Kenyon College

Monday, November 30, 2009


We went to Plymouth this Saturday and went through Dartmoor. It was not a pleasant busride. Other than motion-sickness, the moor was wonderful! I'll post the couple pictures that I took, but be prepared for more (get on it, Caitlin!).


I thought I'd post about this before anything else, after all we know that food comes first.

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving. It was not necessarily the meal I always have (no yeast rolls, for one) but I really liked having the celebration itself. And the turkey was delicious.

We all went into Topsham (home of Deborah and Jim) and converged on The Bridge. This particular pub has two claims to fame (as far as we are concerned): it has hosted the Kenyon Thanksgiving for 35 years and is the only pub the Queen has visited. So they know what they're doing every time the last Thursday in November rolls around.

There were about 50 people there because a lot of our Exeter profs attended as well as a couple other people connected to the group in some way. There was a REALLY tall guy, too...

I think something that a lot of us students liked was the "First three drinks are free" rule (that's only for this party; don't go to The Bridge expecting free alcohol!). I know I did. :)

In all seriousness, we are all very grateful to The Bridge for hosting this. It was a great way to make us feel even more at home. A lovely tradition!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


So before we went to Stourhead we spent a day and night in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Of course, it was Shakespeare's hometown so we HAD to see some Royal Shakespeare Company. We eventually saw Twelfth Night (with Richard Wilson in the role of Malvolio). It was...okay. I loved Richard Wilson, but the play itself was iffy. Not my favorite.

BUT! I adored Stratford itself. We had several hours to look around before we needed to be at the theatre (sadly not the regular RSC theatre as that was undergoing renovations). So we...

Had tea. Nomnomnomnom.

Saw Shakespeare's grave. (Ah, to be in the presence of the Bard...)

Took a walk down a trail that looked very much like the Gap Trail. Very cool.

(PS. That's Ai Bihn taking a picture of a leaf)

Hung out with Hamlet. And Yorrick.

And had lunch at the Pen and Parchment.

And really, all of these pictures should be viewed from bottom to top because apparently Blogspot puts them in the post in the opposite order from which I upload them (and from which we actually did these things) and I'm too lazy to fix it.

Stratford was amazing! For more pics look here:

Stratford, Stourhead

Wow! It's been awhile.

Hello again!

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. I have so much to say so I'm going to split it into a couple of posts.

First! A few weeks ago our whole group went to Stourhead. It's a wonderful estate with a HUGE garden. Gardens really. One of the things that is most recognizable is the Temple of Apollo. Here is why you might recognize it:

Lizzy and Darcy are standing in the Temple and afterwards Lizzy runs over the Turf Bridge. Of course it's even more beautiful when it doesn't rain!

We went as the trees were turning and the colors were absolutely breathtaking. I have some photos here of the gorgeousness:

Here is a nice view of some of the lovely fall colors and part of the big man-made lake.

I just love all the wonderful trees and greenery! Most of the vistas were inspired by 18th Century Italian paintings and you can really tell when you're there.

This is the famous Temple of Apollo. It's being renovated right now (poopy) but should be back open in February (can anyone say "return trip"?).

This is the gate at the front of the drive to the house. Not only do I love the colors of the leaves on the vines, but it's a wonderful example of medieval architecture. It's one of the few surviving pieces of the original estate that was burned down during the English Civil War.

This is part of the kitchen gardens. Now it is used in a program where schoolchildren come and do the gardening. They get to plant, care for, and harvest the vegetables. I wish we had more of that in the states!

I have more awesome pictures on Picasa and here is the link:

Stratford, Stourhead

We had an amazing time there. It's so much more beautiful and serene than any picture can convey. I could have stayed there for days!

Next post: Stratford!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Music, Swans, Graffiti & Good Red Wine - Part 2

There are a few things about which I promised I’d talk. One is The Cavern.

The Cavern is so called because it is literally under Gandy Street, a windowless burrow where the true fans go to rub shoulders with moles and earthworms so that they can stand centimeters away from the music that’s right there!

It’s divided into two main chambers – one of these is where the band goes, and you’re all mushed in together in the darkness with everyone else. You are a colony of grooving ants taking a break from the everyday. Next room over (it would be cool if you had to take a narrow rope bridge across an underground chasm to get to it) is the bar. Nothing much to say about this. As bars go, it’s unremarkable. In this room you can rest and not be overpowered by the music, and even carry on a yelled-out conversation or fold paper airplanes with the flyers sitting around.

And then there is Mama Stone’s. The sign outside declares this pub/music venue as “the coolest vibe in town!” At the time of my first visit to this place, that slogan threw me off, seemed forced – I mean, who gets introduced to you and says, “Hi, I’m the coolest person in town!” It’s a matter of implication. But I was just a nervous American then. Things are different now. I am, after a couple more visits, a nervous American who has had the chance to sample the food, the drinks, and talk to the bartenders. The bartenders are chatty and amiable, they will engage you in banter (whether or not this is contingent on your being an American girl I’m not sure), and they are severely apologetic that they have no teriyaki sauce, only mustard (!) to put on your steak, and no tartar sauce for your fries (not chips for this place). The English are a strange breed. Nevertheless, the food is good.

But, moving on, their red wine is relatively inexpensive by the bottle and relatively delicious. Better than fancy cheap wine from Mallorca (confirm/deny.) Furthermore, the seating by the windows is loaded with multi-colored cushions, there is quirky music-related art hung about the place, and the lamps overhead are mosaics of color. There is also live music, including a dude who plays songs on his acoustic guitar. Also, little candles on the tables. I am basically smitten. I might even go on to say that Mama Stone’s has the coolest vibe in town; it certainly has a story.

As concerns the “swans” bit of my journal entry’s title, trust me when I tell you that if you drop bread into the River Avon near the sun dial in Stratford, you will experience a storm of swans and other waterfowl. Proceed with caution.

Here are some links:

Mama Stone’s (please note their slogan at the top of the screen):

The Cavern:

And here are some pictures from our last group trip to London. I visited the Camden market and it was quite lovely.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here I am!

Hello all! I hope you have been enjoying Caitlin's posts. I'll be writing on this blog as well so I hope that she and I can keep it fresh.

Any-hoo. Since I am hungry right now I thought I'd talk a little bit about the food here in Exeter. Professor Laycock (Deborah) told us before we arrived that should we so choose we could easily survive on bread and cheese. I am happy to report that she is completely correct. I have occasion to know this since I took quite a bit of time to settle in and am only now starting to actually cook meals rather than munch on loaves of french bread.

If, however, you want to do more than walk to the little Co-Op store about 7 minutes away (if that, it might be more like 5) there are several options.

1) Mooch off of others. Everyone in LaFrowda has to cook so there are plenty of times you can go into a kitchen and be offered food. Meal times are bonding times so Kenyon-Exeter students tend to cook for each other and have little dinner parties. You should reciprocate at some point, but for the moment both your belly and wallet are full!

2) Go out to eat. There are lots of awesome pubs and restaurants, many of which our group hasn't discovered yet (more on those as the year progresses). I can already recommend The Old Firehouse (yummy and I hear their desserts are to die for. Unfortunately the one time I went they were out of sugary goodness) and Giraffe. If you go with friends consider splitting something for the sake of your bank accounts.

3) Dumpster diving. I haven't actually tried this but I'm sure you could find something edible. However, you do run the risk of food poisoning.

4) Get bread, cheese, and Nutella. Those are the major food groups so what else do you really need?