I can't fall asleep, so I'm going to write a new post instead.
The past two days have been incredible. Oli took me to the Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge, and a beach that I cannot remember the name of.
We started at the abbey yesterday, walking the 25 acres of gardens. It's all reminiscent of a cross between Pride and Prejudice and Alice in Wonderland.
Oli and I hiked along one side of the property on the woodlands walk, which is pretty much a vast forest. We made our way around and back on the other side to Narcissus Garden, the Formal Garden, and the Rose Garden before stopping for a game of croquet on the temple lawn. I won, naturally ;)
Then we continued on to the Dahlia Garden, the Riverside Walk, and finally the Winter Garden. I'm sorry, but this place has the Chicago Botanic Gardens beat. My favorite spot was the winter garden because there was a small grove of thickly packed silver birch trees--it felt like being part of a secret. I know how corny that sounds, but honestly it was remarkable.
After picnicking at a table in the car park (parking lot), Haynes took me to Cambridge. I may have to transfer from Kent. Cambridge city center is much larger than Colchester, and on top of having a modern-but-endearing shop walk, it has the university. When I'm at IU, I'll look at the buildings we have on the main quad and think about how much history they have--they've got nothing on Cambridge University. Not that I don't still adore IU, but CU practically has castles for colleges. And their Jordan River equivalent is essentially a real mote. A good portion of Oli's and my entertainment was watching people punt through the river, especially since one punter clearly didn't know what he was doing and kept steering the boat into the walls or the other boats. Woops.
The 24th Annual Chappel Beer Festival was last night, and Oli and I sampled many a half pint of beer and cider so we slept in this morning. Today was really quiet, actually. We ate breakfast, we baked a Chocolate Pear loaf, and then we went to a beach off of Colchester. It was grey and foggy, and the tide was low so we saw all the marshy bits. The coloring outside gave it a bit of a haunting feel, but it still maintained its fresh, ocean-y vibe as well. Instead of sand there were a lot of shells and rocks, so we crunched everywhere we walked.
It's off to London tomorrow. Self-guided city walk, Camden Market, drinks, and Legally Blonde the Musical? Let's shall.