Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Day 4 - Warwick Castle

My family lived in England when I was in high school and one of my best memories is visiting Warwick Castle. I had to recreate with my kids. It is the Disneyland of castles with shows and tours. It was one of the best days of our trip, the kids all had a great time and their was something for all of the different ages, a rarity when traveling. 

Vera was a great big sis and sat through the princess mystery game with Pearl. 

The jousting show was a HUGE hit with everyone. 

Sword fighting lessons went over well with Pearl and Gus. Gus was more of a casual style fighter.

Quest, the birds of prey show, is new since I was here last. It is impressive. 

The only down spot we had during the day was a the catapult talk. Gus was chosen as a volunteer and he really, really didn't get the British sarcasm that was used as comedy. It took a few minutes to recover and then he was having a great time again.  


This was our second hostel of the trip. Super fun, I actually wish we could have stayed longer to explore. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Day 3 - The Rest of It!

My favorite candy of the trip, Shrimp and Bananas. It tasted like neither shrimp nor bananas, but I loved it still. It had the same texture as Circus Peanuts. 

We arrived in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the early evening. William Shakespeare's house was closed, but had to take a few photos to document that we did see it. 

The running gag of the trip is that I booked both hostels and hotels for this trip. My kiddos now call them hostiles. The one in London had families and extended families from all over Europe. The one in Stratford-Upon-Avon was a step up and was located on a pretty sweet estate.

Day 3 - The Making of Harry Potter

Day 3 is also known as, "One of the main reasons our family went to England." It was impressive and I only took 500 photos. We spent a good 6 hours at the tour and really I could have gone back and walked through the whole thing again. Nerd.

Also, it turns out our family can get nowhere on time. Even if it is to a tour that I have been waiting months to visit and have planned out in detail. Thankfully, although the time is important there was a little leeway for people like us.

What always happens when you hand a 5-year-old your camera phone.

It felt a little like Disneyland as we lined up to enter.

Then, you enter the main hall of Hogwarts! Was I just the tiniest bit disappointed that there weren't candles floating from the ceiling...maybe just a little. 

After the Hall, there was just everything and anything you can imagine from the movies, both scenery and props. So much to see. 

It got better, probably my favorite area of the tour was seeing the Hogwart Express. 

Lunch was a little crazy. By the time we got to the cafeteria the kids were starving. Butterbeer was a HUGE hit. And, as the pictures show, you can really see the differences in how much kids approach life. The food was another matter altogether. British beef has a slightly different flavor to American beef and my boys were having nothing to do with their hamburgers. Vera's salad was interesting. Next time, more snacks and a little food planning ahead would have been better. You know, for when we head to England again. 

Wait, this might have been my favorite part. The outdoor section of the tour was noteworthy. 

THE BRIDGE! So much smaller in real life. ;)

Okay, as far as sets go, the Gringott's Bank was impressive. At one point there is a video explaining how they made the columns look like marble. 

This would be the point at which Keller wandered off and got lost. Urgh. It took us far too long to realize that he had wandered all the way out of the tour. 

The Dude back with us. 

I made The Dude pose with every possible Quidditch area. 

One last selfie to fully document that we did it!