London was great and to have a break away with my little family was just what I needed. However it wasn’t all smooth. As you might of read in my last couple of posts, being manic and having almost crippling anxiety, I tried to plan every minute of the trip from timings to places. I planned to put Liberty in the baby carrier while moving from one place to another as thought I would have no chance getting on the tube with a stroller! I had packed everything that I thought that Liberty needed. When it came to packing, here is what I packed: (We went from Tuesday morning to Thursday afternoon):
Also adding in Calpol and Bonjela just incase! I Only wished I had taken another sleeping bag, you will see why later 🤦🏻♀️ . Then I looked into strollers and wanted one that was lightweight and could foldaway so it would take up minimal space. I looked online and all the best ones were ridiculously priced as those ones were an investment. We are not known for travelling so looked as reviews within a £75 price range and found the perfect one – Joie Nitro. It was on the Boots website and had £20 off so got it for £60! Added bonus was that I had enough points on my Boots Advantage Card to pay for it #Winning
The panic set in Leeds (only 45minutes in the trip) we were booked on the 10:15 direct to London Kings Cross and guess what…LNER had had technical problems so they cancelled the 09:45 and 10:45 then therefore both sets of passengers were all trying to get on the train. We were sat in coach C and having a friend who worked on the train and he had reserved an entire table for us so we had the space. I remember what I was like before I had a child, what it was like sitting with someone who had a baby. They would be throwing food and toys and then kicking off when mum went to quiet them down! 🙄 it okay a couple of times, but for 2 1/2 solid, it’s no fun. Obviously with the busy train we had to share our seats. I went to go change Lib but the toilet in coach D was broken so I had to all the way to coach L #FML
It was an absolute joke! It took 20mins to get there and back! I had to take a second to calm down as could feel a panic attack come on! Luckily we bumped into the train guard who saw my breakdown in tears. She was kind enough to upgrade us to first class! There is a god! 🙌🏻
Once in London after the stressful morning, now it was time to action my plan to the hotel which meant only catching one tube and a short 10 minute to the hotel. (Circle line to Tower Hill and had google maps screenshot of the route plus images of the hotel to know what to look out for). Tubes were good and easy to use with step free access and then going to the end of the platform to get a less busy carriage. I started to feel calmer as didn’t need to use the baby carrier after all and would continue to use stroller until it was absolutely necessary to use it.
Hotel was lovely, it was a great deal that we got after hours of searching for hotels with pools, we found The Grange London Bridge Hotel on Booking.com. My little tip is find the hotel on there and then go to hotel’s website as 9 times out of 10, there will be cheaper and have perks. We went direct and got free breakfast!
We were put on the 13th floor (my lucky number) It had great views of the Tower of London.
The tower is special to us as visited when we went on our baby moon and Liberty’s middle name is Raven. For those of you that don’t know the reason for that name, it’s because my mum has the Ravens as Knaresborough Castle. One of which was from the Tower. Some of you might had seen or heard and the bird from Yorkshire that can talk, well that’s my mums bird. Here’s a click for you:
When we settled in for our first night, Liberty became very sick. The first time it was actually food sick instead of the usual milk sick. It literally went everywhere! Even in my hair! We ended up having to co-sleep with her for night as she had no sleeping bag (vomited all over it) and knowing from the time when she had a fever, she won’t sleep properly without it. It’s like a comforter for her. It was s successful night as she spelt through the night and woke at 6am.
Excited for the day, we went to cash in on our free breakfast to get us set for the day. Due to my love for my new slippers, I packed them and as they look like shoes, I wore them for breakfast! It’s the little pieces of home like this that I need in my life when I’m feeling the way I do at the moment.
We set off for our day of adventure following the same plan for taking the tubes as yesterday. First stop the Natural History Museum. Not really a lover of natural history but had never been so remained openminded plus it was free to visit. I am not kidding, it was an actual joke with how many people they allowed in at any one time! I had anticipated that it would have been busy due to Easter school holidays and a key tourist attraction but this wasn’t even funny. It did not help my anxiety ONE LITTLE BIT! It took half an hour to just walk round half of the Dinosaur exhibition and yet again I could feel a panic attack coming on. Reasons being that it was far to busy, there was no natural light so started to feel Claustrophobic and then having to push a stroller through the crowds had me worried that someone would fall into her! We decided to have leave via the emergency exit and then head back out to the daylight!
Next adventure was the London Aquarium! I had been so excited for this and we managed to get 2 in 1 tickets too. As we travelled via train, we were able to book discounted deals via the site below so if you are planning on going to London, check it out and you could save £££. You can even get offers on the London Eye and London Zoo:
Liberty’s mind was blown in the Aquarium and it was baby sensory overload! We saw sharks and Penguins and she was obsessed with the Jellyfish! It was worth every penny to see her little face light up with amazement. We want to go back to Dubai sometime in the future and can’t wait to show her the aquarium in the Atlantis!
Due to stressing about travelling around London on the tube, my sister in law had mentioned about the Clipper boat which is like a water taxi. Dave was desperate to go on a river cruise so this killed two birds with one stone. Luckily there was a pier at the London Eye and one at Tower of London so perfect for a trip back to the hotel. The queue for the tickets was massive as expected but as I love planning, I had already booked ahead online #CleverThinking so straight to boat we went. It took 25 minutes in total and got to do a bit of sightseeing. We spotted the Tate Modern, the Gerkin, HMS Belfast and London Bridge plus the traitors gate river entrance to the Tower of London.
When we arrived back in the hotel, they informed us that there was a cancellation in the spa for a treatment so would we like to take it. Hmm let me think about that for a second… HELL YES! Neck, back and shoulder massage here I come! It literally was the best massage I have ever had! She dug her elbows into my knots and they literally popped out! I felt so relaxed that I felt a bit faint. Could this trip be any better! Tea contained of a burger from Burger King as since I got my treat with the massage, he wanted his one! So there we go on this search for the nearest one and luckily it was 10 minutes away at Fenchurch station. However google maps took us on a route where you needed to go through this passageway which was poorly lit. I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared! All this for a burger!
Settling down for the evening, Liberty managed to have 2 solid hours sleeping in the travel cot and then kicked off! As mentioned before, I think not having the sleeping bag on, she wouldn’t settle properly so back in bed with us. I totally see why parents co-sleep now as you really do feel a closeness to your baby even though you sleep with one eye open and in one position all night.
Thursday morning was a nice chilled morning for us, we had a late check out and we took Liberty swimming in the hotel pool! Didn’t last very long as it was freezing but at least I got to use the steam room and try shift this cold I seemed to have got! Only seem to get a cold when I come to London, no idea why 🤔
Headed back to Kings Cross and settled in waiting for the train. Continuing a traditional I had whenever I travelled home from London ever since I came here for uni back in 2009. I get sushi from Wasabi, Latte from Starbucks and then American Cosmopolitan magazine ( The Hills cast were on the front which was even better). I was obsessed with the Hills in my mid 20’s and it was one of the reasons why I went to London College of Fashion as Lauren Conrad was my idol. Just to top it off, we had been upgraded to first class (thanks JH – you will be rewarded) for the journey home and got to sit in comfort while drinking gin and tonics and eating cakes!
Going from First class to the commute from from Leeds to Harrogate which had about 200 people in just 2 carriages (National Fail at its finest) we arrived home safe and sound. Obviously as a control freak, I had the case unpacked, washing machine on and kitchen cleaned within 30 minutes from stepping through the door! Now back to reality! 😩
First Family Holiday ✅