17 November 2015


Because you should always save the best for last. 

Westminster Cathedral--so glad I didn't miss this gem!
Bob pretending to be excited to watch Wicked, which he subsequently hated.
My mom and I loved it, of course. #crazyman
Mom loved Covent Garden. #missionaccomplished
The entertainment had a lot to do with it.
Tower of London
Look who we found! So happy Sarah was able to come
down and spend one last day with me. #notreadytosaygoodbye

Mom still loving those selfies.
Literally on the edge of our seats waiting for the show to start!!!
What show you ask? 
Matilda!!! The best show in London.
This set. Merely the icing on the cake of a spectacular show.
Seriously, if you can only see one show in London, don't miss out on Matilda.
Mom and I walked to Buckingham Palace after the show
before heading back to our flat. #wheninlondon
The perfect end to a perfectly memorable day, and an unforgettable European road trip.

16 November 2015

Goodbye Birmingham

Mom and Bob were pretty much done by the time we made it to Lichfield, so the only thing they ended up seeing in Birmingham was the university. Not gonna lie, that was a little disappointing seeing as how it is my home (even if it will no longer be where I live). But such is life. And at least campus put on an especially spectacular display for our visit!
Chloe met us and went around campus with us.
Bob was pretty impressed with Old Joe.
The library, soon to be the Old Library... a place I avoided at all costs because it is the least conducive interior to studying and learning that I've ever experienced at a university. Which is probably why they are building a new library (far left).
The Arts building covered in ivy,
with the Muirhead Tower (my building) on the far left.
Old Joe is really going to miss me.
A gorgeous campus + autumn + splendid sunset = actual magic
I rest my case. #rainbowmagic
After showing them campus, we took the bus into town where we ate dinner at the new Grand Central Birmingham (aka New Street train station). From there we headed over to the chapel in Harborne where we arrived just as Institute was finishing. This was the hard part--all the goodbyes. I did pretty well at holding myself together, at least until I got home and cried myself to sleep that night. And the night after that. And several nights since. #allthefeels

Mark--we went to Nottingham, FSY and Edinburgh together; Joe (our Institute teacher)--a friend and mentor who always helps me stay optimistic and focus on the eternal perspective; Matt--I initially came to know him as Sarah's BF, but he soon became a trusted and loyal friend in his own right; Jon--a dear friend who became like a brother to me... for better or worse, and with everything that entails. I will miss them all.
Djeni--one of the sweetest and toughest women I will ever meet.
Kynna--kind to her core, she couldn't do or say a mean thing if her life depended on it.
Vanessa and Chloe--the younger sisters I never had
JMace. #brotherfromanothermother
Markus Parkus--my right-hand man in keeping YSA Gospel Doctrine en point. 
I didn't get a picture with everyone, but I'm so grateful to the Birmingham YSA who allowed me to become one of them, and to all of the incredible friends I've made across the country in my time living in the UK. I have changed for the better because of each and every one of you, and I'm so very grateful I can call you my friends.

The next day I took mom on the grand tour of Lichfield, which is another of my favourite places in England. It was a low-key day, and I loved being able to show her around this town that has become my second home in the UK. It was a really wonderful day that I will treasure.

15 November 2015


From Scotland we drove south to Chorley, where the LDS Preston Temple is located. We stayed over in temple accommodation so we could perform sealings for several family names the next morning. It was a really great experience to do those names with my mom in Preston, as they were on her side of the family, mostly from the Peak District about an hour south--which is where we headed next.

Preston Temple, Chorley

It was really bright. Or Bob was glaring at me for his own reasons. haha

I really am going to miss this place.
In honour of my brother who began his mission here. #justforyoudude
I've wanted to visit here since before I moved to the UK, for obvious reasons. I know it's nothing special, and even a bit grim to most Brits, but how can I not love a city that was clearly named after me? There was also that time when my brother served here for 9 months of his mission, which won the city even more brownie points in my mind. The perks of being in charge of navigation is that you can make any detour you want, so to Blackburn we went! 

There was a lot of construction around the city, so it was difficult to stop, but we managed to pull in to take a quick peek at the cathedral.

The brightest and most modernised Anglican cathedral I've ever been in. 
Those trees. #iloveautumn
Peak District
I've posted so many pictures of this area before, so I'll just post a couple from this drive-by. I had really hoped we would spend some time here, as it is still my favourite place in England so far. But alas, I wasn't the driver. So we just drove through it, stopping only in Wirksworth to visit St. Mary's where generations of my mother's ancestors were christened, married and buried. But at least she got to see it. And now she knows to allow some time for a proper visit the next time she goes to the UK.

I'm not sure I'm allowed to publicise what happened here, but it was my favourite 'Bob moment' of our entire month-long trip. My mom and I laughed for at least 15 minutes until we were both crying and couldn't breathe. And you better believe it's a story I will tell many years from now if I'm allowed to speak at Bob's funeral.
#emergencypottybreak #driveway #whatcouldpossiblygowrong
Riber Hall, Matlock
From the Peak District we headed down to Lichfield, where we stayed for a few days with the Maces, my British family.