Monday, August 24, 2009

Home again. . . want to go back to Oxford!

As the title of my post says, I am finally home. I am truly going to miss Oxford. I have never in my life felt as happy and healthy as I did in Oxford. You can walk everywhere there! That mens lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. They have wonderful restaurants with amazing raw salads and coleslaws, and delicious smoothie bars all over the place. 

When the ASA program was over and my mom came to pick me up I was able to go every morning to the covered market and pick up ORGANIC,  FRESH, and LOCAL fruits (that didn't cost a fortune) to have for breakfast. Since I only had to buy what I needed for my breakfast (because I could come back for lunch or dinner) the enzymes in the food were at their peak (I didn't have to store any food in the fridge).  I could go for walks in the park, take a ride on the bus to view the countryside, spend hours in bookshops, talk to the people, visit museums, and all sorts of other things. There were so many beautiful flowers and intricate architecture. *nostalgic sigh*

Now that I am home I feel so antsy. There is no where to walk, I have to drive everywhere, and the parks look so dull and sparse of nature. One thing is for sure, I am going to find a place in the U.S. where I can be surrounded by nature, can walk as much as I please. America is so massive that there must be a place similar to Oxford, right?


On the brighter side, I am meeting with some friends from my former home school co-op (PCLA) to plan a trip to Italy and Spain sometime next spring, and my brother, mother, and I are planning a trip to Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado during Winter break. Now that I have had a taste of travel, I don't want to stop! I just have two more years here in Georgia, then I can move out west!

Seeing Oxford has made me want to spend my time left here in the south in as productive a way as possible. I plan on renewing my membership to Johnson Park so I can start swimming laps again, try to sell some of my photography, get started on my fall garden, and maybe get involved in some nature groups.

I made so many friends while at the ASA program. They all excepted me for who I was, and my lifestyle choice they commended. They admired my quest to stay healthy and never made an issue out of it. For once I could just hang out with a bunch of people my age without feeling self-concious. I was even confident enough to sing solo on karaoke night and put all my heart and soul into reading a the part of Queen Margaret when my history class did a reading of Shakespeare's Richard III! I plan on never letting go of this new found confidence. I am 18 now and it's time for me to stop being afraid of what other people, my friends, and my family think. If I believe something I should not be afraid to express it. Bring on life!! :D

The Covered Market of Oxford

         Laying in the sun at the Botanic Garden

My favorite salad while in Oxford at The Gourmet Burger, yummy!
Ingredients: Romaine lettuce, arugula, red onion, cherry tomato, and mashed up avocado w/black pepper.

Sunny Sunflower (Botanic Garden) :D

Garlic and onion set to dry in one of the Botanic Garden's greenhouses.
I wish I owned Oxford's Botanic Garden!
  Such lovely flowers, veggies, and fruit!

Me! :D

My Mom!

Produce stand in Bath, they had the BEST peaches and Victorian plums (which wound up being my lunch) LOL

Tower of London (I was such a tourist for taking this photo)

Salad with friends at the Eagle & Child Pub in Oxford (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both wrote their books here!)
Ingredients: Butterhead lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion, sunflower seeds, dried cherries, dried raisins, and a balsmic vinaigrette dressing.

My hand flowing through the warming and healing hot spring waters in Bath.

     The Roman Baths in Bath!

Produce at the Camden Market in London. They had the most sweet and JUICY italian green grapes and english raspberries!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Living, Learning, and Raw in the UK!

Hellloooo people! :)
Sorry for such a large gap between posts. This summer program at Oxford is just filling my schedule to the brim! I have a wonderful British history teacher and a fantastic teacher for my "Money, Medicine, and the Environment in the Developing World" (she's from Italy!). We are having so many wonderful debates about slave labour in China, Organics, Fair Trade, and buying locally for local economical enrichment. All of the girls can't seem to get over how much fruit and greens I eat everyday, and the guys all are having a hard time believing that I'm not going to drop dead any second from lack of protein since I don't eat meat! LOL.

Eating and staying on a raw plant based diet has been SO much easier than I though it would be. There is a wide variety of fruit to eat in the morning (melons, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, tangerines, plums, peaches, kiwi, lemons, bananas, apples, and pears), they serve all 
of those fruits (with the exception of the melons and pineapple) at dinner too, as well as some nice greens, tomatoes, and cucumber. In town there is a lovely covered market that sells a variety of fruit as well.

The first thing I had to get over when I cam here was how much flavor all the fruit had. I am not kidding here! The fruit tastes amazing!!! The only thing that tastes better at home
 is the tomatoes I grow at hom ein my backyard.

Besides my studies I have had the opportunity to visit Christ's Church in Oxford, Blenhim Palace in Oxfordshire, and the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery,and another covered market in London.

England is just so beautiful and I have taken so many photos that I plan on keeping FOREVER!

I'm going to the covered market in Oxford tomorrow with my RA and the other girls on our floor (I can't wait to see their fruit selection as well as their freshly juiced juices *grin*) after our classes for lunch, and then we plan on going to tour Murton College, which was the very first college of Oxford University.

New Fruits That I Have Had in the UK That I have Never Tried Before:

- Spanish Melon (this is now my favorite type of melon next to watermelon)
- Pomegranate

Tomorrow if I can I will be posting some photos. It's too late at night here at the moment. I am so tired! It's been a long day. . . Bon Nuit (Good Night)! :D