St. Patrick’s Day 2017 is going to be hard to beat. We were in Oxford, England on a walking tour of the city and we were bored out of our minds. Our guide was a very sweet, elderly English woman who had lived in Japan for many years. As we walked along she gave us lots of information about what we were seeing, and then would repeat the whole thing in Japanese. It was quite time consuming to hear the spiel in two languages and we felt our precious time in Oxford slipping away, especially because we knew we would probably never remember any of this information anyway.
Drastic measures needed to be taken. I’m not sure which of the four of us suggested ditching the tour, but agreement was unanimous. In reality, this act of rebellion wasn’t a big deal. The tour walked one way and we walked the other, but in our minds we were undertaking a secret mission and we high fived as we gave the tour the slip. Sometimes being naughty can be so fun!
We were free for the next two hours, and we had to make them count. A pub. We needed a pub. We entered the famous Oxford library and asked the man at the information desk for directions to his favorite pub. The directions involved hidden back alleys, which heightened the sense of adventure. We made our way to the Turf Tavern and it was perfect. The oldest pub in Oxford, dating back to 1381, it has quite a storied history as a gambling venue.
With very low, beamed ceilings, a dark wood bar, and ancient stone walls, we had been transported in time, and now needed to order our libations. This was an extra special moment because Holden, being 18 years old, was of legal drinking age in England, so this was quite a memorable occasion for our family. I was also very proud of my forethought in telling everyone to pack a green shirt.
We settled down at a corner table and were thoroughly enjoying ourselves, feeling sorry for the poor souls still on the walking tour. Having gotten heavy drinking out of my system in my 20s, I am quite a lightweight these days. I was on a completely different plane than my guys after one pint, and being the only girl in the family means that sometimes I have to amuse myself. While the boys were talking sports or something, I took buzzed selfies.
After we had finished our drinks, we had some time to explore the city. Being reluctant to leave, we had pushed our departure to the last possible second and were now in quite a hurry to get back to the bus. There was no time for a bathroom stop. We had to book. We congratulated ourselves on a job well done as we breathlessly entered the bus, and settled in for the hour and a half drive back to London.
Not making time for a bathroom stop had been a huge mistake. We were all fit to burst as we entered London, and there were several stops before ours. We couldn’t wait. We bounded off at the first stop and would figure out how to get back to our hotel after dealing with our pressing emergency. It wasn’t our best bit of planning, but it was a humorous end to the day we went rogue in Oxford.