A few weeks ago we invited our friend Candace to come and stay with us and we were very happy when she verily happy agreed to come! We met Candace right after Steven and I got married. She was in the Theatre program with Steven at Highline Community College. When she moved away, Rhys was just a little bean in my tummy so its been a while since we've seen her. Currently she lives in Slovakia with her husband. He's Slovak and she has lived there for 5 years, so it was kind of refreshing to her to be in a place where everyone speaks English!! =)
She came to Glasgow for a few days and she brought her cute little boy with her. Max will be turning 2 in a few weeks and he is just the sweetest little boy. It was so fun to have a friend here for Rhys and Gavin to play with.
While Candace was here we had a Church Barbecue that she attended with us. It was fun for us to introduce her to everyone, since our Ward here has been such an important part of our experience here in Scotland. We also went on a little shopping trip to the store so she could get a few things for Max. Can I just say, I loved watching her look at all the food. Apparently stores in Slovakia are a lot different and there was a lot of food she missed. I just wish we could get it all to her somehow! She also made us a traditional goulash which was absolutely amazing.
We also spent the whole day Saturday wandering around Glasgow. We got to show her George Square, Steven's school, some of the fun shops, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. While we were out and about we stumbled upon the University Cafe. I had heard about it on the City Bus tour I had taken with my parents, but I couldn't remember where it was. I was so happy when we accidentally stumbled upon it. Its famous for their Ice Cream and so we had to go in. The food was delicious, cheap, and definitely deserved an award!
It was also fun walking around the Botanical Gardens because Steven was able to show us some of the places that he will be performing in "As you like it" for Bard in the Botanics. While we were there Rhys got to play on the kids playground while Gavin and Max took their naps. It was actually really neat because Max has Down Syndrome, and while we were there we got to meet a little girl named Holly who also has Down Syndrome. She was such a cute little girl and it was fun for Candace to get to talk to her parents a bit. They even exchanged e-mail addresses, so I really hope they get a chance to continue to tell each other how their kids are progressing. It was just such a neat experience.
Candace ended up coming with us to Church and it was fun to have her there. She made quite the impression on one of the Older Gentlemen in the Ward who ended up walking us home. He has a thicker Scottish Accent and it takes a while to get used to figuring out what he's saying. It can make for quite the interesting conversation sometimes. =)
That night we also had the missionaries come over, since they always come over Sunday Night. We ended up making Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties so that Candace could try the traditional dish. I think she enjoyed it, and I know I'm going to be sad when its not so easy to get Haggis when we go home.
On Monday Candace said good-bye to Steven since he had all day rehearsal for As you Like it, but I took the boys and we all went to Edinburgh for the day. We went and saw the Castle, saw some fun gift shops, and my personal favorite, we went to "The Elephant House." which is the Cafe that J.K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter in. It was surprisingly empty for being such a popular Tourist spot and we were able to eat some lunch there. In the girls bathroom, there is graffiti all over the walls from people that have written messages to J.K. Rowling and it was neat to see. I even got to write her a message. I signed it from "The Grawrocks" since Steven won't be able to go into the bathroom himself.
We also met up with another one of Candace's friends. She took the boys and her own son to a fun soft play area and fed us dinner. It was very sweet of them to take us in like that.
I was sad that we had to say good-bye to Candace after that. She had a flight out of Edinburgh early the next morning, so it was easier for her to just spend the night there. But, we had so much fun with her here. I know that she became friends with Steven first, because of School and everything, but she is seriously one of the best friends I've ever had. We love her so much and are so happy to have finally met Max. Hopefully we won't have to wait until 7 years before we see her again! We love you Candace, thank you so much for taking time to come and see us!
Oh, and Candace was a lot better at taking pictures then me, so I borrowed some of the ones that she took. Here they are!
Us at the Ward Barbecue with Elders O'Baggy and Davidson. (Elder Davidson was just on exchanges so that was our first time meeting him.)
Rhys and Max were very good friends.
At the Botanical Gardens Candace found a giant "Jurassic Park" leaf.
This is a building right outside the Botanical Gardens. It used to be a church, but during the day its not a restaurant and at night its a Pub.
On our way to the Kelivingrove Museum.
Group shot of us at Glasgow Central Station about to start our day exploring the city.
Us in the Museum.
Eating our Ice Cream at the University Cafe.
A picture of us with our friend Donald on our walk home from Church.
Eating our Haggis with the Missionaries. O'Baggy and Davidson... this is our actual Elder Davidson!
They had some funny mirrors outside the Castle in Edinburgh.
Rhys posing for us in front of the Castle.
This is as far in the Castle as we got. It was raining too hard, so we didn't want to stand around too much.
We had to climb a huge hill to get to the Castle. We were very happy we made it!
Outside the Elephant House.
Writing my message on the wall.
Candace with her message as well!