>> Monday, August 15, 2011 – Summer
Guess where we have been? London! This was our first trip overseas and we had so much fun!
We've toured a lot of amazing libraries--the Library of Congress, Folger Shakespeare Library, as well as many archives. The Bodleian was simply inspirational. The Harry Potter factor was also, of course, cool.
We all just loved Oxford and both girls are sure they are going to attend :)
On Friday we went to the British Museum. The girls were excited to see the Rosetta Stone, parts of the Parthenon, and other highlights from their Waldorf curriculum. Sadly, the museum was just over-run with tourists and we all felt like we would have enjoyed an art museum more than a museum full of archaeological fragments.
The British Museum redeemed itself for us with its high tea. Wow. This was a highlight for the girls. High Tea in just the most spectacular setting.
After the British Museum, we went to Liberty. I have always wanted to visit as Nelson and I both love the Arts and Crafts Movement, liberty fabric, etc.
You would have thought we were in a candy shop when we got to the haberdashery.
On Saturday we went to Hampton Court, home of Henry VIII & William and Mary. We had gotten tickets online for this as well. The girls were also excited to visit here as they have both read lots about Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, etc.
Hampton Court is fun because they have costumed musicians and actors roaming the grounds. We spent just about all day there.
One of the many nice aspects of having an apartment was that we didn't have to go out to dinner every night. We were often really tired after touring all day. We would have a late tea or snack in the afternoon and then just stop at the local shop for cheese, crackers, carrots, hummous, and beverages then take them up onto the roof for a relaxing evening watching the sun set on the city. Doesn't get much better than that.
On our final day in London, we got up early and explored one of the many street markets. The girls had fun shopping.
Simmy made us a cream tea. The kids had a great time visiting over tea. The boys taught the girls to play cricket and they all enjoyed reconnecting.
Simmy also got me going on crochet. I was so happy to finally get how to do it. She also set me up with yarn and a crochet hook for week 2 of our trip....when we were on our canalboat.
She and her husband, Tom, took us to a National Trust property, Standen, which was decorated by William Morris. What a beautiful house.
I think the visit with Simmy and her family was the highlight of our visit to London. It was so fun to be in someone's home and see how a family in another country lived. The kids really loved hanging out with "locals" the same age.
Tips for touring with kids?
Begin with a bus tour to see "it all"
Have an apartment or space to retreat to where you can cook
Mix up the day--museums + outside hang-out time or shopping
Try to connect with someone who lives in the region with kids the same age
Read some historical novels before visiting
Eat local food
As the kids said...."best vacation ever."