I woke up way too early this morning - about 4 am. Instead of just lying in bed, I decided to get up and get going. It's now 4:30 and I feel pretty good - showered and dressed and ready to meet the day. I have a lot of little projects that need to get done at home and at school, and I think that's what woke me (and kept me up) this morning, so I figured it was just as well to get going on the day.
Espen and I had a great time in London. The trip was what it hoped I would be - a bonding experience for Espen and me. The tour of Wembley on Saturday was great - 90 minutes of heaven for Espen. After that we did a bit of shopping. We stopped first at a department store, Debenhams, where we picked up 2 pair of Levis and a swimsuit for Espen. He is growing out of his clothes like crazy, and they now have swimming in gym class once a week. He told me that his swimsuit had shrunk, but I'm pretty sure that he has grown ;-) We also stopped by two of my favorite shops, Monsoon and the Gap, where I also got some jeans and a sweater. Then Espen's quest for the perfect speakers began. He has been talking constantly about getting new speakers that he can hook up to his laptop - preferrably with a subwoofer (he's very into subwoofers these days). So we searched London high and low for some good speakers that he could afford and that he could fit into his (small) suitcase. (Things like that are about 30% cheaper in London.) Finally, we found some - yippee!!
By that time we were both pretty worn out, so we headed back to the hotel. Espen tested out his new speakers with his iPod (incredibly good, sooo much better than the old ones. That subwoofer was just incredible....hehehe.) After a short rest, we walked over to the London Eye. We got our tickets and waited in line. When we got to the security check (there's always a security check...), one of the security guys saw the Liverpool hat Espen had glued to his head and gave him a high five and said something like "Liverpool, cool...". Then he said that since Espen was a Liverpool fan, we could go directly into the Fastrak lane. Espen had a pretty big smile on his face at that point.
After seeing the lights of London from up high, we walked back to the Pizza Express restaurant right behind our hotel. Yummy Italian style pizza and tiramisu for dessert.
On Sunday, we slept in a little bit more, but still got up pretty early by Espen's standards. We went downstairs and had a nice breakfast at the hotel, where Espen got a cup of the world's best hot chocolate for the second morning in a row. Then we headed out to get on the a double decker hop on/hop off sightseeing bus. I thought it would be good for him to see some of the sights, and since we didn't have too much time that would be a good way to do it. In hindsight, it wasn't such a great idea. Hop on/hop off is great if you're planning on hopping on and off, but if you just want to get a guided tour, then it's annoying to have the bus stopping all of the time. We would have been better off just picking something we wanted to do and spending some time there. But, whatever, Espen got to see the sights.
Espen was dying to get to the airport early because he had heard that the new terminal 5 there had so much great shopping. So, after the bus tour, we checked out of our hotel, took a cab to Paddington Station and took the Heathrow Express train to the airport. We got there 3 hours before our plane was to leave, and Espen realized that he wasn't actually all that interested in the stores at the airport - he rarely buys anything from Prada or Chanel or any of the designers... But, he did manage to spend his last pounds on some new headphones for his iPod and we managed to spend some money on food, so all was not lost.
We were tired when we got home, but we had a great time!
Aaahhh, Wembley Stadium...
In the English national team's dressing room, in front of Steven Gerrard's jersey (Liverpool's captain)
A cool pic Espen took of the London Eye