This last week Ben took some time off work. We hired (= rented) a car and took off on a few road trips. It was great to get out, visit friends, and explore new territories. This last year has been full of change, transition and new chapters. All in all, it’s been an incredible year for us, but nevertheless, a bit exhausting. And as a result, it’s not left much energy or time for travel. I was quite happy to get out and do some exploring. Sometimes I need to remind myself I live here, in England…and that I love this chapter of our lives. And that I don’t want the time to pass by without making the most of it.
First, we did a short weekend away up north to West Yorkshire to visit our friends Angie and Steve who just recently had their first child, Jed, who is birthday buddies with Samuel. Our friends Charlie and Helen, who live in Durham, also met us there. Road trips are a bit difficult with Samuel in tow – he doesn’t do so well being strapped in a car seat, but who could blame him? Those things look miserable! And apparently he gets motion sickness, which we found out the hard way, after lunch of course. Poor guy! Despite our unhappy traveler, we had a wonderful time with friends. The weekend consisted of yummy food, walks through the quaint village, and a great time with ‘old’ Durham friends. As Samuel wakes up quite early, we were up well before the rest of the house and managed to get out for an early morning walk. Getting out for a brisk walk in the fresh morning air, while soaking in that early morning sun was beyond therapeutic. We had fun spotting pheasants, several hares, and even a fox! It was great fun and the perfect way to start our day. We are so grateful to have quality time with good friends.
Following our time up north, we went to London for a few days to visit our even ‘older’ friends Tim, Rachel and Joy. We know Tim and Rachel all the way back from our Portland days through the Pearl Church. They have an adorable daughter Joy, whom Samuel adores, and they’ve recently moved from Rome to the outer London area to work in the underprivileged area of Southall. It was great seeing their neck of the woods and hearing more of their work in that community. We also did a day trip into the big city one day! The highlight of the day was St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is perhaps one of the most amazing cathedrals I’ve ever seen. Afterwards, we enjoyed a coffee and snack on the steps of the cathedral and somehow I managed to get pooped on by some bird. There’s a first for everything, and I guess if you’re going to be pooped on, what better place than the steps of St. Paul’s? Lucky for me, it was only on my scarf and my amazing husband washed it out for me. Later that day we walked across the Millennium Bridge and along the Themes by Shakespeare’s Globe and towards the tower of London. The day was short and sweet, but enough to make me want to go back. Being more of a small town girl at heart, I’m always surprised by how much I love London. And with that, I’ll leave you with photos of our time.