Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Visiting Home, Coming Home

I tend to get right to the point, and I'll keep to form here: this blog post covers the two weeks in July that we made a trip back to the States, followed immediately by about two weeks of family and friends visiting us in Scotland. Here goes.

Visiting friends and family back home was great, and we realized how much we miss those we left on the other side of the pond. Despite some mild culture shock ("Were billboards and TV ad always this ugly and irritating?" "Why does it take at least a 15-20 minute drive to get places?"), the US is largely familiar and much the way we remember it. Even better than we remember it was the restaurant food in the US- we must have eaten at Chipotle at least 4 times. Eating out in the UK is generally an experience in mediocrity (there are exceptions to this but they are rare), so we did enjoy the wonders of food in Chicagoland. It was fantastic.

Even more fantastic for me was the honor to preach the homily at my brother-in-law's wedding. He and his new bride are both believers who love the Lord, and he has just begun his first pastoral ministry position. Blessing on you, Justin and Deb.

After a fun but dense two weeks in the states, Sara's parents Randy and Barb followed us over to Scotland for a visit. They landed the day after we did and hit the ground running. Here are some pictures:

St Andrews Castle

Sara and me in the fishing village of Anstruther.

Barb and Randy

The West Sands at St Andrews

Randy, overlooking St Andrews

Sara and Barb at The Hermitage

Barb and me at the William Wallace monument

We have seen some spectacular sunsets the past few weeks.

I climbed out to this rock as the tide was coming in...

It took some timing to get back through the gap... ...but the view was quite nice.

After Barb and Randy went down to London for a few days, our friends Bob and Jennifer Fischer joined us for a few short days.

We visited Dunnottar Castle

We went to The Hermitage

We enjoyed a fantastic night on St Andrew's pier.

And on that night, on that pier, I took one of the best photographs I think I have ever taken. But I'll let you be the judge...

As enjoyable as was our trip back home to the States to see everyone, returning to St Andrews truly felt like we were coming home.