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Saturday, June 9, 2012

England: Rugby History, Friends, and Other Thoughts

It's been awhile since I was last able to post anything. In the last couple of weeks, I finished off my European trip with my wife, went back to the US, packed some belongings, and my wife and I have driven from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, in route to moving to Los Angeles. I have had so much I have wanted to write about, but simply have not had the time. Well, since my wife is at a meeting of Twilight fans and writers here in Las Vegas, I can finally sit down at the keyboard.

Going into the England leg of the trip, I really wanted to see Twickenham and its museum-mission accomplished.
Bringing out my inner child at Twickenham
I really wanted to meet Ferdy, of fame. I know Ferdy and her husband have been living and working in London, and I really wanted to meet her and introduce Ferdy and her husband to my wife, like I was able to do in New Zealand during the RWC when I was able to meet Slugso and Scotty, two other rugby-centric bloggers whose work I enjoy a great deal. Well, Ferdy and her  husband Jay met us at a great pub called The Prospect of Whitby. Not surprisingly, we all hit it off really well, and we are able to have not one, but two very pleasant evenings together.
Nursedude and Ferdy, together after all of these years!Add caption
As much fun as the travel has been, I cannot begin to express how great it has been to meet my fellow rugby bloggers and find out that they are even nicer in person than you even imagined. There really are nice people involved with the sport. Luckily, my wife is very sociable, and enjoys meeting new people, as well. My one regret on the trip is that I was not able to get together with Total Flanker. Well, hopefully in 2015, we'll be able to share a fine English-made beverage together and talk about some rugby....
So much beer to sample in the UK, so little time...
The other thing I really wanted to do was to hit the Webb Ellis Museum in town town of Rugby, and to see the Rugby School. Again, mission accomplished. I really enjoyed touring through their museum as well-who said a sports fan cannot get some history and culture while on vacation?
The Shard-soon to be the tallest building in Western Europe
During this trip, I spent 3 weeks on the continent, and one week in England. The thing that really struck me on this trip, was that as nice as people were in France, Italy and Spain, it seemed like there was a lot of uncertainty and fear and loathing in the air. Even in France-where people have an attitude that they live better than anybody else, there was a lot of apprehension in speaking with people. A lot of people are worried about the economy and if the Euro  crisis is going to drag a lot of people down with it. Contrast this with the vibe in England. I know they are concerned about economic matters as well, but I think between the sunny weather, Chelsea winning the Champions League, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the upcoming Summer Olympic Games, London just exuded a very positive and up-beat vibe. I saw construction going up everywhere in London. The mood in the pubs seemed to be an almost party atmosphere. My wife and I just had a blast, and we are very much looking forward to getting back to England for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Da Redhead and I WILL make it back to London in 2015.

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