Monday, July 21, 2003

Snapshots of Britain

It's hard to blog when you're on vacation. Why sit behind a computer when you have places to go and people to see? Instead of a full account of my trip, here are a few shapshots.

The trip to Highgrove to meet the Prince of Wales would have gone smoother had we travelled to the right train station. When we left our train at Little Kimble, I called the hotel for a taxi. The station was tiny, completely unstaffed and lacking even a pay phone. I was fortunate to have borrowed my mother's mobile phone so I called the hotel and arranged a taxi to pick Ann and me up.

Thirty minutes later I receive a call on my mobile from the taxi driver asking where at the station we were. It turns out that he was at the correct train station of Kemble, an hour and a half away by car. Ann and I had no choice but to take the train all the way back to London, change stations and lines, buy new tickets, and take the train up to Kemble. Overall time wasted: most of an afternoon. Minutes late to the reception dinner: only 30.

Other than that the trip to Highgrove was great. Ann explored the town of Tetbury and surrounding countryside while I attended a reunion of corporate social responsibility professionals, met the Prince of Wales and enjoyed a tour of his gardens at Highgrove.

There were many other highlights of the trip. These included a spin on the London Eye with its unparalleled aerial views of the city followed by a boat trip along the Thames. We were also treated to a whirlwind hour-long snapshot of the schedule of Simon Hughes MP (Liberal, North Southwark and Bermondsey) that included a walk through the Houses of Parliament and watching him conduct a TV interview on the lawn.

In Oxford, I thoroughly failed in my attempt at punting though we later enjoyed watching Shakespeare's "As You Like It" in the garden of Wadham College, where Ann studied in her junior year.


For a split second while punting I looked like I knew what I was doing

Ann charmed my parents and my friends. Throughout the trip, we really enjoyed each other's company and scarcely got on each other's nerves.


Atop St. Paul's cathedral overlooking London

This bodes well for when we move in together later this week....

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