Since I was behind this week on not only my blog but also my weekly email to my parents, I decided to combine the two and give you a little bit different of a post! Enjoy.
Mom and Dad,
Hello!!! I’m finally getting these pictures sent from last week. This was the 29th-4th. [Sidenote: We left Pennsylvania EXACTLY four weeks ago from today! Seems to have gone fast.]
Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal days, except that we made these amazing Monte Cristo sandwiches!! I thought you would like to know that we are eating real food. They were so good. (That pile of oddly colored substance to the right of the sandwich is scrambled eggs, just so you know.) On Wednesday, we had a double history class in the morning and finished covering both of the Scottish Reformations. It was super interesting. In the afternoon, Jimmy took us down the road to a town called Coatbridge where Summerlee, Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, is located. The building in this picture housed displays and artifacts honoring this area’s contribution to engineering, mining, and industrial life. But get this: There were also artifacts there dating back to THE FIRST CENTURY A.D. It was crazy!! The Roman Empire had control of Scotland at that time and so Roman artifacts like these have been found in the area. Summerlee was more than just a museum though, and Ethan and I took a tram down farther into the property to the mining village. Each cottage has been individually restored and set up inside like it would have been during a specific span of years, so there was one for the early 1800’s, then the 1810’s, the late 1800’s, and so on, up into the 1960’s. My favorites were the 1950’s one that had fun 50’s music playing and the 60’s one that had yellow walls, orange couches, and a blue refrigerator. Also, there in the mining village you can walk down into part of the old mine. They’ve reinforced it so that it’s safe and the employees take you in and you all wear hardhats and walk–hunched over at some parts–through the dirt tunnels. You obviously can’t go down as deep or as far as the miners would have (that’s blocked off), but we did travel about 1000m underground. Along the tunnel, they have small areas carved out only a few yards wide and a few feet high with dummies inside that show how the men, women, and children would have worked during the different eras. Things changed like the tools they were using or the light that they had, but the conditions remained pretty brutal. When we left there and got back up to the museum, it was about to close, so we walked down to a little park across the bridge and reveled in the sunshine. Here’s a classy picture I took of some swans.
On Thursday after classes I was able to move into the Annex, my new home!! It is SO nice in here; I am so blessed. Our first dinner in the Annex was the ever delicious fish’n’chips, complete with Heinz ketchup and tea out of our Scottish mugs. We had a blast at Kid’s Club on Friday night. After class that day, we got lunch (and ice cream…) and then went back to the church to make cupcakes for the kids. Ethan taught the lesson that night on Daniel and the lion’s den, so Beth found a picture of lion cupcakes online and we recreated them to the best of our ability. I think they turned out pretty cute. 😊 Tasted good too. (Take a moment to admire Ethan’s equally cute apron. Beth told him it really brought out the koalas in his eyes.)
Saturday included yet another great day-trip with Beth, this time to Secret Beach! So unfortunately, I am not at liberty to disclose the location to you. (That and Ethan and I fell asleep on the way there, so it really was a secret.) But afterwards Beth took us to a town called North Berwick so if you want to look it up, we were near there! 😉 Anyway, we had a really nice time! It was raining that morning, but God cleared the sky in the afternoon when we left and the sun even came out. Mind you, it was not anywhere close to warm, but it could have been worse. As you can see…it was a pretty place. Oh, but before I send other pictures of the beach, look at this one that Ethan took on the road in: THERE WAS THIS BEAUTIFUL RUINED CASTLE AND SERIOUSLY, HOW MAJESTIC AND PICTURESQUE IS THAT?? It’s called Tantallon Castle. You can still go inside and climb the towers, but we just admired it from afar. Once we were on the beach we spent awhile collecting rocks and shells and poking at gooey things that I think were alive. We climbed up on a knoll there that had a view of the castle and looked out over the water. And it was there that we planted this rock (the one used to poke the gooey things) as a monument to our being the first Pennsylvanians there that day (which was obviously a wild shot in the dark). And lastly, we climbed a big rock. And Beth took our picture. So there’s that.
I hope you enjoyed this!!! I miss you guys greatly. I wish so, so, so much that you could be here to experience all this with Ethan and I. This is the first time that I’ve visited historical sites without you and the sibs, and I have to admit, there’s a part of me that finds it hard to fully enjoy every moment at the places we visit knowing how much you’d all love to be here! Maybe someday???
Talk to you both soon.