Fade to the morning when, given England's northerly latitude, the sun comes up around 4 this time of year. Owen was not far behind, was up by 5 and making his way to the upper floor of our flat where he started banging around. Keri and I took turns dealing with this situation. We were both up for good by 630 and took turns on our every-other-day runs.
The day started out cloudy, but slightly warmer (upper 60's), so we decided to walk through Chelsea and South Kensington on our way to the museum. Owen, uncharacteristically, had little to say on our walk. We strode together, holding hands in supreme silence a good part of the way. Lovely. Keri was not so fortunate with her companion, who bemoaned the unfathomable 1.3 mile march to which her parents had subjected her.
We finally made in it into the museum, which turned out to be well worth the trip. The physical building itself is a marvel -- a gem of ornate Victorian architecture. The entry hall alone is a thing to behold -- a massive diplodocus in the middle of this grand, cavernous, three-story room.
Admission is free and the exhibits are very good. We started with what I think the museum is most famous for -- its dinosaurs. The actual collection of dinosaur fossils is probably a notch or two below the AMNH, but the British version does a far better job of integrating the collection with educational material, organizing the displays by era and subject matter and presenting questions on some pretty basic, but interesting topics. Lauren and Owen were fully engaged, as we spent nearly one hour going through this section.
The same is true of the last section we visited -- human biology, which was a very well-done albeit slightly dated presentation of human biology, physiology, and development that you might see in a science museum. As it was, the kids were focused -- sometimes too focused -- on various aspects of our biology. Lauren was -- understandably -- freaked out by the displays dealing with childbirth. Both kids liked the pictured display, which depicts how the human body regulates its temperature by sweating and shivering. As anyone who has seen an Eckstein exercise will tell you, we are pointing at the sweaty man for a reason.
A long afternoon over, we took the tube back to Victoria and walked back to Eccleston Square. I took Lauren out a bit later to get a replacement birthday card for to give to Keri tomorrow. Somehow, Lauren had destroyed the last one by confusing brown and black. Don't ask. In any event, new card purchased, decorated and ready for tomorrow. Crisis averted.
We ate dinner at Giraffe, of which I guess there are several in London, a no-frills but quality sandwich, burger and entree sort of place. Our dinner table had the misfortune of being placed next to a rowdy 5-year old birthday party. At some point, the girls in that party started up a derogatory chant about the boys, who were greatly outnumbered. Watching the chaos from afar made me grateful to have that part of our lives behind us.
Even Owen remarked, with equal parts irony and insight, "I am two years older than them." Sleep well, my seven-year old boy. Sleep well.