Sunday, January 27, 2013

All About Josh

I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the amount of time I get to spend with my kids.  Life has never, and will never be like this again.  (Sometimes that's what gets me through.)  The kids are both home everyday at noon. Kelly goes back  to school at 1:45 four days a week and Josh only two.  This leaves a lot of one on one time for Josh and I.  We've been taking walks a lot, going ice skating at least once a week, and we have decided that Fridays will be our adventure day.  This Friday we grabbed a kebab at the train station and had lunch on our way to Gimmelwald. The views were beautiful in the winter and Josh and I had fun talking to some skiers who were up there for a huge ski race on Saturday. Friday and Saturday night It was just Josh and I again as Kelly and Keith were preparing for and attending a stake youth dance.
Sunday, Josh and Nathan gave the sharing time in Primary. Josh had been working on it all month and put a ton of time into the preparations.  It was great.         
On our walks Josh will play forever in the ice.  It's kind of like taking your dog for a walk.  Come on Josh, get away from the water, let's keep walking.

Ice skating with Kelly and Josh.
The Ka Wa De is a huge outdoor rink and there are seldom many other skaters.
Lunch on the train.
Here Boy!
Gimmelwald in winter.
Frozen waterfalls

Another thing I love about Switzerland.  There are a bunch of places around where you will see fruit or vegetables for sale and there is just a sign with the cost and a box for the money.  There is a store in Gimmelwald that sells souvenirs, candy, ice cream, and other things and you again just write down what you buy and then put the money in the box.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Heidelberg, Germany

We have exactly 25 more weekends here and 12 are already booked with some kind of trip or obligation.  There is no time to dilly dally.  Keith looked up the top places to go in Germany and the first one on the list was Heidelberg Castle.  We left Friday afternoon, had a picnic dinner on the train, and got into Heidelberg in time to swim, hot tub, and sit in the sauna.  The sauna and steam room area had a sign that said swimsuits prohibited.  I stuffed my straps in my towel and soaked up the heat while looking down and ignoring the few naked people around me.  Saturday afternoon I was not so lucky.  The naked area seemed pretty quiet so I wrapped my towel around me, opened the sauna door, and was shocked and horrified to see all three tiers of the sauna full.   Now I know us Americans have a reputation of being uptight when it comes to nudity, but there was nothing up or tight that I saw in the sauna.  I'm thinking Americans got it right, no one wants to see that.  Needless to say, the rest of the pool time was spent strictly in the swimsuit permitted areas.

Heidelberg is a great little town on the river Neckar.  We spent most of Saturday at the Heidelberg Castle.  We had a tour guide that made the castle come to life and I am convinced that a live tour guide is well worth the extra money.  It was freezing and after the tour we wandered around the old town, had lunch in a very old pub, and then went back to our hotel to get warm in the hot tub.  That evening Kelly and I did a little shopping and then ended up at Kelly's favorite place, Subway, for dinner.
This picture was borrowed from the Internet - the castle was beautiful in the evening.

This stands as a reminder to Kelly to never cut bangs.

Apple Strudel 

Keith took this beautiful picture from the same vantage point as the night shot.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pompeii and Sorrento

Our trip to Rome was one of our best.  But the last day was just okay.  We rented a car and drove to Pompeii.  It took over two hours to get there and just driving through Rome in a car was experience enough.  We had a great lunch at a very authentic Italian restaurant. We then rented our headsets and started walking around Pompeii.  Keith and I had already been there so it was mostly about the kids seeing it and they kind of lost interest after 30 minutes.  At this point we took a short train ride to Sorrento which is one of my favorite cities in Italy.  We started to walk around the darling town, got some gelato, and then Josh got sick.  Maybe too much gelato.  We left Sorrento before seeing much, took the train back to Pompeii, drove home the almost three hours because of the traffic in Rome, spent what felt like forever looking for a parking space for our rental car, and tried to pack so we would be ready to leave the next morning.  In addition, I forgot my camera battery and had to take pictures with Kelly's I-pod.  Not our best day.
At lunch our cute waiter stayed and talked through our entire meal.  He was this little old Italian man that was excited that we were from Utah because he had been there as a child.

Why can't my eleven year old son eat gelato like a normal person?
You would think we would be the ones getting sick. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Roaming around Rome

Not much to report about today.  We slept in and then got our car lined up so we could go to Pompei tomorrow.  We went back to some of the same places we had been the first day.  The Pantheon had been closed on New Year's Day, so we returned.  Saint Peter's Basilica had such a long line the day before, so we went in there and saw the Pieta.  We bought a Prada purse for 20 Euros that I will tell everybody at home that I bought in Rome.  No one has to know it's fake.  The weather was perfect and we had a great day just roaming around.
In the Metro

The Pantheon

The Pieta
Inside the Basilica

The Swiss guards outside the Vatican

Rome - Day Two

We had a great day in Rome and  think it is one of the most amazing cities I have ever seen.  We had reservations for the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel in the morning.  When we were done we hopped on a bus to make our way to the Coliseum but got on the wrong bus.  We got straightened out pretty quickly and as we were walking to the Coliseum everyone was starving for lunch.  I kept saying, let me get in line for tickets and then you can take off and get something.  But right when we were going to get in this very long line, a guy approached us about a tour that was starting in just a few minutes.  It sounded great so we joined the group and for the next three hours were fascinated by our tour guides stories about the Coliseum and the Forum.  Unfortunately we were all starving and poor Josh was about ready to faint.  We finally got some lunch around 5:00, found Kelly some cheap leather boots, and are back in our hotel room way too early to call it a night.

Audio tour of the Vatican
This is what I get for sneaking a picture in the Sistine Chapel - a blurry picture.
Mom, put your camera away!
Vatican Museum, exit
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
the Coliseum 
Domitian's Palace on Palatine Hill
Arch of Titus (inspired Arc de Triomphe in Paris)

Nighttime on the Tiber

St Peters Square