Last Thursday our twin granddaughters, R & E, became 10 year olds :o)
They started their day quite early as O was so excited he made them get out of bed to open their presents, and that's when Daughter told them that one of their presents from her was a trip to London to see Matilda the Musical.
Daughter and the three very excited children arrived here about 9:30am to open presents from us and also to be told that as we had plans for Friday in London we were staying overnight and I'd added a hotel stay to their treat. We had a lovely birthday lunch including birthday cake and candles then Daughter and I hit the road with the girls leaving behind O to play with Granddad until his daddy got home. This was a very special treat for the girls but also a very special treat for Daughter as it was the first time she had left O overnight and was really looking forward to an undisturbed nights sleep!
We parked up at Newbury Park and tried to surprise my SisterM as the girls wanted to call in to say thank you for their birthday money in person but they were out, so they put a note through the letterbox instead and we walked round to the station. We found the hotel just a short walk from Marble Arch station and even then we were all a bit hot and sticky as it was a very hot day.
We had booked a family room which actually turned out to be two bedrooms and the girls immediately asked if they could have the big room and share the double bed, so Daughter and I had a single bed each in the smaller room which worked out well.
A quick freshen up then off we went. I treated us to a black cab to The Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden then a short wander and we found a lovely Italian restaurant for our dinner. We were all quite full after lovely main courses but as it was a treat desserts had to be chosen (actually I didn't), the girls were thrilled when they ordered lemon sorbet and it was served inside a whole lemon peel with its little cap back on :o)
Matilda The Musical was amazing. The lyrics by Tim Minchin were so clever and so funny (Daughter and I both like him as a comedian anyway), the cast were amazing, about half of them were children and they were amazing too. Even the set kept us amused the whole time with the surround being made up of lettered blocks making words relevant to the show although none of the words were obvious so we had lots of fun searching and pointing out to each other the ones we found. The only bad thing I can say is the theatre was so uncomfortably hot and stuffy.
We stood outside the theatre a little while just to get some air then hailed a cab to take us back to the hotel. Fans on, we got ready for bed and watched a bit of TV with our cups of tea/hot chocolate and maltesers then lights out about 11:30pm.
Friday morning all up in good time to have baths and down for breakfast by 8:30am. Then packed up and checked out by 9:30am. The plan was to meet up with other home-ed friends in Regents Park at 12noon so with time to kill we took a walk along the West End shops stopping in New Look and Primark to try on and buy a sun hat for R and sun glasses for E. We also had to buy something for picnic lunch in the park and also another treat in Selfidges having coffees and teas and posh cupcakes.
Then as a group we left the park and travelled onto the Photobox photo processing factory, Daughter's friend is a director and founding member of the rapidly growing company and had arranged for them to show us around. It was a really interesting visit and they really looked after us all especially the children and after the tour and refreshments a group photo of all the children was printed onto a souvenir mouse mat for each of them to take home.
Bit of a problem at the end of the day when R really wanted to go and eat with the others but E was tired and just wanted to get home, hopefully in time to get to her normal trampoline lesson, so we split up leaving R to go with friends who will bring her back by train and Daughter E and I got back to the car and managed to crawl in a traffic jam all the way home. Then Saturday morning they were off early again to meet their dad and enjoy a special day at Chessington theme park for their birthday treat and home again Sunday evening.
And this Saturday Daughter is holding a birthday party (at my house) for lots of their friends and most of them will be camping in the garden as Sunday we are all off to the medieval Oyster Fayre in Colchester and then Monday is our street party for the Queen's Jubilee.......so hopefully this will be a birthday they will always remember with a smile.