After staying up all night to watch the moon walk, I was glad the next two days on our Girl Scout European adventure included not much more than relaxing at Hemsby Beach. When you realize that I had grown up with the warm Atlantic waters and the soft, sandy beaches of Daytona Beach, Florida, you will realize that the following entry was actually high praise for Hemsby Beach and the North Sea.
Went to beach—nice but sort of rocky. Not nearly as cold as I thought. Pleasant to swim in.
We stayed up late again on the 21st, to watch the Eagle (lunar module) rendezvous with Columbia (command module).
Then on the 23rd we had an adventure that had nothing to do with the moon landing. We waited an hour and a half for a bus to take us into Yarmouth to do some shopping, not my favorite activity to begin with.
Saw a grand total of 2 stores. Didn't see anything I wanted so Mrs B. told Bonnie S. and I to explore a nearby street and meet her back at a certain store at 12:15. We were there, and she wasn't. So we waited and waited. For an hour and 45 minutes. We figured that they must have realized we were missing, and would come back for us. [That was the standing instruction in my family: If you get separated, stop, stay where you are, and wait for us to find you.] We didn't know whether Mrs. B. expected us to go back of our own accord or wait for her. So we played it safe and waited. Finally, we decided to call the camp. We found a phone but oh, what problems. We had to call the operator to figure out how to call. Then we couldn't get the money in the machine. We called the operator and she placed the call. Talked to a panicked Mrs. B. who said to come back via the Wellington Bus Station. When asked where it was she said, "ask anyone." So we did. A very complex story, but the end of it was we ended up in the factory section of town. We finally found it, and arrived at the camp about one and half hours late.
I have no idea what happened, why it was we didn't connect up with the group when we were sure we were in the right place at the right time, nor what directions we were given that had us going through the factory district. In fact, I only remember two parts of that adventure: trying to make that phone call at the British pay phone, and what we stared at while sitting and waiting to be found: a gigantic photo of a singer, and the words, "Englebert Humperdinck," covering one wall of the building in front of us. At the time, I knew that name only as the composer of the opera, Hansel and Gretel. This young singer with the same name was soon to be giving a concert in the area.
Little did I know that fifty years later, one of my friends would be touring the world, singing with that same Engelbert Humperdinck.
On July 24 we paid a visit to Sandringham Palace, the Queen's private residence. Alas, not to see the queen; the building wasn't even open. We enjoyed her gardens, however, and had a picnic. We arrived back at camp in time to watch the astronauts return to earth.
Watched astronauts come on board ship. Laurie and I threw an Apollo victory party just after a TV review of all Apollo. Mrs. B. provided drinks (7-Up and Coke); Laurie, Kathy M., and I bought goodies, and nearly everyone who came brought something. We ate and sang and took pictures.
Even though I didn't experience as much of the historic moon landing coverage as I would have liked, the timing could not have been better for where we were in our trip. We missed very few of the major events, and it was a great week to be an American in Europe.
"Ate and sang and took pictures"—I guess that's been my favorite way to celebrate for at least half a century.