I had been to the city before, maybe four years ago, and was a tad disappointed to say the least. I felt I was treated poorly and perhaps an unwanted tourist in the city. Outside of a couple experiences with locals who invited me to dinner and a sweet visit to the Princess Diana memorial park, I had previously stated, I would never return to this dreadful city.
I was wrong.
I am so glad I gave a second chance. I met nothing but lovely people. The weather was strikingly beautiful. I felt welcomed by everyone I came into contact with. I don't know if it was the climate of the wedding itself, or the good weather, or perhaps, just time, but London gave me the face everyone has talked about in the past that I had not yet been able to experience.
|The green room, The Portobello Hotel|
The staff was cheerful and generous. They were extremely helpful from check-in, to instructions on local directions, and activities. They made me feel very welcome and treated me with respect and kindness. It really does make a difference and change the feel of your trip when your hosts act as if they truly want you there for your visit and care about your stay.
I visited some traditional pubs, had fish and chips, drank Guinness with friends and found myself wanting to experience more. The famous Piccadilly Circus and Paddington Station were two of the high traffic places I would have normally avoided, but the energy was fantastic. The crowds were peaceful and good, and there was no fear of negative interaction which has unfortunately deterred me from going many places in America lately. I felt safe and un-threatened and truly enjoyed every minute of every day in the U.K.
The crowded shopping areas were fairly calm as people milled about minding their business and enjoying the day. I just had to remind myself to look right when crossing the street! Even the climate on the crowded tubes was pleasant and extremely tolerable.
The city of Windsor is quaint and filled with boutiques, pubs and restaurants. It is quite touristy but small and unassuming. There are hidden B and B's all over the town and even a university right in the center of town
The grounds outside Windsor Castle were filled with the self-invited guests, and tourists from around the globe. We came from far and wide to celebrate the historic moment of the Royal wedding between the younger son of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and the American actress, Meghan Markle.
It was a moment to watch history in the making. But also, a moment to revel in love.Everyone loves a great love story with the happiest of endings. The locals were happy to fill in the visitors on how this wedding was so much different from event of the past; the rules of the royal family. One of the B and B owners shared the entire history of how royal spouses were chosen and accepted into the family, and how pleased the people were to see some of the outdated rules overlooked for this union. The celebration by the people, us, was the best part of the event. We brought the energy of all who wanted to see this union which offers hope, not just for love but for the world to change for the positive.
|The view of the screens showing the wedding inside|
We arrived hours before the wedding ceremony began to secure the best viewing spot for the post-ceremony procession down the long walk. There were screens positioned outside the Castle grounds where the thousands of visitors could watch the ceremony that was happening just inside the gates. After the ceremony, those of us lined up alongside the procession drive were able to witness the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they formally made their way through the community. It was a well known tradition and readily received by all who had traveled for this moment. The day had an air of joy which included dancing in the streets and many many celebratory parties afterwards.
|Introducing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex|