Wednesday, April 28, 2010

England Days 6 & 7

When Duncan left off, we were enjoying Taryn's home-cooked curry in Cheltenham...he mentioned that we played Texas Hold 'Em that evening after dinner, he stole part of Day 6. Stephanie Tanner would definitely pull a "How Rude!"

S'okay Dunc, I forgive you. But I will elaborate on the evening of Day 5, we hit up the local movie theatre for Kick Ass! Which was pretty dang entertaining... however  disturbing, mostly for **SPOILER ALERT** the young child murdering people... 

But back to the English countryside:

On Saturday, we headed to Bath for the day. Bath is a beautiful town, filled with buildings that make you want to punch something because you are overwhelmed by the cute level. I had a number of cute attacks while traveling in England, but Bath was BEAUTIFUL and filled with a ridiculous amount of history. 

But first! FOOD! We were headed to a restaurant for bangers and mash - everyone was jealous of my sausages and mustard mash from two nights ago. It was worthy of their jealousy. So we were in hot pursuit for more sausages! On our way to said restaurant, we passed the "Bath Tub" and saw a comparable menu for cheaper prices. SOLD! And what a choice it was. I give you an Aubergine Stack, Bangers and Mash (topped with parsnips! YUM!) and a most excellent burger - despite the first burger attempt... success!

After lunch we made our way into town and stopped at a super cute shop "Found" and spoke with the owners for awhile about their current venture, their recent WOOFing expedition in New Zealand and a good local coffee shop... that's what happens when you mention you're from Seattle. Here's the view from their shop window:
 Pretty terrible right?

It was quite rainy though... We tried to be emo, but Tom and Taryn are much better at acting cool than I...

We headed further into town and spent a good chunk of time wandering Bath Abbey. Awe-inspiring amount of details and history in this church:
Notice the old English... "f" has replaced "s" within a number of words. Silly!

Check out the first recorded Abbess of Bath... 676 AD!!! And look at those Abbots' names... sounds like Middle Earth to me. Nerd? I show the rest of the list because I find the whole no last name prior to 1290 interesting, but look at poor Richard in 1476. Sorry Rich! No surname for you.

We left the Abbey, wandered around in the rain for a bit. Saw the outside of the Roman Baths... the line was way to long and it was again 15 quid each. Sheesh! On our way out of Bath I made the gang swing into the Jane Austen Centre, I love me some Jane and I had to check it out. Plus I got to see some paintings of Mr. Darcy as styled after Colin Firth in the best production of Pride & Prejudice ever.

Then we drove back through the countryside... gross:

That evening, Tom whipped up some Thai noodle soup... amazing. And we played poker and celebrity.

The next day was HOGWARTS!!! Well as close as we could get. Oxford!
B-E-A-utiful. Can you believe people go to University here? I would not be able to concentrate.

I'd be doing too many chin-ups on the Cotswold Stone buildings. Tony Horton would be proud.

We visited Oxford Castle. And got put in stocks...
It was pointed out by smarty-pants English pants: "Actually I think those were meant for your feet..." He was right... we just have small necks?

On the castle grounds, there was a massive hill, man-made with some sort of structure within it. I made everyone climb it. And jump off of it.

On our way back down we spied Tom throwing handfuls of pebbles. Taryn and I thought he was throwing them at people as they crossed his path...
He was really aiming for the daffodils.
(Look closely, see the rock in action?)

We walked around Oxford some more, admiring the ridiculously beautiful architecture and marveling at the locales where Harry Potter visited (or where the films were shot... details, details).

We saw a performer and his dog. The pup sang along with the harmonica, adorrrrrrable. 

And then Duncan tasted Millionaire Shortbread...
Near tears my friends... one tasty tasty treat. (I did not hold true to my "no sugar" rule while abroad, I had to taste the local delicacies!)

Then it was back to Cheltenham for a "pub quiz". In America, we call that trivia. It was good fun - in spite of our neighboring group insisting that we let them cheat off of our sheet. There were even questions about the US and Washington State. We were accused of cheating based on our accents when we got Mt. St. Helen's correct. Oh right, being born near an active volcano and knowing the year it last erupted IS cheating. Pardon me, dear Brits.

I know I was supposed to do the rest of the trip, but this is already getting out of hand (or long...) - I'll be back with more!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

England is a coming....

I promise! Sorry I am not nearly the timely blogger that Duncan is. Now hear this... I will have Part 2 (Part 1 here) our British Adventures posted ASAP. It was just too nice of a day to sit inside and blog. I will leave you with this little tid bit though:

(The large piece of wood I've pulled out was used to barricade the door to protect those seeking refuge behind the church doors. It was still there and was in working condition in a VERY old church. I love the ridiculous amount of history in England...)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seestor Begonia is Thirty!

Note, this is posting from the British Summer Time zone, sorry if it doesn't quite line up with the proper day of  the seventh of April.

(For any of my siblings that read this blog and are shocked by the lack of birthday posts on their respective days of birth, I apologize and will make sure to do so more thoroughly in 2010.)

Dear Elder Seestor,

As you reach the 30th anniversary of your birth, I would like to reflect upon all the things you taught me:

1. How to deceive Mother and Father to procure more sweets.
2. How to fight crime with the swiftest of ease.
3. How to become a double black belt in Jiu Jitsu while attending grammar school.
4. How to properly complete all tasks at finishing school while maintaining my boorish charm.
5. How to use glasses as an accessory and tool to look more intelligent.
6. How to tie all sorts of sailor's and Boy Scouts' knots.
7. How to pick locks (to procure more sweets).
8. How to illegally pirate Betamax tapes.
9. How to tame a rabid grizzly bear.

So perhaps none of the above is true. Nonetheless, my seestor is an incredible human being. She in fact has taught me a number of things and acted as an essential mentor when it comes to my education, my career and my life these days.

Here is a quick homage to my seestor Begonia, also known as Katy...

Katy has a great sense of humor and a massive love of holidays, mostly Christmas:

She also taught me how to make this face:

She loves her fambily and we love her!

And we love our chothers.

Thanks for being a great older seestor Katy face! I love you! Even with hair and glasses like these:

We do love Nelly, but this picture of the first three is too awesome not to (re)post.

Hooray Seestors!!!! Goooooo THIRTY!!!!

Betsy's shared items