An Honorable Invite to London, England | My Family Travels

Never in my life would I have thought that I would be invited to march in London's New Year's Day Parade with my school's marching band. It was an unforgettable experience that will be remembered forever. This trip was not an ordinary vacation. It was an invite-only event in which the Lord Mayor of London flew to our school to formally invite us.

When the exciting week finally came and we were in London, we immediately experienced a new atmosphere that we have never before experienced. Being from Southern California, just feeling the cold, crisp air of London in the winter time was different. Taking the bus to our Hilton hotel in the city, looking out the windows was a gift. We all got to see the different architecture that Europe had to offer. It was nothing like we had seen before. Before we knew it, we were already starting our tours, which began with a tour of the parade route. Walking out of the subway station at night, we experienced our first breathtaking moment. We had no clue where we were heading, only to find out that we were right below Big Ben. The whole band just stared up in awe; it was an experience like nothing we could have ever imagined back home. 

As the days went by, we toured castles, palaces, and famous streets. We learned a lot about London, and being in the city made the learning that much more interesting and exciting. So anxious, the week flew by, and before we knew it, 2011 had arrived and we were getting ready to march in the 2011 London New Year's Day Parade! As we marched the parade route and played the music we had practiced so much before attending this trip, the crowd was just as excited as us. In London, marching bands are not seen, so it is a privilege for them to be able to listen to and watch us, and they absolutely love it! After the parade, we even received the honor of personally being complimented by some of the locals. That day was truly a very special day for our band program, and we will always remember how much of an honor it was to be there as a band, doing what we love.

Leaving London was unreal as the week went by so quickly. We took any last moment we could to admire the beautiful sights London has to offer. The people of the city treated us with great respect, and they welcomed us with warming hearts. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that none of us will forget. 

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