Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Vacation in Europe

In mid-June we flew to London, rented a car and drove to Oxford where we spent four lovely days as a family before settling Shayla into her dorm room at the University and leaving her. She was in a group of 75 high achieving 16-18 year olds from around the globe who spent two intense weeks studying things like philosophy, psychology, debate, etc. at a summer academy.  There were four students from the USA there and students from 30 different countries. Shayla's sweet roommate was from Norway.  While Shayla was in Oxford, we then explored the Cotswolds, especially enjoyed Burford and Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace).  Then we flew on to Ireland and spent two weeks biking from village-to-village and staying at lovely B&B's and the amazing Ashford Castle for two nights.  It was a sign from God that we were able to meet up with our Philadelphia friends (the Grants) and huge Christi supporters when we were in Ireland and we enjoyed a lovely day with them.)  When we flew back to London for Shayla's graduation in Oxford we were surprised and happy to learn that she was appointed Valedictorian of her class and she gave a lovely speech.  We wrapped up our three week vacation with time together in London.  Our highlight was bring "groundlings" at the Globe theater. After coming home for two days, we took off to Macinaw City, Michigan where Shayla spent a week with friends and we were blessed to spend the week with our sweet Webby (Eric) and his wife at their cottage in northern Michigan.  Now we are back home and filled with great memories!  God is good!
Shayla and her roommate at "The Boat House" outside of Oxford for the Mascarade Ball.

Shayla and her roommate (from Norway) enjoyed Bristol, England on a day off of campus.

Touring the Warner Brothers Studio, outside of London was a huge hit for our little Harry Potter fan.  I could only laugh when she ran out the battery on her audio tour guide and had to get it replaced.  She spent FIVE hours enjoying it all.  (Shayne and I spent some time waiting for her in a cafe.)

Shayla made friends with girls from around the world during this amazing experience she had in Oxford, England.

Back from Europe and now enjoying Macinac Island, Michigan - lovely!

Cannot even believe we were blessed to spend two nights here, but we did!  WOW!

Shayla's arrival on campus.

Shayla in her dorm room at the university.

What a God event to learn the Grants would be in Ireland at the same time.  It was fabulous to get to spend a precious day with them all.  Lovely, people!

Biking with my bane on the largest Arlan Island -  Ishimor

Cycling up to our "home" for the next two days was a dream come true!  I still can't believe we stayed here.  It was amazing!

Lovely cycling, so scenic!

Proud moment!  Shayla, the Valedictorian, after graduation with the Headmaster and Assistant Headmaster.

We had lots of rainy days in Ireland.  Good thing we packed our ponchos!

Shayla made so many friends and learned so very much!  It was the experience of a lifetime for her.  What a blessing!

We had a ball being "groundlings" at The Globe Theater and enjoying, "Measure for Measure".  Earlier that same day we sat in seats and took in "As You Like It".

Gotta love those London taxis - impressive!  Photo by Shay Shay

Shayla captured this lovely photo of the grounds at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.  She went with her school.  Shayne and I enjoyed it another day, on our own.

At our first inn in Oxford, The Bath Hotel.  Great location, tiniest room EVER!