We found a new babysitter...
She really needs to avoid magnets
fun book finds...
crazy hat day with mommy
Aricin the Doctor
Aricin the Chef
Aricin the police officer
Aricin riding the mechanical surf board
Daddy taking on the Mechanical surf board
10am on our way to church- we saw happy people partying out their window
Fashion in Edinburgh
Rainy day at the Botanical Gardens
loving mommies boots
story and song time with the book bug
Fun times at the National Museum
This is in the museum... Scots exude pride and will forever see themselves as separate from England.
I love walking through the Princes Street Gardens and reading the park benches like this- to me they are all individual love stories- so beautiful!
July has flown by and I can't believe we only have a few weeks left. July has been pretty wet and so me and the kids have started exploring more museums, the library, and shops.
I'm really looking forward to these next few weeks as we will be busy with festivals in town as possible visitors. The kids are doing great- Tally has started clapping and crawling. While Aricin loves playing with his friends at our toddler group on Thursdays and Fridays. He still loves the park and one of his favorite places in town is the bridge in the park where you can watch the trains below come and go from Waverly station.
10 Years Ago...
It's crazy to think that it's been 10 years since i went on Semester at Sea. 10 years! Gees. I thought it only fair to do a quick reflection on each of the spots I got to visit.
GREECE- this was where we ported our ship. Unfortunately i really didn't get to see a ton of Greece aside from Athens and sailing around the Islands. Aaron spent a month in Greece when he was in College and got to see a lot more of the islands- I'd love to return with him someday and exchange notes.
SPAIN- this was one of my favorite ports. We docked in Cadiz a southern beach town on the Mediterranean with gorgeous beaches covered in thatched Palapas. From Cadiz we took trips through the sunflower filled countryside to Sevilla and Granada. In Granada we saw the Alhambra Palace and gardens which were amazing! We also happened to be there during a festival and had a ton of fun attending the fairia with little girls running around in their polka doted flamenco dresses and little boys in their handsome bull fighting suits. Sangria was my drink of choice- I'll never forget those long warm summer nights and relaxing afternoon siestas. I'd love to return here and see some of Madrid and Barcelona, we've talked about maybe hitting it next summer.
NORWAY- Oslo reminded me of Seattle. Cruising into the Fjord we were surrounded by lush green trees and long white nights. Aside from spending way too much on food and drink. Oslo was great.We went to a Pearl Jam concert here, got to see Viking ships as well as go down into Silver mines. I loved seeing Edvard Munch's painting Scream which coincidentally was stolen a few years after we were there. My favorite spot in all of Norway was Viegland Park which was filled with amazing sculpting and lush gardens.
RUSSIA- we ported in St. Petersburg and visited the Hermitage- Catherine the Great's winter palace and home to her private art collection- this was the most amazing art museum i've ever been to. We also saw St. Basil's onion domed cathedral- which really looked surreal. We went to a circus with boxing kangaroos and even got to see the Ballet Swan Lake... sigh... We took an overnight train to Moscow and saw the Kremlin at Red Square. We bought way too many babooshka dolls and even saw a family walking their pet bear. Russia was magical and it was great to see it- I'm just not sure if we'll ever get back there.
BELGIUM- we ported in Antwerp and visited the National Zoo- yes i like Zoos. I indulged myself in way too many Belgium waffles which are sold on the streets. I also had a lot of french fries with mayo. As if that's not fatty enough we did a chocolate factory tour as well as a tour of the Hoeharden brewery. I fell in love with Brugges- a medieval town with a canal running through it. We saw the Ghent castle and enjoyed a festival at Ghent. I even ran into a friend from high school who was in Belgium visiting family- small world. And yes, i even bought a pair of wooden clogs before we left.
PORTUGAL- We ported is Lisbon which is very similar to San Francisco in that it is super hilly and has a golden gate bridge. Lisbon has a huge Christ the Redeemer statue similar to the one in Rio. Lisbon also has people movers like the ones Disneyland used to have that take people along the board walk. I took a trip to Tomar to the Knights Templar's monastery and also got to go to Fatima where there have been numerous reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. If we ever go back I'd love to hit up the south of Portugal and spend some time on the beaches of Lagos.
ITALY- We ported in Civitevechia and spent about 20 minutes in Pisa before spending the majority of our time in Florence and Rome. Rome was great, the Coliseum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Forum, Vatican, Sistine Chapel- there was just soo much to see in Rome. I loved Florence- the canals running through Florence, the museums, and the bridges. We were there during a great festival with awesome concerts and venues- we made our donation and had a great time- the next day we told our tour guide where we had gone and found out the festival was actually a fundraiser for the communist party. Oops! Cheers to Mussolini i suppose. When we go back to Italy i want to go to the Island of Capri and would also like to make it to Venice.
EGYPT- We ported in Alexandria and were hit pretty head on with culture shock- We spent most of our time near the pyramids in Cairo and were even able to watch the sun come up over the pyramids and ride camels. I was with a group that flew from Cairo to Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings. All and all Egypt was amazing to see first hand. Among other silly momentos i picked up a parasite and was pretty sick for the few days following my stay.
ISRAEL- We ported in Haifa and moved to Ashdod for security purposes. We got to see Bethleham, Jerusalem, soo many spots. The highlight for me was the Dead Sea- which is soo salty that even if you try to you can't sink down. This is what we did for my 21st. Israel was amazing however given the state that it's in right now i doubt i'll ever return.
It blows me away that it's been 10 years! I'm so thankful that i got to go and for the memories we made. I've kept in close touch with a handful of friends from the trip and actually get to see two of them (Abby and Brad) quite often since they both live in Denver. They are actually planning on coming to visit us next summer in Edinburgh. I hope our kids get the same travel bug their parents have.