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Day Three | London

After gobbling up some chocolates that our dear friends gifted to our children, I thought perhaps it was not the best idea to let them have a couple of those precious treats. No one could fall asleep! I finally was able to get the children to fall asleep, but since our biological sleep clocks were all whack-a-doodle, they literally just took a nap and woke up at around 11:00PM local time. I was finally able to get my two oldest back in bed at 1:00 AM and to sleep. The little one was still very sick and was having a rough go this night. We were up and down and in and out of the loo many, many times. I was very worried about her because she simply could not keep any food or water in her system I was exhausted as was she and I coaxed her to sleep at around 3:00 AM.


The apartment we were staying in was plenty big with two bedroom. My son and my daughter were sharing a room and each had their own single beds. My little one and I were on the double bed in the smaller bedroom and my husband was on the pull out bed in the living room. It worked out well for us with the bed situation, but I do have to say these beds were probably some of the most sad mattresses we have ever slept on. Everyone was complaining when we finally woke up at 10:30AM. We are used to sleeping with sleep machines and black out shades in our comfy bedrooms at home, so sleeping in a noisy apartment in London on a traffic filled street with the light streaming in your eyes at very early o'clock in the morning is not the most ideal situation {for me especially}.


We got up and showered and out the door to begin our day. A very late start, but rest was needed and the little one was still quite sick. We had breakfast quickly at Costa and we were off to the tube to The Tower of London and spent the next couple of hours there.


We have been studying all about the Tower of London in Omnibus this year and the children could not easily picture all that they had been reading about for the past six months. I think they really thought they would see blood-stained grounds where the many heads of Henry VIII wives had fallen and where many Christians had been persecuted. Elizabeth I, Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh were all confined in the Tower of London for various reasons. William Hastings, Anne Boleyn, Jane Boleyn, and Lady Jane Grey were confined and later beheaded. I know my kids were disappointed that is is now simply a museum setting versus what would seem more realistic to them.


The Tower of London is a great place to go and visit if you are in London with children and is built on the edge of the river Thames The Tower is guarded by men in red and black robes called the Yeoman Warders, but most know them as Beefeaters. Why were they named Beefeaters? Either they ate a lot of meat, which was their daily ration, or the name was modified from the French word buffetier. Either way, it has stuck for centuries! The Beefeaters were created by Henry VII as bodyguards to protect him from being assassinated. The Beefeaters still guard the Tower of London today and are known for the elaborate costumes and great knowledge of English history.


There are actually 21 different towers on the site called the Tower of London. The Tower also has animal guardians, the Royal Beasts and the Ravens. They were kept at the Royal Menagerie and called the Royal Beasts. There were lions, a polar bear, elephants, kangaroos, tigers, and many more. The Ravens are a myth within itself. Charles II insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected. According to legend the Tower will fall if there are less than six ravens on the fortress at any given time.


The medieval palace is a recreation of King Edward I's bedchamber and it's in St. Thomas's Tower. There were times when kings and queens would stay in this bedroom during their short visits to the fortress. The Tower of London is an interesting but dark place that is heavy with sadness because of all of the death and evil that took place within the fortress.


One of the most famous towers was the White Tower. The White Tower houses the different armor that was worn by royalty, weaponry used throughout the centuries, and also the 11th-century Chapel of St. John the Evangelist. It also houses the horses that the past kings rode and cannons that were quite large.


In another building were the dazzling crown jewels. This ranged from scepters, crowns, rings and tiaras. The Imperial State Crown alone has 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 5 rubies. The entire collection has 23,578 gems! It was amazing to see all of those jewels sparkling. There was a crown with all of the gems taken out in order to show the tiny tools that are used to place each in the crown by hand. {and sadly, I don't have any photos of these as the signs read to not take any photos and I followed the rules}


We departed from the Tower of London after a few hours to get on with our day and in good time as it was beginning to rain. Once again, it was not a bit of a drizzle but a full on rain. We still had loads to do and see and we were not going to let the rain stop us. The littles were getting hungry and our first destination was some lunch{and yes, it was well past lunch time, but our clocks were all out of sorts}. We were walking from The Tower of London to our next destination, St. Paul's Cathedral. En route we were on the look out for lunch. It was still raining and the kids were getting a bit crabby from walking in the cold rain. We took a walk down the River Thames to get to St Paul's Cathedral.


I have to be honest here and say that I don't much enjoy walking about in the rain, trying to maneuver three small children under umbrella and watch out that they don't poke any Londoner's eye out in the process. All the while trying to keep my children's spirits up when I was getting a bit miffed at the weather - as if it could rain on my vacation{I know, I can't control the weather!}.


Anyway, we made it the the cathedral and little girl was having tough go by this time. Her spirits were really low and she keep telling me she needed to go back to the apartment because she was sick. We decided to forego the inside tour of St Paul's Cathedral due to her not feeling well. We knew the tour would take at least two hours and there would be loads of stairs to climb. We also knew that once you start climbing those stairs, you can not turn around--not the best thing to do with a sick child who stomach was not aware that it was on vacation. Also, we were a bit aghast at the $25.00 price per adult ($21.50 per child) to even get inside the cathedral. The Whispering Gallery would just have to wait.


By this time the ominous clouds of London had fully opened and were unleashing buckets of water on us. We located a coffee shop and popped it there to warm up. Little girl and I spent the entire time in the bathroom with me telling every tourist who pounded on the door every other minute and a half, that my child was sick. She was near tears and I told her we could return to the apartment at this time. She was really having a rough patch and needed some rest.


We took the tube to Madame Tussauds and decided to take a walk through there since it was still pouring rain outdoors. I made it to the bathroom with littl egirl and remained there for the next 30 minutes. Not a good time for this child. We went to get tickets and found out that they were closing in exactly one hour and it would still cost us the full entrance fee of $90.00(for real, so ridiculous!). We decided to forego the wax museum and return to our apartment and just called it an early day. She was not well and it was not getting better. I ran out to a local pharmacy and spoke with a kind man there and he suggested some meds as I was totally confused with the UK labels. I gave her a tablet and laid in bed with her. She and I fell asleep at 8:00 pm {thank you jetlag}. She woke up in horrible pain at 11:00 pm and we were up until 3:00 am with a very rough night and a very worried momma.

Day One - Traveling to London

Day Two - London

Day Three - London

Day Four - London

Day Five - London

Day Six - London & Paris

Day Seven - Paris & Disneyland Paris

Day Eight - Paris

Manneken Pis | Brussels

Day Two | London