Today we went to the Tower of London. We were a bit taken aback at the £47 fee for a family, but as it turns out, there's a lot more to do there than I remembered. Even better - there are a lot of things there that kids enjoy too, so we enjoyed a really full day there. For example, we noticed on the daily schedule that there would be a presentation about armor and a foot jousting demonstration at 11:30. Perfect. We had our lunch on a bench and then turned around and watched the presentation. Turns out the first part had the squires jousting with the knights to joust a half hour later (each set was about a half hour long). We turned to leave, but the boys really wanted to stay and watch the knights put their armor on - fine.
Well, most people left at that point, so the "queen" came up to us to chat. She was really good and talked to the boys for quite a bit. She then asked them if they wanted to be knights for a day and of course they did. So she told them all the things they would have had to do in preparation to become a knight back in the day (including shaving their heads - luckily for the boys, they were granted a reprieve on that one along with the praying requirement) and then "knighted" them. They LOVED it.
We then stayed to watch the knights joust. The queen chose one of the knights to wear her ribbon (the whole story line was that it was a fix for her brother who was one of the knights), and then offered the other knight the ribbon of some other lady. I KNEW right at that moment she was going to pick me - given all the time she spent with Berk and Quin - and to my embarrassment, she sure did. Given that the whole thing was rigged (both in that it was acting and in the story line), my knight lost, but the boys had a load of fun. We ended up spending alomst an hour and a half just on that.
We then toured around the Tower for a bit, but by then, it was WAY crowded, so Doug missed out on the Crown Jewels (his choice) although we did check out the instruments of torture (looking for some tips when the boys get out of line!). Took the bus home - saw a lot, but it took longer than we expected. We grabbed a bite for dinner (Quin devoured his curry!) then headed out to the local pub with DS for the boys in hand. I just love pub culture - there was a great mix of people hanging out, having a pint on a Monday night. Turns out the local pub also had Wifi, so Doug has promised that he will be uploading more pictures soon given that he plans to be a regular post bedtime! All in all, another good day.