Was it possible? All those months of planning and re-planning, posting and re-posting, fretting and re-fretting -- the day was finally here!  The Duke of Wellington Tour was underway!

September 4, 2014: All eighteen of us were in London...had arrived at the Grosvenor Hotel...and were ready for tea.  We were an eclectic group -- a wide range of ages and a large number of states represented from West  to East coast, from Texas to Minnesota.  Some of us had been pals for decades, others of us were new to each other.  We all shared one goal: to take in all we could of England, of London, of the Duke of Wellington's haunts, and whatever else happened to come our way.  Everyone was ready for an adventure.

Grosvenor Hotel

Our first official event was tea in the Lounge: delicious!

Kathlynn's tea half consumed!

Our second event was not so successful. We tried to take the group on a pub crawl, but the thirsty Friday night after-work Londoners defeated us - there was no room at any of the inns, or pubs, we encountered.  So we returned to the Grosvenor's bar and there had plenty of room!

The Duke of Wellington Tour

We had an ambitious itinerary:

Saturday, 9/6:    
Apsley House, Wellington Arch, Tower of London - Wellington Exhibition, Horse Guards - Dismounting Ceremony, Household Cavalry Museum; Grenadier Pub for dinner

Horse Guards Parade, c. 1760, by John Chapman

 Sunday, 9/7:  
 Walking tour of St. James's or Day at leisure. 

Monday, 9/8: 
Walmer Castle, Dover Castle in Kent

Dover Castle atop the White Cliffs, from the Channel, 2011

 Tuesday, 9/9: 
Regency Townhouse, Hove; Royal Pavilion, Brighton, Sussex

Beauties of Brighton, 1826, by George Cruikshank

Wednesday, 9/10: 
Stratfield Saye, Hampshire
Explore Reading with Regency Author Beth Elliott

Thursday, 9/11: 
Highclere Castle, Basildon Park

Downton Abbey, AKA Highclere Castle

Friday, 9/12: 
Windsor Castle/Waterloo Chamber, Guildhall Museum, Berkshire

Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle, by Joseph Nash, 1848

Saturday, 9/13:
Frogmore House; Thames River Cruise

Windsor Castle from the Thames

Sunday, 9/14   Departure -- We shall forget about this aspect of the Tour for the time being -- as we travel leisurely through the rest of the tour events.

Long live the Duke of Wellington!!!

Follow our Tour Progress on Fridays in May, June, and so forth!  Many photo essays to come, as well. We can't wait to begin to relive it all over again while sharing it with you.