My only two regrets from the trip are:
1. We could not take our alternate members and team leaders with us.
2. Time constraints would not permit my team members to join me for my last 3 days sightseeing in London.
I had a ball, albeit alone. I stayed in the theatre district at the Strand Palace Hotel, on the advice of a Rotarian friend. I learned that a significant amount of money buys a very small room in London.
The first day, I took the open top, double-decker bus around the city. That evening, I got a ticket to see a Broadway play, “The Jersey Boys,” considering myself to be from New Jersey. I then strolled around to see the night sites.
The second day, I was still permitted to ride the bus, so I saw the remaining western portion of the city. I went to the Tower of London, and viewed the vast royal jewel collection with the Beefeaters’ tour. After earlier visits to wonderful cathedrals (Peterborough and Lincoln), I was blown away at St. Paul’s in London.
The third day, I went to the Natural History and Science Museums and Kew Gardens (botanical gardens). I took a train ride to a hotel near Gatwick to stay the night, and left without incident the following morning, for the long journey home.
I want to recognize each of the members of my team: Mary, Colette, Joe and Eric.
I believe the secret to our success was our recruiting. We had 18 candidates for 4 positions, so we were able to choose the best of the best. We really experienced no significant problems. The members were outgoing, intelligent, respectful and appreciative of all that our hosts provided. They bonded well and were supportive of one another.
Their “stage presentations” were resourceful, humorous and articulate. They were excellent representatives of the USA and of the Rotary clubs which sponsored them. I want to thank them for all of their individual efforts to make us a success. I believe our most important performance was at the District Conference. The praise we received made me very proud.
On the day before our departure, District Governor Iain Vernon presented me with a gift of a beautiful flower vase, with an etched glass Rotary wheel and the District 1070 insignia. The attached card thanked the team for a job well-done.
I have hurriedly uploaded more than 1,000 photos to share with those who have followed our blog. Unfortunately, my camera and computer did not keep them in chronological order. Feel free to download and use our photos from the following sites:
Our team members will be available for presentations at Rotary clubs in District 7770 in the coming months. We have wonderful stories to share, and welcome invitations from clubs that have interest in GSE.
Regrettably, we are only permitted to be members of one GSE team.
But, we have returned from our adventure with memories and friends who will last a lifetime.
ROTARY JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.