Saturday, July 17, 2010

Home again, home again!

Well, we made home. I am sorry that I couldn't make more posts and update you all more often, but let me summarize...IT WAS THE BEST TRIP EVER!!

We spent our time in the Netherlands visiting Aunt Leslie's old friends and seeing all the places that she learned to love there so much while living there. I got to see her old house, the school where she taught and all the places she has always talked about. It was fantastic!

We spent a day in Amsterdam prior to flying home. The architechture is just amazing there, I really liked it.

But now I am in my own my own bed...speaking english, hearing english...and it feels so good. All of these places that I have visited have helped me to learn how really small I am in this world, but helped me feel not only proud of baing american but proud to be apart of this world. It is filled with so many amazing things to behold and populated with so many different people. It overwhemles me. I had the time of my life and I can't wait to go back. (but not too soon....I love my family too much)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In Holland for the World Cup Final!! Bummer for the oranje...

We've made it into the netherlands, Leslie's old stomping grounds. She cried as we crossed the border. She's sweet. We have made visits to all her old friends and it is so cool to finally see the place that she has talked about for so many years.

We are on the home stretch!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blogging is hard.

I have found it really hard to get enternet connection over here, so my blog is lacking and over due. I'm trying my best!

Switzerland: We stayed in a little place called grindlewald right at the base of huge mountains and a glacier. We hiked and saw some waterfalls, then went to church in interlaken the next day.  

Next we went to mittenwald, Germany. Spent the night. So quaint it felt like a movie set.  

Venice. So cool. One of the most unique places in the world. We went for a gondola ride. The guy stunk at singing. Shopped, went to the museum. Really hot.

Tuscany - we stayed in a little village in a small rental house it was in a vineyard/olive grove, it was really old and cool. But Les loved it the most because there was a pool. We visited the area around and went to a small village so isolated on a steep hill that you have to hike to it. civita di baggnoragio. Awesome. Firenze (Florence) was way cool, saw the David at the accademia museum, then the birth of Venus at the uffizi museum. So amazing. 

Rome! Went to the Vatican- st. Peters basilica, the Sistine chapel. Campo di fiori, attempted to see the roman forum, the Trevi fountain! Went to church the next day, testimony meeting, so cool.
Mom and dad left for Prague.

Saw the leaning tower of Pisa on our way to the coast.

Cinque Terra. So beautiful. Five towns in the cliffs with a beach at the end. 

Lake como. Pit stop on our way back into France.  

Alsace. Colmar. One of the most beautiful towns we have seen yet.

Time is going by so quickly. I can't even believe that we are still here. Six weeks is a long time. I am begining to feel homesick, my sister Nicole is due to have a baby girl any day now, so I am anxious to be with her. But everyday is a blast, every site is beautiful, every meal is delectible and yet I can't stop thinking about my nephew back at home. This is just a little preview for the mission I guess! Holy cow! That hurts to think about.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Je ne parle fran├žais, parlez-vous anglais?"

PARIS...what a city.

Whether it is the stained-glass windows of Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle, the stunning view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the mouth watering food or the sight of Winged Victory at the Louvre Paris has so much beauty to behold.

Luckily, my Mom and Dad have developed quite the knack for foreign languages, so communication has been easy.......wrong. They butcher every attempt! When we went into a bakery for some breakfast and got these cheese quiches(which were delicious) and as the lady hands my Mom the bag she says in broken english, "three cheese", and my Mom replies, "Mer-cheese....I mean.. mercy". Mom doesn't really talk to the natives anymore.

We arrived late the first night in paris, so even though Mom and Aunt Les wanted turn in, I convinced my Dad to go see the Eiffel Tower.

Right as we walked the base the clock struck midnight and the whole tower began sparkling with lights. It was pretty awesome.

We have sped up our pace to match that of the city, so we wake up early and come back to the hotel at night with barely enough energy to take off our shoes before we climb in bed.

I think we are all excited for a few low-key days in the Confederation Helvetica...the land of the almighty Federer(who is rock'in Wimbledon right now)...Switzerland.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bon jour!

We have crossed the border! (Or the channel I should say) The ferry ride was pleasant...trying to get the car returned and tickets for the ferry...not so pleasant.

Now that we are back on the "right" side of the road, it was easy to make our way down to Hon Fleur. It is a quaint little fishing village on the north coast. We stayed in a picturesque Auberge (or hotel) where I had one of the best breakfasts of my life...bread, cheese, nutella and a cup of hot chocolate. It doesn't get much better! By the way...I LOVE NUTELLA!

On our way down to Paris we made stops at:

Hon Fleur

Le Mont Saint Michel

We stayed right on the island, it was amazing.

And Chartes Cathedral

Traveling has been really good. We have a rental car, so we drive from place to place covering quite a bit of ground, but every single place we stop is breath taking. The car is getting a little crowded as we have begun to collect momentos and gifts. Not to mention the luggage load of my three companions. I packed the lightest and yet I carry the most luggage from place to place!

Friday, June 18, 2010 new hometown

I have found where I belong! The busy streets and hustle of the city is music to my ears! We toured around seeing what we could by bus(double-decker of course) the first day and really got a feel for the city.
It has been fun to be immersed into British culture. I can now tell you that "Cheers" works for saying thanks, good day, and your welcome all at the same time, if you like something you"fancy" it, a queue is a waiting line, diversion is a detour, and the list goes on and on. I didn't get the definition of the classic "bloody", but I did get some funny looks from people on the street as I used the word attempting to british-ify myself.

We saw the beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral, which is huge! There is a very large dome with three tiers. We walked up all three tiers and the view from the very top was a spectacular 360 degree view of London.

After sprinting across the millenium bridge(the one in Harry Potter) I was just in time for the last tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. I wish I could explain my love of theatre to you in connection to visiting such an extaordinary theatre. I couldn't help but smile the whole time I was there.

And to make it better we went and saw Les Miserables that night. I cried! Can you believe that! Like full blown tears down my cheeks, CRIED! It was really good.

We went to Westminster Abbey and rested. Then went to the Evensong service in the church. It was beautiful.

Then on our way down to Dover to catch the ferry to Calais we stopped at the London Temple. It seemed like a little piece of something I was familiar with, I is a blessing to feel the friendship and love of others around the world through the gospel.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Photos from Week One!

William Shakespeare's tomb. On the tombstone it says:
"Good friend for Jesus sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here!
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones"
Isn't that awesome!!

The Cotswolds Landscape

Our Cottage!

The Dartmoor Downs, we saw mini stonehenges and wild ponies.

Durtle Door. This was quite the site to behold.

We are off to London today! I can't wait!!