We landed in Paisley Thursday morning! After getting to Corbin & Stacy's home, we grabbed some food and took a little nap. Then we forced ourselves up and got a walking tour from there to our new flat. It's so fun to walk everywhere and see how much closer everything is than we even thought it would be. We saw our flat, David & Miranda's flat, the local convenience store, the coffee shop we'll frequent, and ate fish & chips for lunch. Then we headed back to the Miles' home (with some caffeine to help keep us awake) and chatted for a bit before supper. After a delicious meal we were able to stay awake playing games with their family. We slept very well that night.
We woke up Friday morning a little later than we'd planned, but that wasn't too much of a surprise all things considered. We both were feeling better, if only well rested, and headed over to our flat again after breakfast. With pen and paper in hand, we made a list of things that need to be done, purchased, and brought to the landlord's attention. Then we headed back to the Miles' for lunch, chatted for a while with them, and went to IKEA. It was my (Heather's) first time at IKEA and Michael's second. We were limited on time, so we didn't get all the way through, but in an hour-and-a-half we'd gotten a cart full of basics to fill up our flat. Then we came back and had dinner with the whole crew (David & Miranda included) and headed to Create Cafe. We really had a great time there watching how they do the bi-weekly event and getting to know the other volunteers. Also got to see my old friend Alan whom I met when I was here in 2009--it's great to see familiar faces!
Saturday we went to Morrisons (the local grocery store) to get cleaning supplies and a Rug Doctor. We spent about five hours at the flat cleaning and moving furniture around into the correct rooms. We are so excited that it's starting to take shape! After cleaning, we went home to clean up and eat dinner before heading to Stanley House for Miranda's birthday party! Stanley House is the local YWAM base here in Paisley. It's where I stayed when I was here in 2009, and it's also the location of most of the lectures for our training that starts in September. We had a great time celebrating Miranda and visiting at Stanley House.
After a very late night, we slept much later than planned on Sunday morning. Michael wasn't feeling well at all, but we walked to our flat around noon, grabbed some lunch and a few more cleaning items from the bargain store across the street and got to work. We moved everything out of the room that needed its carpet cleaned and after that Michael was wiped. He took a nap on the floor while I cleaned the grout in the kitchen. Soon Corbin and Sarah (Michael's cousin who is here with us) showed up with the carpet cleaner and some tools we needed. We all got to work rearranging and cleaning. Aiden, Corbin & Stacy's second son, and David also showed up to help. We got everything done that we could do and had some time to sit and chat in our new living room before Stacy picked us up. It's so so nice to have it all coming together. We went back to the Miles' home for supper then ran to Morrisons to get Ice Cream. So fun! After that we went our separate ways: the airport, carpet cleaning, online shopping, playing xbox, and Michael headed to bed.
Monday morning, another late night led to another late(r) morning. That's jet lag getting to us. Michael slept well again and seems to be feeling better. We went by the flat to get a few things, then took the bus to Glasgow to pick up our Residence Permits (our visas, basically). When we arrived at the Post Office, we couldn't get in the door and eventually found a sign saying that today is a local holiday and the office will open back up tomorrow. Bummer. We took the train into Glasgow Central and grabbed lunch, got thoroughly overwhelmed by the size of the city, then took the train and bus back to Paisley. After that, we were very grateful to be living in Paisley rather than Glasgow! We did some thrifting at the 3-4 shops near our flat and found a couple of things to decorate with. Then we walked around the mall (there's one hidden in the buildings right across the street!) to see what's in there and headed back to the Miles' house. All that totalled to about 5 miles of walking -- WHEW! I need to get different shoes to be walking in! -- so our feet were hurting a bit, but we came back to rest, chat, and eat supper. We stayed up too late chatting, again, but are really enjoying getting to know the Miles family.
Tuesday morning we woke up at a decent time. The weather was unseasonable warm (it got over 80 degrees!) so we were dressed in shorts and t-shirts--not what we were expecting, but it was fun! We loaded up all of our luggage in the Miles' car and headed back to Glasgow to get our Residence Permits. It took a little while to get them, but we're official! We then headed back to the flat after stopping for lunch at the mexican place that just opened up down the street from us. It's not the same as mexican from the south, but it wasn't bad either. A few others met us at our flat and we all carried our luggage up the stairs. I've never been so excited to unpack--even if we don't have a place for everything yet. After unpacking for a few hours, we headed to the bank for a much-anticipated appointment to setup our bank account. Upon arriving, however, we were told we didn't have proper confirmation of our residence to setup our bank account. We then headed to the local municipality office to register our residency; now we wait for a notice to come in the mail, which will serve as the remainder of our proof-of-residence. After that, I went back to the flat to rest and Michael & Sarah went to dinner at the Miles' house. We all went to sleep well before midnight for the first time since we've arrived.
Wednesday morning we all woke up well rested after our first night in our flat. It was a good, if only hot, night of sleep. The view from our bedroom window is stunning and the street gets very quiet after about 10pm. We headed to Blend just after they opened to get internet access (and some coffee, too!), then went to the Miles' to head out for more shopping. We went to three "home stores" to get the various things we needed, then unloaded and got to work hanging curtains and putting things away. Still there are more things on our list, but I'm shopped out for a bit. We headed over to the Miles' later to have dinner there. Tomorrow is Miranda's birthday, so we had her birthday dinner celebration tonight. It was great fun celebrating a wonderful lady!
Overall, I'd say our first week was full of joy, frustrations, excitement, and not much sleep. We're very glad to be (almost) settled and looking forward to getting settled into a routine a little more next week and hopefully getting our bank account and cell phones setup, too. I doubt we'll keep up with sharing details like this, but we wanted to share this with you all since we're not able to keep up very much this week. Thank you all for your love and prayers for us!