Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring break!

Riverbank at Kirkstall Abbey

Spring break has officially started and I'm off to Seattle in 2 days! This weekend was good--on Friday night I went to a birthday party and then onto a club, stayed in to finish up school work on Saturday, and then last night I had a girls' night with Nicole. Today I went down to Kirkstall Abbey again--the flowers are starting to bloom and the river was gorgeous. Stopped off at Morrisons on the way home to get a few things for people back home: Easter candy and spotted dick, haha!
It feels so weird to be going back home after 6 months away. I watched Sweet Home Alabama the other day to get in the mood--not that Stanwood is anything like Alabama, but compared to England, it sort of is...I'm so excited to go home, though!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fountains Abbey

Disclaimer: the pictures are entirely out of order...

View into the nave at Fountains Abbey

Lunch--We'd planned to have a picnic on the grounds, but it was pretty cold and windy. The National Trust staff let us eat in the visitors centre, though. Side note--I love that I'm sitting on the floor eating a banana, just like in all those pics of me at Grandma & Grandpa's house as a baby!

Vaulted ceilings of the "Cellarium" (storage area) at the Abbey

After the tour and lunch, we went walking around the park and had a 3-legged race by the lake. I hadn't done one of those since church camp. I hated it then, because I was a pretty tall kid and always got partnered w/ somebody way shorter than me. This time, it was way more fun--didn't fall over or trip at all!

Outside the visitors centre, waiting for our tour to start

On the bus just before leaving uni

Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian abbey like the smaller one in my neighborhood. The main front area was built in the 1100's but the tower was built in 1510. The abbey was dissolved (along w/ all the others in England) in 1539.

One of the less well-preserved parts...but a nice shot of how the river wraps around and goes underneath the abbey. Much of the building was constructed with little tunnels over the river, used not only to make the most of the available land but also to get running water and drainage.

This morning 20 of us from ICS went up to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire for a tour and picnic. My closer friends in the dept. didn't come, and I thought about skipping, too, but I figured I might as well go along--it's free transportation to somewhere I'd probably never see otherwise.
I'm glad I went--it's absolutely gorgeous. The tour guide was very good, and I learned quite a bit about the monastery life/society and Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. Most of my classmates were restless--didn't listen to the guide's talk, spent the whole time taking pics and chatting, walked off while he was still talking--and I was pretty offended. I understand that it was cold and they didn't care about the site's history, but I just think it's incredibly rude to act like they did. Lunch was fine--we had to bring something from our national cuisine, so I brought stuff to make PB&J and PB&banana, plus chocolate chip cookies. After lunch I popped into the gift shop next door and got a few nice souvenir things. We walked around the grounds along the river, down to the very beautiful man-made lake. The organizers wanted to us to play games, and you know how I feel about that...But we just had time for one thing, really, so we split up into pairs and had 3-legged races. It turned out to be pretty fun...despite my usual attitude towards games, haha. Took a nap on the ride home, but I'm still pretty tired. I woke up at 6 am this morning and I'd walked about 5 or 6 miles, if you add up my walks to/from campus and all the walking we did there. All in all, I'm glad I went. What else would I've been doing on a Saturday morning? Sleeping?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back to Haworth

This morning after submitting an assignment, I took the bus out to Haworth so I could pick up souvenirs for my trip home and try to finish that hike (I turned back last time b/c of the rain and wind). This time, it was still ridiculously windy but at least it was a little sunny. The sun and cloud patches moving over the hills looked just like in "The Secret Garden." Just like last time, there was that feeling of being a windswept heroine wandering the moors. I love it out there--and it's always nice to get out of Leeds.
This weekend was good--went to "The Young Victoria" w/ Nicole and loved it. Really want to see it again with my mom, but it's not scheduled for a U.S. release yet...They did that with "Becoming Jane" too--it was out in the spring in the UK and fall in the US. So maybe we can see it when I get back in September...Also saw "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" with Ximena and her housemates. It was good--strange, but good, like all Woody Allen movies. Cody's confirmed our Paris trip for Easter, so I watched "Amelie" and "Paris Je T'aime." Very excited! In amongst the film fest, I've gotten quite a bit of work done on the proposal, the dissertation and a campaign project. Tonight Ximena's invited me to a Celtic music fest at O'Neill's--apparently there's a U2 cover band playing called "New2." Even if the music isn't great, I still love O'Neill's--if only for the memories of drinking Guinness Red with Cody in Bath.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tuesday Club Night

Post-Essay Club Night at Tiger Tiger

Ximena & me

After spending last weekend writing my essay (aside from watching Saturday night's rugby game), I needed a proper club night. On Tuesday, my ICS classmates went to Tiger Tiger. It started out badly, but ended up being a good night. We'd said on facebook that we'd be there at 10, so I arrived at about 10:20, knowing how they're usually late. Well, I was still the first one to arrive. I texted Ximena and she hurried over, so I wasn't there by myself for too long. The others didn't get there until 11, though! Apparently I'm just too punctual for this group (even though I wasn't punctual either...)!