Monday, June 29, 2015

London - Day 1

We left Boise on May 30, and flew from Boise to Seattle, Seattle to Calgary, and then Calgary to London. We arrived at London Heathrow in the afternoon on May 31st. 

The flight from Boise to Seattle was so beautiful! It was clear out and we saw Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, AND Mt. Rainier! 
Yeah, I know, Mt. Hood looks pretty incredible in this picture. Haha, it was easier to see in person. Dirty airplane windows certainly don't help! And I apparently deleted the picture I had of Mount St. Helens.
Mt. Rainier certainly looked stunning though! I never tire of seeing Mt. Rainier. 
Flying into Seattle. Sorry, I won't bore you with airplane pictures for too much longer!

We had a three hour layover in Seattle before heading on to Calgary, Canada. 
During the flight we flew by Mt. Baker. It was so cool to see! I grew up near Baker, and had spent a lot of time there camping, hiking, and sledding in the winter.
(From L to R - myself, my mom, my sister Hannah, and my dad)
Our last picture before heading to London! 

We left Calgary at about 10:30pm on the 30th, which I think worked out perfectly because we were able to sleep a little on the plane, spend a few hours sightseeing when we arrived, and then be able to go to sleep that night. 

Fortunately for us, none of us got jet-lagged! A lot of people made a big deal about jet lag and we were a little worried about how we would handle it, but it really didn't affect any of us. I think it might have been worse had we arrived in London in the morning GMT.

So the flight was okay. It kind of was annoying being on the plane for 8ish hours! But it wasn't as bad as I thought. (It's typically a 9 hour flight, but we were in the jet stream and made good time.) 

We were fed two meals on the plane (one at midnight, dinner, and breakfast an hour before we landed.) I slept a little bit. Not as well as I would have liked, but not too bad. 

Anyways, we landed at about 3:30 GMT, got through customs and immigration without any trouble, and exited the terminal where we met up with my brother who was waiting for us. He had flown in a few hours prior from France. We were all excited to see him since we hadn't seen him since Christmas.

We had ordered Oyster cards (London tube passes) before our trip, and we took the tube to the apartment we were going to be staying at in Northeastern London. It took us about an hour to get there from the airport and we were surprised at how cold and windy it was outside! Now, we are no strangers to the cold and wind considering we are from Western Washington, and I had always read that London and Seattle have pretty similar weather, so I guess I was kind of thinking that it would be more spring-like weather wise.

So we were supposed to meet the lady we were renting the apartment from at 5:30, and since we were an hour early, we gave her a call to let her know. She didn't answer or respond. So we waited in the cold for an hour. 5:30 comes and goes and no word from the lady we were renting from. At this point we were all a little tired and getting irritated because this lady had not been very good about getting back with us; and we were wasting valuable sightseeing time! Sometime after 5:30 we finally get ahold of the lady, and she is shocked that we were there. (Um, hadn't we agreed to meet at 5:30? And we had left several messages with her.) 

So we wait around some more and she doesn't show, so my dad finally goes up to the apartment and to see if the lady was there (she had said she would be right down, so we weren't sure if she was in the apartment and wouldn't let us in, or it was taking her a while to get there.) Turns out the cleaning lady had arrived right before we did and was just getting started cleaning the room. 

Finally, our host shows up and takes us to the room. We took a quick look around, a little unsure about the place since it didn't look very much like the pictures we had seen online. But we just left our stuff and headed back to the tube station to go sightseeing!
The apartment did have a pretty nice view!

We took the tube to Tower Hill and made our way across the road to the Tower of London.
We walked around for a bit, stopped and had dinner at Pret (which was quite good!) and when walked across the Tower Bridge.
The Tower Bridge seen from The Tower of London.
        Me | My brother
After it started getting dark, we headed back out to our apartment to sleep and then get ready for the next day of more exploring! 

Check back on Wednesday for day 2 of our trip!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday

Hello! I am linking up with Della DevotedCoffee With CaitlinCup of Tea and Bright on a Budget for another edition of Five for Friday!

I'm finally getting caught up on stuff after being gone for 17 days. I've gone through and edited some of my pictures and should be able to start posting my Europe pictures on Monday!

1. So, pictures. I definitely took over 2,000 pictures while in Europe! Which, honestly isn't as many as I thought I was going to take! Definitely a perk/problem with being a photographer!

2. We went to the farmer's market this past weekend and picked up some berries. Raspberries and blueberries are one of my favorite things about summer. 
3. My brother is going to be coming back on Monday! He had to stay for a couple more weeks after we left because he had some more testing for school to do. While I know he is really sad to be leaving France (and now that I have visited there, I don't blame him! I didn't want to leave either!) we are going to be happy to have him home.

4. While at Target, I picked up a couple of things from the Dollar Spot. I have already used the little clothes pins to hang up some of the post cards I bought while in Europe. 
5. Since it's been so hot here, we have been grilling and eating a lot of salads lately. I found some slider buns at Whole Foods and made bbq bacon and mushroom sliders for dinner. They were so good! I don't know why, but sliders are just more fun than a regular burger!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

We're back!

Well, my family and I just returned from our 17 day trip to Europe! We traveled to London, all over France and then Heidelberg, Germany and flew out of Frankfurt.

We had a great time! It was so nice to be able to do this as a family, considering all of the setbacks we had. (Like my dad's appendix rupturing, finding out he had an aneurysm, and not being sure if we were even going to be able to go on the trip until 5 days before we were supposed to leave!)

When we flew into London, my brother came up from France and traveled with us, so it was nice to be able to see him as well!

I took, I don't know exactly, but probably well over 2,000 pictures! So maybe next week I might have some ready to start posting! If not from my camera maybe a few from my phone.

So, I should be back to posting soon! 

Have a great rest of your week!

And you can check out my Instagram if you would like to see a little of what we saw on our trip!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five for Friday

Hello! I am linking up with Della DevotedCoffee With CaitlinCup of Tea and Bright on a Budget for another edition of Five for Friday!

1. I don't drink pop very often, but I discovered this cherry Pepsi at the store the other day. I was happy to see it was made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup! It tastes pretty good! I also thought it was kinda weird that my nails sorta matched the can. Haha. What are the chances of that?
2. I figured out some of my carry-on items for my trip to Europe. After our trip I will have to do a post about what I packed.
3. We also picked up our European money. Doesn't it look so much prettier than American money? Although some of the newer bills are starting to look neat.
4. I finished the Duolingo French a while ago. I learned a lot although the program is very frustrating. I'm glad my brother is going to be home soon so he can teach me! I would really like to maybe someday be able to speak it somewhat fluently! I wish I had started learning it when I was younger, it would've been so much easier! So if you're a parent, make your kid learn a foreign language when they're young!

5. I really like this hand cream from Trader Joe's. It's SO dry here and I hate having dry hands! I've tried tons of lotions over the years and this is the only one I have found that actually will absorb into your skin fairly quickly. It's pretty inexpensive and isn't full of a lot of crap like most lotions are.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Favorites

So, I know favorites posts are pretty popular and since I've never done one before, I thought I would give it a shot! 

I don't think it'll be a  monthly feature or anything (since I don't buy new things very often.) but it's definitely something I will do again!

Anyways, here are a few things I have been really liking lately!

-This vanilla ice cream candle from Ikea. It smells just like vanilla ice cream and it's great! 
-This lilac colored nail polish. I think it's a great color for spring and summer! It goes on smoothly and is pretty inexpensive.
-The Tonight Dough ice cream. It's just so good!
-This app called Rain Rain. It has all kinds of rain and nature type sounds. Rain, rain on a window, heavy rain, ocean waves, thunderstorms, wind. It's nice to listen to when you just want some background noise! And it's free!
-These cookies. I never buy cookies, but these are an exception! They're so good! They come in dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I've had both and I prefer the dark chocolate. World Market has them as well as Fred Meyer (Kroger or Fry's depending on where you live.) They're in the international section. 

What items/products are you enjoying lately?

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Chocolate, raspberry and peanut butter protein shake

I am not much of a breakfast eater. I don't care what anyone says, I just don't like to eat much in the morning. I don't really care for eggs, so it is hard to find something to eat for breakfast that has protein. 

I like smoothies/protein shakes, and this is the one I have been making a lot lately!

Chocolate and raspberry is good. 
Chocolate and peanut butter is good.
Peanut butter and raspberry is good.

So why not put it all together?


I don't really measure everything, but basically I just use:

-1 cup soy milk (or any type of milk you like)
-About 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
-1 scoop vanilla protein powder*
-1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
-2 handfuls of spinach
-About 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

*you could use chocolate protein powder and omit the chocolate syrup if you would like.

Blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Five for Friday

Hello! I am linking up with Della DevotedCoffee With CaitlinCup of Tea and Bright on a Budget for another edition of Five for Friday!

1. I pulled out my camera equipment to try to figure out what to bring on our upcoming trip to Europe. I hope I have enough memory cards! ;)
2. So I made some pancakes and topped them with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. They were SO good! I think one of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh berries!

3. Ikea. I think that is definitely one of my favorite stores! I always find something I need there. We stopped at the store in Renton and here are the things I picked up!
4. So, since I got new picture frames, I had to put them to good use!
5. After we went to Ikea, we stopped at Panera for dinner. I was really happy to learn that they're opening one not too far from where I live! Anyways, we all enjoyed our meals. I've been maybe 6 or 7 times and I haven't had a meal I didn't like. It's definitely a favorite for us!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Flowers

My grandparents have an awesome garden. My grandpa grows all kinds of vegetables and my grandma has flowers all around the house.

I had forgotten how much I liked (and missed seeing!) rhododendrons! They're so pretty and my grandma had them in a bunch of different colors. They also had a snowball tree, which was really pretty!