Posts Tagged With: Shopping

Machu Pichu

Sunday 3/15/09 Machu Pichu

This day started out early. I had an alarms set for 3am and Madison had one for 1:20am. Early, looking back now that’s an ungodly time to get up. But that was OK. Because we were going to one of the world wonders: Machu Pichu.

To catch an early morning train up the mountain, the group was asked to meet that the mercado at 4:30am. My 3am alarm made more sense than Madison’s 1:20.

As soon as the bus started moving Madison fell right back to sleep. I stayed up for a bit watching the city lights pass by. I did doze off but when I woke back up the sun rise looked pink through the fogged up window. Priceless.

The train we were taking up the mountain served a boxed breakfast on the way up and a dinner on the way down. I passed on the breakfast. The ride took a couple hours, give or take.

Buses race back and forth on that skinny road

Buses race back and forth on that skinny road

From the buses we had to make our way through a market to get to the buses that would take us up the rest of the way. These buses would go racing back and forth up the mountain. When two of them would meet on the road you could have stuck your hand out the window and high-fived the other bus. And I thought the drivers in Cuzco were crazy!

You would think that when you get to a world wonder there would be a grand sense of Ahh. When we got to the top and off that crazy bus, I didn’t get that sense right away. Why would there be Ahh if the first thing to see is a restaurant? And pay phones, a jewlery bathroom and a spot with lockers? A let down… just a little.

Our group was given their tickets and we proceeded to a house on the path where we had to sign a visitors book and have our passports looked at. When everyone was through, we were on our way to the hidden ruins.

I say hidden because at the time of the Spanish invaders, it couldn’t bee seen. And when it was found again in the 1900’s trees and vegetation had totally taken over the place.

This place was huge! It had been estimated that 600-1000 people lived in the “fortified” city at one time. when it was abandoned 80% of the bodies found were women. That brings up questions like: Why were there more women than men?

At the time there were three theories given to the group. The first was that this city had been a home to virgin women of the Sun. Another suggested that them men had left to go fight the invaders. A third theory about aliens was tossed in for giggles.

When Mauch Pichu was found again, people found mummified bodies and thought that the Spanish had been there. The skeletons showed that the poeple hadn’t gotten enough calcium in life. There were skulls that had holes and cracked jaw bones. It was also found that many of the women had syphilis.

The first things we saw were the houses of the nobility. Some suggest that Machu Pichu wasn’t a completed city when it was abandoned. The reason for this is because of the open quarry right behind the houses of the nobility.

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From there we saw the religious square. Here the buildings were in the shape of a cross. I should clarify which type of cross it was. When most people think cross they think of the christian interpretation. Here is was more along the lines of a plus sign.

Next was the industrial houses. When the city was re-found they found tools, including a stone abacus.

You could take a thousand picture of Machu Pichu, but they will never do it the justice it deserves. You really have to go there to get the full feel of the place.

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After the main tour the group split in two. One half would follow a guide to the sun temple while the other would explore the city further on their own. Madison and I chose the sun temple.The trip from the city up to the temple takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

At first I regretted going to the temple. Don’t get me wrong. It was fun and hard, but I was slow. So I didn’t get to hear all the cool facts… Even if I didn’t get great pictures of Machu Pichu and learn cool things, I at least go braggin’ rights. I climbed 2,000ish steps, in the rain almost by myself.

When we got down  from the temple it was time for lunch. The group was to eat at a place Toto’s House, which was back in the market. Another crazy bus ride separated us from the food.

I can’t remember what I had for lunch. I do remember that there were four men singing for the guests as they ate. As we were leaving I bought a CD from them.

After  Lunch we were given our train tickets for the ride home. The whole group didn’t make it on the first train. One adult and half the group, myself included, would be taking the later train. This was a good and bad thing. Good because it would give us more time to look around, Bad because it gave us time to look around and shop.

I ended up finishing my shoping for gifts in this market- although I did wonder about getting something for the grandparents. Little cousins and immediate family members are easy, even friends are easier to shop for than grandparents at times. I was a Peruvian shop-o-hollic.

As we were shopping and it was starting to get dark a rumor started floating around that the chaperon for the second train had left on the first one leaving us remaining students high and dry.  Naturally those of us left behind had minor freak-outs. Thankfully this rumor had no truth to it. The sigh of relief was audible.  I’m pretty sure if he had left on the other train he would have gotten some choice words from us students next time we saw him.

The train ride and walk home were uneventful.


As an adult I wouldn’t mind going back to Machu Pichu and taking a slower look at things. If this post has put the travel bug in your brain below are some of the sites I’ve been looking at to plan my return trip.


Categories: Peru 2009, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You can’t fight a cough

It’s true, I don’t care who you say you are. If you have to cough there is no way to hold a cough back. Why start out a post like this? Because my stupid cough has shaped my day pretty much.

Between remembering that I almost forgot to do my weekly review for one of my classes, i was kept awake by my own coughing. Woke up a little tired, but rolled out and went to breakfast like always. It was my favorite: the chocolate crescent, applesauce and OJ. I didn’t go back to the room and rest after breakfast. Our Eurospring instructor had called a meeting at nine to give a few announcements about what would be happening once we all left Oxford. He gave back out medical forms, asked us to evaluate the class and other stuff like that. By the time that was over it was time for Dr. Chapman’s class

His first lecture was about the search for the source of the Nile. Chapman started out by saying that in 1830 we knew more about the surface of the moon than the interior of Africa. A man by the name of James Bruce found the source of the Blue Nile in 1768. The source of the white Nile wasn’t found until the husband and wife team of Sir Samuel Bankes and Florence found it some time later.

Dr. Chapman’s second lecture was about Intrepid ladies, female explorers. I really wanted to hear this one. however my body had other plans. He’s barely started his second lecture and I’m hit with a major coughing attack. And as I’ve said before there, there is no way to suppress a cough. I quickly scribbled a note to Aimee to take notes for me and rushed out of the room. I coughed all the way back to my room and then let it all out once the door was closed. It takes a lot out of a person.

That being said I decided to take a cough drop and Ibuprofen and try to catch a nap. it was going so well until I heard the sound of something big flying by the window. Want to guess what was there? A wasp. what is up with my room and the flying insects with stingers? At first I left the room, but then decided to go back into the room, pull the curtain shut and open the window. With any luck it would take the hint and fly out on its own. Little guy needed a little coaxing. I wasn’t going to do it, so I went in search for someone to help.

I found help in a nice giant of a man was later told me he gets the job of swishing out bees at home. Together, I holding the window open and tracking the wasp and him using a stack of papers to push the wasp between where the windows over lapped, we got the little guy out. I still would have like to kill it, oh well. It’s gone and that’s all I care about.

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After lunch Aimee and I went to the  Pitt Rivers Museum and its connected museum. The first part had two floors filled with natural history. there were Dino skeletons, stuffed animals you could touch, and there was even a section that was full of kids making paper headbands. fun for the whole family. On the second floor of this were were precious stones, bugs which Aimee and I were happy to pass by, and displays with birds from around the area.

The entrance to the actual Pitt rivers was behind all of this. Three floors full of display cases busting a the seems with artifacts from all over the world. The term “Cluster F***” would describe it nicely. There was so much in the case it was hard to line up short to take pictures. I managed to get a couple of some swords, but I would have loved to take more of this area. The first floor was boats, human shape in art, practical things used by civilizations. I stared at a case that had things for spinning. I was trying to find a drop spindle in the mess of things… don’t know if I found one in there or not.

The second floor was toys tools and tattoos.  I saw Japanese miniatures, tops and other toys, looked at pictured and gadgets used to modify the body. Neck stretchers, foot binding, head flatteners and the European corset. There was also a display on how some tribes purposefully make scars on their bodies to make designs. As we were leaving this floor they had a case about recycled art. I saw a bowl made of coiled wrappers, a checker board made of wood and the pieces were metal coke caps.

three partial English Swords in Pitt River Display

three partial English Swords in Pitt River Display

On the third floor was weapons. The picture of the swords was taken on this floor. One of the swords I wanted to take a picture was a broad sword and would have been a beast to wield. This floor was also home to old fashion locks, spears, shields and guns. To really look at everything could take a day per floor.

After leaving the Pitt Rivers Aimee shopped for gifts for her grandparents and cousin who is now staying with the family. I followed along but didn’t buy anything. Any last minute shopping will be done tomorrow. we also stopped in at Tesco to see about something to help give out immune systems a boost. We found something that is for Immune system and antioxidant support. The tube contains 20 capsules that dissolve in water which you then drink. It doesn’t taste half bad. Like a fizzy waters down orange pop. Each tablet has 1000 mg of Vitamin C. They are also free of yeast, milk, gluten, egg, sugar, wheat and fish,also they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. All of this is on the label.

Aimee bought these and a package of Starburts that have little challenges on the wrappers. we made a game of pulling one out of the bag and doing the challenge. I drew out one that said, “sing a song while gargling water.” easier said then done. I lasted about 15 seconds before I started to choke on the water.  Both of us took a nap before dinner. Naps are good.

I think dinner was a giant egg roll with fries and peas.  I say I think because I could see it but couldn’t taste it. Not much has happened after dinner. We’ve listened to a couple veggie tales songs, but I think we’re about to call it a night. Sleep here we come!

In case you missed the Links:

James Bruce:

Blue Nile:

Sir Samuel Banks:                 

Pitt Rivers Museum:

Pitt Rivers Virtual tour:

Drop Spindle:

Veggie tales:

Categories: EuroSpring 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beginnings of the end

I promise that this should be the last two for one… hopefully. But sadly yes, this starts the beginning of the end of Euorspring.

Man, that sloth got it right on the money with that. Yesterday was the last Sunday and my last trip into London. Today was the last Monday and last meeting of my Women novelist in the 19th century class. I’ll catch you up on yesterday and then tell you about today, sound ok?

OK, lets do this.

Sunday’s breakfast was a plain crescent, applesauce and OJ. the plan was for me to go with the four other girls to London, while Aimee had a day to herself. Because of the second wave of crud going around she had stayed out of the room so I could get some sleep until 2am. Thank you Aimee! Sleep does wonders when you’re not feeling good. So while I was gallivanting around London either alone or in the group, she caught up on sleep, went for a walk and started packing to go home.

My London goers had one Moorehead student go with us. He split from out group early on so he could catch up with an air-force buddy that’s stationed here in England. My group bought their tickets for the subway and that’s where I separated from them.

Yes, I wondered around London by myself for the greater part of the day. No, I wasn’t really scared for my well-being. As I told my mom later that night: “I felt safer on the streets of London than in the tunnels at school around midnight.”  And if any of my classmates are reading this you know how creepy those tunnels can be.

First on my solo adventure I went up to King’s Cross train station again. I had wanted to see the Harry Potter shop and maybe get my picture taken with that trolley if the line was short enough. As I’m finding out, Harry Potter is a big thing here. The line was just as long as the other day. No picture for me. And the shop was so packed it was hard to move around inside. I had thought about buying a mug, sweatshirt or even a scarf, but talked myself out of it. Nothing it that store showed a practical reason for buying it. Frugal Franny should have lived a little. Maybe. I’m kinda glad i didn’t buy anything there. I’m having a hard time getting what I have bought to fit into my suitcase.

Next on my list was the British museum to see the Beowulf Manuscript. What English major worth their ink wouldn’t go see it? A broke one to tell the truth… You had to pay to get into the Viking exhibition. And with only an hour to spare before meeting up with the group for our show I couldn’t really look around the place. If the Ashmolean takes two full days to see everything properly, the British Museum could take a full week. I spent my hour browsing through the central gift shop. I didn’t buy anything here either.

Before meeting my group, I was a little early for the rondevu time, I scouted out a souvenir shop and M&M world. I got through all four floors of the wonderful smelling place and had found a night-shirt that had the M&Ms in front of the British flag that i would purchase after the show. The group found me pretty easily and then we all went for lunch. They had found an Italian place they wanted to try out, so we went there. I wasn’t all that hungry and couldn’t pronounce half of the things on the menu. I got four pieces of garlic toast. One girl had noodles and the other three had pizzas.

After Lunch the group split up again. One girl to this random place that she’d bought a ticket for before lunch, two others to shop, and the Last girl and I went to Stomp. Let me say right now, If you get the chance to go you should really try to get there. These guys were amazing. Photography was prohibited even before the show stared, so you’ll have to just picture this place. We couldn’t have gotten better seats. We were on the second tier right in the middle and were almost level with the stage. Stomp featured a team of eight people, six boys and two girls. One guy was a little scarier than the others and another I couldn’t figure out why he was there or what his part in the show was. He looked too preppy and clean to be with the rest of the group; who looked like they just got done working jobs in construction. But when one number was done it all made sense as to why he was there. I’m going to say anymore on this. But if you go, and they do the same show I saw, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The show was awesome with stunts, percussion music, comedy and some audience participation. I almost hated it when it was over. We had about twenty minutes before we were to meet up with the group again at the Hard Rock cafe. I was able to swing into the M&M store and snag that nightshirt I had scouted earlier and finally got something for my sister at a tourist shop. I’ll post a picture of her with it later. Hope she likes it.

Needless to say we hit rush hour and were a little late getting to Hard Rock. The two that were waiting were just about to leave when we got there. Thanks for waiting guys. We didn’t eat at the Hard Rock on account of how expensive it was. After jumping subway trains we got to the London eye. I had already been on it but the other three wanted to go. That would have been fine with me if they hadn’t ducked into the Golden Arches. I thought  they were just going to the bathroom because they had made no note about food to me. When 10 minutes turns to 30 I get a little ancy. I don’t like to sit still very long. In the last I’ve just left the group and went out on my own. For some reason  I kept turning back around to see if they were done doing their duty and had come out of there. Finally I decided to say “screw it,” buy dinner on my own and ditch them. As I enter the McDonald’s I see them  holding pop cups. they must have grabbed food and not told me. Does this seem rude to any one besides me? Anyway, I didn’t really give them a chance to explain themselves, i didn’t want to hear it, I just said that i was eating there , by myself, and then going back to Wycliffe. this was my final parting from the group.

Not going lie, I felt pretty pathetic sitting downstairs eating my burger and fries along. I’ve also eaten more McD’s here in England in the past four weeks than I have in a year back in the states. Something is wrong here. I didn’t even finish all my food, I just wasn’t hungry.

I got back to Wycliffe safe and sound, showed my finds to Aimee and alter to mom and dad when I facetimed them. With good intentions I had planned to post last night, but it got too late after talking with the family.


Which brings us to today. Last night Aimee and i were about even when it came to keeping each other awake. One time she woke me up snoring and I retaliated with a coughing attack. Breakfast was two pieces of Cadbury toast (because the first option was hard-boiled eggs), a bowl of applesauce and OJ. Right after breakfast I went back to lay down, thinking I could get a little more sleep before class. I got a little rest… between coughing. Getting sick and tired of being sick and tired here.

After today there are only three more lectures by Dr. Chapman. Today we talked about what the British Empire did beneath the Southern Cross. The southern cross is a constellation that can only be seen clearly south of the equator. What was done to discover Australia, New Zealand and later the Antarctica was covered. I’ll add the notes on this one later.

Lunch I forget what it was separated Dr. Chapman’s class from my last class with the 19th century women novelists. Before that started however, Aimee shared that we had another visitor to the room. Another bee. This time it was a normal carpenter bee, except he was the size of a quarter! what is it with Oxford and the really big bees? We couldn’t find the guy who helped us out last time. A classmate of our took care of it for us. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

The Women novelists class was covering Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Out of all the books we had to read for this class, I liked this one the most. Just like with Chapman, I’ll add my notes on this one later.

After class the plan had been to go to the Pitt rivers Museum. We caught up in a group going to Moo Moo’s for milkshakes instead. Aimee has been looking forward to going to this place for weeks, so the side trip was worth it. Moo Moo’s is this pink little hole in the wall in the covered market and they have more flavors for milkshakes and smoothies than should be legal. If you can stand waiting in line for a while as they make your order this place is a must check out at least once.

When we separated from this group Aimee and I went for a little shopping. Aimee bought a cute teapot and tea canister shaped like a big red bus. I found two little solar power dancing flowers and had to get one for my sister and one for me.

Not all the busy of a day, but hey, both of us are sick and trying to get well before flying home on Friday. On top of that, even though there is still I want to do, we’ve done a lot of stuff. A little rest I think is allowable. Even though it’s still early by my personal normal standards, I’m calling it a night. Links to interesting things, Pictures that I find relevant and other things that make these post unique will have to be added at a later time. This one needs sleep.

Night all.

P.S: I did start packing for the flight home. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure where everything if going to fit. It’s like Tetris.

Categories: EuroSpring 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More shopping… and a bit of wondering off

Not too bad of a day, if I do say so myself. I almost have something for everyone now after today’s trip. But I have to do this day in order, as I have all the others.

Breakfast this morning has become my favorite one while here. It was the crescent roll with chocolate in the middle, a bowl of applesauce and the glass of OJ that seems to be doing nothing against the cold that going around. Thankfully all I have to shop for it is a cough, but I’m pretty sure its asthma related.

In Dr. Chapman’s lectures today we first covered the foundation of the Salvation Army. The organization was started by William Booth and his wife Catherine. Both originally cam from decently well off families and deeply devout Christians. They started the first mission on the East end of London, the darkest of London in 1860. Their plan was a simple, Soup, Soap and Salvation. Feed those down and out, let them clean up and give them clothes in better condition, and finally teach them about the bible. I’ll add more of my notes later when i’m back in the states on this one.

Aimee had left five minutes into the first lecture and didn’t make it to the second. The rampaging sold has hit her pretty bad. So to help her out, I recorded Dr. Chapman’s lectures. i hope he won’t be too mad… it was for a good cause. The second lecture was about Britain’s relationship, or “love affair” with India. On this one too I’ll add my notes at a later time, just know for now that the relationship between the two countries has almost always been a content one.

Lunch today was slices of ham(?) with parsnips, potatoes and squash. For dessert there was a lemon cream pie thing that tasted really good. As I was eating it I couldn’t stop myself of thinking of a private joke about “Crusty Pudding.” After lunch Aimee and I walked to a chemist to get her something for her ear. The woman behind the counter gave her a decongestant and olive oil ear drops. We headed back to Wycliffe to administer the ear drops. We ended up staying in our room for an hour or so. After a while I decided that I wan’t going to waste my day because Aimee wasn’t feeling so good. As I was getting ready to go, Aimee roused herself and said that she’d go with, sick or not.

First we headed off to the Westgate Mall, where we had been a few days ago. Aimee stayed in Primark, but I got board of the shop and wondered off. I toddled off to a store called Verb, which is still in the mall area. Verb is a mix of Deb and Ragstock in terms of fashion. There I found a strapless shirt that can be uncinched into a dress that comes to mid thigh. Once that was in the bag, I went back to see if I could find Aimee. No luck. So, I went into Pound Land, their equivalent of a dollar store. There I bought a paper lantern and two bundles of blue bags.

Why the bags you ask?

I am going to cut them into strip to make plan and use it for my crafts. As I was leaving the mall a window display caught my eye and I had to pop inside. Here I bought the perfect thing for my dad. Sorry dad, not going to tell you what it is here. You’ll just have to wait until I get home, or talk real nice to mom, she knows what it is.

Before heading back to Wycliffe, I wanted to try my hand at finding the Alice in Wonderland shop again. I had tried yesterday,but couldn’t find it. well, today I did. As it turns out if i had toddled a little farther and hadn’t turned left yesterday, I would have found the shop. Here I bought a copy of Alice in Wonder Land which also had Through the Looking Glass in the same cover. i also bought a quote mug. Its the cat’s line about being mad.

Alice_speaks_to_Cheshire_Cat“We’re all mad here. I’m Mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” Said Alice

“You must be” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

With my purchases in hand I went back to Wycliffe to drop off my stuff. I had enough time before dinner, so I went out again to see if I could find the Oxford Yarn Shop. I found it, floor to ceiling full yarn. I was so over whelmed by the sheer amount, that I didn’t buy anything. I did however ask the lady behind the counter if she knew where I could get a drop spindle. She directed me to the website for the Oxford Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I thanked her and went back home.

When I got there this time Aimee was back. She showed me the scores she made shopping. Dinner tonight was a steak and mushroom hotdish (pie). My plate got loaded with green beans ‘cuz I opted out of the broccoli and cauliflower. There was some of lunch’s dessert left over, so I helped myself to another of those.

I got to talk with my family twice today. The first time I had mom all to myself, and the second was with my brother. I like talking with them. In seven days I’ll see them in person. Not sure I’m ready to go back yet though… tomorrow is up in the air as to what I’ll do. Check again tomorrow to see what I found. Night all.

In case you missed the Links:

Alice and cat picture provided by:

Salvation Army:              

William and Catherine Booth:                           





Oxford Yarn Shop:

Oxford guild of Weavers, Spinners and dyers:

Categories: EuroSpring 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two for one, Tuesday and Wednesday

Sorry for falling off the face of the earth like that. Not sure how many are following my day-to-day doings while I’m over here in England, but I still feel the need to apologize for not posting yesterday. That nasty cold that’s been sweeping through the Eurospring kids took me out for the count yesterday. So, I went to bed early. Got a little rest and am feeling better today, but now I have to catch you all up on the past 48 hours… watch me forget something. Kay here we go.

For breakfast on Tuesday I had a chocolate crescent, a little apple sauce and Oj to drink.Seems to me that Apple sauce has replaced my morning yogurt. After breakfast I didn’t take a nap right away. Instead I did laundry. The way I have things figured, I won’t have to laundry again until I’m back home in the states.

Dr. Chapman has started a new set of lectures called “the rich man in his castle, the poor at his gate.” The first lecture on Tuesday was about bring attention to the poor in the British isles. In a rank of poverty Ireland would be the poorest with Scotland not far behind, then Wales and finally Britain being the best off during the Victorian era. Writers such as the Reverend Thomas Malthus, Charles Dickens, and Henry Mayhew either wrote essays of stories that called attention to the systems.

The second lecture yesterday was about the Abolition of Slavery in Britain. Dr. Chapman started this lecture explaining that slavery is still well and kicking in the world today. It’s only been exterminated in the sphere of western influence. Before it was abolished a person could make a killing in the salve trade. You could take about 400 slaves per Atlantic crossing, and you could fetch 70 GB pounds per person. Even if 25% died before touching land again you could still make bank. How that road to abolition started was by chance. A man named John Strong had escaped from the ship he had been bought for. He was beaten within an inch of his life and was found  by Dr. William Sharp. Technically when John stepped foot on British soil he was a free man. Together with Mr. Granville Sharp, William’s  lawyer brother, a case is made to set John free. The case was seen by Lord Chancellor Mansfield in 1772 and it was decided that “no man can own another on
British soil.” For the rest of the story on how it was abolished you can watch the 2006 movie Amazing Grace.

I can’t remember what we had for lunch. See, I told you I’d forget something. Oh well. After lunch however, Aimee and I went out with what seems to be our larger hangout group. there are five of us all together. One of the others had heard that you could get a free cone at Ben and Jerry’s yesterday. The five of us popped in for a scoop. I got the chocolate and peanut cup. It was good.

Once the ice cream was eaten, Aimee and I went back to the Ashmolean. I didn’t have my camera with me sadly. But there was more stuff in that place than one could see in three days. Tuesday we just wondered around the areas we hadn’t seen the first day. I stopped at a couple places in the Japanese collections, but I didn’t read most of the plaques that accompanied the displays.

After the Ashmolean we wondered around the shopping street. We went into a couple of the University shops and the Blackwell Art and Poster shop. Aimee got a couple things yesterday from the University shops. I found a shirt that was really cute, but talked my self out of. it was 1005 cotton and just barely fit my shoulders. I did however pick up a birthday gift for my sister. Not going to say what though. I know she won’t be reading this but, i still want to keep it a surprise. I also spotted a possible gift to get my brother. But I didn’t buy it yesterday.

From these shops, we went to Tesco. Tesco seems to be getting a lot of my money. That’s it Tesco is the Walmart of Great Britain. Not because they have everything, but because they can easily eat your money. Both Aimee and I bought a carton of Juice. I got an apple raspberry, Aimee an Orange Juice.

This pretty much summed it up

This pretty much summed it up

We got back to Wycliffe just in time for dinner. It was a noodle dish, but I can’t remember what else we had with it. I do remember feeling sick as I was eating. and as I climbed the steps back to our room I decided to just got to be early.




Today I felt a little better. Breakfast this morning was watery scrambled eggs so i had two pieces with Cadbery chocolate spread, and the usual applesauce and OJ. I did take a short nap after breakfast this morning, I’ll admit.

Class today started at 10 am. Our first lecture was about Florence Nightingale and her contributions to modern nursing. Nightingale is also known as the “lady with the Lamp” as she would walk up and down the bed of sick in the Sctari Hospital around 1854. Dr. Chapman described her life in some detain, touching one briefly on two other people who helped to modernize nursing. The other two people were Mary Seacole and Dr. James Miranda Barry.

Right after the first lecture we had the second. This one was about what the Victorians did for fun. Dr. Chapman covered the written word, Theater, Music, and games and sports. He brought in a little personal history telling stories of his mum and grandmum and what they did for fun. He even sang a  few lines of ballads for us and told an overview of the play “Maria Martin and the murder at the red barn (1828)

Lunch today was spaghetti and Italian meatballs. It was really good and I cleaned my plate. Because Aimee seemed worse today that she was yesterday, she decided to stay at Wycliffe and rest. I went shopping with two girls from our larger group. We went to Blackwells and I think all three of us bought Dr. Chapman’s book “Slaying the Dragons.” I say I think, because I wondered away to try and find one of Nigel Frith’s books. So far the two places I’ve checked haven’t had any. When I got back I couldn’t find the two girls I had come with. So, I struck out on my own for the first time since being in Oxford.

I walked the streets with a smile on my face, it was sunny and warm today. Not to mention, I didn’t feel the need to be afraid of the people around me. I didn’t feel the need to be on guard from creeps. If I was back in the states I never would have gone shopping on my own. My brother can testify to this, if I go to Walmart, he goes as my body guard… though with how gangly he is it looks more like I would be protecting him. But I digress.

I went back to the University shops that Aimee and I went to yesterday. I bought that shirt I had talked myself out of and another for either mom or my sister. I picked up the gift idea for my brother and something for mom and dad for their new house. Hope everyone likes what I’m getting them. Now I just have to figure out what to get my sister, she’s the hardest to buy for. I’ve seen some British beanie boos with British flag shirts, I think I might get her one of those… or not, she doesn’t need another doll that’s going to collect dust. She hasn’t done anything with the doll I brought back from Peru… I’ll have to think on this more.

Coming back to Wycliffe I dropped my bags on the floor and went to dinner. Aimee was feeling a bit better after her day of napping, and dinner really helped. I think dinner was curry, or something like it. A rice dish covered by a spicy sauce with chicken chunks. The spice cleaned out her nose and she could breath for a little bit. After dinner Aimee, I and three others went to get Cadberry cream egg Mcflurries from McDonalds. They weren’t as good as I thought they would be. All it was, was a cup of white ice cream with large chocolate flakes and drizzled caramel sauce; not stirred up or anything. Give me a blizzard any day.

So that was my two for one. Tomorrow, sick or not, we are going to do the girly thing and go to the mall. Night all.


In case you missed the Links:

Kronk Gif Provided by:

Dog GIf provided by:    

Reverend Thomas Malthus:

Charles dickens:

Henry Mayhew:

Dr. William Sharp:

Mr. Granville Sharp:

Amazing Grace (watch):                                    

Blackwell Art and Poster Shop:

Florence Nightingale:        

Mary Seacole:

Dr. James Miranda Barry:

Maria Martin and the Murder at the Red Barn:


Slaying the Dragons:

Nigel Frith’s Books:

Cadberry cream egg Mcflurrie:

Categories: EuroSpring 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A castle and no more books T~T

Last night had been fun, but today is its own day. Breakfast this morning was an egg ,  a piece of bacon, a bowl of applesauce and a glass of OJ.

Thankfully I didn’t have a class right after breakfast.Dr. Frith was being kind to bump back his class back from 8:45 to 10:00. We got our quizzes back from last week. Mine had a smiley face with teeth and a score of 8.75 out of 10. Not too bad. Today we talked about the first couple of book in the Iliad.  On the quiz the first question was something about who was leading the Greeks in the Trojan war. He asked for the patronymic name for the character, which no one knew. The answer: Agamemnon Atreus.  Nigel also broke down the action that takes place in book 9.

The book is roughly 700 lines in length. The first 100 or so is the prelude. Then you get the embassy to Achilles. Odysseus speaks to Achilles first saying that Agi (Agamemnon) will give him all this wealth and he’ll even give the girl back to him with the promise that he didn’t touch her. I’d be surprised if nothing happened to the girl between the time she was taken from Achilles by Agi. Achilles of course says no. Then they play their  trump card, the man who raised Achilles: Phoenix.

Phoenix tells a story of Achilles being a kid in Phoenix’s house and tries to appeal to him that way. Achilles still say no and that’s final. The others realize that it’s hopeless ad leave Achilles in his mood.

Once that class was done I went back upstairs and, yep you guessed it, crashed back into bed. Hey this time its justified. We didn’t get back from Stratford until midnight and then of course I posted to this lovely blog. as you can guess this took me a little time. If I write up the post, do the links and then add pictures, it takes me about three hours to do the post. I didn’t go to bed until almost three am.

My next class was the field trip lecture for tomorrow with Dr. Chapman. Tomorrow we are going to that famous circle of stones in England: Stonehenge. but Stonehenge is actually one of three places that we will be visiting. The first will be Avebury, a place with a circle of stone that is even older than Stonehenge. The holes that these stones are placed in were carbon dated to about 3,000 B.C which puts it in the Neolithic time period. Stonehenge also fall into this time period.

After Avebury we will go to Stonehenge. Dr. Chapman said the reason we didn’t go there the first week of Eurosping, was because it fell directly on the spring equinox. “When all the crazies come out of the wood work, and the roads would have been packed with people.” Avebury may be the older of the stone circles,but Stonehenge is the biggest. This site has been changed over time, and is known for it Astrological Alignment.

The last place we are going tomorrow is Salisbury Cathedral. It was built in 1230. They believe it took 35- 40 years to build. When you see the pictures in tomorrow’s post you’ll see why they think it took so long.

Once class was done a group of us went to Oxford castle. Compared to other castles I’ve seen and their crypts I wasn’t all that impressed with it. It cost 7.55 pounds to get in and we got a guided tour of the oldest building in Oxford. In the past 20 years or so they found that the main tower predated the Norman Invasion of 1066. We went up 101 steps to the tops of the tower where we could see 6 miles in all directions. Take away all the modern buildings and you had the same view as at the start of Oxford. From the tower we went down into the Crypt. More like an underground room with six pillars and nothing really to look at. I didn’t even get the feeling like I shouldn’t have been there.

After the crypt we went back up to the area of the castle that had been converted into jail cells. Before the Victorian reign people wanted to go to prison. You got food and drink and your slop jar emptied twice a day, a change of clothes and a bath once a week or so, and you worked for a wage. When Queen Victoria took the throne she changed what prison was like. torture was used to make the stay in prison not so much fun. The youngest people to stay in the prison was a 7 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. Supposedly those ages were old enough for the children to learn to do wrong. So glad this isn’t the system there is today. However the taking of mug shots, finger printing, writing the name, crime and then punishment of a person did come from this time period.

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Once the disappointing(ish) castle was behind us our group split up. Aimee and I went to the West-gate Shopping Center. there we found the store that everyone was finding killer deals at. If I wore skirts there was a nice one that I’m tempted to get. After wandering around the store we walked around the rest of the shopping center and guess what. I found Yarn in two different places. the first was a place called Pound world, a dollar store if you will. I didn’t get any there though. The second place was called the works. It was a craft, book and activities for kids kinda store. The yarn here looks to be about a size 1 and comes in 100 gram balls. I got a sea foam green ball along with two more books. I know right. I’m in England and I’m buying books a souvenirs. One book is about knitting (which I’m not all that good at) and Son of A Witch by Gregory Maguire, squeal to Wicked. By my calculations I will be returning to the States with 9 new books. No more book T~T not if I want to make it past security.

When we got back to wycliffe it was pretty close to dinner. Dinner tonight was two sausages under a red sauce, potatoes and peas. I cleaned my plate. guess shopping made me hungry. After dinner Aimee and I planned out our last week in England. its hard to believe that there are only 14 days left in this trip. the time went so fast. i know I’m not going to get to do everything I hoped, but it will give me a reason to return here someday.

Well you already heard the plans for tomorrow, so I’m going to call it a night here. Night all.


In case you missed the Links:

Patronymic Name:






Spring equinox:                       

Astrological Alignment:

Salisbury Cathedral:

Oxford Castle:

Norman Invasion:

Westgate Shopping Center:

Son of A Witch:

Categories: EuroSpring 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

shakespearean freakout part 2!

It’s Shakespeare day! If you know me at all you can just picture me bouncing up and down like a kid in a candy shop. And to start things off, there was no real classes today.

Aimee and I slept in till around 10 am, a nice change from the 8 am regiment. I had some mini doughnuts left over and shared them with Aimee for breakfast. We did have one class at 11 and that was a field trip lecture. Dr. Chapman likes to give up the general history and interesting things about the area that we are going to.

Notes to be posted later.

Right after the lecture we hopped on the bus to Stratford on Avon. First we walked through the home a gardens of Anne Hathaway. The Hathaway family had lived in the house for 400 years. When Anne lived in it, there was only two rooms to the house. Her brother extended it to the 12 room house that you can see today. When you walk into the house you are greeted by a very knowledgeable woman who makes links from every day occurrences in Anne’s day with sayings we have today.


After her initial greeting, you are free to walk about the house. You can see the bench where Anne and William supposedly canoodled, the bed where their children were born and where Anne and William eventually died. I would love to go back to Anne’s gardens when all the flowers are in bloom. The area already has a peaceful romantic feel to it but in full bloom… *Swoons*

Ok, maybe I didn’t swoon, but I was very giddy in the gift shop. At first I didn’t know what to get from here, but eventually I decided to get two books and a mug. The first book is a dictionary of Idioms and their origins. The second has to do with the Shakespearean meaning behind flowers. The mug has insults from Shakespeare’s plays. Better the one with the insults than the love quotes. Well, there was one love quote that I did like, “love is the means of madness.” All the others were truly sappy.

After visiting Anne’s cottage we drove into the city proper and went on a walking tour around the town. Dr. Chapman showed us where the RSC, Royal Shakespeare Company, not to be confused with the Reduced Shakespeare Company , theater was, also where they think William went to school and where the house that he was born in once stood. The house is no longer there, because the later owners of the house got so sick of the traffic that they tore down the house and moved away.

We also stopped at the  Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare and his family were buried. The Shakespeares weren’t the most famous people to be buried in the church. A prominent family, the Cloptons, had the most extravagant tomb in the church.

After all of this we were set loose on the town, not that it was a very big town. Aimee and I went with three others to a pub called the Dirty Duck for dinner. They all got the Fish and chips while I got a burger. I know, a very american thing to do. But nothing else sounded good and burgers are relatively safe. You can’t mess a burger up too badly. One of the girls was really nice and let us finish off her chocolate dessert. It was to die for. So if you aver have the chance to go to Stratford on Avon, eat at the Dirty Duck. its about a block away from the RSC theater.

Once dinner was done the five of us went back to the RSC theater. On the ground floor they had a gift shop and there were also exhibits stationed throughout the building. I didn’t get a good chance to look at the exhibits, but i spent a lot of time in the gift shop. I must have walked around the displays five to six times before I actually bought something.

“Well why didn’t you buy a copy of a play?”

I would have done that, but I already own a Shakespeare bible with all of his sonnets and plays in it. There was a dvd box set that had King Richard and the Henryiad in it. I was going to get that, but then found out that the disks wouldn’t have played in the states. Can’t tell you how disappointed I was at this. There were also manga versions of some of his more popular plays and I thought about getting some of them. Some how I talked myself out of this one. In the end I bought a program for that night’s play, King Henry IV part 1, a mug and coaster with a line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Though she be Little she is fierce.” I think that line fits me fairly well.

For the play we were all in the nose bleed section in the Upper Circle. We were in the top most three rows, but we could still see all the action, and who was starting to bald… The play was produced with line done after the great vowel change, which I think helped my classmates not be as lost. They still got lost with the language and all the subplots, but when it came to battle scenes I think that all knew what was going on.  I really enjoyed the play, however I don’t think any new Shakespeare fans were made of my classmates tonight. Oh well, their loss.

Tomorrow it think Aimee and I might go shopping, I’m still looking for a yarn shop in this country, or we might check out the Pitt Rivers Museum. Either way I have two classes tomorrow and Aimee has one. Only tomorrow knows how it will unfold. Until then, Later.

P.S pictures from today will be added later with the lecture notes.

In case you missed the Links:

Tangled GIF:

Stratford on Avon:

Anne Hathaway:

Anne Hathaway’s house:                  

Anne’s gift shop:

Royal Shakespeare Company:

Reduced Shakespeare Company:        

William’s school:

Holy Trinity Church:

Clopton Family:

Dirty Duck:                  

RSC Gift Shop:

Shakespeare Bible:                                             

Manga Shakesperae:

No fear Shakespeare Henry IV part 1:

No fear Shakespeare Midsummer night’s dream:

Categories: EuroSpring 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

First full day and my legs hurt

I so didn’t want to get up this morning. The roommate’s alarm went off twice and twice we shut it off and rolled back over. Thankfully Wycliffe has a weekly fire alarm that goes off on Wednesdays, at 8 am. All the same we both got up, got dressed and went down to breakfast. This morning it was a crescent roll (mine had a chocolate filling), a glass of orange juice and a few bites of what I thought was yogurt. If it was yogurt it was the worst tasting yogurt I’ve ever had. It had a sour flavor… American Yogurt isn’t sour… maybe it wasn’t yogurt but sour cream? But why would they put sour cream next to breakfast cereals and granola?

Today, being the first official day of Euro Spring, was also the first day of classes. There were only two today and they started at 10 am. Dr. Chapman did two lectures; the first about the time before the Reign of King George the 3rd. The second was about the French Revolution. I have more notes about King George than I do about the revolution.

Lunch was spaghetti with lamb as the meat in the sauce, cooked green beans, garlic toast and a rhubarb crisp for dessert. Again mom, I ate all my greens. I couldn’t finish all the spaghetti but I tried the crisp. It didn’t leave as big of a tart tingle in my jaw as the Rhubarb crisps back home and this one wasn’t nearly as sweet.

I walked the red line today

I walked the red line today

These still exist

The day was ours after lunch. My roommate and I spent it walking around Oxford. We exchanged money, did some shopping and sight seeing. Before we got to the shopping street we strolled around taking pictures of what ever caught our fancy. This city has such amazing architecture that a photographer could spend a year just taking pictures of doors and gates and still have plenty of Muse. I wanted to take a picture of the red phone booth, so I got one. I thought phone booths went extinct with the invention of the cell phone.

Curiosity caught me as we were walking past St. John’s College on our way to the shopping street. I popped my head in fist and eventually my roommate followed.

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The exchange rate today is 1.6 American Dollars to 1 English Pound. Both of us stopped into an Oxford outfitter type store called the Oxford Blue Four. In the back they had a sale for two hooded sweatshirts for 25 pounds. There was this really nice dark purple one with embroidered Oxford University letters and a coat of arms thingy. After trying and failing to talk the roommate to get one so we could get the deal I bought a navy blue hoodie with dark pink letters and coat of arms instead. I also got three post cards which I plan to send home once a week starting next week. The hoodie and post cards cost me 23.50 Pounds, which is roughly 47$.

Please let this charge but not fry my computer

Please let this charge but not fry my computer

When we ducked into a mall of sorts I solved my adapter problem. I call it a mall of sorts because all the shops were in one place but it didn’t have the same feel that the american mall has. Think of it more as a group of little shops in the shape of an H under a closed ceiling. The floor in the mall was the same as the street outside. There was even a little pigeon pecking at lunch in the “hallway.” As for fixing my adapter problem, the only shop I bought something from was called Pingui(?). The reason for the question mark is because there is no store name on my receipt. There were a lot of cute things inside, most of them looked like hand crafts. While looking around I found a “Eurosonic UK tourist Adaptor” for 3 pounds (6$). Now this is an adapter not a converter, but seeing how it has the three prong holes that I need I can only hope that I don’t fry my computer. After trying it once, my computer is still running and not smelling like burnt tech, so all is still good.

After the mall we continued to walk around oxford. we tried finding all the places Dr. Chapman took us to yesterday so we could take pictures on them today… we weren’t overly successful in finding all the places. We did however manage to find The Sheldonian Theatre which has a view of the whole city.

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Around 4:00 we started heading back to Wycliffe Hall. We took a back road which lead us from the Sheldonian Theatre to the big University parks behind Wycliffe. Dinner was served at 6:30 so that gave us a little time to put away our purchases and in my case try my adapter out, and relax again. Dinner was  cooked carrot strips with some type of garnish spice sprinkled on top, a brown sauce with steak cubes over a bed of white rice, and a peta bread thing with a garlic hint to it. Most of our classmates went out to the pubs tonight for dinner. I’ll have to do that soon. I want to check out the Bird and Baby.

Well the night is coming to an end. Tomorrow I have my first class with Nigel Firth. From what Dr. Chapman told us yesterday, Nigel is a morning person. I’m not a morning person unless I have to be, and then you better not try to talk  with me until I’ve been up for at least an hour. More on this subject tomorrow. Stay tuned.

In Case you missed the Links

King George iii:

The French Revolution:

St. John College:’s_College,_Oxford

Sheldonian Theatre:

University Parks:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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