Happy Holidays from England! While everyone was tucked in their beds and dreaming of sugar plum fairies, I was whirling 4,209 miles across the ocean to London, England. I was lucky enough to be upgraded to business class, and it was amaaaaazing. I was greeted with a glass of bubbly and had my "order" taken for my in flight meal. Amenities included a 3 course meal, a fully reclining bed, and a personal tv stocked with a full library of movies and tv shows. They even had my favorite movie ever.. UP. I skipped the free cocktails ( say whaaat) but I wished I had gotten a glass of wine because it perhaps would have helped me sleep better. I managed to sneak in a couple winks but felt too excited and odd sleeping in a room full of strangers. So this is how the other half lives..
I also managed to fend off jet lag long enough to spend Christmas with my cousin and several of her friends! This morning, I was feeling adventurous enough to head out on the town. Today also happened to be Boxing Day which is the European Version of Black Friday. It was insane, and entertaining to watch everyone clamor over the last $5 pair of shoes. I guess women are the same all over the world, we can't resist a sale.
I skipped around Bury St Edmunds, a small town about 60 miles from London. Since everyone was shopping, I was fortunate to be able to have a very private afternoon exploring the Abbey Ruins, which was founded in 633 A.D. The local pigeons found me very entertaining, three birds became my entourage for most of the outdoor exploration. Even other people asked me if they belonged to me. The whole town is incredibly ancient, and sprang up around this abbey. The town is associated with Magna Carta. In 1214 the barons of England are believed to have met in the Abbey Church and sworn to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, the document which influenced the creation of the Magna Carta.
I spent a significant part of my afternoon here in the Abbey Gardens, ruins, and St. Edmunds Cathedral, later attending the 3:30 worship. Since I have never been overly religious, I was struck by how much I enjoyed the service. Maybe it was the experience of being inside this beautiful cathedral, or the power of the priest's voice, but I was taken by all of it. My day ended at The Nutshell, The self proclaimed "smallest pub in England". It holds a whopping total of 9 people.
So stateside we complain that in the winter the sun sets too early... Well here it rises around 9am and sets at 3pm! Today was the first official day of my vacation, and I couldn't have spent it a better way. Meandering around this beautiful little town was the most peaceful thing I've done in quite a while. As promised to many people, I didn't speak a word to anyone.