Traveling to London, England with Kids

I started out the day in a mad rush to get the children's pets to the sitter's house. In my mad rush, I forgot all the food for the rabbit. I had to drive like a mad fool to a local grocery to purchase food for the rabbit before the streets were closed off on our pet sitter's street. They were set to have a parade that morning.

I had not slept for the past few evenings as my little one was suffering with a terrible flu. I gave her some medication to help alleviate some of her symptoms and to aide in her sleeping, but it did not work so well. She slept much better Friday evening than she had the previous few nights, but she was still not fully rested. I was hoping she would have agood day as we would be trapped on an aircraft for eight full hours.

My two oldest children were beyond excited and I could barely contain them in their enthusiasm for our flight that afternoon. Thankfully, a lot of their joy was rubbing off on the little sick one and was making her smile and somewhat forget how sick she was.


We made it to the airport and through check in without any issues. I have to say that self check in with United Airlines WAS A BREEZE! I wish they had installed these self check in units years ago! What a time saver and non-crabby airline help to deal with. We also had zero issues going through security and we usually do not.  Aside from being five persons bombarding a station and upsetting men who are traveling on business and in a hustle. Once we were at our gate it was simply a waiting time period.


We were all sitting in Economy, which really was not an issue for myself or the children as we have plenty of room. My husband is not used to sitting in economy, unless he is traveling with us, which is not often. He travels quite often with his job and is always sitting in business class and lets me know how miserable he is with a few scowls my way. I simply tell him to use his perks to upgrade if he can't sit with us and that shut him up.

The girls wanted to sit by me, so I was in between the two of them and I can honestly say I would have rather sat on the end, but I just wanted a peaceful flight. I saw a bit of an issue occurring in front of me with my son and my husband and poked my head up to see what was going on. My son did not want to sit in the middle by a stranger and my husband absolutely refused to budge from the end seat. My son was in tears and on the way to a outburst. {if you know anything about SPD children, this would not bode well for us in an aircraft!} I begged by husband to switch with him and he would not and told my son to just deal with it.

My lovely daughter, ever the mediator quickly popped up and said she would sit up front and let my son sit in her seat as long as he would switch back later. This child of mine, her dear heart, I don't know how I was blessed with her, but she has this uncanny ability to un-ruffle her brother's feathers and settle him down. I was so thankful for her kind nature to always smoother over the rough edges. They made the switch and I was able to calm my son down before a truly ugly scene erupted.

My little one, on the other hand, was starting to wear down, turn green and complaining about how much her tummy hurts. We are up to the small toilet in the back where we take up permanent residence for the next few hours. Back and forth we are. Back and forth. In and out. The poor child, I don't know how she survived this flight. About half way into the flight, we were sitting and I was just zoning out {my son and daughter had switched seats back by this time} and my daughter was tapping me quickly and pointing to the little one. She was vomiting in her air sickness bag.

Thank my fortitude in showing her how to use this as soon as we got into our seats. I jumped over her and grabbed her and the bag of vomit and headed for the toilet again. I DROPPED THE BAG! I couldn't believe how full that silly little bag was and I dropped it. The bag was full to the top and I don't even know how this child had any fluids left in her.

I ran down the aisle of the aircraft and quickly put her in the small loo and looked for a steward to let them know there was vomit in the aisle now. I spent the next half hour or so in the tiny cubicle with my daughter just holding her and rocking her and consoling her. She kept telling me this was the worst flight of her life. It is true and I felt horrible for taking her on this trip. She was so afraid to leave the little box of a room for fear of more vomiting. But I finally convinced her it would be okay and we returned to our seats.

I remembered that I had some Dramamine and I broke one in half and gave it to her, along with a Tums and two baby aspirin. She literally passed out in my lap at this point. I gently moved her to her seat and her head was hanging out the aisle. It was a sad sight, but I dared not move her. My other daughter was near tears as she couldn't fall asleep, so I grabbed her and rocked her to sleep. I moved her to her seat and I was sandwiched between two girls, with their legs across my lap and their heads hanging out on their respective aisles. We were a sorry lot I tell you.

We were set to arrive at 6:00 AM and it was fast approaching with one hour left in our flight. My husband was sitting up in front of me, completely oblivious to my miserable flight to this point. I don't think he turned his head once to see what was going on as he had his head glued to the movie screen on the seat in front of him the entire flight or his nose was in a book. He could barely tolerate a kind word in response to any of my questions. All he was concerned about was the stupid landing pass form - did I fill it out - I think he asked me 12 times. Needless to say, I was at my wits end with him at this point. I told him I had more pressing concerns, but he really had no clue.

My biological clock was telling me it was time for bed and I was hitting a wall. I was cramped in the middle seat with four little legs draped about me and I wanted off the plane! We landed well enough and were able to get off the plane, collect our luggage and through customs quickly and smoothly. Heathrow itself is an easy airport to navigate, but I had the husband with me who has been through this airport more times than he can recall.


London Oyster Underground / Subway System

We purchased our London Oyster Underground passes and gathered up our luggage and hopped on a train to locate our apartment for the next five days. It was bright and early in the morning in London and we were all exhausted, but thrilled to be in Europe. The Underground ride was long and cold after the flight, but it was still far superior to L/train system here in Chicago. London definitely has their act together when it comes to the subway system.


Regents Park Residence Apartments

The train to the apartment was pretty much effortless. We had a bit of trouble actually locating the apartment and had walked right on past the doorway without even knowing it. All we needed to do was look up a bit to notice the small Regents Park Apartments address, instead of the name. Regents Park Residence was located in London's St. Pancras - Islington neighborhood, close to British Library, Trafalgar Square, and St. Paul's Cathedral (I will chat more on this apartment in further travel posts AND I do not recommend it at all!!) My husband had to walk a half mile to another location to pick up the keys and we waited at a bus stop for him to return. I had to dig through all the luggage looking for hats and gloves and warmers jackets as it was freezing and raining. The children were shivering and their shoes were already soaked.

We collected the keys and we able to get inside out of the rain and rest a bit. I made the children lay down and sleep for a couple of hours as we were to meet up with our friends at 2:00 PM local time that afternoon. Our biological clocks were telling us all that is was very late o'clock in the evening - 3:00 AM to be exact! I had only intended to sleep for two hours and we slept for four hours! The apartment suited our needs as we basically just needed a place to sleep. We didn't plan on spending much time in the unit itself.

We quickly perked up and washed up and changed and were off to the Underground station near our apartment to get to Trafalgar Square for the St Patrick's Day celebration. We had totally slept through the parade and I was really disappointed! However, after that dreadful flight, we really needed the rest for the day ahead.

Day One - Traveling to London

Day Two - London

Day Three - London

Day Four - London

Day Five - London

Day Six - London & Paris

Day Seven - Paris & Disneyland Paris

Day Eight - Paris