Day Fourteen we rested in my dorm in Reading. I think we might have walked to campus or something. It was chill time.
Day Fifteen we went to London to knock off a few things we wanted to see. We went to the British Museum, which was pretty cool because it was like walking through my Art History 101 class. It was less cool because there were a ton of school kids there, and as I’ve already mentioned I have an increasing abhorrence for school kids. Some of these school kids were climbing on the ancient Egyptian statues. Others just ran around taking pictures with their iPhones.
But it was cool to get a glimpse of the Rosetta Stone. And it was really neat to see pieces of Assyrian and Babylonian art. I felt like a smartypants because while we were in the “Greek” section I was like, “Woah, hold up, that isn’t a Greek statue, that’s totally Roman!” In small text at the bottom of the info plaque it said, “This is a Roman copy.” I was like, “AW YEAH ART EXPERT!”
Then we made our way to Tate Britain. This was pretty disappointing, because they were having a modern art exhibit, so there was about one room of classic art to look at. Some of the modern art was interesting. But my favorite was probably the video of a fire hydrant in a cow field. High quality art there, my friends.
We went to Victoria Station to find a cheap bite nearby. After we ate, we were going back to the station. My mom has been trying to get run over the entire time she’s been here. While my back was turned, she walked out into the road. She came so close to being hit that the girls beside me swore (or, as I told my dad, “the girls beside me at the light felt the need to cry out the name of our Lord and savior, which I thought rather appropriate in the circumstances”). Happily my mom made it to the other side, though.
From there we made our way to the Roundhouse, where we had tickets for Twelfth Night with the Royal Shakespeare Company. We went through Camden Town on our way there, which I thought was quite exciting. There were a lot of pocket watches that I really wanted. The Roundhouse itself was really cool. I had one restricted view seat and then another cheap ticket. Ironically the restricted view had a better view than the other one. We were up top and far to the right, but it worked out fine. The production was fantastic. At one point the elevator on stage broke down with a character in it, and they had to ad lib. It was definitely a British production though. When Malvolio comes out in yellow stockings and cross gartered… well, he didn’t have any pants on at all. He was absolutely fantastic, though–possibly my favorite in the whole cast.
We got home quite late, but happy.
Day Sixteen was another day of rest. I think this was the day we both slept until like noon.
Day Seventeen we went to Bath. Originally the plan was to rent a car and do Bath, Glastonbury and Wells. But with funds tight, we decided to cut the rest and just go to Bath. It was a rainy and windy day, but actually the weather wasn’t quite as bad as we’d expected. We had a fun time exploring the cathedral. I went in the Roman Baths with Mom, which was fun since the last time I’d been in was my 18th birthday. They had a new part where you could drink some of the water. I am proud to say I drank a whole glass by sheer force of will.
We had lunch in the Pump Rooms. Then I took Mom up to the Circus and the Crescent. We nearly bumped into Thomas (my literary guide), but he was busy with another family so I didn’t say hello. We popped into the Jane Austen Centre shop, where I got a tea towel that says “Keep Calm and Read Jane Austen.” Then we went and had tea. We passed the Awesome Dragon Wind Chime of Awesome, but after much hemming and hawing Mom didn’t get it. Then we went back to the train station, where Mom had severe not-buyers’ regret over not getting the dragon.
Day Eighteen we set out for the south-east of England, an area I hadn’t gone yet. We had one day left on our rail passes, so we decided to do Canterbury and Rye. Canterbury was super awesome and much more alternative than I expected. There were several awesome clothing shops with glorious amounts of tweed.
The cathedral itself was really cool, I thought. The floors were worn with the many steps of visitors. The Crypt was beautiful, but not as creepy as some I’ve been in. The architecture was lovely. It’s really hard to be impressed by cathedrals once you’ve seen a certain number of them, but this one was impressive. The history behind it just adds to the coolness factor.
We had a picnic behind the cathedral, then wandered a bit. We popped into a few more stores on the way back to the train station. Then we caught a train to Rye, a small town not far from Hastings. Though the main street was crowded, once we started wandering it was pretty empty. I popped into “The Tiny Bookshop,” which was indeed very tiny. I startled the bookseller by asking if he had any Welsh mythology. Turned out he did! So I got a cool new/old Welsh stories book, which actually has a few stories I haven’t read before in it.
We also went into a craft fair, which was fun and had tons of pretty stuff that I wanted to buy. Curse you, money! I did buy a tiny owl that was a pound. It stayed in my pocket and occasionally I’d pull it out and put it on Mom’s shoulder, which would make her giggle a lot. Anyway. The town had a lot of character. We stopped off and had tea and scones, then made the journey back home to Reading. Once there we met Jacqui for dinner. It was a lot of fun.
Day Nineteen we went to Reading Family Church in the morning, which was wonderful. After church we caught a train to Oxford. We tried to find Addison’s Walk, which didn’t go well because we found out the hard way that you have to be a student or bribe a student to get in. By the time we figured this out, we were quite tired. So we went back to Blackwell’s for a some water and to browse the books a little. Then we popped into the Dickens exhibit, which was free and cool. Then we went to the Eagle and Child for a very late lunch/early dinner. It was awesome, as per usual, and we both missed my dad. We toasted Mr. Tolkien and Mr. Lewis (maybe we should have toasted them as Dr…) and my great-grandfather Inkling who was kind of insane. Mom was pretty tired, so we just went home after that.
Day Twenty we went back to London to meet with one of Mom’s homeschooling friends. It was really fun walking around with her, even though it was a terrible day as far as weather. But she could point out a lot of things that a local would notice but that we had no clue about. We went to a London history museum, which was really really neat. We walked around St. Paul’s and the Globe, took a boat down to the London Eye and snapped some pictures. Then we walked by Buckingham Palace (which I’d never been to), hit Trafalgar Square and the Texas Embassy. It was a fun day. (But this blog post is long and I am running out of words.)
Mom and I had a quiet night. She repacked a bit and then we chilled. I got up with her at 5:30 the next morning because I’m a dutiful daughter, and saw her safely in the taxi. Apparently she had many adventures getting to the airport. But I got to sleep in.
And that’s the conclusion to my adventures with my mommy.