Unlike our trip to London! In the interests of complete honesty on here, which is afterall the policy I adopt in my non-blogging life too, it was rather a disappointing experience. I had some rotten news on Thursday, which I'll probably post about another time. I was feeling quite low as a result. We couldn't leave my parent's house at the time we were supposed to for reasons that are... well something if you grew up in that house you would understand... which meant that although we could soak up 'atmosphere', there really isn't a great deal of 'soaking' you can do with two small children who are bored because they can't see anything significant. We were a good 8 rows back, lining the route near Banqueting House, with two very grumpy small people, 6 flags, and a large rucksack. Such a shame.
I'm almost certain we were in the wrong position really. We went to Whitehall, at the advice of experienced Londoners who said that the nearby station had facilities for small people, and we'd see alot. As it happened, with the community spirit vibe going on, I think most of the restaurants and pubs were accomodating to those needing to visit the bathroom. Although I can't say for certain that our experience would have been different, I have friends who were on The Mall, and at Big Ben, who had a fabulous time. Once we were in our area, we were kinda commited, because the routes to elsewhere were shut, or un-walkable with our small companions. My parents worked out the details of the day, it was their trip, albeit on my behalf, and I couldn't adapt their plans. I was soooo looking forward to it! Poo.
Was I naieve? I really don't think so: I realise that its only the hardcore campers near the palace that get the complete best out of the experience, or at least those who arrive more than an hour and a half before the action starts. I was expecting the crowds. And I know what its like to have two small children, who are quite possibly over-excited and tired, and who constantly need the loo. That was all accounted for. I couldn't have predicted quite the tearsome rage that Little Guy would have been sporting for the duration of our stay, or the security tightening up more and more throughout the day ('You can't go there', 'Who sent you this way?...because you can't get through here either' and 'Those toilets are now shut'). I felt like we were being herded around like cattle, and I couldn't help but say feebly and sadly to my dad, who came with us 'Lets go home and watch it on the tv tonight'.
Thankfully he ignored me. No, don't get me wrong, the day was a little bit broken and I didn't feel fully ready to grin until I saw the carriages in the news report that night, but I was happy that we pesevered, bided our time, and pushed our way through to meet my mum on her tea break, where she works, and managed to pose with soldiers, and stroke the odd Household Cavalry Horse or two.
My mum had a great view, and took a couple of fab photos. Here you are:
So I think I might stay at home for Prince Harry's wedding, because apart from anything else, when this didn't meet my expectations, I also felt like I'd missed out on the experiences closer to home. There have been street parties around my local area, and a couple of do's at nearby venues, including the train station, and 2 invitations to parties that I couldn't accept (one on Thursday, one today, Sunday), because I was comitted to my London trip.
Despite it all, looking through my terrible photos has cheered me up no end- seeing the excitement in the faces, and having another look at the crowns that Little Guy made himself and is sister to wear, and their homemade Flags. I've realised that although it was disappointing, it was still a nice trip to London. Here are a few Bank Holiday Highlights, which have since given me that grin too.
Picking up a piece of practice-writing from my eldest (5) who had been pestering her Grandmother to teach her to write 'William' and 'Kate'.
Observing Pickle Missy's reaction to it all, and her wonder over the gorgeousness of the 'New Princess'
Watching Little Guy grab his Great Grandad's newspaper, with a photo of the crowds and say 'We were therrrrrrrre!!!'