Bonjour Vacation Days 13 & 14: Hello London.

Well, every Shull voted and it was unanimous…Day 13 was our very favorite!  Andrew and I planned this day several months in advance and it was even better than we expected!  We surprised the kids with a ride on the Eurostar through the Chunnel to London.  It was such a fun day!
We woke the kiddos up at 5:00 AM and had them get dressed before telling them the surprise.  The two older kids have been asking to ride the train through the Chunnel for as long as I can remember, so they were both totally excited.
All aboard and ready to leave Paris and head to London!  The train ride is two hours but you gain an hour going into London, so we arrived bright and early for our big day!

 

Smith was super pumped about this!

 

 Off we go!
Hello London.
Here we are (with my grandparents) the last time we were in London back in 2011.  Our family sure has changed a bit, right?!  Look at those sweet babies.  Smith was 20 months and Kensington was just a few weeks shy of three.

 

The weather was so nice and cool (in the high 50s when we arrived!) and kind of grey…you know, perfect London weather :).

 

Our first stops that morning were Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

 

Hey there Westminster Abbey!  We’re super pumped to be visiting you today!

 

After we left Westminster Abbey, we walked to Buckingham Palace.

 

We heart London.

 

Hey there!  Look at me!

 

After we left Buckingham Palace, we walked to Harrod’s for a little lunch.  The food hall is beyond incredible inside Harrod’s and getting a bite to take for a picnic is always one of our favorite things to do.

 

What to pick?  What to pick?  What to pick?

 

We selected our goodies and then went outside and found a nice place to picnic.
After this, we took a taxi to Kensington and then into Notting Hill :).

 

It doesn’t get old seeing Kensington Dry Cleaners, Kensington Tailor, Kensington Vet, Kensington this and Kensington that.  We all shout out what we see as we see it :).  Here we are now on Portobello Road…this is perhaps my favorite street in the whole world.

 

We picked up these two dogs earlier in the day when we visited the Buckingham Palace Store.  Love these two.  Meanwhile…

 

…Ashby napped her way through Notting Hill.
After looking around Notting Hill, we took a taxi to Picadilly Circus and walked through Covent Garden before ending our night at a pub for dinner…

 

 

Smith had fish and chips and Andrew had shepherd’s pie…so, so, so good!
Ashby and I had fish and chips while Kensington had a burger.  We were a happy bunch ;).

 

Sad faces as we headed back to the train station.  We love London.
We were back in our hotel room in Paris by midnight…tired but happy.
Day 14
Day 14 was our last day before heading home.  We slept in later and then enjoyed our last few moments in Paris.

 

We stopped for an Eiffel Tower pic any time we could.

 

 

And then we ended our trip by placing a lock on one of the bridges.  This is a relatively new tradition in Paris and one that my kids just loved.

 

 

 

Attaching our lock…

 

 

Kensington drew the heart :).

 

Tossing the key after we attached our lock!  It was so fun to do this as a family.

 

I mean…the locks are everywhere and unbelievable!

 

After we attached our lock, we let the kids ride the carousel at the Eiffel Tower (notice it in the background).  My kiddos are on top there (see Andrew up there with Ashby).  And of course, we ate a crepe.

 

The next day, we began our journey back home.  Here we are again in DC after a long flight from Paris.
And then this pretty much sums up my kids…

 

…we landed at DFW Airport after over 24 hours of being awake and traveling.  And Ashby is making carpet angels (completely oblivious to the fact that she should be tired)…and Kensington…

 

…is sound asleep on the floor.  When she woke up in her bed the next morning she told me the last thing she remembered was going to sleep on the airport floor :).  She slept the entire time we carried her to the car, loaded her up and drove the 45 minutes home.
That was our trip.  My very favorite part?  Spending uninterrupted time with my family.  That’s priceless.
 To see Days 1-3, click here.
Days 4 & 5, click here.
Days 6-8, click here.
Days 9-12. click here.
And for your weekend…
Are there six sweeter words put together?  I think not.
You should make this for your weekend!
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  • Kimberly August 27, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I can not get over how many awesome places you visited on this trip! After each of your vacation posts, I keep thinking that must be it, and then you and your family show up in another country in your next post! 🙂 I have really enjoyed reading about your travels.

    I love the pink gingham shirt you have on in some of the above photos. Do you mind me asking where you bought it? It is adorable.

    Kimberly
    Very European

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 10:14 am

      It's from Nordstrom (Halogen brand) but it's several years old. Thank you so much for your sweet comment :).

    • Darlenne Maria August 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Hello! Loving your blog!! I follow (stalk) you from San Diego. You are such a blessing to me and your blog is the highlight of my lunch break (supposed to be working during lunch but….HA!) I so enjoyed your vacation posts and hope to one day visit England. I also love your pink gingham shirt and although it is not available from Nordstrom I did find a similar one on sale at US Polo. Here is the description

  • Jamie Allen August 27, 2015 at 9:56 am

    day 13 was my favorite too, i think. i could feel the love and excitement. it was like the icing on the cake of your vacation. and totally random: i love andrew's bag. my son is wanting to switch from a traditional backpack for school to a messanger bag style. the struggle is real in finding {the perfect one}. thank you for sharing your grand adventure!

  • Erika Slaughter August 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Can I just say Ashby's sad face is on point?? I was super impressed by her pout! How special that you visited Kensington!!! So glad you guys had such a great time but even happier that you're back! 🙂

    • Leigh Clark August 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Ha – I was going to saw Ashby's sad face is a bit of a combo pout/duck face….so very cute!!

  • Heather Bramlett August 27, 2015 at 10:02 am

    My husband and I went to Paris a few years ago and placed a lock on one of the bridges, but in July I read an article that they were removing all of the locks because the weight of all the locks were causing damage to the brides. Did you see any bridges that had plexi glass instead of locks?? That was one of my favorites that we did in Paris!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I did not! The locks are amazing!! They're everywhere!

    • Lynn {A Taste of Country} August 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      I had heard they were removing the locks too. Glad you were able to start a new tradition though!

    • Wendy August 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I read a blog called The Bold Soul written by Lisa Taylor Huff. She was an American living in Paris and married to a Frenchman. She started a campaign with a friend called No Love Locks to have all the locks removed from Paris bridges. Her blog explains all of reasons why the locks and the keys being thrown in the water are a bad thing for Paris. Sadly, she died recently from cancer. Her blog was beautifully written.

  • Jo Biddick August 27, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Thank you Shay for sharing your amazing holiday. What wonderful memories you've created together as a family.

  • Tamara Rodrigues August 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Wow, Shay, what a vacation! I love that you took the train to London! When I read your post that you were in Paris, I was hoping you were going to post that you had gone to London! How cool to be in Kensington's town! Also I love that your initials of your first names are a palandrome! Thank you for sharing your adventure!

  • Tamara Rodrigues August 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Okay so I just commented and spelled "palindrome" wrong- GAAAH! I would like to blame auto-correct but that was all me. Oops!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} August 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Oh no! The vacay is over! ;( I really enjoyed all your pics, but man we're happy that y'all are back!

  • Sally Hepworth August 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

    This made me miss my days living n London. I lived right off Portabello road and it was also my favourite

  • Narci August 27, 2015 at 11:02 am

    What a fun last part of your trip!! We're glad your home too!

  • The Yarbrough's August 27, 2015 at 11:17 am

    What a fun trip!!! Thanks for sharing. I love looking at your blog.

  • Mama Of Boys August 27, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Aaargh what fun, that's where we always head when we want a weekend getaway, with or without the boys. Kensington in the airport made me laugh out loud, what was Smith up to?!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

      He was being all manly and helping Andrew get the luggage off the carousel :).

  • Not A Mom August 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    These pictures have been to die for! My favorite from this post is the one on the carousal, I can't believe the Eiffel tower is right next too…just beautiful and what a great family trip! Thanks for sharing!

    Linds @ Not A Mom

  • Kristin Cramer August 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

    These pictures have been such a delight! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us each day. We hope to take our kiddos to Europe once they get a little older. I'm using your trip as an inspiration. 🙂

  • beaner August 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I loved your vacation photos!!! What a wonderful trip. My question is, did you find it hard with all the different languages in those different countries?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Nah! It's really quite amazing how many signs/menus/things are in English. Plus, it's also amazing how many people speak English! It's not typically a problem at all. Now…when we went to China…that was a different story. It was much harder to break the language barrier there.

  • Mallory White Whitaker August 27, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Omg I am so jealous and loving these pictures!!! Your whole trip looks amazing! But gosh I love London! I was there for two weeks last May for a study abroad in graduate school! You would think you would run out of things to do in one city for two weeks, but we didn't even get to everything! It was absolutely breathtaking! LOVED Westminster Abbey! And Kensington, what a perfectly little quaint town! Have you heard of the doll house into Kensington Palace? If y'all go back with the girls, definitely take them to see that if they haven't! It's so neat!! Almost life-size!

  • Mallory White Whitaker August 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Ah never mind!!! Was saying Kensington but thinking Windsor! The super neat doll house is in Windsor Castle! And that's such a quaint little town!

  • Heidi Ernst August 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Love!!! What are your current go to MAC lipsticks??? 🙂

  • I Like Ike August 27, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing your vacations! They are always so inspiring and your family is so precious. ???

  • Angela Ellingson August 27, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Incredible! You guys packed so much into those two weeks. It was so fun to see all the pictures of your trip. Thanks for sharing!

  • Saz August 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I always love your travel posts, but especially the last few. I'm planning a trip to Paris in March so it's nice to get some more ideas!

  • Brittany Tinsley August 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I am so excited that you posted this! I just found out Monday that I get to go to the UK in November and will be spending one day of sight seeing in London. I know how much you love London and have been wanting to ask what you suggest to see if only there for a day. Seeing your pictures made me so much more excited to go and see it for myself soon!

  • Brooke @ A Retherford Realization August 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Always love your vacay recaps!! You and your little family are so adorable and such an inspiration to me! Not just for the cuteness, but because of how your whole family loves Jesus and realizes how blessed you all are!

  • Lisa Robinson August 27, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    London is my favorite city in the world! I lived there for a summer during college on a study abroad and it holds so many memories for me! My grandparents also lived outside of London for most of my life until just 3 years ago so I have SO many wonderful memories with my family there as well. Reading all you did in just one day made me very jealous! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jenny August 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Aww… I love every single travel post! So so fun!

  • Coreline Mayfield August 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I have to say .. this looks like the most incredible vacation. Makes me want to just copy your whole itinerary step but step .. you fit in so much, saw so much but you also timed it all so well. So much fun.

  • Lindsay Weighs In August 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I can't wait to visit there someday!!! My sister is currently back packing through Europe right now, and Paris is her next stop. I'm so jealous, but have been living vicariously through her pictures! What a fun thing that you and your family were able to do together. I'm sure these memories will be some of their favorites to think back on when they're older!!!

    Lindsay 🙂
    http://www.sincerelylms.com

  • dresselfamily.blogspot.com August 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Ooh that was my fav day too.. London has my heart. Kensington is the coolest place in love it. I miss home!!!
    I can't wait to take my little people there!

  • Sien August 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Loved this post!! Have you seen the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in the color "Miss Kensington"? It's a pretty pinky-nude. Made me think of you!

  • Barbara Maloney August 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Your initials aaare a palindrome A.S.K.S.A 🙂 <3

  • Katie {The Mishaps & Mayhem of a Solitary Life} August 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    What a fabulous trip! And what sweet memories for your kids!! Have loved reading all the posts!! That lock bridge is incredible and an awesome final thing to do!!

  • Rebecca August 27, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Loved this post! That's the perfect day to me, London is my favorite city in the world! Last summer we spent half our trip in London (where it also became my kiddos' favorite place) then took the Chunnel train to Paris for the remainder of our trip. My kiddos loved taking the train too, it was a special addition to our journey! We love Harrods as well & always have high tea there at the rooftop terrace restaurant, it's pretty & a fun treat! Looks like you guys hit all the best spots in London too! What a great trip you had! I loved seeing all your pics & they make me want to go back asap!
    🙂 Rebecca

  • Margaret Hemmig August 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Wow, that is an amazing vacation! Wish I could have given my children those awesome experiences and memories. London is my favorite city, and I am obsessed with all things British. We even have our own corgi named Kelly. 🙂 Love those little stuffed corgis your children have! FYI there is a Kensington, MD, 10 minutes away from me. Not quite as interesting or exciting as the Kensington in London, though.

  • Jamie August 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I would love to go to London! My husband and I visited Northern Ireland in February, it's gorgeous there! I wish we had made plans to stay a little longer and taken a flight to London since we were so close. ?

  • KRISTIN TATE August 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Fun fact: the acronym for y'alls initials are the same forward and backward. A.S.K.S.A from Andrew to Ashby.

  • Keisha Dawson August 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    What an absolutely amazing family vacation! I hope to be able to do this with our boys one day!

  • Michelle N. August 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I have to say it looks like a great trip. Love that Andrew carries a messenger bag.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      That's the most important thing on the trip…it carries our passports, maps and money ;). Plus, whenever I buy something, he's sweet enough to carry it for me in his bag so that I don't have to tote it around.

  • Megan August 27, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    So fun!! looks like an incredible vacation. And you always make it look so easy traveling with all your kiddos! you are a rock star!!

  • Jumi August 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I love your family Vacations and I am amazed at all the awesome places you got to visit. It's great to raise your kids to appreciate travelling and different cultures. I would LOVE for you to plan our family vacation someday when we have children. Your family is such a blessing. I love your blog and how much fun you all have.

  • coco August 27, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I totally understand why, but the removal of the locks has me a little sad, too. My husband and I were in Paris in 2013 for our 10th anniversary and put a lock on pont de l'archeveche just off the back side of Notre Dame. Our plan was to go back and find it someday, but I don't think we'll make it before they have all the bridges cleared and protected. C'est la vie!

  • Guest August 27, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Love your pictures, and love London!
    I have a question about the fall scarf from Nordstrom you posted about last week. What colors does it consist of? When you are wearing it, it looks pinkish and teal, but on their site, it looks more red and green. Thanks.

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      It's more teal and cranberry. When I look at it, I don't think red or green at all. 🙂

  • Laura Jean August 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    This might have already been asked but is there a reason you took two single strollers as opposed to a double?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      It's easier to move around with them! Sometimes, we'll only take one out and leave one in the hotel room (like if we're just stepping out for dinner). We've found that it's just a lot easier to maneuver them through airports, subways, busy streets, inside taxis, in museums, on elevators and through stores than our big one. Plus, if we go into some place and want to split up a minute, it's easy too!

  • Tracey August 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Shay! I am a long-time blog reader who recently moved from Allen, TX to the San Fracisco area. My kiddos went to MCA and I had met Andrea. It has been so fun to read your Europe posts. I'm also a mama of 3 and we must've been in Europe the same time as you! We went to Germany for my brother's wedding… But made stops in London, Venice, and Rome, as well. Love, love, love your blog! Thanks for sharing your life with so many!

  • kelly August 28, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Smiths sad face is hysterical! !!
    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your beautiful life!

  • Courtney August 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Did you realize your initials are a palindrome?!? Pretty cool! What an amazing trip!

  • Angela August 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Such fun family memories made in Europe! My hubby and I went to London 2 years ago (my first time there), and I fell in love!!! I get it! Can't wait to go back and take our kiddos! Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Angela

  • giginpink August 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I'm just catching up reading your blogs, but love that yall placed your lock on my birthday…….8/12/15! Really enjoyed traveling with you through your pictures!

  • Beautifully Seaside // Formerly Chic Coastal Living August 29, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Such beautiful trip! Thank you for sharing all of the sweet details with us 🙂 XOXOXO

  • Jaren August 29, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Now this whole vacation is the trip I'm going to want you to plan for my family one day:) My 8 year old is already asking me when we get to do this. I told her I'd leave tomorrow if I could! Thanks so much for sharing!! AMAZING and FULL OF MEMORIES!!

  • Sharon August 31, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I bought Go walks upon your suggestion a couple of years ago….BEST SHOES EVER. After which, my kindergarten teacher daughter AND my 80 year old mother also bought a pair. If my feet are tired or sore and I put on my go walks – I can continue on. I take them or wear them everywhere. I just bought my 2nd pair a couple of weeks ago prior to a trip to Chicago where I knew I would be doing lots of walking. Between the two pairs they are all I wore besides one night out to a show (and my feet were killing me).
    Next week I head to Boston and NYC on a work trip and they are going with me – I'm not thinking there is any point of taking anything else. Speaking of Boston – yup I'll be at Fenway to watch the Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays – but sorry Shay, I'm from Canada and will be cheering for my Jays!!! 🙂

  • Aubrey September 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    London and Paris. Not a bad couple of days, my friend. 🙂