I’ve hijacked #tbt and turned it into #ttbt so I can tell stories about old photos of my past adventures. This time: Kiplin Hall and the Lake District – my first time in the UK.

Top of Langdale Pike, which I'm pretty sure was my favourite hike of the trip.

Top of Langdale Pike, which I’m pretty sure was my favourite hike of the trip.

Waaaaaay back in 2003, I came to the UK for the first time on the best summer programme you could ever hope to imagine. At least, if you were a dorky English major. Washington College ships a group of us over to Kiplin Hall near the Lake District every summer to study the Romantics and tromp about where they did.

I got to hike all over some gorgeous bits of the country (Have you ever walked the coast from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay? Because you should.) and read a lot of good stuff with one of the best professors ever. I saw Edinburgh for the first time on that trip. The fifth Harry Potter book was released while we were here (I bought it in York). We went to Ireland as well. And for a lot of us, it was the first time we were allowed to drink in a bar because we were under 21 and the UK is a magical place for American college students where you only have to be 18 to buy a pint. So it’s also when my love affair with cask ale began.

Exhausted on the lawn of Richmond Castle.

Exhausted on the lawn of Richmond Castle.

Clearly it was amazing, and it started something bigger than I thought in terms of My Life Stuff. But then, I think anyone would be hard-pressed not to fall head-over-heels in love with this country after spending even one day in the Lake District. Even in the rain (which there was a fair bit of).

Having a break after walking out to that bloody Bronte Wuthering Heights house. Nice walk, horrible book. YES I HAVE AN OPINION. (That sheep also ate half my sandwich, but that's ok.)

Having an impromptu Lit lesson and a lunch break after walking out to that bloody Bronte Wuthering Heights house. Nice walk, horrible book. YES I HAVE AN OPINION. (That sheep also ate half my sandwich, but that’s ok.)