Buckingham Palace

08/05/13

We are told to always expect the unexpected when it comes to weather in London. No disappointment there!!!! I did not pack with London’s weather in mind at all. Cold one minute; hot the next. It rained several times this Monday, but the rain did not stop the sheer excitement for Buckingham Palace which was our main sight of interest today. Awesome Palace! The children were looking forward to the changing of the guards which is at 11 a.m. everyday.  Would you believe, they did not do the changing of the guards today of all days. There were several signs in bold letters stating, “THERE WILL BE NO CHANGING OF THE GUARDS TODAY”. (They apparently forgot to send me the memo knowing I’be be bringing the children today especially after traveling so far. A simple phone call from one of the Queen’s aids would have sufficed). No, I am not kidding!!!!!  Jordan finds the guards absolutely fascinating. Ever since we went to Windsor Castle and saw the guards, he has been imitating their statuesque movements. He attempts to stand very still like them with a serious face. We all find it quite amusing. He was very upset until he noticed what kind of menace he can get into outside the Palace. We were three families sight seeing today which brings the number to 12 people including 6 children, 2 young adults and 4 adults. You are constantly counting heads. N’diaye’s friend Nora from Paris was also visiting London this week with her two children. We decided to meet at Buckingham Palace. Nora has an 11-year-old Imane and a nine-year-old BOY. Four hyper little boys under 10…….did I remember to pack my Tylenol?  They wanted to climb up and down on all of the statues. My nerves were constantly on edge thinking that they might fall. The last place I wanted to be in a foreign country was the emergency room. Alexandra and Imane were just quietly and patiently observing the chaos that is “the boys”.Please don’t forget to add to the mix  A POUTING TEENAGER!!!

Janel is not happy at all. She pretty much pouted all day long.  She wanted things to move on her pace. Her demeanor was such. She wanted to see Buckingham Palace.  But mostly, she wished that she did not have to deal with the children. She did not want the all-inclusive package of chaotic children. She wanted the freedom to go places with the adults; laugh and take pictures; shop around for this & that; walk at her pace; not always having to wait on children; hearing & seeing the cries; dealing from a distant with the tantrums; tasting great supple dishes everyday; and definitely not having to eat fries and pizza everyday.  (You go ahead and try to come up with a plan for lunch with three families). Not an easy task at all especially when the menu has to also include pizza and fries) . She was miserable with the rain. She had her umbrella with her. However, it was raining this day just to spite her. She was getting a cold which did not make her mood any better. Did I forget to mention that we were in London with another teenager?  N’diaye’s 18- year-old nephew was with us. The difference is that he has three younger siblings ranging from ages 16-6. So he did not come from the entitlement mentally of typical teenagers.  He was very grateful and happy to be on this trip with us. He lives in France, but had the opportunity to go to London until now. Bottom line, you better have the patience of a SAINT to travel  with children no matter what the age.

From Buckingham Palace, we had lunch around 1:30 p.m. More often for lunch, we had very happy children, unsatisfied teenager and the adults were satisfied as long as the children were happy. We made our way to the Science Museum for children. It lived up to it  reputation. One of Jordan’s favorite places to be in NJ was Liberty Science Center. Just about every Sunday afternoon, Christopher took him there to explore. Now Alex loves to go. They each have their favorite floor. The Science Museum in London was very similar to Liberty Science Center except they did not have a floor dedicated to insects & reptiles. We spent over three hours exploring. We were able to take in a live interactive experimental show on rockets. Children were able to answer questions and be part of the experiments. The children were riveted to their seats. A long tired and satisfied day for the children. We said so long to Nora and her children before heading home around 5:45 pm.

See pictures below:

Continue reading