The day started off with such promise. We were going to the London Eye to get a view of the city from above. It was the only thing Lucy really wanted to do and seemed like a nice, relaxing and recuperative activity for a family still recovering from a red eye flight and jet lag. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men.
First there were the tube delays. What started out as an adventure on the London Underground soon devolved into the tedium of waiting. I give this to the British, they are a people who know how to wait (as evidenced by their natural affinity for the queue)
The view of the Parliment Buildings and Big Ben roused us briefly, but it was not to last.
|Are we there yet?|
|There was this big green sofa at the National Theatre but there was no real joy.|
It was an obligatory photo op.
Even the happy discovery of my new favourite fast food restaurant did little to lift the spirits of my children. http://www.leonrestaurants.co.uk/ The food was great. How can you not love a fast food restaurant where they don't even give you the option of fries as your side? Miranda and James had fish and Lucy and Liam both went for the Sweet potato falafel. Julie and I shared a great salad and meatball dish. I not sure if my rhapsodizing about the restaurant speaks to the quality of the experience or to the disappointments found throughout the rest of the day.
|"This is art?"|
And then there was modern art, which failed to do anything but confuse my children. I instantly fell in love with the space, but I could only push my kids so far before eventually abandoning the enterprise. At least I got to see some Picassos and a Lichtenstein.
The Millenium Bridge was just more walking and the sight of St. Pauls Cathedral lost some of its grandeur because it was so hard for some of the kids to lift their heads to take it all on.
Julie headed back to the apartment with Lucy, Miranda and James while Liam and I forged on. Our new mission, and it was nice to have a mission, was to procure tickets for Les Mis for Julie and I. Julie had never seen a production before and that was something that simply had to be rectified. Unfortunately, the sign on the box office door said the show was sold out (another lesson in the merits of advance booking), but I thought I should ask anyway. It turned out that the theatre had reserved a few seats for Wimbledon players in case they wanted to come, and those tickets had just opened up before we arrived.
It was fun to explore London with Liam for a bit in the afternoon. We got turned around and lost a couple of times while looking for the theatre. But getting lost in London for us meant we got to see Trafalgar Square, China Town, and, best of all, M&M World. By the time we came back to the apartment, Liam was riding the Tube like a pro and walking with the swagger of an experienced world traveller. I felt so proud.
|"Look at me in Trafalgar Square. I don't get what the big deal is|
but Dad says it's a pretty important place."
|The people who work here really like their jobs.|
After feeding the kids and getting them set up with a movie, Julie and I were off on our date (I must say there is something devastatingly romantic about attending a West End show with the love of your life). The show was fantastic. Great staging and phenomenal performances across the board. Liam really rose to the occasion holding down the fort, and we were really grateful to Mom and Mike for being on standby in case the kids needed anything. So I guess the day wasn't a complete disaster for Liam, Julie and I, which kind of makes me feel a little like a heel.
Today's lesson was that adrenaline will only carry you so far for so long even in London.