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Monday, January 13, 2014

Rainy London Day Trip

I guess we are gluttons for punishment. So this meant that the last rainy Saturday we decided to press our luck and go back to London. You would think the post Christmas madness would have been enough to deter us from going back too soon, but ignorance is bliss. 

The Hubs wanted to go to the British Museum

The British Museum is "dedicated to human history and culture. It's permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive...", um yea. I am pretty sure of the 8 million items, we saw, maybe, less than 1%. Silly us, we forgot rule number 1: Kids don't care about history. 

Decrepit old mummy?
 Meh. Want to go to the Science Center.

How about some Egyptian artifacts older than Mommy, Daddy, Grandma Darling, Grandpa, Nana, and Pops all  put together? 

That's cool. Right? 
 Meh, Can we go to the science center? Now?

How about some hand carved statues? They're really old?

(This is not the science center....)

 Or some really cool tablets and obelisks?  This is how Egyptian kids had to do their homework! 

Look! Look at these wicked cool figurines! This is what Egyptian kids used when they played farm!
How about this cool sarcophagus? Meh. 

The only thing he found entertaining was this:
And we had to tell him this is what ancient Egyptians used to bathe their kitties in. Yes, I know it's a blatant lie, but it got him to stop complaining (main thing) and also got a laugh out of him. He decided we needed to build one for our cats. While our cats do enjoy the notion of  feline worship, they do not enjoy anything to do with bathing in a basin full of water.  I hope I have my phone near me the fateful day he manages to pull one of them into the tub. (Perhaps have the plasters (band-aids) and Neosporin close at hand, too.)The kitties do hang around at bath time because the robo-fish is endlessly fascinating. 

What I find fascinating is the fascination with robo-fish. Is a real fish that much of a nuisance? Is this for people with fish allergies? Fear of commitment? Ichthyophobia - the fear of fish? If I am going to go to all the trouble to set up a bowl/tank of water I might be inclined to go that extra step and throw in a real fish. This goes to show two very important things: there is a sucker born every minute and I really need to find out how to market some of my stupid ideas that, funny enough, don't seem so stupid now. 

The museum was packed. I know, what did I expect? It was raining. I forgot British people and their 'Keep Calm and Carry On' attitude. I expected them to stay at home, and probably most of the reasonable ones did, but what I forgot was that lots of other people, possibly on their holiday, would not. I do the same thing when I'm on holiday and the weather is not cooperating. You just suck it up and get out there and see the sights. Well that's exactly what all the French, Polish, Russian, and Asian holiday goers did. (Not to say the Brits weren't out, but those were primarily the accents I heard around me at the museum. Plus a few American accents, too. Which always trips me out - I don't know why. Like we're the only 'mericans allowed in London that weekend.  Which given our poor image on the world stage, might not be such a bad idea....)

Here are some more pictures I managed to snap as we broke land speed records through the exhibits.
Goofy pose - but not bad...

Bust of Zeus, old books, ancient plates...
I am not sure about these.
I did find some really cool jewelry.

Some of these pieces are featured in some prominent paintings. If I would have been able to read the educational information with the display I may have been able to tell you which paintings, but when your tracking a bored Bean, "ain't no body got time for that!" (Sweet Brown Remix - awesome...and still way better than Miley Cyrus.)

I think the science center is this way....

I am pretty sure that we tortured him for the better part of two hours. Here are the rest of my photos:
Would love to do a floor like this...

Here is a picture of some lovely glass bowls. They are lovely and they are green. That's my take on them. I couldn't tell you anything else about them. Oh, they're old. Really, really old. 

This is funny. I have always heard the crass expression, "standing around with your d*ck in your hand". Well, apparently, it is not a new phenomena. Classic art would reveal the origin of this expression ....

This is the Greek God  Mercury, just standing there with his privates in his hand. Never mind that he could be flying all over the place delivering earth-shattering messages or bouquets of fragrant flowers as the  FTD Spokes-deity. Never mind that at some point his manhood was broken off and someone stuck it in his hand. Never mind the fact that apparently none of the museum staff have noticed this - incredibly funny - travesty committed to (on? against?) a piece of ancient history. 

This eye-opening history lesson was about as racy as we got on this trip. The other exhibit I didn't get anywhere near was: 

Yea, probably the one exhibit that could have held the Bean's attention was the 'naughty bits' exhibit.  I have enough trouble keeping pants on him/them now. 

So after much whining and pleading, and whining and pleading, we headed for the Science Center. Okay, it's really the Science Museum, but if there is a water table - it's a Science Center. As luck would have it, the Science Center is in a different part of the galaxy than the British Museum. We took the tube and hiked the 27 miles to the glorious Science Museum.

Did he want to check out the space toilet?  NO!
Did he want to check out the 7-toed cat?   NO!
Did he want to check out the old cars?       NO!

Nope, we headed straight into the depths of darkest hell. The 'Hands-On' exhibits in the basement (or as I like to call it: The Lord of the Flies Experiment.) This was a bad idea. There were so many children at the water table that Bean played for less than five minutes. (Well, this was probably a given since we had the foresight to pack the Bean a new change of clothing for the assumed soaking.) The room was the temperature of the sun. Maybe 5 degrees warmer. Children were at their base elements: chaos and tantrums.

Here we are in a quiet (ha!) corner of the hands-on exhibit. It was the earthquake simulator. This was pretty fun. He would build a tower, then (I would) turn the handle to produce earthquake like motion, and watch to see if his structure would survive an earthquake. This was great fun. This was just before a swarm of children became immensely interested in what we were doing. 

We managed to leave the exhibit and took a breather on the presentation stairs outside. I had some tepid water and the Bean sucked down a juice box we'd brought with us. He laid down and put his head in my lap. We asked him what he wanted to do next and he said, "go home." I guess if you can't play in the water table - what's the point? I also think he was thinking of the super cool Science Center we went to in the Netherlands. I think he was a bit disappointed. Now that was a water table. 

The Bean's willingness to leave was not taken lightly. He was acting sluggish. He was getting cranky. We began the long trek back to the Kings Cross Station. This meant the 27 mile walk back to the nearest tube station, five stops in a crammed tube, up four escalators, half a dozen turnstiles, and back on the train to take us back to our local stop. Yea! 

Bean was out of steam. Which meant that I carried him the 27 mile walk back to the nearest tube station, held him for two stops in a crammed tube before a nice lady offered me her seat. "I have two," she said, "Please sit down!"  The Bean was falling asleep.  I checked him for a fever. This should have triggered my Spidey sense. If my Spidey sense had been working, I would have been prepared for the spray of vomit that shortly thereafter began issuing out of the Bean. Luckily, I was wearing my rain parka, but, unluckily, what slid down my parka fell directly in my lap. I took two blasts full-frontal to keep anyone else from getting puked on. People moved.  Very, very quickly.

I was able to stand up, and point the Bean towards the doors - where he finished getting sick. Now, you would think, that a tube car full of people who just witnessed projectile vomit would be perhaps a bit put off. I was relieved when I heard one huge bloke say, "Aww, poor little fella! 'E can't help it!" Then a sympathetic grandma-like lady said, "Oh, bless 'em, He's as white as a sheet." 

Luckily the next stop was our tube stop. That tube car cleared out faster than a keg at a Frat party. Well, given that the home football (Arsenal) match (vs. Tottenham) going on that night, it probably wasn't going to be the only tube car covered in vomit that evening. 

Luckily, once we made it back to Kings Cross station, the toilet attendant noticed our frustration at the turnstile that would not accept anything but correct change and then immediately noticed we were covered in nastiness and happily let us in to the uni-sex baby changing area. I did what I could. It's hard when there are no paper towels and the toilet tissue is one-ply paper that you could read newsprint through. Great! Covered in vomit and little dingleberries of tissue paper! We tucked our tails between our legs and went to find a seat on the train. The Bean promptly fell asleep on my lap. My lap was beginning to smell as the heat from the child and the train started to warm up my jeans.

I have never been so ready to get home in my entire life. All our clothes went directly into the washing machine. The Bean went directly to the couch. He demanded hot chocolate with marshmallows.  By this time the color had returned to his cheeks and I chalked his sickness up to adrenaline, repeatedly going from one temperature extreme to another, and taking down that juice box in two gulps. 

Ah - what is life with out a little adventure!  I will never regret uprooting our family, up and out of everything we knew, to have this amazing adventure! I will follow the notion of Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Until next time,



  1. You folks sure know how to get the best out of a rainy Saturday in London !!!

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  3. I think perhaps Logan was just trying to tell you what he thought of your stinkin‘ history. Love reading this blog!!

  4. I think perhaps Logan was just trying to tell you what he thought of your stinkin‘ history. Love reading this blog!!