Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trip to London!

So, yes, we did attend John's graduation in London.  And since it was his graduation, we did take our youngest two children along. (17 yo and 19 yo)  John's older brother Mike and sister Anne with her husband Zach also came to London and met us there, along with my sister and her two sons.  And since we had traveled all the way across the Atlantic, we also took four days to spend in Paris and about four days to spend in Ireland.  I'e always wanted to go to Ireland and since we were so close.....well, we just had to go.

In London we stayed at a very simple and affordable Bed & Breakfast, the Saint David's Hotel.  It was close to the tube stop as well as the bus stop.  The people running it were very helpful and kind.  And they gave me a full, hot, gluten free breakfast every morning!!  They knew about gluten.  They were careful, and I felt very confident eating their delicious breakfast.  It was a very good stay.

In London we visited the Royal Academy of Music (John's school) and attended the graduation there, of course.  The musical preludes were excellent, needless to say.  When they played "God Save the Queen" to open the ceremony my family members all looked at each other, unsure of what to do.  Do we join in?  Do we stand there rebelliously silent?  Do we sing "My Country Tis of Thee" (jk)  In the end, I think we kind of hummed along quietly.

I was quite sure that I had successfully videotaped John receiving his diploma but no such luck.  Not sure what I did wrong.

Only four of us could attend the actual graduation ceremony so Mike and I and John's two oldest siblings attended.  All the rest of the family joined us at the reception afterwards.  John's many international friends seemed impressed that he had 11 family members in London for the event.  Not sure how we even did it.

The Royal Academy of Music is a very beautiful school.  The graduation was at an old church across the street and the reception was in a lovely room at the Academy.  There was a stage at one end where John had played his master's recital and so I was able to picture the setting that had been the subject of so many of my prayers.  I had really wanted to be there.  On the stage was a magnificent organ, a gift from The Academy's most famous student who never graduated, Elton John.

Here are John and a few of his friends tossing their Grad caps in front of Elton John's gift!

More to come!!

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