Mum and I are starting to formulate more solid plans for the first few days that Matt and I will be in the UK this autumn. We arrive in London, and are going to be staying at an old apartment near St Paul's Cathedral, I can't remember if it's 17th or 18th century, but it's tiny and lopsided, and there's one tricky step halfway up the stairs that every family member has tripped on at some point. We've stayed there twice before as a family, once just after my 9th birthday, and once for my graduation/Dad's 60th birthday. We'll arrive Friday afternoon and make our own way to meet Mum and Dad at the place on Clothfair (that's the name of the street). By that point we'll be pretty tired from 24 hours or so of travel, we'll probably limit our exploration to a walk down to St Paul's to keep us awake until a decent British Summer Time bedtime.
The first full day in London I want to do a lot of walking around, to combat jetlag, and because walking around the centre of London is a great way to see all the different architectural styles and get a feel for the city. At some point we'll go see a play, whatever's on, interesting, and has standby seats available. There's the Brittish Museum, home of the Rosetta Stone and the Lewis Chess Men, among other things. I'd like to show Matt where I lived at some point, but it's not as important as seeing the more well known parts of London, after all, walking around the city was the part I liked most about living there. The day we leave London, we're going to go see the stone circle at Avebury, and then Stonehenge.
Until last week I thought we'd only be able to see Stonehenge from a distance, they limit access to the circle because of past vandalism, people trying to chip off bits as keepsakes, and I think there was even some grafitti at one point. However, looking through the English Heritage website I found that you can make an appointment to walk around inside the site itself, as long as you go either before regular opening hours, or after. So Mum is going to try to set us up with an appointment in the evening. I hope it works out, they're really cagey about letting people in, we have to list the photographic equipment we'll be using, and what we'll use the photographs for...if there's any intent to use the images for commercial purposes you have to clear it all with them before they let you in. As I said: cagey.
I'm very excited at the possibility of seeing the henge from the inside, and that we'll be able to work it in to Matt's first visit to the UK. My parents are being typically accomodating and generous, they're probably looking forward to another family tour of sites of interest, and they're starting to turn the original plan of just getting to Edinburgh and doing day trips from there into a whirlwind ancient history tour of the entire country.
Our Handfasting is in a month, we've finished the ceremony and collected most of the props, now we just need to orchestrate the more mundane aspects of carting food for 20 up to Idyllwild. My dress should be finished any day now, I'm waiting for an email from Peldyn to let me know it's on it's way. The rings...should arrive in the store in time. If they don't there will be hell to pay after they screwed up the resizing and forced us to put in a special order at the last possible moment. I'm trying not to think about the possiblilty of not getting them in time, since there's nothing I can really do about it.
I still can't believe we might get into Stonehenge! Hooray for researching things in advance.