Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dryer Malfunction

This morning I was in quite the rush to make it to my team meeting. I knew that today was the day that the city would be pouring the cement for the sidewalks that were ripped up yesterday. We were suppose to park on the street but there was a perfect strip just long enough to get in and out my driveway so I parked in the garage instead. Since I knew they would be coming at 8:00 sharp, I thought I'd be out just in time to get out of their hair. In the process of getting ready I realized I was running always and I ran into my closet to find something to wear. I grabbed a shirt out of the clean laundry that hadn't been folded yet, and ran into the laundry room. Upon my arrival I found the dryer door open with clothes inside. I threw my shirt in to relive it of its wrinkles and went to finish getting ready. As a left the laundry room, I looked out the window to see if I would be trapped in my driveway due to the cement truck that would soon be approaching my house to fill in my sidewalk. Luckily I was okay. I still had time. Seconds later I heard something that sounded like clunky shoes in the dryer. What could it be? I was in such a hurry I almost ignored it and walked past the laundry room to put on my mascara. Once again I was VERY curious as to what would be making such a loud noise so I went back into the laundry room to see what was the matter. As I opened the door to the dryer the first thing I heard was a very sad and serious "MEEEEooEEEEwwW" You can probably just picture my face as I very soon discovered that the loud noise was not was MY CAT!!!! I have never felt so horrible in my whole life!! Please don't report me for animal cruelty. It was most definitely a tragic mistake! Not only that but my poor cat was limping and very disoriented from her wild morning ride. I scooped her up hoping that she wouldn't suddenly give up the ghost and intantly began to pamper her to let her know that I was sorry and that this was not going to be another re-run of her previouse abusive owners. I feel as if she may never be the same! Please don't judge me. From now on I will always check the dryer to be sure it is free of house pets. You should to....I was mortified. But in case you are wondering, Lemons is going to be just fine

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pinehurst Drive or Crenshaw Way???

Last May Scottie and I set off on a journey looking to buy a home of our own, a place to lay roots. We were still deciding if it was the right time for us to buy. When we heard about the $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers we knew we couldn't pass it up. We started out looking at DR Horton homes. We LOVED these homes. The real estate agent that was helping us that day even walked us through her own home. Instantly we fell in love with her home and wanted to build one just like it. There was even an empty lot in back of her where we could build. After walking out of her house we looked to the house left of hers. I really liked the outside and asked the agent what model it was. She said it was the Hartford but it was bigger and of course....pricey. Since we knew we had till the end of the year to seal the deal on something and get the $8,000, we then thought that going the short sale route would be in our favor. We didn't have any contract or house to sell, plus the fact that we had all the time in the world to wait out a lengthy short sale so we started looking.
When we started looking at short sale homes, we found a home that was close to the school that I teach at and in a neighborhood in which I already knew a lot of people. The home was on Pinehurst Drive and I thought it was absolutely the best house I had ever seen! We called the listing agent and asked to see the house. It was beautiful on the outside but when I walked in all I could see was atrocious pink walls with black light switches, vents, and outlets. ....Ugh. As we continued touring the house, I started to see things about this house that made me not like it. AT ALL. I hated the fact that the master bedroom was tiny and it had a long hallway leading to the closet. There were windows on the wall where the bed should go. Which is nice, but problem was they were too close together so a headboard would be covering the windows. The other wall was covered in windows. All the rooms had funky bookshelves built in the wall that didn't look finished and it would need a total overhaul of a paint job. The yard would need a lot of work since it hadn't been taken care of since the house was vacant.
The second we left the house I couldn't wait to get in the car so I could share my thoughts on the terrible house with Scottie. The second I shut the car door I began to go off about how much I did not like the all. On the other hand, Scottie absolutely loved it. Scottie continued to tell me why he wanted this house and at the price it was going for, who wouldn't want it. I demanded that we see other houses. If this was the first, then there must be PLENTY of other houses in the sea for me.
After we got home we talked it over with my parents and wanted to show them this house plus look at some other options. We called the real estate agent on the house and he agreed to show us several others we were interested in plus take us to see the house on Pinehurst for a second time.
As we looked at other houses I became quite worn out. Every other house we wanted to see had at least 5-10 offers, already under contract, or it wasn't what we wanted. Then we went back and looked at the first house we had seen. I have to admit the first time I saw it I hated it but the second time looking at the house was like looking through rose colored glasses! I couldn't believe I had completely ripped the place apart before! It was beautiful (besides the ugly pink walls that you would see in a cheap Saint George motel.) I had looked over the great things about it and focused on the things that could be changed to fit my taste. I even thought of ideas to make the master bedroom workable. I instantly was picking out paint colors and moving my furniture in in my mind. Did I mention that I pictured what rooms would be my little girl's or boy's room one day? Ya I'm pathetic! I had completely gone too far. The house wasn't even ours yet! We were sold and decided to make an offer and wait it out, knowing that it would be at least three months or more before we'd here back or not.
When we made the offer, we were just about to leave to go to Europe. The bank had a set asking price that they would accept right away. Knowing that we were going to be in Europe we put in a lower offer and hoped that it would take longer so we could put down a bigger down payment. The agent even took it off the MLS so that we'd have no competition. We were set for success in the home department.
While we were in Europe we got an email from our agent saying that someone else had put in a higher offer! Not only did they put in a higher offer, but they put an offer in for $10,000 more than the asking price! I was sad that this was not going to be our house. But we were still hopeful.
As time passed we grew anxious! Knowing that it was a short sale we knew there was a possibility that we might not get it and that the bank might not accept our offer. We waited anyway but also continued our search for a home in case it didn't work out. Eventually the other people who had made an offer on the house withdrew their offer and bought a different home. My hopes were high and we continued to wait. I was just sure that the house was going to be ours. But because there was always that chance that we might not get it we continued looking at other houses. Every house we saw I didn't like and Scottie of course did. After looking at the MLS a million times and walking through billions of houses I didn't like. It looked as though we were getting closer to finding out about the home on Pinehurst. I was getting excited.
September came along and since we knew that the home on Pinehurst would be going into foreclosure September 5th, the agent started calling the bank to find out what was going to happen. When he called the bank, they told us that they were not going to let it go into foreclosure since we had an offer in on it and that we would hear back anytime the next week. When the following week rolled around, our agent called and the big news was....


We had waited so patiently since May and we were devastated. We were now going to have to find another house since the chances of getting this house were VERY slim. I started to think that we would not be buying before the end of the year. I was not very happy about looking at more houses. My heart was set on the Pinehurst home. I was sure that that was the place I was going to live, raise kids, and grow old...ok maybe not grow old but anyway...
The tedious process of house hunting continued. I was positive that we were not going to find anything. I knew that I had seen pretty much every house that was for sale in our area of interest and time was running out. It looked as if we would be staying where we live for another year, Scottie would have to continue his calling as Elders Quorum President and I'd have to finally get around to organizing my kitchen and bathroom and all the things that I planned on organizing when we moved.
The next day Scottie began looking at homes online and reverted back to the DR Horton homes we looked at in the beginning. In fact they were in the process of building a house on the very same lot that we originally looked at in the beginning and good news was it was the Hartford, which was the house that I liked in the beginning but was WAY out of price range. The price had also been reduced. We agreed to go see it.
When we pulled up to the house, it was nothing close to my what I had pictured living in. it still had all the scaffolding on it and it wasn't going to be my place of residency....I knew it. It just didn't look like "my house". It was rather plain for my liking (probably because it wasn't done) and I wasn't in love with it like I was in love with the one on Pinehurst. After walking through it I became more depressed and grew teary eyed at the fact that someone else was going to live in my house on Pinehurst. I did not like the house. In fact I was desperate to point out everything that this house did not have compared to the one on Pinehurst. Scottie of course liked it but I wasn't sold. We went back and talked to the DR Horton agent and discussed with her our problem. We still wanted the Pinehurst home but we weren't sure if we would even get it. We also didn't want to pass up this home that we could have right away, no waiting required, no more bidding wars! If we decided we wanted it, then it was ours. But I still wasn't sold so we told her we'd think about and she agreed to hold the house for us over the weekend.
That night we went over to my parents and discussed the housing dilemma we were in. Should we wait to see if we could still get the Pinehurst home and take a chance of not even getting it? Or should we go with the brand new DR Horton home and get an additional $4,000. It was stupid of us to even question it but I still did not like that house. I ripped that house apart from top to bottom rattling off all the things that I didn't like about it. I was positive that this was not my home.
After much thought we went a second time to see the house and low and behold, I actually liked it! A lot!! How could I have hated it so much and then grew to like it over night? We decided to make an offer and I was content about our choice. I was also excited that I wouldn't have to paint and it had a spacious master bedroom and a better layout. Not only that, but it was the end of DR Horton's fiscal year and they had significantly dropped the price of the home in order to sell it fast. I thought we had wasted all this time on waiting for this home on Pinehurst when actually it led us to an even better home that we'll will be much happier in down the road! We were the luckiest first time home buyers in the state of Utah because after we had signed the papers on the house, we found out that they had raised the price of the other homes. We really did find the perfect home at the right time and we couldn't be happier to move into our very first house, a place to call home, lay down roots and settle down, on Crenshaw Way


Now we just have to get ready for the big move!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Soliciting

The first thing I'm going to do when I move into my new house is install one of these pretty little babies...

...ok maybe not that extreme but, whether I paint it on my front door, hammer signs in my front yard, you name it, it must be done. I'm tired of being taken advantage of because I can't say no! Allow me to explain.
Two weeks ago I get a knock on my front door. As I went to open the door I knew I shouldn't have done it. Much to my surprise there was a particular person standing on my porch who started babbling off words in which I could not understand no matter how hard I tried, due to her southern ebonics or whatever you'd call it. She then began telling me that she could clean the wax from last years pumpkin fest, off my front porch with just a touch of her magic cleaning, non toxic, all natural, smells good, won't bleach, smear, whatever you name it formula. Just then she decided to prove to me just how out of this world this green potion is and then took a sip of it. What??? Well if that wasn't enough, she worked her way into my house by scrubbing the grout in my entryway. I guess because of the look on my face she could tell I still wasn't amused and decided to stick her hand in my toilet to scrub the hard water ring that has formed inside the bowl. Oh, did I mention that she then found a stain on my carpet and took it out too? By then she had worked her way into my kitchen and scrubbed my stove, sink, fridge, and toaster. Would you then feel bad for not buying the stuff? Ya, not only that but my conscience then started to kick in and I felt that if I were to deny her green magic potion then she would hold it against us Mormons! I finally gave in and bought the crap.
Two days later I'm home making dinner and I get ANOTHER knock at the door. This time it's some little high schooler who is selling cookie dough. But you'd be proud. I lied and said I had just bought some yesterday! Clever I know. I then shut the door being proud of my white lie but then guilty inside thinking that maybe he had some strange disease and I just shot down his one opportunity at life. Poor guy.
Then today I get, yes you guessed it, another knock on my door. This time it's someone trying to get donations for an anonymous source (I won't say). They then hand me a form and ask me if I'd like to donate one of the amounts listed. As I skimmed the list the minimum amount you could donate was...hold your horses....$2oo. Are ya kidding me? Bless these men that came to my house. I know it wasn't them asking for that much but I couldn't say no and wrote a check for don't worry...$10.
Now that I've vented I feel bad. I don't not want to help those in need but it's really getting out of hand. My husband has now labeled me the sucker that can't say no (haha). That's why I now feel as if I have officially joined the no soliciting club. Anyone want to join?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Self Reliance

I must have slept my way through home-ec. I don't think I know half the skills that it takes to be a descent housewife. My poor mother. She raised me well, but I was probably oblivious to the wonderful example that she was. If only I was half the homemaker she is.

I can't sew, stay on top of my blogging, or even preserve food at it's finest stage to last throughout the year.

All of this emotion has been triggered mostly due to the fact that I missed enrichment night. The theme you ask? Bottling Salsa.

How am I ever going to call myself a descent housewife if I don't even have the slightest idea of how to bottle food?

This fear of me falling through the cracks is what lead me to have my wonderful mother teach me how to bottle...


We blanched and peeled, sliced and diced, bottled and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Now if I can only remember come harvest time next year....

Thanks mom, for sharing your mean canning skills! Love you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This past weekend we set off to Saint George and cheered on Mr. Lamb while he ran his very first marathon.

We cheered him on at mile marker 17...

And then raced back to the end to see him cross the finish line!

Finishing time: 3 Hours 52 minutes

I'm so proud of all his hard work and waking up at 4:00 on Saturday's to do his long runs.

As for me....I'll stick to the sidelines and cheer him on

Way to go babe!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Backyard Cookin'

For the past few weeks we have been trying to get together with our good friends Gabe and Mellisa Miles. Unfortunately both of us have been really busy but this week we finally pulled it off! We went up to my parents house and make tin foil dinners and had a fantastic little dinner party in the backyard fire pit.

Mellisa and I showing off our finished product

Scottie and Gabe being the boy scouts that they are, getting the fire nice and toasty

After about fifteen minutes we pulled them out to see if they were done. I know what your thinking. Fifteen minutes? How could the potatoes be done in fifteen minutes? Well, that's because Mel and I were starving after an hour of trying to find everything in the new Walmart's crazy layout, so we decided to pre-cook the potatoes in the microwave! Clever? Yes! Tasty? Indeed! And no.....this wouldn't have happened if we were up the mountain.

Here we are enjoying the fruits of our labor

As if we were still hungry after eating massive amounts of meat and potatoes, we roasted up some yummy s'mores

Mel and I roasting our marshmallows...I mean buns

Then, because we were still wanting to eat more, we went inside and whipped up some smoothies and watched Prison Break

Thanks Gabe and Mel for hanging out with us! We NEED to do it again!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Testing anxiety...

For the past week I have been studying my brains out in order to prepare for this beautiful test I so easily forgot about, due to the wonderful summer break I'm experiencing. You see, since I teach FIRST grade, and I will now be approaching my fourth year of teaching, the time has come for me to renew my level one license to a level two license. Peace of cake right? How hard can a test be when all you teach is first grade? Well if your line of thinking is parallel with mine then you'd be astonished to find out that YOU'RE WRONG!! Like I said, I teach first grade but apparently I am suppose to be able to know and recall information that I never use and haven't even thought about since my early days in high school. For history was one of the major topics of study. I was required to know all major and minor aspects of math, language arts, science and social studies/world history. And I'm talking EVERY SINGLE LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY from the beginning of man kind. Practically dated back to Adam and Eve. Really people? The furthest I go in social studies in first grade is north, east, south and west! So, Friday night I went up to my parents house for a little one on one help from my dad. Now, let me tell you. My father should be the next Jeopardy contestant. This man in a fountain of knowledge!! Thanks to my dad and his wonderful love of history, he pretty much summed up my entire high school and elementary school curriculum combined in one night. That night I went to bed. I had my calculator, proof of ID, my admission ticket for the test, and three #2 pencils sharpened and ready to go. Since the test was at BYU in the testing center I was a little worried that I'd get lost and not be able to find the building, so my wonderful husband offered to wake up at 6:45 and drive me himself to the testing center and wait for two hours while I took the dreaded test (how sweet). As I walked inside I recognized a friend of mine from college who was in the same boat as me....only thing is that this was her FIFTH time taking the test in hopes that she would pass. Okay, so maybe it was just her but what you don't know is that I had talked to several other teachers who had to take it a minimum of three times just to pass? My hopes were diminishing by the second. After waiting in line for the testing center to seat us in the room, I finally approached the front of the line. As I handed her my ID, she then realized that it was expired! My drivers license had just barely expired by about a month. She was not going to let me in! Now, did I mention that I had to pay $150.00 to take this stupid test? I was getting through the doors whether she liked it or not. Another lady came along and pulled me aside. She asked me if I had any other form of ID. Of course I didn't because I was planning on getting in with my drivers license. Fortunately I had an old school ID, with my maiden name that was also expired but don't worry that for some reason it was more legit than my recently expired drivers license with my new name? Go figure.
After finally getting in and seated, they passed out the test. As I started I grew nervous knowing that if I didn't pass then I'd be back in this same boat taking it again. I started taking the test and by golly I felt like the most uneducated person in the world! Really? Could this test really be that hard? Did they really expect me to know all this crap!? I was screwed! Thank goodness for my father who had given me the crash coarse on world history the night before? It was the only stuff I knew! Finally I finished, just in time and rushed out to me my patiently waiting husband. On our way home he told me we had to stop and drop off the study book he had checked out for me from BYU. That's when I realized that we were no where near BYU and we were pulling in to Jamba Juice. It was so nice to finally be done with the test and enjoying a wonderful Aloha Pineapple delight. Thanks babe for all your support! Now I just have to wait four weeks to see how stupid I really am, when my test scores are finally mailed. Wish me luck! Good thing I have a second job.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally....Our Europe Excursion

Back in November, Scottie had the great opportunity to do a Study Abroad program in London for accounting. Of course this was during the time that he was away in Denver so you can imagine my thoughts...."WHAT? YOU WANT TO LEAVE ME AGAIN!?!?" Of course this time was different. He would only be gone for two weeks and he would have been home from his internship for two months by then. So, I thought it would be a fun, once in a lifetime, experience for him. That's when he got the idea of staying two more weeks after his Study Abroad was over, to tour the rest of Europe (a total of four weeks which = one month). That's when I put my foot down. There was NO WAY my husband was going to leave me again for another whole month. Both him and I know how the emotional stress seems to take a toll on me while he's away? So my clever husband decided that I should come along for the extra two weeks. I would fly out the day after I got out of school to meet him....and live in a backpack for two weeks. Can you imagine the thoughts running through my head? I was a little nervous that I would have to travel alone...all the way to France.....where they speak a different language.....and also where they kidnap young girls and get them addicted to drugs and traffic them. Ok, so I had just seen the movie "Taken" so give me a break. But how much more fun would it be if your best friend came along? So I asked my good friend Chelcie Christensen if she was in. Of course she said yes and so we packed our bags and said goodbye to our first and second graders. Soon we'd be off to Europe and I would be with my husband again touring the sights of Europe. Take a peek!


Right after we stepped off the plane, it was 8:30 in the morning. Needless to say, our plane left Utah at 7:30 and the sleeping pill I planned on to put me out didn't really work so I hadn't slept for 24 hours. That's why I look like this...

I was so afraid that if I shut my eyes for more than two seconds I would pass out on the floor. I don't think I really remember walking through Notre Dame....sad. Scottie and Chelcie got the biggest kick out of how tired I looked.

Here we are with Notre Dame in the background. It was quite amazingly huge. And to think that it took 200 years to build blows my mind.

After this, Scottie suggested that I take a nap to tie me over till night time....I didn't argue.

When I woke up we went to the Eifel Tower. I loved it! We didn't spend too much time in Paris the first day because we were going to be flying out of Paris and so we'd spend two more days there when we came back.

The next day we took a train up to Amsterdam to meet up with Scott's friend Jarom.

We got to see...
Anne Frank's house where she and her family went into hiding. The inside was really neat even though we weren't aloud to take pictures.

...A million bikes in a parking garage!!

I have never seen so many bikes. Just think of how many people drive cars here in the U.S. then think of how many people ride bikes here in the U.S. Now what if you were to put all the people that ride bikes in cars and all the people that drive cars in bikes, you'd be in... Amsterdam!

AH! These were the best strawberries I've ever eaten and I was quite excited to have a little fruit for a change.

This is the wonderful hostel we stayed in. But first, a little story. Jarom was the one who booked this hostel and for some odd reason he forgot to tell us that the men and women had to sleep on different floors. Hence the name: The Shelter Jordan, Christian Hostels. I was mortified when I walked in and saw thirty bunks beds. I felt like I had just been admitted into a juvenile detention center. IT WAS PUNISHMENT!! I had to meet Scottie in the stairway to get something from our bag because we were sharing one so I wouldn't have to carry it (how sweet). Let's just say, Scottie booked all the hostels after Amsterdam.

After this fun trip we took a night train (sleeper train) to Italy making a stop in BEAUTIFUL Mittenwald!

This is what the sleeper trains looked like....except ours had two more beds in the middle for a total of six altogether. Can you say claustrophobic?

goofing off with Chelc in the hallway of our train.

The train workers didn't like us I don't think? It's a good thing they spoke German.

Catching up on some reading before I hit the sack.

I slept very well surprisingly! Until we got a very unwelcoming wake up call in German? Yes, we thought we had arrived in Auschwitz it sounded that harsh . I have no idea what was really said.

Mittenwald, Germany

After arriving in Mittenwald, which is on the Germany/Austria border, we found our way to the visitors center and goofed around taking some pictures.

Then we went to eat on this lovely street....

enjoyed some yummy pizza (not really a bratwurst fan sorry)

Chelcie enjoyed hers too...

until a bird swooped low and crapped perfectly on her napkin. haha

After a good lunch we tried to find this hike that my parents had told us about. In the process we ran into this cute family from Frankfurt who told us where to go. When we asked the man, who's name was Wolfgang, how far it was, he told us he would just take us (it was like three miles up the hill)! They were so sweet to cram us all into their tiny car and drive us to the border of Austria where the trail starts. Thanks!!

Here we are at the trail head about to see some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen! Do we look excited or what?

This hike was amazing! The bridge was suspended between the cliffs as you hike down the mountain. As you're walking you look down below you and see the river, which is Turquoise blue! GORGEOUS!

On the border of Germany and Austria


From Mittenwald we hopped on another train and were on our way to Venice. But first we made a quick stop in Innsbruck and ran into the missionaries. They were of course from, Lindon Utah, well one of them.
Here we are in Austria. Wait? Is that the Arc de Triomphe? No, but every country has one I swear.

Venice, Italy
By the time we got to Venice it was dark so here is Venice at night...

and Venice by day!

Saint Mark's Basilica

We got to go on a Gondola ride. Here is our wonderful guide! He was so fun and sang to us as well as made some funny jokes.

Going under a bridge. You can see him ducking behind us! The tip of our Gondola was scraping a little the water was so high.

The arch in the picture behind us is the one we just came out of. I really didn't think we were going to fit.

Overall I thought Venice was amazing! If you go, don't forget your map like we did. When we were out and about touring we decided it was getting late and be should probably head back. We kept following the signs to lead us back to the main part but we got so lost! It is truly like a maze and alleys are so tall and narrow. After a while it was obvious that we were not the only ones lost! We ran into a few other people who would ask us if we knew how to get out. Then we ran into these two drunks. They must have been pretty drunk because he sounded like he had a dutch accent. When we asked him where he was from he said Ohio? Anyway, all of us looked at their map and tried to figure it out. But we both thought we should go different ways. When we went our seperate directions, we ran into a local and we asked her for directions. This is what she said: (in an Italian accent) "okay okay. You go down this way, then you see a bridge. Then you go right and then left ....and then you ask someone else. Okay?"
It was pretty funny. On our way out we ran into the drunks again who were headed in the wrong direction and were oblivious that we even passed them! I wonder if they ever found their way out. It was laughing pretty hard and very tired from walking. I was amazed when we looked at the map to see how far we had really gone.

Rome, Italy
We arrived in Rome on June, 7th which is my birthday so needless to say I had the greatest birthday ever! I got to see ....

The Collosseum

It is crazy to think that the Collosseum was built in 70-80 AD!! It also held mock sea battles and they would fill it with water! Here, more than 500,000 people and animals were killed in events. Crazy!!
Old Ruins of Rome

The Pantheon

Creepy Catholic Graveyards in the basement of a church?
Ok...let me clarify. Not that it will help? This is in the basement of the Santa Maria Cathedral in the Cappuccin Crypt in Rome, the bones of 4,000 monks who died between 1528 and 1870 are lined up for the delight — or disgust — of the always-wide-eyed visitor. A plaque explains the monastic message: "We were what you will become what we are now." Yes, bones. Everything that you see here is made of bones! Everything from chandeliers to murals on the wall, stacked high of every bone from a human skeleton. They even had corpses propped up in freaky positions. No, this is not a haunted house in fact we weren't suppose to take pictures but we couldn't believe our eyes! Tell do they get away with this?


The Spanish Steps
From the bottom looking up...

and from the top looking down...

And then we ate a WONDERFUL yummy pasta dinner at a restaurnt just above the Spanish Steps. It was amazing :-)

The Vatican Muesum

Trevi Fountain

and the best gelato ice-cream in the WORLD!!!

the next day we said goodbye to our wonderful little hostel called Fiesta Terrace. I know it looks like we stayed in the slums of Rome but it was actually quite cozy on the inside!

From Rome we went to Florence and stayed for two days. This was our good buddy at his yummy pizza place. He just couldn't understand why we didn't want anything to drink? haha

We also got to see the original statue of David. Now I know why everyone raves about this statue. It was phenomenal!!! This isn't the real one because we weren't aloud to take pictures so here is a replica on the outside of the museum. The statue is huge!

From Florence we took day trips to...


Cinque Terre
While we were in Florence we thought we'd add an extra stop on our trip and hit the beach in Cinque Terre. Problem was, we didn't plan on swimming much on our trip so we didn't bring a swimsuit. We looked everywhere hoping we'd find one. Strange enough, this fun beach town had a total of five swimsuits that I wouldn't be caught dead in!! So if you're wondering why we aren't in swim attire it's because there was none to be found!

Overall this was a great day. I really needed a break from our trip. So a nice day laying out and reading a good book was perfect!! While I was laying out on the beach I noticed that a lot of people obviously didn't mind what they looked like in a swimsuit....or no swimsuit? Here I was enjoying the beautiful surroundings when what to my surprise!! I look to my left and find a very endowed girl around my age totally topless!! It was kind of strange that it didn't come as a shock at first. Then when it registered to me what exactly I had seen I gasped!! I think all the museums of nude statues had definately taken its toll on me. And to think that I was too embarrased to buy and sport one of those ghastly swimsuits? I should have just braved the Baywatch high cut cheetah swimsuit after all :-( Sorry no pics.

On our way back from Cinque Terre we had purchased our train tickets back to Florence. Now, keep in mind that our train's last destination was Florence, also known as our stop. As we were riding along we stopped at every train stop and would wait for everyone to get on and then we'd be on our way again. As we were goofing off in our private room having a good ol' time, the train stopped again. This time it seemed like forever and we wondered when it was going to start moving again. Suddenly someone pounded on our door. We were quite confused thinking that we should stop goofing around. After a few more minutes we became anxious as to why our train was STILL not going anywhere. Becoming curious, we opened the curtains to look outside and to our surprise we were parked at the train yard!!! We couldn't believe our eyes. Then all of a sudden, we heard men throwing trash on the floor and sweeping it up! Everyone had gotten off the train and we were the only ones left. We quickly got up put on our shoes and opened our door. The train was being cleaned and it had never went to Florence! So we had to ask the cleaners where the train station was and walk to it. From there we had to get on another train and go clear back to Pisa to catch another train back to Florence. Still to this day we don't know what happend. All we know is that we got on the right train but it never took us to our final destination. Crazy Europeans?


The next day we hopped on another night train to France. We were excited since our last sleeper train was quite a fun experience. This time was a little different? As we boarded our train we found our room and got situated. We were going to be sharing a room (more like a jail cell) with:

a nice Italian woman
a not so nice Italian man
and a chain smoker

lovley :-)

It was a good thing we had Chelcie who speaks French because she was able to talk to the nice Italian woman who also spoke some French. This train was similar to our last one but it was much much hotter!! At first we thought that when the train turned on the air would kick in and it would cool off but much to our dismay it just got worse!! We seemed to be on the party train and it was packed! By the time it was ready for bed I tried to fall asleep in the sweltering heat. But because it was so hot we had to open the window. Have you ever slept on a train with the window open? It's not very....soothing. Before long everyone but me was asleep and this is what I endured while everyone counted sheep:

-the baby crying on the other side of the wall
-the sound of the bunk bed ladder crashing to the floor
-the train SQUEEELING on the tracks
-the chain smoker getting up five times to have a smoke-don't ask me where he went to take care of his business because there was no smoking on the train?
-the smell of the stinky smoker coming back in after his smoke breaks
-the train being lunged forward while the train switched engines
- almost falling off my bed while the train switched engines.
-the door flying open and the ladder crashing to the floor once again, when the train switched engines for a second time.
-finally drifting off to sleep but then waking up to the squeel of the train on the tracks
-the mean Italian man above me leaning over his bed telling me in his italian accent "THE WINDOW!!! SHUT THE WINDOW!!!"
-me getting up off the bed I don't fit on to shut the window when wait? It was closer to his bed!!!
-Finally arriving in France and feeling totally disgusting because of the thermal cave we were crammed in.

Here we are in our cramped quarters. Poor Scottie was too tall for his bed.

Can you tell how onry I am from the heat?

Chipper Chelce enjoying her good book before we turn out the lights

Waking up in the morning and snapping a shot with our new Italian friend. She even gave us some of her perfume and cookies. She was so sweet I don't know how she ended up with such a mean husband?

After arriving in France we took the Metro forever to get to our Hostel. Now let's play a game of

Unfortunately there was a little bit of a problem when we got to our hotel. Someone had left the water running and flooded the whole floor. So when we arrived they didn't have a room for us.

Fortunately they booked us in another hotel around the corner.

Unfortunately, we were too early and couldn't check in to our room for another four hours.

Fortunately we had things to see so here we are at the Louvre, in our wonderful attire from yesterday and our wonderful night before. I've never felt so gross! How many pictures have we taken like this? haha

Unfortunately at this point in our trip we had seen every possible museum known to man. So when we got to the Louvre we walked straight in and saw...

The Mona Lisa....

...and walked straight out. Terrible I know but really all the art starts to look the same after a while.

Fortunately we made it back to our hotel but unfortunately they were still not ready for us so we waiting another hour and then got ready for the day. We then hit up the Sacred Heart Church....clear on top of the hill!

The famous Moulin Rouge

....and back to the Eiffel Tower!! This time we got to go to the top!

While we were waiting in the rather long line we started talking to the people around us. It was kind of funny because every time we'd start talking to someone on our trip they'd ask us where we were from. Once we told them we were from the States they'd ask us what part. They would get all excited hoping we were from L.A. or New York so when we told them we were from Utah they got a disappointed look on their face because they had never heard of it. Seriously? I had to learn all about where you people live in high school so why can't you learn about our neck of the woods? haha anyway back to the story. So while we were waiting in line we started talking to these people that were from New Zealand. This time was quite different. When they asked us where we were from and we said the States, they asked us where. When we said from Utah they got this excited look on their face and asked if we were members. They were LDS as well and we had a good time talking to them. Here we are at the top with them.

Views from the top

I'm not one to get nervous when it comes to heights, but going to the top of the Eiffel Tower was a little different. When we stepped into the elevator and started our way up to the top I started getting freaked out. It felt like it was never going to stop!! It just kept climbing and climbing. Finally when it stopped we had to get out and... get in another elevator! Finally when we got to the top we got to see some pretty amazing views! I loved every second of it!

the next day we woke up and spend our last day in Paris/Europe. We went to Versailles. It was enormous and beautiful.

The Palace

The Gardens

Now for our top twenty five best moments in Europe!

25. Or not so friendly German wake up call after arriving in Germany at 7:00 am

24. Christie being FREAKED out to cross the street like normal pedestrians

23. Chelcie getting hit on by an Italian man at the train station and not being able to communicate due to the language about the ultimate shaft.

22. Running into the oblivious drunks in Venice...twice.

21. Looking out our window and realizing that we were in the middle of a train yard...parked.

20. Chelcie and I eating our breakfast in the food court. Suddenly a McDonald's worker comes and tells us to move our food from the table. She then takes our table and drags it elsewhere. She later returns and tells us to stand up....and then proceeds to take our chairs.

19. Sleeping in Florence and waking up to find that Chelcie had been eaten alive by mosquitos due to the window left open to create oxygen in our room. Did I mention her swollen eye?

18. Scottie refusing to pay to use the bathroom at the train station. Get this....he hops on a train that is parked and takes care of business. He then goes to exit the train but can't get off and starts to panic because all the doors are locked. Moments pass when a bystander comes and opens the door from the outside using the release lever.

17. Christie takes a shower in France. She then goes to get out and panics because the door is stuck!! Absolutely stuck. Paranoid that the hotel workers will have to come relieve her in all her glory, she screams for her husband to come and rescue her. He can't get the door open either. Moments of desperation pass when suddenly Scottie realizes that the door doesn't push slides.

16. Running into our New Zealand member friends at the Eiffel Tower.

15. Chelcie and Christie's OBSESSION with foreign food such as crepes, gelato, and more crepes and gelato three times a day.

14. While flying to Europe the flight attendant asks us what we'd like to drink. Christie requests a Diet Coke and if they had any limes that would be great. She comes back with a Diet Coke and seriously...a 1/18 of a lime. Kidding? I am not.

13. While staying at the Shelter Jordan Hostel, Christie walks in to find her bunk only to find that the Asian sleeping above her has several Voo Doo dolls lined up on her bed?

12. Scottie flipping through the channels to find something to watch on T.V. Thank goodness for shows like "Italy's Funniest Home Videos" that don't require you to know the language for you to understand what's going on. Scottie never laughed so hard in his entire life.

11. Christie being chewed out by the Italian man sleeping above her like so: "THE WINDOW, SHUT THE WINDOW!"

10. Vacation Victories!!!!

9. Trying to communicate with loved one back home by using a European keyboard at the internet cafes.??? Where in the world is the @ symbol? Impossible.

8. Christie spending hours washing clothes in the sink only to find out that in the morning they smelled even worse thanks to the wonderful odors of Europe.

7. Christie spending her entire vacation allowance in one stop?

6. Scottie, Chelcie and Christie being COMPLETELY paranoid that they were going to be pick pocketed in Rome. "Eye on the prize! Eye on the prize!"

5. Walking the streets in Rome and being completely confused as to why EVERY shop was owned by an Asian? I thought we were in Italy?

4. Checking in at the Bitchlerhoff in Germany and not being able to communicate at all. But really? Bitchlerhoff? Need I say more?

3. Sharing a train with two Asians. One who kept dropping her camera and train ticket down below. When Jarom reached up to give it to her she automatically knew it wasn't hers. Then moments later realized it was really was hers and then leans over to say: "hee hee it mine!!"

2. Being chewed out in German for not knowing the language. At least that's what we thought he was saying.

and the number one best moment...

1. Scottie asking for ketchup at McDonald's. It went something like this...

Scottie: "do you have any ketchup?"
Pissed off McDonald's employee: "twenty cents"
Scottie: "oh never mind that's okay"
Scottie then walks away but turns around to see the Pissed off McDonald's worker flipping him off. :-)