Saturday morning we headed 30 minutes down the road to Oxford. Steve told me on the way there that this was the most exotic anniversary trip he has ever taken me on.
We got to Oxford, parked the car and then headed over to the tourist information office to figure out what we wanted to do. We bought a brochure with a walking tour of the town based on the lives of Tolkein and CS Lewis.
Both Steve and I had busy weeks last week and we both also felt like we were fighting being sick all week, so neither of us was in gung-ho “conqueor the city” mood. So we went to Starbucks (visit #3 on a gift card a friend generously gave us at Christmas) and sat for a while watching the students. Both Steve and I, when in a college town, will think that going back to school would be fun. That lasts about 5 minutes then think better of it.
After our yummy coffee we headed out on our Tolkein/Lewis tour, but were waylaid by a used book store. I bought a copy of Persuasion (set in Bath I learned more about that story last week, but it is one of Austen’s that I haven’t read yet) and a 1920’s biography of Queen Victoria. We also bought a Christmas present for our nephew Caleb.
Back on track, the first stop on the Tolkein/Lewis tour was the Eagle and Child pub. This is where they, along with other colleagues and friends who called themselves the “inklings”, met for lunch every Tuesday to share their writing projects and debate life’s deep questions. We don’t count a pub as ‘visited’ without food or liquid refreshment, so this is where we took our lunch. We sat in the room where the inklings always sat – very cool to sit and lunch where great things happened.
We followed the walking tour for a bit, then stopped at the Ashmolean Museum. It is a free museum with a lot of really old stuff. Steve was in heaven. I spent most of my time admiring it from the comfy benches. There was a Japanese gentleman that ended up on the same bench as me a few times. His MO was always the same. Sit down, look at a few pages in his guide book, nod, nod, drop camera, startle back awake. He finally figured out to put his camera strap around his wrist.
After the museum we decided we were too tired and headed back to the car. It is great to be local. If you are too tired to see any of the colleges or any of the major sites that’s OK, you know you can come back anytime…