Friday, July 23, 2010

Such a Long Time to be Gone, and a Short Time to be There

We made it home Sunday evening, probably a little grubby after our 9 and a half hour flight from Heathrow. I'm not sure if our dogs or we were more excited, although they're slightly more effusive than we are. I've been fortunate enough to have this week to recover, although poor Will had to go back to work first thing Monday morning. I've had the opportunity to reflect on the trip during my convalescence, so I've made a little catalogue of our trip for those of you who are actuarial in nature. Here's the condensed version of the whole trip:

Cities/Towns/Hamlets visited (visit defined as "got out of the car"):

London, Dublin, Oxford, Leicester, Stratford-upon-Avon, Silverstone, Kilkenny, Glendaloch.

Sites/Marvels/Relics/Objects of Interest Seen:

Westminster Abbey (including the graves of Edward I, II, III, Henry VII, Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, Geoffrey Chaucer and Handel, the former grave of Oliver Cromwell, and the oldest door in England), the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, Guy Fawkes' lantern, a dodo bird, Lucy the cavewoman, the Crown Jewels of England, Shakespeare's birthplace, Shakespeare's grave, the Book of Kells, Van Eyck's "The Betrothal of the Arnolfini", Henry VIII's suit of armor, a 6th century monastery, the oldest pub in Dublin, the ruins of a Roman building, 7000 year-old carvings and artifacts from central Europe, the Alfred Jewel, and a Formula 1 race.

Partial List of Pubs Visited (names of other pubs visited are lost to the ages)

The Brazen Head, The George, The Lamb and Flag (x2), The Eagle and Child, the White Horse, The Palace Bar, The King's Arms, The Angel in the Fields, The Salisbury, The Duke, Oliver St. John Gogarty's, The Temple Bar, Farrington's, the Elephant and Castle, Courtfield, The Angel and Crown, the Castle Pub...

Other Events of Note:

Watched the World Cup final with a group of disconsolate Dutchmen, survived the Tube, Will tried black pudding, which he described as, "sort of like a hockey puck made of dried grass and blood and then fried, or maybe like old dirty hair." Observed an excavation of the ruins of Shakespeare's home, got hopelessly lost in Leicester, saw actual thatched-roof cottages, ate a chocolate terrine at St. John that almost made my tastebuds fall off it was so good. The waitress confessed it was "80% butter." Spent an enjoyable evening with our friends Jamie and Megha in London and they introduced us to the magical world of fois gras creme brulee (one dish).

All in all, about as successful a trip as one can have. And yes, Lisa, to respond to your question, I can absolutely see how it's possible to gain 15 pounds in Europe. Here's to my wonderful husband, and to returning as soon as we can.


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