olney

We decided to go to England in late August/early September for a couple of reasons. We wanted to visit Jasmin (a former intern and friend of mine, who my daughter is partially named after) – and we wanted to go before the rainy seasons, but after the tourist season. And also I’ve long, long, wanted to go to England. It’s the land of the Beatles!

So we made a ton of plans (Jasmin was a lifesaver helping suggest itinerary and trains and insisted we stay with her) and we had a really awesome trip!

In overview, we flew in through Heathrow, Jasmin picked us up, and then we went back to Olney, which is where she lives. We took it pretty easy the first day and had pancakes and checked out a local Georgian garden – since we were pretty tired from not sleeping much. On our second day, we drove to Blenheim Palace, which wasn’t more than an hour from Olney. On day 3, we checked out Oxford (also not far away). Day 4 we split between Bletchley Park (super close) and the Harry Potter Studio Tour. After that we said goodbye to Jasmin, and stayed at a hotel near the train station overnight. The next morning we took a train to Liverpool (omg), which turned out to be a totally lovely city, very walkable, lots of restaurants and enough Beatley goodness to keep me very happy. We continued to be lucky with beautiful weather. We did two Beatle tours over the next day and a half (probably the biggest challenge the baby presented on the trip) before leaving in the rain to head back to London (which was sunny!). In London we checked out King’s Cross and the British Museum, and I finally got to cross Abbey Road. And on our last full day, we strolled around the major tourists sites across London, and did the Eye. And then flew home the next morning.

So we crammed as much in as we possibly could, again, given we were traveling with a nine-month-old. And we had an awesome time!

So let’s dive right in!

Elena was a seasoned traveler by this point – she’d already been on four flights, but on this one, had the luxury of her own seat (and her carrier). We got to the airport with plenty of time and then just found some floor space to hang out to let her crawl around as much as possible before the flight. We changed her into PJs before the flight and gave her a bottle… and then she unfortunately fell asleep, which we were sure spelled doom. But no, she stayed pretty chill for the start of the flight and then fell asleep again at bedtime, and was a doll.

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Changed into PJs and reading some books:

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Uh-oh, asleep before the flight!

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But she slept on the flight! And stayed in her carrier the whole way. It’s a pretty short flight to England fortunately.

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She did eat some dinner.

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Night night!

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We got a clear day and so had a lovely view of London as we flew into Heathrow.

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My first British Mr. Mime!

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As I mentioned, Jasmin met us and we drove to Olney – and I was super glad I didn’t have to drive on the other side of the road. It was hard to get used to!

We went to the Olney pancake parlor and had some food! Jasmin took this one of Elena:

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My breakfast – yummy “American style” pancakes which I shared with Elena. British sausage is much mushier than American sausage inside? Overall a tasty meal though.

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Doug went for the full fry-up!

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We did learn that Olney is famous for pancakes:

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The people on the top of the sign are also holding pancakes.

We next checked out the Georgian garden, but I’ll do a separate post on that. Since it was our first day and we were tired, we took it pretty easy and after the garden, we did some shopping for diapers, food, and other necessities. I enjoyed seeing Tesco after hearing about it – they had a whole baby clothes section that I shopped it and it was awesome.

Coffee after shopping:

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Hanging out at Jasmin’s cute flat.

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A nice shot of Elena’s Dino hoodie. We put it on her when we headed out in search of dinner.

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We had Fish & Chips for dinner and ate it outside since the weather was pretty nice. It was really good! And Elena loved the mushy peas.

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