Sunday, May 24, 2009
the following is an email i wrote to my mom when we were in the UK recently. forgive me for plagiarizing myself, but i have been tooooo busy lately to actually find time to sit down and blog properly. so, until that magical day when i find myself with time to spare, this will have to suffice... enjoy!
we've been in oxford since tuesday and have really enjoyed the beautiful weather and pretty spires. we walked through christ church meadow a couple of times and had a picnic there yesterday-- christ church university is the largest uni in oxford, and was where many scenes from harry potter were filmed. in fact, we went to church this morning at christ church, and there was a boys' choir who sang portions of the service in latin, and neither adam nor i had any idea that the human voice could reach notes like that. it was really cool!
(incidentally, we're here for 10 days while adam does some professional networking and meets with some people at cambridge about the book he is co-authoring. that's what brought us here to the UK. on 8 may we go to scotland and we'll spend about a week between edinburgh and inverness, just on vacation. cool!)
last night we went on a haunted walking tour of oxford along with my good friend, carol, who was my roommate when we studied together in china. she's been living in oxford and now london for the last couple of years -- she married a briton a few years ago when they were both living in beijing. anyway, she came up to see us for the day and we went out for a drink at what is supposedly the oldest pub in oxford, then ate dinner at a pub where cs lewis (or was it lewis carroll?) and jrr tolkien and someone else famous used to hang out and think up great stories. we all ordered the fish n chips and drank local ales. it was great!
after church today we went out for pizza, and after that adam climbed a church tower -- st. mary the virgin cathedral. then after gracie's nap in her stroller, we went to a park that was on the way home on the bus line. and honestly, even though we got to go to this great church service with the latin-singing boys choir, and adam got to climb a cathedral spire while i drank a cappucino in the shadows of the tower, our time at the park was our favorite part of our day today.
we've been staying in this really cozy flat a couple of miles south of the city center. it's been really nice because we've been able to eat dinner together as a family most every night instead of spending all our money and time in restaurants. there's a washer/dryer here, a great big bathtub, cable tv with english tv shows and american reruns, and a separate bedroom for mary grace. there's also a community pool just around the corner, which gracie and i explored together a couple of days ago. there was a toddler splash hour in the wading pool with lots of little toys. we of course were the last ones out of the pool!
anyway, here are some pictures of what we've been up to so far. to be honest, my first day here was pretty awful, i've had some serious culture shock here and have been dreaming all in dutch because i'm kinda homesick. but we've been having a great time, as you can see from the pics, and we're looking forward to bob and rae joining us on wednesday! woohoo!
amber, adam, and gracie