A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2 in Lovely England

I love being here!

sunny 65 °F

May 13, 2012

Traveling makes you appreciate sleep more than any activity you can do at home.  No matter how coherent or awake you think you are feeling the day of travel to England, you wake up the next morning with the faculties enough to realize the day prior you were not fully yourself. So, 9:30 found us up and getting ready for the day.  I wanted to post a few pictures to the blog while Nicole was getting ready.  While I was upstairs in the study doing just that, I was able to, by looking out the window, enjoy a spontaneous water fight that had broken out between Saffron and her boyfriend Warrick in the back yard. Saffron had just run out of water with her super soaker, and Warrick was backing her into the corner with a glass full of water.  Just as I thought Saffron had lost all ground, I watched Sarah sneak up behind Warrick with a glass of her own and poor it on Warrick! ha! I didn't know she was capable! Not too long later I helped David build a canopy and swinging chair in the backyard while Sarah and Nicole chatted over coffee. The sun was out and we were all acting more like family than guests. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

After a quick breakfast, David, Sarah, Nicole and I went on a walk on the outskirts of Finchingfield. The walk itself was very pleasant.  The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and everywhere there were bright yellow fields and little thatched cottages. Two items of note on this trip.  The first was a mailbox we ran across that was put up in the time of King George VI. It's still in use to this day.  The other thing, was something I should have guessed but did not. Back in the day, villages were often ruled by or protected by a lord. This lord would live in a manor and often would be walled in.  Well, on this walk we ran across the manor that Finchingfield belongs to! Spain Hall I think it was called.  It's a vast and sprawling estate at least two football fields long.  The manor house to me was somewhat like a small castle complete with protective wall.  In the back of the house is a huge farm hour that still stands. It was a very cool way to start the day.

After we arrived back at Mercers, we had some downtime to hangout and write.  Nicole started her journaling while David made us a quick lunch. David suggested that we drive over to Saffron Walden to look at a nice church and do the hedge maze.  Even though I am ready for a nap, I cannot pass up an opportunity to see more!  The church was the largest I have seen in the little villages here. The best part was that we walked in on some sort of service going on and the choir was singing.  So we have these soaring stone ceilings, topped by these massive beams.  Near the top are windows that act as skylights letting the sun in, and theses angelic voices are singing praise. Such a great moment! However when they were done, and the minister started talking, I realized why I did not see any young people in the church. Catholicism is so boring and disconnected. I feel like church should be helping people live, to dealing with problems and emotions that people are facing day to day. However, this service was more pomp, more fluff, than substance.  It's a bummer.  From there we walked to the gardens and found the maze.  If you've ever seen the secret garden before,then picture us walking through that. It was a proper place to be :) From the maze, we stumbled upon a cricket game in session.  Since I'd never seen one and Nicole didn't now what it was, we stopped and watched the game while discusses some cultural differences.  I have revelation to give that I did not realize until today. Did you know that English and British are not necessarily the same? A English person is British, but a Scotsman is also British. Also, someone from Wales is British. So, to be in Britain, or British, you are either part of England, Scotland, or Wales. Now, the United Kingdom is also different than being British or English alone.  The UK is the combination of England, Scotland, Wales and Norther Ireland! Are you following? I was glad to learn this and part of the reason I love being here. After this lesson we walked to the nearby WWII memorial. It's not so much the memorial I will mention, but the impact of talking about it with David.  I often forget how deep the emotion for WWII would impact the English. With tears in his eyes, David described some grave sites in France that he'd seen.  I was struck by how his generation still felt so deeply about the sacrifice that men made during that war. My train of thought then led me to my own feelings. It bothers me, that although I feel strongly about the men who sacrificed, I do not know that it would bring tears.  Am I too far removed? How will the next generation react? How can we lose the importance of something so great, so costly? I'm frustrated that the importance of those men and women's sacrifices will soon be lost, and are already lost on so many of my generation...

After arriving home not more than 20 minutes ago, I began finishing this blog . Tonight Sarah is cooking us a traditional feast that I'm very excited about and that is where I'll leave this until we have time to blog again.  Tomorrow is a 4am wake up call to head to Roma, Italia!

Posted by hangtime41 11:20 Archived in England Comments (2)


Cool Stuff


For whoever takes the time to look at our blog, we have put up some new pics today. Also, there is a cool interactive map on this site you should check out. Shows where we have been!

That's all.

Posted by hangtime41 02:21 Comments (1)

Day 1.....and 2. But it's really 1 day..1 long day.

It's so good to be back!


May 11-12

This morning easily feels like three days ago, but I guess it wasn't really this morning at all.  It has been 34 hours since we woke up and headed to the Spokane airport. Thank you Casey for taking us so early!  The flights all day were pretty uneventful, however there was a moment of choice that could have started our trip off horribly wrong.  Leaving Spokane, the lady asked if we wanted to check our bags at the gate as we were about to board.  The reason, of course, was limited overhead space. We originally said yes and she took our bags, but when she said we wouldn't get our bags back until London, Nicole and I shared a significant look, and decided to grab them back. Such a good choice. We have our stuff for sure!  Landed in London and popped on the bus to Stansted airport like old pros. I think my entries will be quite a bit different from Nicole's, as mine are based with previous experience and hers is the bright eyed wonder of new sensations. I love watching her discover!  

David was waiting for us at the airport with a smile and a handshake.  It's so good to see him!  I can't help but feeling that it was only yesterday that I was here with Casey. I think that is because of how significant it was to be here that first time.  As we drive to Finchingfield, I can't help but flinch as cars pass us on the wrong side of the road.  It's not a conscious thought on my part, but more an instinct that something is not right.  Comes from years of driving I guess. As we drive I look at Nicole. I've been asking her since we landed over and over, "does it feel like you're in England yet?" Her answer was always no.  Now as we drive through the thatched roof cottages on barely two car wide roads, with David talking in his excellent English accent, I can see in her eyes she finally feels far from home. It's exciting for me to be here, but doubly so watching the experience through her eyes as well. When we arrived at Finchingfield, Sarah was there to greet us. Her and David have plans to take us to Cambridge today.  I think it's brilliant, and so does Nicole. However, I was able to sleep for nearly 6 hours and Nicole barely half that. We'll see how long she can stay awake! Cambridge is one of the two most famous college areas in the UK.  The other of course is Oxford. Here in Cambridge history is already smacking us in face in the most delicious way possible.  The first college in Cambridge was built and founded in 1284! What's really neat is that the public is allowed to enter these ancient buildings that are being used to teach students every single day.  There are several "colleges" in the area, but I believe they all belong to Cambridge.  Here is a link to the history http://www.localhistories.org/cambridge.html . We wandered in Cambridge for a bit until we met up with Sarah's daughter Saffron, and her boyfriend. We walked to a sickeningly picturesque pub surrounded by luscious huge weeping willows and a river at the base. You will have to see some pictures when I can post them. I had bangers and mash! So. Good.  From there we finished walking through the colleges, took several pictures and headed back to Finchingfield. Nicole and I, both now feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, slept the entire trip back.  When we arrived back at Mercers, we took a nap. It was more like falling into a coma. It's now 9:43pm and we are ready to sleep for longer than 1 hour at a time. A great first day!

Posted by hangtime41 13:46 Archived in England Comments (2)

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