Monday, June 30, 2014

We Like to Laugh at Stupid American Tourists, Even When We Are the Stupid American Tourists, aka The Day We Walked with Royalty

When we visit tourist attractions, Bryan and I don't talk much.  For one, we are nerds and like to learn even on vacation, so we take our time and read all the plaques.  For two, we love to listen and watch the tourists around us.  They have provided us with many laughs and topics of discussion over the years.  We still quote the best ones from even 25 years ago.

The most quoted tourist came from a tour of the White House.  We were standing at an exhibit which talked about the assassination of President Kennedy.  The woman behind us, very seriously and very sadly said, "If only he was wearing a helmet."

Apparently, presidents don't need the Secret Service.  All problems would be solved if they simply wore helmets every time they leave the White House.

An example from this vacation would be the woman behind us at the Tower of London.  We were making our way through the crown jewels exhibit and stopped in front of the ordination gown worn by a king hundreds of years ago.  It was made of gorgeous gold material, studded with jewels and stitched with lots of sparkly things.  If Bryan and I would have been talking, we would have completely missed the woman behind us exclaiming, "Well, if that was mine, I'd cut it up and make a whole bunch of scarves!"

I guess that pretty material was just sitting there going to waste.  A much better use of that 400 year old bling would be Christmas scarves for all of the queen's friends.

Another example of tourists amusing us also took place in the Tower of London.  We were up on the wall around the tower, looking down into the courtyard.  There was a full set of armor set up outside the gift shop.  One part of the armor received a whole lot of attention.  I could have stood there all day watching people react to this armor.  Did I mention that when given the opportunity, we also take photos of tourists in order to laugh more later?

Lucky for you.

No reason we should laugh alone.

Some tourists were mild, simply standing and pointing.

Others were a bit more obvious.

And some were just downright crude.

But all reacted, and all made us laugh.

Which is probably why karma bit us in the butt and made us the stupid tourists later that day.

We were standing at a crosswalk waiting to have a closer look at Buckingham Palace.

This intersection to be exact.

We had just missed the walk light, so we were alone at the curb until three other people came up alongside us.  I immediately could tell one of the three was an Important Person.  He was dressed smartly, carried himself very confidently, and wore a gigantic pinky ring.  The guy most certainly was not a tourist.  Also, I was pretty sure the other man was a body guard.  There was a woman standing closest to me who was obviously with them.

Bryan said later that he first noticed the man's suit.  Apparently, Bryan has become an expert on expensive suits, and the suit this man was wearing was one of the most expensive he'd ever seen.

The light turned green, and the five of us started across the street.  I could have reached out and held hands with two of them.

Half way across, Bryan started the following 1-minute conversation:

B:  I'm pretty sure that's Prince William.
C:  You are nuts.  That is not Prince William.
B:  Yes, it is!
C:  Honey, that is not Prince William!
B:  I'm telling you, that is Prince Charles' brother.
C:  Prince William is Charles' son!  I have no idea what Charles' brother's name is, but regardless, there is no way that is a prince.  Princes don't just walk around with the tourists!  What, you think he's just walking home from the office?
B:  Honey, it is Prince William.
Just as Bryan said, "I don't know what his name is, but that is Prince Charles's brother." the guy turned into the gates.

These gates to be exact:

He gave a nod to the guards.

The guards gave a nod to him.

The guy walked right on up to the door and into Buckingham Palace.

Bryan immediately got on his phone and looked up the royal family while I quickly snapped a photo of the guy.

Recognize him?

It's this guy:

Prince Edward.

aka Earl of Wessex.

aka Prince Charles's brother.

aka NOT Prince William.

Apparently, a prince does just walk home from work sometimes.

And if Bryan wouldn't have been so adamant that it was Prince William, we could have enjoyed our moment of walking this particular prince home.

And Prince Edward wouldn't be in Buckingham Palace muttering about stupid American tourists.

So, have you ever heard a fellow tourist say something that made you shake your head and laugh?  Have you ever been the stupid tourist other tourists are laughing at?

Have a lovely day!



  1. Awesome Christine...and quite funny! I like to keep quiet too and soak it all in as well...funny pictures - keep them coming!


  2. Glad you told me who that was because I would have never guessed. I'm not much on celebrities in any country.

    I'm sure there are a lot of stupid things being said by tourists. Keeping quiet is a great policy.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. Most celebrities could walk by me on the street and I wouldn't even notice. I'm not up on them, either. However, Prince William I would know. :)

  3. What a great story Christine, and yes, tourists do say and do some very stupid things. I'm probably guilty of it myself, but I think more when I was a child than in my adult life.

    1. Thanks! We didn't take many trips as kids, so I didn't have the opportunity to say stupid things. No doubt I have said plenty of stupid things throughout my adult life, both as a tourist and in my everyday life. :)

  4. That's fantastic. But from the back, he does lkind of, sort of ook like Prince William...William's going a little thin on the back of his head, so I can see why Bryan might be confused. I, of course, would not have made the same mistake. ;)

    OK, maybe...

    1. From the back, I can see where some confusion can occur. However, we saw him from the front while waiting at the light. There is NO resemblance when you see their faces.

  5. Did you just hobnob your way through England? First the queen, then the prince!

    We also love listening to snippets of conversations when we're on vacation. (I can't think of any off the top of my head, of course, but they were definitely funny!) Thanks for sharing your observations!

    1. I'm telling you, I'm practically BFFs with the royal family!

  6. Fabulous Close Encounter. You and Bryan vacation like we do. We especially love eavesdropping and people watching.

    There are three national museums and a national monument that we can no longer return to in Washington DC due to debacles there by my family members. Correction: *I* can still go to these places, but no one else can. However, I am probably not allowed to cross into Canada at Niagara Falls ever again.

    1. People watching is so much fun, isn't it?

      Well, you know you now need to share the stories, right?

  7. How cool!

    He does look like Prince William from behind.

    1. From behind, a bit. From the front and side, not so much.

      I'm not usually one to get excited about celebrities. I would never wait in line to get an autograph from anyone. Yet I thought this was mighty cool.

  8. You are my kind of people! The summer after 8th grade I went on a trip with my class to Washington d.c. One activity was to lay a wreath and w a tech t h e changing on the guard at t h e tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington national cemetery. While we were watching a woman behind my friends and I ask "what are t h e names of the unnamed soldiers?" It took all we had not to laugh uncontrollably! Love seeing all your trip pictures.

    1. Hahahahaha!!! I love tourists! That is classic!

      I'm glad you enjoy the photos. Get ready for tomorrow. I've got a whole bunch to unload on you! :)

  9. Oh that is awesome you are now 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon away from being friends with Princess Kate. Swoon.....

    1. Thiiiiiis close. If I could have spent just three more days there, I'm certain Kate and I would be exchanging secrets and venting about our husbands. :)

  10. What a codpiece! I mean the suit of armor, not the Prince!
    That is awesome. When we toured the Tower of London all we heard were young English boys giggling about the "family jewels.'
    I was also obsessed with the ravens. They seemed to stare into my soul!

    1. Ha! Does that mean Bryan and I are young English boys, 'cause one or both of us may have made those jokes. :)

      I chose not to look too closely at the ravens. Creepy creatures, they are.

  11. OK so first..."if only he was wearing a helmet"! Baaahaaahaaa!!!!!

    WOW!!! How cool is that! Karma indeed. ;)

    1. I know! We laughed so hard about that, and have frequently ever since. Whenever someone gets hurt, regardless of where or how, we will comment, "If only he was wearing a helmet." :)

      Super cool! If only we would have known how cool while it was happening.

  12. at Plymouth rock...“Why does it have 1620 engraved on it? I thought it was 1492?”... Maybe they figured Columbus gave them a lift back home?

  13. That's amazing. Who knew that knights had THOSE built in!

    And WOW you GUYS! That's hilarious. I'm so glad you had so many brushes with Royalty this visit. They all came out to see you :)

    1. Who knew? Certainly not me!

      I don't know how everyone who lives in England isn't on a first name basis with the royal family. Those folks pop up everywhere! :)

  14. I know nothing of English royalty. He looks familiar, but I would have had no idea who he was, or that he was even important! But how cool is a Prince sighting?!?!

  15. I thought I'd left a comment, but your page was open in my browser and I see it didn't work! (I'm visiting my mum and the internet connection is variable to say the least.) Just wanted to say this was very funny - and wow to getting such close contact with a royal! I've never seen one close up, but my husband did go through naval training with Charles's other brother (Andrew.)
    (if you do end up with both comments, just delete this one.)


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