Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The 100 Acre Woods: Home of Winnie-the-Pooh

Family at Pooh Sticks Bridge

As you see we are one short on our journey because Neil had to catch up on some homework. We thought it was very responsible of him to insist to stay home so he could do his work.

We headed out for our adventure to the 100 Acre Woods, which in reality is 500 acres in Ashdown Forest. This is the place where A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin played and came up with the famous Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. The family lived in London and had a weekend house here in the 100 acre woods. Christopher Robin's mother used to make up little stories about the stuffed animals around the house, which A.A.Milne used to create the tales of Pooh.

Scenic View
Lexi has quite the eye for photography and insisted that Ray take a picture of me here. Lexi said the lighting and landscape was just perfect. I must admit this is a pretty good picture of me :)

Cool Red Mushroom
We all thought this mushroom looked cool and added to the fairy tale look of this whole place.

Piglets House
We believe this is Piglet's house. It is the lone pine in the middle of a field of brambles and shrubs. Nothing was labeled, so we were left to our own imaginations about what things were. They had a vague map, but it was difficult to be certain we were on the right trail the whole time.

Rabbit's Garden
This probably isn't the best picture of it, but this reminded us of Rabbit's garden. To the far left the trees just came together in a dome shape, almost like a whole in the forest. Then there was these stakes in the ground, probably to support new trees being planted, but the effect was really neat.

Racing sticks at Pooh Sticks Bridge
We had a lot of fun at Pooh Sticks Bridge. The bridge was a bit of a hike away from everything else, but it was well worth it.

Roo's Sand Pit
At first we thought this was Eeyore's Gloomy Place, but after consulting the trail map we discovered it was really Roo's Sand Pit. The place that was labeled as Eeyore's Gloomy Place wasn't really that gloomy. This sand pit doesn't look very sandy either, so maybe it really depends on the time of year.

Memorial to A.A. Milne
This is a memorial plaque for A.A. Milne. It just gives the name of A.A. Milne and his illustrated and says something about how they amused the world with Winnie the Pooh. Ok honestly historical markers are really Ray's thing, so if you want to know the exact writing ask him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Harrods Christmas Parade

Waiting for the parade to start
I must first say I was slightly disappointed at first. I thought it was going to be like the Macy's Day parade, but it was nothing like that. There were no floats, only one band, and a lot of dancers. The disappointment soon disappeared because it was totally AWESOME!!! You will notice there is one family member missing...aside from Ray hiding behind the camera. Neil was too lazy to wake up early enough to come :( We were all a little bummed, but it was pretty early. We shared out bounty of candy and treats that were passed out to us.

Lexi enjoying herself

Misty waving at everyone

While we waited for the parade there were street performers going up and down the road playing the with kids and doing tricks. Then employees of Harrods were passing out balloons, candy, and drinks to the crowds while we waited. The parade was small, but that was alright. We saw Santa and his reindeer, and they even had fake snow coming from the top of Harrods.

Misty holding the chocolate coins that were given to her
As you can see the chocolate coins where the size of Misty's head!

Santa waving to everyone


We went into Harrods after the store, and we had a lot of fun. Aside from the rush getting in after the parade, we didn't have much of a crowd. Its a big store, so I guess that helps. We saw the Christmas room, the Toy Room, and the new Harry Potter room. It seems they are turning Harry Potter into a bit of a tourist thing here. It was still cool because they had props and costumes from the movies.

Director Lexi
In the Harry Potter room there was a lot of props from the movies. They had a lot of outfits and uniforms, as well as random props.

Here is one of the props from the movie. It is the Gryffindor Sword.

Lexi with a Hagrid mask
We ended our shopping trip by stopping in the food section. We got some snacks for the tube ride home. Misty was already asleep by then, so we got our goodies and headed home. Next year we will book a slot with Santa so Misty can sit on his lap after the parade.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Farm 2011

I know it has been awhile since I have posted something, but the kids have been busy with school projects and scouts. We managed to get out and find a pumpkin farm here in the UK. It was more like a little kiddie carnival which happened to be a farm that grows pumpkins. 

Misty on the toddler trampolines.

Lexi took Misty on a little car ride.

Neil and Misty taking a break.

It was a little disappointing picking out our pumpkins. See the Brits are extremely cautious about liability issues (i.e. they are more worried than Americans about being sued). So they pumpkin vines where cut and the pumpkins where spread out in the field of died pumpkin vines. Of course they had large bins of pumpkins for those too lazy to hunt for a pumpkin. The size of the pumpkins were pretty small too, but that is because the weather here isn't great. Despite the differences we managed to have a good time.

Misty carrying her pumpkin

The Headless Neil