September 6, 2023
Third week of my summer vacation.
Monday, August 7: Mr. Karen and I joined a small group of IO Earth fans on a field trip. Our first stop was the band’s practice/studio space, where we saw where the magic happens (and a few locations where they shot parts of their videos as well). Then it was back into the van to go to Bourton-on-the-Water, a picturesque village in the Cotswolds. It was school break for a lot of families, so there were many people in the village, but we had a good time exploring despite the commotion. Shared a fish and chips meal with part of the group, then split off on our own to see some sights, then reconvened to tour the model village with most of the group.
Tuesday, August 8: Time for us to say goodbye to Birmingham and head to our next stop in Southampton. The weather was a bit iffy for wheeling our suitcases to the train station, but we took the chance and barely got drizzled on by the rain. We’d booked first class seats for the journey, and it was long enough that we got served lunch—just sandwiches and crisps but still nice. At the other end, we lugged our bags to the new hotel, getting settled in our room just in time to see a big cruise ship glide by on the water a few blocks away. Dinner was a short walk away, with plenty of interesting stuff to see along the route.
Wednesday, August 9: Spent our day being tourists in Southampton. We took in the SeaCity Museum and then wandered the town looking at what remains of various castles and walls and such, reading informational signs as we went. We also fit in seeing the Barbie movie at the theater conveniently located near our hotel.
Thursday, August 10: More touristing in Southampton: the Tudor House and the Solent Sky plane museum and walking to parts of town we hadn’t yet explored to see more ruins and monuments and memorials. We ended our day watching the sun set by the water.
Friday, August 11: We began the next phase of our journey by boarding the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing. When we planned this trip, we looked for a British Isles cruise but couldn’t find any where the timing worked out for us. In that search process we did come across this offering on Cunard, which would a) be something we’d never done before and b) get us back to New York without having the hassle of air travel. So we decided to spend a week on the ocean. Our departure was delayed and our dinner seating was the early one, so we missed being able to watch the whole sailing out to the ocean process, but we saw some of it.
Saturday, August 12: On a transatlantic cruise, every day is a sea day. The ship was big enough and confusingly (to me, anyway) laid out enough that just exploring and finding our way around took some time. There were plenty of activities and entertainments to partake in, so my fears of feeling trapped and bored were assuaged. On this first full day, just watching the water was entertaining (though our Deck 4 balcony was protected so well that we had to stand up to see the water).
Sunday, August 13: This particular voyage featured a partnership with the English National Ballet, which meant a whole bunch of things to see that weren’t usual offerings, like being able to observe classes and rehearsals with the contingent of six dancers and other personnel who’d joined the cruise. I went to see both the class and the rehearsal on this particular day (Mr. Karen joined me for part of that and did other stuff the rest of the time). It was a fairly rough sea and I was impressed by how well the dancers were handling the movement of the floor.
On this date in 2022: A Week-ish in Photos: 2022, Part 35
2012 to 2020: No journal entries
2011: Report Card Monday on a Tuesday
2010: No entry
2009: Harry Potter Socks
2008: How to Be Stupid
2002 to 2007: No entries