Let me tell you a little story about two amazing people, my parents. They have four children and they promised each one of us that when we make it to ten years of marriage they receive an anniversary trip. They use their Hilton points to find us a hotel in the city (or in our case cities) of our choice and they take care of the hotel. It is really unbelievable to think how generous and thoughtful this gift is. My parents have been married for a long time and they know that relationships take work and need some nurturing time. Mom and Dad, we can't thank you enough for this amazing opportunity to see London and Paris!
Now about yesterday and today. I was to tired last night to write a blog entry but yesterday began with a visit to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. We had a great view of the pomp and circumstance so take a look at our pictures and the video!
After that we headed over to Westminster Abbey at took the audio guided tour. Wow! What a beautiful place. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the Abbey, but sometimes I think that is nice because then instead of trying to get the best picture we are actually appreciating the building and tombs and memorial and honoring this great place of worship. Many weddings, coronations and funerals for many famous people have happened here and so many famous members of the monarchy are buried there. We also saw the burial sites for Chaucer, Issac Newton, Charles Darwin and Laurence Olivier to name a few.
We left the Abbey and walked back towards the hotel. We ate lunch at a place that we don't want to talk about because the service was so horrendous that we thought we would scream by the time we left and then we went back to the hotel. We used a few hours of the day to catch up on emails watch some faculty training modules, update our syllabi and other not so exciting things like that.
Our last London adventure was seeing a show with Rick and Tina Barnes. Rick is a faculty member sailing with us and we sailed together in Fall of 2010. We went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together. This is completely different than both the movies you might know and is also different than the musical Willy Wonka that I know a lot of my students have done or seen. The music and lyrics are by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman who did Hairspray and Catch Me if You Can. It was directed by Sam Mendes who founded the Donmar Warehouse and is a very renowned director. The show was definitely a spectacle. The sets and costumes were just indescribable. As a show it probably wasn't as strong as the scenic elements or the other version, but there was so much to be appreciated in the performances and the retelling of this fantastic story more from the perspective of the Ronald Dahl book.
Today we board a train to Southampton (if they take our luggage) and we will be there for two days in a hotel where we start faculty orientation. We will be spending the evening in the Laundromat! Glamour!! This are definitely shifting as we go from vacation to faculty but we are excited about this new chapter.