Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Welcome to the Sanger B&B

Coffee's in the pot, beer's in the fridge, towels are in the cabinet, and wake up calls are available every morning at 6:00 courtesy of two hungry cats.

As it's been much publicized here at the Nutshell as of late, I'm sure everyone's aware of our recent guests. Last weekend, Jason's brother Joe and his wife Amy arrived. They're in Paris at the moment so I've had some extra time to post some photos of our trip to Cambridge on Sunday and Monday. First off, let me just say "Oh Great and Mighty Weather Gods, we are forever at your mercy and offer you a sacrificial cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit in our appreciation for the recent rays of warm sun you've seen fit to bestow upon us. So, keep it comin' please. Peace."

Upon arrival, we went straight to a local outdoor market and got a picnic lunch and some accoutrement from M&S. (Where else can you get wine glasses for a quid each??) We had these very grandiose ideas about punting to a lovely spot along the River Cam, climbing out and enjoying a lovely, civilized picnic lunch whilst laying on the grass and appreciating all mother nature has to give. The mere thought of this later will make us all roll our eyes in unison.

Jason and I enjoy a glass of wine and try not to look nervous about his brother punting behind us.

Oh how I'll long for the carefree moments of wild laughter in about 5 minutes.

The boys switch places and everyone's hearts leap into their chests as the little boat thrashes viciously in the rapid currents. (It's possible that I'm being a tiny bit dramatic with the "thrashing" and "rapid" and "currents" and the words "rocked back and forth a little" and "mild" and "flowing gently" would be more suitable choices.)

My slogan for the experience: "Punting! Not as easy or relaxing as it looks!"

I mean, Just look at poor Jason's face.

Not to mention that the boys had to deal with this the entire time:
Amy: I told you we should have just paid the extra money to have someone do this for us while we sat back and enjoyed it.
Me: This is the worst thing EVER. I want out of here right NOW. Someone please take a picture of me while I try to hold this wine like I'm enjoying every minute of the whole damned experience.
Amy: Why does no one ever listen to me?
Me: Jesus Jason! If you hit me in the head with that damned punting pole one more time, I'll personally knock you off the back of this thing!
Amy: Joe! You threw water all OVER me!
Me: Holy crap. I hate this.

After recovering from the punting nightmare, we visited Trinity College, one of the many that are part of the Cambridge Unviersity family.

Sir Isaac Newton went to Trinity. And Jason went to UNCG. Totally the same thing.

Amy and I in front of the massive fountain in the courtyard. One of our books said that Lord Byron used to lounge in the fountain with his pet bear cub. He had a bear because school regulations prevented students from owning dogs. Fact or fiction? You decide.

Just the four of us, we can make it if we try...

Me in front of a direct descendant of the actual apple tree Newton sat under and was bonked in the noggin' by an apple.

Even the drunk kids at Cambridge were smart. We happened to pop into a pub and sat down at the very table where...

the discovery of DNA was announced! And the two dudes who discovered it used to sit here and drink and yap about science and probably discuss who was getting voted off Gene Pool Island.

"The Eagle: Where smart people come to get drunk!" I'm going to take up slogan writing as a career.

Some shots of Kings College at sunset.

Anybody know which way the river is? Anybody??

The next day, we came back to see the inside of the Kings College Cathedral.

The fan vaulted ceilings and stained glass were awe-inspiring (for lack of a less pathetically touristy thing to say).

These punters seem to be having a much easier time than we did.

Alltogether now: "Awwwwwwwwwww."

The stunning library at Trinity college. Some items in their posession: An original handwritten manuscript of a Winnie the Pooh book by A.A. Milne, a letter written by Isaac Newton in 1679 featuring his famous sketch of a rock falling to the center of the earth, a notebook kept by Newton in which he wrote Latin notes and his expenses (lots of pub entries!) and the oldest known bound collection of Shakespeares works. Not bad. Fun fact: Did you know that A.A. Milne's brother also went to school here and was the namesake of the Christopher Robin character? (His name was Christopher Robin Milne.)

And a final pub lunch before training back to London to see Evita. (Which was freaking awesome, by the way, just in case you were wondering...) I love how the looks on Amy's face get increasingly less tolerant. I guess as a mother of two, you learn infinite patience. I would have popped Jason in the eye already.