God save the Queen… Part 2

A few years ago, when Jessica was in high school, she got picked to be on the Ambassadors of Music tour. This is a program where all the best musicians in school marching bands all over California were picked to go to Europe for a few weeks, and play concerts in different cities. (That’s right, Jessica was a band geek. Those kids my friends made fun of in high school are now the cool kids… go figure… and Jessica plays a mean flute)… I got to go along. It was my second time in Europe.

So, in honor of the Queen’s festivities, here are a few pictures and some accompanying observations from our time in England…

We drove straight from the airport to Windsor castle. Notice how I managed to get some pretty flowers into the picture, as well as the beautiful tower. My favorite part of Windsor castle… (named after the famous tie-knot)… was the collection of weapons and armor inside. There were metal chest pieces… (called a cuirass)… taken from the French dead at Waterloo, and weapons from all the parts of the old British Empire. And in a glass-fronted cabinet, I saw the bullet that killed Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, which to a guy who likes military history is pretty freekin awesome.

I walked along the Thames before meeting Jess and some of her friends to have tea at a place that overlooked the river. On the way I saw a boy about 15 years old throwing rocks at the beautiful white swans. I asked him casually if he could swim. He seemed confused and asked me why I wanted to know. I told him that it might be a useful skill to have, considering the fact that if he kept throwing rocks at the swans, he was going to be joining them in the river. He took my point and went on his way.

Then it was on to London for three glorious days.

I wasn’t an official chaperon, so I had quite a lot of time to wander on my own… particularly as Jess had her friends and her boyfriend with her, and the last thing teenagers want to do is spend time with their dad. So I had some quaint little adventures. I found this place…

And I got a pretty good little buzz going on some excellent English beer. They also served these green-lipped muscles in a cheesy sauce that were one of the better things I have ever eaten. I don’t know why the English have a reputation for being less than stellar in their contributions to fine cuisine. It seems a tad unfair.

While I was sitting in the pub, getting my buzz on, my daughter and a large group of her friends wandered in. Man, Americans are noisy. I pretended not to know them, a trick I borrowed from my daughter, by the way, and shaking my head in mock disapproval, said to the waitress, “Americans… you can’t live with them, you can’t invade Iraq without them.” Maybe this was funnier back closer to the event. Now that it is ancient history… wait, what? We are STILL in Iraq you say? Oh, well… she seemed to think it was funny. I guess she was being polite.

One of the highlights of the entire trip was spending a few glorious hours in this place…

Oh, yeah, the Imperial War Museum. I have lots of pictures of the inside, if anyone is interested. Tanks, guns, swords, a Messerschmidt fighter and a Sopwith camel hanging from the ceiling. A buzz bomb, V2 rocket… oh, man, I was in seventh heaven.

Just so you know, I have pictures of us all over Europe, so just let me know if you think I should continue with the saga after my England bit is done. Venice, Paris, the Alps… I could stretch this out for weeks…

These pictures are very large, so I will give you time to digest them. I will be back soon with part 3, where I meet the Queen and get knighted…

Not really, just wanted to see if you had fallen asleep.

About pouringmyartout

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30 Responses to God save the Queen… Part 2

  1. Sounds like you two had a great trip. What a great memory for you two to always have together

  2. joehoover says:

    great to read your view on my city. carry on with the whole european odyssey

  3. Auntie Em says:

    Oooo! Yes, please! More pics especially! And you got major good karma for stopping a potential swan basher on foreign soil…what do you know…a good American…lol.

  4. lucky bugger………..id love to go to the war meuseum……….and the tank meuseum in devon…i believe they have a tiger there…….xcant wait to see the queen chopping your head off………

  5. Margie says:

    London is a fabulous city – you certainly saw most of the best bits!

  6. So jealous… and the pictures are great…

  7. Gemma says:

    The swan. Hysterical. Dope! ( not you,of course )
    The Sherlock Holmes Restaurant pic is fabulous. The windows, plants, flowers, people. Love it. I got that same buzz at TGI Friday’s today on some delish Blue Moon! But I’m thinking, with the trip and all, your buzz was better.
    Keep it comin’. These photos (and the stories that go with them) need to be shared 😀

  8. elroyjones says:

    More!
    Leave out the Hostel parts. That movie was scary, I had to cover my eyes.

  9. Mooselicker says:

    Shoulda gone to the Sher “Lock N Pop” Homes Restaurant instead. They’ve got watermelon flavored everything!

    Your European vacation seems like the start to a Hostel movie. All peaceful in Western Europe and the closer you get to Russia the more dangerous things get. You should write more about it. Maybe don’t do it all in a row, but spread it out?

  10. Dear pmao,

    Yes, yes, yes, continue with the rest of your trip, Venice, Paris, the Alps — I’m interested, this isn’t snoring material. 😉

    Love Dotty xxx

  11. Good for you, swan defender.

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