Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hampton Court Palace

IMG_2024A few weeks ago on a Saturday we decided to forget our car troubles and take off on the train to go and see Hampton Court.  It was fabulous.  Jeff’s parents bought us a membership to the “Royal Palaces” for our Christmas present and so we get to see them all for free.  In my book everything is better when it’s free because I stop worrying about how much it costs us and just enjoy.  We went on a super rainy day, but we were smart enough to do the maze first before is started pouring.  Charlie was in heaven.  He’s been dying to go to a real maze ever since we told them they exist.  The kids were delighted to reach the middle and I was just happy to get lost in there and have a good excuse to be without the kids for a few minutes!  IMG_7563
Here’s Emmeline in the gardens of the Palace, maybe that bright yellow coat will coax out all those daffodils. IMG_7571The place was packed with people from Tudor England demonstrating what life might have been like back then.  We’ve been to a few place where they’ve done that and it really helps it all come alive for the kids.  Here is Hazel (in the purple) participating in a courtly Valentines day game. IMG_7573IMG_7577The place was also packed with all kinds of beautiful little places and details.  I was so loaded down with kids and gear that I didn’t take nearly as many pictures of all the amazing details as I would have liked.  IMG_7565Hazel and Charlie are little sponges at these places (when they’re not whining or complaining or hungry).  They are both really getting so much English history and how it all fits together. I love re-learning all that stuff as an adult too.  It’s so dramatic and scandalous and makes so much more sense now. Hazel was especially interested in Henry the VIII (who lived at Hampton Court) and his 7 wives. Who wouldn’t get hooked on history with all the drama of Henry the VIII?  Charlie is mostly interested in the wars and weapons and knights and castle fortifications.  IMG_2026While Jeff and Charlie went to a Knights in training course, Hazel and Emmeline and I attended a dance class where they taught us some courtly dances and a country dance.  We had to learn to bow to the queen and to our partner.  We even got to whiney like a horse for one of the dances.  Hazel was loving it.  Emmeline was dubious and watched from the sidelines, trying to take it all in.  IMG_7579
IMG_7583This is the armor room, and the only inside room that really spoke to Charlie.  Big surprise. IMG_7585
The number of living quarters to walk through and things to take in was a bit overwhelming but I love it that when Hazel watches period piece movies (hopefully soon?) with me she’ll know what this all really felt like inside.  IMG_7589IMG_7593

 The Children’s audio guide was fabulous.

Not pictured here, but highlights:  the kitchens and the huge roaring fire – doesn’t food and how it was prepared always connect us with history?   The ‘spy’ dressed in black that the kids got to chase after as he ran through the halls spreading rumors and intrigue.  The train ride with pre-made sandwiches for lunch from M&S and then hot steamed milk on the way home to warm us up from the freezing rain.
  We’re going to have to go back for more, there was just too much to take in in one day.  Thanks Nedra and Ron for the pass!


  1. awesome sayd! thanks for calling me yesterday - not! you are so good at getting out and about and helping your kids get the most out of this experience. you're amazing and i love you!

  2. Oh I wish I could be there soaking that all in with you!! Love you. Give those kids big hugs from us.

  3. Oh my gosh, it just takes pictures to really realize how much fun you're having, especialy when your car breaks down every other day! Amazing pics and incredible kids (and parents) to put up with all that rain!



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