My Gratitude Journal

Kew Gardens in Richmond, London

It’s way-back Wednesday. I’ve been reminiscing about my travels in the past. Flashback to 2018 and our trip to London. My first trip to London was in 2017, also in November, to visit my daughter. London, baby‚Ķ We also visited Paris during that trip. Paris, baby

During this 2018 trip to London, we visited Kew Gardens in Richmond, London.

Our first stop was the glasshouse at the Princess of Wales Conservatory. We climbed up the winding staircase and walked along the top.

My son had fun exploring the big treehouse.

We walked around and enjoyed the gardens.

We finished off our day with afternoon tea and a scone at The Botanical.

What a relaxing day at the Kew Gardens.

My Gratitude Journal

Our day trip to Notting Hill, London

It’s flashback Friday. Flashback to 2018. I took a trip to Notting Hill.

“I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

Notting Hill, 1999

No, not that Notting Hill. Although I love cheesy romantic one-liners (sometimes), I’m actually talking about Notting Hill in West London. My son and I went to London back in 2018 to visit my daughter, who was living there at the time. We took a day trip to Notting Hill.

I saw this charming picture of my daughter at Notting Hill over the summer and I asked her to pretty please take me there!

What a cutie…

It was November by the time we made it to Notting Hill so we had to bundle up but that made it all the more fun. Lots of brisk walking in cold weather while taking in the sights. It’s a great feeling.

First order of business was food. We decided on an Italian restaurant called Portobello Garden Arcade for lunch. I was in the mood for coffee, so I ordered a cappuccino. The perfect hot drink after a walk on a cold day. For food, we ordered a charcuterie board and pizza. The meats and cheese were delicious. The olives were so good. They tasted great with the hot bread and olive oil to dip it in. I loved the ambience and whimsical decor. It felt like we were eating lunch in a kitchen of an Italian house and the owners of the house had just finished making fresh bread. You could actually smell the bread throughout the whole restaurant. What a great feeling on a cold day.

After our delicious and fulfilling lunch, we took another brisk walk to visit the colorful houses. It was fun taking pictures with my children. So pretty!

We finished our day with some window shopping on Portobello Road. Lots of quirky antique, second-hand and vintage shops. More colorful houses. And ice cream.

A fun, flashback Friday!

I am grateful for reminiscing about fun day trips, cheesy romantic one-liners, whimsical restaurants, delicious charcuterie boards, colorful houses, window shopping and ice cream on a cold day.

My Gratitude Journal

Flashback Friday: A trip to Shoreditch, London, 2018

It’s flashback Friday! Since we can’t really travel right now, I thought I would reminisce about the time my son and I went to Shoreditch, London in 2018. My daughter was living there at the time and we took 10 days off to visit her. She had just completed her Master’s Degree from King’s College and was working full time remotely for a small company. She was quite busy but we still had some time to galavant around town.

My daughter and son in Shoreditch

We visited my daughter in Shoreditch during the last few days of October, including Halloween through the first week of November. We saw a few little children dressed up for Halloween while walking around with their parents around town. My daughter bought my son a bucket of Halloween candy similar to the kinds we have in America but different because of the names, packaging and brands. I think the only candy I recognized was Milky Way. They were good and before we left London, we stopped at the store to buy more to bring home.

Yummy candy…

Our first few days in Shoreditch were spent walking around (a lot of walking around) and checking out the boutiques and street art. Here are a few samples of the street art that we saw:

We also ate at my daughter’s favorite restaurants, one of them being Nando’s, a South African restaurant. The chicken and sides are so good! We also made a lot of stops to Pret A Manger for coffee, hot chai tea lattes, toasties and crisps. We didn’t want to pay extra to eat in, so we always took it for takeaway and ate and sipped while we walked.

I wanted to do the Big Bus Tour of London. I didn’t get to do it the last time I was in London. My kids weren’t interested in doing it, but they indulged me and we finally went! I got a chance to see the Buckingham Palace again, the London Eye and a few other landmarks. I didn’t get to do the full bus tour around. My daughter saw her favorite clothing store and wanted to stop. We ended up shopping for clothes and didn’t hop back on the Big Bus when we were done because it would take forever to get back to her apartment. We walked it (I told you, lots of walking) instead. I definitely got my 10,000 steps in everyday, if not more.

Another thing we did in London was get a daith piercing. My daughter and I suffer from migraines. We went to the London Migraine clinic to get it done. A daith piercing is a piercing through the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear. Basically, it is done for vagus nerve stimulation. The piercing stimulates the vagus nerve in the ear and helps reduce migraines. The clinician used a special device to locate the vagus nerve. Yes, it hurt. Yes, it was pretty. No, I don’t have it anymore. Unfortunately, the earring fell out of my ear and it was very difficult to put back in. It happened just recently and maybe after the pandemic, if the hole it still there, I will go to the tattoo and piercing shop to get it put back in. Interestingly, the week after it fell out, I had the worst migraine which lasted for the usual three days. It’s been awhile since I had one and I’m not sure if it was coincidental.

We visited Kew Gardens to look at the flowers and while we were there, we had afternoon tea. We also went to Notting Hill to sightsee and had the best charcuterie and pizza. We also visited a spot where farm animals lived, a flower mart and parks… a lot of different parks. They had the best parks in London with really awesome play and climbing equipment. My kids and I had the greatest time playing in the park.

Some art we saw while in the park

This flashback to Shoreditch, London was fun! It’s one of my favorite memories. I hope someday to go back to London. Until then, cheerio!

Today, I am grateful for 2018 trips to London, walking 10,000 steps a day, frequent stops to Pret a Manger, calling chips “crisps”, fries “chips” and hot sandwiches “toasties”, big bus tours cut short but done, eating British candy for Halloween, daith ear piercings that fall out 2 years later, street art, eclectic boutiques, afternoon tea, charcuterie and pizza, and playing in the park with my children.