About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Old York is New!

Yesterday we took a fantastic trip to York. Some friends of ours (Prospero and MissAuFait) from DC, who also have four children, are here on holiday. Prospero grew up in Coventry, or in "the south" as many of the people up in "the north" refer to it. So they are here visiting friends and family. We were lucky enough to be here and be settled when they decided to come.

One of the cities both Prospero and MissAuFait enjoy is York and so they invited us along for a day of exploration and adventure. We happily took them up on it because we'd not explored much in York at all, plus we *really* wanted to spend time with them and their family. Their kids and our kids are all about the same age and they all get along really well. We also share similar parenting styles, world views and thought processes. It's always so much fun when we get together.

We met up at York at a really cool museum. It had so much to see and tons of exhibits. There is a walk through a Victorian era city street. There are some kitchen and dining room exhibits showing how those rooms evolved from the 1600's onward. We walked through a toy exhibit, a games exhibit, a prison exhibit (a bit too scary for the kiddos for us to spend much time there, but very interesting). One part we spent quite a bit of time looking around was an exhibit about life cycle events from the Victorian era onward. The kids had a great time!

(Here they are trying out a Victorian era school house.)

After we had tooled around the museum for a good long while, we headed over to the York Minster. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe and it took over 200 years to complete!

We are not typically church visiting folk. It's not that we don't respect Christians, its just that church architecture isn't something we are all that into. We lived in DC for four and a half years and never went to the National Cathedral. (They weren't ever hosting anything we were so interested in.) But MissAuFait wanted to go and see it. So off we went.

I am so glad that we all trooped along. It wasn't a spiritual experience, it was actually sort of sobering. The history of churches in Europe is not entirely a pleasant one. But it was an AMAZING building. I am sure that if I worked as hard as common folk did (and my life was as difficult) in the 15th century and then I was allowed to pray in a place like that on Sunday, I, too, would think that this awe-inspiring building *must* have been where god lived. (Thanks to MissAuFait for putting that thought in to those words.) It was incredibly beautiful and breathtaking. Even more awe-inspiring was the fact that it was built before modern day advances in machinery and engineering. It really is a beautiful building and a marvel of engineering and architecture.

The kids, of course, had ants in their pants. They had done really well at the museum; looking, asking questions and staying really engaged, but the minster was just a bit *too* much for all eight of them. We looked around a bit, found some interesting, kid friendly aspects (the dragon that was built to be a pulley and some mice carved into the bottom of the pews) and then we headed out.

During our walk around we tried to explain the differences between Christianity and Judaism. We talked about the sepulchers and memorials in the floors and walls. I'm not sure that much of it sunk in. All of those things are fairly complicated issues and keeping them simple is a bit difficult. I do want to go back, though, because there is a tour of the tower in the York Minster that one can take. But it has over two hundred stairs to climb and they don't allow children younger than eight to go on the tour, so I don't know if its in the cards for us or not.

Anyway, it was a faboo day in York with our friends. The exploring was superb, the company marvelous and everyone was happily exhausted from our day of historical exploration!

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