In London, most of the big museums are free. And the kids love museums, so we were pretty happy about this. Here's Oliver at the Science Museum (right across the street from the LDS church actually). He was excited about all the cars and was happily pointing at them saying, "Ride Corwa" (to get the right sound, say car with a fake Boston accent)
Oliver made Karen play this fun game over and over again. Air pressure pushes a ball up a ramp and down a slide. Oliver got about 15 minutes of enjoyment out of it. Karen got a sore palm.
Meanwhile, Elora was filling up little bean-size pieces of plastic into a bucket and helping the big kids use all the pulleys and levers to transport the pieces around.
This one was fun. It was a series of mirrors that projected a realistic looking watch in front of you. Oliver kept trying to grab it, but since it was just a reflection, his hand passed through mid-air. He thought that was pretty cool. We should get one of these for his pacifier and see what happens!
Next up a fun little tray where the kids could stack blocks and then spin some wheels to mimic seismic wave activity and shake the blocks until they fell over.
Fun water play area. They provided cute waterproof smocks so the kids didn't get wet. We played here until Oliver got comfortable enough to start dumping water on the floor...
Then we let him run around for awhile!
Elora discovered a little puppet show box with some animals and was in heaven.
The Natural History Museum is next door, and as we walked there we saw this man juggling firey torches. Elora was happy to give him some tuppence (better than investing it frugally in the bank!).
Elora loves dinosaur bones. This is some kind of prehistoric crocodile.
One bad thing about the museums being free... there are twice as many people there! This room with the large dinosaur looked pretty cool, but this was the best picture we could get with people walking in front of us every 3 seconds. We museum snobs wouldn't mind paying an entry fee so we didn't have to rub shoulders with all the rabble. Most of them probably can't even tell the difference between homoerectus and australopithecus! (snarf)
Elora had to stop at every.single.exhibit. in the dinosaur bone room.
Best of all? Even in the UK they recognize they drive on the wrong side of the road, so when you go outside they have all these reminders on the street telling you which way to look for cars. Because you're natural inclination is to expect a car coming from the other direction. They literally painted this on both sides of every single intersection.
Next stop, Hyde Park. Elora, Ollie and Momma checked out the Albert memorial while daddy kept a watchful eye out for Dr. Jekyl.
Here's the anti-climactic Peter Pan statue, which we trekked for 15 minutes to get to. One of the greatest stories ever told and they just have a 10ft statue crammed in the back of the park? What's up? That wouldn't be so bad, except for the kids couldn't look at it for more than 4 seconds because there was a line of 10 people to take a picture of it. Busy! (Hyde park could use an entrance fee too)
The subway, aka The Tube™. It was quite crowded down there. For some reason we were lucky not to be surrounded by hot, sweaty people so we took a quick photo. Notice the "Way Out" sign hanging from the ceiling. "Exit" must not be specific enough... But the Tube is quite nice to get around the town. The individual lines all overlap so you never wait more than 3 minutes. Unless there is a construction/maintenance problem, which there was. So we had 2 days where we had to wait about 20 minutes or more.
And finally, back at our apartment for dinner. The apartment was in London, but not near the downtown so it took a good 45 minutes of travel to get home every day. Here the kids are watching the Wimbleton tennis final. That was happening in London while we were there. Oliver was really excited to watch them hit the ball back and forth and when someone scored a point, he cheered and clapped.
Here they are enjoying themselves! More London posts to come...