In March, the word prompt was BRIDGE, and one of the things it made me think of us my special trip to England, which happened the Summer of 2015. There was a trip that Summer because the choir at my family was in residence at Bristol Cathedral- in addition to the choir, family and friends were allowed to join. Due to the core home being Bristol, we went to places in and around Bristol. Let me talk more in detail now:
So, prior to the time spent in Bristol, the pilgrims spent time in London. As a result, my family went up two days early. On July 30th, something very special happened—-yes, I did go to Platform 9 and 3/4, which I loved. However, here was the real reason my family went up early to London- my mom wanted me to live my dream———I had a dream to see Les Mis in the West End. That became reality during this England trip—-I loved that it was a date with my mom, and at the same time glad my sister wasn’t left out (as in getting her own date with dad).
Now, about Les Mis——-a massive fan of the musical, so no wonder I wanted to see it in London. It had to be a date with my mom as she also loves musicals—that was our 2nd theater date that Summer Break (the first was Pippin). Both musicals—-the two of us sat in the orchestra. When I saw the Queen’s Theater, nothing felt real; even buying souvenirs (did have a cultural shock buying the playbill); even noticing how close I was (about 9 rows back); and even seeing the set——it took until hearing the first notes to know this is real. Like I was expecting——-an emotional wreck, and the tears happened much sooner than I thought, and laughed when I was supposed to. As a matter of fact, I had my first Stage Door experience and met the actor who played Valjean (Adam Bayjou, an understudy).
The words you see below did become the motto of the pilgrimage, and they are song lyrics.
In so many ways, Les Mis can connect to the main part of the England Trip. After all, Les Mis is about Valjean’s spiritual journey. So that means, I went from Valjean’s spiritual journey to my own the next day. That is because on July 31st, 2015, the Bristol Pilgrimage truly began—–we met up with the rest of the pilgrims that day. So what does Bridge have to do with the pilgrimage—well, during the pilgrimage I saw three different bridges- two in London and one in Bristol. The Millennium Bridge, The Tower Bridge, and The Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The Millennium Bridge was visited after Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral–we went to the services in London to get a feel of what to expect at the Bristol Cathedral. The Millennium Bridge is the same on the Death Eaters destroyed in the movie, Half Blood Prince, so we decided to visit it for more Harry Potter fun. After Eucharist, there was a little bit of free time- explaining why we got a little more London time. Tower Bridge was visited by almost all the pilgrims because all of us eventually had to head over to Tower of London to catch the tour buses that would take us to Bristol. When my family got to Tower of London, there was only time for the Bridge and walking around the Tower.
The first day we got a tour of Bristol, we stopped where we could only see Clifton Suspension Bridge at distance. Only those who were willing to walk over got a closer view. But at least, I found one of my first Shaun the Sheep- during our time in Bristol, Shaun the Sheep statues were hidden throughout the town, and I loved finding a new one. Each time a new one was found, a picture was taken. The picture above is just one of the Shaun the Sheep statues—-was one of those I would regularly come across, as it right outside Bristol Cathedral.