Monday, October 3, 2016

London/Scotland Trip.... Sept 24- Oct. 2 2016

 Day 1.  Wayne, Laila and I arrived in London early Sunday morning after a day delay over airplane issues.  We should have arrived on Saturday at noon…oh well..We met up with Tru at the airport and got to our Marriot in Maida Vale London. Tru and  Laila slept for a bit then we were off to meet Ben and Jackee Belnap and then touring. Big red bus tour was best option for tired people to sit on the top of a double decker bus and view the sights. We Ate fish and chips and roast dinner at the Shakespeare pub. Primark Shopping, then Jack the Ripper tour going through alleyways and hearing about the gruesome murders and being right where they took place.
Laila’s favorite things were – Talking with Truman, Primark shopping,  and Learning things she didn't know about Jack the Ripper
Me:  seeing all the architecture and historical buildings from big red bus. Big Ben,  House of parliament, Shopping with Laila and Tru and the cool Graffiti street art 


 Day 2:  We were up and out early to the Tower of London. We were amazed at the history and the Crown Jewels. The Yeoman Beefeater tour was funny and interesting about the castle’s history and how it was built.  Truman left us to fly back for work around noon, then we trained up to Warner Brothers Studio and Harry Potter tour. We met up their with our friend Paula Carlson, she is on a mission at the London Temple.  Harry Potter Studio tour did not disappoint. So much creativity. Sets. Props. Costumes. Makeup special effects topped off with butter beer and butter beer flavored icecream. Laila was in HP heaven. She took 242 pics. Then dinner with Paula at local pub.
Laila’s faves:  Tower of London. Crown Jewels. Harry Potter tour - Hogwarts replica. The chihuahua, oyster, monkey Guy on the tube. 
Me:  Yeoman BeefEater tour at Tower of London.  Seeing Crown Jewels and medieval toilet.   Fish pie and a scone with clotted cream and jam. Tried a scotch egg.   Loved How excited Laila was about Harry Potter. 

 Day 3:  2 hour tube/ train ride to London Temple where we met up with Sister Paula Carlson. I brought my old Recommend and the temple had to wake Bishop Belnap up at 2 in the morn so I could get in temple. Baptisms went great…. Then British lunch in cafeteria with steamed pudding and custard sauce.
We trained back to London that afternoon for the Tower bridge tour with Ben and Jackee Belnap and Paula.  So cool seeing the road and cars below through the glass walkway. Walked the south bank of the Thames. It was filled with lovely, quaint alleyways and picturesque river and bridges. Dinner at Italian place. Pizza express. Funny name for how fresh and delicious it was. We are living on Cadbury chocolate buttons and milk chocolate digestive cookies. 
Laila loves seeing all of the double decker red busses. 

Day 4: Leave London to train up to Scotland first class on Virgin train. First class means lots of room, sitting at tables, where the train stewards offer drinks and food over the 4 1/2 hr train ride.  We saw Rolling green hills,  Sheep,  Misty weather and we finally greeted our people...George and Eileen Sharkey.  I can’t describe the joy we felt as we got off the train and into a group hug.

 Day 5: Scotland weather is wild!!Horizontal rain one minute and the next it's sunny. This is repeated over and over all day long. We are staying at the Gilardi's- the famous "Stobbs the Baker" with delicious sweeties and breads. Laila and Wayne went with Umberto to the bakery and came home with all sorts of goodies. My favorite is the honeymoon- a bar chocolate with Rice Krispies mixed in over Carmel and coconut.
Nancy and David McLean came up from Stranraer to spend the day with us shopping at Primark,  Malta, Toyshop, Thornton's and the Pound store. They brought one of their dogs, of course. It rained buckets. Then we all gathered at Karen's home with 4 year old Nolan showing off and begging for Laila's attention. Wee one year old  Imogen  is teething and not too happy. Karen and Liam live in a 1905 brownstone that's so charming. Eileen made delicious lasagna, salad, sweet potato fries and profiteroles with chocolate and  icecream  for dinner and dessert. So thankful my parents served their mission in Scotland so we can know these fine people. We are blessed.
 Day 6: Umberto made us a proper Scottish breakfast. Featuring haggis, black pudding, square sausage, link sausage, egg, potato scone, pancake, baked beans, bacon and toast.  So much food all on one plate. Laila was a good sport and tried it all except the beans and the bloody black pudding sausage. Wayne cleaned his plate.
Karen and Liam Brodie took us to Edinburgh Castle and we walked the Royal mile to see the fun shops. The castle is amazing. So much history that I love but it bores Laila.  George treated us all to dinner at Soutter Johnnys in Kirkoswald with George and Eileen and the Gilardis.  Laila stayed at Karen's and played with the kids, watched movies and had McDonalds. She needed a parental break by then.

 Day 7: up at Gilardis another breakfast made by Umberto  of bacon- egg -slice roll from his bakery. He made us lunch for the train ride too complete with Irn Bru- Laila's favorite, new drink. Umberto shared his stories of how he became a baker and how he joined the church and why it's ok to question as long as we are faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We said goodbye to Karen and the kids and the lovely Gilardi family with promises of returning.

On couch:  Nolan Brodie, Eileen Sharkey, David McLean, Nancy McLean, Laila, Karen Brodie holding Imogen, George Sharkey, Melinda and Wayne

Around the table...Wayne, Christiana Gilardi, Eileen Sharkey, Angela Gilardi, Santino Gilardi, Umberto Gilardi, Melinda and George Sharkey
The Sharkey's took us  to Glasgow. We shopped around for a bit then finally had to say goodbye at the train station. We could not stop crying and hugging and crying some more. Leaving the Sharkey's waving at the train platform felt like losing my parents again. Laila and I ugly sobbed for awhile on the train.  We arrived back in London and ubered out to our hotel closer to Heathrow airport in the rain. 
Day 8: This day was all about traveling back home and thinking about all the great things we did this past week in London and the amazing Scottish people we got to hang around. Ahhhhh....  There was only one first class ticket left for the flight home so Wayne insisted I have it again. He's a doll.  It's been an exhausting day. 

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