Now Wilba’s a bit bigger and the boy is self sustaining (as long as the WiFi is connected) me and my preggers sister decided to take my mum to a West End show for her birthday. A one night stay can’t take that much organisation surely??? WRONG so WRONG!!!
After the usual traveling through trip advisor and comparison sites to get best hotel deal, show, travel arrangements and print-off’s, I enlist the help of some very good friends to look after Wilba for the first half of the day and pick up the boy before a hand-over to the brother-in-law before Daddy is home for the last leg and bewitching hour. Then there’s the dog and cat to sort, spare key location and hand-overs, plus Saturday football practice and emergency numbers not to mention the bags to stock, school bag… check! baby bag with bottles, food, snacks and a rider list longer than Mariah Carey’s (my poor friends) check !
Night-time jaunt to the shop the day before to make sure the fridge is stocked with items that can be microwaved by monkeys if need be, given my partners previous attempts at culinary cuisine 🙄🖐 and before u start thinking I’m harsh, the man cooked a pizza with the plastic on and served up just 2 chicken nuggets as a viable evening meal! I kid you not 🙄. So with a ready-made lasagne in the fridge and ‘idiots guide to keeping the kids alive’ stuck to the door I start to de-rig the car of pushchair ,baby-seat and booster seat, after clearing out the various science experiments that have been festering, 3 socks, multiple coffee cups, Wotsits and a ladle 🤔of all things. I finally turn my attention to my own packing – leggings, pants, two tops, mascara … done! and not a moment too soon as my mum and sister arrive laden with more luggage than a family of 5 and enough snacks to put us all in a diabetic coma. Final checks made (I swear more than a NASA shuttle launch) we leave the motherland for the big smoke 😒😴🙄😆
So after an entertaining 3 hrs drive working our way through my mum’s bag of ‘snacks’ which included an old quality street jar full of biscuits (she once made us tuna sandwiches to take to the circus needless to say we weren’t popular but that’s another story)
We turn our attention to parking, if you know me personally u know that I only have two real dislikes in life 1) Cotton wool and 2) Paying for parking. I will drive/walk for miles if it means I don’t have to pay to park my already money guzzling machine. I therefore regularly use a service called @JustPark which helps you find affordable spaces all over the country in people’s driveways and private spaces. I have an app on my phone which is super easy to use and we even used it last year as an alternative to airport parking.
All parked up I break the news to the fam that we have a little walk, after much eye rolling and debate over which snacks to sacrifice (did we really need a litre bottle of elderflower cordial) we head off in the direction of hotel. We get 20 meters before my post-baby-bladder, mum’s old bladder and sisters pregnant
bladder scream for mercy, we spy a pub and pop in laden with bags and after a quick half cider we were back on track .
London is an interesting place, my mum loves it, it’s the only place you can pass a South African Scotsman’s in a kilt and a creepy gnome garden in the same street (see photos). We arrive at the Park plaza in Waterloo after a few bag re-jigs to a cheerful chap called Felix who checks us in while we devour his complimentary reception chocs 🤪🤭 (hey we walked after all)
The Hotel is only one year old so is all gadget-ed up , brand spanking new and trendy, it even has a pool and spa which was a bit cool (temp wise) for mum but perfect for me (we sound like the three bears) the studio room we booked was quite snug and only had two of everything instead of 3 but was clean, comfortable and extras like free Sky TV and mood lighting gave it a very expensive feel. After a quick swim we walked to the strand to watch Mamma Mia at the Novello, a beautiful theatre with gold everywhere even the sanitary bins are gold! The musical starts off quite sickly sweet like the film but after the 3rd ABBA classic and half naked hotties had turned up we were well on our way to what was an awesome night of high quality entertainment and even some audience participation at the end. Show over we called an Uber taxi to get home, something I’ve never done before but would again, it was so quick, cheap and the bloke was lovely, I think Uber gets a bad rep but all their journeys are tracked and you know the cost before the journey, so no chance of a scenic route which i hear SOME black cabbies are guilty of.
PJs on and it’s been a great day even if I did repeatedly look in the rear view to realise that my kids weren’t there, write and delete a number of texts intended to check that they were ok even when I know their in safe hands and fail to have an early night and good nights rest as I’m use to Wilba laying in my chest and the boy waking me up four times.
I can highly recommend the Park Plaza for a great London stay, Justpark and Uber for cheap and safe parking and transportation and Mamma Mia if you like sugary sweet theatre with half naked Hotties… I mean who doesn’t!