The Four Things: Focusing at the British Museum

Viewing the Rosetta Stone.

This post is the tenth in our England 2015 series.

“One day some soldiers were digging near Rosetta when they found a stone, something like a tombstone with three kinds of writing on it….This stone is called the Rosetta Stone. It is now in the great British Museum in London and is very famous, because from it we were able to learn so much history that we otherwise would not have known.” — V.M. Hillyer, A Child’s History of the World Continue reading “The Four Things: Focusing at the British Museum”

Touring the Playgrounds: Frolicking our way through England’s jungle gyms

This post is the ninth in our England 2015 series.

At Trafalgar Square

In our trip-planning, Jon and I had discussed our philosophy of travel, specifically what efforts must be made to guard against the overextension of our children. “We’re here to have fun,” we said. “We won’t be able to cram everything in, and we want to have some blank space in our days for spontaneous moments.” This developed into a clear policy: No more than two major activities each day. This guideline allowed us to tackle some delightful adventures as well as protect time for spontaneous experiences and frivolous excursions — including impromptu stops at a variety of playgrounds. Continue reading “Touring the Playgrounds: Frolicking our way through England’s jungle gyms”

How to Talk English: Learning to embrace Britishisms

Posing with King Henry VIII.

This post is the seventh in our England 2015 series.

As soon as we had secured our plane tickets, our first task was to contact our dear friend and host Teresa, a spunky, energetic 86-year-old Englishwoman. She and the Boyd family have been friends for decades, and she has been urging us to bring our family to visit for years. Continue reading “How to Talk English: Learning to embrace Britishisms”

Perfecting Fun in Quiet Desperation: A lesson from the London Eye

Rosie sticks out her tongue.

This post is the fifth in our England 2015 series.

On our second day in London, we decided to take a trip on the London Eye. This giant ferris wheel opened in 2000 and consists of 32 large glass-enclosed capsules that hold up to 25 people each. The view is incredible, and the girls had been drawing pictures of it practically since the moment we announced our plans for the trip.  Continue reading “Perfecting Fun in Quiet Desperation: A lesson from the London Eye”

Departure: The journey from crazy to calm

At O'Hare and reading to go!

This post is the third in our England 2015 series.

The week of departure was chaos. Pack the bags. Shop for airplane snacks. Clean the house. Finish up work projects. Pack up the cats and bring them to our friends’ house. Back up the computers. As I tied up loose ends at work and at home, staying up into the wee hours of the night, Jon voiced his concern that my stressful aura would spill over into our precious trip. Continue reading “Departure: The journey from crazy to calm”