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a travel blog by megankevin

Stella is off to London to meet her Grandparents - and the Queen, of course!! Luckily for Megs and Kev she's taking them along for the ride...
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Christchurch, New Zealand

We're off!! Wee hee....

Thanks Nana and PopaDon for dropping us at the airport!

The trip started very well for Mum - the spunky lead singer from Opshop let her push in front of him and the band! That put a smile on her dial.

My first ever flight went really well. I actually don't remember it as I was asleep, but Mum and Dad (M&D) seemed pretty happy when I woke up in Chch.

Before I knew it we were off on my 2nd ever flight - to Singapore. M&D seem to love travelling with me - we don't have to line up very much, people just usher us straight to the front of the queues, and Mum LOVED all the leg room we got on the plane! I had another couple of sleeps but then I decided to stay awake for a while and enjoy all the attention the lovely Singaporian Air Stewards were giving me!

permalink written by  megankevin on November 29, 2008 from Christchurch, New Zealand
from the travel blog: London
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Singapore Sling

Singapore, Singapore

I've been up for quite a few hours on the plane, but it's all so exicting, I don't really want to go to sleep now that we're here....

It is sooooo hot and humid in Singapore!! It's very green and tropical. I thought of Aunty Joy and her floral art - this whole place seems to be like a big floral art show, but with trees and plants.

We got a bus to our hotel, which seems very nice. No porta-cot for me though. Luckily I brought my own little tent with me! Unlucky for M&D I don't feel much like sleeping tonight.

30 November 2008

Having showered, dressed and packed a bag for the day, we decided to go for an explore before breakfast - at 6am! We went down to Raffles Hotel, which looked very lovely and grand. I decided to have a nap while M&D had brekkie back at the Hotel.

By 8am we were having a big walk up Orchard Road. There sure are a lot of Malls in this place! Shame that they don't open until 10am.... Might as well have another sleep.

By about 11, M&D were looking a little worse for wear and I decided to give them a break. We caught the hop-on-bus and spent the next couple of hours checking out the place through the window.

We finally got off at the Botanic Gardens and I enjoyed my lunch under some big trees watching Singapore at play. We had a nice walk through the Orchid Gardens and then got caught in an amazing thunder storm! Boy, did it rain!!

Once the rain cleared it was back on the bus and onto a river a cruise. It was nice to check out the city and interesting little streets filled with restautrants and bars along the river. We then went to one of the restaurants for dinner - a great end to a busy day!

We were all a little weary after a walk back to the Hotel and we all slept like babies - especially me!! I woke up last at about 7.30am - nice!

1 December 2008

After a much more leisurely start to the day we headed out to Jurong Bird Park on the Metro. We caught a cool bird show when we got there - although the women sitting in front of us were more interested in taking photo's of me than the birds!! Actually, the Singaporians LOVE me!! Where ever we go they smile and chat to me. Unfortunately they all think I'm a boy (must be the hair??) - the pink clothes don't seem to help them at all??

We cruised around the bird park for a while and had a ride on the monorail which was fun. Then it was off to Sentosa Island for a ride on the Cable Car - I've really got this transportation thing pretty much covered now!

After showers and re-packing we checked out of the Hotel and headed to MOS Burger for dinner. Mum was so excited - this was her fav when she lived in Japan! Then it was off to Raffles for a famous Singapore Sling! Very posh.

permalink written by  megankevin on November 30, 2008 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: London
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London Baby

London, United Kingdom

After a couple of great sleeps we've finally made it to my 'Father(s) Land'! Again, M&D were so grateful to have me with them - we skip all the queues!

Uncle Steve Franklin was there waiting for us - what a great uncle he is: he was up at 3am to pick us up for 5.30! He drove us all the way back to Aunty Dawn and Uncle Steve Josling's (now I have 4 Uncle Steve's!?!!), who were so excited to see us!! Aunty Dawn cried - I understand she does a bit of this - we should get on well!

It's very cold here - 1 degree C, but nice and warm in their lovely home. After a bit of a catch-up and lots of giggles with Aunty Dawn (she's hilarious!), Nan and Grandad arrived!! I gave them lots of my best and biggest smiles - a first impression is very important, you know. It worked - they love me and I think we're going to have so much fun together!!

We had a lovely relaxing time catching up with everyone - I liked them all so much that I really didn't want to have a sleep.... After a few hours I thought I'd give M&D a break, but all this time difference is very confusing, you know? I had two breakfasts and two lunches yesterday?? My bath-time wasn't as fun as usual, but I had a good sleep and am now keen to check this place out a bit more!!

permalink written by  megankevin on December 2, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
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Franklin fun

Brentwood, United Kingdom

Well, it's been a great week catching up with all Dad's fandamly - and getting in this time zone!

We've been staying at Aunty Dawn's in Brentwood, Essex and I've been hanging out with my cousin Eva a lot. Unfortunately she's been a bit sick, but looks like she's on the mend now. We've still been out and about lots, so she's been a great sport.

On Wednesday, Nan and Grandad and Uncle Steve and Karen came over again and we all went down the pub for lunch. It was great to check out these English pubs - and M&D seemed to really enjoy their amber coloured drinks with lunch!! That evening I met my Cousin Annie - she's really cool.

The next day Eva took me to her BabyGym class! We sang and played on all these slides and things. It was great fun - especially having Dad there too. After a workout it was back to the pub for lunch and a nice cold walk home.

On Friday we went to this massive shopping centre, Lakeside, and we saw.....SANTA!!!! We went into his little Grotto and Eva and I had a photo with him. I wasn't too sure about the whole thing and, frankly, I was a bit hungry so the photo isn't one of my best..... Nan and Grandad love it though and reckon they're gonna get it out every Christmas!

Yesterday we went out to Romford and checked out the shopping there, very very busy. There are soooo many cool things for me, I think M&D will have to ditch their luggage! M&D then put me to bed and enjoyed a traditional English dish for dinner, takeaway curry.

Today we're off to stay with Nan and Grandad for a couple of weeks - wee hee!! I'm looking forward to the traditional Franklin Sunday Buffet I've heard so much about

permalink written by  megankevin on December 5, 2008 from Brentwood, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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Hammer time

West Ham, United Kingdom

Well, the buffet was everything I expected and it was great to catch up with all the family at Nan and Grandads. I LOVE it here - there are photo's of me and my cousins EVERYWHERE! I really do feel quite special.

We all chilled out all day today, chatted and everyone drank loads of tea! Nan and Grandad like their hot drinks - and Dad loves being waited on hand and foot, just like when he lived here!

M&D headed off to see Dad's favourite football team in the evening - West Ham. They played Tottenham at Upton Park. It was a bit late, so I stayed home with Nan and Grandad, but this is what Dad said about it after:

"Your Mum and I went to the pub first and it was great to be in a sea of Claret and Blue - after years on being the only one wearing West Ham colours in NZ. We got a very busy tube down to Upton Park - but the singing began on the platform before we even left!! "I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air...."

35,000 people were at the game, so the singing and chanting was incredibly loud - a bit louder than the fever zone at the cake tin!

It was great being there and supporting my team, but unfortunately they lost 2-0 and after the 2nd goal most people just stood up and left. There wasn't much time left on the clock, but I was gonna savour every moment there (and the tickets cost us and arm and a leg)!!! We waited until the end and joined the throngs of people trying to get on the tube. It was a good night out - even with a crap result!"

permalink written by  megankevin on December 8, 2008 from West Ham, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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London Baby

London, United Kingdom

We had a BIG day today - hanging out with my big cousin, Hayden. It was great to see him again - once we found him!! We met in the streets around Liverpool Street - luckily he had GPS on his phone...

We caught a bus that took us around all the sights of London - and we sat upstairs - my first ever double decker bus!! We saw Old St Pauls, Trafalgar Sq, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Sloane Sq.........etc......

I was getting pretty hungry so we hopped off at Sloane Square and caught the tube toward Covent Garden. Mum showed me one of her old hang-outs - the Walkabout. Apparently she spent quite a bit of time there once upon a time....

M&D loved it - remincing about all the times they spent here. I think Hayden thought they were a little lame, but Mum loved showing him all the sights that Uncle Dunc had once shown her!! Just think, I'll be doing all this again one day - I wonder if I'll remember.... I wonder who will be showing me around?

The Christmas lights are all up and the shop windows are decorated amazingly! The Selfridges window was just incredible with lots of Santa scenes in each one. They really go all out in this city for Christmas!

After a fun bit of shopping in this mega cheap store, Primark, we all headed to Marble Arch to get the tube home (I'm getting to be a real pro at this travelling business!).

permalink written by  megankevin on December 9, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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Quaint, Quaint, Quaint

Cheltenham, United Kingdom

After packing all our stuff we headed off to catch a tube to Paddington for the train to Cheltenham Spa in the morning. Unfortunately, the tubes were all a bit late and we missed our train!! whoopsie.....

We were visiting friends that M&D met when they were in India. James and Tracey had been to stay at our house apparently and M&D were very excited to catch up wth them again, on their turf. They had both taken a couple of days of work to see us, so we really didn't want to let them down by not getting the train!

After a very scary episode with the train people (they wanted to charge M&D £44 each to get the next train!!) we decided to take our chances with our original tickets (which only cost £9 in the first place!). As it turned out we were fine and the ticket inspectors didn't even notice. phew!

The train trip took a couple of hours and we saw some lovely country side and lovely towns on the way. James and Tracey were there to meet us when we arrived and took us back to their lovely house for a nice catch-up. Tracey had to go back to work for a few hours, but James and M&D took me for a nice brisk walk around their neighbourhood. I had only slept for about 1/2 hour all day so having a wee nap then did me the world of good!

After I went to bed, they all had a HUGE Chinese Takeaway and after stuffing themselves had a bit of an early night, I think.

We set off the next morning in search of quaintness in the Coltswolds! Just the drive there was amazing - there was snow on all the fields and we drove down tiny country roads lined with hedges and stone walls.

The first village we visited was Bibury. It was just so gorgeous! The stone houses were tiny - Mum had to duck under the doorways. We went to a lovely old pub called the Catherine Wheel and played a board game and I had my lunch. I think I love these English pubs as much as M&D do - no one seems to mind me being there and all the oldies just love me!

Next stop was the prettiest village you have every seen - Boughton on the Water. There was a small river running down the middle with all these little bridge crossing it. All the buildings were stone and with the Christmas lights on it looked just like something you might see on a Christmas card! We went to another pub (so M&D could have their lunch too, of course), and by the time we came out it was getting a bit cold and dark (about 3.30pm!), so we headed back to James and Tracey's (after James managed to get the car working again!).

After I went to bed, Tracey cooked a lovely big roast dinner apparently and they all played another game (this time M&D won - yeah!) while it cooked. By all accounts they all had a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable and fun evening!

Before we got back on the train on Friday afternoon, we all had a good look around Cheltenham Spa. It's a lovely town, with so many old period buildings! I think Mum wants to be transported back in time (only if she gets to be rich and not the person polishing the candle stick holders though....). I had my lunch in a lovely cafe while the others enjoyed roast pork/turkey rolls, followed by a Corish Pasty while they walked back to the car and headed to the train.

Once we made it back to Paddington I got to experience the tube in rush hour! Somehow we managed to be getting the tube at 5.05pm and it was packed with commuters and holiday makers. We did it though and it can't have been that bad, because I managed to sleep through the entire thing!

permalink written by  megankevin on December 11, 2008 from Cheltenham, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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party time

London, United Kingdom

I got to hang out with Nan and Grandad this afternoon and they put me to bed as M&D went out to meet some of their old London buddies! I'll let them tell you about their night out:

We met friends we worked with at House of Fraser, Lorna and Jo, in Barking. After a couple of pints at the Spotted Dog we headed of for Putney - right on the other side of London. We had to stop off in Earls Court for a 'pit-stop' for Lorna and Megan, and thought it rude not to try one of their local pubs....before continuing our journey South West.

At the pub (the Normanby), Pip, Nige and Jo were there waiting for us. It was wonderful to see them and have a nice catch-up! A couple of Kev's mates from the Council at home came along and so did Sarah and Leanne. (Thank you all so much for the effort!!). Colds and flu seem to be rampent here in London (either that or they make a great excuse?!) so quite a few people couldn't make it unfortunately.

After a few catch-up drinks and lots of chatting there, we popped down the road to the WalkAbout! They had £2 drinks which seemed a bonus at the time.......

We made a mad dash to catch the last tube, and had a very amusing ride home chatting to fellow commuters in our carriage. The winner of X Factor being the main topic of conversation...?

We arrived home to the sweet sounds of Stella crying!! eeeeeek.

permalink written by  megankevin on December 13, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
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Tonbridge, United Kingdom

I didn't sleep very well last night, so it was a slow start to the day but eventually we made our way to Charing Cross to catch the train to Tonbridge, to see my cousin Hayden again - and check out where he's living so we can report back to Aunty Maria!! His girlfriend Gemma was with him, and she' was just dying to meet me again!!

After missing each other (again!) we finally met up outside this old ruined castle in the middle of town and had a look around. There wasn't that much to see , but we got some good pics of everyone I think.

We headed back down the main street and toward Hack's flat. It was funny walking into the house - and straight into his bedroom! There are three of them living there and a pretty small living room - luckily their Sky has been turned off because they probably wouldn't all fit in there to watch it! For free rent and bills I think they've all done very well though and no one is complaining!

Gemma had a plane to catch so we headed to a nice wee pub (the castle) for a farewell / Christmas drink, before grabbing some McD's (Hack's staple diet at the moment I think??) and catching the train back to London.

It was rush hour on the Tube again, but that doesn't phase me anymore!

permalink written by  megankevin on December 15, 2008 from Tonbridge, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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Camden Town

Camden Town, United Kingdom

After a quiet day at home playing with Nan and Grandad yesterday, we headed off to Camden Market today. According to M&D it hasn't changed all that much in the last 8 or so years! They still sell lots of Dr Martin boots and big woolly jumpers and lots of bogan stuff! It was cool to go there though and check out all the tat and the canal and lock etc...

We had a really good look around there before heading off down to Knightsbridge (daaahling), and checkng out Harrods and all the lovely (and expensive) shops and cafes down there. We were all starving and popped into the only place it looked like we could afford. OMG, and I got kicked out of my first pub there!! On the face of it, it seemed to be for much the same reason as Dad always gets kicked out - I was asleep at the bar..... in reality though, they didn't have a licence for small children. Helllo??

We jumped back on the Tube and headed for Victoria - and the House of Fraser where M&D first met 12 years ago! To celebrate this occasion they bought me (it's all about me!) a Fraser Bear 2008. We then stopped off at the pub where they had their first kiss (yuck!!), the Green Coat Boy. We then made our way to St James's Park -and Mum's favourite - and stood on the bridge looking at Buckingham Palace and back to Westminster. Lovely!!

We walked through the park and out to get close up to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. What amazing buildings they are - especially lit up at night.

It was quite a busy and late night, but I got to have a good play around when we got home because I'd been stuck in the blimmen push-chair practially allllllll day! Geez M&D.

permalink written by  megankevin on December 17, 2008 from Camden Town, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: London
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