Wednesday 9 August 2017

Week one: done!

Well, we have started checking off items on our To Do in London list.
  • Buckingham Palace - check!
  • Rode on the Tube and Returned Home With As Many Children As I Started With - check, check and check!
  • London Zoo - check!
  • Free Museums - check, War Museum!
  • Live Theatre - check, The Hunting of the Snark!
  • Noticing More and More Super-Weird Things About England - ongoing

The Zoo is walking distance from our flat - sure, it's a long walk, but our "walking legs" are getting stronger by the day.  We checked it out on Saturday.

Fun British Fact:  English zoos don't just have protected and endangered species, but extinct ones, too!  There is actually a time-travel portal, which takes you back to the time of the dinosaurs...hey, I was skeptical too, but they were very friendly and rideable.


Although these pictures, I suppose, only show that the zoo has statues of animals, there were also real, live animals, all very active and healthy-looking.  It started off slowly, though - we went to a "Lunch with Otters" presentation, and they decided to stay in their little cave, snoozing, instead of participating with the zookeeper.  She did a fairly entertaining talk anyway, and the crawfish that she was going to feed to the otters became the stars of the show - they kept escaping from the bowl and menacing the children with their wee little claws.  

Saturday was, amazingly, the first real rainy day we've had, but of course I didn't check the weather ahead of time.  Chris did, and brought an umbrella along, but the kids only had baseball caps on (their t-shirts dried quickly), and I just got frizzier.  It was a nice day at the zoo, actually - not too warm or cold, just sort of drizzly in spots.  At some point, Chris' umbrella fell out of my bag.  Whoops.

Side note:   Since we're still living out of our suitcases, I couldn't remove the old, chipped polish from my fingers or toes.   Knowing that my nail polish remover would be arriving within the next few weeks (oh please oh please oh please), I found a Groupon for a mani/pedi in a  
Now, SOME people might waste their money on buying another $3 bottle of nail polish remover, but I decided to be less wasteful (don't even try to make me understand the math).  Anyhoo, by happy accident, my fingers and toes match the Tube exactly.  

The kids had their first English Play Date on Monday with kids they had met at the park -- a boy Vaughn's age and a girl right between Ailsa and Tamsin -- and went over to their new friends' house, just a few blocks away.  It's a tiny little house, slightly smaller than our old one, but with a tiny little garden -- I'm so envious!  We joined them on Tuesday, as well, at the War Museum.  The kids had a great time, but it will be an uphill slog to get them to fully adopt Proper British Decorum.  

I expect, in fact, to die trying.

Today was even rainier than Saturday, so it was good luck that the day's adventure was to go to the Theatre!  Chris is off for the next two weeks, to help unpack and set up our flat (would be more helpful if we had anything to unpack or set getting tired of the same clothes), so we looked up deals, found a fun one for the kids (we were inspired by the book Aunt Tracey gave to Vaughn for Christmas last year!), and were taken on a musical romp to Snark Island.  It was hilarious (for me), and I will be humming the songs from now on...and telling the jokes (to the kids' chagrine - they have an excellent awareness of what "funny" is, and I, very often, fall short on purpose, just to get The Look from Ailsa*).

The curtain is about to go up, and everyone is dressed and ready with snacks!

Fun British Fact:  Hot beverages, like coffee or tea, are not allowed in the theatre, but you can buy drinks, candy and crisps to bring in with you.  

Aside:  I would like to point out to Grandma and Grandpa that we made it two full weeks without taking the Hufflings to McDonald's.  Personally, I think we can go much longer (what with no pesky grandparents about to take them to The Bad Place), but we were in a rush as we left the theatre, and needed to get to an appointment at the bank, so popped in for some Happy Meals.  Ailsa ordered chicken McNuggets, which came with dipping sauce, of course.  BUT WAIT!

Yep, you can dip your chips in curry sauce, even at McDonalds.  IT IS AWESOME!

She stuck with the Sweet and Sour sauce, but come on!

We bought Fis a replacement umbrella (thus turning him back into Chris... at least for a few minutes), and bought one for Tamsin, too.  At dinner, she enthusiastically exclaimed, "This is the best day ever!  I got my own umbrella!"

She and Ailsa were so good about sharing.

DG note:  Dinner tonight was chicken drumsticks with garlic stuffed under the skin, sprinkled with salt and pepper and mixed herbs, frozen peas, and some kind of microwave rice thing.  The chicken was a hit, anyway!

* The teenage years are being foreshadowed already.  So far, they're hilarious.

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