Sunday, July 12, 2009

London Rocked.

Our trip was a big success. If you had told me a couple years ago that we would be traveling internationally with a minimum of stress, I would have smiled politely and thought, "Not with these kids, we won't." Peanut was simply incapable dealing with that much change and transition and it wasn't worth the struggle to go anywhere when just getting through a routine day at home was so tough. I won't pretend that this trip was all sweetness and light, because there were a couple rough episodes, the worst of which involved a weeping Peanut repeatedly banging his head on the fiberglass window of the tube train we were squashed into like sardines while I attempted to restrain him. That was pretty ugly, a combination of heat and exhaustion and stress and ASD. All those people trying not to watch us as Peanut screamed for water and then screamed harder after spilling some on his shirt, as I tried to soothe him and keep him restrained while pressed up against strangers. Awful. But we pressed onward, stopped for breaks, got through it. But for each one of those episodes there were entire afternoons of watching the kids discover everything there was to see all around them. Over the course of the week, we visited Big Ben and Parliament, rode a boat tour down the Thames to Greenwich and back, and spent a day at the Science Museum, where the kids were thrilled to find a "Wallace and Grommit" exhibit. We spent another full day at the zoo, complete with a stroll through Regent's Park at the end of the day: We made multiple visits to the British Museum, since it was right near our apartment: At the end of the week, we rode the London Eye and saw the entire city laid out at our feet: As if that weren't enough, we also rode around town on a double decker tour bus, visited London's largest toy store, and managed to cram as much time in with my sister and her family as possible. Pepper astounded me with the kindness and patience she showed with her younger cousins and Peanut is such a little sponge for factual information that he was in heaven with all of the history and dates that filled our days. The place we stayed was terrific - it cost us less than a single hotel room at a nice hotel would have, and we ended up in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with washer/dryer and kitchen. While the lack of air conditioning was a problem, the location turned out to be perfect for us. There was a children's park a block away, a shopping center 2 blocks away, and the British Museum was only 3 blocks away. In fact, other than the occasional crazy ASD-style meltdown, the only downside of the trip was the heat - it was in the 80's the entire time, which means the non-air-conditioned buses and tube trains were a nightmare. The weather report before we left indicated 70 degrees and breezy, so I never got to wear those cute cardigans I brought. As I've detailed before, I really don't do well in sweaty situations. The only thing that made me feel better about the heat was coming home and finding that the weather on Cape Cod had been wet and cool, including one freaky July hailstorm. Getting back into the swing of things has been tough for all of us, but I always think it takes twice as long as you are away on vacation to get back to normal after you get back. Unfortunately, this means we should be approaching normalcy right around the time I leave for BlogHer, which is going to throw everything out of whack again. (But - YAY! BlogHer!)

6 comments:

  1. look at you, getting all cultured and shit (*snort*)

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  2. sounds like a great trip!

    Looking forward to actually meeting you in Chicago...

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  3. You're certainly gadding about!
    Cheers

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  4. A belated thank you for your lovely comments. We're really glad to see that you had such a great time. It's always nice to hear that international visitors enjoy our cities as much as we do. I was hoping that you might do us a small favour, and change the link in your blog to our new .com domain rather than .co.uk . These things are so important these days!

    Feel free to get in touch with me directly if you decide to come back, we have apartments all across the UK, and there is so much more to see outside of London! I can highly recommend SACO Bath (bath.sacoapartments.com) or SACO Bristol (bristol.sacoapartments.com) for some good old fashioned culture! My email address is medwards@sacoapartments.com. We'd love to hear from you again.

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