Tuesday, 28 June 2011

June 20 - 28 (Our last week in London)

Monday the kids and my mom went to The Princess Diana Memorial Playground and Kensington Palace (in Hyde Park).  They did not like Kensington as much as some of the other palaces.  It was done up to attract more people but that made it a little creepy and weird, though they liked looking for secrets.  The playground they always like.  They have been several times.  At night we just hung around the house, ran to the store etc.
Tuesday the kids went to Legoland again, hey, when you have season passes, why not use them to get maximum value.  To get to Legoland you have to take a bus, train and then a bus.  The kids are getting very good at public transportation.  One day I wanted to meet them from work, and I asked them which bus to take, and they knew, they know all the bus schedules. 
Wednesday during the day, the kids and my mom went to the grocery and worked on home school stuff.  Really to be honest, they work on school stuff lots of mornings before heading out.  I am not putting it into the blog every day, I guess my work and the kids school is the mundane and doesn’t deserve a mention every time.  It is June now and they kids are still doing school, but don’t tell them their friends are all out.  Since they haven’t focused that hard, and since they seem to need lots of repetition we decided to keep up a level of school work for the rest of the summer.  This is really one of the last days they did school work, for the last few days in London, we packed the books and just did stuff around the city.  This day they had a slower day because we had a big night. 
I bought tickets for us all to see Wicked – the musical.  It was really good!  We went with a woman I work with.  So she and I left work early and came home, had chili from the crock pot and set out.  On this particular night, everything went smoothly.  We got downtown in plenty of time with no delays.  We were able to stop at Hotel Chocolat (yum free samples) and hang out a little before getting our seats.  I bought seats in the very last row (much cheaper), so I was a little worried about the view, but it was fine.  We loved the musical, the music, the story, the experience.  London Theater!  Life is good.  We took the train home and everyone was very tired.  We didn’t get home until after 11.   
It was a little hard to get up on Thursday for work, due to the late night.  Thursday everyone went back to the science museum.  My mom hadn’t been yet, and the kids wanted to go again.  The kids came home looking at contraptions on the internet.  They like science museums.  Of course Thursday was another late night from work for me, the shuttle was late again, and it was time for Boy Scouts at 7.  I ran home, shoved food in my mouth and we ran to boys scouts.  We were a tiny bit late, but not too bad.  The boys said the wrestled and played games.  I walked them to Boy Scouts, walked home, waiting till 9, walked back to Boy Scouts to pick them up and walked back home again.  I got a lot of exercise in this day.  They enjoyed another opportunity to go to Boy Scouts in the UK.
Friday the kids went to the Zoo.  The zoo wasn’t that great except for the Penguin pond which they really enjoyed.  From the reports I heard, they spent most of the time at the Penguin pond, which was very cool.  They came home wanted to adopt a penguin.  I said, our house isn’t cold enough.  J  After work I took a bus to a train and a train to Paddington station to meet them.  We then went souvenir shopping in London.  There were a few gifts I wanted to buy and I hadn’t gotten anything for myself.  I ended up not liking the Tshirt I bought myself (too tight), but Oh well, I can always give it to Libby.  We were going to eat at a restaurant, but Friday night the lines were long and the kids were tired, so we just bought stuff from a street vendor (fish and chips and pizza) and ate on the train ride home.  It was good to get fish and chips again.
Saturday we were not sure what to do.  Finally some people at work decided to drive a car to Stratford-upon-Avon and they had enough room for us, so we went along.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We saw Shakespeare’s birthplace, and the place where he died.  We took a boat down the Avon river.  When we had seen about what we wanted to see, we were walking by a park and hear talking (a play).  We went in to check it out and sure enough, the Royal Shakespeare Company was doing (what I believe was) the second act of Henry V in the park. The kids sat and watched very closely - I was surprised how closely.  The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day, and I thought, how cool is this?  Watching Shakespeare in the park in Stratford-upon-Avon???  Life is good and I am very blessed.  I think I will have to find another Shakespeare play to take them too, they like it.  I have videos of Libby saying the Shakespeare she knows in front of his birthplace.  Like I said, we are very blessed.  When we went home we threw together a dinner of some leftovers, and from now on we started making dinners from whatever was left in the cupboards, we are in the downhill stretch.   
Sunday we were debating too about what to do.  We wanted to go to church, but since it doesn’t end till 12:30 or so (well - after I stand around and say goodbye to everyone), that doesn’t leave a lot of time to go places.  The day was sunny and warm again, and so finally after dinner we decided to just go back into London.  I wanted to go to a store called H&M and my mom was looking for a couple things, so we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus and walked to Oxford Circus (lots of shopping along there).  I found the England Soccer Jersey I wanted to buy for the boys.  Then we took a tube to Leicester Square and walked to Trafalgar Square.  It turned out to be a great thing.  I had seen some of these things from the tour bus at the first weekend we were in London, but I was really glad we decided to go back and see them on foot, one last look on the last day in London.  (ok the last day I could walk around, since I had to work the rest of the time).  It was a beautiful day and London was beautiful.  I got a couple good deals, but didn’t spend too much money. I bought some British Candy to bring to Candy School in a couple weeks, so that will be fun.  We got back on the tube at Charring Cross and took the tube back home.  We ate potatoes and ham and played legos until it was time for bed.  They kids watched a bit of TV, it was a game show of problem solving with a bunch of 10-13 year olds.  They liked it and wanted to figure out how to compete. 
We are all really ready to be home, and we are getting really excited.
Monday the kids went back to Legoland one last time.  Tell Matt we got our money’s worth from the passes.  After work we ate and packed and cleaned and stuff.  We had brought a crock pot so we took that over to donate to the Church.  We had to stop by the store because we had run out of breakfast stuff.  We bought porridge (oatmeal) and milk.  The kids have to eat PBJ for the last few days, but I think we will be able to pretty much eat all our food with no left overs and not having to buy anything since last Monday or Tuesday or whenever it was I went to the Tesco after work. 
We have been reading the new Andrew Peterson book “Monster in the Hallows” which we have really enjoyed.  We are getting close to the end, so it is getting pretty exciting.  Most nights we are reading for quite a while.  I hope we can finish tonight.  We have 20 or so pages I think.  I recommend this series highly.  Matt brought the new book that just came out when he came and we have been reading it since then.  We have read it on trains and in hotel rooms and now our little apartment.  Really, Monday night I think we read a little late since I really didn’t want to stop, I wanted to know what would happen.  Tonight, Tuesday, hopefully we will finish tonight.
Tuesday the kids went to the Tower of London.  It was Libby’s choice.  She really wanted to go back there one more time since there are some papers that you can do when you go (for kids to fill out) and there was still one that she hadn’t done that she wanted to do.  I worked, my last day in London.  I have to admit, I was a little less than focused.  Monday night at 9pm I got the last approval I was waiting for which was due before I could leave, so, I was pretty much done with everything I needed to do before the big June 30 deadline. 
I will write more, but probably not until I get back in the US, about Tuesday night and our trip home.  All I can tell you now, is I am very excited and I can’t wait to get home.  Even though I have had an amazing time on this trip and we have seen more than I ever thought I would in my life.  I am ready for good coffee, a hot shower without worrying about the fire alarm going off while people sleep, and my warm blanket (I mean Matt by this). 

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