Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh La La Pareee!

Last weekend we decided to take a weekend trip to Paris. No big deal right?! I mean in utah you could take a weekend trip to St. George or maybe Las Vegas. But here we can get to Paris in two hours... crazy! Paris was a big adventure and if you go there I highly recommend you bring someone who speaks French. Basically everyone there speaks English but since they all hate the English they refuse to speak it to you and since none of us spoke French sometimes we had a hard time communicating.
This is us waiting at the train station to get on the "chunnel". The chunnel is a high speed train that travels under the ocean. After having to pop our ears several times from the pressure it got us to Paris in about two hours.
We arrived there pretty early in the day and once we got off the train we had no idea where to go. All we knew is that our hotel was right by the Louvre. After struggling to find the right metro train to get on we finally found it. The metro in Paris is nothing like the tube in London. The tube is heavenly compared to that thing. The metro is dirty and there are a lot of creepy men hanging out down there. Also I do not ever suggest taking the metro with all of your luggage. We got off the metro and wandered around in the streets for a while looking for our hotel when finally a French man asked us if we were lost. We all had the same thoughts running through our heads. We don't want to tell him where we live because it is possible we could get "taken" but he is the first person willing to speak English to us. So to play it safe we asked him how to get to the Louvre and after replying "oh la la" he pointed us in the right direction and that was that.
We finally found our hotel. (Timhotel which we decided sounded asian). We got organized and then we decided we wanted to go see the Eiffel tower. We weren't exactly sure where is was but we could definitely see it so we decided we would just start walking towards it. As we walked it kept getting bigger and bigger and we were really excited but it turns out looks can be deceiving and it wasn't as close at it appeared to be. Finally we turned a corner and bam there it was! Naturally we were all freaking out we were way too excited. We decided to save ourselves a pretty big sum of money by walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift. Boy did we walk up a lot of stairs. When we finally made it to the top it was beautiful (picture above). Worth it!!

While in Paris we could not resist two things... Gelato and...
Crepes! Might I add we had our fair share.
Top of the Eiffel Tower.
Inside the Louvre. Can anyone name this CD cover??
The Louvre was GIGANTIC. It by far dominates the British Museum and had way cooler stuff. We were there for almost a whole day and we were far from seeing everything but we were sure to see the most famous items. Of course we saw the Mona Lisa (picture above and yes mom those are headphones.) I have learned so much about paintings and artwork at school and so I really enjoyed getting to actually see them in real life!
Just trying to blend in with the locals.
Arc de Triomphe.
From the top of the Arc we could see the Eiffel tower and there was a way cool lightening storm. Once it got dark the Eiffel tower had millions of lights all over it that started flashing. Its hard to tell from the picture above but the Eiffel tower was glittering. It was very cool!
The last night we were here we wanted to ride bikes. We were so excited especially since it was against the rules. Wild I know! But to our dismay you can only ride the bikes there if you have a European credit card because they have a special chip in them. Instead we decided to ride this ferris wheel. It was fun until the creepy carnival man wouldn't let us off and kept spinning it around and around. We were almost in tears (especially Sarah) when he finally let us off.
This is the Sacre Coeur by far my favorite place in all of Paris! It was a cute sort of secluded little place. There were quaint little restaurants and artists painting in the surrounding area. I bought a cute painting from the nicest man named lulu. He was so happy and cute trying to speak english to me. When I left he said I um... maybe see you later? He was the cutest little man. After we gathered on the front steps of the Sacre Coeur to listen to a little concert by Youri and somehow we ended up in the front dancing in front of everyone. It was awesome!! We are now owners of Youri's CD, I highly recommend him!
This is all the people we danced in front of!
Us being sad because we couldn't ride the bikes.
Goodbye Paris! I hope to see you again someday! (perhaps during the Tour de France or on a romantic get away with my hubby... if I ever find one)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Foggy London Towne

The British Museum. This is like the biggest museum I have ever been to. I'm sure you could spend the whole day there and not see everything. There were tons of ancient things here we spent a lot of time in the Egyptian section. We even saw the Rosetta Stone.
This is inside the British Museum.
St. Pauls
So we went inside St. Pauls and had to be quite because they were holding mass (could you imagine sitting in sacrament meeting or being in the temple and having tourists walking all around you?). First we climbed about 200 steps to the whispering gallery. The whispering gallery is in the dome of St. Pauls. You can whisper something to the wall where you are sitting and the people all the way across the dome on the other side can hear your whisper. This kept us entertained for a while and then we prepared to climb the next flight of stairs to the balcony. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside but the picture above is a little hole in the ground from the top that looked all the way down to the floor. We climbed up more stairs and ended up...
here. With a lovely view of London. If you look closely you can see big ben and the London Eye.
After that we climbed even MORE stairs and ended up here. This is the view from the top. It was a tiny balcony so it was hard to get a good picture cause we were so close to the wall. In the end we climbed up about 500 stairs. We were all a bit sweaty... no joke. Also after joking about jumping off being the only way down we were quickly reassured (not so jokingly) by staff that there was another set of stairs to climb back down. Turns out four people have committed suicide here in the past ten years.
After much anticipation Mandie and I finally convinced the others that we should go here! (I don't know why no one else wanted to). This is the London Eye and the building to the right of it changes colors. It was amazing, I was freaking out. I will be back to ride this thing before I go home, don't worry.
Also to add to the excitement it was Big Ben's 150th birthday! We were really excited because we heard there was a birthday celebration, when we arrived we didnt see anything going on. Mandie asked the hot dog man and the nut man and they didn't know what we were talking about. Then she asked a police man and the celebration was that they were projecting this happy birthday sign on the side of Big Ben... best bday party I've ever been to!
Happy Birthday big guy!
The House of Parliament, these things all look very cool lit up at night. It was pouring rain so I apologize for the rain drops on the lens.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For all you Harry Potter Freaks

The Great Hall
Sitting on a castle wall in Conwy.
We saw Les Miserables last night. It was amazing!!
Kings Cross.
Waiting for Les Miserables to start.

Inside Kings Cross.
Platform 9 3/4
Christ's Church. We went to mass here.
Flying on our brooms. Duh.
Professor Dumbledore stood here.
We LOVE Harry Potter!
Mom this ones for you. Headphone tour.
The view from the castle wall. You can see the castle on the water.
We watched this beautiful sunset from the castle wall.

I wish you all were here!!

Church History

Gadfield Elm Chapel. The oldest LDS chapel in the world.
When you go visit the chapel it is locked so they have this code on the door with questions that only mormons would know so they can look inside.
Herdfordshire Beacon Where Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff went to pray and got inspiration to make a new Hymn book.
The Pond at Hill Farm. Wilford Woodruff baptized 300 people here and converted 1200 others.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Goodbye Ireland... Hello Wales!

K so this post is backwards but I takes forever to load pics so I don't want to reload them. Feel free to start from the bottom.
Wales is beautiful, there are waterfalls everywhere! It kind of reminds me of home with the mountains and everything, minus the castle on the beach. I don't have a picture of the hostel we stayed in but it was quality. It had plugs, an elevator, and a bathroom! Oh the things to be grateful for. Also our bus driver was funny, after figuring out we were LDS he went on to explain that they have missionaries in Wales that are out teaching and people are actually joining our church. He went on to say that he knows where they are and he could take us to meet them, he was really excited about this. We tried to explain to him that we have missionaries every where but he didn't seem to understand. It was so cute!
Careful of these things while in the castle.
Super models.
Some one actually lives in this house.
Hello Wales!
Jacob. He may or may not be really cool.

Goodbye Ireland!
My special friends on a ferry ride from Ireland to Wales.
The convent we stayed in.