Jon and I had a lovely weekend here in Cambridge. We did one of the most touristy things there is to do around here: punting. Now, lest you think we went off learning how to kick an American football through a goalpost, I shall explain.
A punt is a flat-bottomed boat used in shallow canals, and is propelled using a long stick that pushes against the river bottom. It's an activity that is best enjoyed during the summer months, but since we are here in the winter, and they were offering the tours, we went for it.
It was really pretty along the river, albeit cold. The tour took us through several of the colleges that are around Cambridge (32 in all!), so we got a bit of education on the history and architecture of the area. It was well worth it.
We spent the afternoon walking around the city centre (that's how it's spelled here), and then in the evening we went to a free brass band concert at a church on our street. It was held at St. Giles Anglican Church, originally built in the year 1092!!! Most of it has been rebuilt, but they did keep some elements from the original structure. They had refreshments during the intermission, so we got to sample a traditional Christmas Pudding (it's pretty much coffee cake with dried fruit, nuts and a creamy layer in the middle). We had a great time.
Today we went to church and enjoyed the Primary program (little children are so sweet and HILARIOUS!), as well as a "munch and mingle" after church. We had some traditional, homemade English foods, like mushroom soup, carrot and coriander soup, Swiss rolls (okay, so I'm guessing that's Swiss), some sort of yummy sandwiches with cheese and dried fruit, as well as various breads with butter. We also got a chance to talk with several of the ward members and make some friends. Among them, we think we found the spiritual fraternal twin of our sister-in-law, Jessica (imagine for a moment that they have the same hair color):
Not only do we think they have some similar facial features, but they also have similar laughs and mannerisms. Being with our new friend, Esther, is very much like being with Jessica - which means lots of fun!
In other news, I am still trying to find a place to mail some letters. I guess I have been spoiled for much too long, because I assumed that I would be able to drop mail in an outgoing box near the apartment, or that there would be mailboxes or small post offices around. Alas, it is not so. I have been walking around Cambridge for almost a week with addressed letters, just waiting to find a place where I can mail them. I think I have to go all the way to the city centre just to mail them, but of course I didn't find the post office when I was there yesterday. So if you had a birthday recently and you don't get a card until mid-December, it's because I didn't find the post office until I got back to Florida.
We are just over 1/3 through our stay here in Cambridge, though it doesn't feel like we have very much time left. Hopefully we can enjoy some of the Christmas festivities coming up over the next few weeks!