Another good day, all things considered. Owen was up early again, awaking both of his parents and inspiring them to hit the running trail. I had another good run through Hyde Park. The weather here is near-perfect running weather. I suspect I will miss it when we get to Italy.
As Lauren was still sleeping, Owen took it upon himself to start writing out his postcards he is sending to his friends. Among his best work, really. Enjoy.
Lauren finally woke in the late morning, ate some breakfast and we headed out with all intentions of making the weekly market on Notting Hill. When told the walk from our flat would take at least one hour, Owen unequivocally declared it the "worst day ever." The promise of a few diversions along the way, most notably snacks and a playground, re-engaged Owen back and our journey was on.
The weather was pretty good when we started, the sun ducking in and out from behind the clouds with a steady, but not overwhelming wind. Minutes after we hit Hyde Park, the sun was swallowed entirely and the rains began, lightly at first. We made it to Kensington Gardens and into the snack shop at Kensington Palace for a quick lunch.
As we walked north towards Notting Hill, the rains came with a vengeance. Plans were quickly altered and we headed to the first tube stop outside off the park. Initially, there was some talk of spending the afternoon at the science center or natural history museum. By the time we reached the tube, however, such talk was long gone. My family was cold, wet, and slightly surly. We were headed back to our Eccleston Square flat.
As we were still walking up the stairs into our flat, Keri, Lauren and Owen were all stripping down, replacing their damp clothes with pajamas. It was 330 in the afternoon and, frankly, a 50/50 proposition whether we would leave the flat again today.
Keri, to her credit, had not done any house cleaning in our first three days in London. This, I know, has been contrary to every fiber of her compulsive being. Today, locked in the flat, she had hit the wall. She took out some cleaning materials from under the stairs and asked for my help in working the vacuum. As I peered in the closet, I noticed a squarish looking machine with some dials on it. Could it be? Yes, it was, in fact, the elusive dryer. For some strange reason, no one had bothered to tell us that the machine was, like Harry Potter, confined to the cupboard under the stairs.
After a couple hours -- and a couple of euro-size loads of laundry -- we pulled it together to head out to dinner. And we are all the better for having done it. Seriously, this is one of the best Italian restaurants Keri and I have experienced. The food was great, the ambiance inviting, and the waitstaff helpful and, more importantly, solicitous of our children. You will not be sorry if you try it. And, if you have a dessert-crazy girl like ours, you may just get a little insight into the future.