Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ireland: Part 4 (England)

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the lack of pictures from my Manchester visit. I allowed my camera to die. Ooops. So Maria has a few pictures I'll get someday and I'll share what I can from online places.

Day 8: We boarded our plane to Manchester about 6:30 and after approximately 45 minutes we landed in England. We hopped onto the Tram over to city centre. We got breakfast. Walked around town. Shopped the Christmas markets. Explored the large shopping centers. Saw the AMAZING John Rylands library (became aware of one of my new heroes existence). Learned most of the hotels were booked and panicked a little but found one in the "football" and cricket area of town. Met up with Mick and Dave back at the airport to travel to Preston, England and stay the night in the church accommodations. 
John Rylands Museum
Enriqueta Rylands. She was constantly giving in here life and built the John Rylands library for the people of Manchester. Sadly she had he daughter and niece destroy many of her personal papers after her death but some of them survived by luck and we see her generosity. I really quite like her.
We also enjoyed Piccadilly Gardens.
With the name of Piccadilly surrounding me
I bet you can't guess what song was running through my head all day.
And Happy Christmas!
Day 9:  YAY!
This day we went to the temple and performed Baptisms for the Dead. It was an awe inspiring experience.

It started out just right when we entered the temple and just sat and waited with Mick and Dave in the waiting room. Just in peace. I loved it.

Then we went down to the baptistry (after we figured out we were supposed to have already followed our recommends down to it - oops). There we learned we would be helping with some family names. It truly was a beyond words and humbling experience to listen to family members discuss those they had once known and feel the joy they were feeling as they performed and saw the work for them being done. I am truly and forever grateful for temples and the gospel in my life.

We went to lunch where I dined on Fish & Chips. And then the boys returned to the temple for a session while Maria and I enjoyed the beauty outside the temple and the heat inside the temple accommadations center.

It was actually during our picture taking at the temple that we met a couple with many interesting hotel stories including bed bugs, blood spatter, stolen jewelry, and dead bodies. Yup. And Maria and I had booked the cheapest hotel available for the night knowing very little about it (BUT trusting the reviews of females who had stayed there alone).
 Later we returned to Manchester, the boys flew back to Dublin, and Maria and I enjoyed some pizza and then a night in our hotel room (see no worries).

Day 10:  This was our tour of Manchester day, and I really enjoyed it. We learned about this building:
Today it is part of the Britannia Hotel Chain but it used to be a Watts Warehouse containing tons of ribbons and draperies. It's architecture includes a different style at each level: Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan, French Renaissance and Flemish, and each corner is topped by a large tower with Gothic Rose Windows. The building was in the area bombed during World War II raids, but employees helped to put out the fire and now it's the only old building in the area.

We also saw the Town Hall. Which is a triangle-base shaped building due to the plot of land it was built on. The clock tower is BEAUTIFUL.
 And the courtyard was never scrubbed clean of Victorian Era Coal Dust Air. This is actually a place where movies of that era are shot frequently with it's authentically coated walls.
We also saw St. Anne's Church, Manchester Cathedral, the statue of Abraham Lincoln they have (due to Manchester's support of the Civil War despite cotton shortages in "Cottonopolis."), the area of the IRA bomb damage, a pub where Lady Sittlewick used to consume 40 oysters for breakfast and eventually died by choking on a pearl, and many more cool things.

We brushed back through the Christmas Markets, searched for the Christmas show featuring Wallace and Gromit (but it just wasn't where we gathered it was supposed to be), listened to happy and talented street performers, and headed back to the airport and to Dublin.

Day 11: I woke up, packed my things, went to the airport, rushed through all of the great fun preclearances and security, and made my flight home without any problems (even at Chicago O'Hare) and met Michelle for the ride back to Hyrum for the night and next few days.

It was a great trip but I was also ready to be home!
And I was just in time for Thanksgiving.


Mallory said...

I loved seeing all your pictures! I'm pretty jealous that you got to go to Ireland! Looks amazing!

fezzik said...

My soul is filled with jealousy.
And envy.
But I'm trying to work through it. :)

Your trip sounds absolutely spectacular and I'm glad you had such a great time!