August 15, 2005

August 1 -- London

The alarm went off at 7:30 and Brian did the reasonable thing--he shut it off and fell back to sleep. Luckily Christopher woke up to the chimes of Big Ben at 8:00. We actually got moving pretty quickly and caught a cab to our first sight of the day, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.

Brian was not looking forward to this as he felt it was a ripoff and a waste of money, but Patrick insisted (and was right). We had a blast being photographed with stars and historical figures.

We then headed off to Kings Cross train station and Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame. This station was also the site of one of the London bombings three weeks earlier, but Christopher REALLY wanted to do this. Surprisingly, they actually have Platform 9 3/4. Lots of fun! On a more somber note there was a memorial to the victims of one of the July 7 bombings.

We then walked towards the British Museum , just meandering through streets in the general direction of the museum. We came upon Russell Square, a charming park with a small outdoor restaurant. We ate lunch there, then walked through another bombing memorial, this time summertime the victims of the Tavistock Square bus bombing.

We finally made it to the British Museum. Our primary objective there was seeing the Rosetta Stone which was something. But the unexpected treat was the stumbling on The Kings Library. This library was originally donated by King George III and has been fully restored. A great place to just wander through, filled with all sorts of collections from The Age of Enlightenment.

From the British Museum we stopped for ice cream in Covent Gardens, then walked to Piccadilly Circus. We continued to walk towards our hotel, spending time exploring St Martin in the Fields and the cool flea market on its grounds. We walked through Trafalgar Square and the kids climbed up on one of the lions for their picture. We ended up in front of Buckingham Palace. There the boys had their picture taken with the palace guards in the background.

Across from awesomeness Abbey was a very large protest to the Iraq , similar to the ongoing protest across form the White House. Obviously not everyone in the UK support war--got love the British!

That night we had dinner with the Morris' at an Italian restaurant near our hotel. Brings cell phone rang during the meal. Turns out it was a Vis security guard wanting him to sign someone in to the building. Needless to say he couldn't do it as he was 6,000 miles away!


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