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  • We went to Europe – The Short Version

    *This is a cross post from our travel blog.  Full posts are linked below*

    Since we were gone for two weeks and went to 3 different countries, the blog posts are long. Add pics in and they get longer. If you don’t feel like reading through the posts and just want to skim the pics, this is your post!

    Kelly’s Trip Summary:

    JFK was a nightmare coming and going! But the flight to Zurich turned out to not be so bad. Zurich wasn’t my fave. There were tons of fancy cars but they were also loud, and we heard revving engines well into the night. I worried 24 hours in Zurich wouldn’t be enough but I thought it was more than enough.

    Lucerne was amazing! It was such a pretty city. I like that it was situated right on the river. Lucerne in the sun was a totally different city than Lucerne with clouds. The mountain views were all around and I loved that! I’m really glad we went to Mt Pilatus! It was a really cool experience and probably the only mountain I will ever climb.

    Paris was okay! I really thought I would like it more. I guess my expectations were a little high. I don’t think it helped the park was blocked off. I had visions of drinking champagne in the park under a twinkly Eiffel Tower but that was hard since it didn’t get dark till so late. We only saw the Eiffel Tower lit up once and that was from a cab at 1am. The city itself was pretty and the food was amazing. I think 4 days in Paris was a day too long though.

    London was short and sweet! It was great seeing E&T and just hanging out.

    Devon was amazing! I would put it at the top of my favorite places (Lucerne was probably 1st). It was just beautiful! And relaxing. It was also great to see the fam.

    Reigate was good! We went there for family and we spent tons of time with everyone so that was nice.

    All in all, the trip was amazing! I kind of worried that we weren’t spending enough time in places but honestly, I think the time we spent in each place was just right. Since we were gone for two weeks, it was nice to be on the move. It was also a lot though. I was glad to be home!

    Also, I read 5 books on the trip and I took over 1500 pictures!  I’ve tried to narrow that down quite a bit!  They also have not been edited at all so… yeah.

    Matt’s Trip Summary:

    Considering that we’d planned this trip for so long it really seemed to sneak up on us. We got the flights, hotels, and travel booked so far ahead of time we kind of “forgot” about the trip. Wasn’t really until about a week out that it really hit me that it was time to go!

    Trip started of very smoothly and got derailed rather quickly once we got to JFK. I didn’t really mind the delay so much, as the plane was broken, but just not being told anything was rather quite annoying. I was thinking to myself that it was a good thing we decided to spend the night in Zurich and didn’t have other travel arrangements that we’d have to change. Once we got underway the flight over was uneventful.

    Zurich was a nice way to ease into the trip. I’m glad we got to check it out but I wouldn’t spend anymore than a day there. It would probably be a good home base to do a few day trips to some other places in Switzerland.

    Lucerne was beautiful! Glad that we got some nice weather so that Kelly could see just how magical Switzerland is. I kept telling her that it just doesn’t look real and I’m glad that she got to see that. Really do wish that we had better weather when we went up Mt Pilatus so that we could see the mountains. Next time we go I think we’ll head more into the Alps.

    I really enjoy the way of life in Paris. Good food. Good wine. Enjoying life. Hard to beat sitting outside at a brasserie and enjoying a nice meal as the world goes by. Was nice to see some of the sights again and to see some new once. Was disappointed that the Champ de Mars was closed for the Euro Fan Zone as it’s one of my favorite places in Paris.

    England was really nice. Seeing lots of family and getting to explore some new places was great. I still cannot believe the house Devon. The pictures that we took there really don’t do it justice. Hard to believe that we were in England! It always feels nice and familiar to be in England and it was a nice way to end the trip.

    I enjoyed the pace of the trip. Spending a few days somewhere and then moving on to the next place. One little adventure after another. I think we spent just about the right amount of time in each place. Never felt like we didn’t get a chance to do something and never felt bored.

    Of course we got to bookend the trip with another travel disaster in JFK. In all of my travels I’ve never had issues like this before. Hopefully we’ve paid our dues and won’t have to experience anything like this again any time soon.
    Quick links to each location:

    We’re going to Europe!






    Road to Reigate



  • Fourth of July Weekend

    Due to a competition at work, I ended up with July 3rd off as well as the 4th.  Matt and I both decided to also take Monday off so we could have a long weekend at the beach.  As the week started, a tropical storm formed off the coast.  By Wednesday it was headed for the beach but looked like it should pass by late Thursday and be out of our way for the weekend.

    Thursday morning we woke up to discover the storm was ahead of schedule and it looked like we would probably end up driving through it.  Ooops.  We got the car packed and the kiddos in and we headed out. We hit one really rough patch of rain about an hour outside of Raleigh but it was over about as quickly as it started.  By the time we got to Wilmington though, Hurricane Arthur was getting closer.  We drove into the rain and a tornado warning.  Thankfully the rain wasn’t too awful and we never saw the tornado.  We arrived at Matt’s parent’s house around 2:30ish and sat back and watched the storm.  And by watch the storm, I mean we watched the rain.  It wasn’t until about 6:00pm that the winds really picked up but at this point, we were only getting the backside of Arthur.  Seeing as we had driven through a hurricane to get there, I was determined to go and check out the beach. About 7:30 the winds had died down enough for us to head out.  I was pretty disappointed at how calm the sea was.  I mean it was rough, but not what I expected it to look like right after a hurricane.

    Friday was just gross hot.  Matt and his dad played golf while his mom and I went to the pool.  We only stayed about 2 hours before it was just too hot to stay out anymore.  Saturday and Sunday were both amazing, low 80’s and partly cloudy.  Matt and I lounged on the beach most of the afternoon both days.  I didn’t get quite as much sun as I had hoped for.  I was a little overzealous with the SPF 30. 😉  I do at least have a bit more color though.

    I managed to remember my camera this trip so I have quite a few pics to share.  The first few are driving into the storm and after the storm.

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  • So you’re going to the beach?

    Hmm, well Tropical Depression Andrea welcomes you!

    Seriously?!!?  The girls and I have had a trip to Myrtle Beach planned for a few months now and the day before we leave a stupid Tropical Depression hits Florida and is headed straight up the East Coast!  Wonderful!  We are going anyway, come hell or highwater. 😉  Regardless it should be a fun trip.  It’s just a small group and the 5 of us all have fun.  We will have even more fun when sun shopping, sand and booze are involved. 🙂

    Since neither of us have to travel for work, it’s very rare that one of  us is actually home alone.  I hope Matt can survive without me. 😀  I’ll have to give him a list of things to do, like water my plants unless we get like 5 inches of rain, which is what has been predicted.  He’ll also have to feed the kiddos, which he knows how to do.  I’m really not worried about him, I mean he did live on his own before he met me.


  • Jamaica Mon!

    I had a great birthday weekend.  And to top it off we finally booked our anniversary trip!  Matt and I decided on the Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica.  It came down to price and the fact that Sandals is all inclusive.  We’d rather pay a little more per night and have food and drinks included.  Honestly I am fine with this.  It ends up making your vacation less stressful since you aren’t always worrying about how much money you are spending on food and drinks.

    Last night I remembered the waterfall scene in Cocktail was filmed in Jamaica but I just looked it up and it might be a little too far for this trip.  Booo!  (Cocktail may be one of my favorite movies of all time – back when Tom Cruise was normal.)

    I have no idea if we will plan any day trips while we are in Jamaica or if we will just chill on the beach and sun.  There are a few activities included in the Sandals package so as long as I get to snorkel I should be fine. 🙂

    Now I just need to get my pasty pale tail some sun!



  • Let’s take a trip

    Currently Matt and I are trying to decide where we would like to go for our 2nd anniversary.  Holy cow, it’s almost been TWO whole years!  Watch out! 😉  Anyway, our/my first choice was Quebec City but after looking at flights prices are too high right now.  Now our list consists of Chicago (which I think is the front runner), Boston, Maine (which Matt is not keen on), or maybe someplace beachy like Mexico.

    The only real criteria for our trip is we would like someplace we haven’t been before, a relatively short and inexpensive flight, and somewhere that would be good for a long weekend with stuff to do.  Clearly if we went Maine it would be more of a quiet nature type trip.  If we went to Chicago or Boston, there would be tons of things to do and if we went tropical there would be the beach.  Now we just have to decide where to go.

    Last night we were watching The New Girl on Fox and they were talking about the various anniversary gifts.  Matt and I decided last year that our trip to NYC was our gift so we didn’t get each other an actual gift, just cards.  Honestly I kind of like this idea.  I mean we can buy what we want when we want.  We joked last year that the plane tickets were our paper gift.  So this year I think we will have to get t-shirts from our destination.  The second anniversary gift is cotton.  🙂  I told Matt I think it would be cool to do the “traditional” gifts without being traditional.  I guess I’m also assuming we will try to take a trip around our anniversary every year.  I mean it’s in the spring and what better time to go on a trip right?


    PS I’m still working on my bathroom.  The stuff I got yesterday didn’t work so it was returned today. Now I have to run back to the Container Store and work it out.