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Our little girl is growing up so fast. She is changing every day- She is starting to play and grasp items (she loves holding our fingers or mommy’s hair). She is very curious. She loves looking around, and maintains eye contact. She loves kisses, and has the cutest smile. She is still sleeping and eating well. She now weighs 11.5 lbs!

At the beginning of March Grandpa Mark visited us in England. We had such a great visit.  Then for Easter weekend, we went up north to York for a couple of days. It was a great visit. We went to the Good Friday Evensong service at York Minster, and to the Yorkshire Museum. There was also a really awesome Easter Market. Evie did great for her first little vacation. She has seen and done so much in her two months of life, and we can’t wait to do more!

Our trip to the Lake District was just a little vacation we wanted to take, since Tim had some extra vacation. However, the hip thing to do now is to take a “baby moon” when you’re pregnant (according to pregnancy websites: it’s kinda like a honeymoon, but before the baby is born). So we decided to call this trip our “Baby Moon”.

Day 1- Monday, October 26

From Harpenden to Keswick (a town in the Lake District and the “w” in Keswick is silent) via A1(M) A1 (British Highway: Arterial road 1/Motorway 1) the trip was roughly 286 Miles. Timothy did ALL of the driving to Keswick. It was roughly 5 1/2 hours with a few stops. The drive was more scenic, than if we took just the Motorway. It was a bright and sunny English day, and the fall foliage was just gorgeous the whole way!

Once in Keswick, we checked into our wonderful B&B, the Ellergill B&B. It was recommended by Rick Steves, and Rough Guides, and so do we! We used Rick Steves’ book and Rough Guides, along with a video Rick Steves posted on Youtube about the Lake District to plan our trip. The B&B was just around the corner form the main market street and several restaurants/pubs! It was also about a 10 minute walk to Derwentwater (a lake).

That evening, we walked to the lake shore right at twilight. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Once it became dark, we went to town for dinner and turned in early.

Day 2– Tuesday, October 27

We woke up bright and early to walk to the lake shore before breakfast. Once again it was so peaceful and even more beautiful in the early morning sun light. Timothy and I really lucked out, our first day was a beautiful sunny/dry day! After our early morning walk, we went back to our B&B for breakfast! A Full English (vegetarian) Breakfast- eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, with juice and coffee/tea. It was very good, and a perfect way to start the day!

Our host recommended we walk 1/2 way around Derwentwater– going west towards Nichol End Marine, and then south past Catbells around the lake to Mary Mount Hotel for lunch. The was was relatively easy. The 4 1/2-5 mile hike should have taken about 2 hours, but being 7 months pregnant, it took us more like 3 hours, with lots of stops for pictures and taking in the beauty of the Lake District.

Once we got to the Mary Mount Hotel, we were ready for lunch! The pub at the hotel had large windows with a great view of the lake and Catbells fells (a local mountain). It also had a ton of bird feeders, and a bird guide for us to learn about the different birds!

From the Mary Mount Hotel, we could take the Keswick Launch Company boat ride back to Keswick. The ride was very enjoyable, and we got to enjoy more of the lake. From there we walked through town and back to our hotel to relax, before dinner.

Day 3– Wednesday, October 28

After sleeping in (or trying too), we had another Full English Breakfast, before heading out for a hike to Castlerigg Stone Circle. Our original plan was to drive, but Google Maps said it was only 1.8 miles (one-way). So we decided to walk. Not a smart move. When we started walking it was overcast, and shortly into our walk it started to rain (lightly). Then about the last quarter or half (it felt like more) of the walk was UP HILL!!! It was tough, but I did pretty good for a pregnant lady! Once we got to the stone circle, it stopped raining and we had an amazing view from the top of the hill of the surrounding areas. It was breath taking. After taking lots of pictures, we started to walk back. Then it started to POUR!! It was an interesting walk back to town, and we even got lost a little. After lunch at a local cafe, we relaxed at our B&B until Dinner time.

Day 4– Thursday, October 29

Once again, we tried to sleep in, but it is not as easy as it seems! We had another Full English Breakfast before heading to the Southwestern corner of the Lake District to Muncaster Castle. The hour long drive was very scenic and beautiful. However, it was very stressful. English roads are very narrow and windy! Plus this road had lots of sheep and cows roaming freely! We even got in to a few “traffic jams” with the sheep and cows!

Luckily, even though the morning was wet, shortly into our drive the rain cleared up and turned into another beautiful day. We toured the castle (that is still lived in), the grounds, and a owl/eagle/hawk sanctuary! We also went though their family friendly scary halloween maze, and watched a spectacular bird show! Thankfully, I only had 1 heart attack during the show.

We then headed back to Keswick for dinner, and another relaxing evening.

Day 5– Friday, October 30

It was sad to leave the Lake District Friday morning after another Full English Breakfast, but we were ready to go home. Plus there is always laundry, and house work to do after a vacation. The drive back was LONG! We went down the M1 (motorway). And there was a lot of construction and traffic! It probably took us 7 hours (including lunch break). This time, Timothy started out driving, but after lunch I drove, and did a pretty good job! 🙂 We were very thankful to be home, even though we highly enjoyed our “babymoon,” and hope to go back to the Lake District one day! There was still so much for us to see and do, and so much more hiking to do.

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For Timothy’s birthday, we took a nice day trip to Southern England! It was nice to relax on a coach bus, and listen to our amazing guide. We really enjoyed this trip! Plus, the weather was AMAZING for England! Our first stop, Leeds Castle was breathtakingly beautiful! We got to explore the castle, which was restored by an American who bought it 1926, and the pretty garden with amazing views (for those of you who love golf, they have an amazing course). It is definitely a must see! Then we went to Canterbury Cathedral. It was really neat to visit together. There is so much history and beauty at this cathedral! The architecture and art in this cathedral is very impressive.  Lastly, we went to the coast to view the White Cliffs of Dover! The sky was so clear we could see all the way across the channel, to see FRANCE! It was amazing. We had such a fun day together.

Description of Trip:

“Escape the hustle-bustle of London for a day and travel to the English countryside for a tour of Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover. Enjoy a private viewing of beautiful Leeds Castle before the doors open to the public, get an exclusive tour inside UNESCO World Heritage–listed Canterbury Cathedral, and admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover.”(Viator/Evan Evans Tours)

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Timothy’s parents visited England for the first time this past month! We had a great time showing them around the St. Albans area, and of course LONDON!

Timothy’s mom arrived first. She was able to go with us to our anatomy ultra sound, where we discovered Peanut was a very healthy (and maybe stubborn) little GIRL! 🙂 Then the site seeing began! We showed her around St. Albans, London, and Hampton Court Palace. Also, one evening Tim took us to the theater to see WICKED. It was a lot of fun.

Then about a week later Timothy’s dad arrived! A really cool part of their trip was that Christopher’s (Timothy’s younger brother) trip to London/Amsterdam overlapped with his parents, so he hung out with us a couple of days! While Timothy’s dad was here, we went to St. Albans, of course, and in London we visited the British National Gallery, the Tower of London, Westminster Abby, and went on a Thames River boat cruise to see all the major sites (Big Bend, Parliament, St. Paul’s, etc.). On their final day in England, Timothy took his dad to Bletchley Park (iconic WWII code breaking location), while Mrs. Mann and I had an afternoon at the spa.

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On Saturday, April 18th we spent the day at Regent’s Park. It was a beautiful spring day. We went to the London Zoo and walked the Queen Mary’s Gardens  and the Avenue Gardens (My mother would have loved it!). The zoo was very impressive. It was not very big, but it was very diverse and interactive. We got to see so many of the animals up close, and some of the monkey’s and lemurs were in open exhibits we walked though and not behind glass or in a cage! A little scary, but cool. The gardens in Regent’s Park were just beautiful! I was so impressed with all the different flowers. So beautiful! I definitely think Regent’s Park is a must see for those visiting London!

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Slowly but surely we are settling in to our new home! We live in a cute little town outside of St. Albans city, but still in the St. Albans District. It is a very rural commuter town with lots of parks and green space, however the downtown area (High Street) has everything we need: several supermarkets, stores, restaurants, etc. We haven’t taken too many pictures of our area yet, but below are some pictures from St. Albans city.

Over a week ago we received all of our house hold goods! We are about 85% unpacked/settled in! The Kitchen, bathroom, guest room, and master bedroom are pretty much complete, but the living area needs bookshelves! Currently all of our books/ nick-knacks are on the dinning room table and it’s quite messy! Once we have that figured out, pictures will follow! 🙂

Also, this past weekend we went on a River Night Lights Cruise in London! We enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and a 2 hour ride along the Thames River at night. We got to see the Houses of Parlement, Big Ben, Tower of London, and more all lite up at night. It was beautiful, romantic, and a wonderful time! Thank you to all of our friends at the Technion who made this evening happend!!

I hope to blog again soon with more pictures!

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The past two weeks have gone by very fast! Timothy and I found an amazing apartment in the St. Albans area! It’s a two bedroom “flat,” so we will have a nice guestroom and we are super close to the train station. London is about a 25 minute commute by train. We hope to move in on March 2.

Timothy is really enjoying work and I’ve been keeping busy with my A&M work, as well as hunting for a job! We also celebrated Valentines Day with a walk along the Thames River to the Tower of London, and this weekend we went to the Natural History Museum and saw dinosaurs!

It’s  hard to believe this is our last week living in downtown London, but we are excited to be moving to the country side. We can’t wait to move into our new place and to get our stuff!

Prayer request: Timothy’s mom spent over a week in the hospital (now home) due to side effects from treatment. Please keep her and his family in your prayers.

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Our first week (plus a few days) has been great. We really like the location of our temporary apartment. It is close to Timothy’s work and it is so easy to access different tourist sites.

Timothy had a great first week. He drove right in, and is really excited. We are getting to meet lots of people, we even attended a potluck with some of Timothy’s co-workers, which was a lot of fun.

Today, we went to Churchill’s War Room. Lots of people have recommended this museum to us, and I’m very glad we went. It was interesting to see this “time capsule” and to learn about WWII from the British perspective. Also, when we were walking to the museum, we saw the Horse Guard Parade for the Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard.

It was a beautiful sunny day, here in London, so we wanted to spend time outside. From Churchill’s War Room, we walked to the Thames River, and took the footpath to the Millennium Bridge, which is near St. Paul’s Cathedral (we were unable to go in because of Mass). It was a great day and we enjoyed soaking in the vitamin D!

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Day 3 (Sunday) was a lazy day. After sleeping in, blogging, and doing a lot of nothing, we finally headed out into the city. We decided to go to the National Gallery.

My favorite section was the impressionist wing. I am now a fan of George Seurat. He is amazing. We also saw Monet, Van Gogh, and even a “cartoon” done by Leonardo Da Vinci. We only got to see maybe half of the museum, and will definitely be going back. After the museum, we went out to Indian, before heading “home”.

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Day 2 in London: we walked around the city, seeing some of the most famous sights. We mainly wanted to scout out places we want to see more. We also wanted to become more familiar with the city and how to get around. I’m really glad we did because the streets in London can be quite confusing! What looks like one continuous street on Google Maps, can actually be different streets that change names every couple of blocks! It was also nice to figure out how far things actually are from each other. The Eye of London, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, and Churchill’s war room are all about a 20-25 minute walk from our temporary apartment, which is so cool.

We also took a train to a commuter town we are interested in moving to. The town was really cool, but more urban than what Timothy and I were hoping for. We went to the tourist center and got some good information, and were told of another town close by, but smaller and more residential. We are looking forward to meeting with the realtor and finding our future home.  Also, the train ride was really nice.

PS: We won’t blog about every day, but we will if we do something exciting! 🙂

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