Since we are getting Lola on Friday we decided to take advantage of not having a puppy this weekend.  Interpretation: we slept in both mornings and we took a long day trip on Saturday to Oxford.

As Derek was waiting for me to walk out the front door I emailed Sara Scott to see if they were available for a meet up in person.  Sarah is also an ex-pat who moved to Oxford the week before we moved to England.  My co-worker Sallie introduced us through email and I’ve been following her blog The Salad Days as she was packing and moving and getting settled.  Even though I have never met Sarah she and her blog have been a comfort to me as I’ve shared many of the same experiences moving to the UK.

Sarah takes amazing photos and I thought Oxford would be a good Saturday trip especially during Christmas.  Sarah had company flying in from the states and a sick little girl on her hands so she was unavailable to meet up.  She did however write an excellent list of suggestions in an email that I received on my iPhone right after we parked in Oxford, perfect.  We arrived in time for a late lunch (1:30) and found a Jamie’s Italian.  There is one in Cambridge we’ve eaten at and I ate at one in Birmingham but Derek was sick with the flu in the hotel room and missed out. We usually avoid chain restaurants but Jamie Oliver might be an exception, I mean he is a chef featured on the The Food Network and The Cooking Channel.  By the time we finished lunch it was 3:00!  Remember, it gets dark here at 4:15.  We still wanted to make it to The Christmas Market and do a walking tour from our uber nerdy tour book!  Off we went wandering to orient ourselves to our maps.  Along the way we found some shops that Derek slyly ducked into for some stocking stuffers after my subtle hints like “Derek, I loved the bath bombs you got me from Lush look there is a Lush store!” and “Derek, those earrings are really pretty.”  That usually followed with, “Sara, why don’t you go look over in that store across the street?”.  Ok, enough words here are the photos!

I took this while Derek was in a shop lots of Christmas shopping to be done!

To get oriented to our tour book map I asked a stranger sitting on a nearby bench for help.  I told her we were looking for the Christmas Market then I asked directions to the Covered Market recommended by Sarah.  This stranger indicated the Covered Market had “more to look at.”  I felt this is also what Sarah was hinting at politely in her email.  So we headed to the Covered Market, great suggestion!

The Covered Market

Derek loved looking at all the butcher shops, too bad we didn't bring a cooler this time! He took a big bite anyway.

Whole birds head to toe! Again, sorry Katie for the following photos, scroll quickly!

Some of the butchers covered the turkey's heads with plastic bags, others dipped the heads into wax!

Christmas goose?

A big bite of the pork butt! That is a huge pig, skin and all! Ewwww

Dripping on the ground, not sure this would go over with OSHA?

A whole deer! Well, without the head!

Lots of options for Christmas dinner

This butcher was getting into the Christmas spirit

Ok, enough grossing out Katie and probably Laura and Coleen too.  There were pretty things to look at also in The Covered Market

Christmas trees hung from the ceilings with care.

The trees were for sale, merchandise covering every inch of the Covered Market

Happy Christmas!

So nice, I liked the Bah Humbug. DId you know I was Scrooge in the 5th grade play?

When we walked out it was getting dark. The town was so beautiful and the lights came on.

Bicycle built for two, reminding us of Katie & Brian.

Then we oriented and began the tour book walking tour of Oxford.  I was disappointed it was so dark but as you will see it turned out to be a perfect way to see the city and all its treasures that most likely were more difficult to see during the day!

Christ Church the first sight on our walking tour.

I keep saying, "isn't that beautiful?" and Derek keeps saying, "Uh Huh".

Derek is jumping for joy!

A beautiful night for a walk!

Bridge of Sighs made as a replica of the one in Venice, there is also a Bridge of Signs in Cambridge and you can punt under it.

While I was reading historical facts from the tour book out loud Derek spotted this sign. Can you read it? "An Education in Intoxication", we had to check it out.

My favorite photo of the trip! The alley to the pub.

Apparently President Clinton frequented this Oxford student hot spot when he attended Oxford University

The pub was packed!

So we sat outside. Ahhhhhhh

Sippin on some Captain & Coke with a lime of course, they were out of Mulled Wine 😦

We were under heat lamps but they also had burning coals to keep patrons warm.

We finished our drinks and headed back to finish our walking tour…

I inherited this from my mother, among other things, but I love to take walks at night and peer into windows. I loved the view inside this one the ceiling was amazing! Also love the bricked in doorway. Makes me wonder.

These stained glass windows would have not been all lit up during the day.

A lit Christmas tree on the High Street, lots of bikes just like Cambridge

and a menorah!

We stopped for dinner before we drove home and watched out the window as the Santa Pub Crawl moseyed by, some things are just like Tampa!

Bill’s Weather Report:  I woke up and there was snow! I got soooo excited I threw on 5 layers of clothing and ran outside with my camera.  Derek kept telling me it was not snow it was frost but as a Floridian how was I supposed to know the difference? Looks like snow to me!

Just so you know, he's mocking me in this photo.

We went for a walk this morning and took some more photos!

Look at those rosy cheeks

I got excited at every ice puddle I found along the way and had to stop and step on it.

 Ok, sorry for the longest post ever, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, I miss each of you!  Lola is coming home Friday so expect lots of cute dog photos in the next post.  We are going to become dog people like my parents who after owning Griffin for 4 years still say “look at him”, “look at him now” at least 10 times each night.  Yep soon that will be us!  Happy Christmas! I hope Father Christmas is good to you, Cheers!


4 responses to “Oxford

  • Amy

    Happy Christmas to you, too! Oxford looks absolutely charming. 🙂 Can’t wait for dog photos and your first real snow. xx

  • Lisa Hardee

    Hope you and Derek have a Merry Christmas! I love reading and seeing pictures of all your new adventures. Lola is so cute!! Can’t wait to see more pictures of her. Love and miss you……

  • Kristi

    Love it – keep the long post and the pictures coming!!! Miss you too!

  • greatscott3

    So sorry I missed your visit to Oxford–but it looks like you had an amazing time. The Covered Market is a bit intense this time of year but definitely a must see. Glad you got to Turf Tavern (completely forgot to mention that!) and Christ Church. Hope you come back soon so that I can show you some other things!

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