Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I've hit my limit of days-in-a-row that I can travel without taking a rest day.  I'm totally wiped out.  No matter, I'm on vacation and I'm not going to stop until I physically injure myself or fall asleep in a cathedral.  (It's a possibility.  I'm that tired.)

So on Wednesday, Dan and Mom and I started our morning with an episode of Jeopardy.  I used to be much better at Jeopardy than I am now, but it also doesn't help to watch it at 9:30 in the morning when my brain cells aren't all firing yet.  Mom was babysitting Anna.  Dan asked if I wanted to go for a jog with him and I said no, and he said please? and I said, okay but I'm going to be slow.  We ended up walking/jogging for almost 2.5 miles.  It was fun, and I was slow.

Kim came to pick up Anna but instead they came with us sightseeing.  We went to Ripon Cathedral, which is a gorgeous old building.  It has a crypt that was built in 627 - it's the original foundation of the church building.  It wasn't the type of crypt that I imagined, with skeletons and coffins and rats and stuff.  I guess I shouldn't get all of my archeological knowledge from Indiana Jones.  It was a tiny, cramped stairway down to a small room, maybe 8 feet by 6 feet or so, with niches carved into the walls.  The niches were empty but in the olden days (like 1300 years ago) the niches would have held relics.  The crypt itself was meant to be a place of meditation.  It was lit by candlelight back then, but even with the electric lights today it was dim.  Regardless of the lack of dead bodies, it was still creepy down there.  Dan and I stood there for a couple of minutes, then looked at each other with an all-righty-then expression and went back up the stairs to fresh air and daylight.

Speaking of fresh air, there is a downside to all this green farmland and it's called slurry.  Slurry is this toxic-waste-smelling product that farmers spray on their fields.  I guess it's liquefied manure; all I know is that I'm trying hard to remember a smell worse that this one and it's a challenge.  Most bad smells are random, temporary things - a fellow passenger's b.o., the smell of vomit on a bus, skunks, finding that cup of milk under the car's seat.  This is constant and icky and I don't think I could get used to it.  If I could put a scratch-n-sniff on my photos so you could smell it, I wouldn't do it, because I like you too much to subject you to this smell.

While we were walking out of Ripon and through the town, Dan remembered a place that we had to go to: an ice cream farm that sells a flavor called Black Cherry Whim Wham.  Oh my gosh I have never heard a more gorgeous set of words - an ice cream farm, black cherry whim wham.  I can't stand it, it's too great.  Dan's the only one that understood my outrageous excitement just hearing the words 'black cherry whim wham.'  that's why I wanted to come here and see my family, because they are the few people in the whole world who speak my language.  And my language, apparently, now includes the phrases "ice cream farm" and "black cherry whim wham."

After our ice cream endeavour, we stopped by an old abbey, called Jervaulx, and looked at the ruins there.  There just isn't anything old like this in America.  Okay, maybe there's some native American stuff that's this old--anyone know of anything?

I'm writing this on Thursday morning, as I lounge on the couch, Mom is making a welcome home sign for Tim, Dad and Dan are on the base buying balloons.  When Mom and Dad go to the airport to pick up Tim, Dan and I are going to York.  I'd really rather take a nap, but I'm on vacation in a country that has thousand-year-old buildings.  Maybe I'll sleep on the train.


From England-Wednesday, posted by Emily Simmons on 6/08/2011 (43 items)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

England - Tuesday

This is Oxford, which I really liked.  Pictures.


From England-Tuesday, posted by Emily Simmons on 6/07/2011 (36 items)

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