Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fish and Whole Foods

I was used to the weather here in the UK until the wind decided to go crazy and try to blow me off my feet and smack me in the face with a million leaves. 

It reminded me of that one Winnie the Pooh, where Piglet gets blown away by these insanely strong winds and then Pooh is extremely unhelpful per usual. All Pooh does is mix up the words 'Wednesday' and 'windy' to create 'winds-day'....way to go Pooh. 

Honestly thats probably where my love of puns comes from. 

Today was not Wednesday, but it was certainly a windy day. I almost got blown off a bridge into the Thames while taking these lovely photos. 


I love aquariums because I absolutely love fish. They're really cool to watch and unlike all other animals, they do not make me sneeze. So to celebrate the first week of Spring Break I went on a little excursion to the London Aquarium. Which was full of small children and tourists but still a really good time. 

Jellyfish are basically living lava lamps. I love how everyone just stares at them completely mesmerized. 

Having the fish swim around a fake skeleton of a giant fish is a bit macabre if you ask me. But it did add a certain ambiance. 

Male seahorses get pregnant instead of females, and that's reason enough to love them forever.  

After all the horror stories I heard about Piranha as a child I expected them to look a lot scarier and have murder in their eyes but they just looked like little cutie pie losers. 

I forgot that trick to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile by looking at their teeth. I feel like I failed my childhood hero Steve Irwin :( 

I also visited my gluten free haven in London: Whole Foods!! 

I can finally eat pancakes!!! Plus Matzo crackers to get into the spirit of the holidays. 

Finished off my trip with a visit to Chipotle. After months of really bland food the amazing beautiful flavors of Chipotle were a literal heaven. It was truly a special moment in my life that I will remember forever. I meant to take a picture of it but I was so excited to eat it that I totally forgot. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I visited a Castle!

I got to visit a Castle today! Childhood dream fulfilled! (kinda, childhood me would not have expected to tour prison cells when she visited a castle)  

Presenting Oxford Castle! Not exactly a Disney castle, especially since it was later used as a prison and part of it is now a mini shopping center and a hotel. 
 I admire the determination and ambition of the person who decided to build a fancy hotel right next to a supposedly haunted ancient prison and fortress. 

I went for the whole tour experience and it was defiantly worth it. All the tour guides were in character as various prisoners, monks and knights which was entertaining.  

I got to walk all 112 steps up the really creepy narrow staircase of this tower, which had a disturbing amount of cobwebs (authenticity). Considering the amount of times I trip and fall down our stairs at home I was really proud of myself for getting all the way up and down these stairs without incident. The view was amazing!!

Then we went all the way down to the crypt where they used to keep all the dead bodies. It's supposedly really haunted but all I noticed was the smell of mildew and some shadows. 
Literature students always like to write papers about how it's really humanity who are the true monsters anyway. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rabbits and the History of Science

One of my favorite things to do while walking around the city is to pick a person and try to imagine how I would describe them if they were a character in a book.

I learned in creative writing class that the best way to do this is to pick the 2 or 3 most descriptive and memorable features about a person, because your readers will get bored with any more description than that.

This game is easiest when someone has a very distinctive facial feature or article of clothing.

Then sometimes there's a  man standing outside of the shops wearing a giant stuffed rabbits head and riding a bicycle while using a bubble blowing gun and your job is done for you.

I would have taken a photo, but i'm doing my best not to look like a tourist. I do great until I need to speak and am betrayed by my accent.


This week I visited the Museum of the History of Science, another one of the small cozy little museums here in Oxford.

I'm still not used to the freedom they give you to wander around wherever you please in British museums. I walked in and looked at the docent to see if he was going to tell me where to go or something. Because they also don't believe in keeping everything locked up and so some of the stuff was just sitting out and I wasn't sure how close I was allowed to get. And the docent just looked back at me like:

"what the hell are you looking at ME for?"

So I took that as my cue to wander around wherever I wanted.

There were docents wandering around making sure I didn't touch stuff but they were kinda scary because they never spoke and just walked around quietly watching you like name badge wearing ghosts in sensible footwear.

 Moon Globe! 
 The fanboys at Oxford saved a chalkboard that Einstein wrote on.
 Lawrence of Arabia's camera 

Photography supplies belonging to Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland

Friday, February 20, 2015

Things I heard outside my window #3

1.)  Someone decided to play "Uptown Funk" really really loudly in the middle of the night...

2.) [two boys arguing ]

-Mate I could totally beat you in a race

-No, no you couldn't, never I will always win

-Fine, let's race right here


-I'll race you to that lamppost there.

[Five minute argument over which lamppost]

-Wait we need a judge


-A judge someone to say who wins

-The winner will be the one who gets there first idiot we don't need a judge

[Finally someone agrees to be the judge and the race commences. The thrilling saga ends in dramatic fits of coughing and no clear winner]

That time a stupid shark almost ended my life

So I'm walking home from headington shops, super happy because I had found some gluten free biscuits (cookies). I was walking home a slightly different way and at a corner I stopped to turn and look to see if a car was coming when I saw this...

Now, understand that I'm  living in a really proper, old fashioned and quaint area of Oxford, so this random shark sticking out of the roof of this building is about as out of place as Kanye West at a tea party. I had no idea why it was there so of course I stared at it in confusion trying to understand why there was a gigantic shark in the roof.

And that's when I almost got hit by a car.

The shark had distracted me so much that I'd looked the wrong way for traffic which I thought I'd finally stopped doing.

Luckily the car stopped although the old lady driving the car looked at me like she wished she hadn't. It was a really small car and no one drives all that fast around here so I probably wouldn't have been all that injured but I was still glad to have escaped unscathed.

It's probably unfair to be angry at the Headington Shark, as it's called, for almost getting me run over since it's an inanimate object but i'm going to hold a grudge against it anyway. And none shall  convince me that that shark did not have malicious intentions. Stupid shark.

[The shark was built by an American cinema owner and radio presenter who by the sound of it just wanted to do something weird and annoy the city council. He succeeded since they tried really hard to get the thing taken down but there it stays. Now it's apparently a bit of a tourist attraction]

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


While leaving Christ Church I got a little disoriented and ended up on one of the many small side roads in Oxford. I tend to avoid these because they are usually one way and you may get run over by an angry cyclist. However, on that road I beheld one of the most glorious sights I had seen since arriving in England. A Mexican Restaurant!! It was called Mission Burrito and they served Tacos!!!

They were surprised when I asked for beans on my taco because they were't aware you could DO that, but they were very nice and humored me since I was obviously from America. Being from America makes some people are nicer to you and other people automatically assume you are terrible despicable human being.

Anyway TACOS!!!!!

Christ Church

Visited Christ Church, which was absolutely gorgeous! It was a lot bigger than I expected since it's a school, a gallery, and a cathedral.

The Cathedral was beautiful and they still hold services there. They were holding a small Catholic liturgy in one of the alcoves while I was there. The stained glass was beautiful, and there were lots of places where you could light candles at the shrines for certain saints. I was a bit perturbed that the exit to the Cathedral led right into a gift shop, it reminded me of Disneyland. But I figured it must cost a lot to maintain the building.