My friend Shawna came to visit last week! It was fabulous....except for the part where we both got the flu. Yes, she traveled thousands of miles to see us from Chicago, and then she & I both got sick. Not that I could (really) control it, I still felt AWFUL (literally and figuratively) about it. Luckily the bug was short-lived so we still had plenty of time to shop, explore the English countryside, and to do some crafting!
Our guest room awaiting Shawna's arrival....
Upon arrival her England, Shawna and I spent the afternoon in Stratford Upon Avon and we toured William Shakespeare's house. The next day we headed to a few of the idyllic towns in the Cotswolds to experience some of the English countryside charm....
This little shop called the Cotswold Cheese Company is really neat but sadly was closed on the day we were in the town.
Some of the
A scene in Burton-on-the-Water.
We had fun shopping around for Bits & Bobs at various shops during the week Shawna was here....
Shawna on a bridge in Burton-on-the Water, which is often called the Venice of the Cotswolds.
Moss is everywhere in England. Sometimes it is very pretty. It adds nice color to otherwise gray stones or walls!
Then, during the middle of the week, illness set in.....so our outings consisted of going upstairs to the second floor of our house to work on a project of re-arranging and organising my craft room. I promise I did not ask Shawna to organize my belongings while she was a guest in my house, but rather she proposed the idea. She really did seem to enjoy the project, which is great for both of us since I probably would not have done it on my own....and goodness knows Scott would not have been interested in such an endeavor!
This photo does not show the entire "project" from start to finish, but basically we re-arranged the room completely and moved my sewing table to the small end of the room and made space to house the many tubs of my fabric along the long side of the room. Additionally we re-organized the sewing table so I now have more space to use part of the table for cutting my patterns, while still having space for both my embroidery machine and my sewing machine.
After we re-organized the craft room, it was time to do some crafting! We put a darling little "J" applique on this t-shirt for Shawna's daughter so she could have a coordinating spring outfit in purple. We probably could have spent the entire week of Shawna's visit crafting but we did force ourselves to get out and see many of the sights around England as well...
When the weekend arrived, we were both finally feeling much better and so we went with Scott into London for the weekend before Shawna had to leave. We started with a trip to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard, or Guard Mounting as it can be called. The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (which is responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James’s Palace Detachment, (which guards St. James’s Palace). These guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units.
The handover is accompanied by a Guards band. The music played ranges from traditional military marches to songs from films and musicals and even familiar pop songs. The Guards band marches down The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace.
And we march too....
Getting closer to the Palace entrance....
Watching the ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace.
The guards who have just left their post walk back through by St. James's Palace.
When Guardsmen are on duty, the soldiers are drawn from one of the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards. These soldiers were changing guarding duties of St. James's Palace.
After watching all of the guards marching, it was time for a lunch at Harrod's!
The beautiful cheese plate for lunch at Harrods.... YUM.
Harrods' Food Courts are AMAZING. Shawna inspects the pastry selection in one of their bakery sections.
Outside of Harrod's after a nice lunch and a bit of shopping there. (Scott, the photographer, somehow managed to cut out the most important bit about this photo - the Harrod's green awning!)
After dinner in London, we walked from our hotel along the bridge across to the London Eye. Even though this photo is dark, here you can see we had a perfect glimpse of Big Ben and Parliment in the background.
Scott was there too! :)
It was a great treat to have a good friend here for the week and I hope she comes back soon!