My favorite part of our London trip was the first hour of each day. I’d take one, two, or three of the kids a couple blocks to Waitrose for the day’s groceries and then dodge the big red buses to cross the street for cold coffee at Starbucks. This routine was so luxurious. I didn’t realize how much I missed the banter between strangers until I had it again.
Since the twins were born, my mother has provided me with a steady stream of Starbucks gift cards. My kids--especially the twins and Vinnie--have many memories there. They’re kids that mark the seasons by cake pops, with fall’s mummy the all-time favorite.
When we were waiting in line at our London neighborhood Clapham location, Vinnie remarked, “It almost feels like we’re back in Princeton here.”
Our first day we visited the British Museum and the Tate Modern. We only spent an hour in each. The twins can’t quite see the beauty in this kind of setting yet. Though, they appreciated the interactive swing exhibit at the Tate. Vinnie loved the mummies. Maybe it was all the cake pops.
Other Monday stops were The Wellington, a pop-up museum in a ship anchored on the Thames open only Sundays and Mondays. She was part of the British Navy and made supply runs in WWII. Thom was quick to offer corrections to the exhibit. He thought “German” should be replaced with “Nazi” in all the reports, but we informed him that the Nazis didn’t fight in WWI.
Mary Poppins was a huge part of my childhood and still influences me. That said, we needed to visit the steps of St. Paul’s and look for a familiar face. We didn’t see her. This time.
When Errol was out with Andrew on Monday night, I learned that lunch cruises on the Thames were half off the following day. Food and boats are safe bets with this crowd.
The Halloween festivities with our Princeton pals were fantastic. No one complained about missing trick-or-treating. It was that fun.
Wednesday we split up. I took the three littles to Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. It was a great place for them to spend a few hours and was full of locals. It had several playgrounds that the kids loved. The dynamic between these three is usually good, and I ventured they’d be okay foregoing mass transit. They walked almost three miles from Clapham to Victoria station. Crossing the river on the Chelsea bridge was memorable.
Meanwhile, Errol took Thom on adventures to the squash courts, Andrew’s barber shop, Heywood Hill book shop, lunch, and the Natural History Museum. When we reunited for Wicked, it was pretty obvious Thom wasn’t ready to give up his only-child lifestyle.
Errol’s talk was during the show, but the kids and I managed to get back to Clapham just fine on our own. It helps when the theater is directly across the street from a train station.
It was haircuts for the twins and Clapham Common with Andrew on Thursday before we headed back to Freiburg. I loved this trip.