Post Vacation Hangover

March 17, 2014 — 32 Comments

My motivation level is currently fueled by the shockingly large amount of work that is sitting on my to-do list after taking the last 11 days off for family holiday. One of the best things about working in a small firm is also one of the worst – you are responsible for getting your own work done. Even if you go on holiday, it will all be sitting there waiting for you when you return … with the addition of the all the new stuff that came in while you were gone, so lovingly placed on your desk in a “we hate you – hope you enjoyed your vacation while we stayed here working” pile from your co-workers.

So yeah … uhm, good to be back.

Since I am currently recovering from a 6 hour time difference, about all I have managed to do so far is look through some of the holiday photos I took – it’s what we architects like to do post holiday. I have organized a very, very small collection of photos here in chronological order based on the days we were in England. Some of these adventures might end up getting their own blog post because the experience was that terrific so please excuse me if I don’t tell my best stories today … it’s currently 2:57am London time and my eyeballs feel like they’re bleeding.

Salisbury Cathedral
Long Barrow
Drive to Enford (where we rented a cottage while in the country)

Salisbury Cathedral exterior

Salisbury Cathedral Interior Courtyard

Salisbury Cathedral Central Nave

Salisbury Cathedral above the ceiling

Rental house in Enford England


Silbury Hill
Long Barrow

Silbury Hil

The Town of Avebury

Stonehenge Vistor Center Roof


stonehenge at dusk photo by Kate Borson


Barge Inn
Walk around the town of Enford

Stourhead Castle exterior

Stourhead Castle in Wiltshire England

Temple of Apollo at Stourhead Castle

Gardens at Stourhead Castle


Hawk Conservancy
Highclere Castle
Drive to London
Westminster Bridge

A Falcon at the Hawk Conservancy

Bob Borson wingspan of a King Vulture

Highclere Castle photo by Michelle Borson


Sir John Soane’s Museum
Natural History Museum
Covent Garden
Trafalgar Square

Sir John Soane's Museum

London Museum of Natural History central space

London Eye viewed from Westminster Bridge


St. James Park
Buckingham Garden
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
Millenium Bridge
London Eye

Buckingham Garden

Saint Paul's Cathedral in London

Saint Paul's Cathedral Dome

View from the Dome of Saint Paul's Cathedral

London Eye

view from the top of the London Eye

London eye black and white detail

view from Saint Paul's Cathedral of downtown London

Westminster Palace from the London Eye at Sunset


Tower of London
Double Decker Bus ride
Return to Dallas

London Tower and a Beefeater

Kate on the Waterloo 381 Double Decker Bus

I should just point out that in this very last picture, I am actually in it … bottom left-hand corner. I was told to “get out of the picture” and this was the best I could manage.

Oh well.

All in all, I think we came home with just North of 2,000 photos, a bunch of terrific stories (that I would never actually put down in writing for fear that they would be used as evidence against me in a court of law … just ask me to tell you about the “parakeet incident”. This trip was a wonderful break for the entire family, not just the architect in the group. We always endeavor to find something that is specific to each one of us on each day of our family vacations – there’s only so many churches and domes I can force on my wife and daughter (although to their credit, if I keep the number reasonable, they are happy and willing participants.)

If you lived in Dallas, I would be happy to open a bottle of wine or two and run through the pictures with you and explain what you are looking at and tell the stories that go along with some of these adventures. For now, thanks for letting me share this small glimpse with you.

Cheers (and Tally-ho!)

Bob AIA signature

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  • Brad Feinknopf


    I’ve been meaning to post something but sadly have not had the time. So glad you had an AMAZING trip. I will say, wether it is one week, two week, a month … I don’t think there is EVER enough time in London. It is such an incredibly AWESOME town. Your images are great and it appears you had pretty wonderful weather for England. Next thing we need to get you is a perspective control lens and you will be all set. 😉

    I don’t know if you got to the theater but I hope you found time. If not, you can always go back.

    Take good care my friend,


    • Thanks Brad – and feel free to send one of your spare perspective control lenses my way!

      We weren’t able to make a show unfortunately – we tried but somehow it always got pushed off for something else or to allow our current activity to run long. I suppose we’ll just have to go back again!


  • I visited London a couple of summers ago. I really really enjoyed it and thought it was the bees knees. That was until I arrived in Paris a week later. Having a direct comparison between London and Paris there is no comparison. Paris wins hands down. I still like London a lot since my wife is from there but man oh man. Paris is something to see. I did the same tour you did at St. Paul’s but I kept getting dirty looks anytime I took a picture. They do have signs saying not to, but how can you not take pictures? It is so beautiful.. All excellent pictures BTW. It makes we want to go back to Europe again. This time not in the summer though. The crowds were insane.

    • We took a family holiday to Paris 4 years ago and it was absolutely amazing. Luckily I have spent a good bit of time in both England and France and have come to love them both. I can’t imagine having to choose between the two so I don’t 🙂

      Timing really does make a difference when traveling to Europe, we typically try to work the fringes of good weather and high season.

  • Drew

    Looks like fun! How did you get up top of Salisbury Cathedral and Saint Paul’s? Is there a special tour that takes you up there or did you pull some strings? We spent a lot of time over there while my dad was working out of London, but somehow never made it to Saint Paul’s or the top of Salisbury. Just curious.

    • It’s a tour that you pay for – pretty simple. Minimal crowds in England right now so I’m not sure how much that impacted our ability to walk up and go on these climbs. St. Paul’s is pretty good but so many people do it, the path is not very illuminating from an architectural point of view.

  • Michael B.

    I love London and visit as often as I can. Sir John Soane’s House Museum is one of my favorite places on the planet. Looking forward to my next trip (hopefully, very soon). My sister (my hotelier while I am in London) always says I bring the sunshine over (the weather is always nice—well, most of the time—while I am there). Thanks for sharing your memories…

    • My wife said I have the same ability weather-wise. There was spectacular weather during our trip, it really does make a difference.

      and I love Sir John Soane’s House as well.

  • Great photo’s! Gotta get over there and see Highclere Castle.

    • If you do, share your pictures with me! It was closed to tours while we were there so our experience was from a foot path far, far away. Beautiful grounds though. That is one thing that the Brits should get all sorts of credit for allowing – anything that is considered an area of natural beauty (AONB) is treated as a park and everyone gets access to enjoy it.

      • Happy to. They will all be of the wood work and detail. That main stairway is just flat out stunning…and the linen fold detail on the doors…and the…

  • Myra Peggy Rose

    Hey Bob! I’m not in Dallas, nor in America, but if you want to drop by Perth, Western Australia I would LOVE to go through all your photographs and hear all your stories (especially about this ”parakeet incident”). I can offer tea and bikkies? (Bring your pre-BIMja mug) #happyface x

    • Australia and New Zealand are on my travel bucket list – it literally might be killing me. It’s so far away however, that I think I’m going to have to wait until I can take a month off to see all there is to see. (and I’ll take you up on your offer of tea and bikkies!)

  • AlmostJane

    OK, your first priority should be dealing with those bleeding eyeballs. We’ll look forward to hearing commentary on your trip, the photos etc at some point after that. Oh yeah, did you remember to try some pear cider? :>)

    • I did try the pear cider – I was at “The Barge Inn” and had a glass. Bit sweet for me but I enjoyed it well enough to finish the glass. I think there’s a picture of it in my Instagram feed 🙂

      • AlmostJane

        Before I tried it, I was told “If you like beer, you’ll like pear cider…” I don’t think it IS all that much like beer though, so I didn’t mention that. More like an apple cider that’s drifting toward hard cider, absolutely sweeter and not as filling [bonus]. Made me feel veddy English though, and went well with just about all pub food. I liked it very much for the change of pace and would definitely chose it over Guinness. As my cousin said, “Ye like yer lagers light…”

        • I asked for something that the locals liked to drink – that’s how I got my pear cider. Obviously it’s a popular drink

          • AlmostJane

            Can’t go wrong asking for the local favorites.

  • Emily Pointon

    Wow brilliant photographs! Seeing these definitely makes me proud to live in England and lucky that you managed to pick the few days this year when the weathers been great 🙂 Although if you ever return I would recommend visiting up north as it is full of picturesque towns and villages! Absolutely beautiful! 🙂

    • We really wanted to get some time in up North but with such little time, we felt short changed even in the places where we went. Definitely need to schedule another return trip as I felt the one thing I really didn’t get to do was wonder around villages and go into some of the manor houses.

      • kerry hogue

        it would be best to wander around villages and be filled with wonder.

        • “wondering” around villages paints an entirely different picture than “wandering” doesn’t it?

          • kerry hogue

            my wife is from east Texas. in the piney woods, there is no difference between wonder and wander. everything is wonder.

  • Thanks for the memories! I happily interned with both Robert Adam Architects in Winchester and with the Prince’s Foundation in London. I took much advantage of the awesome train system and was able to see a lot of the sites you’ve pictured on weekend trips. Sigh, once upon a time… I should have stayed 🙂 The architecture you’ve showcased is awesome.

    • Thanks Rebekah. Since you’ve lived there, you would have really appreciated the weather we had for our entire trip. No Rain. Sunny. Blue Skies … it even got into the 70’s a few days. With weather like that, it’s easy to see why people would enjoy living in England.

  • Kerry Hogue

    Just for the record, nobody does your work for you either in a large firm while you are gone. Vacation is a reward for working hard and letting you take a needed break. Vacation is a punishment because all of the urgent tasks piled up and are now overdue when you return.
    also, I notice you are an unconvicted felon. Taking photos at St Paul’s is strictly prohibited.

    • Yes, I was admonished for my behavior at St. Paul’s.

      Things have changed from when I worked in a large firm – the teams were larger and there were a group of people responsible for getting a task completed. Small firm, small team, less freight to be carried by others. Of course, none of this matters when you are “executive” level, those are always a team of one.

  • Robert Rockefeller

    Welcome back! Sounds like a fantastic trip. I hope you were able to check out some modern architecture, maybe some by Norman Foster, that you can share once you have recovered.

    • Thanks – wish I was glad to be back (really need to refocus my efforts on winning the lottery).

      All of my Norman Foster experiences were from a distance I’m afraid. Other than the new Stonehenge visitor center, pretty much everything I looked at was old and dusty – we don’t have a lot of that here in Dallas.

      • Alex Skorge

        Not much old and dusty in Dallas, but at least you can get a small dose of Foster’s work in the Arts District, which would be the Winspear of course.

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