Day Five | London
We woke up early enough this day to get out and about to the museums. It was a cold and rainy day, so I was happy we had reserved an indoor activity for this day.On the way to the train station, I saw this unattended mail cart and I couldn't believe it! This would never happen in the states.
Eating breakfast on the tube this day was entertaining. Right after I took this photo, she spilled all her beans.
Running to the museums!
Our first stop of the day was the Natural History Museum. My kids were excited as the Natural History Museum in London has different dinosaur bones than we see in Chicago at the Field Museum. We checked out coats (which would later turn out to be a huge mistake) and were off. We quickly made our way to the dinosaurs as we had three museums to visit this day.
My little one was actually driving me a bit bonkers at this point because she would insist on taking a photo of absolutely everything she saw. It did not matter if she even knew what it was, but she had to take a photo and if I tried to hurry her up, the tears would start to flow. I was in a hurry to get through the museums and she was not going to be rushed. Indeed!
We were just in the blue zone when a loud speaker announce - emergency evacuation. I thought is was a joke! We were on the opposite end of where we had left out coats and they would not let us cross over. They sent us outdoors without our jackets! I was appalled! I was not going to stand outdoors with no jackets and have my children catch colds as it was rainy and freezing! We ran down the street to the Victoria & Albert Museum and the children thought this most hilarious. What an adventure indeed!
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's greatest museum of art and design, representing over 3000 years of human creativity, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. Highlights include the Medieval Renaissance galleries containing some of the greatest surviving treasures from the period, the breathtaking Jewellery gallery and the stunning British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the nation’s art and design.
We walked through the Europe: Britain and Medieval & Renaissance and the children were able to identify statues of things we have been studying this year in Omnibus. It was lovely to see Latin writings preserved in this museum. My son was even able to read some of the writings! This was all we had time to view, but it was enough for the children. If we tend to focus on one area while visiting a museum, they are more interested. We have been studying the Reformation all year, so these areas really pretained to things the children knew.
Do you recognize this sculpture? This great marble piece was made by Giambologna in about 1560 and it's the only substantial work by the artist to have left Italy. On display in Medieval and Renaissance, it is quite stunning and my children recognized right off who it represented.
This stunning piece I could not take my eyes off of! It is an 11 metre high, blown glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly that is in the rotunda at the V&A's main entrance. Literally, I think I took over 100 photos of this. I love and adore blown glass and WANT this in my house!
I really wanted to see all the crown jewels but I was the only one and I couldn't convince anyone to come with me. So we headed back to the Natural History Museum to collect our coats.
We had paid for our coats to be checked and since we were not even in the Natural History Museum 30 minutes, I felt that we sould be given a refund for the coat check fee. The (French) man behind the counter was very rude to me and told me he could not. I simply asked him to call his manager and find out. He was so angry with me and I could not for the life of me fathom why he even cared. It was not money from his own pocket! We did get a refund, by the way, as we should have. Damn Americans we are!
Next on the agenda was the Science Museum, but we left after we dicovered that this museum was not free as had been the case with the History Museum and V&A Museum. We have an amazing science museum in Chicago and the kids will just have to be delighted with that.
We decided instead to go for high tea. We were all so excited and headed to Fortnum & Mason for some scones, sandwiches and tea. Once the children got their tea, they were very disappointed. English tea is very different from American tea. My middle child was so upset that she started to cry and was very sad. This was a proper tea and not anything like the tea parties we have back at home. I felt really bad for her and kept trying to coax her into a smiling face again. My husband and I actually really enjoyed it and it did turn out to be a wonderful time. I highly recommend high tea for everyone whilst in London!We next walked back to Trafalgar Square again and the Picadilly Circus area. This was the children's favorite area.
We had to stop off at Cool Britannia again and you should stop here and it is an entertaining shop. Plus, you children can soak up your cash on worthless souvenirs.
We had tickets to see the Lion King that evening and decided to walk to the theatre, better to be early instead of late. It took us a bit of locating, but we did finally figure out where to head. It was a very long day already and everyone was a bit cold and tired and full of sore muscles. We stopped in a Starbucks quickly to warm up and use the loo. We then went to the theatre and sat and waited about an hour for the production to begin. The waiting was boring and the kids didn't behave well. But once The Lion King started, I didn't hear another peep out of any of them!
The show was SPECTACULAR! Really just amazing!
I happen to think that every sick person in London was at that theater that night - sitting behind me and hacking up their lungs all over me and my family. There was a child sitting right behind us that was coughing directly on all all evening. I was getting quite perturbed at this mom for a) not giving this child some cough syrup or something and b) she never once told her to cover her mouth. If we were not sick yet-we were for sure after this evening. Especially the little one as her hair was the collector of the germ flying coughs.
We took the train back to the apartment and packed up as we were leaving the next morning for Paris. We did notice that someone had been in the apartment that day as all the blinds were open. My husband had left a light on, purposely to see if someone would shut it off, and they did. We had left our laptop and tablet out on the table and there was a chair pulled out as if someone were trying to log on to our laptop and they left their drink sitting right there as well. This was most disturbing to me and I have never experience this. I have traveled all over and this is the first time I have ever had such nonsense like this occur. I would never recommend this apartment complex to anyone because of this either.