London 2012, here we come!
We've been visiting the UK once every 2 years for the past 10 years or so. Since Alfie's parents have a guest room, we stay with them, and being the brave souls that they are, they're happy to host us for at least 3 weeks each time. With such an extended stay, we've managed to squeeze in some side trips while we're in the region -- to Amsterdam, Ireland, France, and places around England. Each trip has been great-- but this year is going to be truly special, because we're going to the London Olympics!
* We're watching a quarterfinal soccer match in Cardiff, Wales. If we're lucky -- to be more precise, if Team GB play well -- we might get to see Team GB! David Beckham won't be on the squad, but if Team GB wins their preliminary group, then we'll get to see Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy, Micah Richards, Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and some of our favorite English Premiere League players.
* We're watching the sailing races at Weymouth Bay on the south coast of England. As ticketholders, we'll get access to the Nothe Spectator site, which includes access to the historic Nothe Fort. There's going to be food and shops onshore, so it's shaping up to be a great day out.
* We've got tickets to enter Olympic Park, which is the main Olympic complex in London, which houses 8 venues (including swimming and athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies) and the London 2012 megastore. We applied for swimming and athletics tickets in last year's lottery but didn't get any, and the tickets to enter the park sold out too quickly for me to get any, so I was really disappointed -- but McDonald's came to the rescue, with Olympic Park tickets for me and the family! I expressed interest in seeing the World's Largest McDonald's which has been built especially for the 2012 games, which happens to be right inside Olympic Park.... so they offered to give us a tour! Thank you so much, McDonald's (especially my good friend and social media maven Molly).
* Free spectator events include cycling, the marathon and the walkathon. The road race just happens to run through a town that a good friend lives in, so we may decide to pop over that day for lunch....
In addition, we intend to soak up as much of the excitement and color of the games, even before it starts. The London 2012 Festival started on June 21 and runs till September 9, and all over the country events are being held to celebrate the games. Here are a few events I'm looking at:
* See the official 2012 Olympic and Paralympic posters at the Tate Museum
* See the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games medals at the British Museum
* Dance our cares away at the Big Dance 2012 finale in Trafalgar Square.
Finally, the Olympic Torch has been making its way through the UK since mid-May; if I can find a time and place on its route that's easy for us to get to, it would great to see it being carried through the streets.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, so I intend to enjoy it and make the most of it while it lasts. Stay tuned for a barrage of posts and photos about our Olympic adventures!