Oxford, Day 30: Leaving Wonderland and Returning to the States

Originally published June 26, 2012this blog post series is an undergraduate short-term study abroad trip in Oxford, UK in partnership with Salve Regina University and St. Clare’s Oxford. The blog post may have been edited for clarity and updated with relevant travel information and links.

The day has finally come–I am blogging on my laptop, in my bedroom, back in the States.

No high teas. No last-minute run to Sainsbury’s for Digestives. No more Pimms.

Thankfully, living in New England–most especially Rhode Island–there will always be fish and chips. Not all is lost!

After walking to the city center from the dorm to Blackwells on Broad Street, British Red Cross on High Street, and Barclays on Cornmarket Street, it is a wonder how I made it back to the dorm on time to catch the bus. I will admit running errands was a bit stressful, but it was great to have one last down Banbury Road and remember everything on such a beautiful day.

We had plenty of time to kill in the airport once we got through check-in and customs. There were a lot of designer boutiques and Duty-Free shops set up everywhere–it was like an upscale mall. Thankfully I was able to find a reasonably priced spinach and ricotta panini at Costa, as well as a water bottle and a bag of M&Ms to hold me over before the seven-hour flight.

The flight went well. The stewardesses and other passengers were complaining about how small the plane was, it did not really matter to me–I rarely travel so I would not know how big an international plane should be. Also, being petite, I do not take up that much room either so legroom does not really make a difference.

Landing in Boston, it was hard to believe we were back in the States. We even passed Airforce One on the runway (I guess Obama is visiting?),  but it still does not feel like we returned. Perhaps I am still in denial, but after finding the rabbit hole in Port Meadow, maybe I never really left.

A boat, beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July–
Children three that did nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear–
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echos fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die.
Ever drifting down the stream–
Lingering in the golden gleam–
Life, what is it but a dream?
-Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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