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Two Palaces and some dreaming spires

Spent a very enjoyable couple of days with this lovely family from Charlotte in North Carolina They were determined to get the most out of their trip to England and were very busy almost every day. Joe and Lisa have two fantastic boys, the eldest, Jack, is a genuine history buff (who won his school prize for history!) and had plenty of facts of his own to hand during our trip.  Carter is just a lot of lot of fun but also bright as a button.


On Saturday we set out for Windsor Castle where we enjoyed some of the changing of the guard before visiting the beautiful St George's Chapel, admiring the incredible architecture and paying our respects to Queen Elizabeth the second at her tomb there. We took a few minutes to enjoy the atmosphere in the Quire where we admired the standards of the Knights of the Garter hung up with their swords and helms as well as standing on the  actual tomb of Henry VIII and one of his wives (Jane Seymour) in the floor there. We also marvelled at the length of Edward III's massive battle sword and saw some graffiti by soldiers carved into the walls of the chapel during the English civil War and dated 1649.

After the family had finished touring the opulent state rooms we set out for Hampton Court and saw both the Tudor and the Baroque Palaces, taking in Henry VIII's Great Hall with its huge tapestries and secret eavesdroppers. 

I loved showing the boys the pages room which is where they would have been if they were had been Tudour children. I particularly love this picture we took where Jack's hand fits almost exactly into that carved by one of the young pages into the window sill, nearly 500 years ago. It's little moments like this that bring the wonder of history alive.

We left Hampton Court in time to drive right across London so the family could watch the Arsenal-Brentford match in a real North London pub. It was a proper Ted Lasso moment!


The following Tuesday we all met up again for a trip round Oxford. I do wonder if Jack has his eye set on attending here one day, he is certainly bright enough!

On the way we stopped off in Headington to visit the grave of C.S Lewis, author of The Narnia books and famous Oxford alumnus.

I also took a picture of the family standing beneath Mr Tumnus with the famous street lamp in the background that inspired the one in Narnia.

While there we visited Saint John's college, the beautiful dining hall in Baliol Collage, stood beneath the bridge of Sighs and marvelled at the incredible architecture of the Sheldonian Theatre and the School of Divinity.

On the long ride home we shared some favourite music with one another and I learned to love country a little bit more!

Joe is head of emergency medicine at his hospital and works incredibly hard (so hard that he's never even heard of Ted Lasso!) so it's very gratifying that he and Lisa take their holidays at such a gallop, in order to show their boys the world, rather than just flaking out for a well-earned rest. Lisa is CEO of the whole family project and runs a very tight ship. She made both days delightful with her genuine southern charm and her lovely smile.

I look forward to welcoming them back to England one sunny day.

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