Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Big C&G vs. Roger Federer

Centre Court looks just a little dusty
Big C&G turns 12 years old this week and my amazing little boy will soon be towering over me. Every single day he makes us laugh (or cry because he is a tween after all) and we feel so blessed to have him lighting up our life. He is maturing into a wonderful young man, full of curiosity about the world and ready for any adventure.

His travel suitcase is no longer filled to the brim with little Lego mini figures, although I'm sure I could still find some stray plastic bricks buried deep down at the bottom, along with some dusty packages of gummy bears and vintage goldfish crackers. These days it's more likely to be packed with science fiction books and his favorite tennis racquet.

Sorry Big C&G, that says Andy. Not Roger.
Before our trip to the UK last summer I gave each of the little C&Gs a day in London to plan where they could do absolutely anything they wanted. They were in charge of figuring out an activity for the day and how to navigate around on the Tube. Little C&G chose a tour of Wembley Stadium to see where his beloved FC Bayern München won the UEFA Championship. Big C&G didn't hesitate for a second before googling "tour Wimbledon" and plotting our route to the All England Lawn & Tennis Club.

A 30 minute ride on the District line from central London brings you to the charming leafy lined streets of Wimbledon. It's another 20 minute walk to get the tennis club and you don't have to be die-hard tennis fans to visit the courts at Wimbledon and the Wimbledon Museum, it makes for a nice suburban day trip if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of London.

If you are die-hard super fans you can book a tour ahead of time on their website which will include admission to the Museum. It lasts 90 minutes and with a very unenthusiastic Little C&G we decided to tour around on our own. Ask at the admissions desk when they'll bring a group in to see Centre Court if there are no matches going on. This short mini-tour lasts about 15 minutes, just perfect for a quick peek onto the famed greens (or browns, as in our case). We were there the week after Andy Murray had his historic win and they wasted no time pulling up the grass and getting ready for next year. 

The Wimbledon Museum has lots of fun and interactive exhibits for the kiddos and probably the only hologram of John McEnroe anywhere in the world. Thankfully. The included audio guide will introduce you to the history of tennis as you stroll through the museum. Check out the old wooden racquets and see how tennis balls evolved into the bright green fuzzy ones we use today. Track down the original famous crocodile now seen on preppies from Cape Cod to Cannes.

A holographic John McEnroe talks to you from his locker room about the old days of tennis. Displays show off gear from all the tennis greats and you can't miss the bling on the outfits loaned by the Williams sisters. I couldn't resist making Big C&G pose with the trophy won by my favorite player, pointing out that it was Andy's tennis whites in the case and not his favorite, Roger Federer. Oh well, maybe on our next trip it will be the other way around.

There are a few cafes around the courts that offer light snacks but we ventured back into town to check out the Fire Stables Pub we saw on our walk through town. I can't pass up festive bunting or a sandwich board advertising local organic produce and rosé by the glass.

A kids menu and crayons will keep the youngsters busy while a glass of wine and the local real estate magazine (find the stack on the bar) will keep you busy. I had our entire future planned out by the time my second glass of wine appeared on the table. Little C&G goes to soccer/football training camp at Wembley, Big C&G enrolls in tennis school at Wimbledon, and we buy a charming little country house down one of the leafy streets nearby. Mr. C&G didn't even humor me by converting pounds to dollars, unless maybe he was waiting to surprise us for Big C&Gs 12th birthday. I'll let you know if the movers show up tomorrow. . .

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