Our new students arrived without a hitch and they aren't Winter--but in a good way. Variety is the spice of life and I'm glad to have it. I'm excited by the prospect of a new group of students, and equally excited by the new sites we're going to.
The Wild West Trip was an adventure. It was full of some favorite repeats and some great new sites.
We left London with full suitcases, charged batteries, and more than one bag of Haribo. Optimistic for the future. First stop?
Home of Jane Austen, and the building where she wrote or edited all of her major works. This was my second visit, but it was equally remarkable to the first trip. I love Jane Austen. Cliché I know, but her stories are so wonderful. The older I get the more I appreciate them. This visit was nice because they had costumes from the most recent Emma scattered throughout. I love Emma. The story is my favorite. The man is my favorite. The heroine is the most like me--or so says Catherine Anne, I'm not sure I believe this, but I suppose the similarities are there.
"With all dear Emma's little faults, she is an excellent creature. Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend? She has qualities which may be trusted"
We re-boarded the coach for the short drive to Winchester. This is one of my favorite towns out of London, and one of my favorite Cathedrals. It's also home to my favorite McDonald's in Britain. This may sound odd, but I've become quite the connoisseur in these past few months. This one is great, it has ketchup AND barbeque sauce on tap. Yes, these are the things I miss about home.
Our magical West Bus next took us to Bath. Pronounced BAAAAhhhth.
We spent the night at a hostel here, which was great because it allowed us more time in this fantastic city. It was less than great because let's face it, it is a hostel. Ew, gross. We visited the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, the Palladium Bridge, and the Assembly Rooms. Before waking for the next equally great day.
Day Two found us in Glastonbury.
Weird town. Supposedly King Arthur was buried in the Abbey alongside Guienevere. King Arthur holds a special place in my heart. Every summer I have to watch educational videos for my mother. A few summers I watched 10 hours worth of King Arthur videos. He apparently also holds a spot for hundreds of others. Glastonbury is the site that a bunch of people consider to be Avalon, the mythical island Arthur disappears to. Which makes Glastonbury a hub for mystics, witches, and the like. We hiked up the Glastonbury Tor, to the site where Joseph of Arimathea supposedly brought the Holy Grail, and Merlin may or may not have worked magic.
With all this, I really liked Glastonbury. I guess I'm okay with the whole mysticism thing. I sort of wish I were a witch--like a real one. Maybe someday....
We took the short drive to Wells to see the Cathedral.
Complete with a Cathedral cat named Louis.
Then we drove to Ilfracombe where we spent the night. I had almost forgotten how much I love the beach. I love the smell of sea-water. I love the wind. I love the easy-going attitude of people who live at the beach. I love the water. I love it all. And I loved this little town. We bought fish and chips and watched the sunset. Delightful.
We even met some locals... as spoken by the teenage boys in Ilfracombe:
"Jay-walking! That's an offense!"
"Sir, will you cure me of my addiction to smoking weed?"
As my mom noted, these kids WERE singing Journey--so they were pretty classy.
Day three started at Tintagel.
A ruined castle on the coast, legend has it that it was the site of the court of Uther Pendragon--King Arthur's father. It also has stunning cliffs, caves, and views.
I loved this place. I even bought a key as a souvenir.
We finished in Exeter, then finally made the drive home to London. I love home. I love London.