The three of us just took a weekend trip to visit two of my mission areas. It was so wonderful to be able to show Cameron how beautiful England is, and to introduce him to some people who captured my heart while I served there. England will always be so special to me. Not only did I serve in the Leeds Mission, but I also did a study abroad in London for a semester. How lucky am I?! As soon as we landed in Manchester, I turned to Cameron and confessed that I just feel so at home in England.
We flew out pretty late Friday night--about 10 PM. Not exactly ideal when you have a child that's used to going to bed at 8. However, Andy was actually really good on the flight. It was only an hour, which felt like a millisecond compared to our eternal flight from the US. And we were lucky enough to have the one empty seat in the plane by us, so Andy got his own seat. The most exciting part of the night was when we picked up the rental car. Cameron must think I'm a terrible driver, because he insisted the he would be the one to drive us around all weekend, even though I'm the one with 18 months experience driving on the "wrong" side of the road. As soon as he got in the car, I think he regretted that decision. I don't think I've ever seen him more panicked? Ha ha ha...the best part is that he ran over a sign on his way out of the car rental parking lot. (We saw the same sign as we returned the car a few days later; it was all mangled. I couldn't stop laughing. I so wish I would have gotten a picture of it.) We stayed at a little local bed and breakfast since we got in so late. We didn't really get to bed until about 1 AM=a really rough night for Andy, who was also suffering from a cold. After the rough beginning to our trip, I was worried Saturday would be a bust, but we had a great time!
After having a full english breakfast (Cameron's first!), we left our hotel for Huddersfield. The drive over was spectacular. I think one of our favorite parts of the weekend was driving around the countryside. It is stunning. In Huddersfield, we visited Kelly, a recent convert I spent a lot of time with. When we saw each other we both started crying; we have such a connection and have missed each other so much. We met her new husband, Andy destroyed their new house and enjoyed their dog India, and then we headed to Almondbury so I could show Cam where I lived. We drove around the village and then headed up to Castle Hill for the spectacular views. After all that, we drove to the town centre to walk around and grab some lunch. I did a lot of street contacting in that town centre, so it was fun to go back. Cam got to try his first ever authentic fish 'n chips, which he loved! We also stopped by Tesco to pick up some chocolate so Cam could decide if he's a Cadbury or a Galaxy fan. I'm ashamed to admit he likes Cadbury better. A house divided, I guess.
|English Breakfast. Yum!|
|A picture with sweet Kelly.|
|And one with Andy, too.|
|View from Castle Hill. Isn't it incredible?|
|Cam with his fish 'n chips!|
|In Huddersfield Town Centre. So many hours spent here street contacting!|
We headed to Rotherham in the early afternoon. Also a stunning drive. Our first stop was meeting Maddie in town centre to chat for a few. It was so good to see her. She went out on exchanges with us all the time, so we got really close. I will always love her sharp wit and kind heart. After that, we headed to Conisbrough for a quick visit with Keith and Penny. We met up the the Gunns (Graham, Christine, David, Sarah) and the Taylors (Debbie, Daniel) for a carvery meal--again, Cam's first! It was so good to see them all! Unfortunately Andy chose this as his melt-down time for the day, but I think we all still had a good time. We spent the night at David and Sarah's, who were wonderful hosts. In the morning, I took Cam and Andy to visit where I used to live in Wath. We went to church, and were lucky enough to be there for Branch Conference! All the meetings were great, and it was wonderful to see so many people. Sarah made us a delicious sunday dinner before we headed out. Our last stop was a visit with Nig, one of my most favorite investigators from my entire mission. (Am I allowed to have a favorite?) He was even funnier than I remembered, and we enjoyed every second catching up with him. After that, we headed back to Manchester and flew home. Before we went, we wondered if the trip would even be worth it--spending so much money to only be there two days. It ended up being such a special experience; it was worth every penny.
|Rotherham Town Centre|
|A chat with Miss Maddie. Love her so much.|
|At the carvery with the gang!|
|David & Sarah's cute place.|
|A close-up of Sarah and David. They're technology missionaries right now!|
|Val & George. George was baptized when I was in the area and Val shortly after I left. They're both endowed now! So exciting!|
|A picture of Cam driving on the left side of the road. He grew to love the roundabouts, but was pretty relieved to turn that rental car back in.|
|Nig and I together. So good to see him!|