New Adventures: A change of plan...

Dear Friends and Family,

Last you heard from us, we were recovering from a very
odd Christmas in south-eastern Spain. Those of you
who don't already know it may be surprised to learn
that we are now back in Oregon, and very busy! We
didn't want to make a general announcement until we
had visited with our parents, and that's why I didn't
mention that the evening of our camping trip beneath
the airplanes in Casteldefels (which I mentioned in my
last letter) we were both rather shocked by a
"positive" indication on a home pregnancy test! Of
course, Sarah didn't sleep at all that night, and as
soon as it was light she shoved me out the tent door
to go get another one, which gave the same indication.

As you can imagine, that was the beginning of a big
shift in our plans. Not only did Sarah soon begin to
feel too "out of it" to enjoy travelling, but we
suddenly had a real need to get back home and "settle
in" somewhere!

We had been staying in a small town called Santiago de
la Ribera, or "La Ribera" for short, which is on the
south end of a strip of coastline dominated by English
vacation-homes and resorts. There we encountered an
English bookstore in our quest for books on the
subject of pregnancy. The proprietor connected us
with an Englishman who manages rental properties in
that area (see if you're
interested), and we stayed in a nicely furnished
apartment on the cliffs above the Mediterranean for
the last two weeks of our stay.

Since Sarah was feeling worse than she had before or
has since, we didn't do a whole lot other than take it
easy. The highlights of our time there included a 360
degree view of New Year's fireworks from the roof of
the apartments, building a sandcastle, and wading in
the Mediterranean. I took a few short trips into the
neighboring city of Torrevieja as well, and was
impressed by the huge street market, the expansive
public nativity scene, and the intricate sandcastles
built by "professionals" on the beach there.

When it was time to leave, we boarded another
inexpensive Ryanair flight, and as the snow-capped
Pyrennes range slipped beneath our plane, the fact
that we were going home finally began to become real
for me. I was sad, because it may be some time before
we are able to travel again, and of course it will
never be the same. At the same time I began to feel
the slightest twinge of excitement which has grown
ever since with the reality of being a father.

We arrived in the London night quite tired, but were
getting very used to going through customs and the
routine of international air travel, and so it went
smoothly. Since we were now somewhat familiar with
London as well we had an uneventful trip to our friend
Heidi's apartment where we "crashed" on the futon.

The next day was our only full one in London this
time. In the morning Sarah and I did some souvenir
shopping for family and friends, and then had a lunch
of "Kebab," one of our new favorites. Sarah was too
tired for anything else that day, but I decided to
take the "tube" down to the Imperial War Museum. My
mechanic's brain was set to whirring by tanks,
rockets, airplanes, and a miniature submarine. I was
amazed by the sheer size of some naval guns mounted in
front of the museum. They must have been fifty feet
long, and with a bore big enough for a child to crawl
into. Finally I made my way through the Holocaust
exhibit, perhaps the most complete and graphic of its
kind. It was very sobering, and I had a thoughtful
ride back through the rush-hour madness of the London

That evening we had dinner with Heidi at one of the
ubiquitous chicken restaurants of London. Although
ours was unusual for its spicy Portuguese flavor,
there is an amazing number of fried chicken
restaurants in that area. The amusing part about it
is that most of them have names such as Southern Fried
Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, American Fried
Chicken, and sometimes Halal Fried Chicken...

In the morning we had a long metro ride all the way
across London to Heathrow airport, where we eventually
boarded our British Airways 747, which rolled out from
the gate promptly at the scheduled time. Heathrow is
a huge airport, and we probably taxied for 15 minutes
before rolling slowly to a stop where we sat, and sat,
and sat..... finally the pilot announced over the
intercom that a passenger whose baggage was on board
was not himself on board, and that we couldn't leave
with this situation and would go back to offload the
baggage. We then made the long taxi back to our
departure gate, where we waited for some time before
the pilot announced that instead of unloading the
baggage, they had located the missing passenger, who
would be aboard shortly! We eventually began moving
again, only to find that due to our delay we would
have to use a different, much more distant runway. We
must have lost our place in line as well, because it
was almost two hours after our scheduled departure
time that we actually left the ground. The pilot told
us that they had loaded on some extra fuel and that we
would use it to make up some of the delay, which we
apparently did, since we didn't arrive two hours late.
(I still wonder two things... did they actually fuel
the plane with all the passengers aboard? And...
does this mean that they don't fly as fast as
possible, even on a 10-hour flight? I wonder if
people would be willing to pay for the extra fuel if
they knew it would make the flight shorter?)

When we touched down in Seattle it was raining, and we
have been enjoying the wet Northwest weather ever
since. I have been looking for a job, and we have
been to our first doctor appointment. Sarah got to
see the baby "wave" to her on a sonogram! I was quite

Well, that brings to an end our trip to Europe. We
learned a lot, saw a lot, and did a lot which will
stay in our memories forever. If we come to visit you
soon we may bore you with our pictures, which may also
seem to last forever. Perhaps it won't be too long
before we begin to feel the travelling "itch" again,
but for now our thoughts are on how to best prepare
for the new Radford which is scheduled to arrive
sometime around the end of August.

Please keep in contact! Now that we are back "home" I
should have more time for writing, and would really
enjoy more personal e-mails.

May God bless you and yours,
-Dustin, Sarah, and Baby Radford

"An ADVENTURE is trouble you got out of..." -Jim Stenberg, high-school English teacher.

We will have no address other than e-mail during our trip, but our mail is now going to the address below. The phone number will be current until we leave.

Dustin and Sarah Radford
2357 Rodney Ct.
Springfield, OR 97477
(541) 928-8647

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