The Trans Take London: Day 3
Up and at ’em! We’re off to visit the Thames.
Wait. There’s a fountain. Everyone stop and look at it!
I believe I complained in the last post about the number of private parks in London. I really shouldn’t have, because they make up for them with lots of terrific public playgrounds. And just look at that background! Mina can’t because she’s already jumped on the swing.
Linus, meanwhile, was enjoying the random climbing poles. These are awfully nice parks without a lot of prescriptive play. I guess that’s what you’d call it? Random things to just interact with instead of equipment that really only has one use.
Mina liked these horse tops. The obsession with horses absolutely continues.
This was kind of like a boat, and definitely as wobbly. Mina and Jamie were all over it.
Little spinny thing in the ground. Perfect for Linus. Yen is still lining up shots perfectly too.
Ok, kids. We’re leaving! Come on!
We walked down toward the river hoping to catch a boat.
After a biscuit break. Cindy doesn’t look pleased here. I suspect the boys were discussing boogers or something.
The kids were incredibly comfortable walking down the street – just like their regular jaunts in Boston with Yen.
Here we are headed down the ramp to the boat. Cindy and I are both well stocked: her backpack is a cooler full of treats, and mine has water, biscuits, wipes, etc. We’re pros by now.
Here comes the boat! Oh wait – it’s not ours. It actually was, but we didn’t realize until it had headed off. We had a nice time waiting for the next one, though.
Mina practiced sliding down this ramp until I discovered that she was ripping holes in her jeans.
At last we made it! Mina checked out the skyline.
Linus spent the entire trip anticipating our visit to the Eye.
At last we reached our stop and climbed out to see Cleopatra’s Needle.
Yen tossed the kids into the sphinx’s lap. They were pretty content up there for quite a while.
I got to read the plaque next to it that explains the holes in the sphinx’s arm (just by Linus’s hand here), the result of a German bomb in WWI.
We made our way at last to Covent Garden. The kids loved it. We stopped to watch a performer for a while until he bored Linus. Then we just wandered. We had lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, which was surprisingly accomodating toward the crazy kids.
Then of course we needed ice cream. Here’s Mina treating her cup like a little cone.
I loved this scene: the kids just hanging out on a busy street, chatting away, and eating their ice cream. Check out Linus’s hand casually stuffed into his pocket.
What are we looking at here in Chinatown? Possibly a woman with a face tattoo. Peter pointed her out to me and then I just couldn’t look away.
Hm… Why didn’t we go here for lunch? Peter and Cindy have never had pho! We’re thinking a trip to Vietnam with them should be in order.
We wandered most of the afternoon. I have to give these kids credit: they went right along with the rambling, never really melting down (some close shaves, but who can blame them?). At each stop they took it in with fresh eyes. So by the time we made it to Trafalgar Square, they were just excited to sit by the water.
Squished muffin, Mina?
After that we’d had enough pavement and decided to visit the park. Without meaning to we walked through the cavalry guard building. Mina was happy.
We were all a bit mystified here. Why are crocuses up in September?
Maybe Linus’s favorite spot of the day. He collapsed into the chair and really didn’t want to move.
At last we made it to another playground. Writing this entry, I nearly deleted this photo because I thought it was an out-of-order duplicate. But no, it’s Mina swinging on a swing in another park.
Linus really loved this one and didn’t want to leave. We even tried the old, “We’re leaving! Bye!” He absolutely didn’t care.
We had a 6:30 dinner reservation, so we really had to extract the kids from the park. We wandered past Buckingham Palace before we headed over toward St Paul’s.
Which is where dinner was! No photos from the meal, which was a big missed opportunity! We ate at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa. I don’t know how much Peter slipped the hostess, but our table was right across from the cathedral. We were able to stare at it through floor-to-ceiling windows all night. Of note: a black helicopter took off and landed right behind it repeatedly throughout the meal.
More subway shots. I still can’t get over how comfortable these kids are on public transportation. Their childhoods are definitely very different from mine!