London, United Kingdom; Day 3

Today’s Adventures centered around a trip to London’s famous Theatre district – The West End. None of the 5 of us had ever seen a show there so it was something new for everyone. For the kids it was essentially their first big time theatre experience.

We caught a black cab again to get to the area near the theatre.

The seating in these cars are quite clever. There is the normal bench seat with three seats across and then three rear facing seats that flip up when not in use. It allows for a larger party than a sedan style taxi or gives plenty of room to stretch out or carry luggage for a smaller party.

Our taxi driver named Paul had the kind of accent taxi drivers have in British TV so that made it feel extra authentic.

We chose Bodean’s BBQ for lunch. It claims the best BBQ east of the Atlantic which it could well be but it was ‘okay’ by our standards. Pleasantly less expensive than we expected. The decor was all longhorn steer skulls and a very large picture of John Wayne.

Toward the end of the meal CreeperKitty realized it was comprised of tiny individual pigs which Suraum quickly dubbed pig-xels instead of pixels. or pigsels. or pi(gs)els. We brainstormed laughing for 10 minutes on how to spell it but couldn’t agree.

Our choice of show for our West End Adventure was kid friendly – designed to start them with of a love of musical theatre like Brian and Tiffany have. We chose The Lion King because even after running 23 years, it’s still an amazing accomplishment in staging and costumes. The stage show also enhances the lovable but cheesy movie soundtrack with African songs and sounds that improve the show and recall our time in Kenya.

Tiffany and Brian had seen this show together in New York about 20 years ago. We enjoyed it again, especially with our happy, laughing, clapping children experiencing it with us.

Waiting for the curtain to go up

Before and after the show we wandered to some nearby sights. The first was Cleopatra’s Needle near the Thames.

Cleopatra’s Needle

This obelisk is one of a pair that were created in Cairo in around 1500 BC. They got their name after Cleopatra VII had them moved to Alexandria in the first century BC for a temple she dedicated to Julius Caesar. They stood there for almost 2000 years before one was gifted to Briton and one to the US in the late 1800s.

They are faced by two large Sphinx which make great chairs.

The kids in particular wanted to see this Obelisk because it is a significant location in Rick Riordan’s book The Red Pyramid. They remain very engaged in Egyptian and Greek/Roman Mythology due to his books. As we spend time in Europe they are thrilled to see artifacts and sites described in his stories.

We also swung by Trafalgar Square. This space has been a significant London landmark for 800 years and remains the site for its most significant events. New Years celebrations, an annual Christmas tree, political demonstrations and this weekend a festival of free West End performances. We just saw that show in the process of tear down which did nothing for our pictures. Oh well.

Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square

We were also able to catch a glimpse of Big Ben a few blocks away but we didn’t get any closer today.

Big Ben down at the end

Rather than take a taxi back, we decided to take the other quintessential London mode of transportation – the bright red double decker bus. This was also a first for all our Adventurers. We caught the Pimlico bound bus from the Square and it dropped us off two blocks from our flat.

Of course we sat on the top level. What a great way to end our day in London.

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