Sunday, September 1, 2013

England Pictures

Doing a little catch-up here. We spent an absolutely gorgeous week in England with my parents just prior to our move. Yes, we brought Madelyn. We were so glad we did; she remained good-natured and happy for most of the trip. We did some sight-seeing (Stonehenge, Cardiff coast and Windsor), quite a bit of family history touring (Bath area and Bristol), some graduating (Cambridge), and some meeting up with good friends (Cambridge and Kew). We covered a lot of ground during that time, but I was able to see many things I hadn't seen during my previous stay and it was so fun to see the towns, houses and churches that meant so much to my ancestors two hundred years ago. Here are (lots of) pictures for your viewing pleasure and my personal record keeping:

Madelyn loved watching the trucks and planes on the tarmac.

Like grandfather, like granddaughter.

I'm convinced that when it came down to it, we just couldn't have left that face at home.


Cool contraption that Madelyn could sleep in on the overseas flight. Didn't last long, but I'm grateful the airlines think up such things anyway. 

Cool walky-listeny thing that told us all about Stonehenge - a site I hadn't seen while living in England.

Madelyn and Grandma were asleep in the car.

I love British food, actually, but when you're jet-lagged because your international flight arrived at 7:00 am and you are driving all day across the country, Burger King is as good as anything.

Monkton Combe - area where my dad's ancestors settled.

South Stoke, near Bath, where my ancestors lived.

The church at South Stoke where my ancestors were married.

Dad writing in the guest book:



I love English homes, spilling over with flowers.

The house in Bristol where my mom's great-grandfather was born and grew up. She only found her great-grandfather's notes recently, so she is the first of her family who has been back to this spot.



Loving the time with Grandma!

Very jet-lagged dinner at the hotel after a long day of touring after arrival.

We enjoyed "the best weather in years" on the Welsh coast. It was an absolutely perfect morning and the water was warm!








There is a trail that runs the full length of the Welsh coast - so neat! I was on the same trail further west (Pembrokeshire) just two years ago. 

Formal luncheon at Emmanuel College prior to the commencement ceremony.

Photo-bombed

The graduates congregating together to receive our instructions before the ceremony.

Speaking with the Dean and Graduate Tutor (read: really important man) of Emmanuel College after the ceremony. He was the man who led me to the Vice Chancellor of the University and proclaimed, in Latin, that I was worthy to receive my degree.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. He was the one who bestowed the degree upon me. 

My mother speaking very animatedly about something.


This guy put up with so, so, so much so that I could get this degree. He is amazingly good to me. 

I couldn't have done it with out these three wonderful people.

I succeeded, Lars. What do you think about that?

Ok, so maybe Madelyn wasn't cheerful all the time. She is especially tired and hungry in this picture.



Apparently the hoods really are hoods. Not very attractive when worn as hoods, however.






Taking a break before dinner.
Graduation/Wedding Anniversary dinner at Dave's favorite restaurant: La Tasca. Yum!


A Chinese woman stopped to talk to us about some Chinese political struggles. While she talked to my parents, I took cute pictures of  Madelyn. 



This was the newspaper in our hotel the next morning. As we walked by the stack of papers, Dave saw only "Hit and run punt shock - 24-year-old arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after stabbing." We sat around the breakfast table trying to figure out how someone could hit-and-stab-almost-to-death-and-run on punts. Finally, after retrieving the paper and reading more carefully, we realized that they were two separate stories. How's that for misleading media? :P

We finally visited the American cemetery in Cambridge. We had never been before. What a powerful and moving and completely staggering thing to think of all the lives lost in Europe (and certainly our minds and hearts were with all the men and women from other nations who suffered and died as well).

Cute Madelyn eating the yummiest bread ever at a pub in nearby Grantchester.




The best fish-n-chips you'll ever eat.

We loved meeting up with the Curleys, who had been so kind to me while I lived in Cambridge without David.


We spent the afternoon touring Windsor Castle. Prince George was born while we were here, which means that I can officially say I was outside Buckingham Palace when William and Kate announced their engagement, along the Mall during the Royal Wedding, and at Windsor Castle when the new prince was born. Since two of the three of those were unintentional, there must be a sign in all those connections somewhere, right?!


We spent our last evening picnicing along the Thames outside of Eton. Perfect end to a perfect trip.

Or maybe this was...