This trip truly captured what it was like to travel as a family. Gazing over our 100s of pictures confirmed that. There are a lot of posed group photos in front of famous landmarks and very few choreographed, blog-worthy stills. But I kind of love that. It's us as a family; eager to see the things we have read about in fairytales and drooled over on other websites. Since we were traveling with the goal of eventually staying in Oxford with my sister-in-law, we had mother-in-law & family friend in tow. It was the smart way to go, being that it was our 3-year-old's first international trek. There were extra sets of eyes on her and we even got date nights!
Fortunately, we had very little rain for Springtime, but plenty of moody skies that made for especially picturesque backdrops. The first part of our London days were spent gawking at the storybook sites and taking a daring ride on the London Eye. Nothing disappointed and visiting the little Starbucks tucked at the edge of the Tower Bridge made my day complete. Have I mentioned that I love coffee and bridges???
I found that keeping the kiddo interested in the long travel days started in preparation before the trip. I had a customized shirt made for her to make the trip feel special and to give other passengers a heads up in the case she was a bit restless. We also hyped up the first stamp in her passport, which she was so excited about. We bought a couple books about London and of course, watched some favorite movies that take place there. It paid off in some wide-eyed moments ("There's Peter Pan's clock!") that are now our favorite memories.
It was worth the effort- she is the best little international traveler and has racked up quite a few stamps in two years on trips that you can see here and here. We've also kept up the tradition of taking another family member with us and plan to do that this year too. I highly recommend it!