Hey! How've you been?
All of the vacation dust and Thanksgiving dust is finally settled, the Xmas dust has yet to be fully kicked up, and I finally have time to get down to what's really important: mah blog.
I'm going to gloss over the "10 hour flight with a toddler" bit (We lived. It wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it wasn't "fun" by any means) and move right on to Hampton Court!
We spent the first four days of our trip staying at Hampton Court Palace, which is kind of an odd thing to do, but I've written about it here and here for reference. Basically, thirteen years ago, my parents rented an apartment inside the Palace via the Landmark Trust as a special, one time only anniversary present to themselves. They've gone on to rent it again pretty much every year since, and I've joined them staying in the (four bedroom) apartment for quite a few of those years. The apartment is in the Tudor section of the palace, just off the Tudor kitchens in "Fish Court". While staying at the Palace, we have the run of the (purportedly very haunted) courtyards at night, access to the full palace and grounds during the day and a cozy, comfy place to call home for the duration of our stay. It is awesome.
Hampton Court really was an ideal place to stay with a toddler. Rhys had the run of the grounds, which was fantastic for him (and for us!), we had a kitchen and a little fridge which made meal and snack prep easy and we had access to HCP's amazing custody staff who we've become friends with over the years, one of whom even brought a few of his grandchildrens' toys for Rhys to play with during our stay. We felt right at home!
As for the jet lag . . . it existed! Rhys woke up at 3am once or twice to sing songs and ask for apples. He is a happy baby, even when he's all turned around time wise. I had expected we'd have to wrestle him awake from too-long naps during the day, but we never did. He was a trooper, I think he adjusted easier than I did myself, to be honest.
Some highlights of Rhys' first visit to the Palace include his first taste of scones with cream and jam (heaven!); running around the landing of the Queen's Staircase at night and giggling at the echo of his voice in that cavernous room; first tastes of crisps (cheese and onion got a thumbs up, but it was a no go on salt and vinegar), English sausages, Wagamama chicken and Jaffa Cakes and puddle stomping in his new red rocketship wellies.
Highlights for Mama include all of the above plus being told Rhys has "a little American accent", a meander trough the Hampton Court Antiques center and a long walk to The Bell pub, and a few quick solo photo sessions while the Meyers napped.
Boy and I also spent one evening out on our first date since Rhys was born. I don't know whether to be proud or embarrassed by that, but there it is. We went into London to see Electric Soft Parade, one of the bands on Boy's indie label (my husband is way, way cooler than I am, if you were keeping score.) We spent much of the night talking about the Meyers, watching videos of the Meyers on our phones, telling other people about the Meyers and emailing my parents back at the palace to inquire about the Meyers. Rhys had a little meltdown right before we came home, but all in all did an amazing job on his first evening without The MommyDaddy.
Pictures? I thought you'd never ask!