16 July 2006

Surprisingly, everyone woke up in time for 9:30 am mass at the Blackfriars on St. Giles, just up Beaumont Street from us. Blackfriars is a very old building owned by the Dominicans, who were one of the first friars in Oxford. But the 9:30 am mass is the family mass, so it's loud, chaotic, and informal. Pretty fun.

Just in time, we went home, changed, and got back to Magdalen Street to catch the 11:15 bus to Wolvercote (about a ten minute drive). We stopped at a little park in Colvercote.

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We walked up to The Trout for lunch – got there just as they opened at noon, which was a good thing because they were packed. It was a gorgeous day, and everyone wanted to be by the water. The whole family was hungry, and I over-corrected and ordered too much food. Katie ate too much and had a stomachache, but recovered after a bit more walking

I knew that J.R.R. Tolkien was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery, so we asked a waiter how to get there. He warned us that it was a 25 minute walk, in the direction away from Port Meadow, but everyone was gung-ho, so we made our pilgrimage. Matt was thrilled – "My friends are going to be so jealous!"

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Afterward, we did walk back to Port Meadow and down to Oxford. The Perch was closed ("for new management") so it was a long, dry walk. It was packed with people! We saw other GT faculty along the way – Eddie and Molly and their kids, picnicking with friends; Jim and Nancy Craig also just down from the Trout. It's still amazing to me that this very rural area is only a 20 minute walk away from our house!

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Barb by the Nunnery
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The kids by the sailboats and cows
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All told, we walked for about THREE HOURS! (We got back about 4:20 pm.) It's not surprising that we were pretty tired out after all that. We went to dinner with the students (roast chicken), where Barb used "the power of the cute." She didn't like the pies for dessert, which the staff recognized, and instead brought her a bowl of fresh fruit!

At night, we watched Jurassic Park III on the projector – silly, but fun. It's getting warm again here (supposed to be 86 on Friday!), so it took awhile to cool everyone off and get them to bed.