As you read from Jill's blog on Monday/Tuesday, we've had a busy week and a half since we left the States. I know I can never come close to the beautiful, heart-wrenching recap of the week that Jill delivered, so I'm just going to hit a few highlights. Drum roll, please.........These are my top moments of the trip so far:
Time with the Paynes: Besides my own family, these people are my favorite family ever. Suzanne, Daniel, and their three boys are amazing.
-Wyatt, the nine-year-old, falling asleep on a car ride home with his head resting on my shoulder. Awww!!!
-Avebury and the surrounding countryside. Magic and trees and stones, oh my!
-Traveling to Wales and seeing three different castles and an old, ruined abbey. Castle Coch (and Daniel's pronunciation of it) was my favorite. It was like something straight out of a fairy tale!
-AIR RAID! At Cardiff Castle, we walked into an exhibit about WWII, and a siren started going off. So clearly Jill and I thought, "Oh, what a cool exhibit, complete with an air raid siren!" Nope. That--as an employee had to come in and tell us--was the fire alarm. The entire castle was evacuated to the courtyard. I felt sorry for the wedding party who were also at the castle that day. Maybe they lit too many candles?
-The Jane Austen historic walking tour that Jill and I took. We wandered through sheep pens. It was awesome.
-Finding the perfect tree necklace that I've been wanting for a long time, being too cheap to buy it at one store, then finding it cheaper and actually purchasing it somewhere else. #winning
-Wyatt scaling the outer wall of Castle Coch, then sliding down to Daniel, yelling "CATCH ME!!!"
-Getting an Oyster Card. Not only does it make more riding the Tube more economical, it also makes me feel like a proper Londoner!
-Seeing Les Miserables for the fourth time, with my favorite cast so far. You guys....I could go on for days about how much I love this cast! They were spectacular! I can't even. Plus, Jill and I made a new friend: a girl who was seated next to us and is just as obsessed with Les Mis as we are! We hung out at stage door, then walked back to the tube together, and now we're internet buddies!
-Finding the Music Room in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was an entire room taken out of a lavish house, and the walls were all decked out in gold shinyness, and the room was lit with warm, artificial candlelight. I love the whole museum, don't get me wrong, but this room was such a comforting and beautiful atmosphere.
-Finding my new favorite place in London: Greenwich! Specifically, the grassy hill between the Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory. Jill and I just chilled there on that beautiful hillside overlooking the Thames for quite a while today. Plus, we got to witness a group of German high school students and their teachers playing an odd game of charades. My personal favorite thing they acted out: Jack the Rapper. Not Jack the Ripper. No, a gangsta murderer called Jack the Rapper. There's really no explaining it. It was priceless, though.
Anyway, those are my highlights from the trip so far. I'm probably forgetting some, but for now, in honor of Shakespeare, St. George, and my love of Tom Hiddleston, here's a video I think you'll like: