Idyllic pastoral landscapes and beautiful old buildings: thus was the view driving into Oxfordshire. Speaking of Oxfordshire, the name hearkens back to memories of reading The Hobbit in the middle of the night when I was a wee young thing, but more on Tolkien later. As we got closer and closer to our house the streets got narrower and narrower until finally, the charter bus had to stop and tell us to walk the rest of the way; we were just too fat to fit down the small European streets. If that isn’t a good metaphor for the American stereotype, I’m not sure what is. Our house itself is also rather small, but by some strange magic comfortably houses all seven of us and now we’re trying our best to make our house a home.
In addition to getting acquainted with our new house, we also went on a walking tour of the city of Oxford. Our tour guide, Charlie, gave us the spark notes version of Oxford history, but with more jokes thrown in. I particularly enjoyed the parts of literary history: the door that inspired C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, the pub where Tolkien imagined Middle Earth, and the wonderland of Lewis Carrol’s creation. But perhaps the most memorable part of the tour was the final view: the gardens of Christ church which double as a war memorial