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24 July 2013

Latest Happenings

We've had a busy month even without visitors. We've had a lot of different and fun things going on lately. Here's a few pictures of what we've been up to in July.

Grand Rounds
Owen was given the opportunity to present a case at grand rounds last month

My 28th birthday
A little cake to celebrate on my birthday. We finally had a free weekend this past weekend, so we were able to celebrate with my present: Korean food and Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theater.

4th of July Celebrations!
The medical students all got together and had a true American cookout. Unfortunately there were no fireworks, but still a fun time. These cupcakes were my contribution :)

Study Break
22K bike ride along the canal trails on the first nice Saturday of the summer (July 6)

First BBQ for the season
We finally fired up our found BBQ and had the bible study at our place

A few of us went to Cobham and spent one of the hottest days of the year playing paintball all day

Color Run London
The med school girls and I did a 5k color run in Wembley. They throw dry paint/chalk at you throughout the race. Owen thought it was too hippie so he was our photographer :)

 Top Gear Taping
Season 20 episode 4 with Hugh Jackman!!
No pictures were allowed during taping, only on breaks, so we weren't able to get any of the guys or Hugh. We were a little disappointed that they all ran off as soon as taping finished. Overall glad we had the chance to go (and didn't pay for tickets!)

18 July 2013

More visitors - Virginia, Victoria, & Tony!

Just a few days after Tim, Stacey, and Seth left we had our next round of visitors! Owen's little sisters, Virginia and Victoria, and Tony came to visit us for a week. This was such an awesome opportunity for them to see London while we live here, especially since they love all things British right now. We had a great time doing some touristy things that we had been saving until their visit. 
The first few nights they stayed right by the London Eye with an amazing view of Parliament. I guess it made up for not having luggage the first few days ;) After that they switched to a different hotel, still centrally located. Unfortunately the weather was still quite cold and a little rainy, it only started to get nice on the last day (which thankfully has continued the last several weeks!) Either way we had a great time with them doing lots of exploring and finding new activities even for us (see highlights below). It was really great to have them here and show them this part of our lives. They had a really great time and really enjoyed the British experience. It's always great to have family and friends visit, especially when we're so far away. It'll be a great memory for all of us to share for years to come. 

Thanks Virginia, Victoria, and Tony for visiting!!

-Exploring London and seeing the sights
-Seeing the city at night (we haven't had the chance yet, since it's light so late right now)
-Ride in the London Eye, definitely worth it!! (maybe at night next time)
-The girls and Tony went to Harry Potter world (we skipped this to keep caught up on our own stuff)
-Cardiff, Wales for the Doctor Who Museum
-Windsor Castle and trying to make the guard laugh
-Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel (also worth it!)
-The Tower of London
-Owen and I taking the girls for a walk along the river one evening, eating roasted/sugared peanuts and just hanging out

Tourist pictures!

Definitely worth it!

London Eye!

Doctor Who Museum

Inside the Tardis

Cardiff, Wales

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea

Windsor Castle
Tower of London with Tower Bridge

First Visitors - Tim, Stacey, & Seth!!

We had our first visitors!!! In June, just a few days after I flew back from the states, our friends stopped by for an extended weekend. Tim and Owen grew up together. Tim and his wife Stacey have been living and teaching in China for the last 5 years and had darling little Seth there last year. The last time we saw them was right before they moved to China, and while they have been back to visit, we have been out of country too, so we have not seen them since. They are moving back to Michigan for Tim to start medical school this fall! We were so excited to have them stop here on their move back. It was a great visit and great time to be able to catch up with them and spend time with them after all these years. We're excited at the prospect of seeing them more often now and for them to join the medical school world!

Aside from just the time being able to catch up, we had a great time showing them around London. Unfortunately the weather didn't want to cooperate and it poured the first day we went into central and little Seth wasn't a huge fan of that ;) We did however have one of the coolest experiences ever possible in London. We showed up to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard ceremony. Little did we know what we were about to see. The inside was blocked off, there was a red banner on the balcony, and the Queen's flag was flying. Turns out it was the Trooping of the Colour, the official celebration of the Queen's birthday! There was a parade with the guards and a royal flyover! And of course, the whole royal family was there!! We couldn't have planned a better experience in London. 

Aside from the Trooping of the Colour, we wandered all around London and saw the tourist sights. The weather held up on our second trip into central, so we were able to see a few more things. We also went to Richmond Park after church, and spent a lot of time just hanging out as they began the difficult process of readjusting to the western world. We had a great time with them and are so glad they were able to visit. We wish them much luck as they begin the crazy journey of medical school!

Trooping of the Colour Parade (gates made it tough for pictures)

Finale of the flyover
Royal Family!!!
Pictures with the royal family!

That flag flies whenever the Queen is present

Yay for visits from good friends!