Ahhh... the home stretch. It's a funny thing to arrive in the UK on Monday night and feel like we're basically done. We travelled from an 18 hours time zone difference to 15 hours to 9 hours ... so arriving in the UK with its wimpy 8-hour difference, well, shoot -- I might as well have been calling home from Montana.
Our first stop was in Oxford, home of the university where smart people go. Our hotel was situated directly across the street from one of the campuses (turns out, Oxford is a series of different colleges), which was perfect for my morning run. I saw dinosaur bones.
After more than a week and a half conducting rapid fire interviews, the workdays tended to blend together. Funnily enough, it's easy to remember dinners. On Tuesday night we went to a big work dinner, meeting up with people from a concurrent work project. I drank a bunch of wine, and then we took a van from Oxford to Chichester. It was no regular van. We got Stella tallboys for the hour and a half drive. That's legal in the UK, right? (We had a driver.)
In Chichester we checked into The Ship Hotel. Chichester is a college town known in part for its super old church in the center of town. That super old church has a statue of Saint Richard in the walkway. Saint Richard looks like Mr. Burns, people. He's scary. (In fairness, I found out in mass on Thursday that apparently Mr. Burns did some really nice things -- like cure people of disease and stop a storm.)
Chichester was nearly as peaceful as Weinheim. Except that the hotel we were staying at has things like rapes. It wasn't a random rape or anything, so I still felt safe, although I considered the runny eggs a dietary hazard.
The town (city?) shuts down after six p.m. so really, the only thing to do is eat and drink. (See a pattern? I need a cleanse.) I did manage to get a run in along a lovely footpath that ended in a cricket field. But the brief exercising couldn't change the fact that I brought a pair of pants along that fit me in the beginning of my trip and by the end, well, didn't. I mostly wore skirts.
By Friday I had a bad case of senioritis. You know, that giddy euphoria where everything is silly and funny and you can't stop looking at the clock? I couldn't help it. The past two weeks have been really remarkable. I've been around the globe with four different currencies and timezones. I've eaten bird spit; I've had enough wine and beer to inebriate a small village; I travelled to two countries for the first time. But I miss my bed, and I miss eating California food, and yes, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait to get on the plane.
Until Tuesday night...