After we drove the 2 hour drive back from Cambridge, we dropped off the rental car at the airport and took a 45 minute taxi ride into London where we stayed with the most wonderful families! Travis met Ben and Brett when they were visiting Saddleback Church before they were about to start regional campuses back at the home church in London. Travis really hit it off with them and they invited him to stay with either of their families if ever he came to London. Who would have thought that only 8 months later, Travis, Brandon, Hudson and I would all be staying with them!
I was a little nervous about intruding in their home, but oh my goodness... what a God ordained relationship. I was able to skype the night before we flew out and talk with Ben and his wife, Jess who Travis, Hudson and I stayed with. I couldn't believe how well we connected even in just 30 minutes on skype. I was instantly excited and knew that we were going to have a great time. Every night that we stayed with Ben and Jess we would inevitably stay up way too late talking. Most of the nights we weren't in bed before 2:00am. Again, it was just so refreshing to us spiritually and so encouraging to see what God is doing in another part of the world.
Ben and Jess have a 5 year old little boy and a 2 1/2 year old little girl... and Hudson loved both of them! We loved getting to hear their children speak with their British accents and they loved hearing little Hudson speak with his "American" accent...haha. We had a great time trying to imitate each other. I am sooo bummed because most of our time we were just visiting casually in their home, drinking tea and eating crumpets and of course, also eating a ton of other wonderful food... and we never even took one picture of them! We are hoping they will be visiting us soon here in the states so we will have to make us for that ;)
Brandon stayed down the street at Brett and his wife, Joe's house. Brett and Ben have been on staff together at their church for a few years now and both of them just launched their churches first regional campuses...actually the launch was the very weekend we were there! Brett and Joe were equally wonderful and we really enjoyed spending time with them. One of the last nights we were there we all gathered at Ben and Jess' for some delicious Chinese food and fellowship. It really was such an encouraging night!
Anyway, the first night we were at their home we were only there for a few hours only long enough to get about 5 hours of sleep before we left early the next morning to catch a train into Brighton. Brighton is a beautiful city that is right on the sea. It was absolutely stunning and it was just fun to see another part of the country.
This was Hudson's first of many train rides:
Once we got to Brighton we met up with Matt Redman for breakfast at this amazing little spot. It reminded us of a restaurant you might find in Laguna Beach. The food was amazing!
Trav loved his tea that came with fresh strawberries in it:
Travis, Brandon and Matt before they headed out for a day of writing:
The whole crew with Matt:
I have to say Matt Redman is such a Godly man who really loves the Lord, loves God's word, has a huge heart for the church and he is definitely a family man. I have been so blessed by his ministry of writing worship songs and it was so great to meet him and see that he really was as genuine as I had hoped.
The guys headed to Matt's church that was actually built in 1824 and Brandon was able to play on one of the best pianos in the world. It was actually the same brand of pianos that is provided to the queen. They had the blessing of being able to write 2 songs with Matt during the few hours they were together. Both of the songs will be on Travis' album that they are currently in the studio recording.
Anyway, while the guys were gone, Hudson fell asleep in his stroller and I had the most wonderful and relaxing afternoon. I sat along the sea's edge, drank a cup of hot tea, watched my baby boy sleep and was able to read my Bible and just journal. It really was such a sweet time with the Lord that I will always remember and cherish. There are times that God just speaks to our hearts and that was one of those times.
I must say, I absolutely love that our little boy is easy going. He can go anywhere and sleep anywhere. His flexibility made for a great trip with him considering we were traveling so much even while we were in England.
The architecture and the view were just amazing. While Hudson was still asleep I walked along the boardwalk and just enjoyed all the sights and sounds.
Hudson and I checked into our hotel and relaxed for a little bit while we waited for the guys to return. Then for dinner we went to Wagamama... a recommendation from our friend BD... seriously, it was some of the best Japanese food I have ever had! Hudson slept through the whole dinner so we actually had a relaxing quiet dinner together :)
And they had a gluten free menu for Brandon... which is sooo rare and sooo amazing when restaurants are actually aware of food allergies!