Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Visit From A Dear Friend!

Our friend Cynthia came up and stayed with us for a week!!  
We LOVED having her with us and we had such a good time together.  
So thankful for faithful friends the Lord gives us!
Cynthia and Mom

 We picked her up from the airport and then went to Ana and Caleb's house
 and then out for brunch and a little shopping and sightseeing!

  This was a fun book store with a lake on the ceiling, a cat on the couch, and a chicken walking between the book shelves! 

In Texas they don't have fall colors like we do, so she was so excited to see them. It was neat to see something we are used to through the eyes of someone to whom it is a new thing. :)

At Christmas Point

Lunch after church on Sunday.

Lunch with Ana before taking Cynthia back to the airport. 
:) :) :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Baby Shower!

  A fun baby shower for Hannah and Billy and baby K!
They are expecting a girl, in case anyone was in doubt! =D

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ladies Bible Study Lake Day

 It was a foggy morning, and so peaceful and quiet at the lake! 

Breakfast with Howie (the dog)!  ;-)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Colors!

Fall colors along the walking trail at St. John's college were so beautiful yesterday!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trip to England 2017!!

I've wanted to travel to England for many years, but I didn't feel comfortable traveling overseas alone the first time. So I was very excited when it worked out to go with my sister Ana and brother-in-law Caleb this month!!  It was an unexpected blessing, and being able to fulfill a long-time dream is something I don't take lightly.  It was so amazing to be in England and see things/places in person that I've only read about!!! The architecture, history, tea and clotted cream, the cobblestone's amazing! All pictures taken with iPhones, by us.
And just to warn you....this is a very long post!

England//Day One//September 5th

My flight arrived early this morning, Ana arrived a little after noon, and Caleb came in Wednesday morning (the 6th). 
(We all flew standby, hence the jumble of arrival times!)

A lovely house near our AirBnB. 
I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the house our flat was in! I don't know what was wrong with me! But we had a really nice, clean, quiet basement flat in a cute brick house similar to the one above.

Ana and I got settled in and headed out to walk around "our town"
and get some food at the grocery store to eat for lunch/supper.

 We also got a huge raspberry swirl meringue cookie at a lovely bakery. (Back left.)

We ate our supper and went to bed around 7:00!

England//Day Two//September 6th
“There’s nowhere else like London..."– Vivienne Westwood

Caleb arrived this morning and we got on the tube and headed into London.
  Watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

 Wellington Arch.
It has a cute little gift shop inside on the left

We walked through Hyde Park and then on to Selfridges department store (an amazing place) where we got some lunch.  Caleb and I got Scotch Eggs (bottom two) and Ana got a meat pie (top), yum!

  There is seriously so much beautiful architecture in London I didn't know where to look first!

Riding on the top level of a doubledecker bus!

 It's a great way to see the area!

Cute park with a lot of history.

St. Paul's Cathedral - amazing and HUGE!

A bride and groom were having their pictures taken!

 The Tower Bridge. 

 We timed our explorations to be able to get to Westminster Abbey at 5:00 so we could go to the Evensong service. 
Such an amazing experience! (And the sun came out - yay!)

The best (and cutest) London tour guides! =D

  Parliament Building bathed in late afternoon sunlight.

 Big Ben was silent due to repairs being made, but it was beautiful.

 The London Eye and blue sky!

 We walked along the river trying to find the place Ana and Caleb had gotten Fish and Chips when they were here 2 years ago.  We finally found the place and it was tasty!

Also, Caleb has a tracker on his phone and....we walked about 11 miles on our first full day in England!  
We were tired out, but it was a great day! 

England//Day Three//September 7th 
The Imperial War Museum and Cream Tea

We went to the Imperial War Museum today and I was very excited to see the special exhibit on espionage!

                                                                         An Enigma machine!!!

After the museum we made our way to Kew by bus and tube to go to the Maids of Honour Tea Room.  We each had Cream Tea, which was tea served with cream, and sugar cubes, and plain and fruit scones, with clotted cream and jam. It was the best tea I have ever had, and clotted cream is the BEST!

A cute restaurant the had a sign out front offering blankets if you wanted to have a picnic on the green.

Well, they mean business!

Love this entry door!

 We ate supper at a neat place that I think used to be the train depot. The food was amazing.

Caleb ordered Pigs Cheeks as an appetizer, which sounded awful to Ana and me! 
But they were delicious!

We took the bus home as there were some long delays with the trains. I really like going by bus, you can see more! 

England//Day Four//September 8th
"I am for Bath!" - Sir Walter Elliot

We decided to rent a car and drive to Bath today! Caleb was excited to drive in England, and thankfully he can drive stick shift since automatics are not common in England and to rent one would have been expensive. It rained on our way to Bath and for part of the time we were there. But the afternoon cleared off and was sunny!
Overall we've been blessed with lovely weather for our trip.

When we drove into town I spotted this thrift store (they call them charity shops) and once we found parking we walked back to find it. The gentleman in the picture above came up to us as we were looking at a map (trying to figure out where the Roman Baths were) and asked us if we needed any help. He said it was their duty to help visitors! He was very nice and the only English person who came up to talk to us.  His dog was so cute...all the dogs in Bath were so well behaved! =D 

We took a tour of the Roman Baths.
"The Roman Baths, at the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site, consists of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The city’s unique thermal springs rise in the site and the Baths still flow with natural hot water." - from their website

I loved this stone floor, uneven, yet polished smooth over thousands of years by people walking along.  So much history here. It was like being in Italy when we were taking the tour and seeing the baths and buildings the Romans had built.

At the end of the tour we could take a drink of the warm mineral water. It was not very good - I agree with the above quote from Charles Dickens' book!

We came out into the Pump Rooms which they use as a tea room.
This room is featured in Persuasion and possibly other Jane Austen films!
As is this pump!

We walked a lot and saw amazing food...

...and ate amazing food!

We stopped at the Jane Austen museum and looked in the gift shop and the tea room.
I realized when we were there that we had arrived on the first day of the Jane Austen Festival! =O
This worker had the name tag of "Colonel Brandon" =D

This painting of Collin Firth, the actor who played Mr. Darcy in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini series, 
is the one used in the film!  Or so I heard... =)

Beautiful architecture everywhere.

The Royal Crescent was beautiful!  This is also in "Persuasion!"

We sat down on the green to rest our legs.
A man was walking his dogs and this one came up to Ana to say "hi" =)

The Royal Mineral Water Hospital.
We were laughing that maybe this is where you would go if you drank too much mineral water at the Pump Room!  ;-)

So by this time we were tired, thirsty, and hungry, so we decided to stop for tea and scones.
(And clotted cream, one couldn't forget that!)
Ana also ordered this pastry. I can't remember the name, but it was good!

This man was playing the violin outside the entrance to the Roman Baths. It was so beautiful.

"Water is best."

The river Avon.

Quick picture taken out the window of the car as we were driving back to our flat. It's beautiful!!

Our last day in England...what a fun trip; I am so thankful I was able to go with Ana and Caleb!