London 2018 - Day Seven

published

Friday we set out to see Trafalgar Square and the center of London. It was considerably colder than it had been the rest of our trip, so we hustled past the houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey toward our destination.

Josie had wanted to examine the lion statues at Nelson's Column, but the square was blocked off in preparation for an event that weekend. A little disappointed, and feeling quite chilled from the wind, we elected to pop into the National Gallery. Josie wasn't too excited about this, to start, but we stumbled into an interactive exhibit that completely captured Josie's interest. Volunteers were handing out papers and pencils and encouraging families to work together to recreate different pieces on display. There were perhaps a dozen families spread out, sitting on the floor beneath beautiful works of art, talking quietly and sketching. It was absolutely delightful!

Josie, Angela, and I all worked independently to create our own works, then we used carbon paper to transfer them into a new, singular piece. It was quite fun, and very relaxing. It was a joy to watch Josie sprawl out on the floor of the museum, surrounded by art, working quietly and talking with us. The final piece is in no way a masterpiece, but it will be a treasured memory!

After the museum we made our way through St. James's Park and on to Buckingham Palace. Along the way we spent quite a bit of time watching Josie take photos of the animals in the park. She particularly liked Duck Island, which was very aptly named. We spent some time watching the Beefeaters march back and forth in front of the palace, and then I convinced the family to make the trek to Greenwich to see the prime meridian.

We enjoyed the walk through the park to the observatory. It was cool and windy, but the sky was mostly clear and sunny. I was more than a little disappointed to find that we arrived at the observatory about 30 minutes after it closed. We could see the prime meridian line, but the gate prevented us from getting to it, which was just insult to injury in my opinion. To our surprise, a family found a small gate tucked behind a bush, and they walked into it. There, along the wall, was a marked extension of the prime meridian line! When they were done with their photos, I rushed in to take a selfie!  Mission accomplished.

We made our way back toward the Thames and took a clipper on toward the O2 and Ravensbourne University, where MozFest was actually taking place. We checked in and made our way to the opening reception. It was a little overwhelming for all of us, because we didn't really know anyone and the place was packed. Josie was particularly uncomfortable with the crowd, so we took some time to explain to her loosely what "professional networking" means, and that this was an example of it. We wandered around a bit, but the event was still very much getting ready and not fully set up. So we called it a night and went back to the hotel, eager to learn what MozFest would be like the following two days.


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