Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Most Epic of Weeks, Part II: Auf Moon!

So after the Royal Wedding/epic JW encounters of Friday night, Clare and I had a 'go-get-um' Saturday morning that involved getting up early (well, at 9:30) and heading straight over to the library to do work. I may have managed to complete my first Art History paper on Friday morning, but still had a World War II paper looming on Monday night whose reading I had neither finished... nor started.

We managed to sneak Clare into the Social Science Library (even though she did almost get stuck in turnstile trying to walk in right after me - whoops! - good thing the librarians behind the circulation desk appeared to all be on the same quaaludes and took not the slightest notice), sat ourselves down in some comfy chairs, and got to work. I have to give myself some props: my Oxford training has started to pay off, and I was able to get through four books in four hours without a single get-up-and-fidget break (which are normally an absolute staple). There were still an unbelievable number of Oxford students who were studying when I got there and still studying when I left, without looking like as much as a pee break was in their near future, but I'll take improvement where I can get it.

Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a Pimms picnic out in the back garden at the Stanford House, made slightly less awesome by the fact that the real Pimms was totally sold out (I'm guessing, based on the BEAUTIFUL weather we've had, that we weren't the first people with this ingenious idea) and so we had to get the significantly less awesome premixed Pimms that comes in the cans. Oh well. It was still sunny and warm and wonderful!

We came back to the room after that and I became a shitty host by getting totally wrapped up in Rolex cross country live streaming (Rolex being the American version of Badminton, which was going on this past weekend). Clare was a good sport, god bless her, and obligingly watched along. Doing this blew my opportunity for a nap, which I had been banking on because the night ahead--between the Exeter Ball and May Morning, which is a starting at 3am Oxford partying tradition--was promising to be a truly epic one. At around 7 I got into my dress, said goodbye to Clare (because again, I'm a shitty host and couldn't manage to get her a ticket), and headed off with three other girls from Corpus to the Exeter Spring Ball.

(How Clare spent Exeter Ball - Nun Blanket in full force)

(The Stanford girls at Exeter)

And it was pretty epic. They had bumper cars, open catering and an open bar, a big dance floor out back, and lots of places to wander. Playing bumper cars with a bunch of college kids in tuxedos and ball gowns has got to go up there as one of the weirdest and best things I've ever done. We had a great time, dancing on stage with the band and avoiding the awkwardly overt flirting of drunk Oxonians (my personal favorite: a kid walks up to me, bow-tie already undone and looking pretty ragged, looks me up and down, and says, "You're pretty hot." Thanks, man.).

(Alex and Ashley work the bumper cars)

(eeeee so fun!)

(Bull-riding a tiger, nbd)

We did have a few getting separated and completely unable to find one another again "situations" (made worse by the fact that no one seemed to be able to get cell service), and I did have a small belligerent Amuhhrican moment when I got tripped by people stepping on the train of my gown like fifteen times in a 6-minute period and finally snapped and RAINED OBSCENITIES down on the next person who did it to me, who happened to be a (very handsome) guy I'd met through polo the term before. Whoops. Embarrassing American Redneck tendencies coming out at the worst possible moment!

(Erickson dance moves: out in force)

(The Exeter dance floor)

(Royal Wedding strikes again!)

(Dancing on stage)

Besides these few setbacks it was a great night, and 3am closing time rolled around in what seemed like the blink of an eye. We went back to the Stanford house, picked up Clare (who was up and waiting for us), and headed back out to Babylove, which was one of the few bars in Oxford doing all-night pre-May Morning celebrations. We had a great time rocking out to Grease remixes and a seemingly endless 90s playlist, and even got the DJ to play "We R Who We R" as the sun rose. In other words, it was a pretty awesome night.

(Gettin down to "We R Who We R")

(Babylove 5:30am craziness)

(And then it was morning??)

It was still no rest for the wicked, as we headed straight off from Babylove to Magdalen Bridge to listen to the May Morning madrigals. Every first of May at 6am, a choir climbs to the top of Magdalen Tower and sings the Hymnus Eucharisticus. There was free coffee and tea being handed out by people on the streets, it was a beautiful morning, and I felt so happy to get to be there.

(The singers on Magdalen Tower)

(Free coffee and tea FTW!)

Afterwards there was some Morris dancing, which is traditional British dancing involving waving handkerchiefs and clacking sticks together as far as I could tell. It was pretty amusing, but the fact that I'd been awake continuously for the past 21 hours (and dancing continuously for the past 10!) was finally catching up to me. We got back to the Stanford house and I fell asleep while still sitting up in bed checking my email one last time (classic).

(There was also this guy.)

Next up, the epic weekend continues with chillin with CS Lewis, British food at its best, and flaming cocktails!

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