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Thanks to everyone for your well wishes. We plan on updating the blog once a week, so we hope you enjoy the pics and stories. We arrived into London, with typical British weather, rain, rain, rain. We picked up our rental car and headed to Birmingham to visit Paul’s Aunt and family. The highlight was meeting Mason, Paul’s cousin’s baby. We watched lots of Olympics (couldn’t help rubbing in how much better the Canadians were than the non-existent Brits) and got over our jet lag. We then headed farther north to Leigh (between Manchester and Liverpool). This is where Paul lived until he moved to Canada, when he was eight. We stayed with some family friends, the Gorski’s. We toured Leigh and saw Paul’s old school and house. The Gorski’s gave us Liverpool v. Arsenal football (soccer) tickets and Paul was thrilled since this was his childhood team. The stadium, Anfield is old and the area reminded me of something out of a Charles Dickens story. We were shocked to find that we were front row and so close to the players. We loved the songs and chants and the passion of the fans. Everyone was shouting ‘Go Ali’
and when we got back we asked who Ali was, it turned out it was Harry Kewell – the accents are quite strong up north. We were treated to a fabulous lunch with the Gorskis and Alan & Joan, some more family friends. The Gorski’s son, Andrew plays in the Rugby League for the Rochdale Hornets and were lucky enough to be there for his game. I of course was terribly confused about what was going on, but caught on eventually. Again we had some trouble understanding. I wasn’t sure why they kept shouting ‘Go Alex’, but when we asked, it was ‘Go Hornets’…. We then headed to the Peak District, south of Manchester to visit Al & Mike, more family friends. The Peak district is very hilly (of course) and we enjoyed a quick visit with lots of walks with the dogs and a fabulous dinner with plenty of champagne and wine! It was then time to head back to London and we picked Friday afternoon to head back into the city (a horrible time). It took us 6 hours of traffic jams. We stopped in for dinner with Paul’s cousin, Ben & Fiona and their
two adorable children, Bethany (2) and Charlie (8 weeks). Dropped off the rental car and headed into the city to see some of the sights. Toured around and met Zibby (my university friend who is living here) for dinner. We really have been spoiled by the hospitality of Paul’s family and friends here in the UK. It was a quick visit, but wonderful to see everyone. Today we are off to Cairo and very excited. We can’t wait to get out of this cool damp weather and into some sunshine. We have been enjoying the Western luxuries that we know will be non-existent for the next few months. Until next time….