Home / 2008 / March

2008 New Year’s Resolutions: First Quarter Update

I have decided that 2008 is going to be The Year of Change for Me. I made many personal improvements in 2007, but now that I’m smarter about changes, I can focus on the changes that I want to make and make them. But I’m a hardcore perfectionist, and I don’t like making mistakes and I don’t like failing.

I am regularly hand rewriting my resolutions. With each rewrite, I update. I make minor changes based on the current progress. I add new resolutions incrementally, in small steps so that I can achieve them. I feel good about my progress so far, and I look forward to your encouragement, suggestions, and more improvement in the next quarter.

End of First Quarter Resolutions Update

  • I am a runner.
    • I follow my training plan.
    • Rob and I take regular walks.
    • I work out in preparation for the Fitness Test. After I read a Washington Post article about those terrible fitness tests I always failed in high school, I decided that I want to do the test at the beginning, middle, and end (before or after the marathon?!) of my marathon training. The fitness test should give me a good way to measure my overall fitness.
  • I drink caffeinated beverages on special occasions only. I choose water, juice, or beer the rest of the time. This resolution started off as giving up caffeine completely, but I have decided that I will try just limiting myself. After two full caffeine-free months, I have started drinking it occasionally with our Friday night Döners and a few times on our England trip. I am happy with this arrangement, but as soon as it starts to control me again, I am giving it up for good.
  • I do not need sleeping pills to shut down my mind at night.
    • I get regular exercise. Not doing so well, but you just wait until the weather warms up! The first beautiful day was yesterday, and the run was awesome.
    • I have a regular bedtime. Doing better than I ever have before in my adult life, but we still need to get more serious about actually turning off the light at a regular time as well.
    • I control my thoughts. This is huge. I usually can’t fall asleep because my mind is racing, but I have been using deep breathing to focus my mind and slow my body down. It’s helping a lot!
    • I avoid caffeine after 17:00. Not really a problem, except on Fridays.
  • I am organized at work.
    • I save and file only what is necessary. This one takes time and a sometimes difficult decision (Will I really need this later?), but I am getting better at it.
    • I back up my files regularly. Not a problem. Sandy reminds me on Mondays to back up, and so I do.
    • I use lists and tools to organize and accomplish tasks (ClockingIT, IWantSandy, tasktoy, Google Calendar, and 4×6 index cards). The 4×6 index cards are really my key. I think, though, that you should use whatever works for you best. I thought I’d be the last one to use a paper ToDo list, but until I get a fancy cell phone or PDA, the note cards are perfect.
    • I clean off my desk before leaving and I put everything away in the right place. I love this one. It sucks sometimes at the end of the day, when I just want to get home, but man! do I love it in morning! Try it for two weeks and you’ll be hooked, I promise.
  • I am organized and clean at home.
    • I do the dishes first thing in the morning. Combine a small sink and a small dish rack, and you have the necessity to do the dishes every day. I love doing the dishes, so starting my day off with this relaxing task is really nice.
    • I do at least one small task (< style=”font-style: italic;”>We don’t actually have a couch (imagine carting one up 4 windy, narrow flights of stairs!), but it sounds best. Not doing so good on this one, but I’m at about 50%. That’s pretty good, consider it was a 0% in 2007. Keeps the place cleaner, too–definitely a bonus!
    • I clean off my end table and my side of the desk before leaving the living room. Just like the clean desk at work, this has the same good feeling in the morning: a clean workspace.
    • I put away any clothes strewn around the bedroom before climbing in bed. Usually, by this time of the night, I don’t want to do anything else, so I’m not doing very good at this so far. I still have three quarters of the year, though. Baby steps.
  • I do not let myself get distracted during scheduled work times.
    • I close Gmail, Google Reader, Facebook, MySpace, and other nonessential programs. Yikes. I’m doing pretty good on the Google Reader, Facebook, MySpace fronts, but not so great on the Gmail front.
    • I write down or tell Sandy about distracting ideas so that I remember them later. Love it. If you haven’t yet tried IWantSandy, it’s time.
    • Facebook and MySpace will be there when I get done. I will not miss anything.” Sometimes, when I get tempted, I just write this a few times. I helps.
  • I maintain a Zero Inbox.
    • I use labels and filters for productivity and clarity: @respond-to, @needs-action, @waiting-for-response, @reference, @##-month-delete (03, 06, and 12). Label use: Awesome.
    • I schedule time to respond to 2 to 5 emails each day. Regular responding: Not awesome. I just added this three weeks ago, so it’s still in its early stages.
    • I check @needs-action and @waiting-for-response daily. This one is easy, and probably needs some modification. There’s no really action required here, just checking the labels.
    • I check the @##-month-deletes regularly with Sandy’s help. Haven’t hit even the three-month mark yet, but this one looks very promising.
  • I want for everyone what I want for myself, or love my neighbor as I love myself. This one is kind of hard to measure, which is one sign of potential failure, but I because I am writing and rewriting, the phrase is constantly in my mind.
  • I am content with what I have. Getting much better with this one. I had a money-spending success in Liverpool. I’m getting better!
  • I take my contacts out every night. I have this really bad habit of not removing my contacts like I should. I have no problems with my eyes except that they are dry in the morning. Still, I really do want to take care of my body, and I know that I need to change this habit to ensure that my eyes stay healthy for as long as possible. I like being able to see. We have budgeted new glasses for Lindy, so next month, I’ll be getting new glasses. I think that will greatly help this resolution. (I haven’t bought new glasses since my freshman year of college!)
  • I floss every night. As a child, my dentist always told me that my teeth looked great, but I needed to start flossing. I had a really hard time doing that because I hated using floss. Then, in 2005 I discovered the Reach Access Flosser. All of a sudden, I no longer had to fight with the floss to stay on my fingers. I didn’t have to deal with cutting off the circulation in my fingers while flossing. And not surprisingly, I started flossing semi-regularly. Now, I am making it official: I want to floss every day. I want to have healthy eyes and teeth!

What do you think? Are you attempting any of the same goals? How are you going about them?

It’s All Foreign to Me: Water

Learn some new vocabulary. In Germany and the UK, you can ask for “still water.” Although when in the Vaterland, you should probably pronounce it just a little different: “stilles Wasser,” or “schtill-ess vah-sir,” “sir” as in “Sir Paul McCartney.” At the supermarket in Germany, avoid bottled water with “Sprudel” or “Kohlensäure.”

Bring a water bottle with you. Yes, I know the airlines limit the amount of liquids that you can bring on a plane, but there is no law against an empty bottle. On our recent trip to England, I brought my 500 mL water bottle on the plane. Filled it up from the tap when we left the hotel in the morning, topped it off throughout the day, then made sure to empty it before we boarded the plane again. This not only saves money by avoiding paying out the watootsie for bottled water in a touristy destination, plus it reduces your carbon imprint (I know, I know, I’m not a crazy Green—I promise—but every little bit helps, and those six-pack water bottles are the worst!).

Order something new. “When in Rome…” That’s what Rob would say before digging in to yet another plate of fish and chips. And the same goes with regional beverages. We live in Bierland: Before you come visit us *cough, cough*, read up on some beers you’d like to try along with the other research you’re doing about your destination. They cost about the same as still water in a restaurant (crazy, I know). Not a drinker? Try a new juice–I guarantee that you will encounter a juice you’ve never heard of or that you are not accustomed to drinking. And if all else fails—or if you are just curious—try the juice and the sparkling water. You might be refreshingly surprised.

Oh yeah. Don’t ask for ice here.

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The Road to Anfield: Are We There Yet?

This guest post is by Rob, my husband who always makes me laugh. As any true German does, Rob loves soccer. Yesterday, Rob described what we had to go through before actually getting tickets. Today, he tells the story of cheering against his favorite team twice and a morning full of international phone calls.

So here we were: Dressed in the red and white of Liverpool, but ultimately, hoping for them to lose. We weren’t going to support the teams they played against, but our fingers were crossed for them to lose just one time. Hopefully, that time would during be their game against Havant & Waterlooville, a team that plays in the sixth English league, which consists mostly of taxi drivers and high school teachers playing soccer part time. If Liverpool were to lose this game, then they would be out of the FA Cup and our game would happen for sure. The 2:2 tie at halftime was much more than I expected, but in the second half, Liverpool showed their strength and scored two more times, making the final score 4:2 for Liverpool. Can’t they lose just one time? For us?

Ok, so our next chance was against Barnsley FC, a team from the second English league. Odds were against Barnsley, who not only played a league below Liverpool, but also were last in that lower league. On top of that, they had to play Liverpool at Anfield Road, which makes it at least twice as difficult to beat the LFC.

To no surprise, the halftime score was 1:0 for Liverpool, but hope always dies last. We sat in our apartment, refreshing Kicker.de every minute to see the up-to-date results. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. And then we couldn’t believe our eyes! Barnsley tied the game and our hopes soared. We refreshed and refreshed some more, but the score stayed tied even ten to fifteen minutes after the game should have been over. Something was wrong.

In the FA Cup, games tied after 90 minutes of play do not go to overtime. Instead, the teams face each other in a new game to break the tie. Then Linden had the genius idea of checking the official Liverpool FC site. Unbelievably, the headline gave us great news: “Liverpool knocked out of the FA CUP by a late goal of Barnsley FC. Final Score 1-2!!” We looked at each other in awe, then jumped up and started dancing in a circle. Yea, I know we probably looked really stupid, but who cares! Now it was final: Liverpool and Newcastle would face off on March 8. All we needed to do was get tickets.

Easier said than done!!!

The tickets went on sale at 8:30 A.M. on February 25, and we had 2 alarms set. At 8:29 A.M., I dialed 0004-844-844-0844 for the first time. After I got through the menu of instructions, I was told that I would be put in the queue for tickets. But then a nice voice came on and told me that all lines are busy and I should please try again in a few minutes. This was just the first of many times we heard that voice tell us exactly that, and after an hour, she didn’t sound so nice anymore.

We dialed that number about once every minute, getting the same response over and over. Linden took over after a while. Finally, after two and half hours (see the phone bill), Linden heard a nice gentleman announce, “You are number 59 in the queue!” It was a sexy, amazingly intelligent voice, but first and foremost, it was a voice of relief. When we were first in line, Linden handed the phone to me.

A friendly young woman answered the phone and said, “How can I help you today?”

“What?! Bitch, you crazy? I want some freaking tickets to the game! What else would I be calling for?” Of course I didn’t say that to her. It would have been the worst thing to piss off the ticket lady, the Liverpudlian who holds our Liverpool FC tickets in her probably well-manicure hands. So I said calmly, “I would like some tickets for the big game, please Ma’am.” I only requested that she give us two seats together somewhere in that beautiful stadium. She found them, took our credit card information, and gave me a confirmation code. Linden and I danced around in a circle and all we had to do now was get our butts over the canal and get to the stadium.

The Road to Anfield: Do We Really Have to Take the Scenic Route?

You'll Never Walk Alone

This is the first guest post on Linden’s Pensieve. Rob is my amazing husband, who, as any true German does, loves soccer. In this post, Rob describes what we had to go through before actually getting tickets.

This is the story of finally crossing another item off my list of things to do before I die. The last item I got to check off was finally being able to take long walks on the beach with the woman I love after talking all about our day over a romantic candle-lit dinner.

A long time ago, I became a fan of the football team (or “soccer” as it’s known in the States) Liverpool FC, and since then, my desire to see a game of the greatest team playing the greatest sport in the greatest stadium has grown every year. You have probably read Linden’s blog about how much fun the game and the whole day was. But getting there is what made it even sweeter for me than actually being there.

So let’s start at the beginning of this quest, which has a final reward sweeter than being able to throw a ring in the fire or win a wizarding duel against a guy named Tom. This quest’s reward is much better than that, but the only way to get there is to take the challenge and quest on.

Liverpool is one of the best teams in England and the world. They have won every competition that there is in football and has developed a huge fan base. Their stadium, Anfield Road, is small for a club with such a fan base, as it holds only 45,400 people. Because of the huge demand for tickets and increasing issues with black market sales for real and fake tickets, the club decided to implement an interesting, difficult, confusing, yet efficient ticket-purchasing system. When I first researched LFC tickets, I thought that the only way mere mortals could get tickets would be to play their home game ticket lottery. It’s not easy to plan an international trip with hardly any notice, so I gave up on ever being able to see a game at Anfield Road.

But then my lovely wife decided to take a two-year job as a beer and bratwurst critic in the only country where you can actually make a living doing that, and one great advantage was that it put us quite a bit closer to England. My desperate desire to go see Liverpool play on their home turf was reignited.

This time, I more carefully researched the ticket-purchasing system and finally figured it out.

The first step is applying for an LFC fancard and then waiting. It could take weeks, or even months. We applied in November 2007 and finally received my own personal fan card, officially making me fan number 10,348,170, in the middle of January.

The next few steps are more difficult. We had to find a game that we are eligible for because first-time Anfield Road attendees can’t just go to the best game of the season. No way. Virgin LFC fans have to settle for a game of lesser importance. Only by attending several pre-determined games, can fans become eligible for one of the better games.

In the end, we settled on Liverpool FC vs. Newcastle United on March 8.

But once again, we were wrong in assuming that we would be able to just get those tickets easily. We had about a month before our trip, so we booked our hotel in Liverpool and bought plane tickets for the weekend of March 8. We mapped out our stay in London and made reservations at Gordon Ramsay’s The Narrow in London. We registered for the Magical Mystery Tour and researched other attractions in Liverpool. Then we decided to call the LFC ticket office to find out their policies about cameras in the stadium and make sure we definitely could purchase two tickets with our fan card.

When I told the lady on the phone that we were planning on coming in from overseas to see the game against Newcastle, she burst our bubble. It just so happened that the Newcastle came was subject to change since Liverpool was still in the FA Cup competition as well. If the Reds advanced 2 more rounds in the FA Cup, then they would be playing a cup game on March 8. Even if the game was in Liverpool, we wouldn’t have the prerequisite games on our fan card, and we wouldn’t be able to attend. Wow. Now we had another 3 weeks to wait until we would know for sure if the game against Newcastle would be taking place.

I guess it would have been too easy, and we felt powerless. All we could do was sit there and hope my team lost. For the first time in my life, I would be cheering against the Reds.

Ever Heard of Fennel Salad? [RECIPE]

fennel seed

fennel seed

Yeah, I hadn’t either. But it has quickly become one of my favorites. The Baileys, some of my colleagues here at JLU, served it to us once, and so I asked for the recipe. When Rob and I were shopping the other day, I saw some fennel bulbs for a fairly good price, so I picked one up, pulled out the recipe when I got home, and made the salad. Dee-licious!

Fennel blooms year round, so you should be able to find it at a good grocer most of the time. Here’s the recipe, in case you are interested in trying it.

1 large fennel bulb or 2 medium
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

fennel bulbs

fennel bulbs

Peel off the thin leafy green leaves from the tops of the fennel bulb and add them to the mix for a little color. If you have a mandoline slicer, use it to cut your fennel bulb into thin strips. If not (like me), just slice it with a knife into thin strips. Throw it all into a bowl. (I recommend going lighter on the olive oil than what the recipe calls for–if it needs it, you can always add more in.) Then add the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste, then add more as needed.

That’s it! It’s a simple dish, but has a savory, unique flavor that I think would go well with fish and chicken, although I’m no expert on pairings. :)

(Note: Wikipedia says that “in North American supermarkets, [the seeds are] often mislabelled as ‘anise.'”)

P.S. Tomorrow promises something excited on Linden’s Pensieve: The first guest post!

Blog Changes: AdSense

This is probably the blog change that I feel most unsure about.

I have recently added some advertising to my blog. What I like about Google’s AdSense advertising is that it is related to the context, so you should always see ads related to what I am writing about. I like that versus random advertising.

Another benefit is that I might make some extra moolah on the side through the ads and be able to afford new running shoes. You want to help Linden get new running shoes, right? :)

This is also the advertising that funds my most favorite-est web application in the world ever, Gmail (seriously, it will change the way you email–give it a try!). I’ve had it for a little over 3 1/2 years now, and I think I have clicked on the ads maybe once. That’s another reason I decided to go ahead and take the plunge: It’s there, but you don’t have to click on it if you don’t want to.

In other words, I want to be up front and let you know that I’ve added advertising to my blog, and even though I hope it’ll bring in a few bucks, I’m not expecting all of you to start clicking on the ads unless you see something you need.

Related Posts
Blog Changes: Subscribe via Email
Blog Changes: Open Comments

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Happy 323rd Birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach!

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, 323 years ago. He was a very important composer who “drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.”

Rob noticed that a local church, the Petruskirche, was putting on a “Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian” organ concert last night, so we went. It was beautiful. The lights were dimmed and the organ stood at the back of the church, so from our seats, we could see only the alter. I listened with my eyes closed and just concentrated on the sounds filling the church.

Here’s the program:

The organist, Kantor Michael Harry Poths from Stadtkirche Grünberg, even played an encore. Although I don’t remember the title exactly, it was a Phantasie.

I am really glad we went! Happy birthday, Bach!

Photo and biographical information Source

England Day 5: The Long Trip Home!

Our last day in England started much earlier than any of the other days. Our bus for London left very early, so we were up before the sun. Thankfully, the bus station was an easy 10 minute walk from our hotel. We arrived with about 10 minutes to spare, and then we were on our way.

There were some huge storms forecasted for today, but we didn’t really see them until we were in London. We went to Hyde Park after arriving in London, since we had about four hours until we needed to be at the airport. While we were walking around this beautiful central London park, we endured more than once heavy rain and hail. Thankfully, I love rain, and Rob’s just a German bad ass who isn’t bothered by things like water falling from the sky. :)

Amused by the wildlife and the signs regarding the wildlife along the way, we followed the ground plaques to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. This fountain was not at all what we expected, but I think it fits Princess Diana perfectly. The fountain area is open and inviting. The signage even encourages visitors to dangle their feet in the water.

Just like Lady Diana Spencer challenged the way people all over the world thought of royalty, so does this fountain challenge the way we think about fountains. There was no water spouting high into the air. No brass figures in symbolic stances with water shooting out of or over them. The fountain is a large ovally, circle formation of Cornish granite. The water flows from the highest point, which slopes down to the pool at the bottom of the fountain. The granite has bumps, curves, and grooves in it, which makes the water gurgle and prohibits the surface of the water from running completely flat.

Thus ends my probably terrible description of this fountain. Let me end it by saying you should just try to visit it yourself if you are even in London. You can also view this video, which isn’t quite like the real thing, but gets pretty close.

After the fountain, we headed to Speaker’s Corner, but didn’t find anyone speaking, so we decided to make our way towards the airport. It was 3:30 and we didn’t need to be there until 5, so we figured we would arrive early, grab some grub, and play cards while we waited for our flight.

We arrived at the airport at about 4:15 and checked in. We were a little concerned because our check-in time was an hour and 15 minutes before our flight was to take off. Then we looked a little closer and realized that our flight number had changed, as had our take-off time. We hustled through their very simple security checkpoint (best I’ve encountered!), then rushed to our gate, only to find a long line outside the gate. By talking to the lady in front of us, we found out that our later flight had been cancelled due to the weather and that we were lucky to have been assigned seats on this flight!

Even though the flight was supposed to take off in 20 minutes from this point, no one was boarding. We all waited in the waiting area (where they had a book vending machine!) until 10 minutes after official take-off time, when the finally started the boarding process. The captain announced that we were delayed because of both weather in London and in Frankfurt. We finally took off a full hour after this new flight’s scheduled time and 20 minutes after our original flight’s time.

As we landed in Frankfurt amidst wind and rain, the only image running through my mind was one that we had seen over and over again in German news the previous week: A plane trying to land at Hamburg, but clipping the left wing on the ground, only to take off again.

I don’t know if it was my overactive imagination or reality, but it felt like we slid sideways a little bit as we landed. Despite any potential danger, our pilots landed the plane safely: We were almost home! Two train rides later, one from the airport to the Hauptbahnhof (“howpt-bahn-hoaf,” or central train station), and then from the Hauptbahnhof to Giessen, and we were home!

Related Posts
England Day 1: Frankfurt to London
England Day 2: London
England Day 3: Liverpool FC Game!
England Day 4: Liverpool

Sarah’s Feedburner Series: Networkize & Monetize

Today’s post is the last in Sarah’s series on pimping out your blog with Feedburner. And today, we learn about two options that you may or may not need for your feeds, but nevertheless are useful to know about: Networkizing and Monetizing.

In order to start or include your blog in a feed network, you use My Network. If you’d like to include Feedburner Ad Network or Google AdSense ads to your feed or site, you use the Monetize tab.

Sarah invites your questions, so if there’s anything you’re unclear about, just leave a comment, as you’ll see I have a couple times, or email her (she gives her email address at the end of the post.

Another great post from Sarah! Thanks!

Previous Posts
Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner, Part I: Getting Started
Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner, Part II: Troubleshootizing & Analyzing
Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner, Part III: Optimize
Blogger’s Guide to Feedburner, Part IV: Publicize

England Day 4: Liverpool

Our fourth day in England was our most relaxing. Unlike the days we spent walking all over London, we spent this day on the Magical Mystery Tour bus and at the Choral Evensong at the Liverpool Cathedral.

We started off by strolling around the walking district that is the city center. We found the beautiful Williamson Square and checked out a few of the local shops. Then we head off to o8 Place, where we would board the Magical Mystery Tour bus.

The Magical Mystery Tour was so fun! We started off by traveling out of the center of Liverpool to a suburb where the Fab Four grew up. The first childhood home we stopped by was George’s. A short walk from where the bus stopped took us to 12 Arnold Grove, where George lived until he was 7. Apparently, families had to apply for new homes at this time (late 1930s and 1940s) in Liverpool, and the Harrison family had been waiting to transfer to a larger home to fit their growing family.

Next we headed to the Woolton Parish Church, where the tour guide pointed out several spots important in the Beatles’ history. First, the church itself, where John was playing with his band at a community bazaar. Next to the church is the graveyard where a gravestone with the name Eleanor Rigby stands. Finally, the Woolton Parish House. That’s where Paul was introduced to John by a mutual friend. Probably the most important introduction in Beatles history.

After that stop, we went around the corner to a children’s home run by the Salvation Army called Strawberry Field.

The next stop was the home where John Lennon lived with his aunt and uncle, 251 Menlove Ave, which Lennon called Mendips. Even though the National Trust was not interested in purchasing Lennon’s home, even though they had snapped up Paul’s. Yoko Ono bought it and then donated it to them. Just a fact you can file and forget.

Speaking of Paul’s childhood home, that was the next stop in the tour: 20 Forthlin Rd. Lennon’s aunt and uncle hoped that he would be more interested in school than he was, so they did not encourage his musical talent. That means that John and Paul spent most of their creative afternoons at Paul’s house: Most of the early Beatles hits were composed in the basement of 20 Forthlin Rd.

When they were of school age, Paul and George took the same bus line to school in the city center. That bus line went through a roundabout at Penny Lane. The many times they went through that intersection, it wasn’t anything special. But the Beatles immortalized a nondescript intersection and now it’s famous.

The last few stops on the tour were a bit different from the first. We seemed to barely stop as the tour guide vaguely pointed out pointed down two side roads where Ringo lived when he was young and then the building featured on the front of Starr’s album Sentimental Journey. Then we drove past the school the boys went to, the Liverpool Institute for boys, the two Liverpool Cathedrals, both the Catholic and Anglican, then headed back to the city center where we were dropped off near Matthew Street and the famous Cavern Club, where we picked the free gift you get for going on the tour, a post card.

We really enjoyed the tour. The tour guide played relevant Beatles tunes when he wasn’t talking. The bus wasn’t very comfortable, but I heard the guide tell another member of the tour that their main bus was in the shop. The tour was just the right length, at two hours, and I especially liked that we had the chance several times to get out of the bus and take pictures. If you like the Beatles and are planning a trip to Liverpool, you shouldn’t miss the Magical Mystery Tour.

Once the tour was over, we were a little hungry, so we got snacks at a stand, and then headed towards the Liverpool Cathedral. We made it in time for the Choral Evensong, and we were glad we trudged through the rain and hail!

We arrived just a few minutes early, enough time to hear the organist play Bach “O mensch bewein dein sunde gross” (BWV 622). The Liverpool Cathedral is home to the largest pipe organ in the UK, and it was beautiful, especially when it accompanied the men and boys choir. Heavenly music in a heavenly setting. We listened to a humorous yet convicting sermon by an “over-carried vicar” who asked us if we were getting carried away by religion and wearing our religion on our sleeves, like a badge of honor, or whether we were getting carried away by the savior of the world, by the man who, despite being free from all sin, descended into hell to take our place. After the service was over, we sat and enjoyed more organ music while letting the message sink in. This time, the organist played Bach’s “Vor Deinen Thron tret ich” (BWV 668).


The next intersection down the hill from the cathedral is almost as magnificent as the cathedral: The Chinese Imperial Arch. We took three fun pictures, then headed through the gate in the direction of the docks, where we took some more beautiful pictures of the stormy sea, Liverpool, and the Royal Liver Building. Finally, we followed our little map book right up to a very interesting statue, whose very name makes me giggle: Super Lamb Banana. Go ahead, take a look at this picture first, so you know what I’m talking about.

Apparently, the Super Lamb Banana symbolizes Liverpool’s greatest export (lambs) and its greatest import (bananas), while also warning against the dangers of genetically modified food.

We finished off our last full day in England by heading back to the hotel, and each taking a bath in the large tub, writing postcards, and watching some good English soccer. We also ordered room service, which we have never done before. Rob had been hankering to try some shepherd’s pie, a traditional Yorkshire dish (Yorkshire is in northern England, just like Liverpool), and the only place we had been able to find one was on the room service menu. The kids menu. (That made is nice on our wallets!) The shepherd’s pie was delicious! Worth every penny.

With our tummies and our minds full, our heads hit the pillow, ready to rise before the sun to catch our bus back to London-town.

Related Posts
England Day 1: Frankfurt to London
England Day 2: London
England Day 3: Liverpool FC Game!
England Day 5: The Long Trip Home!