Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ellen's Visit, Day 4

What tourist visit to London would be complete without the requisite trip to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace?  Again we headed out fairly early to catch the train in - and taught Meira the joys of sitting on the leaning rails.

It turns out we were really early.  We had all tacked on our own "15 minutes earlier" to the time and ended up about an hour early.  Good thing, too, as Meira needed to use the bathroom and there wasn't one in sight.  We searched in vain.  Finally, I grabbed Meira and marched her up to the doorman at the Ritz Carlton.  Yup.  I talked us into the Ritz to use the bathroom.  Even the Kleenex told us where we were in case we needed reminding....

Unfortunately, it didn't matter how early we were, the palace was *mobbed* with people (Ryan chatted briefly with a police officer later who said it was the busiest he'd seen it all year that morning).  Our view was poor, to say the least.  Luckily, there was cousin Katy for some entertaining peek-a-boo.

This was the extent of our view....

The only positive was that because we were on the side, we were able to see the horse guard when they came past.  Turner was especially delighted by this and kept shouting: "Monet!" over and over again.  We thought he was a budding art critic and vowed to take him to the National Gallery (which we actually did do later that day).  No, it turns out he was shouting: "More Nays." for horses.  "More Nays" became the rallying cry for the rest of the trip.

Since our view was poor anyway we moved on.  But not before one last look back upon the crazy crowd.

We walked along the promenade to catch a glimpse of the horse parade grounds (the horses were gone - and Turner was asleep by then)

And onward to Trafalgar Square where we enjoyed a picnic in the nice weather.  Ryan certainly was not dropping food for the pigeons right in front of the "do not feed the birds" sign while we were there.  

After a quick walk through the National Gallery (where we did see a picture of a "Nay") we headed on to our next destination, Hamleys!  But first, a quick detour in M&M World.

Hamleys is always good fun...

In a random little thing, they had a petting zoo set up in the party room there, so the kids got to pet chicks, rabbits and lambs.

We were all worn out from the days adventures so opted for an earlier return towards home so the kids could play and we could eat dinner locally.  A great day all around!

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