First of all, everybody is happy, well fed, getting through round one of jet lag, and safely at their homestays, and I'm quite sure, sound asleep after our first full day of tour.
Just a few highlights, and a quick first round of pictures before I head to sleep myself.
Despite a stormy night last night with high winds and rain, and some showers off and on this morning, the weather turned out not to be much of a problem for our one day walk through a bit of London. First stop? The London Eye, the enormous Ferris wheel that was built to celebrate the Millennium, but is so much fun that it's still here 14 years later. Incredible views of so many London landmarks - Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the cool new tallest building in the EU - The Shard, and more. The London Eye includes a great little 4D movie (ask your son about the sea gulls) which was a perfect way to stay dry during one of the showers before we crossed the Thames, stopped for a quick sing in the courtyard of Somerset House, then on to Covent Gardens for lunch. But before we ate, the boys had to stop and sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" in front of a huge topiary Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Fun!
After lunch, we headed up to the British Museum for a couple of hours. Usually the boys aren't so big on museums during tour, but there are so many amazing treasures here to keep everyone interested - Mummies, the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, Assyrian Lions, and on and on. Cross that one off the bucket list.
As the sun was setting with a clear sky, we held a rehearsal outside the museum, and of course drew a crowd. Even the guards gathered around to listen, unlike the guards at the Somerset House who said it was lovely, but we should move on.
After dinner in Leister Square, the day ended a little earlier than expected when we learned that the trains were still not running reliably because of last nights' storm, so we steamed over to the Charing Cross Station. On our way we spotted the South African Embassy, with a memorial tribute with flowers, flags and farewell messages to Nelson Mandela, so I am sure you can guess what happened next!
The boys sang "Nelson Mandela" and "Shosholoza" just long enough to make what we hear was the last train back to our part of town. Might not complain about Septa after seeing how quickly the trains shut down here!
Here's a first round of pictures - out of order, but here for you to enjoy! Here they are - settling into tour at the airport, singing for homestays, Chaps' Boxing Day dinner, the bus ride into London this morning (no trains!) and some of the day. If your son is not here be sure that he is happy and having a great start to tour, and we will be sure to catch them for the next round! If there's wifi at the airport, we will post tomorrow night. Otherwise, next round will be on Monday when we arrive in India and catch up with Mr. Fisher.
PS - Three cheers for the terrific group of chaps, medics, photographers that are along for the adventure!!
View from the London Eye
Instead of Lanyards, Emergency Contact Cards
Big Thanks to Mariah Butler and Tom Berendt for being our tour guides!
Having fun waiting for homestays to arrive
The Kahn Family all together for a day!
London Eye Sing!
Fun on the London Eye
Trains cancelled, but fortunately our bus drivers from yesterday were available
First night Chap Dinner
Singing for Homestays
Welcome back to Jack Schmieg, Ben Schrager, Joe Marx and especially Dan York, who moved away before his voice changed, and is FINALLY getting to be a Grad!
Playing cards - we must be on tour!
Fitz's words of wisdom.
Singing at the airport