Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not Just Any Playground

This past Saturday we went to another playground, and this was not just any playground. We went to Diana's Memorial Playground in the grounds of Kensington Garden in Hyde Park. This playground was amazing, clean and very busy. But now I know why. There is so many things to do. There is an area with swings and an area with little log cabins. Then there is a gaint sand pit with a Pirate Ship in the middle, that was the popular place to be. There was also a treetop slide area. The playgrounds design was based on Peter Pan. We like the musical section in the back, with chimes to dance on and bells to press. Emma was so exhausted after that she fell asleep immediately after leaving, once we put her in the stroller.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Windward Farm Granola Ver2.0

Today I made the famous Windward Farm Granola. However I think I might have to change the name slightly, since some of the ingredients were not used. So I am going to call it Windward Farm Granola Ver2.0, UK style. And now the house smells so nice, like I have been baking for the entire day. Well I guess I have been baking for the past 2.5 hours. Wow does it take a long time! But so worth it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The term "crafter-noon" was first used by the Richardson-Greenberg group. Well Emma and I had a "crafter-morning". We had some fun making some great art projects. Just a little something to help us recover from the flu.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tower of London & Tower Bridge

This past weekend we took an outing to the Thames to visit the Tower of London, on the way we stopped off to see the Tower Bridge. Something to note, the Tower Bridge is not the bridge the song was written after; "London Bridges falling down..." That is London Bridge which is just west of the Tower Bridge and is the oldest bridge in London. Well onward to the Tower of London. The Tower of London is the original Palace for Kings and Queens to live in before Buckingham Palace was built. It has 20 towers in all, but the famous tower is the White Tower. All the towers were named after someone or something that happened in them. We followed on one of the Yeoman Warders tours of the Tower. That was great and any one that visits the tower should take a tour. We saw the famous ravens and saw the Crown Jewels. An interesting fact that we learned from the Warder was that the traitors were not beheaded inside the tower (well only 2 of King Henry the 8th Wife's), they were taking just a few blocks north of the tower for their beheading. Then their heads were placed on stakes and placed on the London Bridge for all those entering London to see.

We also came on a special day, the day that one of Britain's 4 star generals was retiring and they were having a public ceremony at the tower. One of the US ships was there with a present to the general. Emma really enjoyed the bag pipes.

To end this very busy day we went to Borrows Market, a fantastic farmers market with everything imaginable. Guess next time we will have to bring more cash.

Tower of London & Tower Bridge

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Day Another PlayGround

Emma and I tried out another playground, Colliers Wood Recreation Ground. It was about a 45 minute walk from the house, how do we know we walked it. Thank goodness we received our shipment from the states with the good comfy stroller. Emma and i had a nice walk, about 2.5 miles there. It was a nice park, however the playground was a little too advanced for Emma, not to say that it hindered her from climbing up and getting to the slide. Not my favorite. In the end all she really wanted to do was take all the bark and put it on the slide.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get Well Grammy

Wishing my mom a "big get well" and Emma made you a picture (with a little of mommy's help). Glad your home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Face Lift

Hello to all that read our blog. I gave it a little face lift because it is not just a blog for our London Adventure, it is much more. Enjoy and keep reading.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Photogenic Daughter

My very photogenic daughter was taken for some pictures by myself and her Grandmother Peggy several weeks ago for her 18 month birthday. She had such a blast and ran around like a crazy child. But then the 2 guys that were taking her photos did not help either, they were running and playing with her the entire time. She probably thought it was a big playdate. It also was helpful that there was no one else, so we could let her run around like that. Here is a slide show of all the pics, let me know if you like one in particular so i can send it your way.

Goodbye Barcelona

Well the day would come when we would have to leave Barcelona, and here it is. But we did not leave with out spending some time at the beach and finishing up with some biking. We even found an awesome playground. We had a blast, everyone should try and visit Barcelona.

Barcelona Bike Tour

Day Four in Barcelona, we decided to be adventurous, so we rented bikes and road through town. We started in Parc Ciutadella. This park is very beautiful and had a zoo inside. We could not pass up a chance to go to the zoo. We parked our bikes and took a stroll through the zoo. After the zoo we jumped back on our bikes and headed back into the Gothic Quarter, where we spent the end of our day strolling through the Picasso Museum. It was great, Emma got a little antsy but she did great for an 18month old in a museum. That evening we decided to try a traditional Spanish dish called paella. Emma loved it.

Barcelona Day Three

Ok, by now all three of us are very tired, and have done so much sight seeing. This third day we relaxed a little and had a wonderful start to the day at the beach. Emma had a great time, getting covered in sand by daddy. The water was so nice, all of us went for a swim together. As the sun started to get ferociously hot by mid day we got ourselves cleaned up and headed out for lunch. Today we wanted to talk a stroll down La Ramblas. This is the famous street where you can stroll and watch street performers, see animals for sale, flower vendors and much more. This street also has many of the popular shops (smell that nice Spanish leather). We found a great sandwich shop called Vienna Cafe. It got a high review from Mark Bittman from the New York Times, so we thought we would try it out. Our first side track off La Ramblas was to a great out side market called Mercat La Boqueria, we grabbed some fruit and smoothies for snacks. Our second and longer side track was to the oldest Cathedral in Barcelona, Barcelona Cathedral. This cathedral is located in the Gothic Quarter, made up of Gothic & Roman architecture. If you visit Barcelona, the Gothic quarter is a must see. We ended our day back around the piers for a nice late dinner at the hotel.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gaudi Sights

Day two in Barcelona...we went on a Gaudi Adventure. If you have never heard of him, Antonio Gaudi is a famous architect born in Spain and lived most of his life in Barcelona.

"Gaudi's work is admired by architects around the World as being one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles. His work has greatly influenced the face of Barcelona Architecture and you will see Gaudi's work all over the city. Gaudi's work was greatly influenced by forms of nature and this is reflected by the use of curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, organic-like forms, and adorning his buildings in colored tiles arranged in mosaic patterns."

First we visited Sagrada Familia, (what is considered the 8th wonder of the world). This church was designed by Guadi but never completed. It was only partially completed upon Gaudi's death in 1926. They estimate that it will be complete in 2030. It is quite an experience to walk through that church. It is a beautiful site even under construction. As we strolled around the inside and outside we took it all in. Then we had a chance to go up into the spires and take a look out over the city. WOW! Adam had Emma on his back as we descended the spiral staircase. Not for the faint of heart.

Next on our Gaudi Sites was La Pedrera (the Stone Quarry), is one of the most emblematic of Gaudi's work. Every thing about this building screams Gaudi and it is a beautiful site to see.

Finally after a lot of walking we ventured to Parc Guell, Gaudi's monumental modernist park. This was a wonderful view and the nice shady areas were great to cool off from the fierce sun. We all enjoyed this park a lot, Emma chased after birds and Adam and I could get our fill of history and architecture. However let me tell you, the adventure to get up to the park was a whole separate experience. We went up these very steep hills to get to the top of the park, some even had escalators to help people get up the hill that is how steep they were. Think San Francisco and double that. THIGHS of STEEL!

Barcelona Vacation

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Well Adam, Emma and I had a fantastic time. We took our summer vacation and went to Barcelona. Only an hour and half flight from London and we arrived in beautiful Barcelona. We stayed in a wonderful hotel on the beach. On our first day there we jumped right in to sight seeing and got ourselves over to the popular Barcelona Aquarium. This aquarium is best known for is long moving walk through the shark tanks. While Emma loved the aquarium, like any other aquarium she has been to, I don't know if I would recommend it to any one traveling to Barcelona without kids. After grabbing lunch we hopped on the cable car from the pier to the very famous Montjuic (Jewish Mountain). Named after an important Jewish cemetery that existed there in the Middle Ages. Most people remember this mountain from the Olympic Games held in Barcelona in 1992. We hiked around the mountain, got to see the Olympic summing pool, and finished up with a tour around the Castell de Montjuic. Emma was able to run around, and Adam and I enjoyed dazzling views and gardens. Finishing up at the castle we took a Gondola ride back down the mountain. As night fell, we took a stroll to Font Magica (Magic Fountain). The best way to describe this is think of the Bellagio Water display, that is what this is, but more of a big fountain doing a choreographed dance to Spanish music. It was also designed before the Bellagio, created for the International Exhibition in 1929. That was a great ending to our busy first day in Barcelona.

All the pictures will be on the website.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Here are our first veggies of the season. I am growing strawberries and tomatoes in the big pots, which we have eaten our first ripe strawberry. I think Emma was a little confused why we were splitting in 3 ways a small strawberry, but we all wanted a little taste. My little seedling are growing fast and will be transferred over to a Susan Richardson designed "grow pool" (pictures to come soon). We have zucchini, carrots, onions, scallions, and more tomatoes.

Back to our London Schedule

You would have thought Emma would have been jet laged or something. Nope! The first thing she wanted to do when we arrived back in London was play in her pool. As Roz always says, "She is a Klein child and they never stop moving." It is brutally hot here, you would think it was Vegas with humidity. So we are back to our London time and Emma is back to sleeping through the night...keep you figures crossed.

State Fair

Before we left to come back to London, Emma and I got to go to the State Fair. Jill, Mike, Grandma and Grandpa joined us. Emma got to ride a train, dumbo and the carousel. We went to the petting zoo and even got to watch a pig race. We all played some games and had some munchies and then headed home before we got poured on.
State Fair

Camp Kollmann

Emma and I just got back from a little trip to the States. She got to stay with Grandma Peggy and Grandpa Gary the whole week, while mommy was on a gig in Vegas. Grandma and Emma had some great times together. They visited Nanna on Long Island, went to the pool or chased around the deer in the yard. They even went grocery shopping together, however Emma insisted that they bring all the bags of groceries in to the house using the wagon...very slow moving. Emma even got to spend some Granpa time toghter watching Yakees Baseball and eating Oreos. We even had some other visiters that came and had lunch with us, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Sandi, Matt, Seth, Aunt Sar Sar, Uncle Bruce, Ian and Tony.
Camp Kollmann