There really ought to be safeguards in place when logging in to write my blog, for example, how long have you been awake? Because I have been awake for (counts on fingers) 24 hours, with a one-hour nap on the plane home. I woke up at 6am London time (the sun was so bright in our hotel room) and was so squished in the middle seat on the plane, it was uncomfortable to nap. I’m trying to get back on Tempe time; my goal is to stay awake until 11.
My advice to you is this: VISIT WALES!!! There are miles and miles of verdant countryside, and from the coast road, the sea views were breathtaking. The people were so friendly and polite and all seem gifted at the exchange of light banter, happy to ask where we were from and what we’d seen. We saw ten castles, each different and exciting in its own way. My favorites were the hill-top ruins with nobody around except for us, where I could close my eyes and imagine myself there 1000 years ago when the castle was inhabited . . . and I’d listen into the wind for the whispers of ghosts.
We began our trip in London, staying at my all-time favorite hotel, CitizenM Tower of London. It’s always a thrill to be in vibrant London, my favorite big city. We spent three days exploring the city and revisiting favorite museums, on foot and by Tube. We are lucky enough to have visited the National Gallery the past four summers . . . and it never gets old. I always get goosebumps seeing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and they had a special exhibit of 75 Monets! He’s always been my favorite, and we spent hours looking at pieces we’d never seen before. THRILLING. The British museum was full of school children and large, rude Japanese tour groups, but we were able to push through them and say hi to the mummies, the ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and of course, the Rosetta Stone. We did NOT yell, “Godzilla” to distract the Japanese tourists as suggested by a friend (haha) so as to get closer to the exhibits, but seriously, the groups we came upon were impolite and did not share space well.
It was so great to get home and give BIG HUGS to our son William and his girlfriend Katherine. Ruby the Wonder Spaniel and the cats (Cosmo, Tilly, Olive, and Maisy) were very happy to see us as well. Shortly after we arrived home, the kids left for the movies and Hubby checked stuff on his computer in the office, so ever since I’ve been singing loudly which is something I couldn’t do for two weeks living in hotel rooms. We were road tripping through Wales, but any time I tried to play music, we would quickly become lost. The navigation was very demanding and I had to stay sharp: “In .5 miles take the second exit from the roundabout to B4047.” Seriously, any time I daydreamed and we missed a cue from bossy British navigation lady, we ended up on one-lane roads with huge-ass tractors coming at us at 40 mph. (What you do in that situation is run your car into the hedges and exchange happy waves with the other driver.) If I had a dollar for every time I said, “Oh shit,” our bar bill would have been covered in full!
I’m finally feeling sleepy. Jet lag sucks, but it’s a small price to pay for my two weeks of adventures in the beautiful UK.