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Broad Street
Oxford, U.K.; Oct 7, 2004

i can't believe Grace went to Hogwarts

10 hours on a plane, one and a half hours on two buses, and a 10 minute walk brought us to our friends Nasir and Jen’s house. Now, I know it’s true that I speak English and the Brits speak English but it didn’t seem like it when we were trying to figure out which bus to take. Their English is quite fast and they only seem to pronounce the beginning of each word.

On the bus ride over I noticed that everything in Oxford is smaller – the houses, the streets, the cars, the pubs – and charming. I also couldn’t help but notice that Oxford is bloody cold. We didn’t have much room in our packs (or much cause) to pack cold-weather clothes so we were thankful to borrow jackets, scarves, hats, mittens, hot-water bottles, fleeces and any other cold weather necessities from Nas and Jen in an attempt to stay warm. Thanks guys!

Balliol College front courtyard

It has been over a decade since Grace attended graduate school here and we had tons of fun visiting some of Grace’s friends, alma matter and hang-out spots. The Oxford Colleges are all very beautiful old stone and brick buildings (check out the oxford: buildings gallery). They are well maintained, sporting manicured lawns that look like no one ever steps foot on them. There is one college in particular that is strange, however: the college that Grace attended, Balliol (pictured here), which I’m sure is just the cover name for us non-magic types. It’s clearly Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter books. Here’s a picture if you don’t believe me. I just wonder if Grace has been using his magic for good or for evil… [Note from Grace: The Harry Potter films were actually filmed at Christ Church College, but that was just to throw the muggles off the scent of the REAL Hogwarts. And “evil” would be the correct guess on that last question.]

Our five days in Oxford were a great opportunity for us to visit friends, relax and transition into our big trip. Honestly, after getting ready for the trip for so long, we were a bit lazy in Oxford, buy hey, we needed the rest. Some highlights:
  - The on Broad Street (an old hangout of Grace’s group of Oxford cronies called “The Four Horseman”) This pub is also a favorite hangout of Bill Clinton’s or so the menu says
  - Enjoying a – yum!
  - Fabulous dinners and muffins by (okay, just Jen really)
  - Greasy from the local “chippy”
  - Visiting with some of Grace's old Oxford friends,
  - Watching the whole first season of Alias
  - Accidentally vacuuming Grace’s bottom lip into a turbo-powered hose while cleaning up after a pre-safari head shave (the look of shock and alarm on his face was absolutely priceless)

© 2004-2012 susan & grace, all rights reserved

-- comments from readers --


At regular intervals during our stateside filming back in the '80s, my BBC producer would say "Ah, two countries separated by a common language."

--Connor F.C. (Bay Area, California, USA); Dec 20, 2004


how come there's no photo of grace's turbo-power hose'd lower lip? i wanna see the hose and his lip duke it out! and was susan the referee? heheh.

my first entry read and AWESOME so far!! i'm hooked!

--Jenny C./K. (San Francisco, California, USA); Dec 20, 2004