Saturday morning was spent on a walking tour about The Beatles in London. The tour guide has literally written the book on subject, so he was quite informative. We saw places where the band filmed movie scenes, former homes where they wrote specific songs, where Ringo and Paul got married, places they worked, and finished at Abbey Road. I love The Beatles, and it was really fun to see some of their old haunts. Alas, neither Ringo nor Paul showed up.
That afternoon I went the Drury Lane Theater to see "The Lord of the Rings" musical. The effects were really something to see, and the story shouldn't have been too hard to follow if you'd never read the books or seen the movies. I was also really impressed by the acrobatics, particularly of the orcs. Sadly, the music started to all sound the same, and I couldn't really understand most of the lyrics. Also, putting such an epic story on stage in three hours loses something. It doesn't feel nearly as epic as it should. Still, I'm glad I saw it.
Dinner was at another of my favorites - Pret a Manger. Then, I wandered and shopped for awhile, making sure to pick up the British versions of the Harry Potter books for Eilonwy and me, as well as a few sweets at Tesco (hooray for HobKnob's, Cadbury's, and Jelly Babies!) I found myself back in Covent Garden, sitting on a bench, when a street performer started up. It was just the thing I needed to finish off my day.
Both days, Grandma met me at home with hot chocolate to warm me up. The weather cooperated for most of my visit, as long as I dressed warmly. Sunday and Monday, I spent time with my grandparents, visiting or kicking their trash at Boggle. One of my second cousins is in their ward, since he married a Brit, and it was neat to see him. We did have a bit a struggle packing me up for home, but I got all my stuff in one suitcase and a carry-on, with a suitcase leftover for some things they were ready to send home.
New Year's Eve, we partied with several other temple workers and watched the countdown and fireworks happening in downtown London. The fireworks, even on TV, were the best display I'd ever seen, even compared to DC on July 4th. So cool! The party itself was surprisingly fun, which may have something do with winning a few more rounds of Boggle and one of Rummikub. I lost one though, so I maintained some humility.My trip home was uneventful, though my last flight from Montreal was slightly delayed. Overall, it was a great holiday! I'm so grateful for the best grandparents in the world and spending time in one of my favorite places on Earth. I have five new stamps in my passport, and loads of wonderful memories.
I also have loads of pictures, but those will have to wait until another day. I'll let you know as soon as they're up!