So it's been almost three weeks since I've returned back to the states. And I've meant to post some pictures of some of my last adventures over in England. So . . . (take a deep breath as you prepare for a HUUUUUGE post) here goes!
Bath/Stourhead Gardens Trip:
The things I loved most about Bath were the connections to Jane Austen (Persuasion, anyone?) and the Roman Baths. I even tried some of the spring water. It was gross. No wonder Anne Elliot hated going to Bath if people tried to convince her that the Bath water was good for her.The Bath Crescent
After Bath, we took a train to the small, idyllic town of Bruton, England. Bruton is the quintessential English town, with narrow alleyways, gardens spilling over walls, and graveyards steeped in history. It was an especially fun trip because Jen and Derek Bruton were with us. They really wanted to see the town, and the rest of us were so glad we were able to go along with them!
After Bruton, we took cabs to Stourhead Gardens. Going to Stourhead was one of my favorite things that I did whilst in England. It was absolutely GORGEOUS. Every corner you turned, there was a new incredible sight to see. Case in point below:
Stourhead Gardens (specifically the Temple of Apollo) was also where Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth in the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. So of course we had to take pictures up there. Something neat happened when we were there, too: It had been raining all day while we were at Bath, but when we got to Stourhead Gardens, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to take out our jackets. So we were able to enjoy a lovely walk around the grounds. But when we got to the Temple of Apollo, it started raining again . . . which was PERFECT, because it is pouring in the movie when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. Coincidence? I think not. :)
Also . . . Final Formal Hall! It was a masquerade, so I was singing "Masquerade" from Phantom of the Opera all night in my head. I had a great time socializing with my friends, and remembering the great times we've had together. The food was also really good. (They had steak! Happy Megan.)
On my last full day at Cambridge, I got the chance to go punting one last time with some friends. I went in the morning, which I had never done before. The river was quiet, since it was only two boats full of BYU students who were up that early. It was so peaceful to sit in the boat, hear the distant laughter of friends in the other boat, look at the sun glistening upon the water, and gaze at the ancient, majestic buildings that lined the river. It felt so normal . . . and I felt a part of it.
Oh! And I got to punt for a bit! Hurray! It would have been a tragedy if I had left Cambridge without actually punting.
After punting, I went to the Botanical Gardens with some friends. So fun. And so pretty. Some pictures are below:
Well . . . I'm back. Back at BYU (which I also love) and back to my mountains and family and friends that I never like to be away from for long. I love being home. It's a comforting feeling to know that I always have home and loved ones waiting for me. I know that they will always, always be there. I belong here.
But I also belonged at Cambridge. I miss it, and it's been harder to readjust than I thought it would be. On the plane home, I tried to do a "free thought association" about Cambridge; putting thoughts, quotes, and experiences together in an effort to capture it all before it slipped away, like soil through my fingers. It was impossible. There's just too much. But I'm so grateful that I kept a real journal while I was there, and that I wrote every day. I'm going to cherish that journal later on.
It's amazing to me how normal it all started to feel. Looking up at King's College Chapel was as normal for me as looking up at the "Y" (which I'm doing right now). My Cambridge experience made me realize how easily I adapt to my surroundings, and it helped me to gain confidence. But the best things I gained in Cambridge were the friends I made. I know that I'll cherish those relationships forever.
Cambridge made me want to travel more. I plan to go back to England. It's not even a question in my mind that I will. When? . . . I don't know yet. But I will.
I love Cambridge!
Signing out for now. Thanks for reading! :)
P.S. By the way . . . I'm trying to decide whether or not I should continue blogging while I'm at BYU. Would you be interested in hearing about the musings of an ice cream-loving, sunset watching, mountain climbing, busy BYU student? Let me know.