Beautiful England

Well I am back home from a 9 day visit in England and I miss it already. Now that I have finally been over I can see why Jay gets homesick. It is so beautiful there! We spent most of our time on the South coast in Brighton, which is where Jay grew up. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco. The streets are very hilly, filled with brightly painted row houses, and it is right on the sea. All that is missing are the trolley cars! Fortunately for us, the weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there, about 75 and sunny, which was a huge relief from the 95+ temperatures in NC. We got a sunburn walking around Brighton the first day because it was so pleasant out we didn't even think to wear sunscreen.

Of course Jay took me into London one day so I could do all sorts of cheesy touristy things there. We had a whirlwind day, cramming in his paperwork at the US Embassy and then Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park & the Diana Memorial Fountain, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & Parlaiment, and finally the London Eye. London was fun although it was a very jam packed day. I would love to go back and see more on the next trip.

We went down the coast to Worthing one night for take away fish & chips, and we sat on a sea wall overlooking the ocean while we ate. It was so lovely and relaxing.

The last weekend there was Brendan & Nikki's wedding in Great Staughton, near Cambridge. We got to ride on the busiest motorway in the world, the M25, thanks to Kate and her KA! The farm country out near Brendan and Nikki was so pretty and the good luck with the weather continued for their wedding day. Beautiful blue skies and sunshine, a pre-wedding drink at the local pub, and a getaway car that blew bubbles out the back made it a day to remember for everyone. Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Sturgeon!

On Sunday after the wedding, we met up with Uncle Paul (George's brother) and Auntie Geri in Horsham. Jay's cousin Sam and his wife Debbie opened their lovely home to a whole lot of us for a great Sunday cookout, complete with yummy grilled bananas. It was so wonderful to meet Jay's extended family, and they all made me feel very welcome. The invitation is open to any of the family who are able to make to the states to come and stop with us in NC. We would love to have you!

On my last day there, we were back in Brighton and Matt took us for a walk on the pier and to see the shops at the lanes. We had one last meal of fish and chips and I went to the grocery store and bought all the biscuits I could fit in my suitcase to bring home with me! Now I am just waiting for Jay to get home so we can go on our 1 year anniversary cruise. I also see many more trips to England in our future!

Jay and Matt on Brighton Beach. We stayed with Matt for over a week. It was so nice of him to let us crash his flat for so long. Thanks Matt!

Jay looking out at Brighton Beach from the seafront.

My toes in the English Channel!

More of Brighton Beach. There is no sand on the beach. It is all stones. Not so comfortable for walking barefoot, but they are nice and warm to lay on!

We ate fish and chips at this place overlooking the Brighton seafront twice. They were definitely worth going back for!

View of the ocean from our walk through the city.

A flowerbasket in Hove, the next town over from Brighton. We walked all the way there!

An old church in Hove.

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton. This is a palace that was originally built for a prince to live in, but is now a historic site.

Inside the Brighton train station on our way to London.

Obligatory London red phone booth.

Buckingham Palace
Statue in front of Buckingham Palace.
Guard at Buckingham Palace. They did not have the big fluffy hats on because it was "too hot" to wear them! Also there was no changing of the guard the day we were there.
London tube stop near Hyde Park.
Double decker bus!
Westminster Abbey
Look kids! Big Ben!
Big Ben and the London Eye
Riding the London Eye
The London Eye
Chipwick's fish and chips in Worthing. Jay's favorite! They have been in business 25 years.
View of Worthing sea front....we ate dinner overlooking the sea.
Houses on Worthing sea front.
Brendan & Nikki's church...dates back to the 11th century!

Brendan and his Mum, Ivy.

Brendan's parents.

Heather & Jay enjoying a pre-wedding drink at the pub!

Here comes the beautiful bride!

The happy couple!

The getaway car that blew bubbles all the way to the reception!

Pub in Horsham

Street in Horsham

Cookout at Sam and Deb's house.

Aunt Geri, Davina and Jay

Neil and Niamh

Abby (and Chelsea the german shepherd).

Uncle Paul, Neil and .....

Palace Pier in Brighton

Matt and Jay on Palace Pier

Heather & Jay on the sea front.

The lanes are historic, pedestrian-only streets full of shops, which Matt walked us through on the last day in Brighton.

Matt's dog Theo.

This is my favorite picture from the trip. It is Matt's street, and his flat is on the far right. This picture reminds me of walking around Brighton and the beautiful weather we had for the whole trip. It makes me want to go back!

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