Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Sea and Sherlock Holmes

I love windmills.

Laura, Britin, Calvin, Cam

Not much time to write, so this is gonna be a mess. Ready, go.

The first few days of this week were pretty chill. Just class, some work, and finally got around to getting my frequent reader card at the British Library (not sure if I mentioned it, it wasn't that amazing. But everyone is jealous cause only I get one. Because i'm awesome. And the TA. In that order. Anyways). So yesterday we all got up early, packed sack lunches, and got on a coach/bus for a giant field trip. Our coach driver's name was Glen and he was way cooler than Greg the other day. First stop: Brighton. Brighton is a wicked cool little coastal town. I had been wanting to come to the coast since we got here, and it's beautiful. And freezing. More on that in a second. We got out of the coach and headed to the Royal Pavilion. I will now copy and paste what the internet has to say about it's history: Built for George, Prince Regent, at the turn of the 19th century, the Royal Pavilion is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. The end. Look up pictures online if you can (we weren't allowed to take them inside, plus I forgot my camera this trip). Prince Regent George liked women (lots of them) and his party house (ps - this is me, no longer the internet). Calvin also liked his party house. The place is pretty huge, Indian architecture on the outside, Chinese theme on the indside. There was lots of awesome painted walls, some gold stuff, a big kitchen, and the coolest chandellier (sp?) EVER! The thing is 35 feet long and weighs one ton. It is also being held in the claws of a dragon made out of silver. That is one bad dragon. He hooks into the ceiling (obviously) and has the chandellier in his claws. It's got a 'waterfall' of crystals going down to four or five gold dragons that all have their necks bent up because they have glass lotus flowers in their mouths (which would make it look like they were breathing fire back in the day). This thing was SO cool. The other two cool things about the place were that the artist that did the walls put in a shadow of a duck in the middle of a mural depicting a pond with cranes (hard to find but once you see it it's pretty sweet), and the fact that George had two hidden doors in his bedroom that each lead to...the pot. Don't know why I found that so funny, but I did. Between the chandellier and pretending like my audio tour was a taser created to shock Leslie repeatedly, it was a good trip.

Left the Pavillion and had a little bit of free time. I went straight to the beach with Cam, Katie, Brit, and Mary. The beach at Brighton was FREEZING but cool. There is no sand, there are only pieces of colorful rock and smoothed down fragments of seashells. Very cool. I found some type of vertibrae, a sweet orange rock, a sweet red rock, some sweet shells (seeing a pattern here?), a piece of rubber that bounced really cool off the rock walls, and a giant donut sculpture (at least that's what it looked like to me). There was also a long pier kind of like Santa Monica pier, but I was too busy finding sweet orange rocks to fill my backpack. Back on the bus and on to Battle Abbey. I'm taking too long to write, so as soon as I finish dinner I will come back to tell you about Battle Abbey.

Thai food is good. Back to Battle Abbey. Battle Abbey is was constructed by William the Conqueror after winning the Battle of Hastings (AKA the Norman Invasion in 1066). We got there and it was rainy and a bit cold, probably very much like it was the actual day of the battle, which happened on a day in October. There's not much left of the actual abbey, but the battlefield is all still there and is very cool. The program didn't fork out for us to get audio tours, so I took myself on an audio tour (reading the signs out loud in an English accent). Eventually I met up with Cameron and Jenny. We took a shortcut so that I could chase sheep (it was pretty muddy but a good time nonetheless). At the end we went into the ruins of a church, took pictures of an orange bird we saw in the bushes, climbed on things, and then went in to the gift shop to try on the different plastic helmets and take pictures of us stabbing each other with fake spears. Good times.

Back to the coach and another 45 minutes to the city of Rye. Rye would have been cool if we had gotten there earlier, most things were closed. But we did hike up some steep cobblestone streets to St. Mary's church (the highest point and center of town). If it had been open we could have climbed to the top of the clock tower, but instead we just sat on the cannons, perused through a graveyard with headstones that are no longer readable, and bought food for the trip home. We had a little while longer, and I had seen a sweet windmill (pictured above) on our way in to town, so Brit, Katie, and Cam accompanied me to find it. It was closed also, but I still loved it. Because windmills are--for some reason--appealing to me.

Today was pretty cool too. Woke up, ate breakfast, did homework, and we were supposed to go get tickets to see Phantom of the Opera tonight but could only find 9 people that were willing to go today (we need ten for the discount). I've been wanting to find Sherlock Holmes' house, so Cam decided to come with me. We took the Tube to Baker Street, but I couldn't remember what number Holmes lived in. We knew we were on the right street, and that it had a 2 in the address, so we just walked to the end of the street. It wasn't at 2, or 12 (Cam's guess), or 72 (my guess), so we decided to retrace our steps. We got distracted by a store with awesome and expensive chess sets and Subway (I was starving), but decided to stay on the trail (that's right...I was pretending to be Sherlock Holmes looking for my house). We had walked by a movie theater, so we decided to go see if the movie was playing. We both picked a side, and my side had a poster with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law standing under a lamp post with 221 B written on it. (If you haven't seen the movie, go. It's great. And not just because I saw it with a beautiful girl). So we kept backtracking, went past the Tube stop, and finally found it. There was also an Elvis store and a Beatles store, so we got distracted again. But finally we found Holmes' house and turns out it's a museum now. We didn't have a lot of time, so we decided to just peruse through the gift shop. It's important to note that since I had conceived of the notion of tracing Sherlock Holmes I had also randomly decided that I need a pipe. So...I bought one at the museum. It's pretty much awesome. It's the color of my guitar (dark red with the wood grain still visible) and pretty much the greatest thing I have ever spent money on). As I was looking at it on the Tube Cameron laughed at me and said, "You look so satisfied right now." And, indeed, I am.

So that's the last few days. Tomorrow we have nothing because Saturday is full of another field trip. So...the end.


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