Saturday, June 8, 2013

Snobby Dogs

It's been a while since the last post and a lot has happened so I'll do my best to keep it as short and sweet as possible! Last weekend we had the incredible opportunity to go to the infamous Windsor Castle. Bryan, our tour guide, mentioned that Windsor is the Queen's favorite weekend destination, and that we would know immediately if she was there if the Queen's flag, the Royal Standard, was perched atop the castle. If she wasn't there then we would see the classic Union Jack flag whipping in the wind. There was a slim chance she would be there because a huge horserace was going on that weekend and the Queen is an avid fan. In fact, she's 87 and still loves to ride! But lo and behold....

There she blows! The Queen was there! Clearly we were a little excited that we were within a one mile radius of Her Majesty the Queen. And so the stalking began...

Now while we were at Windsor, of course we didn't just stalk the Queen. We went into the cathedral where we saw beautiful shrines to Kings and Queens past like Henry VIII. Sadly, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside any of the buildings including the castle itself. We did manage to get several pictures along the outside of the buildings, including this little gem, possibly one of my favorites from the trip thus far. 

Let's do a litte zooming here...
So the Brits are very snobby about their grass over here which means basically its untouchable. Literally. Clayton and Jenni were trying to be sneaky and photobomb mine and Mary Lowry's lovely picture in front of the cathedral. As you can see, they remembered the grass rule about halfway through jumping onto the grass. Clayton's expression pretty much says it all. 

As we quickly ran away from the crime scene, we came upon this little fella. 
I know, I know, cheesy awkward pic beside the soldier. But hey, even though I'm living here for six weeks I can still act like a tourist sometimes!

Finally we ventured into the castle where we first came upon Queen Mary's dollhouse. This is one of the largest dollhouses in the world, complete with three stories, each room exquisitely furnished and intricately designed. Instantly, it was like I had become a giddy little six year old girl again. After the dollhouse tour we made our way into the monstrous castle of all castles. A magnificent staircase led us up to the first floor where we were greeted by shining knights in glistening glass cases. The first room was filled with war time treasures of swords and guns displayed in interesting shapes all around the walls. The next room led us into a vast dining hall with portraits of wartime heroes of centuries past surrounding the entire room, almost as if they were inquisitively eyeing each visitor enter into their sacred place. We wound round and round the maze of the castle, in and out of rooms each with their own history and personality. One feature that particularly stuck out to me was the ornate wallpaper that each room is gloriously adorned in. 

Finally we made it into the biggest room of the castle, a vast hallway with knights' shields covering the ceilings and walls and a royal red carpet rolled out that seemed to span a mile long. The room in itself was amazing, but we then realized that we could see the Queen's private apartment across the courtyard, just about 150 yards away. Naturally, we gazed out the windows for about 20 minutes, looking for any sign of movement that might indicate the Queen. Finally, we saw someone coming out the grand doors into the courtyard. As the light began to hit the slowly emerging shadow we all held our breath and saw!.... a dog. And another. And another. Until we counted 7. Now, I should mention that what we realized was that these weren't just any dogs, they were the Queen's royal corgies! Turns out we had just missed seeing the Queen drive off about an hour before. Just our luck. It was still neat to say that we saw the royal corgies, the really fat royal corgies I might add.

 Which brings me to the title of this post, "Snobby Dogs". We've discovered that there are two classes of dogs here: the cocker spaniel and the pitbull. I'm a dog lover so naturally whenever I see a dog I say "Hey puppyyyyy, aren't you so cuuuuutteee???" The normal dog reaction is to wag its tail and stick out its tongue, as if you are the most important human being on the planet at that moment. I've come to find that these dogs are SNOBS. They walk on by, acting as if I don't even exist and then I end up looking like an idiot. The snobbiest are the cocker spaniels for sure and we've realized this makes sense considering all of the people that own cocker spaniels seem to be the wealthiest. Then there's the common dog, the pit bull. Which I still don't understand. Obviously, I don't even bother trying to pet them, I'd rather come back to America in one piece. 

But back to are a few more pics from our fun day.

I had to include the last one because apparently there's a difference in J and K over here?? Same store, just a different letter. After we reluctantly left Windsor, probably our closest chance of being part of the royal family, we ate some yummy Nutella ice cream and made our way back to Oxford. 

Well I think this one has been long enough, but it's only from one day from last week! Ahhh I need to catch up. I've got so much to talk about, especially our London trip from this past Thursday! Maybe I'll be able to post another later on tonight. Until then...

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