We had a lovely, extravagant time in London, being tourists. We stayed for two nights at the Premier Travel Inn in Kensington. The kids found this very exciting, and we may try to do this kind of thing again sometime.
We were within walking distance of the museums, and managed to fit in two visits to the Natural History Museum and one to the Victoria and Albert Museum. We said hello to our old friends the dinosaurs and fossil marine reptiles, and made friends with some charming little mammals. We also popped into the Investigate room in the basement at the NHM, where you can touch and explore specimens, and talk to knowledgeable people about them. We all love this room, Leo especially, and find it a bit sad that they present it as being for 7-14 year olds – we actually walked past it a couple of times because of this.
At the V&A, we saw their exhibition about design and touch, which was fun and interesting. We didn't have the time or energy to look round the rest of the museum – maybe next time.
We did plenty of shopping, visiting both Harrods and Hamleys. I'd never been to Harrods before – it was quite an experience. Hamleys was a bit disappointing, I thought. Naming two of the five floors 'girls' and 'boys' was particularly irritating. The kids spent their share of the money we raised on our stall last weekend, and were very pleased with their purchases.
The highlight of the weekend was a matinee performance of The Lion King, which was my mum's treat for the whole family. I wasn't at all sure what to expect – I've never seen the film – but it was really fantastic, with wonderful African music, excellent dancing and singing, and spectacular costumes and scenery. All the kids (and all the adults!) enjoyed it, and it was lovely to meet up again as a family.
We kept forgetting to take the camera to things, so didn't get many photos, but here are some of the kids in the hotel room,
P. cartwheeling in Kensington Gardens,
and a real tardis we came across
Today was quieter – I went to work, and Allie and the kids went to the shops and then to the park, where P. rode her bike non-stop for about 2 hours.