Monday, August 17, 2015

Reunion

I was looking forward to posting pictures of our little family reunion down the road from Heathrow Airport, but by the end of editing all the pictures I feel a bit sad.  These cousins love each other so much, and the precious few hours we got to spend with them were so sweet.  But before we got to the reunion, we had to check out of our hotel and find a way to spend the morning hours.  Our ever-talented tour guide, KJ Pugh, took us to Syon Park, home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland (when they're not living in their castle in the north, that is). 


We began at the Great Conservatory, which is truly great indeed.  


We were only a few miles from the airport, and the kids spent most of the morning counting the airplanes that flew overhead.  We had airplanes on the mind.


Taking pictures was not allowed inside the house, but we really enjoyed our walk-through.  We discovered that Queen Victoria spent the summers before her coronation here, and her bedroom has been left virtually untouched.  The library was the loveliest of rooms.  But we had a more pressing appointment to look forward to, and around lunchtime we found ourselves eating here:


Only the most important historical spots will do for our family meet-ups now.


After eating a little lunch we unloaded all of our luggage to make room for the Kizziah's, and KJ left the kids and I hanging by the Thames while he drove to the airport to pick up our family.  We were praying the timing would work out perfectly, and it really did.


As soon as we alighted by the river this swarm of ducks came to greet us.  All we had to feed them was crisps (it's so hard to call them chips on English soil).


First up, the finer things in life like tea and scones and that great English delicacy, the flapjack. Uncle KJ treated all the cousins to ice cream, and then we set off exploring.  Our first destination was a bit of American soil, but we were mostly caught up talking and catching up as quickly as possible.

 

I just decided to skip the commentary, because sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

 

We exchanged gifts before loading everyone back in the car.  John David has the best carry-on ever, right?

 
 

Aunt Katie had a special message for Ella and James's present.


James added his name so there could be no doubt who the message was for.


And we said good-bye and felt sort of sad combined with really thankful and content.  It was a really good London get-a-way, a really good time with our family, and it was time to head home to Yorkshire.


Somebody needs to tuck that seatbelt away from his face.

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