London, possibly the greatest city in the world and the capital of my adult life! I love it. Everything about London makes my heart sing. I love how it smells, that rush of hot air as you step off the train. The hustle and bustle of people and the knowledge that this is City that never sleeps. I completed my nurse training in London, had my first job here afterwards and met Mr Pud. Together we had our first child here and negotiated parenting round a city hosting the Olympics! London lives in our souls and courses through our veins. So this weekend we brought both the kids back to our old stomping ground.
We were pretty lucky to be able to stay in a house for the weekend. No trying to cram the 4 of us in a tiny hotel room. I had had visions of watching tv with subtitles while two little ones slept! Instead we stayed in a house smack bang in the centre of London. Having a base certainly helped because crikey it was hot. Sweltering and humid, poor Pudding was not impressed!
Despite being smack in the centre of Town we decided with Pies little legs that a travel card would be best. This meant that during the course of the weekend we travelled by bus, tube, DLR and had a go on the Thames Clipper. Transport is one of the things I love about London. As a Londoner I used to moan about it. But having lived outside of London now, I realise how fantastic it actually is! I have to say the kids thought the Thames Clipper was ace, I found it a bit vomit-inducing….
We had a great few days sight seeing. It was pretty cool to ‘do’ London from a more tourist point of view. We took the kids to see the changing of the guard at Whithall. Pie got chatting to a police officer at Downing Street. We walked right across Waterloo Bridge to show him Big Ben and the hospital Mummy completed her nurse training at. Then we hit the South Bank. More of an assault on the senses than usual due to the heat and the crowds. It was so busy but we managed a spot of lunch and to meet a friend!
We had promised a trip to Hamleys. It was the one thing about the trip that had Pie really excited. Again it was sweltering! But his eyes were like saucers. Taking in everything. I thought he would morph into ‘I want, I want’ mode. But he didn’t. He wanted a green light sabre – his only desire and once we had found them he was quite happy to buy it and get out!
Sunday was a trip to Greenwich to meet Nana and Grandad. Thankfully it was much cooler there! We headed to the Maritime Museum to checkout the new space exhibition, Above and Beyond. It was pretty cool and had lots of interactive things to get involved with. Pie enjoyed building his spaceship and flying it. But there was quite a queue for stuff, not great for a four year olds patience. Lunch was had down by the river, enjoying a lovely breeze. The boys managed to get down to the river and lobbed a few stones in – before almost getting caught out by the tide. Grandad treated us all to a rather fabulous ice cream before we headed back off up river on the Clipper.
We chose not to do that expensive London based entertainment. We kind of felt with two kids under 5 it was waste of money to do the London Dungeons, or The Zoo. I think because we know London so well that definitely helped. Although I imagine in the future Pie will want to do some of the more expensive attractions. But this time he was happy to hear about Mummy & Daddy’s life in Town.