As a former high school tennis player, I make it a priority each summer to enjoy the most prestigious professional tennis tournament: Wimbledon. Just a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that the tournament that I had so thoroughly enjoyed on TV each summer was a stones throw from Cardiff.
I was determined to see the iconic grass courts in person.
I secured a strong commitment from a fellow intern, and we began planning the trip. With some thorough research, the use of a day off, and a bit of Air BnB luck, we formulated our plan to to go to London for the weekend.
The Changing of the Guard was extremely crowded
During our travels. I gained a new appreciation for London, which is wrought with tradition. Ceremonies like the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace have remained for years and years. Despite the fact that London is a very modern city, it still retains a traditional aura. During Saturday and Sunday, we explored this massive city by foot. Each corner we turned unveiled a different detailed monument, lush park, or built up neighborhood. Even after walking about 10 miles around the city, I still feel like I have not seen everything!
Handmade scoreboard — very traditional!
Despite our wonderful and tiring self-guided tour, the no-doubt highlight of the trip was historic Wimbledon. Like London, Wimbledon is all about tradition. For the most part, tickets to the event are not available in advance online. This meant we were to join the famous Queue, where some fans camp overnight to secure top notch tickets. After a 4:30 AM wake up, we arrived at the Queue in great position to acquire our grounds passes.
Our early arrival gave us fantastic seats to see the flashy Benoit Paire (right)
By 10:30 AM we had made it into the grounds, and enjoyed a tremendous day of tennis. From watching feisty frenchman Benoit Paire, to rooting for the up and coming American Steve Johnson, we saw top notch talent from incredibly up close. It was a day (and a weekend) I will never forget!
American Steve Johnson, seeded 26th, delivers a serve during his first round match
This experience was by far the best of the summer thus far. Considering all the years I spent watching this tremendous event on TV, it was truly a dream come true to be there in person!