Saturday, February 18, 2012


I know that one day I will finish blogging about my trip to Europe.  Until then, I get to relive the trip every few weeks! :)

London (part 2) was an amazing part of our trip.  We both really fell in love with the area and would definitely go back. 

When we first got in from Paris, we checked into our awesome hotel and then walked downtown for about an hour (we love walking) to see our friends- Ryan and Gabby!  They both lived in DC with me when we were all doing internships.  It was great seeing them again!

Afterwards, we had a few hours before going to watch the fireworks (we were here on New Year's Eve).  So we got hot chocolates and walked around the city.  It was amazing.

They had a "Winter Wonderland" set up in Hyde Park that was AWESOME to walk through.  It's like a giant fair with a Christmas theme.  Lots of people were out and the environment was the best.  We kept talking about how fun it would be if our kids were there with us.

After spending an hour or so at the fair, we walked and took the obligatory picture in front of Buckingham Palace.

And near Big Ben...

And other than seeing the fireworks by the river, that is all the sightseeing we did.
Would you believe that I didn't get a single picture of us and the fireworks?
I did get a video though and maybe if I can figure it out, I will post it later.
It was way cool.
The fireworks were AMAZING.  However, I will say I felt a little old for the crowd that we were near.  Most people were drunk, smoking pot, swearing, getting into fights, and/or blasting music- I honestly would prefer playing Scrabble and eating Rotel dip with my parents. :)  But it was still a once in a lifetime experience and I'm glad we got to check it off the list.

Here is a cute, random picture that I took from our hotel lobby.

Our favorite part of the London trip was spending time with our friends, the Mateers, who live a little bit outside of London in Chelmsford.  You can see my friend, Liane in the background of this picture walking towards us. ( ha ha, love you Liane :) )  That's the only pic we got.  Liane and I worked together at BYU International Services.  Good times.  We ate at "The Carvery" for a traditional English roast and potatoes.  YUM!

Here's Jared and Steve.  They became quick friends over a late night game of RISK, which they teamed up for against a bunch of Steve's family and friends. And dominated.

We are smiling, but we are really sad to leave Chelmsford. Wish Liane and Steve lived close to us!

But we had to get back to London to see LES MIS!!!
And I loved every second of it!

Up Next:  Espana!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sometimes (like now) I really wish that I took good pictures with a good camera.  As it is, I really don't like taking pictures.  Especially not while I'm on vacation wanting to enjoy the moment.  But then, after the moment is over, I have nothing.  And then I regret that I didn't capture the moment.

I guess that was all just a background to say, all our Paris pictures were taken with an I-phone.  If I was more of a photographer, I defintely would have captured that first moment when we walked out of the train station right into the heart of Paris.  It literally took my breath away.  I just stopped walking and stared and let it all sink in.  It was an amazing feeling.

I also would have taken random pictures as we walked around Paris for 5 hours.  The city was enchanting.  The people were fancy.  The food was good.  The pastries were AMAZING!

I would have taken pictures of those amazing pastries.  And the cute little bakeries.  And us eating at them.  I would have taken a picture of us eating our first crepe!

I would have taken about 10 million pictures at the Palais Garnier, where we saw a Tchaikovsky (*fav*) ballet.  That was the most amazing building I have ever been in.

*Sigh* Well, luckily I do have a few pictures.  And here they are!
Amusez-vous bien! (Ok, i really don't know what I'm saying)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Europe! The Beginning

I have to admit that these pics aren't the most exciting ones we took on our trip.  But then, as I was thinking back on it, the first part of our trip really wasn't that exciting.  I mean, I guess it's all relative.  Going to Europe= exciting.  But compared to everything that we did, this was less exciting.

Said Goodbye to our kiddos.  I took a picture of them in the car at the airport so I could look back on my camera at them when I got homesick.

Here we are on the airplane.  How happy do we look?!?!
I took a Lunesta and was out for 4 hours.  Fastest plane ride ever. (6 hour flight from Chicago to London)

Here I am in London!  So, we arrived at 7:00 am London time.  Felt like midnight.  But since I had slept on the plane, I was OK.
We had made plans to stay in the temple hostel that first day and do a session while we acclimated ourselves to the time change.  Good idea in theory. Super hard logistically to get to the temple from the Heathrow airport.  Expensive too.  But it was the temple and we got blessings for going so I'm glad we did!  Here I am on the temple grounds.

After the session, we decided to go running.  Our run was an adventure.  We ran to a tiny town about 3 miles away in the pitch black.  We kept thinking there would be street lamps, but there never was.  We passed by the cutest, coziest little British houses that still had their Christmas decorations up and we could see families through the windows gathered together in their living rooms hanging out.  I came to two conclusions on that run.

1. We are spoiled as Americans.  We don't need as big of houses as we think we do.
2. Less is actually more on Christmas decor.  You should have seen these cute, Charles Dickens houses and you would have to agree.  They had like one strand of lights across the front with a tiny Christmas tree in the window.  We loved it.

We ate dinner at an Indian restaurant in the little town.  We got a lot of strange looks by waltzing in there with our running clothes on.  Apparently in Europe, people get dressed up to go out.  Oh yeah, only Americans go out to eat in their sweats.  Oops!

The next day, we woke up way early to take the train to Paris.
Here we are waiting at the Lingfield train station to take us to the bigger train station.

Coming up Next:  PARIS!!!  The city of love!
PS. I do love America and Americans and wearing sweats, just want to be clear.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm Baaaack!

Hi, remember me? I used to blog.
When you get too far behind, it's just easier to put off blogging. 
I never wrote about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, nor our 2 week trip to Europe!
I don't even know where to begin.
I just dug out some pictures- now I can knock out Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I'll do bits of the European vacay over this upcoming week.
And then I'm caught up! YAY!

Halloween:  I know it is ridiculous for me to even post about this, it seems SO long ago.  But anyways, Noah was a kitty cat, inspired by Dora.  Halloween is his favorite holiday.  Well, maybe it's tied with Christmas.

Suzy reused the giraffe costume of Noah's from last year.  Cute.

Noah went trick or treating with his cousin, Jack.  Do you like how Noah was so inspired by Dora that he is even carrying a Dora backpack?

Thanksgiving.  It came and went.  We ate with our awesome family here in Arkansas.  I somehow managed to not take a single picture.  Dang.

Christmas.  It was awesome.

And there you have it!
Now, let's see if anyone reads this.  My sitemeter showed 3 page views today! :)  I love the 3 of you that stopped on by today.  You are the ones that have faith in me.  Watch out, I won't disappoint this week!  I have a lot of cool Europe stuff to talk about.