Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Time!

I've decided to take a break from my vacation postings and update on my family. So much has happened in the last year, and I am so sad that I have not kept on top of recording these events. Here are a few pics of my sweet boys for you all to enjoy!

I can't believe how fast these little men of mine are growing! Carter will be 22 months on the 11th and Grant is 4.5 - do not say he is just four, it's four and a half and he WILL correct you!

These boys of mine fight hard! They want what the other has and will scream until one gets their way. Despite their differences, they are also best buddies. We purchased a set of bunk beds for the boys because our new home in Grand Junction, CO is so small, this was really the only option. Every night, they sleep snuggled up to one another on the top bunk. The first few days I about had a panic attack just waiting for one of them to plummet off the bed to their death, but so far so good!

Some fun things about Carter include:
He just began saying "I love you!"
He loves to sing.
When he goes to kiss you, he sticks his bottom lip out and says, "mmmmm."
He likes to make you smell his feet...?
He takes his diaper off roughly 600 times a day.
He loves "ba bas" and cheese A LOT!
He is probably just as busy, if maybe not mores than Grant was at this age, and that's saying something.

Some fun things about Grant:
He also loves to sing and makes up the most outrageous words when he is stumped by the lyrics.
He does not want a new baby but would be okay with a kid brother.
If the baby is a boy he would like to name it Lincoln, if it's a girl (which it's not), he first chose Obama....but quickly changed his mind to Washington!
He makes up the craziest phrases including: "You crazy crinkly comet," or "You're a meaner" (those are two of my personal favorites).
Not only can he spell his name, he can spell Gold's Gym. That's right, Gold's Gym. I usually take the boys with me when I go workout and one night, Grant just decided to memorize how to spell the name of the center. Pretty funny!
Unlike his brother, Grant hates food and reminds me of this fact constantly.

As you probably concluded from the paragraphs above, we recently moved from Wyoming to Grand Junction, CO. It's definitely been a change. I miss my friends like crazy but am slowly adjusting here. I do enjoy the shopping!
Nathan is as busy as ever, which is both a blessing and a curse. We can't complain when the pay check comes, but we sure miss him while he is gone!
We are also expecting our 3rd little boy in May. I'm still a little in shock that I will have three boys, but I also couldn't be more excited!
I felt this little man move on Logan's birthday, which is great because I will never forget the date. Man is this kid a wiggler too.

That about sums up the happenings in our life lately! We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season filled with lots of joy and yummy food!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Germany: Days 8 & 9

I'm finally updating on our vacation again! I really need to stay ontop of this because I am forgetting details of our vacay by the minute! Anyway...
We headed out of Amsterdam, which I was not too saddened by, and made our way towards Germany. By now, with all the plane and train rides we had taken thus far, I was getting quite good at hoping on our means of transporation and falling right to sleep; this ride was no exception. I woke up about 3 hours later, leaving only another 2 hours left until we hit Berlin. The ride was pretty quiet for the most part, but at the last hour, the other man sitting in our compartment decided to become friendly. He was quite the interesting fellow. We learned that he was from Poland, worked in the oil fields, and didn't really like his wife or children...The most memorable thing about this guy though was the fact that he rummaged through mine and Nathan's garbage, took our half eaten desserts, put them his bag, while he casually carried on a conversation with us. I don't think I have ever tried so hard in my entire life not to bust out laughing! HILARIOUS!

Well, we finally made it to Germany, which did I mention that we missed our scheduled train there too! We were awesome at missing our trains! So, in Germany....this station was massive! We did figure out how to get to our hotel though without too much trouble! Once we got to the hotel, we just kind of relaxed and enjoyed the evening. We went out to eat at a little restaurant right down the street from the hotel! I had my very first taste of weinersnitzel, which was fantastic!

The next morning the real fun began! I had accidentally misplaced my mascara so we walked down the road looking for some kind of drug store to purchase a new one! After we finally found some makeup, which was super expensive by the way, we continued walking for like EVER to the bust stop where we would begin our "Berlin Hop-on-and-off" tour. Of course, we missed our bus and had to wait for the next, which thank goodness, was only like 15 minutes, and our adventures through Berlin began!

Walking down the street to find some makeup! The roads were lined with these bears. Each one represents a different country around the world.

I can't remember the exact order anymore of all the places we stopped, but I am pretty one of the first places was the Jewish Museum. This museum was very...interesting. The architecture along with all the elements of the place are set up to basically make you feel as lost and uncomfortable as possible. It's suppose to be a sort of representation of the Holocaust. It worked; I felt really awkward and empty throughout the whole tour!

Somewhere on this bus ride we passed a big portion of the Berlin Wall.

After our trip to the Jewish Museum, we walked over to Checkpoint Charlie. I swear there were like 10 million people here! It was hard to take in because of the craziness of it all!

We stopped for lunch at this fun, and delicious, little restaurant. I swear we were there for two hours! That's just how they role in Europe; eating is a day long affair!
So this is where all the details of Germany kind of become blurred together. After lunch, I think we just kind of wandered around and found some things to look at. We came across this think it was. It's so sad I can't remember for sure! Right next to the church was this amazing museum filled with artifacts from Classical Greece and Rome and even pre-Rome, i.e. the Etruscans and such! I was in heaven.

Another view of the possible church! So beautiful!

Inside the museum!

A Roman bath infront of the museum.

A neat building, which of course I can't remember its function, while we were driving, or possible walking, through Berlin!

The Brandenburg Gate, also surrounded by like 5 million people! Ugh...tourists...(;

These crazy tour bikes were all over town! It was really funny to see like 8, or however many people they seat, trying to maneuver these suckers around!

After the Brandenburg Gate, I think we headed back to the hotel. Nathan had to leave to go pick up the rental car, which was an interesting experience in itself. Once he got back to the hotel, we hit the hay early. The next day we would be up bright and early. Next stop Poland to see Auschwitz.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 5, 6, & 7!

Welcome to Amsterdam!!!

Now welcome to Amsterdam!

The beautiful building in the center of this photo is the Amsterdam Central Station.

Monday morning we headed to the train station to leave Paris! It was absolutely pouring rain outside so Logan and I decided to take a taxi to the station. Thinking that it was only just down the street, it would cost us basically nothing! Little did we know, taxis have a minimum you have to pay even if they drive you across the street! To make our taxi ride extra special, we discovered that the handle on my suitcase would not go down. Logan basically had to beat it with his hand to get it to fit in the taxi! This was only the start of my suitcase problems! Anyway, we finally get to the station, quite early, or maybe it was late, I really can't remember. It was late I'm pretty sure! Either way, we missed our train and had to go wait in line for like TEN HOURS to make a reservation for a new ride to Amsterdam (Okay, 10 hours is an exaggeration, it was 2, but it really felt like an eternity). So while waiting in line, we met this extremely friendly gentleman who gave us some wonderful advice about Amsterdam.... "Do not go to the Bull Dog Cafe!" He persisted! "Their pot is cheap quality and no good!" Logan and I graciously nodded our heads and thanked him for the advice, while making subtle eye contact with each other, hoping neither of us would crack up laughing! And people say the French are rude...psh!
Anyway....we finally got on our train and let me tell ya, it was WELL worth the wait! This was the most ballin' mode of transportation I have ever used in my life! Free wi-fi, reclining chairs, power outlets, constant food service; it was amazing! Too bad the ride was only an hour and a half! We made a stop in Brussels, Belgium, which was hard to enjoy because it was also raining!

We met some friendly college students who were also headed to Amsterdam just for the day! We knew right away just exatly why they were headed there! I figured I would share some useful advice that was given to me in Paris and let the boys know NOT TO GO TO THE BULL DOG CAFE! They seemed very appreciative!
Following our little layover in Belgium, we hopped on another train, which DID NOT have wi-fi, and was not even close to as nice as our first Thalys' train! What can you do? Once to Amsterdam, which by the way, our trained stoppped like 6000 times on the way there so it felt like we were never going to get there, we were dropped off at the airport, Schipol, and somehow found our way to the metro, and finally to the central metro station in Amsterdam! Lucky for us, the station was just down the street from our hotel! We got some directions and walked on down, in the rain of course!
We got to our hotel and let me tell ya, Dwight K. Shrute was working, or his long lost twin! These guys looked so much alike! Their likeness in looks couldn't be more contrasted with their personalities though! This dude was one of the most hyper people I have ever met! He must have smoked too much pot, which by the way, there was a big sign that said "no marijuana allowed in this facility!" What a relief!
We got to our room and it was nice! Bigger than our one in Paris and with a few more ammenities. The only downfall...the bathroom door was glass and made it extremely awkward when you had to do your business, especially when you are sharing a room with your little brother! I actually hated that bathroom! The shower was totally retarded and I even slipped and fell in it and whacked my head on the wall! Stupid shower!

View from our hotel, the Amsterdam Hotel de Roode Leeuw

The next day was a super exciting one! Nathan arrived! Of course though, with no internet or phone service, it was extremely hard to coordinate our plans! I ended up all the way back at the airport, just missing Nathan, who was now at the hotel with Logan! Anyway, we finally all met up and proceeded to make our way to the station once again, so that Logan could get to the airport and fly out! I'm pretty sure Logan snuck on that train because our pass was expired! Anyway, we said our goodbyes as Logan prepared for pretty much the LONGEST flight ever )Amsterdam to SEATTLE, and then to Salt Lake). Nathan and I left the station, in the rain of course, surprise? We ate at some weird turkish place, well Nathan ate there (I ordered some french fries, which looked delicious, until they plopped a cup of mayo on top of it. It just wansn't the same after) and then boarded this super ghetto canal "bus" to begin our tour of Amsterdam!

Here is a picture of one of the more famous parts of the canal; it's called the 7 bridges or something like that! As part of the tour, you get off, if you feel like it, at various sites throughout the town! Our first stop took us to the house of Anne Frank. We waited in line for an eternity, in the cold and rain, and finally made it inside. Pictures were not allowed unfortunately but it was really an amazing place! It was narrow and TALL! I mean, it was like 4 or 5 stories high! One of the staircases was nearly straight up and down! That was absolutely my favorite part of the trip!

This was a beautiful building we passed during our canal bus ride!

Although Amsterdam smelled like pot and you were pretty sure someone was going to solicite sex to you around every corner, it was BEAUTIFUL!

The fauna and flora were out of control in Amsterdam! All the flowers just thrived and flourished!

I LOVED all the old Protestant churches throughout the region! So beautiful.

Following Ann Frank's home, we went to the Rijksmuseum! This was a super neat museum that really focused on the colonial era of the Dutch. Think Pirates of the Caribbean!

After the museum, we decided to explore some of Amsterdam on our own! We found a place to eat; a Brazilian place at that! It was called Rodizio Grill, and well, it was very similar to the Rodizios in the states. The food was great, and as usual, we both ate WAY too much! We continued walking around and managed to find ourselves on the outter edge of the Red Light District! We ended up basically having to cross a street though it if we wanted to get back to our hotel sometime that night; I know, we are so daring! Let me tell ya though, just the 10 seconds we spent walking through was NASTY! Porn everywhere! I don't recommend it!

After an extremely long night, we headed back to the hotel, where we were finally able to Skype with my boys! It was so fun to see them!

The next mornin we packed up and headed out! We made it to the train station right after the train left. We had officially started a new trend of missing our trains, first Paris, now here! We figrued while we were waiting, we'd stop at the bank and get some cash. The line was short, in fact, only one person in front of us, and a few behind. So, after we had waited about 25 minutes, we were starting to get slightly perturbed. One of the older gentlemen that had been waiting also looked and asked us how long we had been waiting. We told him about 25 minutes. He was NOT okay with this. He started yelling at the teller and the customer. It was actually pretty hilarious. He kept whispering in shock and disbelief under his breath, "Five and Twenty! My gosh!" When he was done fighting, he looked at Nathan and I again and said he had filed a complaint for us! Ha ha! We all laughed a little!

Anyway, after the bank, we had to wait in line for ages to get a new train reservation. we met some American basketball player who had A LOT to say! It was a little annoying actually. Finally, we got our reservation, and just in the nick of time because our train pulled up within minutes. We hopped on the train and a whole new world of adventures began!

Next time....

Read about the man who rummaged through my garbage and stashed away our half eaten food for later.

Also, read about the crazy psycho on the autobahn that drove on the shoulder of the rode next to us, trying to get our attention!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 4!

Our last full day in Paris we decided to fit into our already cramped schedule absolutely everything we could possibly squeeze. We started out with a journey to the Pantheon located in the Latin Quarter of France. We made our way by the metro, of course, and for the first time, got completely lost. We wandered around until a kind gentleman pointed us in the right direction. As a side not, all of the Parisians we came across were soooo incredibly kind! Some of the nicest people we met on the whole trip! Completed in 1789, this secular temple is the resting place of various influential French scientists and scholars including, my personal favorite, Victor Hugo (les Miserable & Hunchback of Notre Dame), Alexander Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo), along with Descartes and even Voltaire.

My planking attempt in the Pantheon! Too bad Logan is the worst photographer EVER and didn't get what I was planking in front of; this giant fresco, to be specific!
I definitely got a few looks!

We stopped at this McDonald's after leaving the Pantheon and even ordered some food on this special maching. After waiting almost 20 minutes, and getting extremely grumpy because of our hunger, they finally told us that if you actually pay at the machine, it cancels your order. Who'd a thunk that paying for something meant you DON'T get your items!
P.S. McDonalds in Europe are totally gourmet and so fancy! They also are pretty much the only businesses that have public bathrooms, and free ones at that, so if you gotta go, stop there, but be prepared to wait in line for a LONG time!

After we visited the Pantheon, we made our way over to the Musee de l' Armee (military museum) which hosts artifacts dating back to medieval times and before. It also is the home of the Tomb of Napoleon.
Can you name which Greek God is pictured in this photo, top right? I'll give you a hint...check out his hat!
This was also my attempt to plank inside the canon! It was much harder than it looks!

So Logan and I had a planking pact. When one of us named a place, the other had to plank it, no questions asked. This was by far was the most daring. We were inside the musem in a long narrow corridor. There were guards on both ends of the hall with a camera. The second both security officers stopped looking, I stood in the way of the camera, kind of, and Logan jumped on this canon. Who knows how old it was? It was terrifying but definitely worth the experience!

The streets through Monte Marte were so narrow but so beautiful. I wanted to lay on the cobblestone and I don't know what! It was just so pretty! From my understanding, Monte Marte is one of the oldest parts of Paris. It was also built on a hill, which served as a huge quarry at one time and almost collapsed. Anyway, the point about the was incredibly steep and gave us quite a workout, but once you got to the top, the view was breathtaking!

Ah, the Sacre Couer located on top of the tallest hill in Paris, and also in the midst of the most beautiful and historical neighborhoods in the city. We actually went inside the basilica but pictures were prohibited. Honestly, it was so ridiculously crowded that taking a photo would have been worthless. All you would see are random tourists' heads!

Paris is known for its amazing pastries. Not only are they super tasty, but incredibly beautiful. These specific desserts were located in a small shop in Monte Marte. No surprise they were beautiful; everything there was!

Probably one of the most disappointing things in all of Europe was the Moulin Rouge. It was really hard to believe this dumpy little place surrounded by other dumpy little buildings is so famous!

After the Moulin Rouge, we headed back to the hotel (I think) and packed up our stuff so we could head out the next day! Next stop The Netherlands to the city of Amsterdam!