Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weird

Oh man I had a weird dream last night. Jessi and I were stuck in a small town somewhere in Israel and we had barricaded ourselves into an old 1970's station wagon with a few israelites that we knew from that area. I had received some information that led me to believe that Jerusalem would be nothing but ashes in 10 days and I was trying to figure out how to stop that from happening.

Hmm maybe I should write an adventure novel hehe.

Rob

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bus Tour and the Tower of London

The weekend has finally arrived!! Jessi is off work and we went out to have a bit of fun. We bought tickets and joined the Original Bus Tour which are big doubldecker open top buses that run all over London. They have a commentator telling you all about the history of all the neat places in town.

We stopped by the house where Peter Pan was written, all kinds of parks, the London Eye, Big ben and Little ben, The houses of Parliament, the new scotland yard, where ian fleming lived, where the beatles shared an apartment together. The mayors house, the prime minsters house, the former prime minister Margret Thatchers house. Etc etc.

At the end of our tour we stopped at the Tower bridge and the Tower of London. Wow talk about amazing. We did a guided tour of the Tower of London which is a large complex of buildings that dates back to the Romans. Some of the existing Roman walls still stand though many things have been added or rebuilt since that time. We saw the Crown Jewels which includes the biggest diamond in the world 530 carats i believe it was. We saw the torture chambers inside the "Bloody Tower" Oh did I mention that this was the place where Kings and Queens were tortured and executed? Lots of macabre history in this spot. There is a church inside that has 1500 bodies buried under it including the bodies of 6 saints of the catholic church.

The Tower Bridge (often confused with the London bridge) is the neatest bridge we have ever seen. Jessi is quoted as saying "It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I cannot take enough pictures of it!"



Here is us outside of the Tower of London



The amazing Tower Bridge


Outside the Tower


The White Tower

Lots of guns and stuff!

An actual part of the wall build over 2000 years ago.


This is "The Rack" the famous torture device that slowly makes you taller and better looking.

Some thoughts from Jessi about London

Motorcycles & bikes are everywhere. Even BETWEEN cars driving down the street. Fashion Forward! Many different fashon trends here than the US (yet). Leggings, skinny jeans, "ballerina" type shoes, scarfs are all very popular. Half the female crowd is out of a magazine. Street signs - none to be seen. White rectangular signs on the building corners . No stroller/handicap access anywhere. Do people not have kids here? So far not family friendly restaraunts and most entrances have stairs. Much much much more eco-friendly awareness. Organic food/stores are common. Buildings are amazingly gorgeous. Very big city feel. Mostly old buildings and architecture, but new modern buildings mixed in.

5 1/2 hours of wandering

Yesterday Ryan didn't wake up until 9 o'clock so I decided heck he doesn't need an early nap today. Lets go wander around and see how lost we can get. So we packed up the stroller and headed off for a 5 1/2 hour walking tour of london that included such sights as the Thames River, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Waterloo, St. James Park, Victoria Embankment Gardens, and even stopped to meet Jessi at Westminster Abbey where we walked back to the apartment and snagged some of London's finest Cod and Chips on the way.

Without Further Ado.... Some pictures


Ryan and I in Saint James Park. The flowers have made him all snoozy.


Ryan tried to demand an audience with the Queen but she wasn't home at Buckingham today


Mom and Ryan in the phone booth


A picture of the London Eye (huuuuge ferris wheel thing) from the Thames River

Ryan swinging at the park next to the London Eye


Ryan enjoying a balloon and lunch at The Giraffe

Did I say how much I love to eat exotic foods?

Friday, August 29, 2008

The 8th Wonder of the World - Nutella


Turns out this stuff is amazing. I completely understand why the brits have neglected peanut butter in favor of this delicious, fudgy, icing-like, hazlenut spread.



Baked beans on toast however is a British delicacy I will never be able to stomach. Yuck!

Rob



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square



This is our first impression of Piccadilly. Tons of shopping and restaraunts and people everywhere!



We stopped in the part to enjoy some cookies and to play with the pidgeons.



Here is just one of the spectacular views just looking down any street in London.




Here is little china in Piccadilly. I'm not sure if they call it that but it was several streets of nothing but acupuncture, stores with cool non-FDA approved oriental foods, and noodle houses.



Here's Ryan getting ready to jump on the bus. He loved every second of it.



This is Trafalgar Square, they had a huge sand pit and were having Rugby competitions. It reminded me of the Nike Air It Out football and basketball competitions we have in the States.




I don't know what statues these are but they rock. This is Trafalgar from across the street.



Here is Bigben from Trafalgar Square. (Note: Bigben is actually the bell inside the clock tower)

Ryan's Back + The Bus System has been Mastered!

Finally after getting 4 teeth, picking up a nasty virus that left sores all over his mouth and the 7 days of 7 runny poops a day Ryan is back today!

He woke up this morning a little tired (it was 6 am) but quickly recovered with a big smiley face and lots of chatter. We had a great breakfast and he ate more than he's eaten in weeks. Then we played and he took a little nap and was hungry all over again for lunch. After spreading pasta and strawberries all over the kitchen he was done and it was time for another adventure in London.

The Transit System!

Today I decided we would figure out the bus system even if it left us in france for a few days. Fortunately I found a great resource online that you place the address your at and where you want to go and it shows you where to get on the correct bus. After jumping on a bus to Piccadilly Circus I was able to figure out how the system worked using the maps they provide.

Couple of things if you ever visit here. The buses do not stop unless you wave them down. They will cruise right on past you. Also they do not let you off unless you hit the little Stop bell inside the bus. You could definitely end up on a long ride if you didn't notice that right off.

We visited Piccadilly and Trafalgar today and I will post more about that in another blog. Ryan loved it and we had a great time. He's been so much fun today and really the happy kiddo that he used to be. It's been wonderful.

Raw stumps and big humps

Our poor american legs have been ground down to stumps. We are not used to all this walking! I don't think I've ever really felt fatigued walking except maybe when I did a 10k walk with my mom years ago. Last night we were wiped out. Besides the 2 hour walk I took in the morning (lost) and the walk to work for Jessi we managed to walk for hours last night.
We ate at a really cool Italian American restaurant where I drank a few Peroni's (italian beers) and we enjoyed pizza and a calzone.
We then took a fortuitous turn (lost) and ended up at St. James park and then as we wandered even farther (completely lost) we managed to find the statue of Queen Victoria and Buckingham palace right behind it.
All in all a very fun trip. After misusing the GPS on Jessi's UK work Iphone 3G (lucky girl) we managed to find our way to Big Ben and Jess with her wonderful navigation skills managed to guide us home at 10 o'clock at night. Fortunately through my innate knowledge of the Kung Fu we were able to thwart any late night muggings.
Oh and watch out for the Humps!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A different look at world news


Mercedes Fire Truck!?!?!


It's a bit hard to see but this crazy little firetruck is a Mercedes. I plan on stopping by with a few T-shirts to try and trade a few. I was a bit unprepared this morning as I was lost and still have no idea where I was when I found this station hehe.

A strange concoction



I like to try new things and a visit to London is a great opportunity for me to indulge a bit and try some new and very strange foods.

This is Porridge. I've heard of it before but I never really knew what it was. They seem to sell it everywhere here and I figured it would be a good starter for my first taste of real UK food.

Porridge is made from Jumbo Oats they told me at Crussh a trendy little Juice Bar in Westminster. It's not like the oatmeal we eat though, there are no identifiable oat pieces in it. I'm guessing they grinding the oats down to a powder to make it lighter and fluffier. Then they get creative.

I asked the young friendly girl behind the counter what she liked to put in her porridge. She told me the best thing was Soy Milk, a handleful of a Cashew, seed, raisin, and other fruit mix, bananas and maple syrup (it's a lot thinner than our maple syrup). It looked a bit strange or "nutty" if you will but it was really good! Much much much better than the "Oriental Beef Burger" I tried from the McDonalds here last night (Barf).

The Adventure Begins




Today we walked Jessi to the Tube Station (think subway) as she headed in to her first day of work at Bats Europe. Ryan and I decided we would do a bit of sightseeing. Ok we got lost and decided to make the best of it hehe. As luck would have it, all of this country is surrounded by water so we weren’t able to wander too far. We did manage to take in a few sights along the way.

Above is a picture of Westminster Abbey (we are staying in Westminster London) and Big Ben. My initial impression is Wow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Old habits die hard

It's our first day in London. We are tired and jetlagged but excited and wide-eyed at the same time. Everything is sooo different here. The architecture is amazing, the people really do speak an entirely different language (I tell them I'm hard of hearing so they will slow down and repeat things so I can figure out what they are saying). Everywhere we go we see people from all different nationalities.

Our apartment is a very tasteful 2 bedroom 2 bath on the second floor with lots of windows overlooking Marsham street. I can watch people walking around all day long and see the open top and double decker buses cruising through town. We are just a few minutes walk from Big Ben and the houses of parliment and I can't wait to actually get the stroller out and give them a good tour.

Ryan has been sick lately and he had a pretty tough time on the flight over. He slept from KC to Chicago which was awesome but he spent several hours crying on the plane ride over to London. He was a good sport considering he isn't feeling good and his naptimes were all screwed up with the time change. Everything considered we had a good trip over and after a few catnaps we are starting to adjust to the 6 hour time change.

We went to the local grocer "Tesco's" today and visted a few shops and ate at a sandwich restaurant in town. This short jaunt was where it really sunk in that we were in a completely different country. We speak a similar language but it ends there pretty much.

Here in London there are no Targets or Walmarts. They have small grocers, though they do have a coffee shop above Tesco which is nice. The restaurants are so small that most of them you can't even wheel a stroller inside (Sorry no Applebee's, Chili's, or Outback). No high chairs have been spotted so far which definitely is a consideration when picking a place to eat. Nobody here seems to know what a blow-dryer/hair dryer is or where one could purchase such a strange appliance. Most places that we've been to so far only take cash. They really don't sell miracle whip or peanut butter here (glad Jessi packed a jar of the PB for us hehe).

The biggest kicker of all. Mountain Dew. It is non-existant here, they do not have the drink in the UK as far as I can tell. The only place I could find to buy some Diet Mountain Dew online was charging over $20 for a 12 pack. That doesn't count taxes or delivery! Those of you who know me well know I drink about 3-4 of these a day normally. Sooo no complaints, I will score some even if I have to hit the underground. It gives me a mission while I'm here and I'm sure it will taste soooo sweet when I have completed my task.

Oh a few Language tidbits for those who are thinking of visiting some day. A Crib is called a "Cot" here, Garbage bins are called "Wheelie bins", you don't get in line for something, you get in "Queue". No elevators in London but you can always take the "Lift". I used to push Ryan around in a stroller but no more! Now he rides high and mighty in his "buggy" hehe.

Oh our apartment has no airconditioning, how weird is that.

Pictures will be forthcoming, I was much too lazy to bring the camera out this morning but I will strive to be a better person tomorrow I swear.

Love you all,

Rob

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ryan first flight

This was taken on the way to Chicago. Ryan snoozed through this 1 and a half hour flight like a true champ.

Big old jet

We are in Chicago getting ready to hop on a double decker 747!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

2 babies

It turns out that we have two children who like to take walks in the
new stroller!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last day at the station

Yesterday was my last day at the firestation. We had a great time, no fires
to report (looks like the chili dog effect is finally broken). We took a
few pictures for the guys to remember me by (and photoshop into something
Crazy for when I get home I'm sure).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday Afternoon

Just a few days away and we are gone for 2 months! Feel free to look us up on Skype while we are out of town. Our skype ID is kcrobk.

Shots and Teeth

What a nasty combination. Poor Ryan spent all last night up screaming and drooling. Not to mention the buckets of snot dripping down his face. We tried taking him outside to sooth him, we put in a brand new baby einstein dvd that we had stashed away, we fed him a meal at 4am. Nothing seemed to stick. Finally this morning I was able to get him to take a nap at 9am. Only an hour but even his dad felt better afterwards hehe. Hopefully this new one will cut through soon ouch! Not to mention he just got 2 shots yesterday at the docs. Thats enough to make anyone grumpy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holy Cow OMG - Lucky Number 10

Last night Jessi got home from New York after sitting on a plane for 4 hours. She was upstairs spending a little quality time with Ryan and putting him to bed when I hear her calling my name. I come up the stairs and into his room to see whats up when she hits me with a simple yet crazy question. "Did you know your son has 10 teeth?" Now if you don't know Jessi very well, she is an accountant and knows her numbers.. She even has a 10 key pad that she uses every day so I'm thinking she knows the number 10 as well as anyone. But that doesn't explain how my son, "old six-teeth" has sprouted 4 teeth in one day.

He had been breaking this humongous molar this week so that accounted for tooth number 7 but where did the other 3 come from? She beckoned me to put my finger in his mouth (if you are a parent you know how scary that is) and I complied. To my amazement this kid/shark has sprouted 4 molars in 1 day. Can't he slow down and just be a baby for awhile longer. SHEESH!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sometimes it's ok to kiss and tell

Every stage of Ryan's life thus far has been so amazing. I have wanted to hold on to every precious second and I thought he couldn't possibly get any cooler than he was at that very second. When I held him in my arms on the day he was born, when he said "Daddy", when he laughed for the first time, when he walked up to me and signed the word "Eat" and "More" much to my suprise, when I sat him up to see what he'd do and he balanced himself for 5 minutes like he'd been doing it his entire life, when he wrote his first incredibly long run-on sentence.... OH wait that's me!

Hehe basically I'm always amazed at how exciting and new everything has been up to this point.

And then he learns how to give kisses.

I just realized that once again he has topped everything thus far.

Baby kisses are amazing. There is absolutely nothing like a big open mouth, crusty banana and cookie covered kiss. It's wet, it's disgusting, he has absolutely no control over his teeth or tongue yet you wouldn't change anything about it.

Ryan likes to blow kisses, give kisses to the cats and dogs and he always saves the best for his mom and dad.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kingsbury day at the K

We took Ryan to the Royals game today. We had a great time and wonderful seats behind home plate. We were behind that net but I kept thinking I was going to be feeding Ryan my hotdog and an errant foul ball was going to come winging our direction. All in all it was a great time, we sat in the sun and decided to get Ryan out of there in the 6th inning but it turns out that we were only halfway through the game. They ended up winning after 12 innings ending a 4 game losing streak.

Yay go Royals!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fire this morning







video
I took a quick video and some pictures of a fire we had this morning at 7am.
Make this fire #11 in a row since the chili dog incident.

The fire was at 54th and Wayne and the smoke was seen from responding companies at 39th and Paseo. It was blowing fire out the siding on the front of the house and you could see the stairs on fire inside the house from the front windows.

Scary stuff. As we say here, "Angry Smoke means Angry Fire". We started an interior attack and then backed everyone out and used the aerial (ladder) truck to dump water into it from above. It started off as a 1 1/2 story bungalow and in the end all of the roof and second floor was completely gone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Caught in the act

After several of our lovely Koi have gone missing we can finally rule out kidnapping.

My Shoes are Radioactive

He mows, he walks the dog. Now to teach him how to cook me breakfast in bed!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This is allllll his moms fault.

This all started one fateful night in the back seat of our Honda Civic. Mommy had just gotten herself a tasty frappuccino from Starbucks and was just starting to enjoy the sweet, icy cold, goodness when our ever inquisitive son noticed that Mom had a "Drink with a Straw".

As good parents we taught our son early on how to drink out of a straw, and like every important thing you ever teach your children you usually live to regret it. From that moment on any "Drink with a Straw" instantly becomes Ryan's focus point. He must have it!

Now we don't give in and let him drink soda and coffee and whisky and stuff. We normally just tell him no and give him his own drink. But this time mommy thought it would be funny to let him take a sip. After all he's going to hate it. It's coffee for crying out loud!

Boy were we wrong. Turns out the Kingsbury coffee addiction is coded directly into the DNA at birth. He loved it. Cries of "Mo" "Mo" and his little hands coming together in the sign for "More" sounded in the back seat of the car as I drove us home. "Oh boy" I thought, "We've created a monster".

And here he is, several months later and lapping up the last delicious drops of mommie's mocha. Oh well what can you do, it's in his blood.