London & Scotland
 
     In all honesty, I never really liked debate.  I joined Forensics so I could do the cry baby, rip your heart out interp events.  But always I had been forced one way or another (poor me and Chaddy) into debate at CMSU. 
    My senior year (okay, like, my last year) at CMSU, Jack Rogers (our new coach since Harold passed away) thought it would be a good idea to pair Chitwood and I together.
   Okay, so honestly, my first reaction to this was like "okay, well, it'll give me something to do between interp rounds so I won't get bored".  I mean, Chad and my's first tourney, we didn't even practice for.  I mean, damn, we didn't even try debating together before Purdue.  We were just like, okay, lets do this for shits and grins.  This is also the tournament that Chad almost didn't make it to because he was a "witness" to a murder scene (which is an incredibly long story involving a stripper and a trunk - yep, only Chitwood).
   Anyway, to make a real long story really short, Chitwood and I ended up kicking some ass.  Our first tourney we won 5 rounds out of 6 in prelims and advanced all the way to semis.  I thought it was opposites weekend.
   But, our senior year, we were kicking butt and Jack wanted to go to England.  So Chitwood, me, Kutt, Mandy and Jack all took a vacation (okay, well, we debated Oxford and Cambridge and stuff - he, he) to England and Scotland.
   Interesting notes:  The first night we were there, the BBC got bombed by terrorist a few blocks from our hotel (they parked a cab w/ explosives out front in the middle of the night).  Since this was before 9/11, it was kind of a wake up call to us that we were no longer in the US.  No one was killed, but the front of the building was ruined.  We also encountered "Hoof & Mouth" signs everywhere - the disease was in its' biggest stage while we were there.  We had to be disinfected before entering planes and trains.  Also, our last night in Glasgow we almost spent at the university with our new found drinking buddies - our hotel was located in Ibox (?), which was right next to the football (american: soccer) stadium.  They had lost the game, so some fans went crazy and killed two people.  What fun.

 Details below.

   This is the hotel we stayed at in London.  The name was the "Beaver Hotel" (I kid you not; I though Jack was playing a joke on us when he handed us out the schedules w/ numbers and stuff).  Anyway, second picture is Chitwood standing out front.

This is a picture of me in front of the hotel standing in front of the beaver (even just typing this is making me chuckle).  The second picture is of Mandy and I's hotel room.  Twin sized beds.  Kinda weird, kinda old, but it was a clean little room.

This is the inquisition chair.  Our hotel room had this little nook, and I guess they tried to make it homey by putting an arm chair back there.  The result was just bizarre (I mean, a little window to the right and an off-kilter, cheesy ass print).  I would sit back in that chair when talking with Erik (our daily long-distance phone calls) for a little privacy.
   The second picture is of our toilet.  Yeah, I'm weird.  I took pictures of all the bathrooms because they were so old (In the US, we think old is NYC, 100 year old building.  This hotel was built before the US was considered a country - hello).  Anyway, we got these little boxes of tissues for toilet paper - see back of toilet.  Mandy and I were like, no way.  So we stole that pink roll of toilet paper on the sink at one of the first pubs we ate at.

    The first picture is the view out our hotel window.  The second picture is of Chitwood chatting it up with a wax figure of Cybil Shepard at Madame T's wax museum (totally awesome - it was one of our first tourist attractions in London)

  Again at Madame T's.  Chitwood with Clinton and I getting blessed by the Pope (I need all the help I can get).

  At Madame T's:  Mandy, Kutt, me and Chitwood with the Beatles.  Gotta love it.  Second picture: "London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.  London bridge is falling down....."

   This is at the tower of London.  Wish I could have taken more pictures, but cameras were not allowed in a lot of the areas.  The first picture is of a wall the Romans built before Jesus was born (talk about history).  The second picture is one of the queen's guards protecting the jewels of England (housed at the tower of London.  He is one of the only guards to carry a gun.  Most of them are not allowed.
   The tower of London is fabulous.  All sort of little areas to explore and get lost in.  Chitwood actually got stuck in a spiral staircase going up to a jail cell.  It was hilarious.  We some how pushed him up the rest of the way, and got out by the back exit that had been built during renovations.

  The first picture is of a military museum.  Forgot what the official name of it is, but it had some great exhibits, like the one where we were ushered into the trench of a mock up WWII dugout.  Bombs and smoke were all around.  Very realistic.
   The second picture is the front of Buckingham Palace.

   Buckingham palace again.  The second picture is of Chitwood and I in front of one of the gates.

  Chitwood and I asked these guards if we could get a cheesy touristy shot with them.  In true English fashion they agreed, even though neither cracked a semblance of a smile.  The one on the right looks like he is staring at my knees.  WTF?
   Second picture is one of the many statues out front of the palace.

   Here is a picture of Kutt, me and Chitwood leaning against one of those statues (they are HUGE in real life).  The second picture is of Westminster Abbey, which is awe-inspiring on the inside (graves of hundreds of famous, historic people) but you can't take your camera.

  Here is a picture of the clock tower call Big Ben.  The second picture is of Chitwood calling back home to his girl friend.  And yeah, the phone booths actually all look like that.

  Okay, I went a little picture crazy here.  We left London two times to go debate - once at Oxford and once at Cambridge.  These pictures I believe are at Cambridge.  Just old building that I thought looked cool enough to take pictures of.

  More old buildings/churches.  The second picture is Jack, Kutt and Mandy in front of a church.

  More pictures of the same church.  Picture on the left, at the very bottom, shows the size of the three of them against the church.

  The first picture is of Chitwood, Kutt, Mandy and I in the debate chambers at Cambridge.  Chitwood and I totally kicked ass here.  Winston Churchill had actually debated in that same spot.
   The second picture is the bed and breakfast we stayed at in Edinburg (we stayed in London, Edinburg, St. Andrews and Glasgow).  This was a big step up from our London pad.

  This picture is of our room.  Yep, it was nice.  The second picture is of the Edinburg tourist police station.

   These pictures are from the Castle of Edinburg.  Lots of history here, lots of cool little rooms and paths much like the tower of London.

  The king's church inside the Castle of Edinburg.  The second picture is of a big bank in Edinburg.

    Here is our third hotel, actually a bed and breakfast at St. Andrew.  This is the nicest place we stayed at.  We actually had our own little cabin detached from the main building.  The main building is the picture on the left is the main building.  The picture on the right is the sun room of our cabin.

   This is the living room of our cabin.  The second picture is the toilet in our room (I thought it was little, but cute).

   These are the ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral.  I was so enamored with them, I painted them.  I intend to paint a few more paintings of the ruins and the graves scattered about.  The second picture here is actually Chitwood standing under an archway in part of the ruins.

  Here is my turn to stand under the same archway.  The second picture is the front part of the cathedral.

   A side view of the church.  The second picture is another set of ruins by the water.

  The first picture is more ruins of the same church.  The second picture is from the train.  We took a train from St. Andrew up to the highlands, Inverness (it took all day on the train - we went far up north in Scotland).  It is so pretty up there, I wish we could have stayed the night.

  The first picture is of Loch Ness.  The second picture is of the ruins of the castle by Loch Ness.

  More pictures from the ruins of Loch Ness.  Mandy stood up at the top of the ruins and screamed, "Nessie, you bitch, come out!" but to no avail.  I'm pretty sure after that, ole Nessy will have an aversion to future American visitors.

  The picture on the left is the back of the Loch Ness castle ruins.  The picture on the right was my only picture from Glasgow.  It was the biggest bong I had ever seen - seriously.

 

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