Awoke at 6:45 AM, tired but eager for the day.
We ate a continental breakfast at the hotel before sorting through luggage, repacking some things, checking out and getting on the road by 9:00 AM.
The drive north was pleasant and enoyable. From Dublin to Belfast the sky was a beautiful blue and the temp was in the low ’50’s. From Belfast to Londenderry, though, an immensely thick blanket of fog covered the area, giving everything a mystical and enchanting quality. We arrived in Coleraine at 12:20 PM and finally found a place to park in the very crowded Town Centre. At 12:30, we walked in to the local Starbucks to meet with Alan Scott, pastor of the Causeway Coast Vineyard where we will attend tomorrow. (And yes, Starbucks in Northern Ireland is just like Starbuck’s back home! Except no pumpkin spice latte to be found.)
Our slightly late departure from Dublin kept us from arriving earlier, so we missed the opportunity to see CCV’s Healing on the Streets team in action (alas!), but our encouter with Alan was delightful. Soon his wife, Kathryn, joined us as she and their girls had just come from gymnastics. We had a wonderful time sharing stories and reconnecting after first "meeting’ them a couple of years back. Turns out that one of my former ORU professors, Dr. Shatzman, was also an instructor for the Scotts when they attended Bible college in England. Small world! Before our time together came to a close today, we even spent a few moments with them in their lovely home. The Scotts are incredibly kind and gracious people, and it was a pleasure to spend some time with them.
Other highlights from the day included a visit to the Giant’s Causeway which is absolutely stunning. By the time we got there, blue sky had returned, making for beautiful pictures that I’m sure will not do the location justice.
As evening descended, my wife and I shared a lovely dinner at an area restaurant. It came highly recommended by the hostess of our bed and breakfast, and turned out to also be Kathryn’s current favorite as well. The place was packed with people, and we waited a good 45 minutes to get a table. I sat next to a fellow who had driven up from Dublin for the weekend. He raved about the food and commented about the outstanding prices. The food was indeed spectacular!
Tommorrow, we attend services at CCV and see what else the day brings. Looks like the next several days may very well be filled with rain. Monday, we drive down into County Roscommon to meet with Operation Mobilisation. We hope to somehow be of help to them for the rest of the week. We’ll soon see what that brings!