Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Regent's Park

Since we are here during the winter months, most days are going to be cloudy, if not raining. In order to get out and see things and avoid the claustrophobia that comes with being indoors every day, we have to take advantage of each sunny day. 

We woke up Tuesday morning to the most beautiful sunshine and mild weather. Charlie and I didn't have any plans, so I thought we'd ride the tube just a few short stops away and visit Regent's Park.

Regent's Park is quite large, like Hyde Park, and has lots of different things to do. Playgrounds, ponds, canals, wildlife areas, cafes, trails, etc. It also is home to the London Zoo, though I'm saving a visit there until Brad can join us. 

For Tuesday I thought we'd just play on some playgrounds, eat some lunch and feed the ducks. I excitedly told Charlie about my plans, thinking he'd run to get his shoes. Except that he's in a very two year old phase right now and of course told me no, stay here, do this other thing FIRST. 

It took forever to get him out the door, even with promises of ducks. I finally suggested he bring this little soccer ball he has with us, a gift from someone at Brad's office. He carried it the whole time we rode the tube and showed everyone we encountered MY BALL!

Once we got there, we walked along the water towards one of the playgrounds. I had the bread stashed in my bag, but I was honestly a little scared to pull it out. There were SO MANY birds and they looked hungry! I thought we may not be able to handle the situation. Those geese can be so pushy.

The playground was fun, we met some other little boys about his age. In typical London style, they were from all over the world. All but one spoke English. Of course, all them spoke energetic two year old and that's really all that mattered. 

It took a while to get Charlie out of the playground to go find some lunch (do you see a trend here? It takes forever to get Charlie to go anywhere to do anything). Along the way I snapped my favorite photo of the day. Beautiful swans floating on a fall day.

We had lunch at the Garden Cafe, which has organic, locally grown type stuff. It was nice, but I'm honestly trying to forget the whole experience. While the sandwich and latte was lovely, Charlie brought about a gallon of sand from the playground into the cafe with him in his jeans and dumped some everywhere he sat - including the velvet piano bench he crawled up on while I was ordering our food. The piano was in the sit-down portion of the cafe and we were eating in the section where you order at the counter. 

The screams when Charlie found out he was not allowed to actually PLAY the piano were loud and disturbing. Then to see a big pile of sand where he was just sitting... well, I was ready to leave. From the look on the hostess' face, she was ready for us to leave too!

We headed out to the rose garden and Charlie kicked around his ball for a while. A nice older gentleman even joined him for part of it. Lots of people were out walking on their lunch hour. And my latte gave me a second wind after the attack of the Charlie at the cafe. 

We continued walking after Charlie got tired of kicking the ball and found an area without quite as many birds. I pulled out the bread and gave it to Charlie. He seemed excited at first, but didn't understand why the birds didn't behave like the poodles do when Charlie is about to give them a treat.

The poodles, after all, sit and look like excitement might overtake them at any moment or hang back, trying to figure out how to trick Charlie out of the treat without having to do anything for it. They do not head your way full force like they'll peck off your leg if you don't hurry it up already.

So needless to say, Charlie was a bit apprehensive.

This one was the worst. So pushy!

After the bread was gone,  it was time to learn all of Charlie's objections to moving on and finding the tube stop. At that point my resistance was worn and there may or may not have been a chocolate cupcake purchased outside the tube stop for Charlie. And he may remember exactly where that cupcake shop is and may have gotten upset with me today because we were in that tube station again and no cupcake appeared in his hand. But that's another post!

Anyways, a fun and memorable time with my munchkin. I hope we can go back to Regent's Park on a beautiful day with Brad and maybe a picnic. I think he'd love it and the zoo is supposed to be awesome.  Here's hoping for another sunny day tomorrow because today... was not. :)

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