Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Trip - Part I

Obviously there's lots to catch up on but the truth is that I am not sure where or how to start. I will just start typing away and see where it goes....

Well, already I have changed the title multiple times. I think what I will do is divide it all up into parts which will allow me to fit a few pictures in without the overload.

We've been in Nigeria for a whole year! So much has happened to us and we have been challenged in more ways than we imagined. Our relationship with God and with each other has equally been challenged in many ways.

We moved here around our 1st year anniversary and now it will forever be linked together and each year we spend here will also mark another year we are as husband and wife...enough of all that.

A year ago yesterday, we were celebrating our 1st anniversary at KFC (I know, lame) but we had just moved into our apartment and we were exhausted and KFC seemed like the only option. This year, we initially planned a 4 city tour of Europe to mark our second anniversary...London, Dublin, Paris and Rome.

In the course of the times that followed, we decided take care of Paris in January and the rest over Easter. Then as we planned, it would come to our knowledge that the Irish Embassy in Nigeria sucks! For one they take up to 8 weeks to make a decision on visas.

8 WEEKS!!! Now, this minor rant is not geared towards the Irish people (thanks for taking care of my inlaws) but perhaps towards the Immigration arm of your government AND the Irish Embassy in Nigeria.

*Minor Rant* Dear Irish Embassy, most Nigerians don't care about going to Ireland...seriously. Why you would deny me a visa...someone under duress to take his part Irish wife and parents to your country. I would have spent a fortune in your extremely shaky economy i.e. flights, hotels, meals, other "stuff" that we could buy. But you accused me of wanting to stay and not come back. Guess what, I am a US Permanent resident with a 5 year British visa and 2 separate Schengen visas!

Why would I choose cold cold cold Ireland to run to? Ever heard of Barcelona, Madrid, London, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Rome, Pittsburg, KS, Chicago, and the dozens of other happening cities that are options to relocate to. Dublin? Really? Just yesterday on the flight from Amsterdam, I read that ole' Ireland is struggling financially especially with their restaurants et al...guess what? I like FOOD! I spent more on Food than anything else. *Minor Rant Over*

Sorry for all that. I have more to say but I have to keep this clean.

So Thursday the day we were leaving for our Eurotrip, I flew to Abuja to retrieve my passport from the Irish Embassy and got back to Lagos to meet up with Amy and her parents Chris and Mary (who were accompanying us on the trip). My parents were also leaving for the States to see their kids and grand kids. 

At the airport we said our goodbyes and headed for different parts of the world. Now I had to be the tour guide in London because I have frequented her many times in my life.

Let me apologize now that these are just pictures on my phone...when I get the ones on the camera off it, I will replace and include them accordingly.

View of Greater London from it's London Eye

Amy hanging above London's Big Ben (House of Parliament)

Buckingham Palace...better Pictures to follow

St. James's Park on the Side

Had to Check out the Emirates of course

This is dedication

So these pictures suck but I didn't know that till I started typing. I will get better ones.

A few things of note....

- From the moment we checked into our Hotel Apartment, we left it and hit the sights because no one wanted to waste any time. 

- We ate at a Vegetarian Restaurant. I repented...we all did. We didn't know it was meatless. I was duped. Amy's hunger led us astray. Luckily there was a KFC next door to redeem ourselves and we took advantage of it.

- We tried to visit a lot of places in a few short days but there was so much to do and so little time. But we hit up Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, Emirates Stadium and some shopping of course.

- The London weather was typical...50's, some rain and little sun

- For their first visit to London, I think they all did okay. I didn't lose any of them on the Underground 

- On Monday, Chris and Mary left off for chilly Dublin, Ireland and Amy decided to join me to head to Madrid, Spain (which I will talk about during the next blog).


Anonymous said...

Ugo love your blog... keep it up, ill be following up.
Ugo Al'zaim

Ugo said...

Thanks Ugo! It's been a while! Hope you're well.