We had a fair amount of difficulty finding housing in London, but we were so pleased with this holiday apartment. It was clean and updated and had everything we needed to be comfortable. Best of all, it was two blocks from Kings Cross station, so we were able to come straight in from Heathrow with no transfers and we had about five tube lines to choose from in our comings and goings.
The street side bedroom. The only downside was that it was on the top floor so that we had plenty of stairs to climb. The entire apartment was in fact about the size of my brother John's room when our family lived over here and he had the top floor of their four story row house. I remember asking my dad if he ever got confused about where in the house he was (it was what Maeve Binchy once referred to as "a glorified staircase"). He admitted that he often did and had to open a door to see which floor he was on.
One of the two foldout beds, with backsides of kids eating breakfast. Had a dishwasher, washer, dryer, TV, DVD and wifi. I cannot believe that wifi is so standard these days. On our first study abroad I had to trek out to the internet cafe each week.
This is one of the bedrooms in our Berlin apartment, the Chicago.
Here are the boys, reunited with their Legos in the living room. The view out to Lietzensee beyond is one of the best things about living here. The high coved ceilings, wood floors blackout curtains and funky light fixtures are also nice. We're having a hard time adjusting because we lived across the hall last time and we like the layout there better.
But ay, ay, ay the knickknacks! We've had to put up or put away dozens of breakables like terra cotta spheres, a bowl full of birdnests, art glass, ceramics and marble dishes. In the next room are three buddha heads which the kids have named Joe, Moe and Elsa. It's going to be touch and go for all three of them while Joss is in the house.
Our living room is perfect if you happen to be short and/or square. Square coffee table, square chair, square beanbag, square curtains on square couches . . . We had to put away that coffee table too because it was seen as a dance floor.And this has been my best pre-trip purchase: a miniature sandbox for Joss. He saw it at a toy store before we left and I secretly bought and packed it. Since I brought it out on the balcony, he has played out here for hours. In the rain. Right now that he's in bed, Rob is using it as a zen garden. A zen garden with safety cones, that is.
That's the most important part -- having a place for the kids to be themselves and just hang out with their Legos and Playmobil and sand.