Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making the Most of Time - Touring Tuesday

There are many reasons why we accepted the London assignment.  The most prominent reason was the ability to visit beyond the border of the UK.  Yes, England has many, many, many worthwhile sites to visit, and I look forward to seeing many more of them over the next year and nine months.  See?  The time is ticking away as I type!  However, the rest of Europe and Africa are at our feet screaming for a visit.

The question arises of when do we take a holiday?  It's actually quite an easy decision since most European countries have strict rules about school attendance.  If school is in session, your child is expected to be there.  If you choose to sneak away because airfare is cheap, get ready for a potential fine from the school council.  It can be a few hundred Pounds if the school council is persnickety.

There is a solution for families that want to travel!  The kids have four terms in a school year - fall, winter, spring, and summer (until mid-July!).  Within each term the kids have a week off that's called Half Term.  Quite appropriately named, eh?  During that time families can travel as far as they wish, as long as you are back in school when Half Term ends.  All of the school councils in England (at least it seems) have Half Term at the same time, which means EVERY family is scouting airfare at the exact same time.  Obviously air carriers know this and the prices are higher during half term than other weeks.  

I know that we don't have to travel for Half Term since we live in an amazingly historical city.  We were happy to spend a majority of it at home this time.  Everyone is still recovering from a nasty flu from almost two weeks ago.   For one outing, I took the kids to a play in Greenwich (Gren-itch) on Thursday, rode bikes in the neighborhood, and played at the park.

On our journey, our train passed through South Kensington Station.  This is stop where you alight (get off) for all of the big museums (Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Victoria & Albert).  I was astonished to see the number of people queued up just to climb the steps of the station, and I imagined the same crush of crowds shuffling along the museum halls.  Huge crowds are extremely unpleasant, and I was happy to pass on by that station.

Now we are trying make our plans out the next few Half Terms.  To pigeonhole the British, they are major planner-aheaders.  Weekend events for things such as the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Tour, are booked until April.  If I plan two weeks ahead, I think I'm doing great.

Now we are looking for some sunshine since England has had the rainiest winter since data gathering began.  I sympathize with my midwest USA friends who feel an equal animosity to the snow and bitter cold.  Also, we are looking for places that have activities/museums/attractions will keep the Kiddos entertained as well.  Oldest Kiddo is up for anything and if she can learn anything along the way she is game!  So far, we are thinking of Spain or Italy.  Airfare will probably help make our decision easier.

Where have you visited in Europe & Africa?  We're looking for the good, bad, and awful to make our Wish List.  Leave us a comment of your ideas!

Act fast!  The Brits are booking airfare now!

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