Thursday, March 12, 2009

Henry the VIII and Tennis

This Wednesday we stayed fairly close to London but saw some pretty cool sights!!! Our first stop was Hampton Court Palace which is where Henry the VII lived and married his sixth wife. The palace was really beautiful! The best part was as we walked in, this lady asked me and Melissa and Maddie and Janna, "Would you like to wear a robe today as you tour the Palace?" Being the kind of girls that we are, we answered yes without a second of hesitation. We looked pretty stupid but it was fun. The palace was complete with characters dressed like Henry the VIII, Lady Katherine Parr and other assorted figures from the time period. It was a different kind of palace experience but a good one!

This is what happens when we have to wait too long to go inside- yea, we are holding up Dr. Crisler...So these are the robes we wore around pretty much the whole time we were in the Palace. It kind of made me feel like I was in Harry Potter, sometimes I wish I were a wizard :)This was in the gardens, Melissa become very attached to her robe...This view is from the outskirts of the gardens looking back at the Palace.On the way out we ran into King Henry himself and his brother in law, Sir Thomas Grey (brother of Lady Jane Grey who was Henry's 4th wife I think)

Ok! So after Hampton Court we boarded the coach and headed to the town of Wimbledon which is home to one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world! The town of Wimbledon is a small, quaint, English town but near to the heart of it is the All England Lawn and Tennis Club which hosts The Championships at Wimbledon each year for about two weeks in the summer. So we got an extensive tour of the whole facility and it was so cool! We didn't get to see centre court unfortunately because they are building a new retractable roof on top of that one so there can be live tennis going on at all times throughout the whole tournament (this is sometimes a struggle at Wimbledon die to the weather). That was a bummer but we got to see so much besides that. We went to the top of Henman's Hill where fans sit and watch the over sized screen that is attached to the walls of court number one. We got to see the BBC broadcasting room and the press conference room. I sat in the same chairs as the players do when they sit for their press conferences- yea my bum and Andy Roddick's bum in the same chair. We finished our tour on court number 1. I learned that the courts are ripped up and reseeded at the end of each season. I also learned that no one ever plays on centre court or court number 1 except during the tournament. It was such a cool experience! We finished off our time there at the tennis museum learning all about the game through the ages. The museum was complete with a hologram of John McEnroe whom, I might add, is the only player to not be offered an honorary membership to the club upon winning Wimbledon on account of his horrible manners. Mr. McEnroe now has an excellent relationship with the club but it has also been a long time since he spoke to any officials there with his charming Manhattan phrasery (that's definitely not a word). It was another great Wednesday today- only four more left in my London experience, time is kind of flying by!
Welcome to Wimbledon!!
That is Centre Court behind us which we did not get to see.Me and Maddie and Court 18. The grass is perfect on each of the 19 courtsMaddie, Hilary and Me checking out court number 1.Just attending a mandatory post-match press conference. Players can get fined up to 20,000 dollars for not showing up.Stoked for Wimbledon '09!


  1. i miss you!!!!!!!

  2. Ugh, craziness. I'm really jealous, Mar.
    Love you,

  3. Mrs. Mary - I wish you were a wizard too, then you could buzz back and forth for our runs every morning :-) [do wizards buzz, or do the swoosh? - i don't know but whatever they do - thats what I want you to be able to do]

    love you