England Here We Come

Guess who is the luckiest girl in the world! Me! I just got back from the most amazing holiday. I actually had to get a passport to go. I went to Portsmouth, England. Yes! England! I can’t believe it either. This was by far the greatest vacation of my life. Did you know in England they call a vacation a holiday? How neat is that? I told one of my pals from England that I wanted to visit somewhere that was really going to inspire me. He asked me what inspired me and I explained to him that I really got inspired from water, architecture, and history. He told me that I should definitely visit Portsmouth. To be honest when he told me to visit Portsmouth I had never even heard of it. I am so thankful for his recommendation though. I have never had such an amazing holiday before. Now I sound like I’m English right? I love it!

Portsmouth sits right on the water and it is so full of history. The greatest part of Portsmouth’s history is is naval history. It was a significant naval port for hundreds of years. Portsmouth even has the world’s oldest running dry dock. Let me tell you another secret, if you ever hear an English man explaining a dry dock to you, well you will want to marry him. What amazing accents they have! I thought everyone was royalty because they all talked so elegant and proper, you know me being a fan of Reign and all.

I actually visited the HMS Victory with a nice English gentleman. He was so pleasant. I asked him several times if I could take him home with me, but he respectfully declined. The coolest thing on the HMS Victory was the guns. Wow, I would have hated to been shot at by one of those cannons. I also visited the HMS Warrior. I had a very nice dinner on this ship and it was amazing. I have to say the English do not know how to use spices nearly as well as us in Atlanta do, but I could always move there and teach them!

I also got to visit all the amazing naval museums. I went to the Royal Marines Museum, the D-D-Day Museum, and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. It was an honor to learn so much from each museum. Each one made me realize how much focus I have put into my music and how little focus I have spent learning about the history of the world. Something very interesting I found in Portsmouth was a real castle. Not a castle that you would see built in Las Vegas, but a real castle built in 1544 by Henry VIII. I wanted to just move in there and pretend that I was in a real life version of Reign, but I know that isn’t possible. I believe it was called the Southsea Castle. It was everything like I imagined a real life castle to be like. I just imagined being a harpist in the 1500’s playing for foreign dignitaries and royalty. Ahh that would have been the life for sure.

I also got to see the Square Tower and the Round Tower. Of course the Round Tower was much more appealing to me. Apparently I like circles more than Squares. However, these architectural wonders were very inspiring to see. Other architecture that I loved was the Domus Dei, Spitbank Fort, and the Portsmouth Cathedral. I find the difference in architecture amazing from what I see in America. In America everything seems so cookie cutter while the architecture in Portsmouth is so well thought out and meticulously done. All of it even being hundreds of years old is absolutely stunning. For instance Spinnaker Tower is just an amazing tower that left me absolutely breathless.

I took a Guided Walk and Talk led by the Portsmouth Guiding Service and leaned some amazing information. I learned the story of Spice Island and how it was named after it’s huge business of importing very exotic spices, which made me wonder why they didn’t use more spices in their food. I also learned about the Nelson Trail. I could just imagine Admiral Horatio Nelson passing through each place. It made me excited and I wished that I could have lived back in those days. I also took the guided tour of the Birthplace of Charlies Dickens. Of course, I was very familiar when I saw that Charles Dickens was born there I became quiet excited. His family history is very interesting and I was able to see some of the places that influenced his amazing tales. What really made me happy was that even Dickens needed inspiration at times. Sometimes I feel silly when I say that I need inspiration, but this reassured me that everyone needs inspiration at times.

Of course I’ve made many mentions of the food being bland for this southern girl. I am going to say this about the dining in Portsmouth. All of the food was very fresh. You do not often taste food nearly as fresh as what I had in Portsmouth. The views from the dining rooms of the restaurants in Portsmouth are far better than what we have in Atlanta as well. Being able to eat and view the water was so amazing. My favorite restaurant was the Jolly Sailor. I had a delicious lamb shank and it was so fresh I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t ever find lamb that fresh in Atlanta.

As you can see this really was a trip of a lifetime. It’s one that I will never forget. I was so greatly inspired by all the amazing architecture and the naval history. I actually feel refreshed and excited. I definitely needed this trip. I needed to get a new outlook on the world and I feel like Portsmouth definitely did the trick. I can’t thank my kind English friend enough for recommending I visit. He chose a place that meet every expectation that I had and even more. It was absolutely wonderful.