Vacation

Alright!! So here is going to be what I think will be a big post just catching you guys up on our lives and how London and Paris treated us, haha!

So first off, let’s just talk about being back in New York. My kids were super happy to see their grandparents and their grammy again. That was great. I was super happy to have my sister back for a while even though sometimes it was a little hard because she has grown up so much more since I have been away and continues to do so. I love her so much and am so happy for her though and really just need to remember that she is an adult and this is life, haha! The weather in New York was mostly cold, rainy and disgusting but we did luckily get a few nice days, especially after my brother Dillon and his girlfriend Sam arrived. I really enjoyed all the FOOD! Oh man, new york just has some bomb ass vegan food and it is amazing. All in all we did a lot and had a great time visiting family. Jamie and I spent a bunch of days in the city including one day that we went to the Met for over 3 hours and STILL didn’t see the whole thing, as well as hitting up our favorite grocery store (Whole foods) and eating ourselves into a coma with all their delicious vegan treats, haha!

Being in New York was also a little hard though because I truly realize now how much time I lose with Joey when we are in America. The time difference and him being stuck inside all day and then getting off at 7PM and everything being closed or honestly, too expensive to do, is so hard. We were going to head out to the movies one night and priced it all up to be almost $100 for him, me and Jamie with the movie, transportation and snacks… That is insane when we only pay $10 for our movie tickets, walk to the theater, and maybe another $10 on snacks.. MAYBE! So we missed each other very much as really it was putting him into a funk where he just wanted to go to bed after work, disappointed that there was nothing he could really go do.

This being said we were so excited to leave for London because Joey had TWO FULL WEEKS OFF!! This was amazing. We LOVED London! Honestly, it was so amazing. We all had a great time and I’m going to share a bunch of pictures on my Instagram (I have shared some already, i believe too!) We went all over and spent May 23rd – May 31st there. We stayed in Queen’s Park which a lot of people say used to be a pretty shitty neighborhood but I didn’t care or notice one bit. I thought it was great. Our flat was so close to the bus stop, literally a 3 minute walk and we could go anywhere from there! We saw the Queen at Buckingham palace our first real day there!!! It was just so cool. Such a great experience to just happen to walk into with no real knowledge of it happening. The kids enjoyed all of our bus rides and adventures. We were so exhausted from that trip, honestly. The amount of things we did were crazy. Also, we were exhausted from what I am going to say is serious jet lag. We were exhausted. I think we crashed once arriving at maybe 2pm and slept all the way into the next day. SO TIRED.

Let’s take a second to talk about vegan food and then go back to our travels… I have heard that London actually has a lot of good vegan food but there was nothing near by us. We mostly ate pizza without cheese and things like toast, pasta, fruits, etc. It wasn’t very fun to have no real options as far as like other foods we eat, rice, tofu, etc. Also, London was EXPENSIVE!! More expensive than New York which was just crazy to me. We ordered thai food one night and it cost just Joey and I FIFTY DOLLARS! Where maybe something like that in New York would have cost us $25/$30. Paris had a cute vegan bakery where we got croissants and some desserts and things that was super tasty but it was two metro trains away and so it was just too inconvenient to really go there often. Also, grocery shopping in Paris was quite a bit harder because nothing was in english and we literally couldn’t find any bread for the kids that didn’t have milk or eggs in it so Aubrey was pretty sad. I did eat a bomb ass Vegan burger at Paris Disney though! I had packed the kids a lot of apple sauce, apples, freeze dried mangos I had left from Target, and some fruit snacks. They also had some french fries and then when we got home they ate their weight in microwavable rice which was *HELLA* expensive and red beans with broccoli. I think next time we go to London we will have to definitely check out an area that is closer to some Vegan things just to make it more convenient for us. We have decided that we will be visiting London again, maybe sans children, haha!

In London we did SO MUCH. We saw Big Ben, West Minister Abbey, The London Eye, Keat’s house, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, The West End, Platform 9 3/4, Kensington Gardens, and Hyde park as well as like WestField London, a pretty cute Whole Foods, etc. I fell in love with London, really. The only thing that could have been better was just food. If we had proper cooking things and had gone to a bigger grocery store (which we stayed shopping mostly at little local stores because no one else wanted to shop for food as they were all eating out for every meal) then I think it would have been 100x better. The kids enjoyed London as well. They loved the double decker buses, they loved our apartment which had a deck that was nice for them to play on, and we were close to a playground and a couple smoothie places as well! I was pretty sad to leave London but I was hoping that Paris would offer us some more fun and a change of pace since now we had seen and done most everything we wanted to do and could do.

The train ride from London to Paris was pretty amazing!! Oliver slept and Aubrey just hung out with my Mother-in-Law. My mother-in-law and I had walked to in the train “bar” and grabbed some wine, sodas, and snacks and then we just sat and talked! The trip seemed so short even though it was a few hours long in reality. We didn’t have any trouble getting out bags on and off the train so that was good because we had SO MUCH luggage. We did have one bag checked at security which was annoying but it was okay. Aubrey ended up falling asleep right as we were getting off so we had to wake her up. She was so sleepy. We ended up walking all the way to the opposite side and thankfully getting two nice big Uber vans. They were EXPENSIVE! Im talking like $100 EACH. It was a far ride though from the station, like an hour? Maybe. Our place in Paris was AWFUL. Oh my god, it was awful. It was old and outdated and just not like the pictures had shown. It turned out that there was also mold growing in a fridge/freezer in one of the rooms and Joey was having a hard time breathing. He couldn’t stop coughing and just was having an awful time feeling like complete garbage. Our Airbnb lady refunded our money except for the two days we were there and then I found another Airbnb that was a little outside of Paris we could afford and we moved there. This Airbnb was BEAUTIFUL and had a washer and dryer which meant ALL CLEAN CLOTHES! Although our London Flat had a washer, it was small and we had to line dry everything which was fine for the days where it wasn’t raining.. haha! We were also very close to the Metro so getting into Paris was very easy and convenient. It also had a playground which was awesome. The was NO food delivery though, not even pizza and the closest grocery store was a bit far away. Our first day there me and my mother-in-law walked there and had bought quite a bit of things, expecting to take uber home, my phone died while we had just gotten a driver so we had to walk home and carry all this stuff plus…it started raining. Basically we laughed our asses off because it was truly awful, hahaha! Joey will say he lived on bread which is only half true.. haha!

So in Paris we didn’t do too much sight seeing. We saw the Eiffel Tower at night, which was beautiful but our kids were just a disaster. They were tired, cranky, and really just meltdown city which resulted in me crying. Joey was also just not in a good mood so it really took away from the experience but it was truly beautiful and the kids did love what they saw in between breaking down. Oliver ended up falling asleep in the Tula (thank Buddha for babies who still nurse/love Tula time, ha!) We also saw the Lourve, the Arc, Notre Dome, had some vegan croissants, desserts, pizza… It was just not as fun filled as London which left a sour taste in both mine and Joey’s mouths. Declaring that Paris hated us was a big part of the trip, haha. The kids LOVED Disney Paris. Absolutely 100% happiest day of our entire trip for them. Aubrey declared it as her BEST day ever which was amazing. I literally started crying as we walked in because they were just so unbelievably excited. Aubrey waited in line happily for over an hour to meet Mickey Mouse and her face was just truly priceless. It was wonderful to watch and be apart of. I think that I would do Paris again but with more planning, more knowledge of the language and WITHOUT the kids. I know we will do Disney again whether it be in Paris or in California or New York or maybe even Tokyo as I hear that one is pretty amazing, haha!

At the end of our trip I was just really struggling, I had a couple meltdowns and got a little too tipsy on wine one night as I just had a hard time with doing so many adult things and not really many things for the kids which was meaning constant “please stay here, please come back, please don’t sit here, I know you are tired, I know you are hungry, no, I’m sorry we can’t do this or that, etc.” It was wearing me down and causing some serious issues between me and Aubrey. I was ready to leave Paris when it came time and am thankful it went so smoothly. Our flights were pretty okay. The first one was stressful as the kids were just not wanting to relax. Then once they were happy we had a french woman yell at us because towards the end of our flight they started singing, happily. She was saying “SHHHHHH!!!” I just laughed and asked her what she would like me to do? They are singing, put your headphones in and go to bed… and she proceeded to yell at me in french, haha. Oh well. Second flight was cake, seemed like it went so fast. Then our nanny (ms.Ana) met us at the condo and was a huge help while Joey and I showered, unpacked some and went straight to sleep while the kids went down to the pool. Later we ran some errands like getting money, sim cards, etc and then we were happily and mostly in bed by 8PM!

I’ll catch you guys up some more shortly about how we have been doing with getting readjusted 🙂

Love,

ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤

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