Flying with the Dove
& Her Loves

November 27, 2012

A birthday surprise for Mom

SO my mom turned the big 60 this September. The only reason I can post her age is because she really only looks 30 and acts like she is 16. My husband and I talked her in to going to Europe for a week and we decided on London and Amsterdam. The surprise for my mom was that my norwegian sister Anniken was flying out to meet us! So we jumped on a plane to England and hoped everything would work out when we got there. After a lot of expensive text messages, we were able to meet up without my mom suspecting a thing. We told her we were going to find the subway but instead Anniken and her friend Martina jumped out behind a wall and surprised my mom. She was SO happy! We hadn't seen Anniken for over a year and it had been way too long.

We did a lot of shopping, rode the red bus all around town and saw lots of sights. My favorite shopping was out by the Olympic stadium, they had sooo many stores. We went to Wicked and it was just as wonderful as the American version. I loved it! Probably my moms favorite was the Borough Market by the Tower Bridge. It is just a giant farmers market. It reminded me of Pike Market Place in Seattle but way cuter. There is this old church behind it and it was my favorite! It was so darling.

My highlight of the trip, after seeing Anniken, was going to the Harry Potter studio tour. It has all of the real props and sets that were used in the movie. I was so starstruck!! I also LOVE butter beer and that was mostly the reason I went. :) The shuttle from the subway (the tube.... I only like American terminology) was a night bus, it was so cute. Then you can eat at a cafe and they bring you in every 15 minutes for your walk through.

My very very favorite part was seeing the real castle they used for the movie. It isn't a real castle like we would all hope but a pretty awesome alternative. It could probably fit in a large family room and every single detail is so perfect and real. It was so amazing! I wish someone would build it for real!

Then we left the next day for Amsterdam and we got in super late and only had one full day there. We stayed in the Hotel Pulitzer and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. It is really old and has pretty small rooms the are tucked up little stairways. But it was just so perfect to me, especially the bed. It was heaven. My mom an Nate had to rip me out of them the next day because it was rainy and cold outside. But they eventually got me out...

We went through the tulip market (I am sure there is a name for it but I can't think of it) and they were amazing! Don't be fooled though, only the ugly ones in the back are U.S. Customs approved so you can't take home the good ones. Then we had to buy some Gouda! I loved sampling every flavor and getting samples of their caramel waffle things. YUM. We took a boat ride through the canals and got to see the city by boat... well when I was awake that is... We ate at 2 really yummy restaurants that day and we even stopped to get fondu at Haagen-Dazs, it was so yummy.

We shopped around the city and then we didn't have anything else to do because it was a downpour rainstorm outside and we went home to get to bed. We woke up early so that we could go shop at the airport before our flight. The airport had H&M. It was practically a mall!

We had such a great time and I loved getting to see London for the second time (first time wasn't so great). Amsterdam is adorable and I can't wait to go back when it is sunshiny and warm. HappY Birthday MOM!


  1. you are living the dream! so jealous that you work at delta and can fly for need to help me get in on that gig!

  2. We just came back from London...we went there for our holidays. I love this city !!!And the people are so nice there...
    I think you are talking about the Westfield Shopping Mall in Stratford..right? We went there on Boxing day (the day after christmas day) and it was awesome. So many great shops and deals. Glad you liked it !

    1. That sounds familiar so yeah probably! ha! Yes it is such a fun city!