July has been crazy busy with all of the end of year school stuff, sports, visitors, a trip to the ER and a lot of RAIN! But as of this week we have had some HOT weather and hoping that summer has finally arrived...on July 23! We are gearing up for a visit today from Pete's sister's daughter Kate from Texas for an epic Olympic extravaganza! How many events, castles, retail shops, palaces, trains, tubes and tourist sites can we fit in 9 days? Ready go!
But a first a recap of the past month:
Henry is winding up his first cricket season. We had a lot of rain outs but we learned a lot about the sport of cricket. Henry's coach can never remember any one's name so he calls Henry "American boy" and me Jenny. Cricket is a lot like baseball...slow pace but a lot of strategery and brilliant to watch when the sun is shining. Not so great when it is cold and damp. But the best bit is that they have a full bar at the pitch...parents having a pint while the games goes on and on and on...
|Cricket...slowly understanding the concept.|
I like to watch cricket with Henry's friend Jamie-he knows his stuff!
|After Henry finished his batting.|
|May was chosen to represent her school, Polehampton, at the annual District running day.|
She ran in the Mixed 80m relay with a baton pass!
Henry would have competed in the swimming Gala but he ended up in the hospital for a night - more on that below. Henry is very into tennis and is playing every chance he can get. He is going to tennis camp after the Olympics once May resumes her gym training.
|May after her come from behind victory!|
|More cricket - Henry batting!|
|May and her relay team at the District Running Day!|
|Run, May, RUN!|
|May's cake she made!|
|Henry and his mate Jamie enjoying burgers and corn on the cob!|
|Jamie conflicted...UK or USA?|
|Boys and fire!|
|Kaboom...note the American football! We are slowly converting him to our ways...|
|Hampton Court Palace-home of King Henry VIII Tudor|
|Love this pic-most beautiful gardens we have seen!|
|King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn-head still intact!|
Pete mentioned to me one day that a co-worker of his was selling some Madonna tickets and did I want them...I said yes, a 1,000 times, YES! She was playing in Hyde Park on a Tuesday night - it was going to be muddy from all of the rain but I called up Dina and she was game to give it a go! Madonna in Hyde Park, in London, a week before the Olympics? YES!
I was able to sneak into London early in the afternoon so I walked miles just poking around L-Town! Dina and I met at the Dorechester Hotel in Mayfair for a pre-concert glass of vino, then headed over to the Audley Pub for another pre-concert glass of vino. Audley is a famous pub where all the young financial boys go...it is packed with men in suits drinking pints! We headed to the concert, the sky was clear and the mud was actually quite minimal! LMFAO (Party Rock and I'm Sexy and I
Know It fame) opened for Madonna and were hilarious! Madonna can put on a show and is controversial as hell - guns, blood, swastikas, and Catholic Church references galore! She was good but she really sang only a few of her hits! She had some pre-recorded hits she mashed up into some of her new stuff and that's how she got them in without really "singing" them. Kind of lame if you ask me. But at 53 she can still rock on! It was a late night (despite the Hyde Park noise cut off time of 10:30pm) but so much fun!
|Pre-Madonna concert cocktails at The Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair|
|That's how we roll- hot pink and blue Lamborginis!|
|Gettin' my festival wellies on! Because of all the rain Hyde Park was muddy!|
|She took Madonna seriously!|
|Drinking cheap wine out of mini-plastic bottles was not beneath us!|
|Festival wear and the horrid jean shorts and thin black tights look!|
|More bad fashion choices!|
|The real Madonna? Or was it the CUP o' wine playing tricks on our eyes?|
|Glamour in a bottle!|
|Pete was SO HAPPY to spend time with one of his besties!|
|The kids were happy to see Tom Bice...|
|until all the fun put Henry in the hospital for a night! Nasty chest infection/pneumonia! Good times-another week of school missed! Henry missed at least 13 days of school since April 18 due to all the colds he got!|
|Stonor Park-gorgeous setting!|
|You climb the hill, you get to run down the hill!|
|Here they come, like a swarm of bees down the countryside.|
|We liked Stonor Park so much, we went back the next day to hike.|
|Darling farm shop/cafe/pub we found!|
|A little after-hike ice cream and then we had the Orlando Bloom sighting!|
|Henry's two teachers|
|He had a great experience at Polehampton!|
|Henry and his teacher Mrs. Stockdale|
|Henry and his mates|
|Last day of school|
|The gang going on to Year 7 at The Piggott Academy|
|May and her mates, Larissa and Hermione|
|First sunny evening at the George and Dragon deck|
|Post-muddy mtn bike ride ice cream at the Sonning Lock Tea House|
|Took the kids to Thorpe Park amusement park for getting such good report cards. It was the first hot day and they had great water rides. This is the Tidal Wave-we were soaked to the bone but it felt great!|
|For those of you familiar with Sun Valley-we found a Desperado's!|
Not quite the same!
|The crowd is building!|
|Here come the official Torch Relay vehicles and the odd Olympic mascot!|
|Official Torch bus with all the past and future runners and their torches!|
|Here comes the corporate sponsorship peeps!|
|Here she comes with the torch!|
|The torch close up!|
|Loads of cyclists following the torch!|
|At the "beach" in Richmond feeding the ducks post-torch!|
|The Queen's barge (with the rowers) is docked in Richmond|