Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spain, part 1...

Ahhh Spain... We love Spain! We have had such a great time so far that we have decided to cut out some of our time in France and add it to Spain. We love it! I don't really know where to start so I will start at the beginning and see how far I get...
This is me at the drinking from the fountain in Barcelona. Ledgend has it that if you drink from it you will return one day. May as well give it a try!

We found a great market in Barcelona. Spain is famous for their cured ham which is hanging up behind me. There are whole pig legs hanging up all over the place and they will just slice off a hunk and serve it to you. At first I was a little freaked out by the whole eating raw pig thing but it is actually really good so we may as well enjoy it!

Tongue, testicles and intestines. Mmmm. No, we did not try these.
This is one of the bird markets on the street in Barcelona.

We thought it was weird how many fish there were around the harbor.

We then discovered that instead of feeding the birds in Barcelona, the locals come to the harbor and feed the fish!

Sitting in the shade of orange trees in Spain. Can life get any better? I don't even like oranges and the trees smelled delicious!
One thing Barcelona is famous for is the architecture of Gaudi. Sean describes his buildings like Alice in Wonderland buildings. They're pretty cool.

This is on the roof of the last building.

Sagrada Familia - this is the Gaudi's Cathedral that he designed. It has been under construction for 200 years and they are still estimating it will take another 50 to complete. It was amazing.

Ok... Enough Gaudi.

This is me being a lobster. Little did I know that after a few days in the beautiful Spanish sun that I really would become one.
That was a very brief run through on our two days in Barcelona. We LOVED Barcelona! It should be on everyone's list of places to visit in your life.
The next group of pictures are in Granada. We took a night train there. You may notice that we are wearing the same clothes as we were in Barcelona the day before. This is a result of the night train.

As much as we loved Barcelona, we have both agreed that Granada has been our favorite place so far in Spain. Not only does it have palm trees and orange trees all over but it is also has a view of snow caped mountains all year round. On top of that they have the Alhambra which is an amazing Moorish palace. The city itself is beautiful and has great history!

More on Granada and the Alhambra to come but for now it is time for bed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ireland pictures... let's try this again

This is one of my favorite pictures. We only had to jump two barbed wire fences and a rock wall to hike along these cliffs. We followed a path back to our secret parking spot which we parked in to avoid the 8 euro charge at the real parking lot. Every little bit helps!

This is me clicking my heals in celebration of Ireland! Yeah!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ireland and Barcelona

We are currently in Barcelona Spain enjoying the sunny weather after rainy Ireland. I even got a sun burn today! We are staying at a hostel that has wifi so I am going to try to post some pictures of Ireland.

Ok, this is the only picture I have been able to load. This is Sean and I by Dublin Castle. I will try to post more when we have a better internet connection some day...
One last comment about Barcelona: Why, oh why, does the man sleeping in the bunk bed across from me have to be old and very over weight and only wearing his tighty whities to bed? Trust me, it is not a pretty sight to wake up across from.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leave of Absence

I realized that I forgot to update our blog on our adventures that we will be having for the next month and a half. We will be traveling around Ireland for 10 days and then Spain for 10 days and then France for 9 days. We will then be meeting up with my mom and Les and travel around France for another 10 days! We have already been in Ireland for 5 days and it is beautiful! I can't wait to post pictures but all our internet time is currently being spent in internet cafes which is not ideal to sit around and wait for pictures to load. I'm afraid updates will be few and far between for the next month and a half and then I am sure I will be updating our blog for weeks when we get home.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Family Love

In case any one has been wondering what I have been doing all these days in London while Sean is at his internship, I have been diligently working at family history. I have been going into the Family History center almost every day like it was my job. I have spent hours and hours in front of computers looking for a needle in a hay stack. Sometimes I feel like I really have not made any progress but then I find one little date or another family member and from there I just get so excited that it keeps me going. One of the reasons that I really wanted to come to London is because my dad was born in England and I knew we still had family here that I really wanted to meet up with. Well, my dream has come true! While I have been here I have been able to make contact with two of my dad's cousins, Catherine and Richard. They are great! This weekend I had the opportunity to go visit our cousin Catherine, her husband Martin and their sons Timothy and Jonathan. They live in the beautiful tiny village of Kingsdown which is right on the coast. It was seriously the best weekend EVER! The whole weekend we spent going through old photos and reading old love letters and trying to put together the giant mystery of our family. There are so many names and places that we have made connections to but at the same time, we have not been able to pull all the lines together. It is so exciting. We would get into it and the time would just fly by. We also went to Catherine's mother's house to go through photos. There we found an envelope that said Cullis's pictures and it was full of pictures of little baby me! That was so fun to find. It really just solidified the fact that I was supposed to be there. There is something about family and just being able to click some times. I can not even tell you how much fun I have had this weekend laughing with my family as we researched our past. If we did nothing else on our whole trip, this one weekend would have made it all worth it.

Catherine and I with Daisy the dog on the beach with the white cliffs of Dover in the background.


This is me and Timothy. I realized too late that I really should not stand next to him in pictures. He makes me look way too short.

Jonathan, Catherine's mom (my great aunt) Ivy, me and Timothy.

The whole family going through the mysterious tin of uncle Harry. Apparently he was quite the ladies man or liked his "nice piece of crumpet".


Sean joined us on Sunday. This is the Dover port and the white cliffs of Dover in the background.

The cute little town of Kingsdown.

Catherine, Martin, me, Sean (and Daisy the dog).

Martin, Jonathan, Catherine, Timothy and me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Avebury is a town that is surrounded by a mysterious stone cropping. It is kind of like Stonehenge except it is really just one giant circle that is 16 times as big with a smaller stone circle in the middle and it is not as touristy.

In the 14th century the Catholic church decided that these stones were evil and that they should be taken down. The rocks were so huge that the people did not know what to do with them so the town got together and pushed over and buried the ones they could and left the ones that were too big. Some of those stone have since been uncovered and re-erected. Under one stone they found the skeleton of a man who was standing in the wrong place in the wrong time when the stone was knocked over. Researchers determined that he was a Dr. because of some instruments he was holding. At that time they thought that the stones may be alive so when they were pushing them over they always made sure a Dr. was around. The towns people figured that the poor squished Dr. must have already been dead so they did not bother trying to move the stone again to get him out. I guess his remains were pretty well preserved and he is now in storage at that Natural Science Museum. Poor guy. What a way to go.

In the 18th century, residents decided to start breaking up the stones and using them for building material. Concrete markers now show were the missing broken-up stones once stood.

Around the outer ring of huge rocks there is a ditch and a chalk mound surrounding the whole thing. Most of the chalk hill is covered with grass now except for the path on the top that people walk around.

On our drive to our next destination we had a quick photo stop for this sight. I guess in this area of England the thing to do throughout the ages has been to carve horses into the side of hills. I forget how old this one is but it is pretty old. Apparently there are about 10 of them in the region. The most recent one was made to celebrate the millennium. Can you see it?