Day 30: Classes Wrap-Up, Shopping, Port Meadow, and Final Dinner at The Trout

For the last day, James’ Old Testament class met in the morning to wrap things up. The students gave presentations on summaries and responses to chapters from a book.

Shopping for an Anniversary Gift

During the lunch break, Erin and James went down to a local pottery store and found a 12th anniversary present (12 years next month). We had been there before to look for a wedding gift for “Aunt Leah,” but after we left, Erin mentioned how she would have liked something from that store. So we went back and picked something out. After all, it’s not every day you’re in Oxford.

The owner’s cat greeted us with enthusiasm (for a cat, anyway). The owner of the store is from South Carolina and her husband is doing a PhD in English literature at Oxford.

Each piece is hand made in the basement kiln. We got the water pitcher that Erin seems to be looking at in this photo (green water pitcher at the top of the shelf in front of Erin).

We got back and ate lunch. Zeke was pretending to be a bear and hibernating under the fluffy blue blanket.

James taught his afternoon class along with his colleague, John, and then it was time for a group meeting.

Walking through Port Meadow and Dinner at The Trout Inn

We had a quick group meeting to discuss how to clean up the houses we had been living in. Jacque walked us through expectations about how things should be left.

Then we walked west of the city to Port Meadow. It was a beautiful pasture that felt like it was out in the country and certainly not near any cities.

It was a 3 mile walk from the flat to The Trout.


Horses and cows roamed the meadow freely. The river running through it is the River Thames.

Some of the students got a bit ahead of the group and a herd of cows decided to cross the path. The others had to wait a bit to continue.

Finally, after a long and brisk hike, we arrived at The Trout, situated right on the River Thames.

Inside it looked quite chic. The proprietors claim that the inn was Tolkien’s inspiration for The Prancing Pony Inn found in The Lord of the Rings.

We got to sit outside in the lovely cool of the evening.

Micah was in a great mood.

Some students chose to take the bus back into the city. Erin, Shelley, and the kids went with our on-site coordinator, Jacque, back to the flat. James decided to walk back with some other students. The meadow was amazing as the sun was starting to set.

Several times I was struck by the beauty of the scenery. These pictures simply can’t do it justice.

I took this one while cross a bridge of the River Thames.

This was the absolute best way we could have ended our trip. I chose the “featured image” at the top of this post (and also the image you see when you browse this blog’s homepage) because it’s a fitting one for the sunset of our trip. We’re sad to leave Oxford, but we’re also looking forward to being home again, the kids getting their own rooms again, getting back into a routine again, etc. Now to pack!

Bonus: Michael’s Rap Roast of Dr. Homer: