Saturday, December 31, 2016

England Part 4: Tower of London, The Globe, and Theater *edited with new pictures*

The Tower of London has great tour guides.  Our Beefeater, Bob, was funny and entertaining.  We saw the crown jewels, the church where Henry the 8th's other wives were buried, and the twenty one gun salute for Prince Charles' birthday.

Bob, our Beefeater

Tower Bridge

Our family at the Globe
Our traveling companions at the Globe, Shakespeare's theater.

Bobby was at the Globe, but he wasn't too happy about it.  He was at that tired, but can't fall asleep, spot.  I had to keep moving to keep him happy.

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Wouldn't it be amazing to see a play here?  Only in the summer months, since it's an open air theater.
That night Genevieve and I went to Phantom of the Opera at the Queen's Theater.  The rest of the family stayed home to get some rest.  We had a great time.  I'd never seen Phantom of the Opera, or even read it so it was all a surprise to Genevieve and me.  During a kissing scene in the play, Genna loudly inquires, "Why do people even do that?" with a disgusted look on her face.  Her innocence is so sweet and funny.  I wonder what the people around us thought about that comment.  We weren't supposed to take pictures in the theater, but before I heard that announcement, we did snap a selfie of the two of us.  It was a memorable night for the two of us.

Friday, December 30, 2016

England Part 3: Harry Potter Museum *edited with new pictures*

This day fell on a Sunday, so we started the day off with Mass at Westminster Cathedral (not to be confused with Westminster Abbey which is Church of England).  This was a beautiful church inside and out.  It happened to be Armistice Day and so there were special additions to the Mass and many uniformed servicemen participating.  I, however, missed most of it because Bobby was being a total pill and screaming every time I ooched back closer to our pew.  There was nowhere really to go with him, so I walked up and down the outer most aisles and, occasionally, was forced by his wails to retreat to the entryway until I could calm him down again.  He's funny (not ha ha, but weird) at the really big churches.  He does much better at the American churches for some reason.  Also, when he gets overly tired, he just doesn't know what to do.  He has a really hard time falling asleep outside of his bed nowadays.  So that could have played a factor in this behavior.

Outside front of cathedral

After Mass, Genna took Bobby to see the pigeons.  He loves all animals, but I think I have mentioned he has a special fondness for birds.

He loved it!

Looking at the pigeons

More of the cathedral
 We went back to the apartment with lunch and ate there.  Judah hugged on Bobby a little bit..

After that, we had to play "planes, trains, and automobiles" to get to the Harry Potter Museum.  It was kind of insane.  You have to take an underground train, to an above ground train, and then wait for a shuttle.  There was a huge line to get on the shuttle and we had to wait so long that we were getting nervous that we were going to be late for our ticket entrance at 5pm despite the fact that we were thinking we would be severely early.  This isn't a big deal as they let you in past your time, but since it was a late in the day entrance we would be more rushed through the museum before it closed or the small children had had enough.

The Harry Potter museum is a Warner Brothers' Studio and so it is all about the movies, not the books.  Our kids (oldest three, anyway) have been reading through the series with their dad.  He is reading them aloud at night, but was only through book three at the time of the tour.  We quickly let them watch two of the movies so that had some idea of what was happening at this museum.  So really they didn't enjoy it as much as they could have.  Genna and Isaac enjoyed it the most.  Hannah was upset she hadn't already read and seen them all before coming because there were spoilers and she is just kind of a Debbie Downer kind of girl.  Drew was incredibly bored the whole time.  Judah and Bobby were just along for the ride.

She's just a hair taller than Harry Potter when he first started Hogwarts.

Genevieve at platform 9 and 3/4

Drew at platform 9 and 3/4

Isaac at Platform 9 and 3/4
We stopped in the cafe for dinner and butter beer.  That was a little bit of a disaster because the kids were unhappy that they had to eat the sandwiches and didn't get to pick one of the other expensive meals.  Also, they had to share the butter beer.  Oh, what terrible lives they lead!  We don't take them anywhere fun ever!  Gratefulness and contentedness is always a work in progress.  I humbly admit my children are not perfect, but then again, neither am I.  And I have had far longer to practice.

To look at the pictures, you'd never know of the strife and discontent that preceded the butter beer.

Too bad Drew ruined this picture.


At the end of the tour, there was the wand museum.  Everyone involved in the making of Harry Potter had a wand box made for them.  There was a lady who stayed in the room and you could ask her any body's name and she'd show you the box with her laser pointer.  Seriously, anyone!  It was impressive and a little bit weird.  I took pictures of the kids next to their favorite character's boxes, after the lady pointed them all out to them.

Of course, J.K. Rowling's box was there too.

And to prove to this guy one day when he doesn't even believe it that, yes, he was at the Harry Potter museum too.  Look how blue my hair still is, by the way!

Again, Drew's ruining my picture with his funny faces.