Monday, November 29, 2010

Mind the Gap

The Tower at night
We finally did it.

We took the kids on a full-fledged metropolitan holiday.

I admit I’ve been avoiding it like a third rail. I had deep seated fears of losing a child in some horrible way: a misstep off a curb, separated in a crowd, a tumble down a retaining wall into the river. I’ve got a good imagination and cities just always seemed so, well, big and full of hazards. Farms and old battlefields seemed much more reasonable.

My kids proved me wrong.

Here are the top 15 things I learned about taking kids to London:

15. Massive seething crowds in Victoria Station will stress a mom out ten times more than husband or kids.

14. Kids will always eat “fish and chips”.

13. The 30 minute London Eye “flight” will entertain your kids for approximately 15 minutes.

View from The Eye
 12. Your three year-old will run for miles in underground tunnels, jump up and down stairs, and launch off escalators with boundless energy. If you ask her to come into the next room to get her hair brushed, she will complain it is too far.

11. The scavenger hunt in the crypt-filled Westminster Abby is much more interesting than one in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum. Audrey is still talking about the “dead treasure hunt.”

10. Your ten year-old can become your expert subway map reader.

9. If you are a kid, a taxi ride can be the most exciting part of the day.

8. Yeomen and guides at the Tower of London love to talk about the history of the place. Give them a ten year-old with an interest in the topic and they can talk all day.

7. The moving walkway that pulls tourists along in front of the cases of the Crown Jewels can be its own kind of amusement ride.

6. Poles on subway trains make good places to dance and spin.

5. The Texas Embassy Cantina on Cockspur Street makes a fine Thanksgiving dinner and serves a mean margarita;)   Margaritas may become a new Thanksgiving tradition in this family.

Skating at The Tower
 4. Three rubber bouncy balls can entertain three children in a carpet-free split-level “flat” for hours.

3. You can make your seven year-old daughter laugh out loud by telling her that in England police are called “Bobbies” and trucks are called “Lorries”.

2. Ice skating, even done badly, in front of the Tower of London ramparts at dusk is delicious.

Ok, and number one:

Having your kids fall asleep on the couch in an exhausted heap at the end of an adventure filled day is immensely satisfying.

So, London was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. But now, where to next? I must think….

1 comment:

  1. I love this list............I am always amazed at what we as mums learn about ourselves and our children, especially when we're outside our normal environment. I'm gad you had fun in London. There are so many places to recommend - Rome (great food & gelato, lovely people, every corner is a historic site - my daughter still wants to go back to the Trevi fountain!); Vienna (clean, cold, ok food, nice city) and Paris. LOL