Thursday, April 03, 2008
Hotel Suel Opens...
Well, we have had an exciting and super busy past few weeks! We have basically been running Hotel Suel over here in England, while our American friends/family have visited over their various spring breaks. Here’s a little catch-up for you all of the happenings that have been going on.
First visitors (and first to see Pippi!) were my (Sarah’s) brother and his girlfriend, Brett and Paula. We met them at Heathrow and they fought over who was going to hold and kiss Pippi first! They pretty much didn’t put her down the whole week, either, which was great! She was showered with so much love, and was held so much, she was in heaven. We spent that first day in London, seeing the sights and catching up. Then back to Hereford that night. The next day we went to church together and Brett and Paula got to meet all our friends and then experience their first “pub quiz”. Jason and I and all our friends go to our local pub every Sunday night where the landlord holds a general knowledge quiz for all the people in the pub. We all have answer sheets and work in teams. We then switch papers with another table to “grade” them, and the winner gets a free pitcher of beer. Needless to say, we’ve NEVER won the beer, but each week is always super fun. The landlord, Ian, knows that Jason and I are American, too, which makes it fun when he asks an American question and points to us and says: “This one’s for you, Americans!” over the microphone. Anyways, Brett and Paula got a photo with Ian, and even answered the American question correctly (How many points is a field goal in American football? Easy one! Sometimes Jason and I don’t know the answers to obscure American questions, which is always a little embarrassing!!).
We spent the next day climbing Hay Bluff, a small “mountain” near us with amazing views. Brett climbed the whole thing with Pippi in her little “baby backpack” on his front!
And then the really fun day began…on Tuesday Pippi and I took Brett and Paula to Goodrich Castle, a great castle near us that is usually tourist-free and surrounded by gorgeous views of Herefordshire. I had Pippi in her stroller, and could therefore not take her up to the castle Keep (tower), which was part of Brett and I’s sneaky plan! At the top, Brett proposed to Paula!! Of course she said yes, and now I’m going to have a new sister!! Needless to say, we are all VERY excited! Paula had no idea this was coming, which made it even more fun on the day. We celebrated with a lovely dinner that night, after phone calls home to moms and dads were made!
Nothing could really top the proposal for excitement during the visit, but we continued to have a great time together until they left too soon on Thursday. They took over 100 photos of Pippi to take home to my parents, who then proceeded straight to Walgreens to get them printed!! Boy, were they happy about that. Jason and I never send them enough!
Our next visitor was Liz Dally, a great friend from Ohio. She is like a sister to us both. She of course also adored Pippi and showered her with love as well! What was so great about Liz’s trip to see us was that it coincided with Easter Sunday. We celebrated the resurrection of our great Lord together at church, and also had Pippi dedicated during the service. Liz was there as one of Pippi’s godparents. Claire and Jez are also her godparents. They all came up to the front with us and prayed over Pippi and Jason and I. It was a beautiful service, and we are thankful for such amazing friends in our lives who will promise to support us in so many ways. After church we had lunch together, and of course that night we introduced Liz to the pub quiz as well! (Ian’s comment was: “Another one?? They multiply like gremlins, your American friends!!”)
Liz then spent the week seeing Hereford with us, as well as several surrounding cities. We visited Bath (she’s a big Jane Austen fan, and Bath is known for “Jane experiences”), and even the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales so that Liz could stand on a cliff overlooking the sea with the wind blowing thru her hair just like Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice”!! It was great!
We also spent a night in London (Pippi’s first overnight stay away from home), which was interesting to say the least! The plan was for Jason and I to take Pippi to the US Embassy to apply for her American citizenship and get her passport. That went according to plan, but when we went to call Liz (who had my cell phone seeing the sights of London) after the Embassy visit, the phone wouldn’t work!! We spent hours running thru London on the route we showed Liz to take, hoping for a glimpse of her, but NEVER FOUND HER! Luckily we had agreed to meet back at the car at 5pm if all else failed (which it did!!). Jason and I showed up just after 5, praying that Liz was there. SHE WASN’T! We continued to pray and come up with alternative plans if she didn’t show. We finally got a hasty phone call fom Liz, though, who called us from a pay phone. She had forgotten where the car was parked! We quickly told her the street names before we got cut off, and within minutes she was there. We were almost in tears (Liz and I, not Jason) we were so happy to find each other! We felt so bad, but Liz just laughed and said she had a great time in London by herself! We took her out for dinner, then drove home, happy to be together at last.
After Liz’s visit, we had yet another group of visitors just for one night. My friend from OT school, Ashley Hagler, spent one night with us in Hereford with 2 of her friends, Shannon and Justin. They had rented a car from the airport, and were starting out on their roadtrip thru Hereford, Wales, and Ireland. Our house was their first stop. We went out to dinner to a pub with Claire and Jez, too. Then we had an early birthday party for Ashley back at the house with a chocolate cake (she was going to be on the road on her actual b-day). The next day we showed them Hereford city, then drove the scenic route to Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye. It was a short visit, but was great to see them.
So now Hotel Suel is closed for awhile, till hopefully some parents come to visit in June. Jason is gearing up for the London Marathon in 2 weeks, and is in great shape. If anyone wants to sponsor him running, it’s not too late. See his last blog for more info on how to do it.
Enjoy the new pics of Pippi. She is SOOO beautiful! She is laughing and smiling so much now, it’s hard to take our eyes off her. Don’t forget to look at the pic archive link for more photos of her in her album.
We love you all, and hope to hear from you soon. Please send us an update when you can.
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel