London-Day 3

I know I’m showing my age but I grew up during the years in which HBO was the channel that showed Wimbledon, not ESPN. Back when I was a kid I only took tennis lessons because my mom made me so although I knew a little bit about tennis I was more annoyed when the tennis tournament from England took over HBO for two weeks during my summer vacation from school. Then in the summer of 1994 something changed. I decided to actually watch Wimbledon since nothing else was on. I was also interested to see how the legendary Martina Navratilova did in her final showing at her favorite grand slam. That summer much to my surprise I found that I actually really loved tennis. Ever since then I’ve been a big tennis fan. Not only to I love to watch but I also love to play. Over the years I have been able to attend the WTA event in Los Angeles twice.

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The WTA event in San Diego.

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I have also been lucky enough to twice attend the Indian Wells combined men’s and women’s event with my husband.

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In the spring of 2012 when we visited Paris we went around the outside of Roland Garros but our schedule did not allow us the time to go inside.

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I wasn’t going to let the same thing happen on our trip to London. I made it very clear to my husband that visiting Wimbledon and going on the tour of the grounds was an absolute must for me. So that hallowed grounds of Wimbledon was our destination for the third day of our trip to London.

Unfortunately, I had a difficult time sleeping on the second night of our trip. Thank goodness for coffee. After having breakfast and showering we headed out for the day. This time instead of taking the tube into the city we took the tube into the suburbs where Wimbledon is.

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There was a fair amount of track that was above ground which made me happy because it gave me more to look at. When we got off the train we were both struck by how cute the area was. The walk from the train station to the tennis grounds was about a mile but it was a pretty walk.

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When we got to the grounds of Wimbledon I was super excited.

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We were there early enough that we were able to be a part of the first tour of the day.  The tour of the grounds lasted about ninety minutes. It was really fascinating to not only see the beautiful grass courts but to hear about all of the work that goes into getting the grass in exactly the correct condition for the tournament in late June and early July.

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Our tour also allowed us to go into areas that obviously aren’t open to the public during the tournament.

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I loved going into the press room where the players give their press conferences after their matches.

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As much as I loved all of the press stuff the highlight of the tour was, of course, centre court.

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It was amazing to sit in those seats and look at the beautiful grass court and think about all of the amazing matches I’ve watched played on that court since I really got into tennis in 1994.

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When the tour was over I was hoping to enjoy some strawberries and cream but they weren’t serving them in April. Oh well. After having a quick snack we checked out the museum. I visited the museum at the International Hall of Fame in Newport in 2010.

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However, I was very rushed because I had to drive back to New York City to catch a flight so it was nice to be able to take my time in this museum. I loved seeing some of the old tennis stuff.

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Not to mention it was really amazing to see the champions’ trophies for both the men and the women.

After the museum I, naturally, had to buy several items at the gift shop.

Since we got to Wimbledon so early in the day we were able to find the time to do a second big activity in the day. We walked back to the train station and took the tube all the way back into the more central part of London.

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It was a beautiful mostly sunny day so when we arrived at St. James’s Park we found that there were a lot of people out and about.

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I was getting tired so I had to get some coffee. Once I got some coffee and my husband got some hot chocolate we enjoyed walking around this gorgeous park and making our way to our next true destination.

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That destination was Buckingham Palace. But before we actually made it to the Palace we got a bit distracted by a giant monument for Queen Victoria.

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We are both excited to see Buckingham Palace.

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Unfortunately, tours inside of the palace are not available in April so we had to make do with seeing the outside. Still it was pretty amazing. One of the highlights of seeing Buckingham Palace was seeing the guards.

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It was amusing being among the tourists who got very excited when one of them started marching back and forth.  I hope one day I can visit London again during a time of year when we can go into Buckingham Palace.

As we made our way away from Buckingham Palace we found a nice monument dedicated to the people of Canada who fought alongside the British during the World Wars.

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We discussed what to do for dinner as we walked through a small section of Green Park. There were a couple more memorials we came across as we made our way to the tube station.

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The most famous would be the Wellington Arch.

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We decided to head toward Piccadilly Circus and find a place for dinner there. I had suspected that Piccadilly Circus wouldn’t be our cup of tea and I was right. I was very Hollywood and Highland, very Vegas Strip or very Times Square. It was very busy and very touristy which didn’t really surprise me but since it is so famous it is something you need to see.

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We wondered around for a little bit taking pictures in Chinatown and buying souvenirs.

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But since we weren’t interested in any of the lame American chain restaurants they had we decided to head back to our hotel and eat somewhere around there.

One of the cuisines I wanted to have on our trip was Indian so that night we had dinner at a nice Indian place. I had delicious Lamb Rogan Josh.

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My husband had Chicken Korma.

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We both enjoyed our meals. Since I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep the night before I was exhausted but still thrilled I had gotten to go to Wimbledon. It had been a great day and a dream come true.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

 

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