July 4th

This morning, we got up and got ready to go to the pool. We wanted to get there right when it opened. We didn’t have too much time to relax at the pool before our families were arriving for 4th. We were having a cookout. I always wear my American flag dress on the fourth of July dress. I didn’t bother with a selfie this year.

After we came back from the pool the madness set in. Once we came home, I got a shower and got ready for our parents to arrive. While I was in the shower, I listen to music on my phone (I keep my phone in the bathroom, in a glass container. I was listening to Florence and the Machine. I had the music going and the bathroom fan going. Thankfully, I was finishing up, but I heard Andrew yelling for me, “Danielle!” He was standing at the bottom of the stairs. He didn’t bother coming upstairs to tell me that his Dad was 15 mins away with Aunt Tootsie. I got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me and opened the door and said, “I can’t hear you.” He said, “Turn the music down.” I said, “come up and talk to me.” He just laughed, then said, “My dad is on his way with Aunt Tootsie they will be here in 15 mins.” I said, “Okay, I am coming down.” I got dried off and dressed in my American flag dress. I have to wear shorts underneath, it is a bit too short in the back. It is cut weird. I got it at the goodwill.

When I went downstairs, I started making buffalo chicken dip. His dad arrived with Aunt Tootsie, walked in through the living room and said, “Where’s Dwarfy?” He calls me Dwarfy because I am short. I am 5’3 and everyone else is so tall in this family, including Andrew. I said, “I am in here.” When he came into the kitchen, he said, “What are you making?” I said, “Buffalo Chicken Dip.” While I was waiting for the oven to heat up, I started making guacamole. It was going to be one of those days, where I rarely sit and enjoy the company.
A little while later my parents arrived, the gang was all here. When I went to the movies with my dad, my dad opened his trunk of his SUV and gave me 75.00 of fireworks. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with them. I know they are legal now in Pennsylvania, but I have nowhere to set them off. We have neighbors and trees our HOA would be so mad if we burned our grass. I didn’t see how we would have any use for them. Well, last night, Andrew and I sorted through them and we were able to pull some small ones out that we could set off, but the ones that have artillery shells were going to have to wait for another day. My dad is so into fireworks and setting them off, and I think it’s cool, but there is a time and definitely a place for all that. It’s not the same anymore, where liability is a huge issue.
Andrew and his dad cooked dinner outside on the grill. His dad brought his grill, of course, Andrew had his.  It was nice for them to grill together. I was happy they got to spend some father/son time together. My dad hung outside with them as they grilled. I made sure everyone was staying hydrated. Dinner was fabulous; Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, chicken salad, fruit, and Aunt Tootsie’s German chocolate cake! It was nice to spend time together.
Around 5pm, Andrew’s mom left, so did Dad and Aunt Tootsie. I sent some leftovers home for everyone. My dad, my mom, myself, and Drew set off some fireworks in the backyard. I am such a Daddy’s girl. The look on my dad’s face, when I told him we couldn’t set any of those fireworks off was just too much. I hate bumming him out. I am glad we were able to set off some. My mom was talking about making this a tradition. We will see. 🙂

Last Day in England: Hampton Court

We took the train to Hampton Court palace today. When we got off the train, I noticed that the town looked kind of ghetto. We made our way to the palace and checked in, and we bought a guide book when we purchased the tickets. I was so excited. There she was the Tudor rose!

When you first enter into the courtyard of the Palace, it is like entering into a different time. It looks like a scene from a movie,  hidden corridors, tower, so many windows, and rooms.
  
The Great Hall was my favorite, this is where Henry VIII entertained his guest, with his wives and they ate, sang, and danced.
 

The dinner table where the King and his Queen would sit and eat, so cool!  
My second most favorite element of the palace was the ceiling in Jane Seymour’s room:

This is the privy closet, where Katherine Parr and Henry VIII were married:
 There is so much talk about King Henry VIII being this womanizer guy, and he gets so much bad rap, but I always have been a fan of his. I saw this quote on one of the walls, and I thought that is so true about him. He wanted virtue, glory, and immortality.  Upon the death of Henry the VIII Tudor version of the palace was pretty much destroyed by King William the III. The reconstruction was never finished, so the palace is now a combination of Tudor and Baroque style.  King George II was the last monarch to reside in Hampton court. As soon as you come across the Queen’s Stairs, you enter into the 18th Baroque life.

 
The great fountain (Below) is the view from the Queen’s bedroom. The Baroque half of Hampton Court was intended to mimic Versailles.

 
I could live here it was so beautiful.
Last,  but not least the magical and gorgeous Tudor gardens!
 


It really hit me, when we were in Hampton Court, that this was it. This was the last attraction on the books for our trip to Europe. Tomorrow, we had to head back to the states. I am so not looking forward to going home. I am already anxious to come back to Europe, especially France.
 On the train back to Westminster, Park Plaza. We were so tired and so hot after this day. When we got back to the hotel. We took a very long nap, and then got ready to head to dinner. We wanted to find one more traditional English pub. When we asked the concierge, he told us to go to Sherlock Holmes, or to Prince Albert’s pub. Both were a bit of a walk, but we didn’t realize how far a bit of a walk was. We decided on Sherlock Holmes. It took us a little while to find it, and some of the areas, were really shady that we were walking through, but eventually we found it.

  
We have been so blessed on this trip to see all that we wanted to see. I am so grateful for all of our blessings. We did not want to go back to the States.