Friday, 22 June 2012

Barcelona 2012

Between Paris and our cruise Jeremy and I basically had 1 day to get ourselves ready before we were on a plane to Barcelona. Since that is where I cruise was leaving from we decided to go about a day and a half early so that we could check things out as we had never been there. The hotel we stayed at was very close to the port, but also close to a more lively area called Las Ramblas, which was a huge street with shops, and street vendors, artists, fresh flowers etc. We basically just enjoyed walking up and down that road. W also spent some time at the marina which was really pretty. The weather was just perfect. I loved every minute of it! While we were walking around we found this market that was just off of Las Ramblas, and let me tell you this market was so cool, they had all these fresh fruits and vegetable,tons of fresh fruit juices that they sold ready to drink, fresh fruits already cut up ready to eat,bulk candy, nuts, fish, meat, and my favorite--the popsicles made from freshly puréed fruits, which were so yummy on a hot day! After we hit hip the market we went and had a glass of sangria at a little patio restaurant, while we relaxed in the shade that evening. It was totally relaxing!

Just a little side story; I wore the WORST shoes ever for lots of walking. I decided to take a seemingly comfy pair of flip flops that were SO uncomfortable my feet were aching within two hours of walking around. Not good when the next two weeks will be filled with walking. My feet hurt so badly that I decided I had to find a new comfortable pair of sandals before we set sail on our cruise the next morning. So I spent a good portion of time going in and out of stores trying to find myself a pair of sandals that would be suitable for A LOT of walking! I thought the ones I had would be good. It I was so wrong. Anyway I finally found a shop that sold shoes that looked pretty comfortable and the prices where reasonable so I asked the girl working if their was a brand that was good for a lot of walking. She pointed me in the right direction,I found some new sandals and literally walked out of the store wearing them my other shoes were hurting my feet so bad. My feet felt better almost instantly. Its amazing what a good pair of shoes can do. I must say I'm SO glad a picked up some new shoes because these new ones are SO comfy, just the right sandal for a lot of waking! Since I'm writing theses posts after the fact, I must say they were awesome sandals for the rest of the trip I literally walked around for hours without a single compliant!

Anyway after I finished my quest for new shoes we headed back to out hotel for the night. We stayed at Hotel Grums Barcelona, which I must say was a fantastic hotel. It was modern and clean, and the service was great. The location was in walking distance from Las Ramblas and the port, which we loved, and it was only a 10 minute taxi ride to the cruise terminal.

The morning of the cruise we had some time to kill since we didn't need to be there until 2pm. So we decided to go back to the little market place we had found the night before. We walked up there and got another yummy popsicle, I chose pineapple, which was delicious, and then we slowly headed back to the hotel to wait. When the taxi picked us up from the hotel we were SO excited to get on the we approached the terminal I was amazed at how big the ship looked. Mind you we have never been on a cruise, so we were both blown away, we have since found out that cruise ships come in much bigger sizes, and the one we were on was actually relatively small for a cruise ship! After we got to the terminal we checked into the ship and finally our cruise vacation had begun. Over the next 11 days we would get to see more than we could have ever imagined! It was and incredible trip and I can't wait to share more!

To Be Continued....

 On our way to the cruise ship!

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Birthday Weekend in Paris 2012

We are quite the travelers at the moment--trying to get in all these last minute trips before we head back to the gold ol' U-S of A here in July. So for memorial day weekend, which also happened to be my birthday weekend this year, we decided to take a trip to Paris, since we hadn't been there yet in our 4 years over seas. While we were there we had a lot of fun taking in the sights, and eating yummy French food. Jeremy and I literally walked ALLLLLLLL of Paris, it was a but ridiculous and our feet were definitely hating us; but I was terrified of using the metro, and for good reason because when we finally had to use it to get back to our hotel, we TOTALLY got lost.

Our first night in Paris we had traveled for 11 hours to get there because the tour bus we had gone with ran into ever possible delay we could have had, traffic, missed the ferry, more traffic--so it too much longer than usual. Anyway the night we just wanted to take it easy so we stayed with the group and went to this awesome French restaurant. The food was great and the atmosphere was amazing, plus it was all you can drink wine,which you just can't complain about! We sat with this great couple from the tour names Bill and BJ, a lovely retired couple from Florida. They ended up being great company through the entire trip! After the dinner we headed back to our hotel and called it a night since we had an early start the next morning.

The second day of the trip we were off to an early start as we had a lot of sights to take in! We started the morning with a lovely bus tour that host of the highlights, but wasn't really great for photos ops, but gave us a good idea of the city for our own exploring later. After the bus tour we took a river crui tour which was really neat, but once again I picked the wrong side of the boat and didn't get a ton of good pictures--I always seem to do that! After the boat tour they too us to the Louvre and dropped us all off for free time the rest of the day. We went with our new friends Bill and BJ adage lunch at the U.S. embassy--which I so lovingly call McDonalds! Ha ha it's cheap and easy in any country. Don't judge. After that we went inside the Louvre, which is HUGE! It took us 3 hours to hit the highlights we wanted to see such as the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, the Venus di Milo, and Neapolitan's apartment. Later we stopped for a drink on this balcony of the museum and got s great view of the famous glass pyramids, as wells an awesome view of the Eiffel tower. I'm not really a museum person myself, but it was really neat to see! After the Louvre, I was on a mission; ever since we got stationed in England I have been telling Jeremy that I wanted to get a expensive handbag,like a Chanel or a Louis Vuitton when we went to Paris. Paris is where both Louis Vuitton and Chanel originated so where better than to pick up my lovely "souvenir!" so we headed back to the Champs Élysées, which is the most famous shopping street in France and headed to the three story Louis Vuitton store--my version of the Louvre for sure! We checked out Chanel but she was a little bit out of my I'll have to keep saving my pennies! I did however end up getting a beautiful Louis Vuitton bag which ended up being my birthday present from my sweet hubby! My parents even helped out a little too! So happy birthday to me! I was so excited--if any of you know me well you know I LOVE fashion, and I'm a fashion major,so this was a big deal to me! I'm already go try next one picked out *wink!* After we were done at the Champs Élysées we walked up the street to the Arc de Triumph monument, which is HUGE! It is surrounded by one of the busiest roundabouts in Paris so you actually have to walk underneath and underground tunnel to walk up to it. We actually sat and rested here for about 30 minutes before headed over to the Eiffel tower once again. I was determined to stay out until it lit up. This time of year it doesn't start getting dark until about 10pm, so we went and had dinner at a restaurant down the street until the sun went down. After we got to see the tower all lit up we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel...this is where my funny story about getting lost comes in...(after a few pictures!)

 Sophia Loren's Paris apartment! 

So we were wandering around Paris trying to figure out where we were where going. We knew which train we needed, however finding the right station was another story--you think I would be used to an Underground since I'm a pro at navigating that, totally different when it's in French! Anyway as we are aimlessly walking in and out of metro stations trying to figure out where in the heck we were going when Jeremy starts talking to a girl who was definitely American--her and her group of friends seemed like they knew what they heck they were doing so we asked them if they would help is and they gladly obliged, telling us they had a hard time figuring it out at first too. Well they helped us find the trains we needed to take which happened to be on the same path as theirs so they offered to get us on the right track and stay with us until we got to the station we needed. They were so nice! So we got talking to the and asking the usual questions i.e. "so where are you from?" we replied telling them we were from Utah, near Salt Lake City. The one girl literally stopped dead in her tracks and said "NO WAY! We all went to school at BYU!" turns out they had lived in Utah at some point in time, and one the guys was even from Orem. I was in shock! It just goes to show what a small small world it really is! Well it only took us 3 hours but we finally made it back to our hotel in one piece. Our hotel mind you want kind of in the ghetto, so it was a little intimidating navigating at night when a Louis Vuitton shopping bag in hand...I literally thought we were going to get mugged. But like I said we were fine! We definitely didn't stay out too late the following night, but we also had a much easier time finding the hotel--oh we'll at least I got to see the Eiffel tower all lit up!

After our adventure on the second day we were ready to tackle the third day. We chose to do another group activity in the morning which took us to the Palace of Versailles. We stood in line for 2 hours just to get in. It was a beautiful weekend in Paris, the sun was shining, and we were turkey soaking up the sun. However like a dummy I totally forgot sunscreen, so needless to say my fair skin was FRIED by the end of wait in line. The Palace was really neat; but once again I'm not a huge history buff or anything so I couldn't even tell you much about that place except that it was pretty! After that we headed back into the city as we had a couple more things we wanted to go see. They dropped us off at Hard Rock cafe Paris where we did get a bite to eat, and I got my Hard Rock charm for my bracelet (I have been collecting the guitar pick charms from most of the cities I visit since they are super easy to find when I can't find any other charms from that city!). After this we went off on our own to Notre Dam which was a beautiful walk, and the cathedral itself is very beautiful. Right up from Notre Dam is the famous love bridge--it is here where for years lovers have placed locks with their names inscribed on them in hopes for true everlasting love! Of course we had to leave our lock, and toss the me into river! After that we decided the day had been long enough so we headed back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep before our morning departure.

 Gate of the the Palace

 The Hall of Mirrors 

We left Paris the next morning which was also my Birthday morning, so I did in fact spend my Birthday on a bus! No worries though I had purchased some amazing macaroons form Lauderee which were so yummy, I counted those a my "birthday cake." We arrived home in the early evening which we were grateful for since we basically had that evening and the next day to pack for our 11 day cruise! I am so glad we did get to see Paris, it was such lovely city. The people weren't as rude as I had expected, and overall it was a great experience. I still feel like I'm living a deal sometimes with all of these amazing places we have been and the cultures that we have gotten to experience. It's definitely something I would have never thought I'd get to do in my early twenties...if ever. I feel so lucky!

Anyway thats all for this post. Stay tuned though, I will be posting about each port from our cruise and sharing pictures from that as well! It's going to be blog post overload I'm sure!

Until next time!


PS--This is kind of turing into a "travel log" for me at the moment because I want to remember all of these amazing trips! I think when the year is over I'm going to have my blog posts printed into an actual book that I can keep as well!

If you want to check out my other blog come visit me HERE!!

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Vacation Time!!

Hey Everyone!  I know I've kinda been on a role with the blogs lately, so I thought I'd just let you know that we are headed out of town for a couple weeks and when I get back I'll have lots of pictures and things to share!!  We just got back from Paris 2 days ago for my Birthday which was so much fun, and now we are headed on a Mediterranean cruise for the next 2 weeks!!  We are SO excited.  We've been wanting to take a cruise ever since we moved over here four years ago, and we are finally getting to do it!

Anyway just wanted to let you all know that I'm really trying to keep up with this blog, so keep an eye out for new posts coming soon!


Monday, 14 May 2012

The Lion King

Yesterday, which also happened to be Mothers Day, Jeremy and I got to go see The Lion King in London with some friends of ours! Let me just say what a great show! I was absolutely blown away by the costumes in this performance! They were amazing and the actors really embraced the animal like qualities of the characters. It was really fantastic!! We had great seats only 6 rows back from the stage, so we got to see everything!

I love going down to London to see a show on West End. I've seen Wicked twice, Dirty Dancing and now this...coming to these so much fun I'm so grateful that we have been able experience those kinds of things during our time here. I will truly miss that about living here. I'm hoping we might be able to fit in one more before we leave! I'm thinking Sherk or The Wizard of Oz...we will see!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

Just wanted to say Happy Mothers Day to all of the mama's out there!!  A special Happy Mothers Day to three very special women in my life, My mama, my Grandma Busch and My Aunt Ted!!  All three of these women have always been there for me whenever I have needed anything!  They have all stood by me and given me love and support regardless of the situation.  I am SO lucky to have not just one, but tree lovely ladies in my life.

I especially want to take a minute and write a couple words for my mom:

Dear Mom,

Even though we haven't always gotten a long, and there have times when we have both not really "liked" each other, or wanted to rip each others hair out;  you have always loved me--and that is what always counts!  Over the last several years as I've moved away, and become and adult you have not only been a mother who offers motherly advice when needed, you have also grown to become one of my best friends and I absolutely love the special relationship that we share.  I know that I can always count on you for anything, and I'm SO lucky that I have you as a mom.  I think about you always and cannot wait until we are closer again!  Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.  I love you mom.  Always and forever!


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Holland/Amsterdam 2012

Jeremy and I went to Holland over the Easter weekend, and although it was FREEZING cold and rainy the whole time, we had a great time! This was my second time going to the Amsterdam area, and even though I've been there before we did completely different things this time around, which made it great. While we were there we went to the famous bulb fields which were beautiful. Even though all of the tulips hadn't come out yet there were still a lot of lovely colors to see. The bulb fields are home to more than 4.5 million tulips and over 60 different types! It was really I must for warn you that there are TONS of flower pictures coming up.

While we were there we also got to go to a clog and cheese factory as well as visit an old fishing village. Amsterdam is way below sea level so to be out by the coast was really kind of a cool experience. We also went to the infamous Red Light District--sorry no pictures allowed!
Of all the places I've visited Amsterdam is really one of my favorite places that I have visited. It's such a beautiful city, and the Dutch people are SO friendly and nice. Anyway I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!


The beautiful fishing village of Volendam:

Jeremy's BFF he made at the clog and cheese factory!

Beautiful view of one of the many canals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam flag

Keukenhof Bulb Fields 2012: