Monday, August 27, 2007
Cannot believe this trip is over! Today we leave London from Heathrow airport to head back to Philadelphia. I'm definitely excited to see my family and friends and get my summer started. This trip has undoubtedly brought some of us much closer together in VC, and I wouldnt trade this experience for the world. I know I'll be back to this side of the pond someday soon..
Well, we leave London tomorrow, so today was the day to pack everything up and make sure the flat was fee-proof. I think we did a pretty fine job of keeping the place clean for the most part, minus the kitchen. Tomorrow we'll leave for the airport and head back to the states!
At around 4am, a homeless man entered our tent to take shelter from the cold (that's how good our tent was), and while Laurel tried to wake me, I simply wasn't having it. All was well by 6am, when the stewards woke us and told us it was time to deconstruct our tent and begin to queue up once again to make our way to the courts. The process was formal and organized, and at 11am we had our Court 1 tickets. The happy campers were in, and we received the first 8 tickets, as well as the first 8 queue cards. Our seats were really great, and the NRK reporters found us in the stands to complete their interview. We were lucky enough to see two 5 game matches between Bagdadis and Djokovich, and Roddick and Gasquet. Wimbledon was really the best way to top off this stay in London, and I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Today we queued up for Wimbledon. Typically, the VCUK group queues up together, but this year it was optional. Ten of us made it to Wimbledon by noon. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the rain had delayed all of the matches, and there was a good chance of us getting some great tickets. We were extremely early, and after a couple of hours we had our own steward giving us updates on the matches. Even though we lost two queuers, we became a Wimbledon phenomenon, known as the "happy campers." The rain and winds threatened us all day, and we pitched a world class tent on the sidewalk. The floors were made of cardboard, with a blue tarp for a roof. The walls were also cardboard, taped to a metal fance against the street. We even carefully constructed a rain trench. In the evening, two reporters from Norwegian news station, NRK, showed up to interview us. Throughout the evening, thin blankets and red wine kept us warm..or not warm. In fact, I've never been so cold in my life.
Happy 4th of July! Today we had a farewell luncheon at a fantastic Greek restauran, Lemonia. This was the most delicious meal - all 5 courses. What a nice way to end the trip with everyone here. We toasted to everyone, thankful that the entire group made it back from their break safely. Thanks to Ashley and Bill for putting a great trip together. Jen was kind enough to supply the wine with our meals as well. Afterwards, we walked up to Strawberry Hill for a group photo with London in the distance.