Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Shopping, Travel

Our London ‘Express’ Sightseeing Day!

On the Friday of our trip, we enjoyed a wonderfully perfect day in London. The weather was brisk in the morning, so we dressed in layers. Thankfully, as the sun did peek out later in the day!

Prior to our trip I contacted British Tours to see if they had any private tour guides who could give us a spectacular day. With a 7 yo and a big wish-list of things to see, we wanted to make the most of it. Boy, was that worth every penny! Sam met us in the lobby of our hotel at 8:59am (start time of 9:00am). We had the next 5 hours with him  and we were able to tackle a guided drive around the city – learning many interesting points and seeing historic landmarks, a walk from Buckingham Palace area, to 10 Downing Street, to Big Ben (which actually is just the name of the bell inside of the clock tower), to Westminster Abbey (they were having a 100 year memorial service for Ernest Shackleton – hence we didn’t get to go inside), to a nice view of the Thames and the London Eye.

We then made our way back to Buckingham Palace to get some good photos! One neat things about the day we were there, is they were practicing for the Trooping of the Colour. This is an annual parade/celebration that happens in June, as part of the Queen’s birthday celebration. It was amazing – so many guards from all six regiments, marching in full uniform and practicing their show for the Queen. We were blessed to witness it with no lines and no people! We also were able to see them marching back to the Palace! In addition, as we were walking past where Prince Charles lives, a policeman asked us to wait and not cross a driveway. Sam knew that meant someone royal was coming – and within minutes we saw Princess Anne (on her way to Shackleton’s memorial!) drive by. What a fun experience to wave to a real Princess, for Addy!

After this, we headed through Central London, continued learning, and arrived at the Tower of London. This massive structure is worth the visit! We proceeded to get a good picture of the Tower Bridge, and then headed over to Kensington Palace where Sam dropped us off. This day ended up being 6 hours, and was absolutely fantastic. I would highly recommend British Tours and Sam, specifically, if you want a great day exploring London.

Addy loved exploring Kensington – the grounds are beautiful as well as the castle. We didn’t have any royal sightings, but it was still what Addy would tell you was her favorite part of the trip.

One big thing that made visiting all of these locations great, was our London Pass. We bought a 2 day London Pass, which gives free entry into so many locations – as well as ‘skip the line’ on many of them, and discounted theater tickets, discounted dining, etc. There are a ton of benefits of the London Pass that we never even got to check out, as well!

Stay tuned to our final blog to be posted on Wednesday, about this fantastic trip.

Heidi

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London – part 1!

After a quick flight from Edinburgh to London, we arrived at Heathrow. It was 20minutes tops to get through an efficient and effective customs process, and we got our bag within minutes. Ahead of the trip, I purchased Healthrow Express (train) tickets, and we were able to walk to the train and board within 20 minutes (trains come every 15 minutes). It was a 21 minute ride from terminal 5 to Paddington Station, and from there a 10 minute walk to our Hotel – Hilton London Metropole. By this time, we felt already well adjusted to transportation, and finding our away around!

pic train

Our hotel we massive. One of the main reasons we booked it was due to the fact that they had a pool. And if you know Addy – you KNOW how much she loves to swim. Although we were in Europe – I knew we’d have some downtime. Sadly, on our first try at using it, it was broke and remainded broke throughout our stay. They offered complimentary transportation and use of a nearly leisure center – but after 3 failed attemptes to use their pool, we left the country without having ever splashed our toes in a pool. At least we tried 🙂

The food at the hotel was fantastic. We ate 3-4 times at the Edge Bar, in addition to dinner at Fiamma. Addy enjoyed being silly, the majority of the time. She’s a great entertainer.

After settling in our first day in London, we went to High Tea at the London Ritz. WOW! What an amazing experience. I highly recommend. We then proceeded to see Wicked at the Apollo Theater! Also an amazing show in an amazing venue.

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Our Itinerary: For those of you curious as to how we did 2 countries in 7 nights on a quick trip with a 7 year old – see below!

Monday/Tuesday: Flight left at 9:50pm. 7.5 hours to Amsterdam. 7yo slept 6 hours on plane. 1.5 hour layover. 1 hr flight to Edinburgh, Scottland. Arrived around 230pm on T- at B&B by 330pm. Enjoyed dinner, and early to bed.

Wednesday: Up at 830am for Brerakfast. Spent the day hiking. Arthur’s Seat, Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood if open/time. Dinner in downtown (The Outsider is recommended), and then to bed. Tax to and from dinner is only 10 pounds.

Thursday: Leave around 7:00am for a 9:00am flight. 1 hr flight to London. See above for how awesome the Heathrow Express is, as well as the location of our hotel to Paddington. Recommend a 5p or 530p tea, with a 730p show!

Friday: Explore London Sights (stay tuned for a future blog post with details)

Saturday: Windsor Castle in morning (stay tune for amazing way to get there and back); R&R and homework in the afternoon

Sunday: R&R and homework morning, London eye PM, dinner or another show

Monday: Pack up, amazing breakfast, head to Paddingdon for return train at 10:00am for a 12:45pm flight. Nonstop 8hr flight from London to MSP!

~~~CHEERS! ~~~Heidi

 

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Our Trip to Scotland and England!

After a 2 1/2 week hiatus, the Blog Writing is Back! We’ve had some amazingly packed days, and can’t wait to share with you the amazing places we have been blessed to visit

On May 16th, Addy, Caitlin, and I set off for Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England! What a trek!

We started with a great non-stop flight to Amsterdam on Delta, quick layover, and on to Edinburgh. Immediately on entering the taxi to take us to our B&B, Addy noticed that they were driving on the other side of the road! 

pic plane cards to london

Lots of card games!

After a quick 20-25 drive from the airport, we arrived at 94DR. This amazing, quaint yet modern guest house is a perfect 10. It was reasonably priced, in a residential neighborhood but within walking distance to a great Pub (Salsbury Arms), and easily accessible to the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat, and the Edinburg Castle!

Our host, Paul, was amazing. From a warm greeting to the ridiculously awesome breakfast to helping us plan out our 1 full day in Edinburg, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Our room was nice, had a large King bed and they set up a cute trundle bed by the window. Our bathroom was large, with a beautiful tub.

After enjoying our first meal at Salsbury Arms, we took a nap from 7-11pm, was up from 11p-1a, and then slept soundly until breakfast at 830am! Although the weather was 57F and rainy, we put on the rain coats and proceeded to hike up Arthur’s Seat, past Holyrood Palace (the queens official residence in Scotland), past the parliament, up the Royal Mile, and straight to Edinburgh Castle (we put in about 8-10 miles this day!)

The Castle was magnificent. We learned a lot and saw many various buildings – from prison cells to the Crown Jewels of Scotland. We also enjoyed having tea and seeing the cannon fire at 1pm (they fire at 1pm because they are very frugal – and this only takes 1 cannon instead of 12!).

Afterwards, we did some shopping, saw the Elephant Room (JK Rowling wrote her early Harry Potter books here, using the castle as inspiration from the back room!) That evening we had a splendid dinner at The Outsider. We highly recommend it, if you are in town.

pic edin

The next morning, we caught a British Airways flight to London – and were off for the rest of our adventure. (Stay tuned!)

Overall, Scotland was marvelous. We can not wait to return someday to see the rest of this beautiful, green, lush, friendly place.

Cheers To Adventure,

Heidi

 

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Encourage

In today’s world, I find myself hearing a lot of advice – opinions, good intentions or not, are risky. It can draw lines in relationships that aren’t worth the distance it may cause. To be honest, I fall short of heeding my own advice, daily. That is stopping, today. No longer am I going to be an advice giver, unless it is truly desired by the person sharing and being vulnerable with me. I am going to listen, hear, and acknowledge those around me.  I am going to encourage and build others up. And that’s it. Period. That is our role.

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As parents, friends, spouses, children, neighbors, employees, employers – what would happen if we truly assumed the best in people – knew they were doing the next best thing for them and those around them, understanding that we may think we know it all, but we truly have no idea the depth of their heart and soul – what may or may not be going on in their life. What would happen if we got curious instead – asking questions, learning, exploring with them? I believe Amazing Things. I think a lot of paths that may not be the best decision would be correctly, through love and encouragement, vs through unwelcomed opinion. As we sort through the pros and cons to every decision in life – let’s encourage those around us that “They’ve got this!” Let’s lift them up.

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1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Collosians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

“Be an encourager. The world already has enough critics.” – unknown

Cheers,

Heidi

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Mothers

Today is Mother’s Day. It became an official holiday in 1914, and it’s full history is actually quite interesting. Although it has been significantly commercialized, I enjoy it as a day to really celebrate my Momma. In addition, becoming a mom in 2009 helped the day to take on a whole new meaning.

To My Mom: You are so much more than just My Mom. You are a 2nd Mom to your grand kids, you are Grammy Lyn to neighbors, friends, and family. Your calling is to Help others; and you put Cole, Aaron & I, and so many others before yourself on a daily, hourly even, basis. I have never met anyone like you. I wish you could hear and see the blessing you are to so many. I wish I could record the amazing things said about you when you aren’t around. But the funny thing is I know that isn’t why you do what you do. I’m hopeful I will be 1/2 the mom you are, 1/2 the grandma you are someday. Thank you for everything.

To My Kids: I have loved every second of being your Momma. You are my world. It isn’t always easy, and I know you give me more Grace than I give you a lot of the time, but the moments watching your face experience a new food, culture, or place; or seeing you play with your friends, or win a game; it brings more joy to me than I ever realized possible.

 

Cheers,

Heidi

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Connecting

This past weekend, I traveled out to Orange County, CA for some amazing personal and professional growth. My colleague and friend, Nicole, Founder of L District joined me. WOW – what a weekend!

Thursday started off with an amazing Mastermind group from Bob Donnell’s Next Level Entrepreneurs Association. It was absolutely amazing. Individual coaching and group feedback is wonderful when talking about the number one challenge in your business ‘today’.  Thursday evening we were able to attend Debra Faris’ book Launch of LinkedIn for Baby Boomers – check it out! Amazing advice, stories, and reminders.

On Friday, we attended Bob’s amazing class called Connectology. It truly blew me away with how important connecting with people really is – the importance of good questions, and surrounding yourself with amazing people (which is a direct reflection of boundaries and criteria you have in your life) make all the difference!

On Saturday, we spent the morning doing a deep dive into Avant Synergy, followed by a 6 hour breakfast/lunch at Chateau Marmont in LA, with Bob, Nicole, Lukas Sliwka, and the famed Tommy Bahler (musician, composer, producer, etc. If you like Michael Jackson, you like Tommy’s work!). It was inspiring, motivating, and downright fascinating. The time spent hearing and learning from stories, he free flowing advice and connection, and the clear understanding that these people are where they are today, because they serve others and have criteria for everything about there life, was astounding.

I thank Bob incredibly, for his kindness, leadership, ability to connect, and hospitality during my 72 hours in So Cal. I can’t wait for what the future has in store!

Cheers,

H Bloomer

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Lots of Pura Vida

We were blessed with an amazing trip to visit Aaron’s brothers family in Costa Rica this April. It was so fantastic to see Justin, Lisa, Caleb, and Jacob! We have missed them since January, and had a blast!

Costa Rica is so beautiful, it’s hard not too! We enjoyed the weather, food, drinks, and fun!

Here is a brief recap of our lovely week a house guests!

Wednesday and Thursday were fun mornings with Lisa, I, and the kiddos, while Aaron and Justin worked. While the boys had school, Lisa, myself, Addy, and Max enjoyed some coffee, as well as errands and the Market! After the boys were home on Wednesday, we enjoyed the lovely community pool in the Bloomer’s Santa Ana neighborhood! On Thursday – we went horseback riding at the lovely Finca Caballo Loco. We had a blast!

cr 2 horse

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On Friday, the crew of 8 of us ventured off on a 4 hour trek to Tamarindo. We made a pit stop at the Monkey Lady on the “side of the road” (literally!) on our way there. What fun!

 

cr 9 max surf real

We arrived to 105 degree weather and a desire to hop right into the pool! After checking in, we ate lunch at the Barcelo Longasta Beach and got our swim suits on – only to be met by swarms of bees! Caleb and Max both got stung (Max in the EYE!) and overall, the hotel left a lot to be desired – but we had a blast anyway. The waves were awesome, and we even took surfing lessons. What an experience!

cr1 eye

On Monday, Lisa took Caleb, Jacob, and the four of us to Poas Volcano, as well as La Paz Waterfall Gardens – WOW! What a fun time! Toucans, Snacks, Buterflies – Oh My!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Lisa, talking, enjoying her guacamole and salsa, and lots of laughs!

cr 8 fam

We miss them and can’t wait for their visit back to Minny in June!

cr 7 kids

Happy Travels,

H Bloomer

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