Thursday, May 31, 2007

England and Scotland

We just returned from a trip to visit our daughter and son-in-law, Lindsay and Peter, who live in Bristol, England. While we were there we had the opportunity to drive up to Scotland for a few days. Of all the places we've visited over the years, England is still our favorite. The reason is simple...friends. We have lots of relationships that have been formed over the years and we love visiting people who we love and who also love us. Our history with England goes back to 1992/93 when we met Dave Day from Bristol Christian Fellowship. As time went along Dave brought many from Bristol to visit us. We also took quite a few trips across the pond to visit them. One of the relationships that opened up in time was Richard and Norma Roberts who now live in the village of Beaminster, in Somerset, south of Bristol by about an 1+hour. This small village is their new home and the place they also own a business.

We spent the first weekend with them and had the opportunity to visit lots of old friends from their fellowship, Mill Church, in East Coker. What is amazing to me is that after almost 3 years being gone, they received us warmly and as if we had only been gone for a short while.

I think the value of relationships is often overlooked. Yet, this was a vivid one for us and we spent time with many... talking, laughing (a lot), and sometimes praying as serious things arose in conversations.

We love Richard and Norma and their kids...of which we saw Sarah and Simon again. Missed you Andy!

After the first weekend we made our trip to Scotland with Lindsay and Pete. The trip to Scotland had some amazing times and places... Edinburgh Castle, John Knox's house, the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. St. Andrews allowed us to see the ruins of an ancient castle and cathedral, as well as sit outside and drink coffee and have lunch in a bustling University cap it all off with a visit to a dream of mine: the Old Course at St. Andrew's golf course. Wow, I couldn't believe it that I was able to walk a section of the Old course that has so much golf history, and to stand on the bridge at the 18th hold that so many great golfers have walked across. Someday....I'll do it with clubs!

We spent two days in Pitlochry, a village at the beginning of the Central Highlands of Scotland and a staging place for a trip to a real Scottish Distillery! I admit it...I love the flavor of a "wee dram" as the Scot's name it...single malt whiskey is a mainstay of Scottish culture. We visited two distilleries: Edradour which has as it's distinction that it is the smallest distillery in all of Scotland, and Glenfiddich, which is the largest distillery worldwide. It's a fascinating trip through both of them and both are very beautiful places. The B&B we stayed at was awesome. We made a site-seeing trip to the "Queen's View"...and awesome overlook of one of Scotland's many "lochs" (Americans it means "lake"). As we drove back we saw the monument for William Wallace and Stirling Castle.

Arriving back, we took the next and final four days to meet friends, drink coffee, tea, and have our share of scone's and jams!

NOW...I end this blog by admitting that I've taken a long time in between the last blog (Jan) and this one, and was "admonished" by one - Emma Duncan -- to start writing again.

SO>>>I'd like to say to all of my young male friends out there that Emma is this wonderful, single, fiery, great cook, loves games, laughs outrageously, and loves wonderfully...very available young woman... There she is playing "Killer Bunnies" with Linda, Lindsay and our friend Paul Banks. OK Emma, the words out!
I'll try to write more blogs!