To tan or not to tan…that is the question!

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A new friend

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Where is Mary Poppins?

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The Avon in Stratford

The Avon in Stratford

Our ride!

Our ride!

IMG_3126IMG_3172While in the land of Shakespeare, the quotes just come to mind so easily!  Today we had the day off until 4, so we hit the Royal Shakespeare Theater.   We got  to see costumes, props and renew our memories of plays we studied.   Since it began as a nice day we took a book on the Avon River, but by the end the sun left and we were shivering!  Our next mission was to have a pot of tea in England, so we wandered about until we found the tea room with the coolest desserts andphoto 1 had our tea.  It was super yummy and beat missing lunch!

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It might not be the Globe but it has the name Shakespeare on it!

Though you might not remember this quote in Hamlet, it has been on Alissa’s mind for months and we just happened to be in the land of Shakespeare.  Most the dancers get their legs spray tanned before the big competitions and Alissa was told she was to join in the fun.  The little stubborn spikes arose upon her head each time it was brought up but she was shot down time and time again…not something she was accustomed to.  Last night, I told her she had to stand down and join in the fun and that she did.  Most English girls are pretty fair and the stage brightness is overwhelming, so the legs are hard to see…not anymore!   Alissa had one more go around with each of the 8 dances tonight, while the Ceili teams practiced and then the older gals practiced an amazing figure dance.   God has provided a sweet gal named Bella who is not in everything either and she pushed Alissa to keep going over her steps, which are similar to hers.  Very sweet and good for Alissa.

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Royal Shakespeare Theater

Alissa has asked that you agree with 1 Cor. 15:55-58 for her.  We thank God that He has given Alissa the victory (however it looks), that she is immovable, steadfast and always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that her labor is not in vain in the Lord.  Tomorrow we will leave England for Germany.  We couldn’t have asked for a better 4 days:  weather, accommodations, and fellowship.   God has been true to His Word.  He has gone before us and provided for our needs and will continue to do so because He is ALIVE!

Over the river and through another village

 

Mary and Meabh's town:  Bidford on Avon

Mary and Meabh’s town: Bidford on Avon

Shakespeare's elementary school

b Shakespeare’s elementary school

County Warwickshire is hilly, curvy very lush county and each village has it’s share of a look into the the past.    From thatched cottages to quaint old village centers.   Loads of character and middle ages air!

Warwickshire Country side!

Warwickshire Country side!

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A whole dealership full of them!

For our dancers out there, I thought I would explain what Alissa is preparing for.

On Saturday for Europeans, at 2:00 German time, she will dance round 1 & 2, which is her Treble Jig and Slip Jig.  Then she will dance her traditional set:  White Blanket.  If she is recalled (probably against 30 girls)she will dance a modern set to a Hornpipe.  She will be judged by 3 judges.   On Monday for World’s, there will be 5 judges and she starts at 11:00.  Her rounds: Hornpipe & reel and her traditional set is Garden of Daisies.  When she is recalled she will dance a modern set to a treble jig.   There will be a handful of English and American, but the rest are from all over the world.  Continue to pray that she remain in the Lord’s strength!  She is here for many reasons; we thank Him that she learn and accomplish what is His will.

Thatched roofs galore!

Thatched roofs galore!

 

Let the training begin…

Henley Street is the main shopping street in old town Stratford!

Henley Street is the main shopping street in old town Stratford!

Finally a normal night’s sleep, but it cut into our tour time.    We went to the old town of Stratford upon Avon, which is filled with Shakespeare!  Alissa and spent the time strolling and listening to the millions of french students and street musicians!

We went to the studio for 6 hours today!!  They watched Alissa’s hard shoe steps and redirected her somewhat.  She truly needed tIMG_3068o be here for some one on one.  It was a lot to learn without a live teacher and there was evidence of that today. Then there was a rehearsal for the show piece they will be doing on Sunday night.  It was really fun, because it is to The Lion King…and Alissa has a solo as big white bird!  I will get pictures of her bird costume when it is finished.  Irish is much the same here and then so different.  Meabh is an incredible teacher and her mum Mary has many ways of motivating!IMG_3066

The weather has been sunny and 60 ish…cool in the shade and at night, but very green everywhere.  This area is simply beautiful and in full bloom.

Our hostesses:Our hostesses June & Olivia KennedyJune & Olivia Kennedy

This whole district is as quaint as you can get.  The architecture, cleanliness, and landscape are so Old English!  We are still in a fog that we are here; it is very natural and easy which is further confirmation of God’s will for Alissa.   His provision for us surpasses our expectations every day…his favor surrounds us constantly like a shield…may our love for Him be apparent in all we say or do!

In England!

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Alissa and I had 3 very easy flights to England.    I feel quite caught up on movies now…Flying into Birmingham was amazing.  It was a clear day and you could see divided picturesque farms and estates for miles.  We were picked up by one of her teachers Mary and deposited in a wonderful apartment with a very lovely hostess to sleep for several hours.   We got picked up again for dinner and got a quick tour of Stratford upon Avon.   Beautiful, clean and right out of a Dicken’s book.    Almost every building is brick and the same height.  Tomorrow we will get some pictures up so you can see what I mean.   The Cotswold district overall is just enchanting, but this town has it all.   God is so good to us…how could we possibly not love HIM!

Alissa and Gina head out…

On  our way

On our way

Alissa and Gina are heading to England to train for Alissa’s upcoming competition in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Alissa has been apart of the Felton-MCarthy School of Irish Dance since last summer and has been taking classes via Skype and Video this past year.   We will be staying in Stratford upon Avon (Yes, you’re right Shakespeare’s birthplace) which is just miles away from the studio.  Tues-Thurs. will be heavy training days for Alissa and then off to Germany, where we will meet up with Tim and Christianna.   I will let you all know when we are there safely on Monday and hopefully have some pictures as well.