Patrick Hoy here – and I have to say that I LOVE living in London! I’ve lived her for over 15 years and I think it’s one of the greatest cities in the world! But one of the things I miss the most about growing up & living in America is seeing my parents & my brother and his wonderful family on a regular basis. So you can imagine my delight when Mom & Dad told me they were bringing my two nephews over for a visit!! Last month Colin graduated from high school – and his younger brother Charles graduated from the 8th grade – so Mom & Dad generously gave them a trip to London as their graduation presents – how nice is that?!
We’ve had this trip planned for a year – and we all had been counting down the days since the start of this year! Guess what??? On the day they were due to arrive in London, our Quacker Factory ‘Let Freedom Bling’ TSV was being shown on QVC USA – so I was over at one of my favorite American places – Studio Park QVC!! But it worked out perfectly, because Mom & Dad have been over to visit London many times – so they were able to spend a few days on their own with my nephews going to the Harry Potter set at Pinewood Studios, jumping on the hop-on/hop-off double decker tourist buses, riding go-carts on the largest indoor go-cart track in Europe, seeing the crown jewels at Tower Hill & exploring so many of the incredible museums here in London. In all honesty, they were having so much fun that I don’t think they even missed me!!
As soon as I was done with all of the fun I was having with Angel at QVC USA, I jumped on a plane and hurried home to London to join my parents & my nephews – and let me tell you, we definitely had a Quack-Tabulous next few days!!
Now, my friends mean the world to me – and Mom & Dad had met so many of them during their past visits here – so they were really looking forward to seeing many of those friends again – and I wanted my nephews to meet them as well. So the first thing I had planned, upon my return, was a little cocktail party with about 20 of my close friends. Here I am with Dad, Charles, Colin, Mom & SJ – don’t they all look stunning?!
After visiting with friends, The Hoy Clan headed over to a pretty swanky restaurant, The Ivy, to have dinner. Lots of celebrities go there before and after the London theatre shows – and sure enough, while we were eating, Charles noticed a celebrity – Ricky Gervais – who of course has Host of the Golden Globe awards – and was in one of Charles’ favorite movies ‘Night At The Museum’. Charles just HAD to have a picture with him, so we waited until Ricky was finished eating to ask if it was okay. Mr. Gervais was a true gentleman to Charles and happily obliged to getting a picture taken.
Saturday By The Sea
The next day, Saturday, we were all up early and we headed to the coast of England, to Sandgate. The boys have always been fascinated with trains, so I made sure they were able to ride on England’s first high-speed train. Here I am with Colin & Charles in front of the train:
And here they are in the train with Mom & Dad:
Good friends of ours were hosting a lunch for my family when we arrived. The weather ended up being BEAUTIFUL, so we were able eat outside in the garden. How gorgeous does this look?!
One of my favorite things about going to the coast is being able to see my handsome four-legged friend Oscar! He’s always ready to help me in the garden – especially with the new duck watering can!
After fun with Oscar, it was time to enjoy lunch in the sunshine with incredible friends!
One of my best friends, Stephen, is an amazing cook – he makes the best artesian breads I’ve ever tasted – but he REALLY excels when it comes to dessert! Just look at this homemade-layered strawberry Pavlova he made!!
After a Quack-A-Licious YUMMY lunch, we grabbed the crew – and Oscar too – to walk down to the coast and work off some calories! The house is right near the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Here I am with Colin & Charles with the white cliffs behind us – aren’t the cliffs beautiful?!
With no time to lose – and so much more to see – we were up early on Sunday for another fun filled day in London!
First up was a ride on the London subway – known as The Tube. Here’s a selfie on the escalators of me with Colin & Charles!
Our first destination was the Natural History Museum. If you ever come to London, make sure you visit as many museums as you can – because they are all FREE to enter – how wonderful is that?! Here’s a picture of Mom, Charles, me & Colin in front of the great blue whale. (And a hippopotomus that looks like it’s about to eat Mom!!!)
One of the first things I remember when Colin was just a little kid, was how much he LOVED dinosaurs – so I knew I had to show them the dinosaur exhibit at the museum!
Now, one of the joys about having young nephews in this day of modern technology is that I don’t think there is a single computer/phone app that these boys don’t know about. I was amazed at how much more these guys knew about computers, apps and smartphones then I did! One HYSTERICAL app that Charles introduced me to was Snapchat. If you don’t know about it, look it up on the Internet and download it – it’s one of the funniest apps I’ve ever seen. To give you an idea of what you can do with it, here’s a picture of Charles & me in front of the same dinosaur as above – and he’s taken it with the Snapchat app – how funny is this?!
It wouldn’t be Sunday in England without enjoying a traditional English Sunday Roast lunch! So we met another one of my good friends Andy –
and his beautiful family – and our friend Paul – for lunch. One of my favorite items on a Sunday Roast lunch is a Yorkshire pudding – it’s similar to a Popover in the States. Just look at the size of the one in Paul’s hand!
Since the weather was still so beautiful after lunch, I decided to take the boys on a walking tour around London. Here we are on the Golden Jubilee Bridge over the Thames River.
And naturally it wouldn’t be a trip to London without seeing where the Queen lives – Buckingham Palace! Here are Colin, Charles & Mom in front of the palace:
Toys & Tea!
Monday was the last full day my parents & nephews would be in London, so I knew we had to make the most of the day.
First up was a stop at Hemleys Toy Store on Regent Street. This is the UK’s largest toy store with floor upon floor of toys – the boys were in heaven the second we walked in the door! And how lucky were we that we got to meet the Royal Family while we were there?! Well, okay, it was the LEGO Royal Family – but that was close enough for me!
I wanted to make sure the boys went in a London taxi – so here they are enjoying a little break from all of the walking:
For the grand finale of their trip, Mom really wanted to take the boys to a traditional English Tea. After some research, I found a really fun Willy Wonka themed Tea. The first thing they served us were Fizzy Uplifting Drinks – which were served in the cutest little bottles. There were even pop rocks in the drink – talk about fun!!
Charles wasn’t sure he was going to like hot tea, so he opted for a chocolate milkshake – I have to say that I was just a little bit jealous!
Colin wasn’t too wild about having hot English tea as well – but when he found out they had a chocolate tea (yep, seriously!) he went for that – and let me tell you, he LOVED it!
Of course, the BEST part of the tea, were the desserts – especially since this was a Willy Wonka themed Tea!! I can assure you we were NOT disappointed – just look at those treats!!!
What an amazing visit it was! It was wonderful to share London with my nephews – and to see London through THEIR eyes!
I’m counting down the days until they come for another visit! Who knows, maybe they will both want to do an exchange program here when they are juniors in college?! If so, their Uncle Patrick will be ready to welcome them back to this incredible city!!!
Quacker Hugs & Love From Across the Duck Pond!
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