Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Tower is a Hit

This has become a travel journal in which I am dumping as much information about my day as possible. I'm not trying so hard to just capture the entertaining parts, in fact there's a good chance anything entertaining will be completely lost in the avalanche.

Hubby left early for the conference, in the spirit of recuperation I tried to get the girls to go down for a nap at 11:00. Very unsuccessfully. But somehow or other it took us until nearly 3:00 to get out of the flat.

We took the slowest train in the UK to the Tower, and only had a couple of hours to look around once we got there. Maybe that's why the very nice ticket person did NOT charge me the 9.5 pounds a piece for the girls' tickets - Woo hoo! Thank you very much!

We walked in the gate and they were doing a weapons demonstration in the moat, which is now a lovely grassy swatch. Why is it that everything is funnier in a British accent? I kept giggling, and half expected John Cleese to appear on the battlements and beat himself on head. He did not, but they were obviously looking for laughs. The people doing the demonstration were in period costumes, and had that periodic memory where they don't know anything beyond their century. They were showing weapons of war, firing on a dozen wooden silhouettes painted white out in the field. We got there when they were starting the demonstration of how to work a... well, he called it a "Perrier," but I'm not sure how to spell it. I thought it was a Trebuchet, but one of the men in costume explained that Trebuchets are launched by rocks or other counterweights, and are much much bigger. The one they had was much smaller, and was operated by the weight of four people tugging on it. Two teams of volunteers were called from the audience to demonstrate it. The ammunition they used for the demonstration was large water balloons. Water balloons? What are those? Certainly not! They used Pig Bladders, filled with Horse Urine. These were the special blue rubber Pig Bladders tied with a little knot. Both teams came quite close to the targets. As the rest of the audience was leaving, Thing 1 asked them how do they get the horse to pee into the pig's bladder. He told her it takes a lot of carrots to make it hold that still. Then she asked how the pig feels about giving up its bladder. They had a chuckle themselves over that. I didn't get many photos of the demonstration, I took a video though. Maybe I'll upload that sometime.

The girls were very appreciative of the architecture and everything they saw. They were appropriately fscinated, and I was appropriately pleased. Knowing we didn't have too much time, I took them to the Royal jewel display where we saw the crowns, the scepters, and the Holy Hand grenades. Surprisingly enough, it was Thing 1, who generally despises accessorizing, and not Thing 2, who wanted to go back and ride the slowly moving sidewalk past the row of display cases. From there we went to the armory display, which was amazing. They had a special History Channel thing called "Dressed to Kill" about Henry VIII ("Mommy, why do they call him vee-one-one-one?") and had tons of armor and weapons on display. It really was interesting. The girls noticed one suit that had this huge iron codpiece on it, and so we asked one of the museum guides, who explained it quite well as a cross between a "The King had to be biggest and best," and a "Boys will be boys," and sort of a "fashion of the day" thing. Every room we went into, Thing 1 lingered behind, entranced. This was better than I'd hoped, I was afraid they'd be bored. But they really weren't. They really enjoyed it! Especially some time browsing in the gift shop.

Unfortunately as we left, Thing 2 was developing a fever again. Of course we were traveling light and I had left the medicine back at the flat. She started complaining about being hungry and cold, despite wearing her own and my jackets, when neither Thing 1 or I felt cold. Poor little nubbin.
We had made arrangements to meet Hubby at the London Eye at 7:00, and as I couldn't get ahold of him to change plans, we kind of had to go over there. I didn't know how long it would take us to get there, and anyway I thought we'd head over early and get something to eat there. Thing 2 fell asleep on the tube, and had to be carried through the whole commute. We got to the Eye at 6:35. She revived a little to choose a large raisin filled cinnamon roll from a stand, and perked up more and more as she ate it, waiting for Hubby. Her fever even backed off.
Turns out Hubby got there about 5 minutes after we did, but we didn't spot each other until around 7:05. Drat!!! There was no line at the Eye, we got around as the sun was completely leaving the sky, the half hour ride ended in full dark. The girls had a good time.

The worst part of the night was when Thing 2's fever came back and she continued to get sicker and sicker. She fell asleep on my lap as we had dinner in the train station, and woke up on the train complaining of horrible stomach pains. We had to either walk a mile, or catch one more train to get home. Both girls had a wild need to go to the bathroom, I think that was the real problem Thing 2 was having, but whatever it was she was groaning and crying most of the last train ride to the apartment. After getting back and going to the bathroom she was much better, and went straight to bed.


  1. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time! Hope the girls feel better and are able to enjoy all the sites and sounds of London. Tell them about the original London Bridge being in AZ!

  2. The original London Bridge (which I didn't see when I lived in AZ)would certainly have been easier to visit than the London - London Bridge!


I'd love to hear from you! YES, YOU!