Sunday, June 28, 2009

London Blitz

This is a blog Meghan wrote for Patrick and Susan's blog, but it really summed up the second half of our trip nicely so I am going to put it on our site as well. I added additional details about our day trip to Brighton:

Seeing London in five days means that you see many sites in a little amount of time. Our family planned a ten-day European getaway, first to Paris for five days and then to London for another five days. We left Paris and arrived in London on Thursday night via the Eurostar train. Patrick was kind enough to meet us at the train station to help us navigate our way to their place and to help haul our two big suitcases, two backpacks, a small duffel bag, a stroller, and a car seat. Addison was excited to finally get to meet her Uncle Patrick and Auntie Susan.

On Friday, our first blitz of London included the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben/House of Parliament. We made it home in time for dinner—our first experience with Indian food. We could not come to London where the best, most authentic Indian food is made (besides India) without trying it for the first time. It was some good stuff.

Saturday we decided to take the bus to Harrod’s where I was wowed by the monstrosity of a single store. We then took a stroll in Hyde Park and stopped at Blockbuster on our way home to get some movies for the evenings.

On Sunday we took a day trip to Brighton where we had a picnic on the beach and spent a few hours on the pier where we indulged in guiltless pleasures. (Written by Trevor) A couple very interesting things about Brighton: 1) The entire beach was made of stones, not a morsel of sand to be seen, 2) Brighton has a great pier kind of like Santa Monica, and 3) I can ride a bull for 35 seconds! We had a blast though. The coolest part we found was that one of the arcades had lots of 2 and 10 pence games...and they were the kinds of games where you could actually win money back. In the US those games would give out tickets for some lame prizes but out in England, they actually let you have the coins. It really makes the money last a lot longer which was a lot of fun!! To read more about our time in Brighton, you can see Patrick and Susan's blog where they did an entire blog about our day in Brighton. (End Trevor)

On Monday, Trevor, Addison, and I blitzed through Buckingham Palace, took a stroll by St. James’s Park, visited the Horse Guards, journeyed into Trafalgar Square, saw the National Gallery, walked through Leister Square, headed on up to the Piccadilly Circus, and from there also went into the British Museum until finally ending our day there and catching the tube back to Patrick and Susan’s flat for some dinner and a movie.

On our last full day, Patrick lead us through our final blitz of London. We visited the Somerset House, St. Clement Danes (the Royal Air Force church), and walked up Fleet Street to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese where Susan met us for some lunch where I had my first meal of fish and chips. After lunch Patrick brought us by St. Paul’s Cathedral where we then continued on our way across the Millennium Bridge to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We finished up our day by taking the tube to the Imperial War Museum.

We spent Wednesday morning packing and had to leave the flat at 11:30 for our long flight home. I think in order to fully take in London (at least all the major attractions), you need at the very least a week there. We loved every day we were able to spend there. We saw a good majority of the major attractions, though we went for quantity, not quality.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Trevor has a great job; he makes great money. I am so thankful for his secure job and his wonderful boss who is so wonderful and generous. Going to Paris has been a fabulous experience, and I am so glad that Addison and I got to join him. This Paris part of our vacation is not actually a vacation for Trevor for the most part. During work hours he has been working at his company’s booth at the Paris Air Show. At night we have been able to be together as a family and be by ourselves with the exception of a wonderful cruise down the Seine on Tuesday night that his company put on.

So during the day all the wives of the men did some sightseeing and touristy stuff. This vacation for us was supposed to be a cheap one. You ask how we are supposed to take an 11-day vacation to Europe for cheap? Well I’ll tell you. Our flights were paid for by frequent flier miles. Our $612 per night room at the hotel in Paris was paid for by Trevor’s company. All Trevor’s food was paid for, and mine was too when I was with Trevor. Our transportation was paid for when I was with Trevor. Thank you Anixter for such a wonderful vacation! The second part of our trip is/was also supposed to be cheap. We have not gotten to that point yet, so hopefully we can keep it cheap. We are staying with my brother and sister-in-law in London, so lodging is free. We are going to try and eat in at their place as much as possible, so cost of food should be kept to a minimum.

The Paris part of our trip was not so cheap. You see, the coworkers that are here with Trevor are all VPs of Anixter, which means they make considerably more money than Trevor. Why does this matter? Because the wives of these men spent money without hesitation. (They even joked about bowing to the Louis Vuitton store when we passed it!) So dining with them and going to all the places that they went was not so cheap for me. Remember that my food and transportation are not covered by Anixter when I am not with Trevor. So our daily excursions cost quite a bit more than we had hoped to spend but they were very memorable and I wouldn’t change them for the world. I just sat back and watched the other ladies spent hundreds of dollars on art and other things just thinking and being thankful that I am in the place that I am, that my husband has a great job (especially in this economy), and though we don’t have a mansion, we have a beautiful new(er) house that we love, a happy family, and everything that we need to survive. I am one blessed woman. Stay tuned for more details of our actual vacation and more pictures.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today is the day

We leave for Paris today. Its crazy because normally we would have been counting down the days, making lists of stuff to bring, etc. We have been SO busy trying to keep up with life that none of that happened. While its a nice 10 day vacation for my wife and daughter...its a week of work for me followed by some vacation. Nonetheless, I am quite excited for it. I am just realizing how excited I am right now though.

We are also a little apprehensive though as we are bringing a little 7 month old cutie on the flight with us. How will she handle 8 hours on a plane? Will she stay sleeping? Is she going to cry the whole time? Will everyone around us like babies? Will the seat between us still be open when the flight leaves (man I hope so)? How will she adjust to the time change? Some of the millions of questions floating though my (our) mind (s) today as we begin packing.

Even knowing all those questions and potential for stress, we know this is going to be a memorable trip. First, we get to spend about 5-6 days in Paris which despite having a vast population that doesn't think much of Americans is a gorgeous city filled with amazing stories. We have a boat cruise down the Seine on Tuesday night that will allow us to see MOST of the sites. Meg gets to hang out with the wives all day and roam the city (lucky ladies) while us guys man the booth at the show and try to convince customers to give us their business. After Paris, we are taking the Eurostar under the sea to London to spend another 5 days with Pat and Susan in London. This is when MY vacation starts and man do I need it. We don't have an itinerary set for the trip yet. I think we are just going to let them tell us what sites are the most worthy of our time. We can't wait for London though too...again so much many sites. Sadly I think Meghan is most excited to see Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter fans will appreciate that.

Anyway, we'll let you all know about the trip. We plan to take LOTS of pictures.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy life = No blogging

Sorry about the lack of new blogs. Our last blog coincided with the closing on our new house and we have been spending like every waking moment getting the house ready for us to move in. between that and my rebranding at work, there is little time other stuff. That said, the plan is to move into our new place on WEDNESDAY. Not everything is done that needs to be, but its close enough now that we can live there and work on everything else later! We are so excited to have our own place again...its really looking GREAT there, everything we imagined it would be. Its been expensive, but in the end it will be worth it and we'll trust God that He is going to provide for us as he has in the past. I'll put in a few pictures for those of you that haven't seen the place or who only saw pics of the house sans the appliances, doors, lights, etc. You'll have to excuse the mess though...we still havea lot of cleaning and putting away to do!!