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Our Disaster of a Day!

My in-laws just left after a five day visit.  I don't mind it being a five day visit, but then again, five days of your house not being your own is always a bit unsettling and although I don't look forward to their departure when they are here, I can't say I'm sad to have things go back to normal.
As a treat for my son's birthday, we took him to the Museum of Natural History in London on Thursday.  He chose to go because we took him last year (he's been crazy about dinosaurs since he was three years old).  They give out adventure packs at the museum which consist of a back pack, safari hat, and binoculars with an adventure to follow during their visit.  The back pack has clues in it to solve a mystery.  Last year it had a dinosaur claw, a tooth and a sample of dinosaur skin he had to match up to one on display.  He had a great time solving the mystery and even remembered which dinosaur it ended up being.
Last year's trip was wonderful.  We walked right in, got him an explorer's pack and explored the entire museum (which is huge), got him a few gifts at the gift shop and went home happy after a very long day. This year was a very different experience.
- 10:30 AM We leave in the morning and head to the train station (train tickets are cheaper at non peak hours). Take a one and a half hour train journey into London.  Arrive in London, catch a cab and get stuck in traffic.
- 1:00 PM Arrive at the museum only to find there is over an hour wait to get in (which to a five year old is totally unacceptable).  Ask about fast track tickets and find out if we paid £20.00 and go to see a butterfly exhibit, we could go right into the museum (which is usually free).
- Pay only to find out we have to wait a half hour before we could go into the butterfly exhibit (luckily it stopped raining by then).  By 1:30, we still hadn't even gotten into the museum. Go through the butterfly exhibit (which was okay, but defiantly better than waiting on in a crowd for over an hour).
- 1:40 PM Finally get into the museum.  No adventure packs. My son cries.  They told us to try back in 45 minutes so we went to lunch.
- 2:20 PM Still haven't been anywhere near the dinosaur exhibit.  Get an adventure pack (for mammals as they have no dinosaur packs available). Head for the dinosaur exhibit only to find a huge line.  We go through the exhibit like a herd of cattle.  About half way through, my son has to take off the adventure pack  and starts to cry because it's so hot in there (At this point, if there was an escape route out of the crowd of people we were stuck in, I'm sure we would have run for it).  None of us enjoyed a moment of the exhibit.
- 3:45 PM We finally break free from the crowd.  I ask my son if he wants to go home because we all had enough.  We rush through the mammals to solve the mystery (it was a polar bear).  Return the adventure pack go to the gift shop and head back to the train station.
- 4:45 PM We are told we can't use our tickets to get on the train (as they are only good for non peak hours).  We have a choice of paying £60 to by new tickets or wait until 7:15 to use our tickets (which we paid £30 for). We pay £60.00.
- 5:15 PM We get on the train with standing room only.  My son starts crying because he's hungry.  No-one gives up their seat.
- 5:45 PM One seat opens up and my son has to sit on his grandmother's lap to eat his sandwich.
- 6:00 PM I get to sit down.
- 6:30 PM We all finally have a seat on the train (none of us sitting together). As you can imagine, by the time we got back, we were all pretty exhausted, grumpy and glad to put the disaster of a day behind us! Well the adults were because later that night, I put my son to bed and he told me he had a great day! Ahh, to be five!


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