Saturday, March 23, 2013

Road Trippin' - Day One

It's not often that we get to rent a car and experience the convenience of taking multiple items of clothing, accessories, and snacks for the road. Garrick's too young to rent a car (25 is the starting age), so beginning 28th April, we'll do it more often! Thankfully, our friends are old, and we get to tag along as passengers in their cars. ;)

In two days, we visited many sites which are difficult to reach by public transportation:

Day One:

Taste Coffee Shop. Vanilla lattes and croissants in hands, we made our way to Dundee, home of a Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre. For more information on this building designed by Frank Gehry, see The Brewer Clan.

On the road again, Arbroath Abbey greeted us with freezing temperatures. Famous for being the location where Scottish nobles swore their independence from England in the Declaration of Arbroath, it was built in 1178 for monks of the Tironensian order by King William the Lion. The red stone and famous 'Round O' structure stood out the most. Take a look:
To Dunnottar Castle! Driving up the East Coast toward Aberdeen, Garrick and I both commented that it looked like the Oregon Coast. Just colder.
The setting of Dunnottar Castle atop a large rock with the North Sea at its shores is the most beautiful place I've seen. Maybe I'm a cold weather girl. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Monrtose, and the future King Charles II have all visited this castle. It also housed the Crown Jewels and kept them safe from Cromwell's army for 8 months. In 1685, a group of Covennators who refused to recognise the King's spiritual leadership were kept in the "Whig's Vault" without proper sanitation and little food for weeks.  
Enough history, here are the photos:
Last stop of the day, Aberdeen. Chilled to the bone from the frigid wind and rain, coffee and treats at Starbucks warmed our hands and hearts. Walking through the Oil Capital of Europe, we found what we came for: the Brew Dog Pub. After ales, pork pies, live music, and checkers, Jesse drove us home in a blizzard.
Stay tuned for Day Two!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Marching On

Honestly, the beginning of this month has not been easy. Family health concerns are tough, but even more difficult when we are thousands of miles from offering tangible help and encouragement. We praise God for his sovereignty, put our trust in Him, and realise we have much to be thankful for.

March is a lovely month. Here's why:

Whoa Baby: This Saturday, the St Mary's community celebrates 5 women who have either recently had a baby or who are very pregnant. It has been fun to plan and look forward to this baby shower.

Gladstone's: Garrick and his good friend Chris Brewer received a scholarship to travel to Wales and study at Gladstone's Library while staying at a 4 Star B&B. This means I will be living with Chris' wife and two boys for the week. I see Lego's, Pride and Prejudice, and nail painting in my future.

Piano/Yoga: I'm not flexible. My friend Laura can't play the piano. So, we're swapping our skills to benefit one another. I just finished my first yoga session and am feeling better already! I now have three piano students and find great joy in teaching piano. Thanks, mom!

Indexing: Garrick is indexing a new book by Jim Davila entitled "Hekhalot Literature and Translation" (forthcoming). It is a 600 page translation of medieval Jewish mystical literature. Apparently, it is well worth the read. I, of course, cannot speak from experience.

Day Trips: Scotland is a beautiful country worth exploring. We're planning two day trips in the same weekend and renting a car. On the potential itinerary are Oban and the castles near Aberdeen. More details and photos to come.

Brunch: We gather bimonthly at 10am for brunch with friends before attending our church, Trinity, together. Good food, french press coffee, and good conversation combine to make a great start to the morning!

Here are some recent photos from our daily life:

Photo: Glorious Friday sunshine!
Glorious sunshine on the 1st of March!

Castle Sands beach at sunset.

My sunny day scholar.

My new kitchen companion!