Sunday, August 3, 2008

London Post

We stayed in a great one bedroom apartment in the suburbs of SE London last week, but the internet connection was very poor. So here is London in one long post.

Monday, July 28
Our first full day in London, we headed into the city for a little sight seeing. We went to the Tate Modern Art Museum. Afterward, we walked along the Thames River and across the Millennium Bridge for pedestrians. The locals call it the wobbly bridge. Well, we’re wondering if the maximum time a 4 year old can tolerate an extended vacation is four weeks. Today Sydney’s mantra was, “I want to go to Oregon”

Tuesday, July 29

Sydney threw up last night. This makes me hope that she will last a bit longer on the extended vacation. I think she was just homesick because she was feeling under the weather yesterday, and we didn’t know it. So, Kevin went to Bletchley Park, the home of Britain’s code breaking efforts during WWII. He got to see lots of stuff about Alan Turing and the deciphering of Germany’s Enigma code along with a working reproduction of the world’s first computer – the Colossus.

I stayed home to do several loads of bed linens and clothes in a tiny washer and no dryer. Luckily the sun came out to dry the sheets before night time. After Kevin returned, I took my turn to walk a few blocks to the movie theater to see The Dark Knight. Did you know they have reserved seating at the movie theaters in London?

Wednesday, July 30

I’m always up to see a new cathedral, usually impressive inside and out and short enough that the girls don’t get too bored. Today we went to Westminster Abbey which is huge and full of history and burial sites of all sorts of historical and famous people. Who knew? Not me, I’m not so good with the history stuff. So not only do you have all of the kings and queens of England, there is also a poet’s corner and a section for scientists. Here are a few names you may recognize: Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, Shakespeare, Lawrence Olivier, Chaucer, Darwin, and Newton. So we spent quite a lot of time at the Abbey, which made us feel better about the high entrance fees. Next we walked around St. James Park and saw Buckingham Palace, and continued on to Trafalger Square, the girls had a great time trying to climb up the huge Lion statues. Sydney however, was devastated (read, threw a fit) that I would not let go of her feet in order for her to climb all the way onto the Lion’s back. Oh, by the way, Sydney seems to be good as new - healthwise.
It always takes longer than you think to get home on the trains, especially when you have to get off the stop after you just got on because Kyla had to go to the bathroom. The train stations seem to have no bathrooms and no trash bins here. We ended up having to carry the girls home since they fell asleep on the train. Thankfully our apartment was only about 2 blocks from the station.

Thursday, July 31

No one felt like doing much today. Kevin cooked lunch, went to the grocery store and took his turn at the movies. I took the girls to the local park and pool. The shallow pool was being repaired and the big one was cold, but we stayed in for over an hour. Sydney’s suit is barely hanging in there and we didn’t pack her floatie, but she still loves to go swimming. Going to the park made us all a bit homesick, missing our friends and playmates. Kyla and Sydney decided that they both miss school.


Friday, August 01, 2008

We have been abroad for one month today, wow! That means we're about half way through the vacation part of our trip. It was nice to have a little down time in London this week, but now we're feeling the pressure to get some sights in before we leave on Sunday. Today we went to the British Museum. So much to see, so little time. This place was awesome – you could spend days there. The girls were thoroughly bored. They were somewhat impressed by seeing their first real mummy. We also saw a naturally preserved body from about 3000 BC. Sydney seems to be getting carried more and more. I saw a heading labeled “Buggies” on the museum brochure. Unfortunately it was advertising parking, not rental. Please send a stroller! I guess it would have been a real pain when going up and down and the stairs and escalators on the underground trains though.

Saturday, August 2
Today was our last full day in London. We went to Greenwich, home of the Royal Maritime Museum which has a great “all hands” area for kids and the Royal Observatory (prime meridian). Of course we have pics of us standing one foot in each hemisphere. Actually now they use GPS technology from the center of the earth to figure out exactly where the zero point is and the famous red line of the prime meridian is 332 feet off the mark. (shhh, don’t tell the kids). This video is of Sydney at the park in Greenwich - she cracks me up. Kevin too, you can hear him laughing in the video.

video

Click here to see pics of London.

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