August 5, 2008

My Husband is Here!!!

The little town of Burley in the New Forest.

Matt is here! We're about to depart on our Fireworks Cruise.


The boys -- Marc, Edward, Jonas, and Marco.

One of my favourite girls, Sarina. She loves me!

In Poole, about to re-board our boat to watch the fireworks show.

Bath Abbey.

A view of Bath over the River Avon. It was a gorgeous day!

We couldn't leave Bath without first having tea
at Sally Lunn's house, where we tried her famous brioche buns.

The Christchurch Priory. This place enchants me.

Well Matt is FINALLY here, but I’m going to start my tale from the day before his arrival. Last Wednesday, I took the students on an excursion to the New Forest. This is an ancient forest created by William the Conqueror in the 1080’s as his personal hunting grounds. Today it is an area of forests and grasslands where cows, ponies, and donkeys roam wild. There are several villages dotted throughout the New Forest, each quaint and charming in its own way.

Before departing for our excursion, I was waiting outside the University for our coaches with the Japanese and French students. One of the Japanese leaders, an adorable woman named Akiko, asked me if my eyelashes were “real.” After I replied ‘yes,’ she said, “Oh! Really!” and rushed over to a group of Japanese girls. After saying something to them in Japanese, I suddenly found myself encircled by about 6 Japanese girls all staring at my eyes, going “oooohhh!” I assured them that I was telling the truth by pulling rather forcefully on my eyelashes and the girls erupted into giggles. They started asking me about the kind of mascara I use as they inched in to get a closer look. I noticed that all of these Japanese girls were wearing fake eyelashes! Then they all started pulling out their cameras and asking to get a picture with me. They made me feel like a celebrity! It was a funny and slightly embarrassing moment for me! J

Matt arrived on Thursday, August 31st by coach at around 3 pm. I went to meet him at the station and I saw him standing there waiting (his coach arrived early). I started walking towards him and as I got closer, he turned and saw me and then I broke into a run and we met and threw our arms around each other. It was a wonderful, amazing moment! We couldn’t let go of each other for a few minutes, just looking at each other and smiling (and kissing, of course). For the rest of the day, we would look at each other and both break into a huge grin. Matt coming here has almost become like a second honeymoon for us! It’s incredible!

Matt arrived in time to join us on an evening excursion. We took a small group of students on a cruise to the next town over, Poole. The sky threatened rain but during the hour-long boat ride to Poole, we all sat on the open deck, talking, laughing, and enjoying the fresh sea air. We arrived in Poole and the boat dropped us of at Poole Quay, in the center of the street festival. The quay was full of live bands, street performers, and lots of people. We grabbed an ice cream and strolled around for a bit. Just before we got back onto the boat, it started to rain. Once we got on board, it started absolutely pouring. We rushed inside the covered part of the boat and relaxed there. The rain was so heavy for a bit that I was afraid that they wouldn’t set off the fireworks. But the rain let up a bit and we did indeed get to watch a lovely fireworks display from the warmth and dryness of the indoor cabin,

It was so much fun to bring Matt to work with me on Friday and introduce him to everyone. He even accompanied me to our weekly staff meeting! Friday night, we had a small BBQ for about 15 people, and Marco had the night off, so it was just Matt and me running the show. We did the shopping together in the afternoon and Matt cooked ALL the burgers on the grill. He did wonderfully and I was so proud of him!

On Saturday, we went on an excursion to the city of Bath. I remembered my camera this time, though! I was worried because the morning started off with quite a bit of rain. (Rain….in England…go figure!) Once we arrived in Bath, I led the walking tour through the city. We had such a large group that sometimes I had to stand on a bench to be able to speak so everyone could hear. Bath is one of my favourite (notice the English spelling) cities and about 20 minutes into the walking tour, the rain stopped. About ten minutes after that, the sun came out and soon everyone was pulling off their jackets. The rest of the day turned out to be quite warm and absolutely beautiful, without a cloud in the sky. The buildings in Bath are especially beautiful in the sunlight because they have a golden color to them that is really only visible when the sun is shining. After we sent the students off on their free time, we relaxed by the river Avon and I tried to get a little sun on my very pale, no wait-- stark white legs.

I didn’t have to work on Sunday and Matt and I really enjoyed sleeping in. We ate a traditional meal with my host family at lunch. It was called Toad in a Hole and it was sausages in Yorkshire pudding. It might sound strange but it was really delicious! Matt and I are getting quite spoiled by my host mom’s wonderful cooking. I will have a lot to live up to when I get back to the US!

After lunch, Matt and I took the bus to the little town of Christchurch, which is located just to the east of Bournemouth. We walked around High Street and spent some time visiting Christchurch Priory, which I absolutely love. It then began raining, AGAIN, and we ducked into a tea room to share a cream tea and scones. Then it was time to hop on the bus back to Bournemouth, as we were meeting my friend Jane for dinner.

Jane picked us up and we ate at a restaurant called Harry Ramsden’s, which is located right along Bournemouth’s beaches. We had a table with a great view of the sea and we could see several people surfing. Jane took us to this restaurant because I asked her to take us to the place we could get the best Fish and Chips. We topped off our meals by enjoying some Butter Bread Pudding with custard.. Soooooo good! It was a great evening and I was glad for the chance for Matt and Jane to get to know one another a bit better!

This week’s been fairly quiet and tonight Matt and I happy to find that we have no evening activity! Once again, rain has “put a damper” on our plans, so to speak, and we had no students show up to do an activity. Matt has been waiting patiently here in the office with me as I write this blog. God bless him! So now I must finish so we can head into Bournemouth for a bit and enjoy an evening to ourselves.

Tomorrow is an excursion to Stonehenge and Salisbury, and Saturday we’ll go to Oxford. Of course I’ll update you again with more of our adventures!


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