I feel like, with all the trouble I had gone through recently just to make it here to the UK, I ought to write a post about it. It's not really because I want to rant or something but because I think what I went through may be interesting enough for a read and certainly will open your eyes about certain aspects of travelling that you may not be aware of....
Clearly, it is a testament to God's kind providence too because without His help and mercy I wouldn't even be here. Besides, at the end of the post I am sharing one of my favorite breakfast menu and truly one of the world's best - Full English Breakfast so take a few minutes to read this and then enjoy an awesome meal. :-)
Have any of you, dear readers, ever had the experience of applying for a visa? For someone with a Filipino passport, I can tell you I have applied for countless visas - some easier than others but always quite a challenge. From applying for a visa to visit Japan, Australia and as far as Lesotho in Southern Africa and so much more...not to mention the green card application for US residency...yup, I have done all that. Perhaps the UK tops the list when it comes to the number of visas I have had to apply for over the years. I probably have about 10 of them - and that's despite being married to a British citizen, after all I never really lived in the UK so I always had to re-apply every single time I need to visit the country. It's because we simply cannot afford nearly $800 or so to pay for a visa good for ten years, though in hindsight, I wish we did for that would have prevented the series of events that happened last week.
Despite applying for the visa on time, my passport (with the visa) did not arrive until a week after the British embassy informed me through email that my visa has been issued and approved and that it would be shipped 24 hours thereafter. They said they had some problem printing my shipping label. I don't know why it took them the whole week to resolve some printing issues. I will give them the benefit of the doubt but because of this I had to cancel my reservations 3 times and ended up paying over $561.00 to re-book my flights. Most of all, that initial delay paved the way for a series of unfortunate events or what I call my travails which delayed my arrival in the UK for about 4 days.
My visa finally arrived last Wednesday and I was so excited to fly and be reunited with my family but little did I know that I won't arrive in the UK until Friday because a series of storms in the Midwest would further delay me. It took three re-bookings before I finally made it to United Airlines Flight 130 which I nearly missed because of another storm brewing this time near Washington, DC which again delayed my flight from Grand Rapids to Washington Dulles Airport. When I finally arrived there I only had 10 minutes to spare to make it to my connecting flight so I ran as fast as I could and I was, I believe, the last passenger to board UA 130. Whew! That was close. I was so happy when the plane finally took off!
For sure, this experience made me so dependent on the Lord. Many times, in the midst of all the delays and sleepless nights, I wanted to just give up this trip altogether but by God's grace I managed to persevere and continue to pray and hope for the best knowing that He promised in Romans 8:28 "that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." And, He was right. Despite all the hurdles and obstacles, bureaucracy and bad weather I had to go through, I made it to the UK safe and sound. I have been reunited with my family and we even made it on time for my parents-in-laws' 50th Wedding celebration. I will never forget this trip for a long time. I have never encountered anything so dramatic and stressful but am just glad that it was a happy ending. We are all safe and together now.
Was it worth all the trouble? Of course, primarily because I have been reunited with my family ( and that's the most important thing!). The added bonus - I got to eat my favorite breakfast again --- Full English Breakfast...so, yes, it was all worth it. :-)
1-2 English Breakfast Sausage
1-2 Plum Tomatoes, halved
Button Mushrooms, whole or sliced
1-2 English (Canadian-style) Bacon
1-2 pieces of Toast
Fry or grill the sausages. Cook to desired doneness. You can also grill the tomatoes at this point.
Fry or sauté the mushrooms in a little oil. Do the same with the Bacon. Grill or fry them...
Heat up your favorite Baked Beans (preferably Heinz from the UK - my hubby's fave brand!)
Eggs can be cooked according to your preference. For this one we opted for scrambled.
Do the toast last when everything is all hot and ready.
Assemble in a plate and enjoy with your favorite coffee or English Breakfast tea to complete the full British experience. Enjoy!!!
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