London 2023: Richmond, Hampton Court and the East End

We’ve been back in the States after our two-week trip to London for a few days, but I’m still very much in recovery mode here. I don’t know what it is about traveling in Europe, but I always come back wanting to throw out half my house! I think you just realize how little you can live on after living out of a suitcase. Plus, everyone in European cities is living in a tiny apartment, so it’s definitely possible to live more simply!

We departed on Friday, April 14 from Buffalo. We landed in JFK and showed up at the gate for our connecting flight…only to find out we were on SEPARATE FLIGHTS! Yes, you read that right. In what might be the most epic booking error of all time, Andrew (because he has to book his work flight by itself) accidentally booked different ones! Who knew Delta would have TWO flights to London on the same day, one at 7 pm and one at 7:30??

Thankfully, they were only 30 minutes apart, so Andrew walked us to our gate and then headed back to his. A kind gentleman had overheard our plight and not only offered to watch our luggage while I quickly ran to an airport store with Maelle to grab a couple things, but also offered us FREE TICKETS to Legoland! (More on our trip there in a later post, but it was amazing and we can’t wait to go back.)

Lessons learned from last year’s flight: just let her watch movies until they turn the lights down, and perhaps *encourage* sleep with a little melatonin or Benadryl. Done and done. She even slept for about 2.5 hours straight! She and I had the smoothest flight ever. In fact, the hardest part of the entire journey was lugging our stuff down the terminal at Heathrow to meet Andrew, who was waiting at Passport Control.

We took a black cab to our hotel, took a three-hour nap, and then headed off to explore Richmond. We’re big Ted Lasso fans, and were sad to miss Emmy’s walking tour (we met her last year!), but we saw her in action just after we arrived. Richmond was very quaint, it was fun to see the familiar square from the show, and we enjoyed wandering and even hit a playground.

The next day we slept in a bit, and then headed out to Hampton Court, where we caught the last day of their Tulip Festival! I absolutely adore tulips and attempt to keep the deer away from mine at home! They also had their ‘bunny hunt’ going on, so Maelle participated in a scavenger hunt for giant gold bunny statues and earned some of her own chocolate bunnies at the end.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a mention about Hampton Court’s INSANELY AMAZING playground. It was incredible–slides, bridges, turf grass hills, sand, water and more. We visited twice.

The following day we explored the East End, including Jack the Ripper sites, ‘Banglatown‘ (like Chinatown, but India), and lunch at Spitalfields Market (I chose Indian!).

After lunch, we walked the two miles to the South Bank (near Westminster) to visit the Jubilee Gardens, which has a great playground and is in the shadow of the London Eye.

After playing, we hopped on a red bus and were able to snag the front seats at the top! Maelle loved it. Here we are approaching Piccadilly Circus!

That was the end of our first few days in London. Next up: a few days on our own while daddy was working!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s