England – April 2008 – London – Westminster Abbey

(From May 2, 2017)

Thought I’d post a couple more photos from our England trip back in 2008. This London’s Westminster Abbey on a rainy, overcast day (i.e. a typical London day). No pictures were allowed in the Abbey though. 😦

Abbey entrance below. Look at all of the people for an early Saturday morning.

Westminster Abbey front

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Game Night with Lizzy – May 23, 2011

Tonight, Lizzy and I played Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries tonight. (Sara wasn’t feeling well, so it was just the two of us.)

Lizzy

The Board

Lizzy played really, really well. She out scored me in destination tickets by over 50 points. I thought for sure she had me beaten. It came down to counting train points (which we do at the end of the game instead of as you go because it’s easier). I wound up barely winning 151-149 because I had the 27 point, 9-train-long route from Murmank to Lieska. We both had a blast!!!

Rams Game Day – October 3, 2010

I am FINALLY getting around to posting about the Rams game Lizzy and I went to last October. I won 2 tickets from Steven Jackson’s Facebook page and sj39.com. This was my 2nd and Lizzy’s 1st Rams game. As you will soon see, the seats were AWESOME!!! Thanks Steven Jackson!!!

This is Lizzy holding our tickets right after we picked them up at will call.
Lizzy holding our tickets.

This is the view from our seats – 3 rows from the field. WOW!!!
View of end zone from our seats

Fielding the opening kick-off…
Opening kickoff

Sam Bradford leading the Rams on the first play from scrimmage…
First play of the game from scrimmage

TOUCHDOWN RAMS!!!
Touchdown St. Louis Rams !!!

Lizzy wearing her pink Torry Holt jersey at halftime.
At the half

That’s a winner!!!
Rams Win !!!

Cardinal Game Day – April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010 – my 1st Cardinal game of 2010.

Joining me on this epic right of spring were my friends Kent Dunford, Dan Moisson, and Josh Wick (along with his son Drew).

Upon arriving at the stadium an hour before the gates opened, we walked around and viewed the statues to the former Cardinal greats. Below are several of my favorites:
Stan Musial
Stan “The Man” Musial – THE GREATEST Cardinal player of all-time. PERIOD. (Although, in another 10 years, that may change, but for now, Stan is still THE MAN.)

Ozzie Smith
“The Wizard” Ozzie Smith – MY favorite Cardinal player of all-time. (Although, in another 10 years, that may change too.)

Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson – THE most intimidating pitcher EVER. The plate was HIS, and he had no qualms about knocking you down or nailing you with a fastball. Baseball changed its rules because of Gibson – lowering the pitcher’s mound by 5 inches after his unfathomable 1968 season.

Lou Brock
“The Base Burglar” Lou Brock – speed, class, epitome of the Cardinal Way

Jack Buck
Jack Buck – as Cardinal announcers go, Jack was the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.

Once inside, we wandered around, watched batting practice, then made it to our seats in the Cardinals Champion’s Club – an all-inclusive club area with food, drinks, and AWESOME indoor and outdoor seating. Check out the club itself and the food spread.
Champion's Club
Champion's Club Buffet

And not to be outdone, here is the view from our seats:
View From Our Seats
View From Our Seats

Add to that a 2-1 Cardinal victory and the night was an AWESOME success.

2010 Cards Home Opener

Monday, April 12 was the Home Opener for the 2010 St. Cardinals. I wasn’t there. 😦

But IF I was, I’m sure I would have enjoyed all of the pomp and pageantry that is Opening Day in baseball.

I ran across two things in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. The first is the picture below:
Cardinal Hall of Famers

This is ALL of the living Cardinal Hall of Famers. In case you don’t recognize them (and shame on you if you don’t 🙂 ), they are (left to right): pitcher Bob Gibson, pitcher Bruce Sutter, outfielder Lou Brock, second baseman Red Schoendienst (behind Whitey Herzog’s arm), shortstop Ozzie Smith, manager Whitey Herzog, and outfielder Stan “The Man” Musial.

The second is a comment made by a reader of the Post-Dispatch on what the “Cardinal Way” means. I think this poster hits the nail on the head of what it means.


[As a player] It means playing every game like it is your first and your last. It means hustle, effort, sweat, dirt, play to the max, while being a gentleman of the game, understanding the game and the fans, conducting oneself by a set of rules on and off the field that others may not, yet knowing that you get a second chance if you do screw up. It means strong negotiation on the contract and then producing your best to live up to it. It means respect for those that come before you and leaving a legacy for those that follow in your footsteps, no matter your tenure. It means not whining about playing time, at-bats, personal stats, or putting oneself ahead of the team.

[As a fan] It means rooting for the Cardinals through thick and thin, including the manager and front office. It means understanding what they are trying to do even though I may not personally agree. It means going to the game and behaving like a civilized human being, not getting drunk and acting the fool. It means showing respect to the other teams and their fans. It means that I appreciate the players, old and new and the effort they give, win or lose. It means knowing the game and never giving up hope for a win.

That pretty much sums it up. THAT’S why the Cardinals and the Cardinal fans are THE BEST IN BASEBALL !!!

England – April 2008 – Oxford

Work is done… off to London for the weekend before heading home. However, what would a trip to England be without a stop in Oxford – home of the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

We stopped in for lunch at the Eagle and Child – a pub that was the frequent hangout of literary giants Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. The food was outstanding. The atmosphere was awesome.

This is what you see looking across the street from the pub.
Oxford Pics

After lunch we walked around Oxford and took in the architecture. It is said that buildings in Oxford demonstrate examples of every British architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons. One of the most famous is the Radcliffe Camera, which is an academic library. That’s it below.
Oxford Pics

The remaining pictures are other buildings and such that we ran across as we walked around.

Oxford Pics

Oxford Pics

Oxford Pics

Oxford Pics

Oxford Pics

Oxford Pics

This may be sacrilegious, but as Oxford is a college town, it had the feel of Campustown at the U of I (in Champaign, Illinois), except the buildings and the city itself were much, much older and historical.

England – April 2008 – Caernarfon Castle

A little over a year ago, I started posting pictures from our April 2008 trip to England. I’m picking up where I left off.

After our adventure through the mountains, we finally arrived at our destination: Caernarfon Castle, in northwest Wales.

We were greeted to this:
Welcome to Caernarfon !!!

Here are my two girls posing for a picture.
My Two Girls

Not sure if this is original, but it was still pretty.
Stained Glass

Warning !!!
Say What ?!?

What they use if you DON’T heed the previous warning…
Cannons

Half a dozen random castle pictures:
Castle Pic

Castle Pic

Castle Pic

Castle Pic

Castle Pic

Castle Pic

All in all, a great time was had by all at Caernarfon Castle. Tomorrow, we leave Shrewsbury to finish our vacation with a weekend in London.

England – April 2008 – Never Blindly Trust Your GPS

I finished up early on the job site, so we decided to go to northern Wales on Thursday afternoon. Our rental car had a GPS in it, so we punched in Caernarfon (pronounced cuh-NAR-vun) Castle and away we went. I briefly looked at the road atlas and thought we would take the “highway” due north, then cut over and take another “highway” heading due west. This seemed to be the quickest and easiest from the map.

Well, after seeing a lot of winding, narrow roads (moreso than typical England), we see this sign…
Ooooops

Then the windingness and narrowness gets worse. Long story, short, the GPS did NOT take us due north then due west, it took us on a bee-line directly northwest – when meant directly through Snowdonia National Park – which is very mountainous.

The bad news was that the driving was white-knuckle all through the narrow mountain roads.

The good news was that we saw stuff like this…
Snowdonia

Snowdonia

Snowdonia

It didn’t feel like it at the time, but in retrospect, it was DEFINITELY worth it.