Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"We Got Him."

Well, it is 1:15 AM in London, but I've been trying to fill out some job applications, and now I can't sleep, so I thought that I would blog!
So, I went to Canterbury for a couple of days.  I didn't really know what I wanted to do there, but why now.  I've read the Canterbury Tales, or at least part of it, so that is a good enough reason.
When I arrived in Canterbury, I met two locals, Reese and Cathy (although when she said her name I thought she said Cafe, which I thought was unique and I was a little disappointed that she corrected me.)  With in a few seconds of our meeting, which was initiated by me saying, "excuse me" because they were blocking the sidewalk to my hostel, and then them saying, "Are you headed to Kipps?" I stopped and said yes!  Then Reese said, "You are an American! We love America!"  I said that is great.  Then Cathy, who by this point I realized was swaying uncontrollably back and forth and would fall into the hedge about every five seconds, said, "can we ask you some questions." So I said, "shoot." Then they asked me about what it was like in America, so I tried to describe it.  Although what they were really interested in was CSI, which I don't watch so I wasn't much of a help.  Then when they asked me what I thought about someone named "Cheyrl Cole" or something like that from the X Factor and I said, "I have no idea who that is." Then they both did that thing that british people do when they are amazed at something, where they puff out their cheeks and go "pppwew. You haven't heard of Cheyrl Cole."  She is all over the news.  This effectively ended our conversation. I learned two things from Reese and Cathy, 1) that Canterburians like drinking early in the morning and 2) love the X Factor.

Canterbury was nice.  The Cathedral was big.  Here are some pictures!

sunset from the hostel window

My second day I decided to go on a walk from Canterbury to Shepardswell, about an 11 mile hike.  So, I went and had a huge English breakfest and set off with a lunch.  It was exactly what I needed, it was so relaxing and great to get out of the city and into the beautiful countryside.  Here are some pictures:
Which way?  By the way, guess how many times I got lost!  Only twice, once at the beginning and once I missed a turn and ended up in some crop, once I realized I was just wading through the tallest grass I'd ever seen and some weird prickly things I turned around.

three wheeled car!

made it to the train station!

For those of you who know me, a walk like this really wouldn't be surprising to you, because basically what I do is walk.  This was nice though, because I didn't feel like I was trying to clear my head or anything, I was just walking and really enjoying it.

When I got back to town, I was a little tired as you can imagine.  So, I decided, "I WANT ICE CREAM!"  So, I sped walk down the city center to a McDonalds where I planned on getting some ice cream.  When I walked in I went up to a cashier and started to order, at this point a guy came up right next to me at about the point I started ordering, and I thought I had taken his spot in line so I sort of stepped aside, but when I stepped aside I stepped into another guy who was dressed very similarly to him.  So I stepped back again to let these guys order, but then they stepped back as well, and all of a sudden one of them grabbed my arm and said, "You need to come with us."  At this point the other one pulled out a walkie talkie and said, "We got him."

Ok, freeze for a second.

I just wanted Ice Cream...I went on a long walk and all I wanted was Ice Cream, and now two guys had grabbed me out of line and said, "We got him."

I wouldn't say I was angry though, I was just sort of confused.  They took me outside and said, "Where you just in the Marks and Spencers?" and so I said, "No, I was just out walking on the trails, I never went to Marks and Spencers."  So then they talked into their walkie talkies and I could hear them say something like, "I guess we got the wrong guy with the black bag."  Then two things went into my head, "Did they stop me because I had a black bag, because almost every European has a black bag?
 The second thing was, "well since every european has a black bag, they must have been looking for the craziest, most bad ass person in Canterbury...I think I fit the profile, especially after meeting Reese and Cathy.  So after allowing them to check my black bag, they let me go with a small apology and I strolled back into McDonalds and ordered a McFlurry, as planned.

After this long day of walking and being a fugitive if only for a short while I was very tired.  I met two Aussies (everyone over here is Australian by the way) and I hung out with them for a while, then I headed to sleep.  I woke up after a crazy dream of me moving into my room at UConn and couldn't remember where I was, and then thought, OH! Canterbury.  So, I got up and left...for Dover.

Dover was nice, although I didn't stay long because they wouldn't let me leave my bag locked anywhere because of "High Security Alerts."  Based on my past successes with the M and S security and my close call with UK Boarder patrol after I forgot my return info, I decided that anything that had to do with security was worth avoiding any confrontation with.  So, I walked to the shore, because I wanted to see the White Cliffs of Dover, which I did.  I'll post pictures later.

Then, I hoped a train back to London, arrived, and walked out of the train.  I went for a walk along the Thames and watched as two women cops tackled some huge drunk guy! It was awesome!

Jill and Nick Fenton invited me to stay with them Tuesday and Wednesday night.  Thursday Night I'm headed to Dorset to stay with the Osborn family and then Friday through Wednesday I'll be with Brian and June!  Then Thursday morning I'll head to London for the last two nights, and then Saturday night I'll be in Mansfield, CT staying with...WAIT....I'm coming home really soon.  

My life is pretty awesome right now, you all only make it better...trust me. 
Thanks for reading guys!


  1. Hey Stephen,
    Wow...quite the day! You have many tales to tell about Canterbury!! Haha! The rest of your trip sounds great and I have to say I am really looking forward to seeing you. It is amazing how many more visits you have scheduled for the last part of your trip. Keep enjoying all the wonderful people in your life that are so kind to open their homes to you!
    Love you,

  2. Hi Stephen,
    How great is life! When you think of the most interesting people you've met to this point in your life, it is their stories of places they have been and stories of people they have met that make you want to sit and listen and maybe learn a little. You now have those stories of "characters" like Reese and "Cafe"or the most interesting ice cream I ever ate, and places that people have heard of but never been to. You have lived and learned enough to sit at anybody's side and have a good conversation!Enjoy the last couple of days in England. Give June, Brian, Sara, Chris and Rosalind's mum and dad all a hug for us!

    Enjoy every moment!


  3. HI Stephen,
    Very interesting, and now that you are not in Jail, funny Blog. I am sure that Interpol had an APB out for a thief who had a pattern of first shop lifting from Marks and Spencers, and followed it up each time by celebrating purchasing and Ice cream cone from McDonalds. Good to see the Canterbury PD was on the ball.

    Enjoy your time in Dorset with all the family, give them all our Love, and we are GREATLY looking forward to seeing you at Pearl Lake on the weekend of the 4th!!!

    Tom S.

  4. Hi Stephen,
    Down to a couple of days, make them count!
    Enjoy every moment