Witney

On our second day at Eynsham Hall we decided to skip Blenheim and go into the little town of Witney. As the bus didn’t run on Sunday, we decided (foolishly on my part) to walk the more than 3 miles into town.

The walk was lovely, past beautiful little houses, fields of sheep and cows, and gorgeous views.

By the time we got to town my feet were aching fiercely. So we stopped for a pint and crisps (which were pork rind) at the closest pub, the Blue Boar. They had a hog roast on the back patio and live music.

We wandered around the main street and market square down to the church, and walked around the grounds because the church closed 5 minutes before we got there.

One thing I didn’t expect in England is the bees. They’re everywhere and because there aren’t screens on the windows they fly sometimes indoors. I’m afraid to get stung somewhere nasty, like my eyeball.

We took a cab back to our hotel.

image

Memories of Eynsham

Today we left the country for the busy streets of London.

It’s been absolutely wonderful at Eynsham Hall. The building is gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the views.
There’s a long driveway leading to the main building from the street and the gardens are immaculately cared for.

The day we arrived we walked partway down the drive, then turned around thinking we had hit a back entrance. We followed the online map and dragged our luggage along the side of the main road, pulling it up into the grass when cars came by. A nice motorist stopped and have us a lift back – down the long driveway until we reached the main hall, sweaty and tired from dodging cars and pulling our luggage on grass and weeds.

I’ve never been so grateful for a warm shower and a clean bed. By then we’d been awake for nearly 24 hours, with a few little pockets of an hourish of sleep on the plane. My hair, which looked great in its bun after we got to Heathrow, was a scraggly mess by the time we got to Eynsham. I’m sure I looked like a crazy person. Thanks to the diplomatic Vincent (“Let’s find our room first, we’ll take pictures later) I have no photographic evidence and had no idea what a mess I looked till we got to our room.

Also, most of my good pictures are on my camera, but I don’t have the converter for iPad so I can’t show you until we get back to the states.

image

image

image

Warped Tour 2012

That’s right, Warped Tour. You know, that concert you went to when you were 17. That’s the one.

So many teen girls in line at the door we nearly confused it with a Justin Bieber concert. Once we got inside there were more people our age and older, though the grounds were still dominated by the high school crowd.  I have never seen so many girls wearing a bra — not a swimsuit top — without a shirt on. Maybe if I were younger and wearing cute underwear I’d do the same.

The shows were really, really good. None of the bands disappointed. I got to introduce some friends to Anti-Flag, and they introduced me to Taking Back Sunday, a band I had stealthily avoided the last time I went to Warped Tour, years ago. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of kids who knew the lyrics at Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard.

And even though some bitch landed on my head failing to crowd surf, I had a really, really good time… though I realized I’m too old for crowd surfing. You should really be less than 125lbs to hop up on strangers.

We totally got photo-bombed. Haha.

image

image

image

image

Pirates!

Internet pirates are *so* much less exiting than the fictional world of the kindly dastardly sea-faring type. I had a Groupon/LivingSocial/DealoftheDay thing for Pirates Dinner Theater.

After a super stressful day driving all the heck over the county, this was the perfect way to end the day. Giant strong drinks, good friends, explosions, people dressed up in costume who don’t break character even when you try…

A great night.

Both of us were chosen as volunteers, so our team won, of course. My game was throwing bags of fake gold up to the pirates, and he wore a vest and pirate hat and carried stuff up to the ship. I wish I had better pictures, but it’s kind of dark in there.

Pirates Dinner Adventure in Orlando and California.

http://www.piratesdinneradventure.com/

image

image

image

Transportation

I went for a run today – my first run outdoors in quite a while. I did 2.2 miles, but had to stop and slow down about half of it because I got a cramp in my side. At first I tried stretching. Each time I picked up the pace, the cramp would come back, so I tried jogging slowly and that seemed to take care of it, until I got to the hills.

On my way home, I smiled at a man walking on my street, like I smile at everyone when I’m out running. (Bikers and other runners get extra big smiles) The guy stopped ahead of me like he wanted to talk, so I pulled out my earbuds. He asked if I had access to a car and could give him a ride a few blocks down.

I lied and said I only had my two feet for transportation and headed off to the end of the block. I hit the picket fence, crossed the street and jogged back, passing him on my way. I smiled again, but felt guilty. My car was a block away and I had keys in my pocket, though I wasn’t carrying my driver’s license.

When I got home I came inside and locked the door, and then thought, what if he’s a vampire and followed me home? This is what I get for watching Vampire Diaries. If you believe in TV vampires (not of the Twilight variety) he can’t get inside my house unless I invite him, but he could attack me when I get outside. In which case, I have no defense so why worry?

Then I thought about that saying about angels who come to earth and ask people for help and are saddened when people don’t help them.

Not long ago, I would have offered the guy a ride. I stopped to help people who had run out of gas, or locked their keys in the car. I accepted help from strangers as well.

After years of being chastised for being too trusting, hearing news stories about phantom strangers who attack single women, and the fear that a strange man, once inside my car and alone with me, could have pulled out a gun, was enough for me to lie.

Sorry, I only have my feet.