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West Sussex & Hampshire, UK

Labor Day marks the traditional end of summer here in the States. This year we joined Lauren's family in the UK for an end-of-summer holiday.

We could not have asked for a better week to visit, as the weather in Southern England was the perfect respite from the stifling heat and humidity of Washington, DC. Our days were marked by crisp mornings and delightfully warm afternoons, and we lived out-of-doors about as much as in.

It was a trip filled with quality family time, but also marked by its excursions to a series of delightful neighboring towns.

Chichester

Our home for the duration of the trip, Chichester, is the only city in West Sussex. It has quite a long history, with parts of its original Roman city walls still standing to this day. Additionally, the Chichester Festival Theater is one of the UK's flagship producing and touring theaters.

Staying just outside of Chichester with Lauren's aunt and uncle, this was our home base for the trip. Whether relaxing at the house and catching up over a glass of wine (or two or three), going for a morning run through the countryside with Caroline, or strolling through town, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Chichester, and look forward to our next visit.

Lauren and I relaxing on the lawn in Chichester.

Gosport

On a peninsula situated between The Solent and Portsmouth Harbour on the Southern coast of England, Gosport was one of the Allied staging beaches for Operation Overlord (D-Day) during World War II. Its 17 miles of waterfront include a pebble beach at Stokes Bay that offers views of the many passing ships and pleasure craft.

Families and sailors alike enjoy a late summer afternoon on Stokes Bay.

We spent parts of a few days in Gosport this trip visiting Lauren's grandmother. This included a Sunday pub lunch at the Anglesey Hotel, followed by an afternoon stroll along Stokes Bay.

The view of Portsmouth and its Spinnaker Tower from across the harbour in Gosport.

Portsmouth

A short ferry-ride from Gosport, Portsmouth has been a significant naval town for centuries, and its historic dockyard contains the world's oldest dry dock. Its the birthplace of Charles Dickens, the home of Portsmouth FC, and the Spinnaker Tower (one of the UK's tallest structures).

After a brief ferry ride from Gosport, our visit to Portsmouth was marked by a walk around the Historic Dockyards, and meal with a view at a Wagamama's in the Gunwharf Quays.

Arundel

Home to Arundel Castle, seat of the Duke of Norfolk, Arundel is a small town in West Sussex. It's situated along the River Arun in a steep vale, and offers visitors a wonderful afternoon of visiting shops, touring the castle and its grounds, or enjoying an afternoon tea (or coffee).

Arundel Castle

While we arrived a bit too late in the afternoon to tour the castle on the day of our visit, we did visit a few of the shops, and spend a few moments relaxing over cider along the river.

West Wittering

A small village in the Chichester District of West Sussex, West Wittering boasts an unspoiled sandy beach with views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs.

A panoramic view of West Wittering Beach

Our visit included a peaceful and pleasant walk along the large beach, and was a perfect cap to the trip.

The dunes on West Wittering Beach

StoriesMark TegethoffTravel
Photographing 'That' Match

In modern sports, the great photography is often taken for granted. This story from Clive Brunskill details the challenges of shooting the 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“It got to the point that it got so dark, I had to put my fastest lense on for match point...And I just remember thinking, I can’t even see him. All I could see was the white of his outfit and I was thinking ‘Where is he going to go?’” he said.

In the span of 10 years, our equipment has changed so much. The fact that he got that picture with that experience is simply incredible.

Sunflowers & Bumblebees

McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Maryland boasts public hunting land. Each year, large fields full of sunflowers are planted to attract game birds and wildlife. It's beautiful.

Plan your visit sometime in June or July to witness peak bloom of the sunflowers.

Much Anticipated Debuts

DC United was one of 10 clubs to kickoff the inaugural MLS season in 1996, when they opened their season at RFK Stadium. The league's early early featured a series of dominant performances by United, as they won the MLS Cup three of the league's first four seasons, taking home the Supporters' Shield (for best regular season record) in two of those seasons.

Audi Field from Potomac Ave.

Over the ensuing 22 years, DC's success stalled as many new clubs were added to the league (there are now 23), new soccer-specific stadiums provided new revenue streams, an influx of European and South American talent raised the level of competition, and DC tussled again and again with the city government in hopes of getting a home of their own.

They finally have one: Audi Field. Its debut on July 14, 2018 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, just so happened to coincide with the debut of England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, DC's new number nine, and its most expensive player expenditure to date.

DC United descends to the locker rooms after warm-ups for final preparations.

DC United's new number nine: Wayne Rooney.

The event played out as the team might've hoped: offering fantastic sight lines, a steep grandstand keeping fans close to the action, a packed house, and a victory by the United.

Mere minutes into his debut, Rooney was presented with a juicy free kick opportunity (he drilled it into the wall).

Rooney made his eagerly awaited debut in the 57th minute and made an immediate impact. Shortly after running onto the pitch, he launched a juicy free kick from 25 yards into the wall, linking up with his teammates during a tiki-taka-esque sequence leading to DC's second goal, almost scoring a goal of his own on a looping header, and eventually contributing an assist for DC's third and final goal.

The game eventually ended with a 3-1 victory for United, sending the standing room-only crowd of 20,504 home happy, and ensuring a successful debut for the two newest pieces of shiny for DC United.

Postgame fireworks to punctuate the victory.

All Ours

When a team in your city wins a championship, your city gets a parade. I can't be sure, but I'm pretty confident that it's in the Constitution somewhere, at least on the state level. Unfortunately, in our nation's capital, we don't get those types of parades too often. I've spent 35 years living near this great city, and trust me, we haven’t done it often at all. The last time the entirety of DC was able to celebrate like this was 26 years ago (Sorry DC United, I'm a season ticket holder, and I hope that you someday could generate this kind of glee, but you're not quite there, yet).

To the delight of throngs of Capitals fans, Alex Ovechkin hoists the Stanley Cup.

Sure, Inaugurations happen every four years, and at times one social cause or another political gathering gets the city's skyline on CNN, but this is different. This was ours. It wasn't about a group of carpetbaggers coming in to celebrate a national election, a massive protest of the ruling party of the time, or about the swamp or the lobbyists or the interns or the representatives of other cities and states on the Hill.

Two long-time season ticket holders, known to most as The Horn Guy and Loud Goat, began the festivities, and led the parade.

A Caps' fan in his Nicklas Bäckström jersey looks to take in the view from up by the Washington Monument.

This one was about us.

It's been a rough 26 years since the last big parade. I could talk about a trip to the now-shuttered Carpool in Arlington to watch them fall to the Penguins. I could talk about watching in-person, Ovi's first trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs end in an overtime Game 7 defeat to the Philadelphia Flyers. I could talk about any number of deflating losses, where they hit crossbars, missed empty nets and let the puck crawl through their legs to the back of the net. I could also expand the scope of deflation, and remember Robert Griffin III, crumpled in a heap. I could reminiscence about throwing things in frustration at Justin's Cafe as a Game 5 against the Cardinals slipped through the Nats’ fingers, or when Clayton Kershaw came in late to best Max Scherzer with me looking on in horror from the stands. I could talk about a lot of moments. Frankly, I could even talk about this year, when I gave up on watching OT hockey games entirely. The result has always just seemed so damn inevitable. Always.

And then suddenly, it wasn't quite so inevitable.

A few of the Washington Capitals (Brett Connolly, Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovski, and more) pose for a photo atop their parade bus.

When they came back from two games to none against Columbus, it felt a little bit different. When Evgeny Kuznetsov lit the lamp, flapped his wings, and sent home the Penguins, we were overjoyed that the piano was lifted. When the collective team effort suffocated the vaunted Tampa Bay offense into Game 6 and 7 goose eggs, we wondered. When Braden Holtby made "The Save" in Game 2, we started believing. When Jakub Vrana, Alex Ovechkin, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Lars Eller netted goals in game seven, we were all champions.

Fans celebrate with posters of the Washington Post Sports section's recent front pages.

TJ Oshie salutes the fans.

It most definitely does not "be f*ing suck!" as the team's bearded Russian grizzly bear of a captain so succinctly put it.

"We are Stanley Cup Champions!"

Local alcohol laws didn't stop parade participants from distributing beer to the crowd.

After the majority of the parade had passed by, attendees eagerly awaited The Cup.

It was jubilation. It was local. It was diverse. It was everything that those of us that live here know Washington, DC to be. It was for those of us that grew up here. It was for the players and coaches, who all thought that they missed their chance last year, and year before that, and year before that, and weren't sure if they'd ever get there. It was for the season ticket holders that have watched for 43 seasons of disappointment. It was those of us that root for the Nationals on hot summer afternoons, the Redskins on crisp autumn Sundays, the Wizards through frigid winters, but most of all, those of us that don a sweater, "Rock the Red", and fill Capital One Arena, season after season. We all took part in the festivities. I don't think a single person that wore their sweater on a warm, but not-too-hot June day regretted that decision, and I think we'll all remember the scene of overdue and well earned triumph for the rest of our lives.

Stanley Cup Champions.

Congratulation, Washington, DC — your Capitals now hoist the Stanley Cup.

We got our parade, for everyone this time.