Friday, August 19, 2016

Off on the Wrong Foot

Thursday started as a rough day because we were all still tired.  The kids didn't want to get up and every little thing that didn't go just right ended up feeling like a disaster because of our exhaustion.  We were all on short fuses.

I woke up around 6:20 Thursday morning and got ready for the day and suitcases unpacked until I woke the kids up at 9.  We only had a little over an hour to get ready because we were meeting Hyrum's sister-in-law for an orientation walk at 11.  No one wanted to get dressed, eat breakfast or do anything I asked of them.  We left the flat 15 minutes late and unfortunately without Hyrum since he had to wait for our delayed luggage to arrive.

I took the five children into the heart of London, by myself.  A few weeks ago I would have been rather nervous about that prospect but I have felt a renewed of sense that I can do what I have to, so off we went. It's about a 25-minute ride into London plus about 10 minutes of walking to get to our destination.  We made it and after saying Hi to Charity and sweet Moses, we all headed off on our introductory tour of London.  We started off in the direction of Trafalgar Square.  The kids enjoyed the Lions until a public-servant-of-some-sort shooed them all off--she must not have know it was the Lions on Trafalgar Square.  We walked down Parliament Street past the Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street (street the Prime Minister lives on), past Westminster Abbey, saw Big Ben and turned to go down the Westminster Bridge.  It was a pretty crowded but fun to see these places I've read about, seen pictures of and dreamed of.  We walked along the south bank and took in the sites and sounds.  There are a lot of commercial shows and thrills along the south bank but between the London Eye and the Golden Jubilee Bridge there were fewer crowds and the Jubilee gardens.  We didn't go in the garden but it looked nice walking by.  I liked the Golden Jubilee Bridge.  It reminded me of rigging on a ships mast.

Blue Bridge at St. James Park
We walked back to Ian and Charity's place where the kids enjoyed their PB&J and we talked for a few minutes until the kids' energy exceeded the space in the apartment.  The kids and I decided to head back into the city to find a playground.  We found St. James Park and it was perfect.  There are a lot of waterfowl--that's what Jonathan kept calling them, I think because we saw world's largest collection of waterfowl at the Bean Museum in Provo less than a month ago.  These were definitely waterfowl.

Playground at St. James Park
We enjoyed a pleasant walk through the park and found the playground.  It was hopping.  There was a giant sandbox which I steered the kids away from and we found an enclosed area with a slide, climbing wall, rope ladders, and rope bridges.  We played there for about an hour and went home.  The kids declared the day a good one.

Watching the waterfowl at St. James Park
We headed home just as Hyrum texted me to say the luggage had arrived.  Charlotte and Ben napped a bit on the train.  We got home just in time for me to make dinner.  We enjoyed our spaghetti dinner after all the PB&J we'd had the past couple of days.  Jonathan accompanied me to the grocery store where we bought enough stuff to fill my backpack, Jonathan and Hannah's backpacks plus four other large grocery store sized bags.  It was heavy but I was so glad to have Jonathan with me.  He was a good helper.  By the end of the day the kids had concluded it a success.

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