While Mother Nature is happy to grace us with wonderful weather, we grabbed the opportunity to visit Hampton Court Palace. To feast our eyes on the gardens in full bloom, to gasp over the ostentatiousness and general gorgeousness, and to be freaked out completely by the "realness" of it all.
I tell you, if I weren't more prepared via the pamphlets at the reception lobby, I would have peed in my pants and/or fainted at the sight of "Lady Frances", niece of King Henry VIII, and "Mistress Penn", nanny to little Prince Edward.
You see, Hampton Court Palace prides herself for her ghost stories. Because, really, they're the next best thing to a messy, convoluted and super-salacious time that is so associated with Henry VIII. From crafty political unions to ill-fated teenage brides, incestuous adultery to wives dragged off,screaming and kicking, to have their heads chopped off; you name it, the Tudors did it.
Gosh, if only cameras captured scent as well... With the garden in full bloom, it was pure aromatherapy just strolling past. The colours, the smells, the lovely warm sun... it was truly a joy. I was feeling so privileged, so small, so thankful... :)
The Maze, I had no love for.
Fantastic an idea it might have been to while away the time for an age with no radio, TV or computers, I almost suffered a panic attack from the claustrophobia.
I took five steps into it and before I knew it, my mantra changed from "It's OK, there's always the emergency exit..." to "Where the @#%! is the emergency exit...".
The kids loved it though. And were all prepared to "go their own way", to which I screamed "Are you CRAZY?!"
I eventually made it out. But not before some hyperventilating with a slight giddiness, and stumbling upon the Centre. Where I HAD to take this picture, for good measure.