Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dover to London

The day we had all been dreading had finally arrived, it was time to disembark the Disney Magic, our two week cruise had come to an end. However, even though our cruise was over, that didn't mean our vacation was, we still had a couple of days in London to look forward to! Those extra days made disembarking the ship a little easier.

We disembarked in Dover, England and met our bus driver that would be driving us to London. Before started the long trip, we made sure to see a couple of the famous sites in Dover, such as their white cliffs, pictured in these first two photos. I had envisioned them out in the middle of nowhere, similar to the cliffs we saw in Scotland, but these cliffs are right in the middle of town, and are pretty impressive.

The cliffs are mainly soft white chalk with a very fine-grained texture, composed primarily of coccoliths, plates of calcium carbonate formed by coccolithophores, single-celled planktonic algae whose skeletal remains sank to the bottom of the ocean during the Cretaceous and, together with the remains of bottom-living creatures, formed sediments. Flint and quartz are also found in the chalk.

Next, we made a quick photo stop at Dover Castle. We didn't take a tour of the inside, we just walked around the grounds, it's a gorgeous castle.

Then we settled in for the long drive to London. The drive took most of the day, and we only stopped once, at a convenient store for a restroom break and to buy a few snacks for lunch. Our beautiful hotel in London was a very welcome sight! We stayed at the historic London County Hall Marriott Hotel with the prime location right next to the London Eye and across the River from Big Ben. It was the most amazing hotel!

This was completely unplanned, being together 24/7 for two weeks had melded all our great minds

The inside of the hotel is decorated in such a fun and whimsical contemporary style

The Burton family lucked out with an amazing suite that had multiple bedrooms, and a nice, big common area that was the perfect space for our big family to meet up and hang out. My room looked exactly like theirs, just on a smaller scale ;)

After settling into our rooms, and a very quick nap, we walked a couple of blocks to The Archduke for dinner. The style of this restaurant is interesting, it sits in the archway of a railway bridge, so there are exposed brick walls and ceilings, domed roofing and slate floors.  

The food was so delicious and there was live jazz music which was super fun!

After dinner, half the family went to see Aladdin the musical at the Prince Edward Theatre while the other half went back to the hotel to babysit the littles. I was part of the babysitting committee tonight, we will be going to see the play tomorrow night.

I was in charge of babysitting V, it was so much fun to have some quality one on one time with her, she is such a sweet heart. Vienne was pretty exhausted from our big day of fun, so she fell asleep pretty early on. I got to snuggle her while looking out my window at the amazing view of Big Ben and the London Eye all lit up

Look how stunning our hotel was all lit up! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Day at Sea #3

Our last day of the cruise was a day at sea. Every cruise should end with a day at sea, we had plenty of time to pack up our cabins and get everything ready for disembarkation the next day. 

After breakfast and before packing, we had reservations to meet with all the Disney princesses! V got dressed up in her Disney finest for the meet and greets. Isn't she the most adorable thing you've ever seen??

V is still working up the courage to fully enjoy meeting Disney characters ...

The Griffins got these awesome framed photos!

Merida Twins!

The show that night was Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic. We had seen this show on our other family Disney cruise and it is one of those shows that makes you want to cry happy tears at all the magic. I loved having the opportunity to see it again!

That night at dinner we cheered to all the happy memories we had created and all the gorgeous places we had visited. It was definitely a very memorable two weeks! It's probably the last time our entire clan will be able to travel together for a long time, if ever. The grandkids are growing up and going on missions and applying for college!

However, even though our cruise was over, that doesn't mean our trip was over... we extended our vacation so we all could spend a couple of days in London! Pics from our British adventures are coming up next