I'm home from my spectacular, spectacular trip to England & Wales with kiffle
. It was So. Much. Fun. So much fun!
We arrived on Thursday morning and met up at Gatwick. After an hour on the customs line, E was waiting with mini-muffins and we were off to pick up our rental car and drive the two hours to Stratford. Okay, driving on the other side of the road from the other side of the car? NOT EASY. That first day I had a terrible tendency to drift to the left and, wow, the roundabouts intimidated me. By the end of the trip? Saturn: BRITISH ROAD MASTER. Kiffle will back me up. I drove in the rain and the fog and in populated areas and not only did everyone come through unscathed but the car did as well. \o/
Back at it. We arrived at The Stratford Hotel
around 2pm after a quick stop at a Welcome Break
for lunch and some cautious driving. After a nap, we went out for a quick, but yummy dinner, and then headed over to the theater for night one of Hamlet
. More on Hamlet shortly.
On Friday morning we headed out around 10am for Cardiff with noble plans of arriving shortly after noon. I'm going to blame the roundabout signs for this but, partway into the drive, we ended up driving about 25 miles in the wrong direction. Ooops! We did, however, get to stop at the Chateau Impney Hotel
for directions. Forget the stunning chateau, there were goats.
We made it to Cardiff shortly after 1pm and, by the grace of travel luck, parked around the corner from the
Millennium Center. Cardiff! The Hub!! We were the biggest dorks with our photos and I don't care because it was so much fun to visit Cardiff Bay! We have all sorts of photos of the bay and the Millennium Center and the Hub and the Dr. Who exhibition. David Tennant's tiny suit! Daleks! AN OOD (born with it's brain in its hand)
Because it couldn't be easy, we had a bit of a downpour part of the drive home from Cardiff but, as noted above, there were no casualties. We were back in Stratford by 6pm or so, napped again, and had a delicious dinner at The Oppo
. The photo of the restaurant doesn't do it justice. YUM. After drinks at the hotel bar, it was off to bed for our final day.
Saturday! Saturday was FANTASTIC. We started the morning walking around town because we hadn't had a chance while shops were open. By 12:15pm, we were at Warwick Castle
. My first castle!! There were dungeons and towers and everything you'd expect of a castle built hundreds and hundreds of years ago and continually updated through the 1800's. I could totally live like that.
Back to the hotel by 3:30pm for, yes, another nap. :) Early dinner at The White Swan
(greasy fish & chips) and then off to night two of Hamlet.
Oh, my god, this show! It was so
good. I expected it to be great but it was better than great. Patrick Stewart is a master
and David Tennant played the part like he was born for it. He brought a ton to the dramatic moments but it was Hamlet's frenetic madness where Tennant really stood out. His pacing was perfect and he brought so much humor to the role.
It's a small theater that was made all the better by our kick ass seats. (Thanks E!!) The first night, we were in the 5th row facing the front of the stage. The 2nd night, we were in front row of the next section back. From those fifth row seats the actors were right there
Um, also? I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how hot David Tennant is. Holy shit. There's this one scene where he's barefoot wearing a red t-shirt & jeans and every now and then he'd lift his arms up showing a stripe of belly and just, shit, my own belly did flips. He was cute and handsome and charming and I adore him more than ever.
On Saturday night, since we'd already seen the show, we snuck out of our aisle seats at the start of the final duel to head for the stage door. We'd popped by Thursday night but Tennant was already gone and we wanted a chance for autographs and pictures. Score![click for larger]kiffle
has all of our trip photos on her camera including the photos (and video!) of David Tennant but, when they're posted, you'll see that he was right. there. He's so skinny! And cute! And E has photos of his freckles! It was the perfect end to our fantastic trip.
This morning we were up at 6am for the two hour drive back to Gatwick and now, sadly, we're home. All good things...
PS to Kiffle: Thank you for a) enabling and b) being a fantastic traveling partner/navigator. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff!