Tag Archives: london

Things I Learned in England

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  1. It is FOOTBALL not SOCCER.
  2. The speed of play is so much faster than in America. This is true for the English adult teams and youth teams.
  3. The English youth teams were so much more physical. They really know how to use their bodies.
  4. The English youth teams had a loud, constant chatter going throughout the whole game. They talked to each other nonstop – calling for balls, telling someone else to get the ball, telling each other well done. On the other hand, the English parents were very quiet.
  5. Trashcans and bathrooms are hard to find.
  6. If you say “neat” or “cute” too much you get made fun of.
  7. Snipe hunting is a rite of passage in the southern United States, even though there is no such thing as a snipe bird.
  8. English bacon is very different from American bacon.
  9. Monotone color and taste in food is the norm in England.
  10. London’s Heathrow airport does not know how to make supreme nachos. Just because you use Doritos doesn’t make it supreme.
  11. Kabobs and pizza do go together nicely.
  12. Starbucks is the universal language. You can order a skinny vanilla latte in England even though it is not on the menu.
  13. America is very young.
  14. King Henry VIII was crazy, but kind of cool.
  15. There are ghosts at Hampton Court Palace.
  16. If you hang with people who have an accent, eventually you start to use one too.
  17. Pat Ozburn is the hardest working, nicest tour director in the world.
  18. Patrick is old enough to semi take care of himself, but still young enough to want to hold my hand while walking the streets of London.
  19. I loved traveling with my sister, nephew and son.
  20. And finally, I learned that our SuperClubs trip to England was a wonderful experience for not only me, but for Patrick. We both made friends from around the world, Patrick experienced soccer in a new way that can only make him better and l learned how lucky I am to have him as my son.

Day 5, London

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So, we woke up and went to breakfast this morning here at Kingston University and it was GREAT! The eggs looked and tasted like eggs, the cereal wasn’t a cardboard block and the sausages and bacon were delicious. I think we’ve turned a culinary corner here, folks.
Today the U12 boys didn’t have a game or training, so we, the Williams and the Wilkinsons, decided to hitch a ride with the U16 and U17 teams to downtown London. We held up the bus a bit because we were finishing up our laundry, but they were gracious enough to let us bum a ride. Our first stop was LillyWhites (http://www.urbanpath.com/london/general-sports-shops/lillywhites.htm), a mega soccer store. Yes, we found some things, and no, Peter is never allowed to go in there with his wallet.
In front of Lilly Whites is Piccadilly Circus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picadilly_Circus). This was our starting off point. From there we went through Trafalgar Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar_Square) on our way to White Hall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitehall). Here we saw the Parliament buildings and the changing of the guards at the Horse Guards Building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_Guards_(building).
Next we saw Big Ben (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ben), the London Eye (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Eye) and the River Thames (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Thames). We had a snack of pastries and gelato back at Piccadilly Circus and then boarded the coaches and headed back to campus. There we had a well-seasoned dinner which even included a SALAD BAR! It was a great day!

Day 5, Chester to London

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Our last morning in Chester, we woke up and did our usual walk around the Roman City Walls. We, of course, stopped off at Starbucks and then had our last delightful breakfast at the university (wink, wink). We had to pack up and load the coaches for Birmingham City where most all the boy’s teams had games. We arrived at Birmingham’s complex which was nice, although the Parent Room only had one bathroom (not so nice). As we were waiting for the boys to change out of their polos and khakis, a premiere league player from Birmingham City (http://www.bcfc.com), McFadden, got into his Lamborghini and drove off. I only saw his silhouette, but his car was pretty nice! Sorry no pictures. We were waiting to get permission for photographs at the time.
Patrick’s team, the U12’s, had a rough start to their game against Birmingham City. They are still trying to get to know each other and I think some are a bit intimidated by the competition. Patrick worked hard at Right Back the whole game and was really proud of how he played. Skill and moves are not highlighted, which is what he is used to. It is a lot of passing and kick-ball. Patrick and his buddy Connor are some of the youngest on the team. It’s a different ball game when your playing with older, stronger, bigger kids. The final score was 0 to 6, Birmingham. We were afraid the boys would be upset after the game, but they all were smiling and asked when we would get to London. My nephew, Zack’s team, the U14s, ending up tying their game, 2 to 2. Way to go, Z-Man!
From Birmingham City, we hopped back onto coaches and made our way towards London. It was about a 3 hour drive, with some of that time spent at Services (rest stop off the highway with fast food). All the boys were so excited to have American fast food, although Patrick ended up getting fish and chips…agian. Lucky for me, they had a Starbucks. As we entered London, we passed Hampton Court Palace (http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/stories.aspx) where King Henry VIII lived at times. From the road it looked amazing. I hope we can visit it.
We arrived at Kingston University and unloaded and got our rooms. This is a very stressful, long process, but was well worth it because we have WiFi in our rooms!!!!! The U12s do not have a game tomorrow or training, so we hope to get around London a bit.

Bloggin in the UK

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I’m a very lucky parent. My oldest, Patrick, who is 11, was offered a spot on a SuperClubs team to travel to England and play soccer…or should I say football. My sister, Cari,  is also going with my nephew, Zack, who is playing with an older SuperClubs team.

Audizero F50s

We start off in Chester, England:  http://www.chester.com/visitchester/aboutchester/. Then end in London. For you soccer fanatics, we will get to tour Old Trafford (http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={0C8FD46D-122A-4FE2-B1A4-BA953BCC1600}), the legendary home of Manchester United and then play against Tottenham, Birmingham, Charlton Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Reading and other youth teams.

Strap on your boots and shin guards, it’s going to be a wild, wacky, whimsical ride across the pond! Cheerio!

Weather in the UK: http://weather.yahoo.com/regional/UKXX.html