The first stop on our trip was with my mom's sister's family. Those family members didn't make it over for our wedding, so it was the first time I had seen them in seven years, and the first time that they had met Ben (not over Skype!)
Our plane landed at around 8am London time, and we were whooped. We both tried to take sleeping pills on the plane but it still didn't result in very much sleep.
This photo shows the view from the room we stayed in, looking out into their garden. It's seriously one of my favorite places. This house is where I grew up going every summer, and so I have so many sweet memories of playing here as a child.
Even though we were exhausted, we changed clothes and tried to hit the ground running. We went into Windsor, another area that holds a lot of childhood memories.
This photo really shows what I remember as a kid... walking up and down and going into some shops, with the castle at the very end (look closely by the lamp post to the left!) Honestly, it was surreal to be there with my husband after so many visits as a kid!
The photo above is right by where Prince Charles married Camilla.
This is what you look like when you're extremely jet lagged but trying to look happy in a photo in a Japanese place. We ate at one of our favorite places of the trip, Wagamama.
I was really worried about healthy eating on this trip (another story for another blog post!) and so we loved eating delicious, healthy food for our first meal of the trip.
After lunch, we walked down to Eton College. Eton is where high school aged boys would go to school.. it's an exclusive private school where the royals all went to school.
We passed the river on our way there, I loved all the swans!
Eton was closed to the public when we were there because of exams, but my aunt made friends with someone and we were allowed in! While we were in there, a private tour was happening with prospective students and parents. I have never seen so many designer clothes/accessories on real life human beings. It was a crazy look at fancy private school life!
Inside the grounds of Eton, we loved looking around and imagining what it was like for students there. It ended up being one of Ben's favorite parts of the trip. (His highlights were very.. unique! haha!) And we went in the chapel (no photos allowed!) which was gorgeous.
On the way back we saw the Eton students practicing their rowing, which I thought was so cool! I want to go rowing. :)
During the evening, we got to see my cousin (who had been at school) and my uncle (who had been at work!) My 15 year old cousin was 8 last time I had seen him.. so that was wild and it was so fun to get to know him as an "adult" and see how mature, creative, and kind he is. We want him to come to America so bad!! My other cousin was on a school trip which was a bummer- but we are hopeful for another trip before too long!
The next day, we headed back to Windsor to tour the castle and see the changing of the guard.
This photo wasn't zoomed at all! We were so close to the guards and they were playing their music and it was so fun!
Afterwards, we went back to walk through the castle. I tried to edit down my castle pics.. but still show what it was like. :)
This was the view from higher up in the castle.. it was beautiful and everything is just so stinking green!
For some reason, the photo above is one of my favorites from the trip! It was taken by some nice people from California that we met.
My Kate Middleton obsession continues!
After the castle, lunch was calling our name so we went to a fun tapas place. The shrimp was so yummy. Miss you, shrimp!
Afterwards, I really wanted to get an ice lolly (aka a popsicle) because I always remember getting them in Windsor when I was little. We walked around to find somewhere that sold them and I was giddy when we did.
The menu of lollies and ice creams!
I got a "twister" a lemon/lime/raspberry sorbet twist and Ben got a waffle cone of raspberry sorbet. Loving every second of our lolly life!
Then my aunt came and picked us up and we went to go visit my Granny. She's gotten sick dementia over the past few years, so I was kind of nervous to go see her but so happy we were getting the chance to spend time with her in the home she stays in. Where she stays is right by Royal Ascot, which is like the Churchhill Downs (where the Kentucky Derby is) of England. The races were happening just a few days after we were there!
We also ran out onto the Royal Ascot rugby fields where my cousin plays, and ran around and took goofy photos.
We then had a really sweet time with my Granny. She didn't recognize me at all, but I didn't expect that going in. After I showed her an old photo of me as a child and explained who I was, I really think she clicked. It was so sweet to have her meet Ben and for us to meet all of the kind ladies who take care of her. I'm really thankful for the time we got to have with her.
Whooooooweee. If you stuck through all that.. I am proud of you. :) The next day we traveled to a new city, which I'll share soon! :)