On Sunday John and I returned from a two week long tour of the United Kingdom. We traveled with two backpacks with clothing and a messenger bag for the electronics, my journal and some applique. John had a couple of days of business in Ireland and England so we made a vacation of the work. We have never gone away for such an extended period of time and I worried about the children, but the older girls took care of everything here at home and created some wonderful memories for their siblings. It was tremendous blessing for us that they would be willing to help us.
I initially took a picture of my feet on a cobblestone street to send to my trainer because I had managed to successfully navigate a difficult, for my ankle, event. I had been worried that my injured ankle would not be able to withstand the constant walking and difficult terrains we were planning to see. Not to mention the fact that I didn't know how my arthritis would be effected with the elevation and long flight, but with each passing day and each new surface I decided to document in this simple way our trip. Historically it was also a great way to remember the tiles from the 13th century, or the wood flooring in a beautiful 15th century estate.
I walked paths that for centuries others had trod. I stepped on stones that were formed 50 million years ago. Ours was a journey of seeing the wonders of the land and history of places that are rich in culture. Together we learned about the lives of the privileged and the the poor. We learned about geological events and how wars shaped not only the landscape, but the culture of the people.
I sat among the elite in a black tie affair in my simple Birkenstocks (the limitations of traveling with a backpack) and learned the rules of Gaelic football. I saw vistas the made me weep from the beauty. My feet were tired, my ankles and knees often sore at the end of the day, but I thanked a merciful Father in Heaven each day for the strength and health to be able to spend this time with my darling husband.
I will never forget this grand adventure. I will cherish the gravel pits and sandy beaches. I will appreciate with greater knowledge now some of what my ancestors gave up coming to America and the beautiful landscape that must have filled their memories. Hand in hand we walked along the streets of nobility and the paths of the farmers talking about our lives, our children and our faith. This time together was a treasured blessing and one that I am so thankful to have experienced with my best friend and two pairs of shoes.
All photos were taken with my cell phone. More photos to come.