Our first visitors (Pete’s parents, my MIL & FIL) have come and gone. We had a fabulous time doing touristy things and doing nothing at all – just hanging out. They safely arrived at our flat on Wednesday morning after a VERY long car ride from Heathrow. (It’s a tossup how long your commute is going to be – I took a car the first time I visited Pete when he was living in Canary Wharf and it took almost 2 hours. After that I swore off the car service, determined that the Heathrow and tube was much more time AND monetarily efficient. Well that worked out very well one trip and was a complete disaster the next. Really you never predict what the human/car traffic is going to like.) Pete and I had to work on Wednesday so they were left to fend for themselves for the day. Wednesday night after work we were able to all meet up from dinner.
Thursday **Happy Thanksgiving!** (I had Thursday and Friday off as they ARE US holidays and, although I’m living in London, I AM on a US contract) Pete had to work but that didn’t stop the rest of us from setting out to explore the city. We made our way to Westminster were we walked by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – both are closed to visitors due to the terrorist threats or potential threats, don’t know if there have been any official threats.
Next stop: Westminster Abbey. I had visited during my 2006 Babson trip but this visit took on a whole new meeting now that the it has been announce the royal wedding will be there in April 2011 (the weekend of April 29th to be exact. I remember because it has been announced that the 29th will be a public holiday here in England – thank you Prince William. This is even more exciting because Good Friday and Easter Monday fall on April 22nd & 25th and May 2nd is a Bank Holiday – you could be out of the office for seven days but only have to take of three, good deal).
I struck up a conversation with one of the Abbey keepers to get the 411 on the wedding. The Abbey seats over 2,000 people and they expect a full house for the wedding (well duh). All guest must have an invitation. Rumor has it that there will be a lottery of some sort that will allow members of the public the chance to attend the wedding – which is very nice, since they are funding it. Seriously though, if you got picked, what would you wear to the royal wedding? Think about it. The sad thing is that because of the way the church alter is set-up not too many people will actually be able to physically see the service. They will have screens projecting throughout the abbey but we all know that’s not quite as good as the real thing.
We had a very good time touring the abbey. I only took a few pictures before MIL pointed out that photographer was forbidden…ops. Lots of laughs, although the abbey is a glorified, royal graveyard. Tombs, caskets, and gravestones…EVERYWHERE! The gravestones had dates as early as 1290 and as recent as the 1990’s. Lots of history in there, very interesting.