our big trip - Day 7: London

Saturday, 23 February 2013

I have to admit, it was so hard to decide on what to do and see in London - there's just so much to enjoy and so much I wanted to show the kids. Each day was a new adventure, but we made certain we chose something that attracted us on the day. This day - for sure - was shopping and double decker buses and Hyde Park.

We took the Tube to Oxford Street - I have never seen it so busy {other than Christmas eve} but that didn't stop us having a wee spot of coffee and a shop.

We then took a double-decker bus west along Oxford Street to Hyde Park - Speaker's Corner. I remember spending summer lunch times (I worked near Marble Arch) lounging on the iconic green and white deck chairs on the lawns of Speaker's Corner. Memories.

The kids loved the stellar street views double-deckers provide. We grabbed some lunch from Pret a Manger (we lived there!) and took it to the tables in Hyde Park for an icy outdoor picnic. Yes, it was very cold but we love living on the frost-bitten edge.

Riley is somewhat obsessed with encouraging pigeons to fly, so we had a spot of found around Marble Arch . . .

And then began meandering through a rather deserted Hyde Park, west towards Princess Diana's Memorial Children's Playground.

It was just after this shot was taken that I looked down and realised my Nikon D90 lens cap was missing. I had already lost one before, so was desperate to hang onto my only remaining cap, especially as we were only days into our trip, and Nikon has the gall to charge a fortune for replacements.

Darling husband handed over his back pack and took a rather long jog back through the park, searching every grassy patchy and cranny for that teensy little disc. The kids and I continued on towards Princess Diana's Playground, with every finger and toe crossed that he would find it.

It was while stopping to photograph the kids and their pursuit of this little squirrel that a true miracle occurred. Stopping to look down at the shots I'd taken, my eyes focused on a small black disc in the grass, right next to my shoe. I bent down, picked it up and turned it over. It was a Nikon lens cap. It was my size. It was a little muddy from being embedded in the lawn for some time, but there it was.

My little miracle. I still can't believe it happened.

When husband turned up 30 minutes later, I told him the story and he too was mindboggled. He hadn't found my lens cap but we supposed things were now Even Stevens with the Universe.

Continuing on to Diana's playground, the kids had an absolute ball playing in this amazing, Peter Pan-inspired set up, complete with pirate ship, concrete croc and other sea-faring playthings.

This swing was truly the coolest swing the kids had ever been on. I so want one for our house - it's genius.

On the way to Trafalgar Square from the park, we couldn't resist another double-deck ride; so much fun and such fantastic views. We bought Oyster travel cards which allows travel on buses, trams, the underground, the light rail, overground and national rail services within zones 1 - 6. Kids under 12 actually travel free and kids aged 12 can't obtain a card, so we bought Ella 5 days worth of day tickets - quick and easy. The Oyster cards are great because you can top them up at Tube stations everywhere, and we honestly didn't get through much money on these cards - such great value.

It was a joy to see the kids race for the lions in Trafalgar Square - something I did almost 25 years ago for the first time.

Ella even insisted on scaling the lion to lie on its back but Husband and I were far too nervous to allow her to sit up! These things are v high.

From Trafalgar Square, we took a short walk to Covent Garden - another old haunt of mine. Sigh.

The kids loved enjoying the last of the festive decorations - we simply adored this massive, greenery-bedecked deer.

After a game of jack-change-it at a local pub, we grabbed some takeaway from Pret {this is seriously good food} and went back to our Pimlico aparment for a well-earned rest.

*Footnote: that night, I unpacked my carry bag and found my original camera lens cap. I simply couldn't tell husband and I swore Ella to secrecy. I ended up telling him two weeks after we got back to Australia - and when he was in a very good mood. Now I have two lens caps. I figure my first loss, way back when, came back to me.

our big trip - days 1 + 2: Melbourne
our big trip - day 3: Flying to Europe
our big trip - day 4: London
our big trip - day 5: London
our big trip - day 6: London
our big trip - day 8: London
our big trip - day 9: Leyland
our big trip - day 10: London
our big trip - day 11: Paris
our big trip - day 12: Paris
our big trip - day 13: Paris
our big trip - day 14: Bruges
our big trip - day 15: Bruges 
our big trip - day 16: Bruges and The Hague
our big trip - day 17: The Hague
our big trip - day 18: Amsterdam
our big trip - day 19: Amsterdam
our big trip - day 20: The Hague
our big trip - days 21 + 22: Brussels
Two days lost with travel and travelling east
our big trip - days 25 + 26: Bangkok
our big trip - day 27: Kanchanaburi
our big trip - days 28 - 32: Cha Am Resort
our big trip - day 33: Hua Hin
our big trip - days 34 + 35: Coming Home

1 comment:

Janice said...

Tania, what lovely children with an amazing husband. So nice to relive some of your memories with the kids.

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