Tuesday 24 February 2015

"London, thou art the flower of cities all!"

I feel exhausted tonight after not getting home this morning till close to 1am. Many years ago strolling in at 1am usually meant something had happened to stop me from partying longer. These days though if we get home that late it has a knock on effect for all of us (not that I'm complaining though, we had an awesome couple of days). Mrs M had some work on in London and i used it as an excuse to get me and the boys down there too by offering to drive. Our good friends Sam and Jamie offered us beds for the night so we were sorted for our London adventures.

The drive down seemed to take so much longer than usual but everyone was in high spirits, looking forward to some vegan pizza (which sadly we cant get in Shropshire). When we finally got there it was great to hang out with Sam and Jamie and scoff great food. I wanted to make sure we made the most of the following day with the boys so Sam helped me out with a strategic plan of trains, stations and times.

In the morning Mrs M headed off to be amazing at what she does and i began our adventure with the boys being awesome at what i do best (being a dad). Our first port of call was the museum of childhood, Sam caught the first train with us to make sure we got off to a good start which was lovely. We got there a little early so we went for a wander looking for food and stumbled on a juice bar which was lush, after masses of pizza the night before we were definitely in need of some greens.

I'm a huge fan of the museum of childhood as many of the things on display there transport me right back to my own toy heavy childhood. The last time we visited, Seth wasn't with us so i was really looking forward to showing him all the toys from my youth as he is always asking about the things that kept me entertained growing up.

Boglins!!!! I didn't remember seeing this the last time we were there but this gruesome rubber hand puppet took me right back to 'bring a toy into school day' at the end of one of our school terms. Being a child at that age was amazing. Seth thought the trolls were really funny and he found it even more entertaining that when i was at school people would take them in to exams to bring them good luck (crazy). One of my favourite toys back then was my 'My pet monster' (remember them?). I took mine everywhere with me, carried by the handcuffs around my neck.

 Although i love seeing all the old toys it does make me a little sad that i sold some of my collections over the last few years. He-man was one of my favourite toy ranges growing up and i had a big crate of the toys until a few years back when i sold them to get Seth something that he wanted. Who knows maybe I'll start a collection again one day.

The boys had a great time pottering about looking at toys and we had a great conversation about what we thought may be on display from Seth's childhood when he's older. Seth said that if school is anything to go by it will just be a huge cabinet of video games and consoles. Its a shame really that that's how he see's it.

Before going in to the museum i said to Opeie that i bet we would find an old looking Paddington bear on display, It was London after all. Ive been looking at these Gabrielle Paddington bears for quite some time as a gift for Opeie so it was lovely to see one on display there.

After a couple of hours walking around it was time to jump back on the tube to get to our next destination on the list, The Tate. More trains meant more chance of taking the wrong one and that's exactly what we did, oops. Good old Seth pointed out mid journey that none of the stops were on our map and we had in fact got on the wrong line, so we jumped off.

We soon turned it in to a positive though when we noticed the following trains destination said 'via Paddington' so we used our unexpected detour for Paddington bear to get another fun photo opportunity. I actually think going to Paddington station made Opeie's day.

at this point the photos stopped for a while, walking around somewhere as busy as London with two children is really hard graft. When i wasn't carrying Opeie on my shoulders, i was holding both of their hands and it felt like i had really heavy weights pulling me down (on top of carrying a weighty backpack too).

By the time i had got the camera out again we were heading over to Hamley's for a spot of toy hunting. It was amazing how much more familiar parts of London were and as soon as we got off the tube at piccadilly circus we knew exactly where we were going for that enormous toy store.

Straight up to the top floor for us, its all about the LEGO. I love all the LEGO creations up there but ill be honest i was a little disappointed with the selection on sale. We were planning to spend some cash but there was actually a better selection in out local Smyths store so they got our money instead the following day. Hamley's is an awesome toy store though, its the way all toy stores should be, staff demonstrating the products, magic shows and people blowing bubbles.

I really wish i had taken more pictures during our day out but i am so much more over protective of the boys while we are in London because of all the people. Its handy when Mrs M is with us as the extra pair of hands really helps. 

The boys were shattered by 5ish so we headed back to Sam and Jamie's and got to hang out with Jamie for a few hours which was great as hes such a great bloke.We are really looking forward to our next London adventure and we're hoping to go with our friend LEGO Steve next time with his family so stay tuned.

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