*adopting Paddington

On Saturday my husband and I went to see the new Paddington Bear movie. I don’t recall reading the books when I was little, but I knew who Paddington was. He is definitely iconic.

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I wanted to see the movie because it looked very cute, as well as relive our London adventure!

The movie had a lot of deeper meanings, but my favorite was how adopting a pet can bring your family together! The mother in the story wasn’t afraid to walk up to Paddington and ask him where he was staying. She of course had to convince the husband to let them take him home for the night. A bear, or any animal of course is a curious creature, like any of our pets, Paddington made a huge mess shortly after entering their home. Of course he didn’t do it on purpose, but it made the father angry. The next morning the mother was supposed to take him to the authorities, but of course couldn’t because she interested in Paddington’s history. Paddington quickly turns into a hero, even for their teenage daughter. The mother could see the family was starting to change, and the father was starting to enjoy the adventure. After a bad guy gets Paddington into trouble, with the father extremely angry, Paddington runs away! The family then has to join together to find the one who could keep them together!

This story of course reminded my husband and I about adopting Bruce Wayne (our dog). He was such a hassle the first few days, he cried at night and explored into places he shouldn’t have. Over the years he still is a trouble maker, getting himself hurt, eating chocolate, chewing on clothes. But again, it is just his nature. Bruce Wayne has made so many of our friends and family smile and laugh. When you get home from a hard day at work and see his excitement, you can’t help but smile. The love of a pet brings families together. That’s what Paddington did for his adopted family! Please give your family the joy of having a pet! They can make your life so much more rewarding!

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“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ~ Karen Davison

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*the bright side of London

Daniel and I returned yesterday evening from our six day trip to London, England. For the past 48 hours I have been racking my brain on how to describe the trip to you! I definitely know six days was not long enough in such a historic and energetic city!

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I was extremely impressed with how friendly everyone was! From the hotel staff to those who worked at the tube stations. I am most shocked about the lack of trash cans, we carried some of our donut trash a few tube stations before we could find a clear bag meant for trash! You can tell many people were frustrated and threw their trash on the floor. If you ever visit London, please be respectful and throw away your trash! Help keep the city beautiful!

After getting to our room and getting situated we headed to the Tower of London. The goal was to take the tube 99% of the time. But the St James Station next to our hotel was closed the first four days. On the bright side it made us take advantage of the red double decker bus! The bus system is a lot easier to understand than I thought it would be. It was hard to know exactly which stop to get off that would be closest to our final destination, so we relied on Tube Station stops. Getting back to the hotel was easy, we just had to find a bus heading to Westminster (our hotel was only 2 blocks away)! I definitely recommend you taking the bus more than the tube, so you have a nice view of the city!

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To save money Daniel and I split a lot of meals. Although the places we ate at were reasonably price (under 15 pounds for a plate), you have to think of the pounds to dollar conversion. It probably saved us over $200. We ordered fish & chips at The Albert (a pub very near our hotel). The fish was as large, so we cut it in half and shared the fries. At the Olde Cheshire Cheese we split the beef dish, a cheese plate, and Spotted Dick (a small cake with a glaze- it was delicious, pictured below on right).

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On our last night we did not share a meal, we ate at the Spaghetti House a block away from St. Martin’s Theater (performs the Mousetrap play). I had the Linguine Vongole in Bianco Fresh (palourdes clams, white wine, chilli, garlic & extra virgin olive oil), it was the perfect sized dish and tasted amazing with a small kick. I definitely wouldn’t call it spicy though!

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We supported a new business that I luckily had heard of online before our trip. It as wasn’t the easiest journey, but we wanted the fresh and unique experience of Cereal Killer Cafe. I rarely eat cereal, because I don’t drink milk, so this was me trying new things! I had the Frankenberry Cereal topped with freeze-dried marshmallows, while Daniel had Rice Krispie Treat Cereal with freeze-dried marshmallows!

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We definitely recommend you visit one of the many locations were they sell Crosstown Doughnuts. I’ve never been a big fan of filled doughnuts, but I had their Autumn (Apple & Pear). “Just like a crisp autumn day, this little beauty is a complimenting dose of a cool breeze, crunchy leaves and warm sunshine for the tastebuds. Sharp Bramley apple and sweet pear mixed with warming spices are encased in a ball of Crosstown sourdough topped with a sweet maple glaze and crunchy pecan crumble”(describtion found on their Our Doughnuts page). Daniel had the their Peanut Butter & Jelly Doughnut. We both loved it so much that we visited it again before we left!

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I didn’t do much shopping, mostly because of the price. I did find my nieces something for their birthday. With what I got them I took a picture of it with me in front of Big Ben, so they have the memory that it was special. I gave my niece who turned 10 on New Years Eve the two scarves I bought her today. She was so thrilled! Of course we had to find a Tardis in her honor (she’s a big Dr Who fan).

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I bought myself a tank for 3£, a sweatshirt for 10£, a backpack for my upcoming classes for 16£, and the ski hat Daniel and I wore on New Years Eve for 4£ each! Daniel got a tee shirt at the WB Harry Potter Studios and a James Bond coffee mug. We bought a few programs/guides of the places we visited.

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Daniel really enjoyed the London Film Museum where they had a special exhibit on James Bond. He was definitely in one of his childhood’s heaven!

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He was also very excited about WB Harry Potter Studios. He had read the first few books when he was in elementary school and has seen all of the movies. I have not seen the last two movies, but still enjoyed the behind the scenes! Plus the fountain Butterbeer was fantastic!

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On New Years Eve we left our hotel room just after 7pm. We were suggested to take the subway to the Westminster Tube Station, but since our hotel was so close, we should have just walked it. We were through the entrance gates shortly after 7:30pm. We were able to get in the front, with the Westminster Bridge just to our right! My feet froze, to the point of pain, for the next four and a half hours. I did have two pairs of socks on though. But I was going to suffer through the pain, definitely since the rest of my body was warm!

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The firework was show was fantastic and completely worth the wait! The BBC has already posted the firework show on YouTube!

My Favorites:

Museum: Museum of London (visit first because it walks you through the history of London)

Restaurant: Spaghetti House

Pub: The Albert

Play: The Mousetrap (yes, it was the only one I saw there but the ending was a great twist)

Check out my London Week Pictures Here & New Year Eve Firework Pictures Here!

“It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed.” ~George VI

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*1 week until London

In 1 week I will be in London, England!

I’m trying very hard to contain my excitement! Our itinerary has gotten a little out of hand. I was only planning on doing some research of the places I wanted to check out. And we do what we feel like each day. But then I realized 6 days in London was not enough! I have our itinerary in a half inch binder full of times, places to see, tickets already purchased, and zoomed in maps of places will be visiting!

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Each day we will tear out that days itinerary, so we have our resources that will fit into my mini purse, instead of hauling around the binder! We used this method when we were in Paris, last November!

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When we arrive into Heathrow we will be having Blacklane car service pick us up. We used this company in Paris! I highly recommend them when you travel outside of the USA. The have many discounts through out the year. We are getting both of our rides to and from the airport at 30% off! You can do all your booking online, months prior. Both of our drivers in Paris were very polite and on time! I’m normally not such a high end person, I drive a cheap Fiat in my normal life. But I like have a driver in foreign countries. I don’t have to take a public transportation fussing with my bags or worried they will get stolen. Plus when I’m on vacation I want it to be better then my daily life!

Speaking of being better, the hotel we booked I can tell is going to be fabulous! We will be staying at the 4 Star St. Ermin’s, a part of the Marriott group! Check out there website to see their incredible inside!

(pictured below is St. Ermin’s entrance decked in Christmas lights for 2014,

picture found from St Ermin’s Facebook page)

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I’m excited to eat breakfast at the new Cereal Killer Cafe,  where they sale over 120 different types of cereal from around the world. To top it off, they have 30 milk choices and 20 different toppings!

“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” ~ Vivienne Westwood

 

*the dream to travel

Girls my age pin (Pinterest) about babies, I pin about visiting Europe. I even want to live in Europe!

Pregnancy has always frighten me. I find the idea of something living inside me very strange. Daniel went into this relationship knowing I was strongly against having kids. He was ok with that. Sure it wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world to have a child. We love each other so much and to share our world with someone would be great. Plus I could see him being a wonderful father, playing Batman with his child. But in the meantime I will spoil my friends kids!

(below me being silly with a CPR training baby in early 2013)

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But my mind is full of daydreams of all the places I still have to go! I’ve lost count of my mental notes of all the places I’ve said I need to visit. I’ve only been out of the country three times. I still have to visit other parts of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hawaii (again), Australia, and show Daniel other parts of France; the list is endless! I would love to go live in France for a few months in my late 30s or early 40s (if we don’t end up having children).

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(pictured above is Rome taken by my friend Emily B)

Indirectly, people make me feel guilty for wanting the life of travel and not the life of babies. I know my parents don’t mind too much, they treat Bruce Wayne (my dog) like their grandson, plus they still have a chance with my sister.I’m excited for my trip to London. Yes, I’m putting some of the trip on my credit card, but I want to live life to the fullest. I wanted to do something crazy and adventurous, and I thought spending the beginning of 2015 in London watching one of the biggest firework shows in the world would be spectacular! I knew I would regret it more if I wasn’t there!

“Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love