Saturday, May 31, 2014

Violently Happy in London: Day One

This is my second trip to London and Antz third time. You would think we've been there, done that but oh no! This city has changed since the last time I was there *I have changed a lot too!* I reserved a Mini Cooper at the car rental place since it would be perfect to drive around in a red Mini with a Union Jack roof. However, the rental place only had manual transmission left and they told us the Minis were super tiny. We wouldn't be able to fit one of our suitcases in the boot *that's trunk to you Yanks* let alone all seven bags and a car seat for Liv. I had to get a bigger car so I ended up with an Audi A6.

This dude was taking forever, we were ready to drive to our hotel,  Boo!
Liv, watch our bags
Fresh to Death in Black
I admit, I drive like a lunatic however, Londoners drive bat shit crazy!!
When we finished the photo shoot with Lee it was almost 6 pm but it doesn't get dark here until 9 pm. We walked around the neighborhood checking out the old rad architecture. I loved being able to see London through my kid's eyes.

Rivington Rat
Of course we did some more Banksy hunting!
I have never tried authentic London fish and chips so I heard this place in Shepherd's Bush was good.
We were all quite famished by this point
Mushy peas anyone?
We had haddock and chips and calamari, very tasty

Then we took the Audi for an evening sightseeing drive
Buckingham Palace, the flag was out so Elizabeth is in residence!

Fun Fact; Big Ben is the nickname of the the 156 year old bell inside of "Elizabeth Tower"
Liv kept saying Peter Pan lives there!
The London Eye is enormous!
I was so excited to find a red telephone box but not so pleased to find the interior reeked of urine!

 Our hotel has a photo booth!! I think I'm going sleep in it.
She started off very serious, then silly
Nothing makes me happier in the world than this kid!!
Well done Ace Hotel!

Photo shoot with Lee Robbins

When I started planning our vacation, I knew I wanted to hire a professional photographer to shoot us. I think it's a smart move so you don't end up with photos missing a member of the family who ends up doing all the photographing *mostly me* and you have gorgeous photos as a vacation keepsake. I first fell in love with Lee's photography after stumbling upon this sweet wedding on Pinterest. So a few months ago I contacted him on Facebook. We messaged back and forth and set up a date and time. Little did I under estimate the time it takes to get places in London. Even though we tried our best to hurry to the car rental place, we didn't get out of there until after 2pm. I felt so bad making Lee wait for us but he was sooo cool about it. We met at our hotel The Ace Shoreditch. He shot us like he was a dear family friend. He knew every single shot I wanted and made sure they were quirky and unique. We took shots all over Shoreditch *which is the raddest part of London*. I took some photos of the shoot with our camera but I can not wait to see the photos he took.

I bought this mask from Amazon. I LOVE Liv creepy bunny face!!!
Of course she had to jump on the bed
Let's get weird!
We took a break in between locations for a drink at the bar downstairs
Fancy a drink?
Lee couldn't stop shooting Olivia. He filled up a whole memory card with our photos
Wow, I am impressed with this lovely photo Antz snapped of Liv enjoying her lemonade
Cheers Mate!
I love how beautiful British currency is. America needs more women on our money!!
We made another friend in the lobby. Londoners are extremely friendly!
We found a Banksy right across the street from our hotel! In London, they protect his art with plexiglass
Liv really liked the poodle, she's become a Junior Banksy enthusiast
Lee is part of the family now, it's official!
He didn't seem to mind me dorking out and was totally fine with my weird ideas
I adore Lee, he was such a sweet, fun and genuine guy!
Don't we look like we just got married?
We had so much fun *I rather enjoyed walking around in a creepy ass rabbit mask* walking about, taking photos of all the awesome street art. Shoreditch is totally like the Arts District in Downtown LA. Like it used to be old, gross and abandoned and now it has a new life full of young peeps, fancy hotels, restaurants and cool shops. I could live there.

I hope to get the photos from Lee in a few weeks. I only saw a peek of them during the shoot but the ones I saw gave me goosebumps. I can't wait to be surprised with the amazing results. Thanks Lee, you are fucking brilliant!!