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From the Farm

Great Britain will never be the same

June 26, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

OK, so it's Wednesday morning, almost a week since I returned home, and I think I have finally caught up on my sleep. I don't ever remember jet lag being this darn hard to get over. But then again, being that I celebrated my 21st birthday shortly after I returned from Great Britain may have something to do with it.

Wow, what a trip it was for Joey and me. Together with a group of 35 teenagers and parents from Cathedral High School, we flew across the big pond and ended up landing in London.

We hit the ground running until later that evening. While watching Les Miserables, we weren't exactly running, or awake for that matter. Of the eight of us that went, I think eight of us were napping through the main portion of the play. Oh well, how many people can say they actually got to sleep in one of London's many theatres. We did manage to see the beginning and the end.

Article Photos

Joey and I standing in front of the London Bridge. Notice, it’s not falling down.

Our adventure took us to the country of England, then one day in Wales and a few more days in Ireland.

I would have to say the countryside in Ireland was, by far, my favorite portion of the trip.

London was interesting. We managed to see Buckingham Palace, the London Eye (that ginormous Ferris wheel) and most interesting was the subway under the city streets of London.

Deb Dove had the most interesting trip on the subway. I think we laughed about her escapade for days afterward. Her timing was impeccable! How in the world does one manage to have her body inside the train and her backpack stuck on the outside of the train? Like I said, the timing to get the doors to slam shut in-between herself and her backpack - impeccable!

We also happened to be at Oxford University on Graduation Day. I think we walked past eight graduates. Talk about a small graduating class of elite students.

I managed to see all our friends in Wales and had a nice lunch with them. Although, 45 minutes isn't really enough time to make up for not seeing most of them for two years! It was still awesome to have that time!

Ireland. Awesome!

Talk about green. Talk about flowers the size of trees. OK, so maybe the flowers were that large, but they were way bigger than our flowers ever get here in Minnesota.

We drove through some of the most splendid country side I have ever observed. Number one - there were cows, cows, cows! I love seeing black and white cows grazing on hillsides. That's where cows are supposed to be. With the brilliant green grass and the different colors of cows lying around in the pasture - it couldn't be beat. It makes me all gooey inside just remembering the scenery.

Yes, we did manage to take in an Irish pub as well. Once all the kiddies left, Mary Chartier, Deb Dove, Colleen Skillings, Beverly Hoffman, and myself, had a grand ole time. Oh, the pictures and the stories they tell!

On the last day of our excursion we took a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry. Imagine my excitement for this ride. Yes, I am quite sure this beautiful area of Ireland is named for the most beautiful creatures God ever created - women named Kerry.

So I exaggerate.

Ok, so maybe the area is named for the breed of black, dairy cattle native to this land, but it doesn't hurt to dream. The Ring of Kerry is an area of western Ireland that winds along the mountainous terrain and countryside. We observed lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, sheep herding, and vistas that you wouldn't believe.

I went absolutely bonkers during this tour. If your name happens to be Kerry, you know how hard it is to find trinkets with your name on it. It's easy to find Joey, Steve or Russell, but it's a struggle to find Kerry.

I purchased key chains up the wazoo. A paid for several T-shirts that have Kerry emblazoned on the front. No, these T-shirts are not going to fit me, but my younger nieces have assured me that they will wear the shirts that say, "Kerry Rocks!"

If it wasn't so darn tight, I would wear the sucker. I just can't bring myself to go out in something that tight! At the moment of purchase I convinced myself that I would lose weight and fit into them.

Funny how one's mind can play tricks on yourself. I still haven't started the diet! Not going to either.

All-in-all, it was an awesome trip. The kids were the best behaved kids I have ever spent time with. Sure there were a few moments of pouting, but we can blame that on the hormones. I would love to list all the people who traveled with us but I know I would spell names incorrectly or forget someone, and I don't want to do that. There is so much to talk about - the homeless guy that offered Joey a shot of whiskey, Mary and I setting off the alarm on the ferry ride to Ireland, the list goes on and I just don't have the space or time.

The best part was that I was able to take this trip with Joey. It is a memory he and I will always have. We enjoyed each other's uniqueness and I would do it all over again!



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