Day 18 – London

August 12, 2013

Today we left the New Forest and our hosts. It was a sad start to the day. There were a lot of hugs and then Juliet and Colin dropped us at the coach (bus) station.

I really can’t say enough good things about our hosts. Ron and Moreen are so kind and made us feel truly at home. Their home is just as warm as I remember it from a decade and a half ago. I hope I don’t wait that long to visit with them again.

I have known Rob for a very long time and have always thought the world of him. I still hold that he is the best games trainer I have ridden for. His style always gave me the drive I needed. And no one can deny he is one heck of a fun person. Well, nothing has changed there.

This is the first time I have really gotten to spend much time with his lovely wife, Chrissy. And I found that I feel just as at home with her as I do with the rest of the Lockyer family. I can’t wait to see them back on our side of the ocean when they move later this month.

And don’t forget the little Lockyers, Emma, Sophie and Sara. So different and really enjoyable. Sophie seemed completely at ease with us, and joyfully told us about everything on her mind. Emma was more quiet but spunky and also an amazing games rider. I am sure there will be some teams looking to pick her up in the US this fall. little Sara, I got to know her in the start while she was getting ready for her first day of Pony Club camp and she told me all about her pony, Lilly Lockyer, aka, White Daisy. She was all done up in her proper British pony club outfit complete with purple tie.

Then there is the legendary Colin Carson. Not only is he fun, funny and a general joy to be around. He is also a wealth of games knowledge and history. The man knows the sport, and the man knows horses, riding and how to work with riders. The team was lucky to have the opportunity to get some coaching from him. And I certainly learned my fair share from him as well.

Sian and Megan Griffiths not only let us ride their ponies, Jiggy and Hattie. But they made us feel like part of the family. I hope we can return the pony favor in the future.

The real person that made this whole trip possible was Juliet. She lent us her beloved pony Ciska, she picked us up from the airport, she took us to all kinds of fun places. And she has become a real friend. I am going to miss her the most. I truly felt completely myself with her. I know if we lived local to each other we are be real buddies and I am already planning for her to come visit!

Jumping back to our day.
We said our good byes, loaded into our coach, and took off for London.

We arrive and grabbed 2 cabs and made way to our hotel. (Rob and I booked it that morning. We found a nice hotel with a room for 6 people!!!). The Saba hotel in Hammersmith is a nice spot. I totally recommend it. Comfortable beds, clean, and friendly staff.

About ten minutes after we arrived, Mackenzie and Jordan showed up to join us for a day of adventures!

We grabbed a bite to eat at a nifty little French style cafe (salmon sandwich for those that are interested) and then jumped onto the subway system.

Bragging Jura little, Megan and I had those maps figured out and shuttled our group all ofer London, hopping from train to train throughout the day.

We fit in some touristy sight seeing, like Big Ben. And we did the London Dungeon experience. It was a sort of historical guided tour slash, theme park attraction. Everyone working was dressed up and given a character from different parts of London history and as a group you toured through, learning about events and time frames. But it was also interactive. They took people from the crowd to join in the purification. Megan was put into a torture cage as a tractor. Very cool. They also had two brief rides imbedded into the experience. A water ride, and a drop. I highly recommend it.

We also got in some shopping and did Oxford Circus. We went in one if the largest Apple Stores, looked at shoes, got fruit filled crepes, and finished with a very late dinner and topped it off with desert. It was an action packed run through London. We only wish we had time for the Harry Potter experience.

When we got back to the hotel I arranged cab pickups for the morning and we finished packing and hit they hay.

Tomorrow we leave for home. :0(

It only loaded a few of the photos. I’ll add more in the next post

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