Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Porto, Portugal

Porto was wonderful. We were pleasantly surprised by the small number of tourists, the kind and helpful locals, the stunning architecture, the great food, the very reasonable prices, and the sun—which is entirely absent the German sky this time of year
There were markets on, what seemed like, every street corner and fresh bakeries full of delicious cheap pastries every ten feet or so (literally). Don't worry, we tried to limited ourselvesespecially since the only one who could use a bunch of extra pastries is gluten intolerant. 
Then we walked to the “Harry Potter” library, which is one of the most beautiful bookstores you will ever see. 
This beauty is the Eiffel bridge, designed by the talented Gustave Eiffel (also famous for his Parisian tower—you might know the one).
My sis and her husband are great travel buddies. We will miss them when we leave! 
Picasso knows what he is talking about. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Royal Scottish Mile

Last week we ventured through the beautiful ancient city of EdinburghScotland. To be honest, my sis and I bought the tickets because we googled it and the pictures looked pretty—little did we know it was home to William Wallace, John Knox, the Loch Ness Monster, and literary geniuses like Sir Walter Scott. To be fair, we were aware that they were from this, region.
We rode a double-decker bus to the city, where the three of us (my sis, my husband, and I) took a free 3 ½ hour tour from a hyper Australian who loved women and booze almost as much as he hated the English. It was the most interesting and entertaining tour of our lives. The three of us now quote Steve, our tour guide, like a good movie. We weren’t quite sure what to attribute his endless energy and lack of social boundaries to, but we are pretty sure it was from Irn Bru, which he described as Red Bull on crackillegal in the States.
We walked by the grave and memorial for Greyfrier’s Bobby, the little Scottish terrier who watched over his masters grave for 14 years. It is located in the same old, moss-covered graveyard where three of the names in Harry Potter, including “he who must not be named,” Tom Riddell (oops), are found.
 The next day my husband and I saw Dolly the lamb, who was cloned right outside of Edinburgh, an exhibit on Thomas Cochrane, “the real Master and Commander,” and some of Napoleon’s hair (Bonaparte not Dynamite in case there is confusion). Then we sat down for dinner with my sis at the Elephant House where J.K Rowling spent much of her time writing the first and second Harry Potter books.
Later in the night we dared take the “terror tour” into the dark underground tunnels called Mary King’s Close, named one of the most haunted places on Earth. I was quite nervous until a harmless looking blonde with a Scottish accent and bubbly personality approached wearing what greatly resembled a little red riding hood costume and excitedly exclaimed that she was our guide. Terrifying? Not entirely. However, the history was very interesting and sad. In the tunnels we saw a functioning witch coven and a collection of ancient torture tools used for punishment and, mostly, entertainment—and I thought reality TV represented the demise of civilization, looks like a step up to me!  

Of course it isn't really a trip to Scotland unless you hear the bagpipes, see men in kilts, watch street performers, walk by dozens of over 900 pubs in the city, and try the famous, or should I say infamous, haggis—what our guide, Steve, referred to more than once as lamb road kill mixed with oats.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Malibu Pier {family photos}

Beautiful couple, beautiful child, beautiful dog—oh and the view, well, I will let you decide. I had so much fun taking these pictures. If the surroundings and the company didn't cut it (and they did), the delicious pear and coconut gelato we got on our way home definitely did the job. I will post more here soon.  

You know when you haven't written in your journal blog for a long time and you can't decide whether to spend the next long time catching up or just cut your losses, eat some food, browse through facebook, and move on?

What was that? Pick option two? 

In that case, I think it is sufficient to say that we graduated. And look, we even have a picture to prove it:  
Now I will cut any potential losses from the history of me and move forward.