Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ENGLAND {Day 1: Windsor and Eton}

About 3 years ago when Trav's cancer decided to make our life awfully hard,
my friends spent a lot of time trying to distract me.
They brought me lovely gifts every week and left them on my stoop.
They made sure I had Diet Coke and a large supply of chocolate.
We had lots of late night movies and they've fed me more dinners then I deserve.
We planned a few fun little get aways (and took them!)
And we started talking about our DREAM trip that someday we would hopefully take,
to England.

Over the past few years my wonderful friend Julie and I have texted pics of 
places we would love to visit,
and we've joked about it off and on....
And then somehow the joke became reality.

I wasn't really expecting any of my friends to be able to leave their families for such 
an extravagant trip.
I know most of them would rather spend that money with their husbands,
and taking such a long trip is impossible...
but Julie is a traveler and a wanderlust at heart,
and her husband was incredibly kind to send her packing.

We kept looking at each other during the trip and saying, 
"Are we really doing this?"
Something we've dreamed of and joked about for so long-and we really did it.

We knew when we were crying tears of laughter before we'd even left that we were gonna have a great trip...
and the empty plane ride was a good omen of how lucky we would get on this trip.
We all tease Julie that she lives a charmed life, and I saw it many times during the week!
We flew into London and grabbed a rental car.
(They upgraded us to this lovely Jeep Cherokee...
we thought it was super nice, until we signed the papers and remembered we'd be 
driving the wrong side of the SKINNY roads in our big vehicle.  And I'll tell you this,
we laughed a lot in that Jeep).

We headed straight for Windsor Castle.
We walked the winding streets of Windsor up to the castle just in time for the changing of the guards and the realization that the Queen was in residence.

We toured the castle and were awed by it's opulence,
and really wished we could've walked through the state apartments...
(We both didn't love the audio tour, which talked a lot about the Art and not a lot about the History,
but it still was so amazing to see and to actually be there!)

Just across the Thames from Windsor is Eton.
I actually think I enjoyed seeing Eton more than Windsor...
it was a lovely, and much quieter little village.
And seeing the school was pretty amazing.
We saw lots of boys wandering around, clearly made of money,
and I couldn't help but imagine shipping my kids of to a really expensive, old private school.
I just couldn't do it!
For some reason these prestigious schools really interest me.
And guess what we found in Windsor!
We had to go in and talk ourselves into not bringing home too much!
We also ordered a little treat, (the caramel slice), that would become our favorite little morsel and I wont even tell you how many we devoured while there!

A private Garden in Eton.

After a VERY long plane ride, and walking MILES and MILES,
we were exhausted.  And that is an understatement.
We wandered back to our hotel crying and laughing all at once and I'm positive that people must have thought we were drunk...
nope, just tired!
We popped ourselves into bed by 8:30 and slept at least 12 hours so we could try and get used to the large time zone.

It was a dreamy first day!

Things I want to remember about Day 1: 
Meeting our first friend on the plane while Julie played therepist. Our first Fish & Chips, Awful Diet Pepsi, "How long does it take to get to Hampton Court?" 

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