Friday, March 06, 2009

Matt & Sylvia's visit!!

My cousin Matt and his wife Sylvia and son Elijah are all living in Frankfurt, Germany currently. Matt is stationed there on an Air Force base. This week the three of them came over to London to do a little sigh seeing. I met them for the day yesterday and we had SO much fun!!! I haven't gotten to just hang out with them like ever! I had so much fun. I loved just wandering the streets of London, not really in a hurry (it's hard to be with Elijah only being 2 years old). I can't wait to go see them in Germany next month for a WHOLE WEEK!!! They are so much fun!

We started our day at the London Zoo... I got off at Camden Town station and as I walked towards Regent's park and the zoo I soon realized that the cute little family just ahead of me was Matt, Sylvia, and Elijah. I ran up to them and we all were so excited to see each other - hugs all around! Elijah didn't really know what to think of me... but I made it my mission to win him over... as soon as I mentioned Nemo, he knew I was okay. hehe.
I am a HUGE fan of zoos... I love them. Yet, I have only ever been to the zoos in Phoenix!! The London Zoo has penguins! and a butterfly room where the butterflies are free flying all around you! And they have bird rooms where the birds also just whizz past you. I took lots of pictures of the animals. Elijah had never been to a zoo ever and so he too was quite excited about all the animals!
We started out in the reptile room... filled with HUGE snakes and frogs and lizards. I am terrified of snakes, but I sucked it up and it wasn't that bad... as long as they weren't moving, which they weren't. I did start getting a little uncomfortable when I got to the snakes that were as thick as my leg and then I quickly retreated to the colorful frogs... those were pretty.
Oh, you Arizonians will enjoy this... in each cage they tried to recreate the location from which these snakes came... this sidewinder is from the desert... so this was the scene...
I felt like I was home... I liked the added touch of the littered budweiser beer bottle.
Here are some colorful frogs
Here comes Harry Potter moment number 511th... In this very reptile room was where the scene from the first Harry Potter movie was filmed... when Harry talks to the snake and unsuspectingly sets it free... I love these moments.
My awesomely fun zoo companions!
A gorilla
Elijah loved the gorilla
Matt, Sylvia and Elijah monkeying around... I'm sorry I just typed that...

Elijah liked chasing the ducks and pigeons around the zoo.
This bird was awesome... like a flying feathered rainbow.
Sylvia and Elijah
All around the zoo they had these cool artist statues... this one was outside the cat exhibit

Inside the cat exhibit were the lions... they were sleeping. Note: the male lions name is Lucifer because his international studbook sticker is 666... hm.
Another rainbow bird
Sylvia and I in the bird room

This animal was weird. When it was sitting it looked like a rabbit and when it stood it looked like and moved like a donkey/deer... we ridiculed it of course and then decided that it had identity issues.
This is the bug room... with locust
This is a jewel wasp and a cockroach fighting... who's winning? surprisingly the jewel wasp who is known to feed on cockroaches.
This is the aquarium exhibit where everything looked like it was straight out of Finding Nemo, much to Elijah's delight.
The on to the butterfly exhibit... my favorite part. I could have spent all day in the hot humid room surrounded by butterflies flying all around me... It was awesome taking pictures of as many as I could. I found the "flower" setting on my camera, so I could take the pictures really up close.
Mamaw, I thought of you and Matt, Sylvia and I kept talking about how much you would have loved this place... this is for you.


Funny story about this next picture. I thought these huge butterfly decorations were really cool and decided to stand next to one to take a picture, only to discover that they are in fact real and are nocturnal moths. They don't fly around during the day... it wierded me out how huge they were.
Next came my second favorite exhibit... the penguins. We don't have penguins in AZ, so I was excited to get to see real ones up close.
After the zoo Elijah was exhausted.
So Sylvia, Matt and I set out to find a place to have lunch... mission accomplished when we stumbled across a pub called...
Winner for the best name. We also got to walk by The Monument, which I have not seen yet, so I took pictures. The Monument marks the spot where The Great London Fire started.
Then as we walked along the Thames to the Shakespeare Globe we cam upon Cousin Lane... which meant a cousin photo opportunity
Elijah at the Globe Theater
This poster was awesome.. enlarge it and read.
This was the few of St Paul's at sunset
After the globe we walked across the Millenium Bridge with roasted peanuts in a cup from a stand - AMAZINGLY delicious - and caught a cab to Foyles Bookstore. It boasts of being the World's Most Famous Bookshop and has been around since 1903. Since I love to be in the presence of books I loved that place. Sylvia took Elijah to children's section and Matt and I wandered around the store looking at books, reading jacket covers, and talking about the books we've read. Matt left to go to the Sci-Fi section as I meandered through the fiction section and not 30 seconds after we parted a large Indian man walked up to me who looked to be in his mid 30's walked up and said, "My sister is telling me I should be more spontaneous and I wanted to tell you that you're really beautiful." I thanked him sheepishly and turned to walk away when we asked me what I was doing in England... which I responded to shortly and again tried to back away. He then asked if there was a chance a beautiful girl like me would happen to be single, to which I responded, "yes but I'm not looking for anything at all right now." He replied, "That's okay then, just enjoy your evening and I just thought you should know that you're beautiful." I thanked him again and briskly walked toward the classic literature section. It was overall a pleasant conversation, but weird. One because it was so random, and another because I had been walking around the zoo and central London all day and probably looked like that rabbit deer pictured above. Anyway I found Matt moments later and told him the whole story... it has become a hilarious anecdote.
So I left Foyles with two books - The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (recommended to be by Matt) and The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (she wrote The Other Boleyn girl, which was a great book... this book is about Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife).
We then called it a night around 8:30pm because Elijah was getting sleepy, but MAN was it a great day!! Germany in 6 weeks!!


linda t said...

Sooo happy that you got to spend the day with three of your favorite cousins! Elijah is simply adorable!

Love your pics Miranda. I can't wait to see you soon!

Nicole T said...

Amazing pics at the zoo! How much fun to get to spend time with the family!