Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 5: 4 August 2014

Traditional breakfast with Dad and his family, quite a lovely tradition actually.
My sisters were a bit in hyperdrive this morning, as I had promised to take them to Hamley's and we had agreed it would be before lunch this day.

I wanted to go down to Parliament Square and take some photos, as Hamley's didn't open until 10 - so we agreed to meet outside at 10.30, and went to catch a bus at Bayswater Road straight after breakfast.
I just love Parliament Square, I think the atmosphere there is amazing and I love walking around there and taking in all these amazing buildings. As I did have to be at Hamley's at a specific time I didn't feel like I could walk there forever, but sometime it would be nice to have more time to spend there, maybe find some cool photo angles of the various buildings ...

Anyway, I took a bus to Regent Street and even though I was a bit early I caught a glimpse of the whole family across the street, so I hurried to catch up with them!
And I just have to say: It was WONDERFUL to go to Hamley's with kids!! What can I say?! I've been there before, but it's just sooo different when you're there with children. We hardly made it in through the doors before a really cool pirate came up to us and welcomed us, asked where we were from, and how old the girls were! (And yes, everyone was pretty amazed when I said we were from Sweden, and it was their first visit to Hamley's!)

We said we were going to meet with the girls' parents about 1½ hours later, which actually wasn't a lot of time ... We ended up walking through all the floors (accept the bottom floor, as it's basically only video games and things like that, and the girls aren't in to that at all) - and then of course we had to buy something. I had said I wanted to get them each a gift from Hamley's, as it was quite special - and they had also been saving their allowance to be able to shop there.
Unfortunately, basically everything is super-expensive there, but finally we managed to find some nice things. They got a cuddly Hamley's bear from me each, and my older sister bought a beautiful little dog, while my younger sister, naturally, had to have a bunny (she definitely has a thing for bunnies!)! :) We stood in line, and I think it's amazing how big the girls have gotten. The older one, who is ten, walked up to the counter all on her own (I had to stay with my younger sister), paid for her doggie without any issues and got a beautiful Hamley's bag! Then I walked up with my younger sister, and she paid for her bunny all by herself, and got her own Hamley's bag - and then I paid for their teddy bears! :) :)

We split up after Hamley's, after having made plans to meet back at the hotel. As it was the last night in London we decided to go out for dinner, before I was off on Les Misérables, so we decided to meet back at the hotel.
I went to do some shopping at Oxford Street, but I was really extremely tired, and I had been on my feet more or less constantly since about 8.30 ... I ended up buying a really nice London bag, and found a (for me!) brand new HMV at Oxford Street - yay! I was a bit too tired to check it out properly, but I ended up buying the first two seasons of Falling Skies before dropping dead (well, almost anyway!).
Even though it was early I headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a while, before I took a shower and got ready. My Dad and his family also came back a bit earlier than expected, and the girls came  up to my Tower Room to collect me! :) We spent a little time i their room (which was really large!) before heading out. While I took the girls to Hamley's, the girls' parents had been checking out restaurants, so we took a (very slow!) bus to Oxford Circus and found this great restaurant. It was a bit crowded and loud, but worked out really nice and the food was yummy!

When we had eaten the others decided to walk with me to Queens but unfortunately it was SOOO many people everywhere we could hardly speak a word to each other.

As usual, a proper review of Les Miz will come in my musical blog later on - but it really was a great show!! We had an understudy for Valjean, which always makes me a bit nervous, but I knew of Chris Holland, who has been involved in the show for a while now, and he did a really great job! Not one of my very favourites, and he missed a few things - but mostly, great performance!
Also, extremely impressed with the three children this time! Amazing!!!

After the show I went to Piccadilly Circus to take a bus home, only to see that they had closed the nearest bus stop, and referred to a temporary bus stop. Yeah right! There were to temporary bus stop, so I ended up walking all the way up to Hamley's, to the next bus stop. And once there, no bus 23 came. I waited and I waited and I waited and I waited. Eventually I gave up and took a 94 bus to Bayswater Road. Wasn't exactly sure where to get off, and managed to almost get myself lost between Bayswater Road and Sussex Gardens!! Granted, it's not a great area to get lost in, so it's a bit embarrassing, but to my defence: the streets in there are extremely confusing!!! It was a bit nervous, as it was getting really late, but I hardly saw anyone, and I finally ended up at the hotel - although Les Miz ended around 10.30, and I don't think I was at my hotel until 11.45 or so ... *yikes*

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