Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas with the Queen

This Christmas was a little different.

We went to see the Queen.

I don't really understand why England still has a royal family, but it was still fun to see them. We spent a total of eight hours driving and waiting (mostly just waiting) at the Sandringham Estate. I had a really great view until  a lady on a scooter with unnecessarily tall and puffy hair zipped in at the last second. Right in front of me. If I hadn't been standing in the freezing cold for four hours when she decided to show up, I probably would have been less upset about it. I still managed to snap some pretty great photos despite the puffball. 

We had some false information and arrived more than three hours early so we ended up at the head of a line of about a thousand people.

I really enjoyed how this man was standing. 
These were a couple of the royal family's guards. I theorized that their umbrellas are actually hidden swords.

The woman in red wasn't actually with us, but she did an excellent job pretending.

All the children with flowers lined up to present them to the Queen. It was really sweet and made us wish that we had brought a child. 

 Camilla was also accepting flowers.


We returned from our excursion to finish our day more traditionally. Of course, when all of your family is 5000 miles away, traditions are a little more difficult to practice. So, in the spirit of all things British, Christmas crackers were pulled with a loud bang and crowns were worn all around! 

Forrest, having recently acquired an enormous smoker, decided that Christmas was the time to break it in. And break it in, he did. We had the most delicious turkey and ham in the history of Christmas. That man really knows his way around a smoker. 

Despite the worry and stress the past couple of months with all of Forrest's medical grief, this year has been the best one yet. I am so thankful for my husband and his strength. He is the most valiant and determined person I know. 

I am so excited for all the years we have ahead of us and all of the experiences that are just waiting to be ours. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Concerning Oxford

My sister is here! I have only seen her once in the last 18 months so this has been a highly anticipated visit. I made her a gnome hat as a welcoming gift. I also made one for myself so we would match like when we were small. People thought we were twins back then. 

Forrest was glad to see her too.

We ventured to Oxford to see J. R. R. Tolkien's grave and various houses he lived in and churches he attended before we watched The Hobbit.

Even though I'm not Catholic, I've always wanted to light a candle in a big cathedral. So I did. 

We ate at the famous Eagle and Child for lunch in order to fulfill Rachel's lifelong dream. She's kind of obsessed with old J.R.R.

More adventures to come! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Wicked Birthday

The 7th was my birthday and Forrest took me to see Wicked. We were three rows from the front and it was a really great show. The day before the show, we celebrated with some friends and a cake. A really cute cake. 

Forrest really went all out on this one. 

We went to the Museum of London before the performance and took the Tube from Baker Street, which happens to be my favorite station in London. It is also one of the very first Underground stations ever, so there's a fun fact.

London was looking very Christmasy and sparkly. It was a perfect day with no rain and not too freezing. I was wearing my new (birthday!) rain boots so I was kind of hoping it would rain-just a little. Alas, I had to make do with walking through existing puddles.

HBD to me!