We hopped in her little car and drove into the heart of the city, a pretty harrowing experience when you're getting used to everyone -- pedestrians, cyclists galore, and motorists -- sharing some narrow roads, and all on the wrong (er, left) side of those roads!
Market Square, in central Cambridge, is a happening place to be.
(You may notice that my children were, as a composite group, dressed for nearly every kind of weather.)
Because this town grew up around a university that is HUNDREDS of years old, you'll be walking along admiring the shops, even a couple you recognize ...
... and you turn a corner and BAM! there's this jaw-dropping gem of Gothic architecture, quite possibly built by one of the many King Henrys, Richards, or Edwards.
With their own two hands, even.
More or less.
We visited this adorable shop called Cath Kidston, which I knew would make my friend Stefani in particular start foaming at the mouth, but the photos taken by the insanely bored thirteen-year-old boy have been found decidedly wanting, so you may just have to Google it until my next visit.
Said boy had worked up an appetite, so after purchasing some postcards for a few of the kids' friends, we tracked down a traditional English lunch food for him: a Cornish pasty, which is basically a meat pie inside a pastry pocket.
It was at this very moment that the rest of us were forgiven for Cath Kidston.
Oh! Bottled water here is either "sparkling" or "still." Apparently pirates don't sparkle.
Later in the day, we visited this rather well-known, but still charming, place in the nearby village of Grantchester called The Orchard Tea Garden. One can indulge oneself with a full cream tea (tea, scones, clotted cream, the works), and believe me, one did. One even cheated on one's gluten-free diet, and sat in a lovely apple orchard to do so. One enjoyed oneself immensely.
Lots of notable Brits have taken tea here, and there's a startling proportion of Nobel Prize winners residing in Grantchester, but it remains to see whether any dignity or erudition rubbed off on us.
After tea, we ambled down to the River Cam, from which our fair city derives its name.