Haven’t posted all week…it’s been crazy over here. So much is happening, so much to do, so little time.
Saturday: lived out yet another dream…outdoor ice skating. The fact that I did it in England was just another bonus. Most of our group hit up the “Bath on Ice” skating rink in Royal Victoria Park and skated around like true Americans for our full hour. It was a small rink and the skates were kinda strange because they velcroed on, but it was so much fun. Another great memory in Bath. We ended the night all bundled up watching Elf, and I gotta say, I love these people. Never thought I would cherish these times as much as I do.
Sunday: spent the day doing what I love, exploring new places. A few of us went to Prior Park, somewhere I’ve been wanting to go since we got here. If you’ve ever Googled “Bath,” then a picture of the bridge at Prior Park probably pulls up. We went through a back entrance, so I’m not sure how large the park actually is, but the main attraction is Prior College and the beautiful bridge. I’m constantly amazed as I walk outside and see the leaves still falling, still vivid in autumn colors. The views of the city are incredible once you get into the hills, mostly because Bath is beautiful from literally every angle. Sunday was also our last was our last service at Bath City Church, which is so incredibly sad. As we walked out of the building, it hit me hard that this was only the first of our many “lasts” of the trip. BCC was one of the most unexpected blessings of this trip, and one of the most impactful parts of the semester. For those of you who’ve been following along, you’ll know from my old posts how much the welcoming faces and new expressions of worship have meant to me this semester, definitely another thing I’ll never forget.
Wednesday: Our Thanksgiving! We gave presentations on “self-identity” for one of our classes, then headed to lunch as an entire group. The provost is here (another Otter Creek family that was great to see) and had a huge meal set up for us and the families that are visiting. 3 courses: bread, soup, green beans, brussels sprouts, turkey, “dressing,” and pumpkin pie. Let’s just say it was nothing compared to Grandma Anthony, Carla Cockerham, or Dot Mason. It was nice to have a family feel for the day, but Wednesday was a pretty depressing day because a huge part of our group left for their time of free travel. It feels so odd to be here when 7 members of the group are gone. Walking past their empty, clean apartment is a constant reminder that they’re gone. I guess that goes to show how big of a part each person on this trip has played in my life. I could have never guessed that these relationships would mean so much to me in just 3 months, but these people have been my family. Allie, I’m so glad you made it home safe but we miss you! Boys, please be safe and we miss you too!
Today: Thanksgiving in the States! It’s strange to be in England for this holiday. Evan and I took a trip to Nottingham today; getting out of Bath is always enlightening because you get to see different English towns. Because Bath is so historical and preserved so well, it’s interesting to see urban and industrial towns and notice the Americanized parts, but also the uniquely British parts. We went to visit Wollaton Park, aka the home of Bruce Wayne. For all you superhero fans (like Evan), it was really cool. The park was honestly beautiful all by itself—deer everywhere, leaves still changing, cool breeze flowing. Also, the mansion is a natural history museum, which was…interesting. Didn’t expect to see stuff gorillas and lions inside of Batman’s house, but, I definitely did. Train rides, like I’ve said before, give you time to think. Today’s thoughts mostly revolved around thankfulness. As my time in England comes to a close, I can’t help but remember the amazing, life-changing experiences I’ve had here. Only God can bless me in such rich, such vast ways and He deserves all the glory. I will never grow tired of exploring His creation. His mercies are new every morning; Great is His faithfulness!