Well, we survived our first proper day in London with the kids. Of course I now have a screaming headache and it’s only 17:16. At least I don’t feel so bad now – Ian had a rougher time in the city than I did. It’s nice not to be the most neurotic one in the group for once.
We got up bright and early…for a holiday. We managed to catch an express to Paddington Station and even got seats. The kids worked in their journals on the trip in. It’s so funny to see what they choose to put on paper. When we get home I’ll have to scan some.
Anyway, we squeezed onto a Circle Line Underground train car to go to the Science Museum. We had heard that it was both excellent and free. Ian did not like the Tube trip – he wanted a seat and he didn’t want to be squished. I think the kids finally experienced what it’s like to be in a post-football-match squeeze. There truly is no way to fall down because all the bodies are pressed together (and yes, we still have our passports, money, credit cards, etc.).
Once off, we walked through an amazingly long tunnel to the Science Museum with the longest advert I’ve ever seen for the “Night at the Museum” DVD. I guess they really want to sell DVD’s. It was easily 30 feet long. After having our bags searched, we were in. Ian and I spent a long time at the energy exhibits. So now Ian knows how to be an Energy Minister and build power plants, be an Energy Ninja and smack people around who waste energy, and type energy saving messages onto a giant electric wheel. Hmmm. Kurt and Megan were more productive with their time, checking out all the computing equipment and making it to more floors than we did.
After realizing eating in the cafeteria would require balancing our lunch trays on our heads, we decided to leave and go to the Natural History Museum right next door. NOT! The line stretched an entire block (not single file), so there was no way Ian was going to make it. True to our form, we went off the beaten path and went into Apsley House (where Wellington lived) and up the Wellington Arch. Both were free because of a Heritage Pass we bought at Battle Abbey. Megan really liked the chandeliers and Ian liked the panoramic print of Wellington’s funeral parade. (what is it with him and funerals?)
Finally at 14:00 we made our way to Henry’s for a posh pub meal. Megan had another round of Bangers & Mash, I had Steak & Ale Pie, Kurt had a club sandwich, and Ian? Garlic bread with cheese melted on. Hey, whatever it takes:-) We walked off our lunch in Green Park and waved to the queen in Buckingham Palace (at least we think she was home). We did see Princess Alexandra ride up in a seafoam green sedan at any rate. Visiting Granny, perhaps?
When Ian ran circles around the Victoria Memorial in front of the palace, we knew it was time to head back to the hotel. We caught not-so-crowded tube trains back to Paddington and – thanks to Ian wanting to walk up the escalators – we made the express back to Reading, even though we all had to sit separate. Ian entertained the lady next to him with his drawings of the Eiffel Tower (???), himself as a doctor mixing medicine for a patient, and himself as a chef cooking up stinky food. Megan decided to be quiet as a mouse so that the man next to her could keep sleeping. Kurt talked to some Americans that were across the aisle (go figure). I just ping ponged my head between giving Megan winks & smiles and giving Ian spelling hints for his captions.
So we made it back in time for Kurt to hit Ian’s reset button in the pool and for me to write to you… My headache’s gone already (17:44) – just in time for our supper date with one of Kurt’s friends.
Quote of the Day:
Ian, while looking at a naked marble statue with a grape leaf in the important area: “He should have some pants on. Or at least some underwear!”
Megan, after looking at Apsley House’s spectacular chandeliers: “I don’t know anyone with a house this nice. They must have been REALLY rich!”