You may have noticed that posting this week was lighter than normal, and while I didn’t want to broadcast it prior to leaving, I’m now at liberty to say what we’ve been up to:
We were in England!
My best friend was getting married in Oxford on Saturday (her home for the past several years while she works on her doctorate), so Wednesday evening found us on a plane to Heathrow, touching down early Thursday morning, and after navigating through the Underground and riding a train for about an hour, we found ourselves in the quaint town of colleges.
Oxford seems to be one of those mythical towns that cast a spell over all those who inhabit it and where its residents will be happy to extol its virtues while happily glossing over any faults that may be present. I’d liken it to the New Yorker mindset, but then I remember that a necessity to living here is a willingness to complain about the myriad of everyday problems (trash, rats, crazy crowds, the shitty MTA) as much as it is to sell visitors on all of its good points. Oxford is more like a Shangri-La: a cozy and self-contained place where everyone is happy (save for this time of year when high school students descend on the town for a multi-week program), the locals are friendly and a good portion of its residents amble about the various colleges in a happy academic haze.
Well, the last bit may be a bit of a stretch, considering the scene unfolding we encountered Thursday afternoon at H’s flat: boxes filled with wedding gifts taking up precious floor space, books from her studies lining every possible shelf (and then some), and H herself trying to walk about as delicately as one possibly can following a pedicure while she tried to get last minute wedding tasks completed. I wish I could say that I jumped into helping her, but at that point I was practically catatonic, grinning like a fool and laughing far too hard at any slightly amusing story. I would be useful to no one until I had a nap, which we indulged in an hour or so later.
Since Friday and Saturday were both filled with wedding activities for me, leisurely walking around town and taking pictures of the sights was contained to Thursday. After our aforementioned nap we felt somewhat revived, so we embarked on a pub crawl based on the suggestions given to Michael by one of his colleagues at work. But I’ll leave that for him to tell you all about, as he has all of the great stories behind each choice.
While I likely would not have visited Oxford were it not for this wedding, I will say that it is a lovely place to spend a day or two if you’re traveling through England, and a must-visit if you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan as the town was a key filming location for many of the movies. More pictures can be found in this slideshow!
And this won’t be the last of our England coverage–stay tuned to the great sights of London along with some fabulous good eats!