Saturday, April 19, 2014

London Day 1.5ish - Flying with the (sick) Toddler (by Jim)

Saturday @ 4am...

Ahh beloved jet lag, how I do not love thee! This could be a variation on my normal tendency towards deficient sleeping habits, but I’m guessing that the jet lag isn’t helping a bit. Oh well, I guess it gives me a bit of time to finally blog, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here completes the end of our first full day in London! After a grueling flight across the pond, we’ve managed to see a bit of the area around the London Eye and a certain Cutie actually fell asleep at what could be considered a fairly reasonable hour (midnight GMT). Given that a lot of folks online have suggested that toddlers don’t adjust well, this is not a terribly bad bit of progress.

The flight... while I’m not going to dramatically say it was a nightmare, which it truly could have been, I will say that it sure wasn’t my idea of a great time. Sam decided that sleep wasn’t something he was going to do (interestingly enough, unless it was smack dab in the middle of the hallway on the floor). He arguably had one of the very best seating options out of anyone on the plane (well, maybe first class excepted) with the carry cot, but one might have thought that it was made of metal spikes and live alligators for as well as he would react to it when we would put him down. If my memory serves right, he took about 3, 30-45 minute “naps” between my and grandma’s laps and was otherwise “that toddler” that I’m sure caused many people to grumble about under their breaths. I had promised myself that I would not get horribly angry about having an evil toddler, but I won’t lie, it was unbelievably difficult. I feel bad for the little guy, he was still running a fever of about 101 degrees after a full 4+ days of being terribly sick, but we had been so hopeful that he’d be exhausted enough to sleep and he was acting like a demon. C’este la vie, we lived and the plane landed, but I’m sure hoping that we won’t repeat that debacle in the other direction.

Amisha’s flat is truly amazing - we couldn’t have imagined the view, let alone the ultimate awesomeness for which it exudes. The location, only about a 5 minute walk from the London Eye and the Waterloo station, is unbelievable. Amisha, we owe you enormously for letting us use it!

After arriving in London, we managed to get through customs and out of the airport with little issue. Sarah was amazing and scheduled a cab for us, so while we were running a ton later than planned, a driver was waiting for us as we left the baggage claim. After taking a moment to settle in a bit at the flat, we set out to grab some “lunch/dinner” at the pizza place right next to the apartment building per Sam’s “pizza!” request and enjoyed some very tasty food. We’ll ignore the ensuing shock and realization that this trip won’t be cheap due to the lovely lack of power the USD has compared to the GBP, but it was tasty! We closed the grub run out with some excellent deserts and wandered over to the Eye.

The Eye and the park that surrounds it were bustling and beautiful. We hadn’t realized just how clearly you can see across the River Thames and found ourselves looking at the famed Big Ben. Big Ben, of course, was preceded by several minutes of staring at the cute fake bunny cage/breakout setup that they have in honor and prep of Easter. Apparently there will be a hunt for the escaped bunnies and Sam was fascinated at the plastic one living in the cage.

The rest of the evening was that; an evening. Sam was clearly jet lagged, crabby and generally fought us every step of the way in everything. Every once in a while he would be cute, but overall it was tough. We put him down at 9 thinking that he would be tired enough to sleep, which he apparently did for about 4 hours, but he awoke at midnight screaming. Apparently I was so out of it that I slept through a long session of lung exercise and grandma rescued him from his jail. I awoke at 4:30am and wondered where the child had gone. I found him staring into space on the couch with grandma passed out next to him. I relieved her of Cutie duty and managed to get him to pass out about 30 minutws after by dimming the lights. He was so out of it that I moved him to his crib again easily and he slept fairly well until roughly noon.

Once the crew was up and ready, we took off to find some lunch. We noticed “The Hole in the Wall” pub and decided to try their advertised fish ‘n chips. The grub was good and Cutie had a few moments of cuteness after he excitedly face plant NOMmed his way through part of the gigantic fillet. After more grumples from the little man, we set off to find a grocery. We found a good little one, but chose to seek out another that had come up on Google Maps. I/it apparently got confused about directions and we got to see several blocks of additional city before heading back and ending up at the Waterloo station for restroom breaks. Ironically, this led us up the second floor, which is exactly where the other store was (M&S). After paying our 30p to pee :), we took a bench break, bought some grub to stock up the kitchen and hit the pastry shop below where Robin wanted to have a snack. The Pain a Chocolate we all got was good and tasty and we set out to go back to the flat.

Sam insisted we take another walk after some hanging about, so he and I set out to wander again. I ended up snapping some fun shots of the Eye, Big Ben and a few other views and we came back to make and eat some delicious sandwiches. After that, Sam was still very awake and was demanding yet another “go bye bye”, so we did a quicker walk around the pier and came back to the flat - Sam nearly nodded off during this walk, so I bathed him (which, he protested severely) and put him down much to his displeasure around midnight. Luckily he only resisted for his normal 20 minutes or so and has been sleeping well since - here’s to hoping he gets a full night’s rest and is delightful tomorrow. Luckily today he was fever free and far closer to acting like himself, so we’re really optimistic that he’s on the mend and getting into the flow of things.

Now if I could only manage to sleep... here’s to trying. Cheers!