Archive for November, 2011

November 18th, 2011

Cambridge + London travelogue

I and the rest of the family spent a long weekend in Cambridge and London almost a week ago. The raison d’ĂȘtre was the wedding of Lauri and Sarah (congrats again!) in Cambridge, and then we took the opportunity to visit London for a couple of days.

We flew with Norwegian, a budget airline that has been expanding quite a lot lately. Booking was surprisingly easy and not too many compulsory hidden costs, only the checked-in bags had an additional prices. The flight was also normal, the plane was maybe a bit more crammed than usual, but we are compact in size.

We arrived at London Gatwick around six in the evening, and took a train, a tube, and yet another train to reach Cambridge. It was past ten when we were at the hotel, but the boys took it surprisingly well and we got them to sleep without fighting.

The wedding was on Saturday. The hotel (Doubletree Cambridge) has an excellent spa, so we spent time there in the morning — and we had just a couple of hours time to visit the city itself, and that was spent on finding jewelry and lunch.

The wedding was fantastic, an informal event in extremely nice surroundings, and among friendly people. We couldn’t stay too late due to the boys, and were almost the first to leave.

On Sunday we walked around the river Cam and participated in a punting boat excursion up and down the river. This is highly recommended, albeit a bit touristy, as you get to see a lot of the colleges and other historical buildings from the river. We learned a lot of charming small details (oddities) of the university history and life.

After the punting excursion, we took a train back to London. Our hotel was located in Bayswater — I used to stay a lot in the neighbourhood when I was younger, so the trip brought back fond memories. I felt quite old.

The hotel (The Cleveland) had really nice room with an extra bed and a kitchenette, so we could spend time also inside. Aapo became ill on Sunday and it got worse on Monday afternoon, so he had to stay in the hotel more than expected. Kitchenette and the dishes were helpful when I brought take-away food from a local Thai eatery.

Other than that, the rest of the trip was quite a usual visit to London, some shopping and some business.

The return flight was on Tuesday and we were quite early on the airport, as even Aapo was somewhat better, he was still coughing quite a lot and we decided not to walk too much in the town. Three hours can be easily spent with the help of Nintendos and good food. The flight itself was eventless. The boys surprised me by not falling to sleep until in our car around midnight. The next morning was hard for them.

November 8th, 2011

At LEGO fair in Ilmajoki

We (myself, Aapo, my brother-in-law and his two boys) spent last weekend in a Lego building fair in Ilmajoki, some 300 kilometers up north from Helsinki.

I’ve been building with Legos for about three years, since Aapo was old enough not to eat them. The amount of bricks has somewhat got out of hands, and nowadays we can build quite big buildings and sets without issues in availability of bricks.

Last year, we brought two buildings (2 x 32×32 studs), this year we built buildings on 15 lots (15 x 32×32 studs), so there was a lot to pack to our car. If the growth continues, I need to buy a trailer or rent a van…

The trip was a blast. Kids loved the Lego fair, and we planned all kind of children friendly activities to keep the boys busy. The younger siblings were left at home, so this was a “big boy” event.

I took a few photos and uploaded them to Flickr. Here’s direct link to my castle and to my town buildings.