The London Science Museum…and Chinese Food

That title is probably a bit misleading.  But those were the two big highlights of our 4th day in London so I suppose it’s apt. And… I couldn’t think of another title.  On another note, I just want to point out that museums in London are free.  They are huge, beautifully maintained and free.  This would probably explain why most of London was in the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum on the days that we wanted to tour them as well.

Knowing what the lines looked like when we left the Natural History Museum on Monday, we made sure to get out the door just a little earlier on Tuesday for the Science Museum, making it there shortly after it opened at 10.  I was rather impressed with us :).  This museum, like the Natural History one, was huge and beautifully maintained.  The kids loved it right away.

There were moments where the kids were absolutely fascinated and others where they were like and how does this apply to me at this moment and why should I care?  Aidan a few times asked what life was like for Josh and I back in the 1800s. Thanks Aidan…though I must admit I look pretty good for being 100+ years old 😉  I wish they both understood the concept of time a little more.  Aidan gets that the 1800s was a long time ago, but to him it’s not much different than 2 million years ago. Liam doesn’t get it either.  So to explain to them that it’s only been in the last century that we’ve had electricity, cars and television doesn’t really hit home with them.  For them to understand how far technology has come in such a short time given how long man has been alive is currently beyond their grasp.  Another year or so and I think Aidan will get it just a bit more… Liam still has some more time to go.
Learning all about motion
The kids thought the stuff about the space shuttle and outer space was pretty cool!
“You mean they ate this??”
A mini production line
This is an old grave marker and medical supplies
While the museum was huge in size, it wasn’t as child friendly as I had hoped.  Yes, there was tons and tons of information but it wasn’t as interactive as other science museums that we have visited such as Boston and even in Valencia.  What also surprised me not just at this museum but at the Natural History and all around London even, was that everything was only in English.  One of the things I’ve noticed when I go home is that in Boston, more and more is being translated into other languages, primarily Spanish.  When we were at the Childrens Museum last summer, almost everything was in both English and Spanish.  I’m surprised that being such an international city that more in London wasn’t translated into other languages. Just a thought…
Anyways, like I said, there was a lot of information packed into 5 floors of the science museum.  We did not hit all 5 floors. But there were not many exhibits that were interactive and even on the map, it showed which ones were – if you have to highlight them, then that probably means there aren’t many.  Regardless the kids had fun and were entertained.
There was a whole half a floor dedicated to flight.  These airplanes were amazing!
A cute kids area – you actually could make ripples in the “water”
Another old plane
Bi-plane
Tri-plane
The highlight of the Science Museum though was SeaLife 3D in the IMAX theater – just like in Boston, you are sitting almost vertically in front of a huge screen.  But unlike any other 3D movies put out recently by Disney, Pixar and others, this movie truly felt like it came to life in front of you.  The jellyfish were swimming right in front of your eyes – people (including Josh!!) were actually touching the air in front of them because the images appeared so close and realistic.  The kids were fascinated and totally understood what it meant to see a 3D movie now.  There was a moment of “dark” music and some not so friendly sea creatures that kind of freaked them both out but I had them close their eyes and they were fine.  And Liam was happy that there was no blood 🙂  Simple request I think…
Liam ready for SeaLife 3D
With the movie over and bellies rumbling, we decided to hit China town for lunch.  Now, we have eaten Chinese food only a time or two in Barcelona and not with impressive results.  When we go home to Boston, having Chinese food ranks right up there with visiting our parents that we haven’t seen in a year.  We’d heard that the Chinese food in London comes close to that in the US and it wasn’t half bad.  It still wasn’t the same as the US but overall it was pretty good.

China Town near Piccadilly Circus

After lunch we walked around Piccadilly and then up Regent Street to Oxford Circus.  The weather was beautiful and near 50F which for London in February was fantastic.  How could we not want to be outside?  Not to mention, our tiny apartment was about as big as my closet and we didn’t want to be cooped up all afternoon.  We should have taken this time to go to the London Eye but I think we were all pretty tuckered out and needed a rest so we hopped on the underground back to the apartment.

Piccadilly Circus
More Piccadilly
These are all of Piccadilly Circus… I have no idea what the huge long building is (and probably should research it) but it went on forever!
The close proximity of the apartment was certainly not helping the kids – proximity breeds contempt for sure with these two. Already needling each other all day (ok, the whole trip), they were pretty close to done with each other.  And so dinner was out once more (I’m actually looking forward to getting back to BCN and eating at home) though this time burgers.  Josh said his burger was pretty good. The kids also had milkshakes that were divine and HUGE!  My sandwich, outstanding.. grilled chicken with cranberries and camembert.  DELICIOUS!!  Probably one of the best things I ate all week.  Add that to super crunchy steak fries and it’s a match made in heaven.  Not only can I not wait to be back home in my own kitchen, but I desperately need to get back to the gym… all this eating is not doing my waistline any good!!
In the end, it was a great day – not overwhelmed with things to do but feeling like we got a lot done.  With one more day in the city, this time we will hopefully make it to the London Eye.  We are definitely planning on the Aquarium on our last day as it’s expected to be pretty cold out so some indoor fun is definitely in order – and with the aquarium being located right by the base of the Eye, hopefully we can hit both.  Til tomorrow!
The kids before bed… too cute!
Besos,
Julie

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