Adri & Charlie in London

**I made two New Year’s Resolutions.  Get caught up on my blog by the end of January.  And practice being more present.  I went for both extremes, a really specific goal and a really vague goal. 
Adri and Charlie’s flight came in on Monday morning, the week the kids were off of school for half-term.  We did the same thing we do with all our jet-lagged guests on their first day, and walked up to Greenwich Park.  It was a gorgeous fall day and the kids played football while Adri and I made sisterly conversation under the vibrant chestnut trees.  
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Standing in opposite hemispheres along the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory.

We spent a couple hours in the park and then popped into the Maritime Museum for a bit before the children started to get hangry.   It’s a short walk to Goddard’s Pie & Mash and we filled our bellies with cobbler and custard for dessert.  
We came up with a pretty good system for the rest of the week.  Adri and I would take all the kids out in the morning, hit a museum or some landmarks, and then I’d take the kids home (or at least the littles) and Adri would be home-free to explore London on her own.  Just a few places we hit…
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The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. From here we walked to Covent Garden to see a few more buskers.

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Neal’s Yard

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It became my mission to make Charlie smile for a picture, but I was mostly unsuccessful.

On Day Two we also went to Sports Direct so the boys could look at every football kit for every team in England and around Europe.  After that we had fish and chips at the Golden Union and then visited Hamley’s before calling it a day.  
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Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History is a popular children’s museum and since it was half-term it was crowded.  We had to wait in a rainy queue to get in, but we did get to see the dinosaurs and the animal collection.  And the kids had a mini “where babies come from” lesson in the Biology exhibit.  Then it was crepes for lunch at the Kensington Creperie after which Adri took the older boys to Kensington Park.  
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Big Ben at Houses of Parliament

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The kids in front of the Abraham Lincoln Statue at Parliament Square.

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Cameron pontificating to Charlie about British history. Or the Premier League…

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Picnic lunch at St. James’s Park

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St. James’s Park in October. October and April are competing for my favorite month in London.

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Buckingham Palace

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Charlie in front of one of the famously ornate lifts from Selfridges, that were usually occupied by pretty ladies. (For all the fans of Mr. Selfridge out there.)

Finally when Saturday rolled around and we could leave the kids with Richard, Adri and I went to Borough Market, then Portobello Market, then back to Borough Market again before meeting up with the rest of the gang at the Tower of London.  Richard took the older boys through the Tower and Adri and I took the littles to the South Bank to kill time before Halloween Festivities.  (Which I’ll save for a separate post.) 
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Cameron’s one request when Charlie came to visit was that they get chicken wings and chips from a shop on the way home from school.

The last thing that must be documented was Charlie’s three day experience at school.  Adri and I planned a trip to Scotland while she was here, and there was a day that the kids would be back in school while we were away.  Originally Richard was going to work from home and keep an eye on Charlie, but then I had the idea to ask the Headmaster if he could come to school with Cameron.  She was really accommodating and said that Charlie was welcome to come as long as he wanted to.  I talked to Cameron’s teacher and she was on board, and it was all arranged.  He had such a good time that he went the next day (while Adri and I spent some more time in the city) and the next day after that, even when given the option to visit Oxford with Adri.  When I went to pick up the kids from school on Wednesday everyone was saying good-bye to Charlie, he was the American celebrity.  

I’m sad that WIll didn’t get to come, but I’m so grateful that Charlie had this chance, and that WIll staying in Vegas meant Adri and Charlie could have an extra-long visit.  

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