Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Saturday, September 30, 2006

We punted and it wasn't even 4th down

It was a gorgeous Saturday morning. Beautiful blue skies, crisp leaves, and football was in the air. A perfect day for tailgating, but not a football game within 3,000 miles to watch. Ah, but what a great day to watch college football on TV...but not a single game on any of our 5 channels. So we decided to take a road trip. Being college football day, we went to the name-sake of an Ivy League town, Cambridge. We first stopped at Lincoln, in the heart of Lincolnshire. Here you see Abe and Zeke at the top of a hilly street with Lincoln Cathedral in the background. It is nearly 1000 years old. There are several places on the outside, on the baptism font, and in the stained glass that have mythical beasts fighting, representing the battle between good and evil. There are 2 huge stained glass 'eyes' in the transepts (see Abe and Zeke standing below). The north window guards against the powers of darkness and the south welcomes the light. Of course our visit to the Cathedral wasn't all fun and games. You can see how somber my boys are, matching the ambiance portrayed by the statue. My baby is so dramatic; he was born in the 'theatre', you know.Whilst in Cambridge, the best way to see the city is to 'Punt the River.' It's a little like Italy where you use a long pole to move your boat up and down the river. We opted to have a professional do the punting for us and give a guided tour, but others chose to do it themselves. As you can see, there were a few traffic jams...rookies. Behind all the punters is the Bridge of Sighs. It's modeled after the real Bridge of Sighs in Italy, where the prison and execution site were on opposite sides of the bridge; in Cambridge there is an exam hall on one side and final grades are posted on the other side. A scene from Harry Potter was shot in this courtyard. It's where they were playing quidditch. The ivy on the walls was really pretty. This is the actual Cam Bridge. The bridge was built and named the Cam Bridge, so they changed the name of the river to the River Cam. A bit backwards thinking, but you know how those Brits are. This is one of the upper class colleges within Cambridge University, but I can't remember which. One night someone, whom one can only guess had spent quite a bit of time at the local pub, crawled up to the top and put a traffic cone on one of the spiral things at the top. The university jumped right on it and after a few weeks began the long construction of scaffolding to reach the top. When the scaffolding was nearly finished someone climbed up in the middle of the night again and moved the traffic cone to the other spiral. It took the university a couple months in total to finally get the cone off. Here is Newton's Mathematical Bridge from the underside. When he created it, it did not need any nuts or bolts to hold it together; the weight of itself was all it needed. Years later some students took it apart and could not reconstruct it properly, so now it has nuts and bolts. This is Queen's College, I think. The building is completely symmetrical except for the eagle's head in the middle because he's looking to the side. There is a round faceless clock on the front. The building and another one across the river were being built at the same time. There was a law that 2 buildings facing each other could not both have a clock, so the race was on to see who could finish first and keep their clock. The other building won so there is just a round blank clock face on the front.

Wrest Park is a mansion in Bedfordshire built in the 1600s.

Wrest Park Gardens was created by Henry de Grey 1st Duke of Kent in the first half of the 18th century. It is set on 92 acres. There are tree-lined walkways and paths and ponds and statues and buildings all over the place. It's not just a colloquialism; the grass is literally greener in England all year long because of all the rain.

Zeke's just thinking of our friends and family back home in America.
On the way home we stopped in Leicestershire. My favorite cheese, red leicester (pronounced /lester/) happens to be made there. But we stopped by Jewry Wall, not so named because of Jewish ancestry, but because of the type of architecture and the Latin root word. The remains of a Roman bath house are here. Their sophistication always amazes me, as this was made over 2000 years ago. The arches are raised up because the floor was level with the bottom of the frame, and the plumbing was in the basement. We also saw some excavated skeletons from the Roman times with their jewelry and stuff buried with them.
"Move it, buddy! It's going to be dark soon and I've got to get home!" Zeke may resemble the Daniels' side of the family, but he's got a bit of Grandpa Hoard in him. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ezekiel 5 months