My friend Katie went to London two weekends ago and her facebook status was something very similar to the title of this post, "London for the weekend, no big deal!" Obviously being sarcastic as she was completely stoked about her trip, the same as I was for my trip to England this past weekend. It still blows my mind that in the past three weeks I have toured the Ring of Kerry, kissed the Blarney Stone, and have finally been to England after my entire family has been there. I used to make fun of my brother for being such a freak about England, but now I see why, and I could join him in that boat.
England was incredibly beautiful! This wasn't a 'touristy' trip like my others have been, even though I still snapped some pictures along the way, it was really neat to hang out with Brett (the friend I was visiting from Camp Tecumseh) and his friends and experience more of the culture from the locals! Brett is from Carnforth which is in Northern England and he was nice enough to drive me around the Lake District and the countryside. I finally saw all of those stone walls I've been waiting to see and lots and lots of sheep!
Let's see... the "English" things I did- ate fish and chips, had a lamb burger, went to a rugby game, watched more rugby on TV, had my picture taken by a huge yellow submarine and became a temporary member of the Leeds library to print my boarding pass home. Having a name like 'Brittania' brought on some attention as well- "Hail Britannia" came out a few times which I thought was great! We played some poker as well- which I broke even on- not bad for a Yankee :) About the only thing that I was bummed out about was that the Liverpool airport didn't stamp my passport, so no English stamp to remember this experience by, just my pics and my own good memories.
Overall I found England to be more like home- just the feel of the cities, the people and even the stores brought back a more 'homey feel.' Maybe it was because I was hanging out with British people that also made it feel more homelike. Brett has some really great friends that I got along with really well.
Back in Dublin now- no rest for the weary. I was on a field trip yesterday to John Oxx's farm, he's the trainer for the Thoroughbred racehorse Sea the Stars. Sea the Stars has won every major European race and still may be shipped over to the States for the Breeder's Cup coming up in early November. John's son, Kevin is in class with me, which is how we got the invite to go. They were breaking or starting, whichever you prefer, 35 new colts and fillies in two days. Typically the breaking process takes up to 6 weeks, a very gradual method is used. Not with these guys- I watched a trainer and his assistant/ jockey/ rider/ insane person for getting on these Thoroughbreds break 3 colts and 1 crazy chestnut filly in 2 hours! It was really awesome to watch. He used a mixture of the different methods out there and I'm sure it will be a good conversation for class today on what we thought about their methods that were used. The trip was topped off with being invited back to the house and eating a great lunch hosted by the trainer's wife and Kevin's mom! I wish everyday of class was that great!
Last night we had 'Canadian Thanksgiving.' I had never heard of it before, but my friend Erika who is Canadian and an amazing cook had a wonderful meal for me and my friends last night. Thinking about it, I was celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with a girl born in Germany, but now from New Zealand, a girl from the UK originally, but now from Ireland, a Canadian, a fellow American and an Australian girl whose mom was visiting. I find that slightly amusing and incredible as well.
Alright... I have written another novel of a post- my friend Sarah Jay who is also a blogger has given me crap about having my posts so long- but there is just so much to tell! :) I have an exam to study for tomorrow- wish me luck y'all- time to earn my "A's"