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London Library

Does anyone else love the smell of old books?

When we were little, my sister and I used to go to the library. It was a super small one since our town only had a couple of thousand people. Those poor books didn't get out much. 

My sister used to rummage through the children's section and smell her way to the good books (at least, according to her). She didn't care when it was made or who wrote it as long as it had the right smell. 

So much for judging a book by its cover. Clearly, whoever came up with that adage never smelled an old book.

12 Months Old

I promise that I'll get back on track with all of the London posts tomorrow.

But for right now, I'm still in birthday mode, so indulge me one more non-travel related post. (Though, while parenthood doesn't involve a ton of travel normally, I could definitely make the argument that it's an adventure no less daunting than setting out to a country where you've never been and where you don't speak the language.)

My baby turned one last week, and I still haven't come to terms with it. 

Britton's First Birthday Luau

This week was both awesome and exhausting.

Kind of like the entire last year has been. 

As Britton was at the root of both, it was a fitting end to my beautiful daughter's first year of life. 

Alohomora: Unlocking the Secrets of the Harry Potter Studios

Did you see what I did with the title there? Dorky Clever, right?

At one point during our June 2012 trip, the mom of the children that I taught asked them, "What was your favorite thing that we've seen so far? And you can't say Harry Potter."

She was hoping against hope that what the kids took away from our intense trip had an element of history, of high culture, of literature. But she was fighting a losing battle because the Harry Potter Studios tour was so cool.


Or, how all of my Literature dreams came true

When I traveled to London and the surrounding area in June 2012, I knew there were many things in store for a literature-loving kid like me. 

After all, I was the English/Language Arts teacher for the kids who were on the trip with me. 

When the mom and dad of the homeschool program asked me for my input on the trip, I immediately suggested a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon (and a trip to the Harry Potter Studios, but that's a post for tomorrow. Literally. I'm posting about it tomorrow!). 

Throughout the school year preceding the trip, I'd focused heavily on Shakespeare's influence on later works. We even had "Little Shakes," my stuffed William Shakespeare doll that I got from the Unemployed Philosophers' Guild. (It comes highly recommended as a teaching tool for those of you who are teachers or who homeschool.)

Now, Little Shakes was returning to his homeland. And I was making it happen!


Cambridge University | CosmosMariners.com

Are y'all as excited as I am about my upcoming trip? If you missed the announcement, check it out here! I'll have most posts on the planning as I get a little closer, so definitely come back...

Where were we in our London travels before I interrupted to bring you news of my upcoming travels?

Ah, yes. 

We'd just visited Stonehenge at sunset and then rested against Buckingham Palace as we watched the Changing of the Guard

What's next on our jam-packed itinerary?

We're headed out of London to a town called Cambridge that's home to a little institute of higher learning called Cambridge University. You may have heard of it.

Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guard

As I mentioned in Friday's post, I'm revisiting a trip that I took to London and the surrounding area back when I was teaching in a homeschool program. 

Better late than never, right?! (Plus, the majority of these sites have looked the same for hundreds of years. I really doubt they've changed that significantly since the summer of 2012.)

Let's kick off the week with a behind-the-gates review of the Changing of the Guard. 

Yup, that's right.