London England Part 2 – Windsor Castle – Bath – Stonehenge

The second day in London would consist of mostly not being in London. The day started with a cab ride over to Victoria station where we would board the bus for the day’s journey. On tap for this day’s long trip would be Windsor Castle, Bath England, and Stonehenge.

When you arrive at Stonehenge, you arrive at the Stonehenge parking lot. Then you walk over to the visitor center where you catch a smaller bus that takes you out to the site. Our tour guide mentioned we caught a really nice day, as sometimes the wind is blowing so hard it could blow the bus without power to the site. We also walked into a beautiful cloudy day with made for great photos.

Wonderful blue sky and clouds above StonehengeBeen there, done that. OK, we never went into Harrods, we just drove by. That most likely saved a bunch of money.

Harrods department store - London England

Exterior of Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle

The writing above the door says Anno Domini 1583 which a google search revealed means 1583 AD, and the E R stands Elizabeth Regina which is Latin for Queen Elizabeth.

This entrance to Windsor Castle has the words Anno Domini 1583 above it.

I believe the official name for this part of Windsor Castle is the Upper Ward, but it looks more like the Courtyard at Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle Courtyard

The Roman bath complex was founded in 75 AD. The building that now surrounds the bath was built near the end of the 18th Century.

Roman Baths - Bath England

It’s just point and shoot and anyone can be a photographer.

Everybody is a photographer

Bath Abbey is now the more common name used, but the official name was the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

Bath Abbey - Bath England

The interior of Bath Abbey features stained glass windows and stone carved fan vaulting for the ceilings.

Interior windows Bath Abbey - Bath England

The winged angel leans above a bust of Alexander Champion who on April 23, 1774 defeated the Afghan Highlanders at Miranpur Katra. He passed away in Bath on March 15, 1793.

Memorial to Alexander Champion - Bath Abbey - Bath England

Our first ride on the London Underground.

The London Underground


Jay Cutler retires and joins Fox Sports NFL coverage

The story about Jay Cutler’s retirement from the NFL broke about 10 days ago, so this post isn’t really breaking news. What this post does cover is some thoughts from Keith Simonian about the Bears visit to Levi’s stadium in 2014 in what would be the San Francisco 49ers first regular season game there.
The 49ers had played their last game at Candlestick, and now were playing their first regular season game on September 14, 2014 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers had gone 12-4 during the 2013 NFL regular season, and then beaten both Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers in away playoff games. In the NFC championship they traveled to Seattle where they lost to the Seahawks 23  to 17 in what was considered a battle of the two best teams in the NFL. Seattle would beat the Denver Broncos 43 to 8 in the Super Bowl to claim the NFL crown. On the other hand, the Bears had finished the 2013 with a lackluster 8 and 8 season. This season opener was set up so the 49ers could win the first regular season game there.

It didn’t turn out that way.

The 49ers lost to the Bears 28 to 20. It wasn’t suppose to happen that way. The 49ers had just come off a season opening road win against the Dallas Cowboys who would finish the season 12-4. Worse yet, the Bears would finish the 2014 season with a 5-11 record. Turns out a lot didn’t go according to plan for the 49ers during the 2014 regular season. The 49ers would finish the season 8 and 8 and out of the playoffs. Jim Harbaugh would be fired as coach with the with the 3rd best record of any NFL coach with more than 50 games, and as the winningest NFL coach in the salary cap era.

As of today, both starting Quarterbacks are out of the NFL. Jay Cutler retired after 11 NFL seasons and Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a team to join after being cut by the 49ers after the 2016 season.

Quarterback Jay Cutler was suppose to the be answer for the Chicago Bears. After eight seasons, it turns out he wasn’t.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler

Before the game, the Boys Scouts brought out a very large flag for the playing of the National anthem. Jay Cutler just walked over and helped out.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler helps hold the American flag during the playing of the national anthem.

I’m going to make the assumption this was an incomplete pass.

Bears quarterback jay Cutler throws a terrible pass during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi

As this was the first and only time I photographer Jay Cutler, I took many photos of him and watched him many times after the play finished. I did notice he was very, very concerned about how his uniform looked after each play. I’ve never seen an NFL quarterback spend so much time making sure his jersey looked perfect.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler eludes the pass rush of the San Francisco 49ers.In all honesty, the 2014 season was the beginning of the end for Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick


London England Part One – British Isles Cruise

The cruise was over and now it was time for our visit to London and Paris. The trip to London would be from Southampton by bus after getting off the cruise ship. Long story short, Princess found yet another way to screw something up. We arrived at our hotel at 2:34 pm which was too late for our planned visit that day. So we had to wing and find a new site to visit.

Night view of the London Library and the St. Pancras Renaissande Hotel from the top floor our hotel the Pullman London St. Pancras Hotel.

Night time view of London from the Pullman London St Pancras Hotel

Hyde park and the 190 foot tall Albert Memorial.  Not a bad photo considering it was taken through the window of our bus traveling at 25 kph.

The Albert Memorial - Hyde Park - London

Another bus window photo. This photo shows the distinctive London cab zooming along the park.

Distinctive black London cab zoom by

The White walls of the Somerset house.

Somerset House London England

If you are going to visit a tourist attraction, you must include your shoes in the photo, like this winding staircase in the Somerset House.

Circular staircase and view of my shoes

The line to enter the London Eye weaves back and forth. It wasn’t too bad. Just a 15 minute wait. Better than most rides at Disneyland.

The winding pathway that leads visitors to the London Eye - London England

View of the Jubilee Gardens and Southbank Place from the London Eye.

View of the Jubilee Gardens from the London Eye

The height of the London Eye didn’t bother me until top when I realized we were no longer hanging down.

View from top of London Eye of another car also at the top

Making a photo thru the glass and towards the sun is usually quite difficult. But I wanted to capture Big Ben and the Parliament building in this photo. Sadly now when I look at this photo I see the Westminster bridge which we crossed later that day and is now remembered as just one more place that something bad happened.

View from London Eye of Big Ben and Parliament building

Big Ben, the English Parliament building and the Underground sign for the Westminster station.

Big Ben - the Parliament building - the Underground stationI don’t know what was going on here.

London tourists dressed in pink posing for a group photoColorful graffiti on the red bricks

The restaurant at our hotel which features a large Whisky display.

Pullman London St Pancras Hotel restaurant

Night view of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel with streaks of light from passing vehicles and buses.

Nigh view of St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel


Tony Romo retires from Dallas Cowboys – NFL career over

It would have been a good bet that Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo would have been back in action during the 2016 season after his preseason injury. Turns out he got most of his on the field action while wearing a team sweat suit and standing next to head coach Jason Garrett. By the time Romo was ready to play, his rookie replacement had the starting quarterback job, and wouldn’t be giving it up even in the playoffs. Romo would play in just one game and attempt 4 passes completing three for a total of 29 yards. The Cowboys would enter the playoffs as the number one NFC seed, and would lose their divisional round playoff game to the visiting Green Bay Packers.

Most of the on field action Romo would get during the 2016 season would be while wearing sweats waiting to recover from his preseason injury.  Seems likely he didn’t see his NFL career ending as the 2nd string quarterback. Things didn’t go all bad for Romo, as after he hangs up his cleats he will take the lead NFL game analyst spot at CBS Sports.

Quarterback Tony Romo stands alongside Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett

Tony Romo fist pumps to the crowd after the Dallas Cowboys defeat the San Francisco 49ers  on October 2, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo fist pumps the crowd after the Cowboys beat the San Francisco 49ers in Levi


British Isles Cruise – Le Havre France – Cathedral Notre-Dame – Southampton England

After a day at sea, the 13th day of the trip was spent in the port town of Le Havre France. For many on the ship, the port town would be where the bus picked them up on their day’s journey to Paris. Being that we were going to spend a couple days in Paris after the cruise, a long, long bus ride there so that we could look at the Eiffel tower for a few moments wasn’t in the cards. We would be exploring the town of Le Havre.

While the most famous church in town is the Eglise St-Joseph, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame provided the greatest photo taking opportunities.

Stained glass window of the Cathedrale Notre Dame - Le Havre, France

Le Havre is first and foremost a port town that cruise ships visit so their guest can go somewhere else.

Le Havre is a major port town in northern France

Just so you know, you are here. After looking at time stamps and previous photos along with Google Maps, I was able to determine “HERE” was the tourist direction sign in front of Pharmacie Deparis at 162 Rue de Paris in La Havre, France.

You are here - Le Havre France

The interior of St. Joseph’s church.

Interior photo of Eglise St-Joseph in Le Havre France

The arches of the Cathedral Notre-Dame that survived bombings during World War Two.

The arches of the Cathedral Notre Dame that survived the bombings during World War Two - Le Havre, FranceBeautiful painting inside the Cathedral Notre Dame - Le Havre, France

No Photoshop tricks, that is just how it looked. It certainly is an impressive steam.

This French worker displays quite an impressive steam

One can spot the true genius of a photographer if they are talented enough to include their reflection in a work of art.


See yeah Le Havre. The tall building is St Joseph’s church.

Waves splashing against the sea barrier just outside La Havre, France. The Eglise St-Joseph is the tall building in the background.

The work starts almost as soon as the ship is docked because the turn around time is only several hours before it back to sea. The early morning light gave a green tint to water in Southampton, England where we were docked.

A crane lifts the workers who must quickly get their work done as the ship is in port for only a part of the day. Southampton, England