Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saying goodbye...

For now, this is my last update from England itself. I won't have internet the rest of the week. I'm planning on putting more up when I get home. I've had a wonderful time with family here, and wish I didn't have to go back to the start of an insane last semester of college.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


While visiting another cousin along the coast, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about England’s history. So far we have gone to two very historic towns – Arundel and Portsmouth.
Arundel is a very old town. The focal point is the Arundel Caste – built in the 1000’s! We couldn’t go in though – not till April.
We walked up to the Roman Catholic Cathedral – modern in the perspective of the majority of churches here (1870’s).
From there we went to St. Nicholas Church, built in the 1300’s.

Not so historic, but cool none-the-less, was a stop at the Arundel Wetland Centre – home to many wild birds during the winter months. The swans wanted food, which we did not actually have, so they got close enough to touch.

After a 2 hour bus ride to Portsmouth we decided to get tickets that allowed us into all of the attractions of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted in most places so I only got 20 photos out of the day.

We began by exploring the Mary Rose Museum. Mary Rose was built in the 16th century under Henry VIII, but was only in commission 34 years before it was sunk. It was discovered and erected from the water 437 years later, by 1982. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the ship, as it’s in a preservation laboratory right now.

We then went on a tour of the HMS Victory – the largest warship of its kind. Phillip was our tour guide, and taught us all about the 1805 battle under Admiral Nelson. It was cool learning about it, as I never even heard of this stuff growing up!

At the port right near the Victory were 2 current warships, docked for the weekend. They are quite the contrast to the historical warships we were learning about.

We also got to explore (without a tour guide) the HMS Warrior – a more modern warship from 1860.
Although it’s been cold and rainy, I am really enjoying my time with Janet. I don’t think we’re planning on any more adventures before I return to Jane and Alan’s, but you never know.
I’m taking in all that I can during my last week in England!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just a couple photos from England

On the Downs - where we walk the dog

A snowy palm tree... apparently many years ago someone predicted England would eventually have a Mediterranean climate, so they thought palm trees better get used to the soil. That climate change never happened, but the palm trees have survived somehow!

The Houses of Parliament


Hello from snowy England! Now, when I say snowy, I mean an overnight dusting amounting to no more than 4 inches, really. But this snow shuts down the people here… Here’s an excerpt from my journal on the 6th:
The UK’s definition of a snow day is any accumulation over 2 inches, apparently. The country basically shuts down, and people stay in their homes due to the roads. Unfortunate being a Minnesotan in this situation, because it’s a bit boring and seemingly fine out. Oh, well. They’re not used to it, and aren’t prepared for snow.
The average temperature is 30, if not warmer. They’re frozen, while I’m completely comfortable with the exception of cold toes because I didn’t bring boots. It’s a little comical, but I have to admit, cabin fever set in 2 days ago…
Fortunately on Friday I was allowed to go into London by myself for the day! I spent most of my time at The British Library working on speech and law school preparations. I then wandered the streets a bit from Victoria Station – I walked up near Buckingham, then over to Westminster looking at shops, but not finding anything worth going into. I remembered passing a Gap the other day, so found it and ended up buying a nice dress for only ₤12.99 ($20.00).
Going back in time… On Tuesday Tiffany came back from Paris, and we then finished up our tour of the major London landmarks. This is how I conveniently knew where the Gap was. We had passed it walking then. I somehow have found it easy to navigate myself in places we have visited once… the grocery store included. This makes me more at ease in traveling by myself, as I don’t have a map of anything but the Underground.
Speaking of the grocery store, I made dinner for Jane and Alan Thursday. I made Hamburger Rice Pie, a family recipe. It was a hit, and easy to make. It also gave Jane a break for the night. I’m told to get more recipes because I must cook some more.
I’m writing this ahead of time, so my time online is efficiently spent. I don’t want to crash the network again… It’s now lunch time – we’re having onions on toast (not as gross as it sounds!)
Hope all is well back home!

Friday, January 1, 2010


After a long process of trying to connect to my cousins' internet, I finally got connected! It was a simple solution that had been read outloud about 20 minutes ago... but I'm on now, so it doesn't matter!

Life is good here - very relaxing.

So far I haven't done much, but we did already spend a day in the city.

I'm planning on going in more, now that all the Bank Holidays are over.

I was going to upload some pictures, but that seemed to shut it down. I decided simple internet is better than no internet at all!

I'll try to update later, maybe from the city itself!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The adventure begins!

On Wednesday, the 23rd, I will be off to England for an entire month! I really don't have a plan, besides where I am staying. I look forward to learning more about my family's roots and possibly picking up some form of an accent!
If I have reliable internet I will plan on posting updates right here on my newest blog - stay tuned!!!