Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring (??) Day in Oxford

Can it be? Is is spring? I'm whispering. I don't dare say it any louder because what if I jinx it and the sun goes away and doesn't come back out until September?

I would DIE. I'm not being dramatic, I would actually cease to be alive anymore.

And this winter hasn't even been bad here. HERE. I know it's been awful everywhere else, but it's been pretty mild here. I'm just ready for more sun.

We finally had a Saturday with no birthday parties, so we wanted to take a day trip. At first we were going to go all the way up to the Cotswolds, but someone told me it might be a little boring, and that maybe Oxford might be a little more fun.

I will be honest and admit that my entire scope of knowledge concerning Oxford consists of one fun fact: Agent Fox Mulder attended Oxford and majored in psychology.

That's it.

Thank God for google.

It's only about an hour away from us, so we checked the forcast (sun, sun, and MORE SUN), packed snacks (because Engelbrechts have to eat every seventeen minutes) and hit the road, Jack. First stop, The Eagle and Child, the pub where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien used to hang out and write and be geeks and create entire worlds and change literature forever. No big deal.

I totally FanGirl'd out. No shame. Everyone else there was doing it too, the pub was FULL of booknerds.  CS Lewis created Narnia here ya'll. RIGHT HERE.

If I'm honest, I love and admire Tolkien for what he accomplished, but I tried to read Lord of the Rings in college and couldn't get through it. I read The Hobbit in high school and I remembering enjoying it well enough, but I don't remember much else about it.

But Narnia? FORGET IT. I remember reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in third grade and being AMAZED. What?!?! You can write a story and just make up an entire WORLD?!?! NO WAY!! And then I read Magician's Nephew and WOAH. It's still my favorite of all seven. I just love it. And I gotta admit, when I found out we were moving to England, I sort of assumed we'd live in a row house like theirs, and maybe I could crawl through the attic into the next one? You never know!!
So thank you, CS Lewis, for all you did for writing and reading and my imagination.

After that, we just wandered around looking at the gorgeous buildings and sunshine.

We made it to Mulder's alma mater, Christ Church College, but I had to run though by my lonesome because the kids were being asshats and Nick kept them out in the 'meadow.' So basically, best tour ever.

What if this was your 'quad' at college? How would you ever get anything accomplished?

The cathedral. Cathedral? Church? Unsure. Gorgeous, either way.

It was "Parent's Day" or some such nonsense (I still can't believe this is an actual SCHOOL, with actual STUDENTS) so the Harry Potter hall was closed (!!!!!) but I did get the briefest glimpse of the staircase. I was appropriately impressed, but I'm happy to report that I didn't cry.

Here's a screen shot from the movie. If I'd had that badass wide angle lens, I coulda got it better. That lens has ruined me for all other lenses for the rest of my life.

Meanwhile, back at the meadow, we were picking up extra children. Kids ALWAYS try to join our ranks, it's so weird!! I don't know if it's because my kids are so wild and always look like they're having fun, or if it's because Nick is so great and awesome, or what, but seriously, other kids are always trying to join the Team.

We ended the day at Oxford Castle, which we didn't go into (see the asshat reference above) but it didn't look very impressive from outside. We're big fans of Warwick, so we're spoiled. We did climb this giant hill right outside it though, and that was pretty neat.

Pretty neat for a quickie day trip. I don't know that we'd go back, but I certainly don't regret going. If it's sunny again next weekend (pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASE) I want to just go to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park and get some pictures. Our photo session on the beach last December was so amazing (and expensive) that we probably won't be doing another one any time soon, so homemade snap shots are going to have to suffice. Then again, homemade snapshots in a London park might not be that bad... ;)


  1. absolutely gorgeous photos. just perfect. can't wait to start that class. imagine what your pics will look like next vacay!

  2. So jealous! I literally was kinda mad at you that you were sitting there in the pub where some of the greatest writers ever sat! Ha! However, I'll hold off on really being mad at you unless I see you in front of Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-avon! Book nerds unite!

  3. I love that your kids were out picking up "strays." :)

    Your photos are gorgeous!!

    Your book review is up ...... :) I enjoy your reviews - thanks for participating!

  4. When you posted a picture of that staircase or whatever on facebook when you guys were there, I was going to comment and say it looks just like Harry Potter!! Little did I know that it actually IS Harry Potter!!