Last Day in London

31 Jul

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We’ve had an awesome trip and are sad to see it wind down, but as it does, our thoughts turn more and more often to home and all those we’ve missed!  We are looking forward to getting back home with the kids and our friends and family.  This trip has been a welcome respite for both of us, but we are also excited about getting back home.

Today, we got up and ate breakfast, then headed over to the tube station to catch the tube to attend the service at Hillsong Church/London.  It was an awesome experience and we really enjoyed it.  We were able to hear Brian Houston, the founder of the original Hillsong Church in Australia speak at both the morning and evening services.  They have 4 services a day, we attend the 10:30 am service and the 6:00 pm service.

After the morning service, we  caught the tube to another part of town and ate lunch at a restaurant called “Fifteen” owned by Jamie Oliver (You might have seen him on Food Network). This restaurant was unique in that it offered young people a chance to gain work experience.  I found the following information on the internet:

What is Fifteen?
Fifteen is a commercial business with a purpose – a global social enterprise with young people at its heart. Fifteen has three restaurants worldwide – Amsterdam, Cornwall and London – all of which operate a pioneering Apprentice Programme for young people, between the ages of 18 and 24, alongside the day-to-day running of the restaurants.

Where does the name Fifteen come from?
Fifteen is named after the first cohort of 15 young people who joined the London Apprentice Programme in 2002. 

What is its purpose?
Fifteen’s purpose is two-fold: firstly to offer young people, often in need of a break in life, the experience of learning to work in the restaurant business and secondly, for our customers to enjoy fantastic food and knowledgeable customer service. The restaurant is the trading arm of a registered charity, the Jamie Oliver Foundation.

He wasn’t there, as far as we could tell, but the food was delicious.  Since it was our anniversary, we opted for the 4 course meal.  It was a real treat for us!  And it’s a great concept to help disadvantaged kids gain valuable work experience.

After lunch, we caught the tube over to the Kensington/Chelsea area and took a look at the London Science Museum and the Museum of Natural History.  My favorite part was the butterfly house.  It was full of butterflies from all over the world of all different sizes and colors. They were flying all around us, and as we left, we were instructed to check ourselves carefully in a large mirror to make sure we didn’t carry out any passengers on our hair or clothing.   I could have stayed in there much longer, but we had to get back to the church for the evening service.

Hillsong Church meets in the Dominion Theater, which was built in the 1920’s. During the week, it’s the home of the musical, “We will Rock You”  (which was also a good description of Hillsong’s worship service!)  On Sundays, it is the home of Hillsong Church, which underscores the fact that “the church” is not the building that it meets in, but the people.   It’s a cool old building and that in itself was something to see, but add a few thousand people, all worshipping God together and you’ve got a memorable experience.  We really enjoyed being part of the multi-ethnic crowd.

After the evening service, we took the tube back to Victoria Station and looked at some of the shops there.  We were still looking to pick up a couple of last minute souvenirs.  We ate at the restaurant right across the street from our hotel, then walked over to the bakery next door and picked out a chocolate tart and a fresh berry tart to split.  One last splurge before it’s back to the real world tomorrow.  So as I type this, I’m sipping a cup of hot tea and enjoying one last dessert.  I’m gonna need to up the exercise once I get home after this week!

We are so thankful and blessed to have had this week in Europe, and we are especially blessed to be celebrating 30 years of marriage today.   God’s goodness to us has been proven over and over again, and for that we are most thankful!   We’re looking forward to being home tomorrow too!




2 Responses to “Last Day in London”

  1. Sarah July 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I’m sad its over! So glad you guys did this! Happy Anniversary! Love you!

  2. Pat Lewis July 31, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!
    Love,Mom and Dad

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