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Europe 2016: Bedford, England

You probably remember that back in February/March, Colin and I took a 2-week long trip around Europe!  I’ve had lots of people asking me when in the world I’m going to start posting photos from that trip, and I’m happy to announce that

 t o d a y   i s   t h e   d a y !

My goal is to bring you a piece of our trip every week, so here we go:

First, we had a lovely 10 hour layover in Chicago.  We knew we had to get to Heritage Bicycles if we could, so we took the L from the airport and spent a cozy majority of our day sipping downing coffee, eating bacon biscuits, and soaking in the city life.  We love you, Chicago!  And we love you, Heritage!

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So many cups of coffee!

After that, we went back to the airport to board our overnight plane to Dublin (shout out to Aer Lingus).  I think we landed there around 5:30am local time.  By this point, we’d been awake over 24 hours since we really didn’t sleep on the plane haha

We grabbed some espresso and pastries, then hopped on our flight to London.  Let me tell you, even though Ireland was rainy and my only view was from the airport/plane, it was dreamy.

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A short flight later, we were in England!  It was like a burst of energy to be there in my heart city.  We were still weary travelers though, this is what my posing for a photo looks like when I’m delirious but so so happy haha:

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I don’t even know what kind of pose that is, but it’s fine!  How gorgeous is that building behind me, St Pancras?!  So dreamy.

Our first order of business in London looked like this

1) More coffee

2) Real food

3) Meet up with friend from college to deliver engagement ring

We knew we wanted to try Granger & Co. because my sweet friend, Talitha, recommended it to us (and also a little because of Hermione Granger #PotterFanForLife), and there just happened to be a location right by King’s Cross Station!

Our friends, Nick and Esther, ended up meeting us there, so we got to catch up with them over brunch and deliver their family heirloom engagement ring.  Nick is from Oklahoma and Esther is from China.  They’re both living in Wales right now, which is where they met and fell in love!  Their wedding was just a few weeks ago, and the photos are just gorgeous.  Also, in case you’re wondering, Granger & Co. was delicious!

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We love you, Nick and Esther!

After brunch, we walked around the train stations a bit, then boarded our train to Bedford (on which I fell asleep…good thing it’s only an hour long trip).  Here’s the story with that:

I was talking to a friend about our upcoming trip to Europe, and she told me we should meet her friends who used to live in England to talk to them about people we could hang out with there.  So we met with Mike and Jennifer a few weeks before this trip, and they told us we needed to visit their home town of Bedford, England.  They contacted a few of their friends and asked if they would host us, and everyone graciously said “yes.”  Thanks, to Charlotte, Mike, and Jennifer, for introducing us to these lovely people I’m about to introduce to you :)

While we were in Chicago, we got to FaceTime with Ro (one of our hosts), so she was who we met first.  Then when we got off the train in Bedford, we met Ro’s husband, Tom!  He drove us around town a little before taking us to their (really adorable) home.

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 It felt like we were immediate friends when we were chatting away with him, but they really sealed the deal when they made a french press of coffee for us to enjoy after freshening up!  We spent that afternoon drinking coffee and getting to know Tom, Ro, and their temporary housemates, Jack and Sally (who are some really cool Kiwis).  We talked about America and England and music and Harry Potter and traveling–and it was so strange to me how quickly it felt as normal and comfortable as having coffee with our friends here in Oklahoma.  So special.

Anyway, that night was Ro’s birthday party (which we were graciously allowed to crash…since we literally knew no one there except our new hosts…and an old friend of mine from middle school, but that was a coincidence haha).

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We met so many lovely people, and everyone was seriously kind (and understanding of me almost falling asleep on the couch..as by this point we’d been awake for around 48 hours).  Also, I learned that if you take a panoramic photo in a room with a light that changes colors, it comes out striped!

Anyways, Sally was kind enough to take us home early so we could get some much needed sleep.

The next morning we woke up and came downstairs to the sound of country music playing in the living room….and we were really confused haha.  Tom loves country music, like genuinely loves it!  We talked to him a lot about that, then we sat down for breakfast with him and Ro (which they were kind enough to make for us, thanks again!).  We had toast and eggs covered in baked beans and avocado, which was delicious despite the fact that I’ve never had that combination of flavors together in my life haha

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After breakfast we went to church where we met even more lovely people and got to experience what all the hubbub about King’s Arms was about!  Have you ever been to a worship service that included painting?  This is what was painted during worship that day–so beautiful!

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After church, we met Faith and Simon, who had us over to their house for a seriously delicious lunch that looked like this:

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We chatted about life and our stories, and it was such a sweet time!  Simon runs an outreach ministry for the homeless community through King’s Arms, and Faith is a photographer :)  They also have two adorable sons named Adlai and Koa (there are no cuter names on Earth).

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 Spending time with them was such a treat that we extended it by walking to the park that runs along the river in Bedford.  Which is just as dreamy of a place as it looks and sounds!

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Please look at tiny Koa in that photo above…my heart!

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Faith and I took turns taking a few photos of each other with our favorite people :)

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Adlai is the cutest photo bomber I’ve ever seen

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I mean #SQUADGOALS am I right?

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Thanks again for these, Faith :) I’ll treasure them forever!  Thanks also for letting borrow your jacket!

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Soon after that, Tom and Ro met us at the park for a birthday photo shoot I offered them!  Are they not the sweetest couple you’ve ever seen?  Gee wiz.

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Also, you should know that it was just above freezing when we were out here, so don’t let the warm light and green grass fool you!

We all walked back towards their houses as the sun went down :)

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via GIPHY

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After saying goodbye to Faith and Simon, we went back to Tom and Ro’s to hang out with them, Jack and Sally!  We proceeded to spend a few hours watching Harry Potter, pulling up funny videos on their Apple TV, singing random bits of songs, and laughing our faces off.  Eventually we had to catch the train back to London, so we set up the timer on my camera to get a group photo!

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And just like that, we were headed to London :)

That was a long story, but there’s so much more to show you!  Stay tuned so you don’t miss it!

Thanks so much for stopping by–happy Monday, friends!

love,

M

ps–T H A N K  Y O U again to all of our sweet friends that made Bedford happen for us!  We love you and are blessed by you all!

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