Hope you are all doing well. I think it's time I caught you up on Sam's college graduation and our trip to England. Just a warning, this is going to be picture overload. :)
My son graduated with a degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sunday, May 19.
For me the water works started at this point. I am so incredibly proud of this kid!
Here's us with his girlfriend Iolanda. She graduated with a degree in Psychology. Very proud of her too!
That's me, mom, Sam, my sister Lisa, brother in law Austin, and Iolanda.
Then it was May 20th and off to jolly Olde England! The company I work for gives us sabbaticals every 5 years of service. This was my 2nd part of my 10 year. You can split the 4 weeks into 2-2 week sabbaticals. You just have to spread it out by a year and a half. I have always just used the time to have off in the summer and spend time with family. This time I decided a trip out of the country would be a great gift for my son's graduation.
Just Sam, my sister and I.
The dude in the back was my seat partner and was so rude. I couldn't sleep at all because he kept grabbing my seat and touching my leg. UGH! Gross! But on the way home, the 3 of us had seats together. :)
The first day in England was actually the 21st. We didn't get in until after noon and our car was not there. They waited as long as they could but our plane was late. I called them and was able to get them to come back for us. So we didn't get to our hotel until around 2. We were exhausted. Went to eat in the diner in the hotel. Then it was rest and explore our area. We were right next to the Waterloo station. We made a 10 pm run to McDonald's. :)
The next day we had to be at EvanEvans for our tour of the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. We had a great tour guide named Trudy. She was wonderful! We rode on an old double Decker. It was great! I think the Tower was my favorite part of the whole trip.
Just to stand and walk where Kings and Queens have was amazing to me. There were a few times that my sister came over and hugged me and asked if I was ok. I was just standing in awe of it all. I took 600 pictures but I could have taken 1200. I just put my phone down and stood in the moment. It was what I needed! And I would suggest to everyone. It's so great to take pictures, but everything we saw can be found on the internet. Take the pictures of family in those places and then just be in the moment.
The London Bridge was beautiful! These moments will never be forgotten.
The next day was Thursday already and we were seeing the Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe Theater that night. We took the tube down to Piccadilly and did some shopping. We found the Harley store:
We also found Liberty of London. It is a big store with lots of floors. It was terribly hot in the store so I did not buy anything. I just wanted to get out of there. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the Globe Theater. We ate along the Thames at an Italian restaurant. Then it was time for the show.
It was a little difficult sitting in our seats. We had cushions but the lady behind me kept pushing her foot into my butt. At intermission we moved to a different place with no one behind us. What a great show! If you ever get here, I would recommend this one.
Then we decided to walk home along the river. What a beautiful city!
Then it was Friday and the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
It was too hot and too crowded. This is another thing that we can watch online. So we left and explored the neighborhood. Found a nice pub for lunch and finally had a Pimm's.
Yummy! I have to thank my boss Linda. She gave me a bottle of Pimm's for my birthday. I need to crack that open and have some!
Saturday we did a walking tour of the city with the Shelock Holmes Movie walking tour. It was a great tour. It was really fun to see the movie locations for all of the current Sherlock movies. Sam is a big fan of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock. It was good to see some of the places from that too.
Then it was on to the London Eye. We loved this! I highly recommend buying tickets ahead of time so you can bypass the lines. We only had to wait about 20 minutes to get on. It's 30 minutes but it feels like 10. The city is so beautiful!
Here is Buckingham Palace from the London Eye.
There is a park next to the Eye. We stopped to people watch for a bit.
Then on Sunday we took a hop on hop off bus tour. We had a lot of fun just sitting back and enjoying the scenery. This is a great way to get around the city and see everything. And hear some of the history of it too.
Then it was our last day. Monday we took another EvanEvans tour. This was a tour to Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge.
Our first stop was Windsor Castle. What a beautiful town!
We toured the castle and picked up some souvenirs.
Then it was on to Bath. What a disappointment that was. Please don't waste your time looking at bio hazard water. I really don't understand the draw. Too many people. I would have liked to have ventured out into Bath and really checked out the city. Unfortunately, we only had 1 1/2 hours to tour. By the time we got through the building it was time to go.
Then it was on to Stonehenge. I could not wait to see this! Sadly, we only had another 1 1/2 hours here. By the time we got on a shuttle to get up there I had time to take this picture and head back down the hill to catch another shuttle. We grabbed a bite and hit the toilets and back on the bus. It was a wonderful day, just not enough time at each location. Here I am at Stonehenge. :)
The next morning it was time to get to the airport for home. As we were waiting to board, this storm rolled by.
I expected England to be rainy and dreary. It was just the opposite. We had one day with sprinkles otherwise it was beautiful.
We lucked out when we got to Chicago. We were able to catch an earlier bus back to Madison and we were home by midnight. :)
Every day I think of something that had to do with England and our trip. It was so wonderful! I can't wait to go back! Now I have to decide where my next trip will be. I am thinking Norway and Sweden or a trip on the Danube.
If you had a trip paid for, where would you go?