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Better late than never - London

Discussion in 'Non Disney Trips and Travels' started by Dawn, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    Adrian and myself took Steven to London the weekend a couple of weeks back. What started as a day trip to visit Santa in Selfridges was quickly carpe diemed into a full weekend of activities. :D

    Apologies for sideways photos - too lazy to turn them.

    Caught the 9.10am train from Lancing to London Victoria which was manic. First stop Starbucks :D then to Underground for tickets. Absolute mayhem at ticket machines but Steven was very good at waiting while we sorted the tickets out. He's not the best at waiting so impressed at this.

    First stop Picadilly Circus. For some weird reason Eros had been turned into a giant snowglobe. :unsure:

    Quickly located location we needed to be at in a couple of hours and then walked down to Trafalgar Square.

    Photos.

    National Gallery.

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    Trafalgar Square Lion

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    Nelson's Column

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    From there we walked to Admiralty Arches

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    And round to Horseguards Parade

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    Where we saw a Horse Guard. :D

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    From there we wandered back up to Leicester Square where we had a mega-quick lunch in Burger King before hopping back on the Tube to Picadilly Circus. Quick walk down Shaftesbury Ave and we are at the Apollo Theatre ready for the 1.30pm performance of The Gruffalo. :wiggle:

    Naughty Adrian didn't read the signs about no photography and here you can see me telling him off.

    [​IMG]

    OK the show. Was a bit concerned as Steven's first theatre experience and he has attention span and waiting issues. He was also very nervous in case there was loud noises which he is frightened of. However, we chose the Gruffalo over a traditional panto as it is only 1 hour long and is a story that Steven loves.

    Anyway he was totally captivated by it. And so were Adrian and myself. It was totally enchanting. Just one actress and two actors on a minimal stage. It was awesome and I highly recommend. They stuck true to the words of the book and added to it. It was completely wonderful and Steven came out asking to go to more theatre things. :D

    Back on the Tube and this time getting off at Oxford Circus. Totally manic. Oxford Street is closed to traffic this time of year but it was still totally rammed with people. Still good practise for the Magic Kingdom next August. :rotfl:

    Hold tightly to Steven and start fighting our way down. Stopped briefly outside John Lewis as they had a snow machine going. Steven said it was fake so we told him it was Disney snow and he liked that.

    Next we made the mistake of going into the Disney Store. You know those little puzzles where you have to slide a square along and move another square into its space and try to make a picture? That's what it was like in there, you couldn't move until someone else moved and everyone slid into the empty space. However, once I'd got my Club Penguin stuff I was guided into the checkout queue quickly and it was only a short wait. While I was doing this Adrian took Steven outside to wait and when I emerged from the shop I had to phone him and get him to wave at me so I could find them - they were standing 6 feet from me and I couldn't see them through the crowds.

    Destination Selfridges.

    [​IMG]

    We had prebooked Steven's Santa appt weeks beforehand and presented ourself at the entrance bang on time. They had a train ride in the basement that took you - round in a circle four times - to where Santa was waiting. He was pretty good as Santa's go and Steven told him he wanted Club Penguin card-jitsu cards for Christmas. Santa should be able to fulfill that one. After coming out and being stung £10 for the photo - well £20 as we bought 2 - carpe diem remember - we found ourselves wandering through Selfridges music department. Steven walked up to a baby grand and ripped through a few scales. :rotfl. Then it was out into the darkness to check out the festive lights.

    [​IMG]

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    Dinosaur attack outside M & S - never did find out what this was about.

    [​IMG]

    cont...
  2. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    All getting a bit tired and hungry now and it's starting to rain so we head underground and get a massively packed Tube train to Belsize Park. I'd booked a night at the Premier Inn just 2 minutes walk from this station. For a Saturday night in December in Central London I paid £98 for a family room with breakfast buffet which I consider a bargain. Especially since the room was more than adequate for us. King bed and a sofa bed, nice clean bathroom with shampoo and stuff provided, tea and coffee facilities and sat TV. Walked back across the road to Pizza Express where Steven had a few behavioral issues but nothing like the boy that ran straight through the kitchen area :eek: and the girl who was allowed to hang over the edge of the balcony upstairs. :thud:

    Nice meal and then back to hotel where me and Steven snagged the big bed for X Factor viewing purposes. Unfortunately the hotel was lovely and quiet and we all slept well so couldn't claim our money back under their guarantee.

    Breakfast the next morning was awesome - full English and Continental buffet. Seriously we will stay here again if we do another London weekend and I recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere central.

    Sunday back to Tube and off to South Kensington - offered Steven choice of Christmas market in Hyde Park or Museums and he chose Museums. :D

    First stop - long queue waiting to get into Natural History Museum. Sorry French people but your tourists in London that weekend did nothing to destroy the stereotype of rude French people that push into queues everywhere. But we were behind a groups of about 8 Mexicans who were fully awesome and obviously having a great time.

    Pictures.

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    Charles Darwin

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    And the main hall

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    Quick whizz round the dinosaur and a small fortune spent on a dinosaur scarf for Steven and we are round the corner into the Science Museum. We could spend days in here but we only have a couple of hours so head straight for the bit with all the stuff to play with. Unfortunately the French people are there too. A small boy literally pushes Steven off of one experiment and his adult just stands there and lets him do it. Steven to his credit just walks away and finds something else to do. Seriously impressed with the boy's behavior over the whole weekend.

    Me glaring at the French family trying to muscle in on our game. :lol:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately our time ran out and after promising Steven we'd return here we trudged back to the station and got the train back to Victoria for a last Starbucks and some overpriced snacks to eat on the train journey home.

    Highlights:

    Gruffalo - beautiful adaptation of a beautiful book. And the entrance of the snake is completely hysterical.
    Selfridges Santa.
    Hotel
    Museums
    Steven's behavior
    Mexicans in queue at Natural History Museum

    Lowlights

    Sorry but rude French people
    Rain, but nothing we could do about that


    We hope to repeat this again soon but possibly with the Lion King as the theatre part.
  3. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    Look at that lion. :bugeye:

    Very cool!
  4. arkvilla
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    arkvilla Addicted to Mickey

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    Wow - you packed alot in.

    I took Kyle to see the Gruffallo when he was about 6, it was great.

    I wasn't sure how they were going to do it but the actors playing the animals were very well cast.

    It's on tv on Christmas day so will be watching it.

    Nice to see your photo's and Steven really seems to have enjoyed himself :)

    Sandra
  5. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    Oh the second one is up: the main hall is gorgeous!
  6. daveann
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    daveann Addicted to Mickey

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    sounds like ytou had a great trip :)
  7. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    What a fabulous weekend!!! Thanks for sharing it with us. It's nice to know that Steven was able to enjoy the live theatre. :yes:
  8. Ursula
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    Ursula Cast Member

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    Look at that lioness! Second from last picture :worship: You can see she scared the bejeebus outta that couple... look at their faces! :point: You put one step nearer to my boy and your feet won't touch!
  9. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    The natural history museum is my best :yes: - awesome day mate - made us want to go back straight away
  10. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    You look like you had an :awesome: time! I've never been to London! :thud: That's terrible isn't it!
  11. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Wow, just getting to see this for the first time. Sounds like you had a fab time in London. Not sure whether I would ever want to visit at this time of year or not.
  12. Tinkfan
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    Tinkfan Earning my ears

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    What a wonderful trip, just loved the pictures. If you are ever in Cleveland or Toronto you must try the Science Museums there, Stephen would love them. All hands on!!
  13. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    There is a fun and really quite nice science museum in ORlando too. :yes:
  14. Tinkfan
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    Tinkfan Earning my ears

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    That's right Tink, where is it? Next year when we go to that other park :)tongue:) we'll be looking for some things to do!!:yes:
  15. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    It's on Rollins... Or the street that runs parallel to it. (I'm terrible with street names). No, it's not Rollins. Hmmmm... Orlando Science Center/Museum.

    It's just off I4 in downtown Orlando (but north of the actual business district).

    Geez. I'm just too much help, aren't I? (I'm really bad with downtown. I can take you there, but I can't tell you how to get there... :sorry: ).
  16. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    777 East Princeton Street
    Orlando, FL 32803-1250
    (888) 672-4386

    You can google it and get directions.
  17. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    THAT'S it!!! Princeton St! Thanks, John. :yes:

    Take I-4 to the Princeton St. Exit. Take a right and follow the road. There is a parking garage on the right, with a walkway to the Science Center (overhead).

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