Saturday, May 10, 2014

All the little last minute preparations...

I can't believe that our England trip is finally here!  Tomorrow morning we take a long bus ride up to Washington DC (turns out you save several hundreds of dollars on each plane ticket if you fly out of a major airport) and on Monday is our flight to London!  In between, we'll do some sight-seeing in DC; despite several trips to DC before, husband has never seen the monuments.

The last few days have been filled with fiddly little errands, like picking up our British currency, buying socks, and returning our many, many piles of library books.  We pretty accurately gauged our meals for the week, so we've used up pretty much all the food in the house (which is a bummer when you're craving ice cream but about to leave the country).  Husband has been submitting scholarship applications all week, while I've been preparing to jump straight into work at the British Library - my first task is an encyclopedia entry for Oxford, and my main project is titled "find a dissertation topic."  The ability to pre-order materials from the BL is truly awesome.

After a lovely breakfast with husband's department, the Anglican-Episcopal House of Studies, we came home to start packing in earnest:

(These piles did thin out a bit once we started actually loading the suitcases.)
How little clothing can we pack for three months in a generally (but not always) cool and rainy climate?  We've had to pack everything from exercise-wear to conference attire, but we're mostly bringing reasonably professional (and warm) clothes for hours sitting researching and writing in libraries.  I am quite impressed, if I may say so myself, that I've only packed three pairs of shoes (black and brown flats, and a single pair of sandals for what I'm told is England's one week of warm summer weather) in addition to the comfortable slouchy boots I'll wear while traveling.

This trip is the real reason why I finally broke down and acquired a Kindle.  After much deliberation - I really, really wanted to bring my partly-read copy of Les Miserables - I'm not bringing any physical books at all.  I've had the Kindle chock-full of classics from Project Gutenberg for a while, but I also just discovered the e-book rental from my public library, so it looks like I'll get to re-read Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter this summer on the tube!

Finally, we are eagerly taking recommendations of things to do in London.  What mustn't be missed?

1 comment:

  1. There is *nothing* more exciting than planning a trip! How wonderful for you to have such an experience, Samantha. I look forward to all your updates. I can't think of a better place to spend a few months researching and living than London. I don't have any recommendations, but I know I'd be hitting up all the bookshops. I really enjoyed the National Portrait Gallery. Have a safe trip!