Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the Thanksgiving/Stratford/Oxford post that is a bit late...

I'd love to use the excuse that these last few days have been uneventful, hence the need not to post. Alas, that is untrue. I was just being lazy...well, that and all of a sudden school has consumed my life. But the end is in sight, and after a refreshing time at Bible study and Christmas decorating at Pete's (Bible study leader) flat, I feel it is time for an update. Lucky you.
Last week was Thanksgiving, as you Americans remember. However, it kind of sneaked up on me here. Rachel's parents came in for the weekend and we all went to this smoke house for a full Thanksgiving dinner. And when I mean full Thanksgiving dinner, I mean it was a 'I'm still eating leftovers' kind of a full Thanksgiving meal. (For real, I am. Just had a cold turkey sandwich. Bring on the turkey coma!) It was an interesting experience, spending Thanksgiving with people who aren't my family. It made me miss them a bit more, but I had a great time.

This past Sunday, my GSE trip was to Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. It was delightful--except for that fact that it rained the entire time we were in Oxford. Actually, the day didn't start so delightfully. It all started when I woke up an hour after my alarm went off. Yeah, I'm great at the whole 'morning' thing. NOT. I got ready in good time though, and if I hadn't forgot my roommate's shoes I would have been fine. But the shoes were forgotten, and of course the Piccadilly line-which is never late- was running late. Very late. So I pick up another line and take it half way to where I needed to be with the intention of picking up the Piccadilly there. As I'm transferring from the Victoria to the Piccadilly, running like the awkward person that I am, I hear the beep-beep-beep of the doors getting ready to close. I turn the corner, run up to the train and-- the doors close on my face. Yay. Five minutes later ( I want to take this moment to say that when you are waiting for a train, five minutes feels like 5 days) I get on the train to Earl's Court. As I'm willing the train to move faster, I'm trying to text my leader to tell him the lines are running slow and that I will be there. As soon as the train pulls up to the platform, I dash off and start running to the exit. So I'm running with my messenger bag on one shoulder, bag of shoes in the other AND I'm trying to text people to let them know I'm coming. Thankfully I didn't drop anything as I leave the station, nor did I get run over by a car whilst crossing the street to get to the bus that hadn't left yet. Yay God.

[Anne Hathaway's house]

After driving for about two hours, we arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is all hyphenated because it means the town of Stratford that in on the River Avon. (For those of you Anglo-Saxon, English-y major people, you know that the word 'avon' is just the word for river, so its really the river River, which I find amusing.) It was a great town, but over populated for my taste. We got to see Anne Hathaway's house and Shakespeare's birthplace. I used my excellent map following abilities (okay, Michael gave great visual directions as well...) I made my way down to Holy Trinity Church, the church Shakespeare is buried in.
[William Shakespeare's grave at Holy Trinity]

I think those are the most important parts of a trip to Stratford. Everything else is just "Oh we think Shakespeare spat here, so we will charge you oodles of money to look at that spot." A bit of an exaggeration, but not too far off. According to Pauline Frommer (who wrote my excellent guide book) the locals of Stratford didn't care too much about the house Shakespeare was born in years ago. However when P. T. Barnum offered to buy it and ship it to America stone-for-stone, they all of a sudden loved it. Riiight.[All Soul's College]
Next stop was Oxford. In the rain. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it was also quite late in the day, limiting what you could see. I climbed to the top of St. Mary's Chapel to get the best view of Oxford, which is really best when the sun is out. I saw the Bodleian Library, but couldn't go in. I also found Magdalen College, but couldn't go into that either. I did however get into The Eagle and the Child, which is almost more important.
[The Eagle and the Child and the back room where the Inklings met to make amazing literature. Oh, and a picture of C. S. Lewis {to the right of the clock} :) ]
School is coming to an end, which is something I desperately need. I've already had my end of term break down, I think, so I should be able to knock out the rest of my course work without any problems. I get a little jealous when I think about all this work I still have to do, and how the students who aren't leaving for home have until 16 January to turn these papers in. Booger. Ah well, such is life.
Tomorrow I will be wicked. No, I haven't regressed into a past decade--I'm going to see 'Wicked'! I'm so excited! Tower of London tour on Saturday, but basically I"ll be working on school work all weekend.
Less than 10 days til I see home!


sharon said...

The only part that has me puzzled is the "roommates shoes". ?????
Hope your next trip to Oxford is a sunny one. Come home soon. OH, that's right, you are!!!!

mrsforeman said...

Ah, The Cotswolds. Beautiful I am sure you will agree. Sounds like your overseas adventure is quite...adventuresome. Trains.Planes.(in less than 2 weeks)...any automobiles? I'm with your mom on the whole shoes thing??? I don't even want to know really. I just want you to come So please, no texting unless you are sitting. That's enough mothering. You already have one who is more than competant at that job. Just get your work done and have fun! Love ya!

DebRiss said...

You are sure getting good at the multitasking! I love hearing about your adventures. But do tell...why wasnt your roommate wearing her shoes?? I want to hear all about Wicked!! I am green with envy...