The Trans Take London: Day 5

After four days of running around London, we decided it was time for a little fresh air. We hopped on the tube for a very long ride – long enough that the kids changed seats at least a dozen times.

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We made our way to the Kew Gardens. The weather couldn’t have been better: sunny, warm, a little breezy. And so many things were still in bloom even though it was September. Here’s a look across a big artificial pond toward a conservatory.

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Mina and I are checking out a little art installation. They had children draw dragons, and then artists created 3D sculptures based on the photos.

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This is looking along the ceiling of the conservatory. We climbed all the way to the top, and let me tell you: these were not designed with child safety in mind. Mina would NOT hold my hand, and she couldn’t really reach a rail. I think I lost about ten years of my life following her and panicking. It was even more of a relief when we made it to the bottom again because the top part of the conservatory was at least 100 degrees and well beyond 90% humidity. Yen often reminds me that my reaction to that climate makes me a poor candidate for living in Vietnam. But that’s a separate post.

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Back safe and sound outside, Mina considers the greyhound of Richmond.

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The rose garden was one of my favorite parts. The air was completely perfumed.

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We made our way to a walkway in the trees. Yen took the stairs up, but the kids and I rode in style.

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Linus was a little more subdued on the way down because he got a spanking on top. Don’t think he didn’t deserve it.

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Now we’re inside another conservatory.

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We trekked all the way to this giant pagoda and then discovered you have to pay for the pleasure of climbing to the top. No, thank you!

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The Gardens are right in the flight path of one of the airports. Yen was rather proud of this s hot.

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After walking so much, we decided to buy passes for the little train that runs around the garden. That brought us to the far corner and my absolute favorite part. When trees in the Gardens die, they are stripped of bark and put in this corner. You can challenge yourself to walk in a huge loop without touching the ground. I managed to do it! I was so proud of Linus. He made it most of the way and then fell off. Without pausing, he ran right back to the beginning and started again. I helped him finish up without touching the ground.

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Mina was smarter than the rest of us: she went through.

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After Mina got tired of trying to balance, she practiced her jumps.

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Here’s Linus’s triumphant finish.

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Wow, Mina found a peacock!

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Relaxing and waiting for the train to come back.

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Here’s another dragon!

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After all that adventuring, we stopped for a tea-and-ice-cream break.

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We continued on and I captured the camera for a little while. That gives us this very rare photo of Yen!

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We came at last to one of the highlights of the garden: The Hive. It’s an art installation that mimics what it might be like to be inside a hive. The hum is incredibly soothing.

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If you look carefully, you can see Yen and Linus inside.

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Yen took the camera back and went down to the area below the hive.

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Linus and I had a long debate about how deep the water might be, and exactly what we’d do if we fell in. Then we noticed a huge carp swimming around and watched it for a while.

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What do you do after a long day? You head back to the hotel and take your clothes off, of course!

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