Well, my program is almost over. I finished my last tutorial today and celebrated by going to the Ashmolean with Sonia. That museum is crazy-I saw two Stradivarius violins! One of them was hand decorated and the display said only 10 like it exist in the world. We also saw Van Gogh’s work, Roman sculptures, and Egpytian shrines to mention a few. After that we had tea at SCIO. It was the last tea of the term. I left with Eliza and Megan to go get souvenirs and we stumbled onto the set of a BBC show, Lewis. We actually made it as extras in the back of one scene which was pretty exciting, not gonna lie. Then we went to some souvenir shops and a tea shop. Boston, if you’re reading this, you are so hard to shop for. !!!!
I’m excited to show my family all the things I bought them, especially my mom. Yay! It’s crazy to think part two of my trip begins Saturday. I’m flying out to Rome and spending Sunday with Mary. I’ll be there for a week but she will have classes. Kate and Sonia are meeting me Tuesday night! It’s going to be great. And I’m thankful I’ll have friends around. By the way, in an earlier post I mentioned having 25 roommates. It’s actually more like 40. I’ll go from knowing 40 people in Oxford to knowing one in Rome. I think Rome is going to be a bit of culture shock with how different it is.
I’ve been pretty on top of all my trip information. I have all my reservations for hostels, flights, and train trips. I know where I’m staying and have a budget. Now I just need to stick to it and remember to enjoy myself. When I’m in a new place I just like to soak in the atmosphere. I don’t like fitting in 100 things in one day. Sometimes I’d just rather support a local bakery, sit in the sun, and soak up the culture. And of course maybe go to a museum or two. I know there will be lots of busy days in Paris and London because of all I want to see. And that’s okay! But I look forward to relaxing in Rome because I’ll have time to. Mary’s going to show me around and I’ll have time to myself. I’ll also have time with my wonderful friends I mentioned earlier!
I’m sad to leave Oxford. I don’t want to stay here forever, but I’ll miss it. I really want to come back with my mom and dad. They would just love it! I think I will be back with them some day. Biking here has been super efficient and it has inspired me to bring my bike back to school with me if I end up driving back to Portland instead of flying. Portland, like Oxford, is super bike-able. Since coming to England I have fallen in love with the spires and the country side. It’s truly like no place I’ve ever been. I can say now though that my heart is in the west coast. Of course, that’s home. But I’ve always had this glorified, romanticized view of England and Europe in general. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredible here. But I still hold a special love for California and Portland, Oregon. Those are my resting spots.
I haven’t posted in so long! I will keep posting further on from my phone if I get bored enough. I’m not taking my laptop on the next part of the trip. I forgot to mention the 4th of July celebration!! We went to Simon’s where we had dinner and played games. The night ended with a very exciting fireworks show. Let’s just say it was honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I can’t explain why, you’ll just have to see the video. I was jumping up and down in hysteria. Ask for the video. Please.
I made cookies last night. My first time baking in a long, long time! I’ve been updating my baking instagram with other things. Sunday night my roommate Miranda and I went to London and saw Sir Simon Rattle conduct the LSO. It was outstanding. Thank you James, J. Cam, and Ballard for teaching me to appreciate the baton more than I did. Oh yes! We biked to Tolkien’s house/grave yesterday! Major high point of the trip for me. The house he lived in while in Oxford was the house he wrote most of LOTR and The Hobbit in. Super exciting stuff. It’s very close to where my seminars were held at Wycliffe Hall. We also took a field trip to Jane Austen’s house and C.S. Lewis’ house. I went in both their bedrooms. That was reeeeeally cool. It was a beautiful day for both.
I haven’t written much because I have been busy working on my tutorial essays but now that they are over I am free to roam, write, and play! Hence my finally going to the Ashmolean today. Now I have to start preparing for my departure from Oxford and my PART TWO: ROME!!!