Those of you that know me would probably agree that I'm a planner, but this morning we woke up and thought it looked like a good day to visit London so we just hopped in the van and went! Admittedly there was a fair amount of rushing around to get out the door, but that kind of goes with the territory of four kids.
Then we were calling Auntie Maybeth and Great Aunt Vera hoping they were free for a visit while we were on our way. Luckily for us they actually had plans with each other and were easily persuaded to have a visit instead.
We went to Storybook Gardens first because it seemed like a fun outing. There was sand, and mud and a bouncy blue thing. It wasn't a castle exactly but rather a series of giant bouncy balls that the kids could climb on. I didn't think it was appropriate for Michael though so we didn't hang out there too long as Michael wasn't terribly amused to just watch. There was massive slide ("the biggest slide I ever went down in my life!" said Matthew) in an extensive playstructure area complete with pirate ship theme. There was one structure in the process of being disinfected after what I gathered might have been a vomiting episode. Strangely I put that one off limits to the kids.
We could have spent all afternoon in the waterpark - it was lots of fun.
I didn't think the nursery rhyme theme was terribly strong but there were definitely a few things like Humpty Dumpty and the Old Woman who lived in a Shoe's house. It was cute if a little worn down in places. We really liked the set of tiny houses (bank complete with bank robbery in progress), fire station, grocery store (complete with fake ketchup bottles that really poured).
We ate lunch there because we hadn't had time to pack a picnic, and I did manage to find some lunch (eg hardboiled eggs, some cheese). If we went again I'd bring a lunch.
They also had a few fair type rides which were very popular with my kids. Michael was too little for most of them so he and I went to play in the mud pit. Elizabeth decided to go on the elephants (of course) and the middles did too. Elizabeth and Matthew both went on the Ferris wheel. All three of them went down the big slides. Michael thought he'd quite like to try that too. Elizabeth was the only one brave enough to try the spinny swing though. Matthew thought he might feel sick. Amelia was excited by the Merry Go Round so we all did that too and we all went on the little train to nowhere.
After Storybook Gardens we headed over to Vera's for some Scrabble, followed by supper at Maybeth's. Some of you know that I rarely put gas in the car - there's some question if I did at all during our last lease period. Brendan thinks I average less than once per car so he was slightly concerned as to whether I would run out of gas without my magic gas fairy doing the fill-ups. I did actually fill the car once on the way down but on the way home from London we taught Matthew how to pump gas for his first time so that I wouldn't have to do it :)
It was a long but very fun day.