Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids' Play

While Paris had so many Attractions that we felt compelled to visit one or two each day, in London we feel less of this pressure. I'm not sure it's because there are fewer Attractions here--in fact, I think there are just as many--but rather because we were a little Attractioned out and also because London just seems a better city to just let kids be kids. So, having a "normal" day with the kids is easy to do.

So, today we let our kids be kids.

In the morning, we took their bikes over to the local playground. They actually made a couple friends. Then, after lunch we hit a spot that can only be described as "brilliant!" It's a free splashing pool/playground in a huge urban woodland/park called Hamstead Heath. Kids swim a bit, then play a bit, then swim a bit, then play a bit. Since it reached into the 80s today, it was a perfect day for it--though, also very busy, but this really just it made it more fun for the boys.

So, the boys had a great day. This isn't to say the grownups had no fun. Because we enjoyed the best English Attraction: the pub. Pubs (formally/formerly Public Houses) here are very interesting places. They're neighborhood meeting spots for a really diverse set of people. Old, young, formal, casual--they'll all come for a pint or two. On top of that, the new gastro-pub concept adds some high quality food to the mix. So, on a couple occasions since we've been in London, we've taken the boys to one of the local pubs in the early evening (before the hooligans come out!), and we have a pint while the boys play Nintendo DS. The kids get their fix; the adults get their fix: perfect!

Tonight we hit the Lion and Unicorn. Two things were interesting about this place. First, there was a theatre above it, and there was a play taking place tonight. Second, the pub had a puppy-in-residence named Guinness.

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