America is a baby country.

Isn’t it amazing how fast you bond? It’s only been a week, but already my heart is full of such love for these people. The first few days of wary hellos and awkward small talk are long gone, replaced now with nicknames (I’m apparently mom now… 17 years of being the oldest and head counting and being in charge of my siblings have worn off on me and now I’m always making sure everyone is together) and inside jokes and more laughs than I thought was possible. It’s like my heart has grown three sizes to include London and the English countryside and the 39 girls and 4 boys and 3 professors and their wives. Each day my heart grows a little more as I get to know more and more of the people here.

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Stained glass light reflections, not neon paint on a thousand year old cathedral. Don’t worry.

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I had no idea that stained glass was also painted in such detail. I kinda just assumed it was different colored glass panels all pieced together.

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This sign just gave me a laugh. Imagine being so revered that a museum put up a sign to commemorate you visiting?

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Our music professor, Dr. Lindeman, soaking up the main hall of the cathedral.

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Climbed 288 very small, very steep, very claustrophobic spiral stairs to get to the top of the tower, and my fear of heights and fear of dying made itself very evident, but this view was for sure worth it.

 

But enough of the sappy stuff- let’s get to the pictures! We went to Ely Cathedral near Cambridge yesterday, and dang, is that thing old. I knew America was a young country, but when Dr. Lindeman pointed out that the Anasazis were building mounds in Utah when this cathedral was being built, it blew my mind.

After Ely, we made a quick stop at the American cemetery and it immediately felt familiar. The white smooth stones were reminiscent of the WWII memorial in DC, and the whole place just felt modern, a stark contrast to the old, crumbly feeling of the cathedral we had just left. You could tell that America was in charge of building it. It was sobering to realize that many of the people here were never reunited with their family. When they left America to fight, that was it. They never came home, not even to be buried.

We also went to Cambridge, which was cool and all, but Oxford is way better. I love Oxford more than any place on this earth probably. That town means so much to me. I can’t wait to go visit next month! Also, Rachel dragged us to Baker Street and I’ve got to admit, it was worth it. It’s so fun how many pockets of literary history are stuck all over this city. The sleeping English nerd in me is stretching out and waking up and I’m pretty happy about it. Tomorrow we’re going to Westminster Abbey and I can’t wait to go to the Poets’ Corner and see some of the greats’ names carved in the stone!img_8128img_8138

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I never knew that they did the Star of David instead of crosses for the Jewish soldiers who had died. It’s so simple, and yet it seemed so significant to me.

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Frozen leaves in a thin sheet of ice.

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Obligatory photo of Cambridge even though Oxford is better. #notbiasedATALL

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Just chillin with Sherlock right around the corner from Baker Street. I’m watching the finale of season 4 tonight and I’m stoked!

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221 B Baker Street!

 

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