Yesterday the kids and I got back from a short trip to London. My parents were in and drove us there, since we don’t have a car. Consequently, that also means the kids aren’t used to being in the car much, and C was not at all happy about it. The fact that both kids have a cough and cold didn’t help much. Most of the drive down was spent with me leaning over C’s seat to let her nurse. K did pretty well in the car, though; it helped that we watched some Star Trek: Voyager. Every time the SatNav spoke, K declared that it was a hologram, or maybe a robot hologram. Yes, he’s already a Trekkie.
When we got to London, we found our hotel, a bed and breakfast called St Athan’s. It’s not fancy, but it’s family-run and has a nice English breakfast. Once we’d gotten our bags in and the kids changed, we made our way to Westminster Abbey for Evensong, since my parents wanted to see Westminster. It was a beautiful service, though I found myself wishing the Eucharist were there and also thinking about how reverent the ushers and choristers and ministers were. You could almost picture the Mass being said there before Henry VIII. K was very tired and hungry by this time, so most of my time was spent pushing his buggy around, and with C strapped on. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, though his shrine was just behind the high altar (the reredos would have obscured it from view).
Following Evensong, we set off to find Indian, since I knew K would eat that. On the way, we got wonderful views of the Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. We found the Thames Tandoori on Waterloo, and the food was quite nice. K devoured the poppadoms while we waited for the rest of the food. We then made our way back to the hotel for the night. K wasn’t at all sure of staying in a hotel and wanted to go home, but he did well. I awoke at one point to find he’d put his arm around C while they slept.
The following day we started with the English breakfast and then my parents drove C and me to the US Embassy so I could register her birth and apply for her passport and social security number. While I did that, they planned to take K to the Sea Life Aquarium. K wasn’t too sure about staying in the car with Grammy and PowPow without me, but I assured him that he’d have a good time and that I’d come to get him in a bit. I’d been prepared for the Embassy appointment to take 3 hours, since it took at least that long with K, but thankfully we were out in just an hour. C slept through the whole thing. Because we’d gotten out so quickly, I went ahead and got a taxi to the aquarium so I could go through it with my parents and K. They hadn’t gone too far when I caught up with them. K was a bit teary, but after a little while he perked up and looked at the fish with me. He wouldn’t stick his hand in with the cleaner shrimp, though. That did feel a bit weird, especially when they cleaned under my fingernails, but it was pretty cool. K enjoyed seeing “Nemo”, “Dory”, and “Bruce”. He also loves the orca he got as a souvenir.
Following the aquarium, I’d promised K some ice cream, which he happily devoured. We started going through a Christmas market nearby, but left early as I wasn’t feeling well after eating fudge with rum in it (rum unfortunately doesn’t agree with me). We went back to the hotel, and I napped with C while K watched more Star Trek before heading out to dinner with Grammy and PowPow. I was very proud of him, as they said he did very well in the restaurant, without me, and without books or toys.
Yesterday after breakfast we loaded up the car. We’d planned to go to the British Museum for the special exhibit on the Book of the Dead, but C had just fallen asleep, and we deemed it wiser to go ahead and drive back home, hoping she’d stay asleep. She did sleep the majority of the time, thankfully. So that was our whirlwind adventure in London. London’s nice, but I have to admit that I prefer the north.