Tuesday, October 11, 2011

10 People in 10 Days: Day Seven - The Pearson Family and Sarah Ockenden

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
10 People in 10 Days
The Pearson Family

Today is day 7 of our 10 day wait. It’s hard to believe that its already been that long, but I still feel like we have so much longer to be here.

We got some “updates” on Sterling’s chicken pox situation. One of our facilitators *speculates* that Sterling has probably not had chicken pox before. This is based on the fact that they isolated him from his groupa when the situation began. She said they typically do not isolate kids who have already had it. So, we are back to believing that he is isolated by himself (or possibly with other kids who haven’t had it – but they didn’t mention this.) She also said that if he DOES break out he will start another 5 day quarantine until his “contagious period” is over. This goes against everything I know about chicken pox – I’ve always been told once you break out and the scabs form you are not contagious anymore. Regardless, that is how they do it here. If he were to break out it COULD impact our “Gotcha Day” depending on when the break out occurred. So, our best hope is that he either HAS had it, has had enough of it to have antibodies, or doesn’t get it.

That is the only update we received today. We did not hear about him personally so we will ask our “local” (she is actually 300 km away – she handles the entire eastern part of this country for Reece’s Rainbow) facilitator to call the institution tomorrow and check on him.

Brian and I are fine! Today we ventured out, walked for lunch and stopped by a children’s boutique. We didn’t buy any clothes but we bought a game of Uno (for $5) to keep us occupied. It’s the same as our Uno…but different. We had to punch the cards out (see picture) and they aren’t laminated or anything so it’s like playing with cardboard cards. They also came with a series of calendar cards...LOL.  Still, we had fun and Brian took the series 2 out of 3 games. I’ll get him eventually!

Enough about us! Time for 10 in 10! Today we feature a family that was really amazing to us just before we came here!

Today we thank….

The Pearson Family and Sarah Ockenden

When Brian and I booked our flights we decided that we really wanted to be able to spend some time together before our lives changed drastically. We agreed that we would spend a few days in London. Neither of us had ever been and we were really excited about it!

When I announced this to friends I had, not one but TWO, friends offer to let us stay with them so we didn’t incur any additional costs. We were so thrilled! Both the Pearsons and the Ockendens offered. What a blessing. In the end we stayed with the Pearsons.

For those of you who know me you know my one phobia is flying…is just fills me with pure terror. The flight from Orlando to London actually wasn’t bad. It was really smooth and although I never relaxed – I didn’t hate it. Still I was ever so relieved to land at Gatwick. Once Brian and I arrived and collected our things, I was even more relieved to see Chas. We had made it! It was so early and Chas was nice enough to get up around 04:00 just to drive the 90 or so minutes to pick us up at Gatwick by 06:45. I was so happy to get into that SUV and head to the Pearson home.

The Pearsons live in (what I would call) the countryside of England in a little village called Marsworth. Their home is BEAUTIFUL! We took our luggage out of the truck and settled in to our room. Then we both showered and headed out with 3/4ths of the Pearson clan to London!

Tracy and Chas were so amazingly hospitable. They taught us how to use the trains and the tube system (which is still confusing to me) on our way. Once we got to London they put Brian and I in the driver’s seat. Tracy, Chas and their eldest daughter Charlie were great company. It was so much fun hanging out with them.

I had heard that Marks and Spencers lunches were really good – so we stopped in for a few sarnies to go and ate in Covent Garden. It was gorgeous! We were so lucky to have PERFECT weather while we were in London – we didn’t see any of that typical London rain and fog. After lunch we went to the London Eye. Brian is as horrified of heights as I am of flying – but he was such a sport. He agreed to ride on it. It was so incredibly cool. Even today it’s hard to believe that we did it!

After the Eye we walked the South Bank and stopped at the National Theatre for a photo op. They had these GIGANTIC grass chairs on display so we HAD to stop and take pictures. That was great fun. We continued on the South Bank and stopped at a pub right on the Thames. We were across from St. Paul’s and next to Millennium Bridge. It was very cool!

When we were done the 5 of us crossed the bridge and headed to Oxford Street. Tracy, Charlie and I went shopping at Primark on Oxford Street while the boys went for another beer. When we all met back up we had dinner at the Spaghetti House before heading home to Marsworth.

ALL of this happened on our FIRST DAY in London – so to say Brian and I were exhausted when we got home would be an understatement. We slept so hard that Tracy had to get us up the next morning for our next adventure. We were meeting Sarah for the day! Chas drove us to the local train station (Tring) and sent us on our way.

Brian and I had a lot of fun enjoying each other’s company on the train. It was a beautiful ride. We met Sarah at the train station in London and we were off!

Spending the day with Sarah was great! We had lunch at Marks and Spencers again (I want one in Orlando…) and then we explored some of London by foot. It such an amazingly beautiful city. The history surrounding it is awesome too. We walked to Buckingham Palace and enjoyed the conversation and history lessons that Sarah provided (for example: unless the Queen’s flag is flying – she is not at the palace!)

We had tickets for a Buckingham Palace tour (courtesy of Sarah -  THANKS!) at 16:15 so we headed to find a restroom and check in.

The tour was incredible. I’d love to go back…we had headphones on so there wasn’t much conversation but every now and then we would take them off to talk to each other about something we were looking at. The highlight of this trip was probably a tie between the Faberge exhibit and Kate’s wedding dress. Both were gorgeous.

Once we were done with the tour we walked to the store and then we headed back home! When we got home Chas, Tracy, Charlie and Gaby (the youngest Pearson) took us out to dinner at the local pub. A REAL English pub. Brian and I both had fish and chips. We enjoyed great conversation along with a tasty meal. Another awesome day.

We would have loved to stay longer (and I wish we would have spent just one more day) but we are ever so grateful that we got to explore London with GREAT PEOPLE that we are lucky to call our friends. We also FELL IN LOVE with Pearson Pups, Waffle and Donut. We were (and still are) very much missing our dogs but Waffle and Donut were there to give us love and snuggles when needed.  Brian and I really enjoyed everyone’s company and we especially enjoyed just getting to hang out with each other before we added another dimension to our story.

Chas got up with us the next morning and drove us to Heathrow for our flight out. I was really sad to leave Marsworth, London and our friends behind. I’m so excited that the Pearsons will get to meet Sterling when we go back through London (Sorry Sarah! I wish you weren’t on holiday then!) I have to point out that the Pearsons were willing to do all of this for us DESPITE the fact that Charlie was heading to University the SAME weekend we were there. While Brian and I explored London with Sarah - they were packing Charlie to go off to school! And while we were flying here they were dropping her off at college! Like I said - GRATEFUL doesn't describe it! (And they did all of this after just returning from a holiday in Turkey!)

But it doesn’t stop there. Through all this trouble this week both Sarah and Tracy have offered us comfort and help. Tracy even offered the Pearson home again. We would have loved to have taken the offer but the cost for us to drive to and from the capitol city for a flight and the cost of the flight together would be close to $1000.  They have both also offered to help shop for Sterling since everything we brought with us is too big (we expected him to be little – but NOT 2T little!) Sarah is also sending us home with a car seat for the long flight and some toys to keep Sterling occupied.

We really can’t thank these people enough! They have been so wonderfully kind to us and we hope that one day we can return the favor should they every venture to a place known as…Disney World! <3

Thanks so much Pearsons and Sarah!!!

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