Phew! Now we have been back home for a week and finally finding that niche of our routine - that "new normal." I am delighted that my young men are happy and can be helpful. At this moment, they are "buddy" playing. Each older boy has a younger boy to play with or teach for half an hour.
To recap my trip, I would like to share some of the posts I shared on Facebook and then I will share another post with more reflections as I look back at the trip now a month later... It was most amazing - but I didn't anticipate how anxious I would feel traveling in a foreign country with an infant! I think I am enjoying looking back on the memories just as much if not more than experiencing them for that very reason!
January 12th log: "First impressions of London: do Anglo-Saxon UK citizens think themselves "too good" to work at the airport?? I was like what the---? I thought I was flying to England not India!
Once in town, the business attire is very classy - suit and ties - even for young men. And although people seem to be like your average busy city dwellers, whenever I had trouble with the stroller, a wonderful angel would help me! Young old, women and men - they actually acted like they saw you in need and not just rushed past you. One man ran across a street of cars to help me lift the stroller up to the hotel lobby! They aren't gushing with personality but after today, I'm convinced these are some of the kindest people on the planet! (Having a baby probably helps me get that extra attention though too! Everyone fussed over him - his blanket is falling - watch his hat - did he lose his shoes? - does he always smile? To that I can answer, Yes! Yes! He seems to be always smiling!)
Oh rush hour seems to be a 6:30pm... During the day it was barely busy on the "Underground", I was like where is everyone?? And then on our way home from dinner, it was extremely crowded. Oh - they were working!
Another thing, there aren't a lot of street venders around - tons of extra people trying to sell this or that and you having to tightly hold your purse just in case...that's how it was in Rome. Not London! At least not in the places we went tonight!
Okay - off to try to sleep!"
|We visited the original Twinings Tea store!|
|They say Jane Austin would have bought her tea here!|
Another January 12th log: "This lovely place is where I ate dinner our first night in London! It's Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub - oldest pub in London (1667) and a favorite hangout of G.K.Chesterton! And #wheninRome (or London), I had fish and chips! And Anthony loved trying to leave teeth marks on the old wooden furniture... "
|Check out the notice: "Gentlemen only served in this bar"!|
January 13 log:
"So, today was so blessed but not without challenges! First, my sweet #brighteyes decided to leap off the bed and bonked his head. frown emoticon Then we bought entrance tickets to go in the Tower of London but had a special request to go to St. Thomas More's cell and crypt (which aren't open to the general public - except by special request). So Simon Dodd, the Tower guard and tour guide took us through all these private rooms and snuck us past barriers and through rooms where "only dignitaries go".
|Tower of London's best guide, Simon Dodd!|
|Palace guard in the Tower of London because this is officially one of the Queen's houses. Just to the right was the entrance were only dignitaries (& crazy Catholics who just HAVE to see St. Thomas More's cell!) enter!|
|St. Thomas More's prison cell.|
|St. Thomas More's grave - St. Thomas More, PRAY FOR US!!!|
|My little darling #Brighteyes was the BEST travel companion EVAH!|
Here are just a few photos - we ate lunch at the "Kitchen" a family restaurant near "All Hallows" Anglican church.
|Selfie fail ;-) Outside Tower of London|
We then went to Shakespeare's The Globe. A theatre designed and built as an exact replica of the original! As someone who loves Shakespeare, it was amazing! Soaking in the history and what it must have been like for them! Walking through and standing in the "penny seats" area and then in the balcony seats - and darn it if all of those photos aren't on my camera and not this phone ... Oh well! Take my word for it, it was a moment back in time.
|I was just in heaven in this theatre!!!|
|Made in the exact dimensions as Shakespeare's The Globe - what an exciting and inspiring experience for a literature lover!|
We walked back to the other bank by taking the Millennium Bridge, which is a very space age looking walking bridge. Very cool. With great views of the city.
London folks were still very helpful! People don't brush by you without seeing you. They actually notice and offer to help. Very kind. Simon the tour guide told us they speak 300 language in London because of all the different nationalities of people who live there, but he also noted that if you go beyond London into the rest of England it is very different. And foreigners are much fewer.
Very interesting! But now my feet are sore and my little #brightseyes has fallen asleep so I should try to sleep as well! He has been so good - but after seeing his brothers on a FaceTime chat, he was whimpering a little and sad. He misses those sweet faces as do I!One more day in London and then off to Maryvale on Friday!!!"
January 14 log:
"Our last full day in London - what a great day! We attended Mass at Wesminster Cathedral and it was so sweet because it just happened to be the one day that the school children of the parish attended the daily parish Mass. They sang "Salve Regina" after the intercessions and my little darling looked up at me with the biggest smile (you can see in the photo). He recognized the song (we sing almost every night at home) & was so excited!
|Jenny and I - Big Ben in the background!|
|I love tea time!|
|so does #brighteyes!|
It was cold and windy. So baby and I headed back after all that and relaxed at the Inn - he is so sweet - laughs and laughs. Doing some reading to prepare for school tomorrow!! grin emoticonSo blessed to be here - please say a prayer for us and my family back home! It's so hard to be apart!!"
|Buckingham Palace in the background|
|at the Palace gates!|
January 16 log:
"Made it to school! What a wonderful environment and community there is at Maryvale! & Anthony loves everyone - you can see him playing peekaboo in the student commons room"
|quick photo of a class - or at least those behind me! :-)|
|panoramic shot of school - also! It was the home of Cardinal Newman!|
As I look back on all of this now, I am overwhelmed with how blessed I am! I am blessed to have such a great a mighty God who can bring about so many good things in my life! I am blessed by my husband who supports me and wants me to be all that I can be! I am blessed by my children who also rally around me just as we rally around them - so much love going around!
Look for Part 2 soon - with more detail about my studies! I love praying for others - please let me know (via facebook message or in the comments here!) if you have a prayer request I can pray for! I feel a deep passion to pray more for others - bring it on!
blessings to you all!