Druids would be nice. I mean, they don’t have to be chanting in a circle. They could just stare enigmatically from under their hoods as if they were in a trance. But no druids today. We are in the middle of nowhere. At Stonehenge. You’d think they could move Stonehenge a little closer to London. It’s way out there. Nearly an hour away. Also Stonehenge is roped off like a rock star. There’s an audio tour of Stonehenge. Of course, there’s an audio tour. How could there not be one? I wanted to climb up on the giant slabs, really get my mystical fill of the place. But did I mention it’s roped off? And no druids? I don’t mean to complain. I’m just saying.
The crazy thing is that we now know that Jay Z and Beyonce are following us on our European tour constantly trying to one-up us. That sounds paranoid. But you have to look at the facts. Our first stop is Paris where we take pictures with the Mona Lisa. Pictures quickly surface in the tabloids of Jay Z and Beyonce with their pictures taken with the Mona Lisa. Of course, they’ve managed to wiggle behind the security barricades to stand directly beside the picture. Then it emerges that they are in England. I’m sure they were able to lounge all over Stonehenge in their tour. They probably had high tea with druids on Stonehenge. The sons-of-bitches.
I am digging the history. We take a tour of the Tower of London. See the Crown Jewels. Very nice. Sparkly and all that. One of the guards called Beefeaters is marching around with a giant pike. My son Avery asks a great question. “Can a Beefeater be a vegetarian?” It’s a puzzler. He stumps me with that one. The queen is coming for a ceremony. So, we have to walk way around the tower to get to our boat. Great, first Jay Z and Beyonce are stalking us. Now the Queen of England is mucking up our travel plans. Plus, we can’t find a few of our touring party. Our tour guide is worried. “Where are the Beisendorfers?” she asks. Is that their real name? I want to ask. Wow! That’s an amazing name. I make a mental note to myself after the much-delayed Beisendorfers finally rejoin our group that whenever a member of my family is slow in leaving for an outing, I will use them in my complaint. “C’mon! Don’t be such a Beisendorfer! Let’s go!”
I’m having deja vu. Big time. I was in London once before as a sophomore in high school. My French class came in 1981. We were on a 7-day tour of Paris and London. It was supposed to make us more cultured, broaden our horizons. Kind of an epic fail. Much of the trip is a blur to me since I spent most of it trying to impress a red-haired girl named Rochelle who sat next to me on our giant tour bus. She was from Maryland, which sounded like an exotic place at the time. But isn’t at all exotic now. Nothing about the crown jewels or the Palace at Versailles or Mont San Michelle seemed nearly as exotic as Rochelle from Maryland at the time.