The Trans Take London: Day 2
Twelve hours of sleep and breakfast later, we’re off to visit the Natural History Museum. We decided to take a bus, which Linus enjoyed very much. On the way I noticed a cafe advertising a “ricotta espresso.” Ew.
Anyway, here we are:
Look how refreshed and happy we all are! We didn’t go in right away because of a surprise you’ll see in just a moment.
Instead of the kids practices the old up-and-down-and-up-and-down.
Like DC, London has lots of free museums – one of the reasons it’s such a great destination with little people.
Here Mina and I are checking out the whale hanging from the ceiling.
Linus was entranced. Huge space, lots of old things, noise galore. What more could a boy ask for?
Well, peeking around the corner here is our surprise: Peter, Cindy, and Jamie took the train over from Belgium! We all gathered together to check out this swordfish.
And then dinosaurs. All three kids are right in the thick of dino-fascination. Poor Mina was really looking forward to seeing the T-Rex, but we found a sign saying he was out for repairs. Heartbreaking!
It’s a good thing Yen reads rather… visceral dinosaur books to the kids, because the artwork in this musem was really something else.
Clearly Peter doesn’t believe whatever I’m saying here.
There’s a little sign inside the museum calling it a “cathedral of science.” It really is. Architecturally, it does feel like a place of worship. But when you move in to see the details, it’s lovely and organic, a celebration of life and evolution.
Snack time! The kids were all a little tired, so we stopped for a snack. The British sure do know how to snack. I’d forgotten that coffee shops all have huge spreads of tempting cakes and pastries. Linus was in absolute heaven.
Jamie and Mina formed a real bond on this trip. We saw them hugging and holding hands quite a lot. I continue to be so touched and awed by how completely unbothered these kids are by being unable to speak a language the other understands.
There’s a long hallway of extinct creatures at the back of the building that’s incredibly sad.
You can see the banner on the left for a special exhibit, “Life in the Dark.” We wanted to check it out, but it was something like £14 per person. I guess that’s how they make up for having free general admission. Anyway, we passed.
The sugar from our afternoon snack began to take its hold on the kids. It’s a good thing the mezzanine is basically a race track. Look at this action shot of Cindy’s reflexes!
Back outside, the kids got more sillies out by running up and down the stairs and the ramp system. Jamie is quite the little mountain goat and absolutely terrifying.
We decided to attempt a group shot, and Jamie learned the joy of a selfie-stick.
“Mommy, what’s this crazy contraption?”
I don’t think he believe me when I explained that this is how we used to make calls when away from home. I certainly didn’t believe that a call is up to £.60 for the first minute.
We stopped of for lunch at one of the locations of the ubiquitous Pret a Manger locations. We carried our food to what passed for a mini park (after passing many locked, private parks – such incredibly torture), where things quickly fell apart when the kids realized they could create mayhem by offering their sandwiches to the pigeons.
We made it through, though, and headed toward the Science Museum – until along the way we found this bit of art.
You want to see me have a heart attack? Take me to a place with staircases throughout, rails too high for Mina to reach, and blind corners so I have no idea where a child went. Constant vigilence was the name of this vacation.
At last we made it into the Science museum. Linus asked whether they’d made the downstairs portion just for him. It certainly seemed so.
How far can we go, indeed?
Although he loved the first floor, Linus’s overall review of this museum was “meh.” I think we all felt the same way. Here the kids are having a terrific time, but this is really the only interactive section. And the entire place was so dimly lit that it tortured our jetlag. We’re incredibly spoiled by the Boston Museum of Science.
Mina periodically just… stopped. I do like that she took her shoes off first. That girl is incredibly well trained.
This section was much more to Yen’s liking, as you can imagine.
The next time Mina paused, Jamie joined her. We decided then that the kids really needed some fresh air.
To the park! Here’s the Albert memorial. That’s some seriously expensive mourning, that is.
Jamie’s going to be a heart-breaker with that “I don’t care what your mom says” sneer.
The kids were so happy to be outside. They just tore around the park and we followed helplessly.
The Peter Pan statue!
We didn’t encourage this shot. No, this is what happens when three kids under 5 see a fence.
And again, totally uncoordinated.
We had a real struggle to keep the kids from diving into the water. Have I mentioned the weather on this trip? This was the coldest day, and you’ll note that Miss “I like the cold!” Mina is without a jacket.
At last we came to a playground where the kids could really tear around.
Or sit passively in a swing. Whatever.
- A helicopter took off in the field right next to us.
- Linus fell face-first onto some stairs. I thought his nose was broken for sure. He sat in my lap crying for almost 15 minutes until he just dropped off to sleep.
We headed off for some Indian food then followed by a good night’s sleep.