A nice change from Buckingham Palace and the crush of tourists trying to get a glimpse of the changing of the guard is the Queen's summer home - Windsor Palace .
Here you can walk around in peace, actually see the guards from the upper windows or driveway, and check out her collection of arms, knights' armour, and swords. While it was all very impressive, I couldn't help but wonder if she feels like she's stuck with all this old STUFF! I mean, it's her summer home and she's got rooms and rooms of heirlooms that I'm sure she must display out of duty.
Queenly stuff is all good, but these were some of our first encounters with Londoners. We read some children's lit books to just get a feel for the culture. The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jaqueline Wilson and Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging which I talk about all the time. What we found is that in England there's city life with shows and tubes and then there is country life where they walk to town, parks, and school. Tracy Beaker is one of those incredibly normal kids who believes everyone is out to get her. She's prone to meltdowns and screaming-fits, but couldn't possibly have broken that girl's clock on purpose. Georgie Nicholson gives a glimpse into early teens and all that marvy-jazz. Of course, I already went on and on about her in an earlier post, but she's won me over to her entire series. One thing we learned from Georgie is that the world centers around teens just as it does queens.