We began our summer vacation with a few days in London.
Four days in London is short, especially during the Olympics, but we’ve attacked it American style and have managed to squeeze in a lot of photo opps, beginning with London Bridge, festooned with Olympic Rings.
The most exciting discovery was to see the Olympics all around us in London, long before we got close to Olympic Park in Stratford. The Olympians are everywhere, milling around, taking pictures, and being tourists. It helps that they have their uniforms on, but even without, it might be easy to spot them as the Brazilians have a tendency to dance around like Carnival and the French stare moodily in the distance.
After a few days of playing guess their sport, we started trading Olympic pins and the kids soon began meeting people from around the world. The atmosphere is so friendly. We saw diving finals yesterday, surrounded by young Chinese women cheering for Wu Minxia as she took the gold, and today we sat in a booth surrounded by wild Chileans cheering for Tomas Gonzalez. Everyone just seems to be thrilled to be here, in an athletic melting pot.
But beyond the thrill of the Olympics, we’ve also been having a blast sightseeing. Public transportation is always a hit with suburban kids, but when you factor in the endless tunnels of the Tube and a ride on the top level of a double decker bus, the thrill is more than worth the 7 pounds for an adult day pass.
I’m not sure if anyone uses photo booths anymore, but it would be such a shame if they disappeared. How else could you get the iconic shot of everyone squeezed into the photo booth?
Jack tried hard to make one of the King’s Guard smile, but without success. He had written him off as a statue when he suddenly switched his machine gun into his other hand and began marching. I’ve never seen Jack run so fast!
I tried to drum in a little history amidst all the photos, telling them about Anne Boleyn coming into Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London before her execution, and having them imagine a time when Windsor Castle actually needed to be defended. Only time and history tests will tell how much of my lecturing will stick in their memory banks, but as a former history major and an addict of historical fiction, I couldn’t help myself!
We’ve also managed to fit in some amazing meals, but this post is already way too long. I’ll save those clotted cream filled tales for tomorrow.