This coming Thursday is our wedding anniversary, which I wanted to celebrate with a weekend trip some place stunning, romantic, and fabulous…
Paris? Roma? Milano? Brugge? Any of these would do!
Where did Mike want to go?
An hour and a half journey out of London with a toddler in tow to see a pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere… Yeah.
I relented at first, but because Mike is a hundred and thirty-one flavors of wonderful about everything I want to do and hardly ever asked for anything, we went to Stonehenge…
… but with one compromise. It can’t be our only destination for the day.
Frankly, I just didn’t think Stonehenge would be very amusing for Avery, and as anyone with kids knows, that’s a huge factor in any sort of trip planning. (Obviously, I would have preferred to some place else, too…)
As it happens we stopped at TWO other places- Windsor Castle and Bath- courtesy of the bus tour I booked at the very last possible minute.
Normally, I find tours and group travel of any sort far too tedious restrictive. (This is why I have absolutely no desire to “cruise”.) I prefer the freedom to linger longer at the interesting places and ditch the audio tour if it sucks…
However, not having to wait on a chilly platform for the next train to arrive is rather nice too….
(For those of you who DO like tours and/or are planning a trip to England, I highly recommend the company we used and am happy to pass along their name. They were very accommodating and kid-friendly, especially with always having our stroller unfolded and ready to go at each stop and dropping us off closer to home at the end of the day.)
Here’s the breakdown of our trip:
First stop, Windsor Castle.
We were herded off the bus, through the town of Windsor, which looked all too charming and wonderful, and straight into the castle…
Once through the castle walls, we were hurried up the hill, “reminded” to keep up with the group (umm, do YOU want to try to push this stroller?), handed an audio guide, and given an HOUR to soak in 900 years of history, grab lunch, use the potty, and get back on the bus…
Kind of stressful.
We were rushing through everything when Avery had a meltdown in the middle of St. George’s Hall. (Not my photo.)
He was on the floor, rolling around, crying, screaming, waking up the Queen…
I was about to do the same. Instead, I picked him up and carried him outside. As I stepped onto the footpath, I was curtailed by marching redcoats…
We walked out just in time to witness the changing of the guard, which cheered Avery up immensely. The drums, the marching, the fuzzy hats… He was SO excited!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any tacky touristy photos with the palace guards once they were through changing, as we were about to miss our bus.
(And, I really wanted one of those photos, too… Grrr)
Next stop, Bath.
Bath is another breath-taking destination well worth a three-day weekend…at least. We got to stay for a bit over an hour and a half.
Our guide insisted on giving us a walking tour since it was his hometown. He pointed out famous homes, landmarks, and its history as we walked along the busy streets.
Too bad we couldn’t hear a single word he said over the crowds and the bustle and the… ummm
… diverse street performers. (I’m not sure how to feel about this.)
We spent most of our time in Bath touring the ruins of the ancient Roman Baths, hence the name of the city. It was interesting to see, but we weren’t allowed to touch any of the “healing waters”.
The water was, ironically, contaminated and untreated… Nice, huh?
By the way, do you know how FUN it is to take a curious two-year-old to a place with open water right at his level and tell him he can’t touch it?
Not very, but he handled himself rather well.
It wasn’t until we were on the bus heading to our next stop that we saw to most gorgeous views Bath has to offer. I wanted to get off the bus and ditch the tour right then and there!
We definitely have to go there again.
Last stop, Stonehenge.
As it turns out, Avery LOVED Stonehenge and would have GLADLY spent an entire day there. He ran around in the open fields, screamed at the top of his lungs, and “baa”-ed at the sheep grazing nearby.
Even as I put him down for his nap this afternoon, he was still clutching the leaflet given to us at the site and saying, “Sto’heg, Mommy! Sto’heg! Sto’heg!”
What the heck was I thinking?
OF COURSE, our son would love the huge pile of rocks in the middle of no where. He’s a BOY and, more important, just like his Dad…
…and I love them both so very much!!!
So there, you have it. Our “romantic” anniversary get-away. I told you my life isn’t at all glamorous, but at least it’s fun!
For all you geeks… er, gamers out there, you’ll appreciate this. You’ll never guess what we found at Stonehenge.
That’s right. 20-sided dice. Do you think the aliens left it?