December 29, 2005

Here's what I've been doing this week...

Reading...finally finished Prince Caspian...now starting Memoirs of a Geisha....

This is pretty much the position I've been in all week. New slippers on, in front of the TV watching...(see next photo) note: I did change spots on the couch a couple times.

Yup, more TV. I told you it's like a drug addiction...I'm seeking help...
But that's not all...there's more...



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Mourning the loss of the forest next to the house I grew up in.
Raking leaves...
Playing with my parent's crazy dog, who decided to be shy and hide under the table near my dad when I decided to take her picture. Usually she is HYPER CRAZY!
Knitting, which also includes buying new needles and finding a great yarn store down the street!
And more still....

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It's a game my brother got for Christmas. We've both been doing it...
I organized the 3,000 pictures from my sister's wedding. How many were there really? Well, they wouldn't all fit in this photo box.

Lotion on my face too many times to count. City water is full of chlorine. Chlorine=peeling skin.

Eating way to much of this...
While thinking that I should be doing this....

Happy week between holidays, everyone!

2005 review

2005 fun memories...

Having friends over constantly. (if only I had a guest room for them to enjoy)

Seeing the sunset over the river (it never gets old)

Laughter (there is nothing better in life that laughing with friends. you know the kind where you laugh so hard that you can't breathe and you just can't stop!)

The sound of children having fun and laughing, the slashes in the pool, the loud voices over the megaphone, the boat pulling away from the floating pier with a banana boat full of the screams of delighted kids (the property feels so lost and empty once the kids leave)

Re-reading my journal throughout the year to see how I've changed and the answers to my prayers.

Listening to music in my car. (sometimes it's the best release ever. makes me feel like I should be on Broadway when I sing along in the confines of my little car)


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December 27, 2005

A day in the life of Jack Bauer

About 3 years ago, we started a new tradition for the week after Christmas. It has become one of my favorites...you will see why...
Every year for Christmas, someone seems to get at least one movie. They are such fun and easy gifts to give. So, every year, we end up watching at least one or more movies throughout the lazy week between Christmas and New Years.
About 3 years ago, I decided to try the show Alias after seeing a few epidsodes here and there. I went to Blockbuster and rented the first 2 seasons, 2 discs at a time. We, my brother, mom, dad (for some reason, I don't remember my sister being there. She is the normal one among us with an actual life outside the house during the Christmas/New Years' week), and I sat and watched 2 whole seasons in just a few short days. The next year, we tried another show (I think it was 24, but I wasn't intrigued at the time) and got up to date on Star Wars behind the scenes since it had just come out on DVD.
This year, it's a sci fi spectacular. My brother got 24 season two. My dad got Firefly. Both have almost constantly been on out TV for the last 2-3 days. It's really ridiculous. My dad said today as we sat down for lunch (in front of the TV of course to continue the viewing and save time while eating as well) that the episodes are like chips. We can't just eat one. We sit down to watch one episode and 3 hours later we are sitting there realizing that it's now almost time for dinner.
At least now I know my TV addiction is hereditary....isn't that an excuse?


For the record...I'm enjoying 24 even though I can't stand the actor who plays the president (most annoying man ever to have no emotion) and the story lines are crazy (so now the woman who killed Jack's wife is getting immunity for everything she's done and has survived a plane crash and can talk to the President any time she demands it) but it does keep me watching. Season one I gave up after 5 episodes. I'm told if you hang on, you will love it. Okay, Keifer, make me a believer....

December 26, 2005

sunset

God was painting the other night in pinks and oranges....

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wreath o' Winnie

This is what we did to my parents poor dog for Christmas. Someone made her this Christmas wreath with jingle bells on it. Needless to say, she didn't get the Christmas joy out of it that we did.


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December 20, 2005

my black and whites

Before I left for Europe, I was having problems trying to decide what shoes to take with me. They had to be comfortable to walk in cause that was my #1 means of transportation. I carefully evaluated each pair of shoes that I owned and tried to pick one to no avail. I have lots of shoes, but none that I felt could withstand the beating I was about to give them. Plus, all my travel books said that "to stand out as a tourist, locals need only to look at your shoes." They rarely if ever wear tennis shoes out and about.
I was caught at a cross roads of fashion and comfort. I shopped, somewhat half heartedly, hoping to find something to fit the bill. I found a pair of shoes a TJMAXXXX (oh, how I love you) for an unbelievable deal. Almost half off the regular price (oh, how I love a good bargin even more). I packed them away in my suitcase complete with a set of $2.99 WalMart insoles just for fun.
These black and whites became my favorite shoe after just one wearing. They were literally like slippers. I took them off only to go to bed. I wore them with everything and threw fashion to the wind because they were so comfy. We were a match made in discount store heaven.

December 19, 2005

Hats off to you Mr. Jackson

He may be the only person in the world that will make me run to the theatre opening weekend and happily lay down my $9 for a 3 hour sit in the theater. 4 times now, he has persuaded me that long doesn't necessarily mean that it will be boring, no special effects can take the place of a well told story (even though his stories are full of them), storytelling at its best can make you cry over the oddest things, and good casting makes the picture.
Keep the stories coming. And don't forget the hours of behind the scenes gems for the DVDs.
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December 16, 2005

La Tour Eiffel

I found this picture as I was looking through my Europe pictures. I just love how massive the Eiffel Tower looks.
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December 15, 2005

it's a little tree....

but it brings so much Christmas cheer!


















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to wrap or not to wrap



I have a friend who thinks wrapping presents is the most stupid thing ever. Why do all that work, when it's just going to get destroyed? It's just like throwing your money away.
Must say that I COMPLETELY disagree! Last night, I spent a whole hour happily wrapping presents for friends and loved every minute of it. There is just something about someone seeing their present looking beautiful. It may even hide how small or insignificant the gift may be. I love using ribbon and wire garland and colors. This year I found some Chinese take-out food containers in Christmas colors! It's such a fun way to let someone know you care.
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December 14, 2005

ho-hum

I've been debating whether to post or not because nothing all that adventurous has happened lately. After posts about London and the Eiffel Tower, writing that I went Christmas shopping at Sam's club last night just seems rather pathetic.
So, I've been trying to think of a fun spin on my life. How do I write down my day to day events without making them seem as stupid and silly as they really are? These are the reasons that I think that writers, truly good writers are among the most talented minds in our world. I read a blog from a lady who just seems to have this really fun life. There isn't anything really that over-adventurous about her day to day life, but she they way she writes, it's just so much fun to read. She writes about what she's feeling that day and doesn't apologize for it either. Love it.
So what do I feel like today? I'm excited to pick up my Christmas cards that I made and mail them out to friends. I'm excited to watch Alias tonight cause Micheal Vartan is going to be on it. I read a really great passage of scripture last night in Romans that been rolling around in my head all day conviciting me of stuff in my mind and heart lately. Love that. Knitting is on the agenda tonight as well. This is my new craft for the winter. I'm slowly improving.
There you go. See, not so exciting, but then again, it's my life. Some days are the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Some are Sam's club at Christmas. Now that sounds like the title of a book.....hmm...
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December 12, 2005

Things I don't like...

Since I've posted things I do like, here's a list of the opposite. In no order of reason...

Cold weather ( I miss my flip-flops and tank tops and it's only the beginning of winter here. Arggg.)

Reconciling myself to the fact that my college professors where right when they said "you may have to use graphic design in the future even though your major is video" (to which my response was always "heck, no! I hate design!!" Double arggg.)

Favorite TV shows becoming a mere shadow of their former glorious selves (see Alias and West Wing. Are they even the same shows? It's not really Alias without Vaughn, everyone knows that.)

Small talk with people I don't know (I'm in awe of people who can do this. It's like a superpower or something.)

My own clothes (not all the time, but definately today)

When people read the end of the book before they finish (it drives me insane, especially when they tell me about it. or ruin a movie by giving away the twist. There should be a special place of punishment for these ruiners.)

Being asked "So when are you getting married? You aren't getting any younger you know" (Oh, right, I forgot about that whole area of my life. Really should be working on that, shouldn't I? (sarcastic undertones heavily implied))

Living far from my friends (college dorm life did have it's advantages. Best friends a step across the hallway at anytime)

Not being able to write in words what my brain is thinking and how I'm feeling

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December 09, 2005

Narnia remembered

I have been to the movies 3 times in less than a week. It's really rather ridiculous. I hardly go anymore because the price is almost $10 for a nighttime movie around here. Thank goodness for twilights when it's still under $6.
Narnia was amazing. My teacher in 3rd grade was a sweet older woman who loved her students. Everyday after our lunch, she would pull her rocking chair up to the carpet in the center of the room and read us a story as we all sat in a circle around her feet. That was the first time I heard The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As a child, I adored anything that let my imagination run free. Having a story read to me and picturing the characters in my young mind was like opening up that wardrobe to a new world.
I'm so thankful for teachers that I had as a little girl. And for my mom who was the best teacher any girl could have at home.
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December 07, 2005

Give this Christmas

We are so blessed in this country. Most of us have an abundance of "things." We have more than we need and yet there are so many without. Here are 2 organizations that I believe in and support throughout the year. Check out their websites to see what they are all about. Remember all the children in the world who still need so much.

Shaohannah's Hope was begun by my favorite recording artist. He has adopted 3 little girls from China. This organization is a way to support families who want to adopt, but don't have the funds. It's Christian based and I have loved seeing God use families in the US to change little kid's lives in other countries. It's a great thing to be involved with if you have a heart for adoption (which I greatly do!)
I've been involved with Compassion for a couple years now. The way the organization is set up: you can choose a child to sponsor. You send in $ every month (this goes to help with food, clothes and schooling for your child) and you get pictures and letters from your child. You can see how they grow and change through the years. This has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. My little girl lives in Indonesia, but you can pick from dozens of countries. This is also a Christian organization. I've loved watching her grow and change in each letter and photo.


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December 06, 2005

The white way of delight

The magic of a world turned white. We get to have it a little bit earlier than usual this year!


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December 05, 2005

Let it snow

I've lived in my cottage for almost 5 years now. We have this holly type bush outside in the flower bed. It's a beautiful plant, but has never had had berries in the 5 years I've lived there. One day I was opening the curtains and low and behold...
It's loaded! And beautiful! And today it's getting snow all over it. That's right everyone, we are having a very early snow this winter. It won't amount to much, I don't think, but it's beautiful to look at. It reminds me of the 1st and 2nd time I've seen snow this year. #1 camping in the snow a couple weeks ago (see previous entry of aforementioned activity). #2 the Highlands of Scotland. That was a sight to behold! Can you tell I'm still missing it over there?
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December 02, 2005

Finally over jetlag

I think I had jet lag worse when I came home. All in all it wasn't terrible though. I'm just still so glad that I never got it while I was over there. Now, I just wake up early every morning, which is kinda nice cause I'm a morning person anyway.
Yes, I still miss it over there. Shannon called yesterday to say hi and I loved that I could picture in my head where she was while she was talking to me. I love that I can't stop looking at my pictures and wishing that I was back in Paris. I love that I will forever have the memories of that trip. I've always thought that our memories were one of the best gifts that God ever gave us. Imagine not being able to remember all the great things that happened in your life. That would be devastating to me!
Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite part of the trip was. (mostly because no one except a few dear friends have time for the long drawn out recap. Bless my roommate for wanting to hear everything! She's a dear!) I usually say Paris. And when I look back at my pictures, I see how true it is. There was something in that city that I just fell in love with. It's true what people say about how romantic Paris is. Much of it is just because of the city itself. I've never been anywhere like it. Nothing else really compared to the feeling of that city. So that was my favorite part, I guess. But it feels like I'm leaving so many things out when I say that. I loved each country for it's own special, peculiar things. That's what makes that part of the world so unique, I suppose. Every country, even though they are as close as the states in the US, is so different. I've never experienced that before and I just loved it!
I'm ready to go back in the spring and walk around Paris and London without being bundled up like Randy on A Christmas Story! Which, by the way, is on the schedule of movies to watch in the next few days. That along with the 35 shows that I missed while being gone from prime time television for over 2 weeks. It really is pathetic. But it's so fun to watch now. What if I had missed seeing the raft crew being reunited with the rest of the survivers on LOST! Or seeing Rory and Loreli finally bury the hatchet. Like I said, love TV to the point of being a total loser....must work on that in the New Year.....
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December 01, 2005

Home Sweet Missing Great Britain Home

Been home for a few days now. Forgot to put up some pictures of London. They didn't turn our as well as the others because the weather wasn't too great. It was dark by the time we got to almost everything too. I definitely want to go back to London. There is so much that I didn't get to see!
Tower of London. I thought it was a little funny, yet creepy that people were ice skating at the former house of torture and imprisonment.




Platform 9 3/4. If you don't know why this is a big deal to me, than, well, that's sad...





Tower Bridge, although many(including me until I went there) confuse it with London Bridge. It's majestic at night.







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November 27, 2005

Back across the pond

I'm headed home tomorrow morning. I'll try to update my 2 days in London after I get home. It was fantastic! Tonight, I went to Shannon's church. It was great to worship with other believers on the other side of the world. See you on the other side!
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November 24, 2005

More views of the beautiful land...

William Wallace's monument. He is honored very greatly here. The movie Braveheart is pretty much accurate with what really happened. His sword is in the museum in the monument. It's over 5ft 5 in tall. Taller than me! He was about 6ft 6 inches. The monument is beautiful and well done. I didn't go inside to the museum though. Everything costs a fortune to go in here.
The battlefield where William the Bruce (also in the movie) finally wins independance after Wallace is killed. The mist was heavy when we first arrived and began to clear as our tour guide explained what had happened there. Very chilling. You could feel the history alive around you. And it was a photographers paradise.
Edinburg Castle at night. Another reason I love it here. They light up their monuments at night. This was taken not to far outside our hostel door. You had to look almost straight up to see it. Didn't go in though because it was another expensive charge to do so. But I thought the view from the outside was worth it! Tomorrow we are off to London. Hopefully it will be nice, but they are calling for snow! It's freezing (literally below that) right now. We are going to do the hop on hop off tour bus before coming back to have and American Thanksgiving dinner with Shannon's friends.
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Photos of Scotland

This is Loch Ness (home of Nessie and no we didn't see him). As you can see, the weather was bad on this tour. It was very foggy and cloudy. It covered most of the mountains that were in the highlands. The Highlands of Scotland are a hikers paradise! I would love to come back again in the summer when the mountain sides are covered in purple heather. The tour we took was really bad compared to the one we took to Loch Lomand and William Wallace land. But, we did get to see it!
This is Loch Lomond. It was literally breaktaking. Even these pictures don't due it justice. I couldn't stop taking pictures, and yet I wish I had time to just sit and enjoy it more than I did. The water was so calm that night. Our tour guide said it was one of the most perfect weather days she had ever seen. I agree!
This is outside our hostel. See how all the buildings are in stone. This a 1% taste of what it was like. The castle is just behind them up on a huge rocky hill.

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Scotland Part 2

The third day we were in Scotland was our free day. We slept in and the went to breakfast at my favorite spot The Elephant House (see below entry). Then we went out and looked around the city some more. We went to the Sir Walter Scott monument, which is really cool. It's stained black from chimney smoke from back in the 1800's. We also found this hill overlooking the city with lots of interesting monuments. We ended the day with some shopping and dinner. When we went back to the hostel at night, we stayed up late talking and laughing and annoying our roommates once again.
Scotland is so beautiful.....next is Loch Ness.
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Hero and Loch Lomand

"I could swim Loch Lomond and be home in half an hour." That's a song line in one of my favorite musicals Brigadoon. It's about a mythical town in Scotland. I realized how accurate it was on our tour to Loch Lomond.
It was a hero tour as well. We went to Sterling (which sounds so much neater when you say it with a Scotish accent). We also went to a battlefield (that's right, momma, a battlefield) where the Scottish people won their independence from the English. We went to a monument for William Wallace as well. The real William Wallace just like in Braveheart. There is so much to tell about that, but not enough time.
Loch Lomond though....it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. We got there right at sunset (3:30/4:00) and our tour guide, Penny, (a gem) took us up a mountain to get a good view of it. The colors and clouds in the sky were reflected in the still waters of the loch. There were sheep grazing on a hillside of green grass. The air was cold and brisk. My camera was working overtime. I will put up pictures so everyone can enjoy it too. If you ever get a chance to go, do it!

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Edinburg aka "Edinburo"

We stayed right in the center of old town Edinburg. The Scottish call it "Edinburo." Who would have known? The city is just so beautiful. For some reason, I expected all the cities I vistited over here to be the same. Total lie. They are all so distinctly different and interesting and fun in their own way. Edinburg is probably my favorite city, but tied for first with Paris. The buildings are all stone. Big tall building, but not sky scrapers. It's not overwhelming either. We walked everywhere. And there were lots of places to eat. (good for MommyGina) Once again, if it wasn't for the exchange rate, we would have lived quite cheap.
The people, for the most part except for choice few restaurant workers, were very nice. Their accent in hypnotizing. In the background of the city is mountains covered in heather and the water too.
My favorite place in the city was The Elephant House. It's a cafe and so cute. We had breakfast there one morning. The coolest thing about it? It's the place the J.K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book. You can see why. It had so much atmosphere.
Will write more next about Loch Lomond (my favorite place in Scotland)....

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Scotland part 1

I had to check all this stuff in my journal cause the days seem to run together when you're on vacation....
We arrived in Scotland in the early afternoon/late morning. First impressions...absolutely brilliant (the English say this all the time and I'm tired of using the same words to describe things. I need a large vocabulary of descriptive words). The city is very old. The focal point is a large castle that sits on a HUGE hill over looking everything. We stayed in Old Town. It's kinda divided up into Old Town and New Town although new is still in the late 1700's. Hello, young America!
Shannon booked us in a hostel. (I must first mention that everything here is VERY expensive. That's only because of the exchange rate. Every price is just about doubled. So even though I paid £5 for dinner last night, it really cost me $10. And that's eating cheap. But it's so worth it.) We stayed at a hostel because they are so much cheaper than hotels. This was my first time (G, J and S's too) staying in a hostel, and let me just tell you what an experience it is. But I'm getting ahead of myself. We walked from the bus (from the airport to Edinburg) to our hostel with J lugging hers and G's HUGEMONGOUS suitcase up a mile long hill. From that moment we realized that she was our little energizer bunny on this trip. We found our hostel The Castle Rock. It was at the base of the castle in a perfect part of town for us. Hostel life isn't for the princess at heart though. We stayed in a dorm style room with 16 beds. The 5 of us weren't the most popular girls in our room. Let's just say, we aren't the most quiet bunch when together.
I could go on and on about the hostel, but it will take forever, so I'll skip ahead....
I'll actually post this and then tell you about Edinburg because it is magnificent.
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Finally....

Sorry to everyone who has been waiting for an update. I've been in Scotland since Sunday and we haven't been able to get on the internet. I'm going to break up the last few days into a couple of entries since it may take a while. I'll also try to add pictures later tonight. (it's 4:20 here and just about dark too)

Saturday....
Anna Beth and I spent a relaxing day on our own while G and J came flew in. We went shopping at The Lanes in Brighton and spent a couple hours reading and relaxing in a Borders. I think I was most proud of us that we managed to figure out the bus system all by ourselves.
After the other two got in, we sat around and talked until the evening when we went to dinner at Paul and Wendy's house. Paul is the guy in charge of Off the Fence, the organization that Shannon volunteers with. By the time we left dinner, G and J were about comatose because of jet lag (once again, so thankful that God chose to let me skip jet lad while in Paris!!). We got back to Shannon's and then left for our respective houses. Anna Beth and I are staying with a really nice family about a 20 minute walk away.
We had to get up early the next morning (at the bus by 5:15amEnglandtime/12:00midnight EST). Needless to say, we were all a bit tired the next day.
Gonna stop here and post this. Will add Scotland next......
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November 18, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Anna Beth and I are staying with a family that Shannon knows through Off the Fence. They were nice enough to give us a room to share. It's about a 20 minute walk from Shannon's house. We slept in today and then walked to her house for breakfast. We had decided that today would be the day we would go see Harry Potter (the new one came out here today like it did in the US). Since it gets dark so early around here (black as night by 5:00) we didn't do too much else.
The movie was really good. If you love the books, you may be disappointed though because they had to leave out so much. It was really neat to hear phases that I've learned here and understand the whole culture a little bit better. It was almost 3 hours long, so we came out right as the sun was setting. We walked down to Brighton Pier and took pictures and walked around some. Then we went out to dinner at a restaurant in town.
Tomorrow, Anna Beth and I are on our own until 3:30. Shannon is going to pick up G and J at the airport. It's a 2 hour busride from here. We are going to go in town and shop some and sit in a coffee shop and read.
I love that everyone here offers you a cup of tea. It's almost expected. I also love that life is slower and not as crazy, but that could also be because I'm on vacation.... I love that there are 100 year old churches next to a row house with a Mini Cooper outside in the driveway. I love that everyone has an accent because I can't stop laughing at every thing they say.
I've been here for a whole week now and I still have another one to go. Sunday is going to be crazy. We have to be at the bus stop at 5:15AM!!! Then we fly to Scotland and I get to fall in love with a whole 'nother country. We are praying that it won't be freezing cold. The weather turns really cold once the sun goes down here and Scotland is even further north. Oh, well. We'll enjoy it cold or not....

(sorry pictures wouldn' t work today)
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November 17, 2005

Arundel




I went to a place today called Arundel (sounds like Air-un-del even though it looks like Anne Arundel. I think this may be where the name of the county came from, but not sure). There was a beautiful castle and a couple really old churches there. Some of the original parts of the castle were built in 1067! The castle and grounds were closed for the winter, but we got to see it from the town.
Shannon drove us around in the Off the Fence car. No public transportation today. We drove through the amazingly,beautiful, English countryside. It was so green and there were tons of fields separated by tree lines. It looked alot like Prince Edward Island. There were lots of villages surrounded by fields.
Then we went to Devil's Dyke which is near Brighton. It's a huge hill that overlooks miles and miles of the countryside. You can see all the way to Brighton. There were lots of paragliders there because of the wind. We ate lunch on an old stone bench while watching the paragliders sail across the valley.
It was cold today, but clear again. The sun was out all day. Big blue sky. We had a wonderful day and are having a nice relaxing evening at home. Tomorrow, we have decided to stay in Brighton and go see Harry Potter!!!!! I really am just beside myself in excitement (did that sound British?). After seeing so much of England, I've been able to understand English stories better now. I can picture them. Peter Pan, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Sense and Sensibility, Emma. They all seem to make more sense and just have so much more depth. I love it here. It's so neat that this is my heritage too. Maybe that's why it feels so comfortable.
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November 16, 2005

everything worked out perfectly

Sometimes, the greatest plans are the ones you don't make. We discovered this today as we decided to make a trip to Windsor to see the castle of the Royal family. It was a 2 hour train ride away through the country sides of England. (the grass is vibrant green here. beautiful!) We hit every train just as it was coming into the station and never had to wait more than about 10 minutes. (huge blessing! God was "blessing" on us today!) We had several strangers help us with cheap tickets on the train (thanks ever so nice ticket lady in Hove...), a map from a stanger on the train, and a nice train conductor let us sit in the first class section because the train was full. (I was in Harry Potter world again with an actual person offering us goodies from the treat trolley on the train. I so desperately wanted to say "we'll take the lot" as Harry does in the movie.)
Windsor is a beautiful little town with lots of fun shops and cafes and historical sights. The castle was beautiful against the bright blue sky (another thanks, clear day, but cold). We also saw Eton college, which was fasinating. The boys have to dress in almost formal wear to class (coats with tails and bow ties). We happened to walk through that part of town when they were changing classes. It was really neat.
After eating lunch on a bench on the Thames (how often can one say that?!) we hopped back on the train and headed to London (free train ride because of our nice ticket lady earlier in the day). I stepped out of the station to see the London Eye, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey at sunset. Seriously, best day for perfect timing. It was a quick taste of London. We were only there for about an hour ("spent an hour in London today" how many times can I say that one, as well?!!) and hopped back on the train and headed back to Brighton. I'm so excited to go back to London!!
We are going to places near Brighton tomorrow. A castle and something else Anna Beth has seen before. Then Friday we will go to London again since we will only get to be there for one day when G and J come. I want to see some stuff that won't be in our quick overview of the big stuff that we do with them.
Still enjoying England so much. Miss all my friends and family. Thanks for your emails and notes. It's great to hear from each of you. Here are some pictures to enjoy.....
Westminister Abbey. It was so HUGE that it couldn't fit in one picture.
I finally saw a red phone booth near the castle!
The changing of the guard (another perfect timing. 10 minutes after we got off of the train it went by and it only happens 2 times a day, every other day in November....) parade came out of this entry way on the left. Bagpipes and everything. AB was in heaven.
How amazing is this! I kept imagining I saw Peter Pan and Wendy, Micheal and John flying around Big Ben. It was incredible to actually be there....
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November 15, 2005

The moon was out tonight

Anna Beth arrived safe and sound early this morning. The three of us spent the morning talking and just laying around Shannon's house. As the sun started to set, we for a walk down to Brighton Beach. The actual beach is rocks, not sand. Smooth rocks. The moon was big and bright tonight.
We are still trying to decide what to do before the rest of our group gets here at the end of the week. Pretty much ruled out Ireland because it will just take to long to get there and cost too much. We will just do stuff here in England, but not sure what yet.
I love England. It so reminds me of Harry Potter. Brighton is a cute city, but closes down early. By 5:00 all the shops are closed for the day. It's all so very different from the US. I just love that I'm able to travel and see other parts of the world and expand my view of how people live. It's so easy to get caught up in life as I know it and forget that there are millions of people around the world who live their lives every day like I do. Travel is so educational as well as fun!


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November 14, 2005

Paris pics 2

Since I didn't take any photos today, thought I'd send some more of Paris since I have almost 200 to share. I went a little crazy with the photos, but now am so happy cause I can re-live so much of the trip!
The doors into Notre Dame.

The Arc de Triomphe. Amazingly beautiful and so much bigger that I thought.


This is a shop on the street where we ate dinner. I loved this section of town. It was full of shops and restaurants and cafes.


The metro signs were so cool! This was my favorite of the several types there were. It just looks like old world Paris to me.


The courtyard in the Louvre was probably my favorite spot. It went all the way around in a complete square and had a fountain too. Just look how small the people are in reference to the buildings around them. I was in awe and couldn't say anything when I first walked in because of how beautiful it was.


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Brighton

Today was a wonderful, relaxing day in Brighton, where Shannon lives. It's right on the Channel in the southeast side of England. We went shopping and just walked around the town. Everyone rides the public bus here. And they are double decker buses, too. If you ever come to Brighton, pay your £2.90 to ride for the day and sit on the top in the front seat and just watch the town go by. Lovely.
This was the first morning that I slept in. In Paris, we got up every morning to get to the city early to see everything there was to see in the 2 days we were there. I haven't really had jet lag at all. (praise God) Paris was 6 hours ahead of home, so I was expecting to be so tired. I slept on the plane on my way over here and then stayed up till about 1:00 the night I got here. Got up at 6:30 Paris time (1:30am EST) and was totally fine all day. The hardest part is falling asleep at night, but it's not so bad. So thankful for that. ANYWAYS, I digress...
It was a fun day. I went to visit Jez, Nancy (Shannon's roommate) and Shannon's friend. He lives in a flat (by the way, I'm loving the English accent and words all around me!!! It's fantastic!) right on the Channel. He has a huge window that over looks the water and we watched the sun set over the water and chatted and had tea and coffee. So relaxing and so nice.
Anna Beth comes in tomorrow really early, so I'm going to Gatwick with Shannon to pick her up. Then we will do whatever. Haven't decided if it will be Ireland or just stay in England and do stuff here like Stonehenge. I'm just still loving being here and enjoying this culture so much. It feels very familiar. I hear my Grandma's voice (she's from England) in the conversations around me. And I love all their unique expressions. Maybe I'll be able to pick up on some and use them when I get back. I keep trying to get Shannon and Nancy to explain them to me so I will use them properly. Sorry, didn't take any pictures today (shocker, yes, I know. especially with the sunset, but just didn't).
(Miss you, friends and family. Send me an email or sign the guestbook and let me know how all of you are doing in America.)
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