I’ve been asked lately why an 8 year old would pick London as his wish list (after Harry Potter world, of course.) Remember, this is the child who also picked Antarctic and some ancient forest in Asia with thousand year old trees I can’t even remember the name of! But why London in particular? His main reasons were:
Harry Potter studio tour because (a) Harry Potter! and (b) he wants to do a movie studio tour. There’s a lot in London he wants to see along those lines – such as Platform 9 3/4. 🙂
Doctor Who studio tour because the same reasons above. He’s a HUGE Doctor Who fan, he watches the old ones from 40+ years ago with Kit and he’s seen some of the modern ones (not the scary ones.) Doctor Who is what got him hooked on Van Gogh, and why he was able to recognize a not famous painting by Van Gogh at the DMA without seeing the label and know it was his.
The Globe theater. We’ve been reading Shakespeare for kids for years so he knows the characters and stories well and is again fascinated by the theater (seeing a play at a theater was also on his list, though realistically we can’t take the kids to see the 2.5 to 3 hour shows at the Globe.) But we can do a Globe tour. When C heard it was really, truly Shakespeare’s (or based on the burned down version) his eyes got HUGE. They are already amazed by the history of London, that anything can go back so far.
The roman wall in the City of London (not to be confused with London, City of London is a place INSIDE of London that the kids can tell you about because of a video Kit showed them.) I can only assume it’s because he’s fascinated by the Percy Jackson thing and amazed by all things Greek & Roman? Since I told him we could get to Greece or Italy this year I think he wants to see a piece of it there?
There are also a lot of little things this wish fulfills – riding a train (to Cardiff for Doctor Who), riding a boat down the Thames river, visiting the numerous free national museums so he can see mummies and Van Gogh and roman and greek artifacts, seeing a palace and castle. I think our reading Story of the World has him excited about the many queens and kings we’ve studied.
If none of the other kids were interested in these things then I may have not decided to take the entire family – but the kids ALL love Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Shakespeare (though Livy gets very upset when we read Twelfth Night – she still corrects me and says, “Call her LIVY, not Olivia!”) And Kit’s undergrad was in english with a minor in theater – he’s wanted to go to England for decades. I went when I was 14 after falling in love with Shakespeare myself, but I’ve not been back since I was 22. My parents took us on a three week tour of the UK after I finished my undergrad and I remember stomping around London with my little sisters and having so much fun. I can’t wait to share that experience with my own kids.
Bennett is named after Bennet(t) Tritton, born in Ashford, Kent, England in 1609 and moved to the Americans in about 1635 and helped settle Hartford, Connecticut with her husband, Thomas Stanley. She had five children and died around the age of 56 in 1665. We were researching her as she’s the kids’ 14 great-grandmother straight back, and I thought it was incredible to consider what she went through living in that time period. Before we were even pregnant with Ben we knew our next baby would be named Bennett after her, and when we found out the name means, “Little blessed one” we knew it was meant to be. Taking him to see where she came from (even if we don’t make it to Ashford) seems pretty incredible – don’t you think? That’s more significant to me than to Ben, but I think he’ll realize someday how special that is to see where his ancestors and his namesake lived.