Thursday, February 23, 2006
Great Times & Rocky Times
I (Jason) am writing this blog from the Atlanta airport. Crazy, I know…we are back in the States, unannounced. Unfortunately this is due to the recent passing of my Grandfather on my Father’s side, my Pappaw. This happened Monday morning and we should arrive back home Tuesday night in time for the funeral on Wednesday…hopefully I’ll have sent this email by then. You should know that my Pappaw died peacefully in his sleep due to heart complications. His health had been declining these past few months so, although we are certainly saddened by the news, we are not shocked by it. He is survived by his wife, my Mammaw, who is as strong as she is beautiful. Keep her in your prayers.
But…there is more to tell. While we are in America for the week, last week(end) we were in Belgium. I thought I should write a little bit about our wonderful visit. We left last Thursday from Hereford and took the coach (bus) to London. We played in London for the day and got up early the next morning to head to the Eurostar (train) station. That’s right, instead of flying we took the train, through the Chunnel and on to Brussels! That was a fun experience.
We arrived in Brussels to disappointing weather, but we tried to stick it out and do what we could that first day. So, we went to a comic museum. Among other things, Belgium is famous for comics. Some of you may remember the popular cartoon “Tin-Tin” about a boy and his dog Snowy and I’m sure you all remember the “Smurfs.” Both of these are apparently products of Belgium. The hotel we stayed in was a highlight of our trip, the Art Siru Hotel. In the late 80s, artists were given free-reign to the hotel, to paint and design each room as they wished. Each room was different, and told the story of the artist with a picture of them. It was amazing! Plus, we were given an “American” buffet breakfast daily!
The next day we took a side trip to Bruges, a medieval town about an hour away by train. It has canals all through it, with many bridges (Bruges means “bridge”). It is a beautiful and picturesque city, and we enjoyed our day. We ate Belgian waffles (much sweeter and delicious!) and bought plenty of Belgian chocolate.
Our last day was spent back in Brussels with better weather this time. We wandered around for a good hour first thing, lost. Brussels is one of the most difficult cities to navigate, we found. Finally, we found all the touristy things: the Grand’ Place (main square), Hotel deVille, and Mannekin Pis (Peeing boy statue!). Good fun. Then we took the tram up to another part of town to visit the Atomium, which reopened the day before, so it was sparkly and new. This is a huge building in the shape of an atom, built in 1958 for the World’s Fair. Inside is a museum and was very interesting. All in all, it was a great trip. We hope this trip back home will be good as well. It will be really good to see everyone. However, as soon as we return home (England), we will need to drive back to London on Thursday to pick up our great friend and adopted family, Suzy Dally. We will host her in the UK for a little over a week and we are looking forward to a really good time.
I guess that is all. Everything seems like a whirlwind to us: London, Belgium, Hereford, US, and back. One thing is for sure…there’s never a dull moment for Sarah and I. We are really thankful for that at this time in our lives.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers,
Jason and Sarah