Thursday, September 25, 2008
My Parents' Visit
My parents were able to come visit us earlier this month (September) and, by the time they arrived back in California, they had been here two weeks. They were the first of our families to visit and we had such a good time, but it was so hard to say goodbye. BUT! Let's concentrate on the fun times, right? What follows is a run-down of what we did while my parents were here:
The first full day (Tuesday) my parents were here we purposefully had a slow start since they had such a long journey and the time difference between CA and the UK is great. Rob's time off was starting a couple days later, so I showed my parents the town we live in (the tour didn't take long!) and we had some lunch at a nearby cafe. Once Rob came home, we went into the city centre looking for a place that sold good wine (didn't find it), had a drink at a little wine bar, and a great dinner at West 10 in Sheffield. Since we don't have a car, we walk everywhere and it was an adjustment for my parents. The next day (Wednesday) we took the train to York, which is less than an hour away. York is an old Roman city that is still walled and has also preserved its medieval English architecture. It looks like a movie set of medieval England and is worth going to see if you are ever here. We had a great lunch at the White Swan, toured the city on the double-decker bus, and listened to the Evening Song service at York Minster. Thursday we had a slow morning, showed my parents where Rob works and had lunch with the kids, Rob made his yummy bolognese sauce, pasta, and bleu bread for dinner, followed by the quiz at the pub with friends.
Friday morning we took the train from Sheffield to Lludandno, Northern Wales, which is a Victorian sea-side resort town and is at the base of the beautiful Snowdonia mountains. We took another double-decker bus tour, walked around the nearby village and castle of Conway, had a pub dinner, and stayed at a nice b n' b. Since we were only staying one night, the next morning we had our Welsh breakfast and then took the trolley up the Great Orme, which is a mountain that has an old mine in it, but also the best views of the area. We walked around the town before heading back on the train to Sheffield. That night we stayed in and had a chance to web chat with my brother and sister in law, who announced that they are expecting their second baby in May. Sunday was church and then off to the Forbes' house for a proper Sunday roast with their family, us, and the Stordy's. Helen Forbes really went above and beyond and created this English feast. Later that night we walked up to our friends, Stephen and Kate, and had an impromptu wine tasting. My parents had a great time chatting with our English friends who have been so good to us.
Monday morning we took the train from Sheffield to Edinburgh, Scotland for 2 nights. We all fell in love with Edinburgh - what a great city. The place we stayed in was probably the coolest place I have ever stayed in - it was so very swanky. We had a nice dinner out at this Scottish restaurant. We ordered haggis for our appetizer, of which I can proudly say I did have a little bite. I did have the veggie haggis for my main course, though. Not the same, I know; But if you know what haggis is then you know why I chose the veggie one. Tuesday was drizzly, but we still took the double-decker bus tour (it does have a roof on top), went to Edinburgh Castle, had lunch at the White Heart Inn - the oldest pub in Edinburgh, a little shopping, and walking around the city centre. Since we had this swanky house to ourselves, we decided to stay in and feast on cheese, baguettes, olives, and wine. Wednesday morning we had a full Scottish breakfast (yes, Rob ate the black pudding - another questionable Scottish delicacy), went to St. Gilles Church where John Knox, a Scottish Presbyterian pastor and theologian, preached and is buried. We took the train back later that day and rested that night. Thursday was my parents' last day, so we went into Sheffield, showed them the University, the Biblical Studies department, had lunch with my advisor at the pub we have our reading group, and walked around the city centre. We went into this pub where the people were so amazed that we were from CA (granted, they were all a little, if not a lot, drunk). In fact, this one guy was chatty-kathy, but he had the broadest Yorkshire accent Rob and I have ever heard. My dad couldn't understand a word he said, but laughed whenever he laughed, which is what Rob and I had to do for the first few months we were here since we couldn't understand a work anyone said - you'll see the picture. That last night we went to the Greenhead House for dinner, which is supposed to be one of the best places to eat in South Yorkshire.
The following morning we went to the airport via Meeghan Transport (my friend Meeghan took us to the airport). It was a busy visit, but we had such a good time. I've included some pictures. Enjoy....