Day 5. Putting it all together.
Today was an easy day. I say this because I'm actually writing this post, from our flat, on the same day where the events occurred rather than trying to remember over a cup of coffee the next morning and then remembering to put everything in the proper tense.
To start, we slept in. I woke at 5:30 with the sun streaming in the window and shut the curtains tighter, pulled the eye mask over my eyes and went right back out for another 2 hours. Jackie got up somewhere in there and made a pot of coffee and did a load of laundry before the day got too hot.
It actually never got hot. In fact, it rained a bit mid-morning and the temperature never got about 80F (27C).
We finally slipped out of the apartment around 11 AM. We've kinda figured out the transport system. We caught a bus on the other end of our street this morning and took it to the Tower Hill station. From there, we caught the Tube to Kensington Station, where a bunch of fun museums exist. We got to experience a delay on the line, just sitting there in the station with the train not moving. It felt unnatural.
By the time we arrived at Kensington, we realized we were all hungry, so we stepped out to a bunch of takeout restaurants. Beau and Jackie opted for Pret-a-manger (3 days in a row) while Elijah and I went to the Japanese place next door for sushi and a katsu curry.
Heading to the museums...
We stopped in the Museum of Natural History for a while, but we've been to quite a few of these in different cities, so we didn't stay long. Also, as the schools in London let out next week, most of the classes are having their field trips. As much as I love my kids, I'm not that fond of 300 other peoples' kids.
Next door to the Natural History Museum was the Science Museum, which completely enthralled Elijah. I think if we left, he would not have noticed for several hours, and then he would've just shrugged and kept messing with the experiments and displays.
Beau has been taking a lot of photos this trip. She's never been interested in photography before, but she's asking technical questions like "How do I get this to be in focus and all that to be out of focus?" She's not just indiscriminately firing off shots, but getting things framed nicely. She took this photo and wasn't quite happy with it until I pointed out that it would look pretty cool in B&W. And it does.
By now, it was about 4:30 and we decided that we were getting hungry again. The area around the museums is mostly embassies or consulates, so we headed toward Hyde Park. At the edge of Hyde Park, we stopped at a pub called the Goat Tavern for food and a pint. A family from Seattle, with their London Pass badges around their necks, sat next to us. We ended up exchanging information about sights to see.
Into Hyde Park for a slow stroll with the temperatures now in the low 70's. We went past groups playing football (soccer, not the American version). Beau chased pigeons around.
As we got to The Serpentine, we heard a strange bird we had not heard before. We saw a lot of people stopped and pointing in the trees. Naturally, we stopped and looked too. It turns out there is a feral colony of parakeets in Hyde Park and someone feeds them. How they survive the winter is beyond me, but some of these birds are double the size you see in pet stores.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to type 'Hyde', when you've been typing 'Hydro' all your life? Muscle memory...
We hopped on the Central Line to Liverpool Station. Liverpool is another nexus in the commuter network. We stocked up on essentials at Boots and a Marks and Spencer. Then, we found the correct stop for the bus that leads to our apartment. We didn't even have time to sit on a bench before the correct bus came along.
Fifteen minutes later, we were standing outside our flat and the sun was still up, if only for a few minutes.
The pedometer on my smartwatch read 16,800 steps. Jackie looked at hers and it was 15,300. We were trying to figure out how I managed so many extra steps when we had gone essentially the same places. We wondered about the gyroscopes in the watches or our stride lengths, but didn't have a good idea how they could be so different.
Elijah chimed in, "Maybe it was all those trips to the bar."
We all gave him with funny looks. I finally said, "Do you really think I spent that much time today going to bars?"
He replied, "I mean when we were getting supper. You had to go up to the bartender 3 or 4 times to get all our drinks."
Oh... I was kinda hoping he was feeling sure enough with himself to drop a zinger on his old man like that. Because if he was, it was a pretty sly one.
Tomorrow, really tomorrow not "today", we're going to Windsor Castle and hopefully get in a Westminster Cathedral tour. I would love to see the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, but I'm not sure we'll fit that in this trip.