#67 Go to London

One of the best things I’ve discovered in being Dad, is that my boys much like me are exuberant little explorers with a desire for discovery. Day trips and holidays over the last few years have seen us embrace the outdoors, spending nights under canvas and bobbing on the open seas, but the time has come to swap the tranquility of open spaces for the hustle and bustle of the city. When you need a city experience there is only one place to head so as promised we boarded the fast train and headed to London last week.

The two hour trip flew by, we nattered about this and that and they bombarded me with question after question about the trip ahead. “Will we see the Queen Daddy?”, “Can we watch the Olympics?”, “What’s the tallest building?”. After a quick pit stop at the hotel to lose our bags it was down the 175 steps at Russell Square and into the Underground for our maiden voyage down to Green Park and the first view of the Palace. As luck would have it we arrived just in time for the Changing of the Guard before heading back underground to Notting Hill and the annual carnival!

Our first day was finished with a trip on the London Eye and a chill on the Embankment, the boys watching in awe as the free-runners bounced around the skate park. An alfresco Italian for the boys and Peroni accompaniment for me fuelled us before bed.

Day two began early and the boys rose with eager eyes ready for a trip to the Natural History Museum. We arrived early and seemed to have the place to ourselves wandering from hall to hall, taking in dinosaurs, fossils and the evolution of man. I was impressed by their thirst for knowledge as they interacted with the exhibits.

The morning flew by and it was on to Piccadilly Circus to catch the open top bus tour down to the Tower of London and trip down the Thames. We basked in the early evening sun back at the Embankment, the boys playing on the man made beach with new found friends, I simply watched with pride from afar sipping on a Sol, reward for my duly completed dad duties!

A stop off in Chinatown for dinner polished off day two much to the amusement of the boys as they sampled the extensive oriental cuisine and tested the taste buds on new flavours.

Our final day saw us head east for an Olympic view, the legacy of the Games living on through the pocket money purchase of some Wenlock and Mandeville mascots.

The build up the Paralympic Games was evident with a buzz around the place and as we headed back towards the train Iesty clocked a man in a wheelchair heading towards us sporting American team colours. “Look Daddy that man’s got no legs and he’s still smiling” he blasted in earshot. The man looked back with a grin breaking my unease in an instant with his contagious smile and more importantly ending our trip with a message to remember. Life is for living and it is measured in smiles!

Happy memories and London ticked off the list. New York next on the city hitlist?

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