Late for the Hogwarts Express

What a day we spent in London! We were busy from start to finish today, and only a very little bit of our day ended up looking like our plan.

20120901-233421.jpgWe started by heading to King’s Cross Station. It is September 1, and we thought we might arrange to be there by 11:00 . . . just to see of the Hogwarts Express MIGHT be there. We actually managed to leave the hotel ahead of schedule, but after being confused by the trains and buses for a while, we were running late, so we jumped into one of the cute black London cabs (which are surprisingly roomy inside).

We still arrived at the station a few minutes behind schedule (oops), but judging by the huge number of Harry Potter fans milling about when we got there, the train must not have actually shown up. (There is a cute “Platform 9 3/4 sign with half of a luggage trolley sticking out.)

After checking out the station, we wandered across the street to look at the St. Pancras station, had some lunch, B played some ping pong and then played a piece of large, interactive, musical art, and then we boarded one of the red double decker city buses to head to our next destination: Hamleys, the biggest toy store in England.

20120901-233752.jpgRiding the buses was really fun. The view is pretty great, and, between driving down the wrong side of the road and being 8 feet or so in the air, the experience is a little surreal. B loved it. (I did too.)

20120901-233713.jpgWe stopped at the toy store to replace a toy car of Liam’s (which we lost yesterday in a freak plane boarding accident — it actually fell out of the plane, through the tiny space between the plane and the jetway, while we were getting on). The toy store itself was 7 floors worth of loud, crazy, packed toy pandemonium, but they also had a Lego Queen (Corgi included), a Lego royal family and a Lego palace guard. So cool.

We shopped, took a bunch of pictures, had some ice cream, and hopped back on the big red bus to go back to our hotel for a quick recharge before dinner.

20120901-233849.jpgLater, we grabbed some fish & chips for dinner and headed over to Buckingham Palace (the real one — no Legos) to finish out our busy first day.

It was a great day (although we had to look a surprising number of places before we could find diapers of the right size for either of the boys). London is big, busy and confusing, but we got where we needed to go, we are starting to figure things out, and we are having a great adventure.

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