Thursday, August 25, 2011

London Day 4: WAG, Bike Shop & Lots & Lots of Trains...

Eowyn's become quite used to trains.  I think this is very cool, for an American child.  She now has an experiential grasp of a concept that for many is just a picture with a "whoo-whoo" sound effect.  Not only do we have tracks near our home, but now she's watched them come and go and has ridden in them skads of times. I love it!

This morning was damp and chilly, as well as our last morning with just us two.  I decided we had better do all the errand-y things we mightn't have time to do tomorrow on Daddy's days off.  We headed to the East Croydon rail station for our now-familiar routine of a morning coffee to go and a pass through the barrier to grab an overland train to Victoria, where we'd catch any number of tube trains to anywhere in Greater London.  (Have I mentioned how much my daughter loves coffee?  Doesn't matter if it's black, my usual dark with cream, or a mocha, she begs for a few sips.)  We had a minor setback of Eowyn announcing her need to "potty" a few stops from our destination, meaning we had to jump out and take care of business, then wait for the next train to come by... We passed the time reading her current favorite books The Gingerbread Man (pronounced "Gingababada Man") and The Napping House (said with a Hebraic gutteral 'h').

First stop was quite a hop skip and a jump away, over to the Notting Hill district to the Bicycle Workshop, which I'd emailed about picking up an accessory for our Bobike baby bike seat.  It's difficult enough to buy a Bobike seat in the US, but the accessories are downright impossible to find.  However, they are all over the UK.  We snagged a cool little chest rest/handlebar that fits onto her beloved Bobike mini-- this will give her some support if she every falls asleep, as well as a place to hold on.  The folks at the Workshop were friendly, quite taken with Eowyn, and helpful as could be.  We were glad to see they like Michelin tires, too. :)

Next stop was over to the WAGfree Bakery in Brixton to grab some more meat pies, a Victorian Cream puff and a grilled bacon-greens-and-cheese "toastie" (all gluten-free and so delicious).  Eowyn was a huge fan of the bacon and hasn't stopped asking me for more since.  I learned my lesson and bought a half dozen of the meat pies so we can have easy packable lunches the next 2 days.

After all that running around town, we were both dragging. We ate our toastie while it was still hot (on the train home), and then spent a quiet afternoon napping, reading and playing in our apartment before meeting up with Daddy and his work friends for dinner.  I finally got my pub food at "The George," a popular pub on Croydon's High Street.  It was pretty tasty fare; Eowyn was a big fan of the "mushy peas," and I liked the gluten free berry crumble!  Everyone was riding high on the DrupalCon thrill, full of ideas for new partnerships and developments.  It's always fun to talk to folks from all over the world-- I got to learn all about the Dutch school system from Bojan,  and talk about the amazing cuteness of mixed-ethnicity kids with a guy hailing from Taiwan.  We headed home and put Eowyn to bed, and did some last preparations for our big day out as a family the next day.

One of Ryan's business buddies, Randy, stayed the night in our hotel as our other hotel-mates flew home as soon as the Con was over, and I had the dubious honor of explaining our ghettified means of washing our clothes... our apartment came with a really cool all-in-one washer and dryer, but unfortunately no soap, no owner's manual, and no instructions... did I mention that the only labels on all the dials were letters of the alphabet?  Thankfully, the internet does exist, and I managed to track down an owner's manual pdf, and we came up with an "it-works-just-a-time-or-two" detergent of a squirt of dish soap, shampoo, body soap, and an extra rinse cycle.

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