Back Home.

So we’ve been home for about four weeks now.

Our trip was four weeks long.

It seems like forever ago that we were walking down the streets of Europe.  What a good time.  Boone’s adjusted really well to being back, except for being sick two of the four weeks that we’ve been back.  Jet lag coming back was much easier than going over, so that was nice.

Last night we went to our annual Pumpkin Carving/Chili Cook Off Party here at Camp Eagle.  We dressed Boone up as a “sharp dressed man”- thanks to his Aunt Constance’s creativity for making him and Scott matching bowties!  Boone was a hit at the party.

So cute.

Boone didn’t know what to think about the other kid’s costumes.

He would walk behind them, pointing and laughing!

Our Fam.

Boone with his friend Madison.  Still not sure what to think!

 

We want to keep writing on our blog.  So keep on checking back.  It might not be as interesting as pictures from a foreign country, but it’s our life- and sometimes Texas is as fun as Europe.

 

 

 

three more.

 

three more.

We have three more nights in Europe.  Three more breakfasts of croissants, three more nights without my bed, three more nights where Boone has to sleep in a fort/bed that we made for him, three more nights of hearing cars drive by our window at night, three more nights without our friends/family in the same time zone, and sadly, three more nights of hanging out with my brother nick (well actually two).  Just three more.

We left the beautiful Dolomites last Monday and headed to Bologna.  Scott’s aunt and uncle, Jesse and Tricia, live there and graciously let us sleep there for free and even fed us some amazing food.  It was on Monday night that Boone woke up during the night with a fever.  Boone takes after Scott and when he gets a fever, he really gets a fever…like 102 degrees or so.  Tuesday and Wednesday we ended up taking it really easy while Boone recovered and then on Thursday we took a train to Venice.  We had heard that it’s worth seeing at least one time, so we took the two hour journey there and hung out for five hours and then took the two hour train back.  It was worth seeing one time, but we were both glad that we didn’t stay there any longer.  It was FULL of tourists and the streets are SO small that you feel like there are people everywhere!

On Friday we headed to Florence where we stayed the night.  We liked Florence, especially better than Venice.  We met a couple of our friends there, Rachel and Andrew, and we watched the sunset over Florence.  It was beautiful and a good time catching up with some Texans.

Saturday was a busy day.  We took the train again to Rome and saw the Coliseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the outside of the Palatine.  On Sunday morning, today, we headed to Vatican City where we went in St. Peter’s church and saw the square.  It was cool to see.  We actually heard the Pope speak today at noon.  They rolled this piece of fabric out of a window about 15 stories up and then he came and stood at the window and spoke.  Who knows what he said, but it was still cool to witness.

After the Pope, we took the metro, subway, down to southeast Rome and saw a catacomb.  It was cool to see and that part of Rome was more in the country- so we both enjoyed that a ton.  There are three catacombs open to the public on this one road (can’t remember the name), but this road is one the world’s oldest roads.  We ended up renting bikes and we rode down it for awhile.  They even had a bike with a baby seat for Boone.  He loved it and so did we.  It was refreshing.

Tomorrow morning, we are taking a quick trek over to see the Sistine Chapel (it was closed today) and then taking the 11 o’clock train back to Bologna.  Then we are packing up our stuff at Scott’s aunt and uncle’s and then catching our flight back to Madrid.  I think we’ll get into Madrid about 9 tomorrow night (Spain’s time) and then we’ll try to remember how to get back to Nick’s apartment.

Wednesday, we’ll head back to the airport and fly from Madrid to Philly and then onto Dallas.  We’ll stay the night at Scott’s parents and then on Thursday we’ll drive the 6 hours back to our home at Camp Eagle.  I can’t wait to see all our friends there.  I can’t wait to meet Erin’s new kids.  I can’t wait to sleep in my bed.  I can’t wait to go on a run with Stacie.  I can’t wait for Boone to play with all of his toys again (they are going to be like brand new toys)!  I can’t wait to drink a fountain Dr. Pepper.  It will be great.

Three more.  It will fly by.  It was a good trip.

Twenty-five nights down and three more to go.

 

D is for Dolomites

That’s right, we just got done visiting one of the most beautiful mountain ranges that I’ve ever been to.  It looks different than the ski slopes up in Colorado.  Over here, during the non-winter months, the slopes are covered with green grass and grazing cows.  There’s little mountain towns every few kilometers (I didn’t even think twice before writing km over miles!).  Our hotel looked like all the other hotels, like a little cottage in the mountains with a stream nearby.  We arrived at night, so it was pretty amazing to wake up and look out our window and see what we missed during the drive the night before.

We left Cinque Terre on Friday morning and took the train to La Spezia, where we were going to easily pick up the car we reserved and be on our way in a matter of minutes.  But…that’s not at all what happened.  Once we arrived in La Spezia, we figured out that we needed to take a bus to the car rental location.  That took about a hour.  Then once we got to pick up our car, they told us that we didn’t have a car seat for Boone.  Well we couldn’t drive 6 hours without one, so we had to find one in this town.  We found one relatively easy, but the store was taking a “siesta break” for 3 hours.  So we walked around and did nothing for those hours until the store opened up.  We got the car seat and then drove the hours at night up the windy roads of the mountains.  The roads weren’t marked very well, so it was really hard to figure out where to go.  We finally found our hotel and went to bed after a crazy, crazy, annoying day.

The next morning we waited for our new Italian friends- Francesco and his girlfriend Anna.  Scott’s uncle knows a girl who knows Francesco, who likes to climb.  So on Saturday we went and did a few climbs on the Dolomites themselves.  The next day Scott when on a hike with them while Boone and I stayed back and took a rest day.  I think Boone appreciated it.  (I was pretty jealous to not be hiking-  it looked like it was an amazing hike).  Scott was a little bummed that he wasn’t able to do a multi-pitch climb, but we were still glad that we made the effort to go up to the Dolomites.  

That evening Francesco and Anna took us to a truly authentic Italian restaurant.  It was authentic for this region for food.  We started out with appetizers of bread, speck (smoked ham), salami, cheese and pickles.  Everything is smoked here.  It was really good.  Then for our dinner we had these things that they kept referring to as “balls”.  There wasn’t a good English word to describe them!  Scott had one that had meat and I had one with cheese.  It was really good.  


We are now on our way to Bologna to stay with Scott’s aunt and uncle for a few nights.  We will probably take a day trip up the Venice and then head to Rome and Florence this weekend.  Then back to Madrid on Monday.  Then we’ll be back in Dallas on Wednesday, October 5th, then head back home to Camp Eagle on Thursday.

I can’t believe that it’s almost been three weeks.  It has flown by.  It’s been a really good trip.  It is different traveling with a 1-year old, but Boone is still doing an amazing job.  Right now he’s

in the back seat quietly watching “mommy and me” on my ipod.  I’m so thankful for my ipod.

Well that’s it for now.  Thanks for reading.  Hope you’re enjoying our trip too!  

 

 

Ciao!

 

 

Buongiorno!

(I wrote this a couple of days ago, but thought I’d post it anyways!)  

It’s only 9 a.m. Central time, but it’s really 4 in the afternoon over here in Cinque Terre.  It feels like normal to have most of our day gone before our friends in America have even started their days.

After Barcelona (which was a cool city to see, but humid and busy), we headed back to be in Madrid for a couple of days before we headed to Italy.  Right before we got to Cinque Terre, we flew into Pisa.  We stayed the night at a nice little hostel called Gate 52, which was run by Rocco.  The next morning we walked about 3 miles to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was pretty cool to see and it really is leaning!  It was built on soft ground, so as they continued to build it, it continued to sink on one side.  They stopped building it for awhile to allow time for the ground to settle.  Then they corrected the tilt by building one side taller than the other.  Interesting.  It was neat to see.

Now we are in Cinque Terre.  It’s a National Park that contains 5 cities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  You can either walk or take a train to get between the cities.  It’s beautiful here and it’s been fun to see the little cities.  We did a 3 km hike today between Monterosso and Vernazza.  It had really good views and I think it was one of the more difficult hikes that they have (but we did the hike in Toms and Chaco flips-while Scott was carrying Boone-who fell asleep for 45 minutes of or 1.5 hour hike)!

When you hike between Riomaggiore and Manarola, you notice that people have left locks or other personal items connected to different parts of the trail.  You are suppose to leave a lock on this trail (or on the statue of Love- dell’Amore) and then you take the key with you.  It signifies that you’ve locked your love up with your significant other and as long as you have the key, your love will continue on forever (or something along those lines).  So we had a combination lock with us (which is set to our anniversary date) that we left connected to the Love Statue-dell’Amore.  Kind of fun!

We leave Cinque Terre tomorrow and drive to Corvara, which is in the northern part of Italy- in the Dolomite Mountains.  The temperature is suppose to be highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s.  It’s going to be nice!  We’re meeting a guy named Francesco there to climb with.  He knows some English, so that’s good!

Well, we have one more city to go and see, Corniglia, after Boone and Scott wake up from their naps.  This vacation is wearing us out!  I think we’re going to need to rest a lot when we get home.

So for now, Ciao!

Ten.

1.  Tortilla Espanola or Tortilla de Patata or bocadillos.  It isn’t a piece of bread, it is like an egg-potato casserole.

http://spanishfood.about.com/od/tapas/r/tortilla.htm

2.  Alioli Sauce.  It’s like garlic mayonaise.  Can’t wait to make it.

http://spanishfood.about.com/od/tapas/r/Alioli.htm

3.  Metro.  You can take the Metro everywhere.  The thing you don’t realize is that you have to walk to get to the Metro and then usually stand on the Metro and then usually walk to another Metro and then walk to your destination.  It’s a lot of walking when you take the Metro.

4.  Drying your clothes.  Yeah, we are drying our clothes the old fashion way…outside on a line.  At least we can wash our clothes.

5.  Grass.  There isn’t really any grass here in Madrid.  There is concrete everywhere.  So dogs, yeah, they poop and pee on the concrete right where you walk.  Fun.

6.  Topless in Seattle.  Well topless at the beach that is.  For reals.  Enough said!

7.  MOD.  The menu of the day at the restaurants are the cheapest way to go.  We learned that the hard way!

8.  Euros.  Everything is more expensive here!  (I keep wanting to call them Pesos.)

9.  AC and Balconies.  No, there isn’t AC out on the balconies, but there are balconies everywhere and this is probably because no one uses their air conditioner.  The weather here has been pretty nice, so not using the air hasn’t been too much of an issue.  There aren’t any screens on the windows either.  Interesting.

10.  Hodgepodge Fashion.  I feel like the style here is a hodgepodge of fashions from all over the world.  No one wears t-shirts and running shorts (like we do at Camp Eagle)!  Everyone wears skinny jeans.  Dresses.  Skirts.  High heels.  This popular pant/skirt thing called Harem pants for Women.  It’s like MC Hammer pants.  Check them out:  http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=harem+pants+in+spain&view=detail&id=283946C19ED43A81BEF335BD745EEAA6394DDA01&first=0  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stroller Break

Boone and I watched the upside down reflection of the gothic castle, behind us, float away in the giant bubble. We paid half a euro for that bubble and the ones that floated along with it. They came and went. Some rose 20-30 meters and felt like they lasted forever. Others traveled 1 before disappearing into the gravel. In reality, there wasn’t a bubble that lasted longer than Boone’s attention span. Some floated by like perfect weightless beach balls, others posed as life-size men standing at attention. Boone must think its a magical thing to put a tiny gold disc into a hat on the ground and soap turns into a show he has yet to witness even in a dream. His dreams tonight will be all the better because of it. If soap can display fisheyed images of all our surroundings wrapped in a ROYGBIV spectrum and float them into the air where they vanish in an instance, as if they never existed, then dreams can make chair legs melt into four rivers and pool together creating the splash-happiest bath time. Each bubble was kind of like a mini dream, taking us away to places we wouldn’t have reach or stayed, then snapping us back into relativity where we waited for another from the smiley street-bubble-people. Boone pointed at most bubbles both showing me what he saw and attempting to reach out for one. It is our instinct to want to take and hold such an experience. We want to keep them for longer than the moment will allow. They always fade away. I think its the fading, the fleeting nature of these moments that make them so cherished. It keeps them from becoming ordinary or cliché; it keeps sunsets more exciting than crayon boxes. The contrast of ordinary to extra ordinary, their juxtapostion, is what makes them so great, but in the end extraordinary always returns to ordinary, and it was time for Boone’s extraordinary stroller break to come to an end. He cried getting back into the stroller as we all do.

Take a train to Barcelona, cause this city’s a drag.

Well Mallorca wasn’t a drag, but I’ve had this song in my head for a couple of days now.  You know, Counting Crows- Holiday in Spain?!  It’s a pretty good song.  

I’m sitting in our Barcelona hostel room after a long day.  Boone’s asleep in his little tent on the balcony (see pics on facebook-he’s a pretty rockin’ kid for sleeping in a tent).  Scott and Nick went to Starbucks to hang out for a bit, so I thought that I’d catch you up on Barcelona so far.  We are about three stories up on a pretty busy street, so it’s a bit loud.  Overall, it’s a pretty nice, safe place to stay.  And this room has worked out nicely to have Boone sleep out on the balcony.

We walked around Barcelona a ton today.  I am not use to this much walking.  When I go to bed, my feet ache!  (Mom, I am so glad you got me those Toms for Mother’s Day…they’ve been a lifesaver.  I can’t imagine all this walking in flip-flops!)  I think when we go back home, Boone is definitely going to be bored in our little house.  We’ll have to go and play at the sand volleyball courts more often, so he’s reminded of the beach.  


So, today in Barcelona…we started off by getting lost when trying to find the famous Park Guell.  This was a part designed by the late Antoni Gaudi in 1900.  He designed this park in order to be a miniature garden of houses for the wealthy.  It took us FOREVER to find and we almost gave up.  It was beautiful to see, but we were tired so we only stayed about 30 minutes.  So many people were there and that was overwhelming.  

After Park Guell, we went to La Sagrada Familia.  It is a neo-gothic church designed by Gaudi, but it isn’t complete yet.  It’s pretty magnificent, but it’s not going to be done for 20-40 years.  It was worth seeing.  I wish we could have gone inside, but the line was long and it was hot outside.  I guess that’s not really a good excuse!

After those two things, we went to La Rambla street.  This was a cool area to be in.  It was just a bunch of stores and good food.  We ended up eating churros and chocolate at a really good little café.  Scott’s been wanting to eat them for awhile, so we’re glad that we found a place!

Overall, our trip is going really well.  Boone’s still doing really well.  He napped in his stroller for about 1.5 hours today and then didn’t even get an afternoon nap.  He was still pretty happy.  All this traveling, walking, taking the Metro, buses, has allI been pretty exhausting and I am looking forward to a couple of low key days in Madrid on Monday/Tuesday before we head to Italy on Tuesday evening.  We are flying into Pisa (the Leaning Tower of Pisa) and then off to Cinque Terre.  If you haven’t goggled images of Cinque Terre, please do.  It’s going to be amazing.

I think if Scott were writing this, it would be a lot more interesting.  I guess I just like to write the facts.  Maybe I’ll get Scott to write the next blog.  Change of writers will be good for you all to read.

I’ll get pictures up probably on Monday.  The internet is slow here.  

So until later, buenos noche.

Dancing Mosquitoes

We only have one more night in Mallorca.  Crazy to think how fast this Mallorca trip has gone by.  It’s been pretty fun.  It’s about 10 pm and I am usually ready for bed by this time, but not at this hotel.

Our outside doors open to the back patio, where conveniently, music and drunk people hang out until 1 am.  Since we keep our doors open, we are all getting eaten by mosquitoes.  Poor Boone looks like he has the chicken pox!  So, all that to say is that I imagine the mosquitoes are dancing too.

We head to Barcelona tomorrow around dinner time.  We  have had a great time here and I liked the climbing more than I thought I would.  We were able to find places for us all to climb, it was more difficult to figure out how to get in Boone’s nap.  Today we went to 3 different beaches and at the first one I waited in the car with Boone napping while Nick and Scott checked out the place.  We are so grateful that Boone is so easy going and that he can sleep anywhere so far!

The second and third beaches we had been to before, but wanted to go back.  We ended up snorkeling some and Nick got his snorkel mask stolen.  Just our luck.  The beaches were beautiful, but I don’t understand the popularity of being nude.  Naked children, men, and topless women… I  won’t miss that.  I was definitely overdressed!

Well that’s about it for Mallorca.  Scott said he got to climb enough, so that’s good!  Boone didn’t really enjoy the water until the last 15 minutes of the beach today.  He realized that he could touch the sandy bottom and wanted to run!  He loved it and laughed and smiled and  drank salt water.  It was great.

 

Es Pontas

Right now I am sitting in the car at the beach.  Boone is sleeping and we thought it was best to let him keep sleeping while Scott and Nick ran ahead to check out the views.  We are now in Mallorca, Spain- a little island east of Spain.  It’s beautiful!  Unlike Texas, they have green grass, trees and flowers…plus the big body of clear blue water. 


We are currently in search of the Es Pontas Arch that the famous Chris Sharma climbed.  We told Scott that he better get ready to climb it too (it’s an incredibly hard climb, but who knows, right?).  There are tons of places here to deep water solo (DWS) or otherwise known as “pyscoblocking” here in Spain.  It’s where you climb over the water, so if you fall, you just fall into the water.  We haven’t tried any yet, but it will be fun to try.  It is suppose to be a lot of overhanging climbing, so we’ll see how it goes.   

(We found the Es Pontas Arch)

Right before we came here, we were in Madrid for three days.  It’s been great to see where my brother lives and the friends that he has made.  We walked around a ton of Madrid.  Nick showed us most of the main sites.  It’s a beautiful city.  I love all the history that this country has.  This past Saturday we took a bus up to a small town north of Madrid to check out some climbing there.  Scott met up with a guy, Jeremy, who is from New York and wanted to climb too.  It was a pretty little mountain town with a river running through the park.  Scott and Jeremy stayed longer while Nick, Boone and I headed back to Madrid.  We got lost looking for the bus station, so we asked this mom and son for help.  They ended up driving us into Madrid and she dropped us and her son off at a different bus stop.  Didn’t expect that one.

On this past Saturday night, Nick and I went to a worship band concert, Hillsong.  We went with another member from his team- Ashley, Fran (who is Nick running friend from Barcelona), Simon (from Ireland), a girl from England, a different girl from Norway, and a girl from Madrid.  I think Ashley and Nick really enjoyed singing some worship songs in English (while most of the crowd sang the songs in Spanish).  The place was packed…probably about a couple thousand people singing and worshiping the Lord.  It was awesome to see so many people singing in another language.

Some of you may be wondering how Boone is doing.  Well, he’s been great!  We just do our thing and he comes along.  He has been so happy even when he doesn’t get to sleep much.  He has fallen asleep in the backpack carrier, the stroller, car seat, my arms, and in a pack-n-play with some really loud Spanish music playing outside of our room (which played until 1:00 am).  He has been really adaptable and east to travel with.  We are so glad that he is feeling better…he is completely over the flu.  Thankfully, it hasn’t spread to me or Scott!

Well I think that’s it for now.  I feel like if I write too much, people won’t read it!  We are here in Mallorca until Thursday night, when we head to Barcelona for three nights.  Then after Barcelona, we’ll be back in Madrid for two nights before heading to Italy for the second half of our adventure.


Wow…we have such a long time left.  I imagine that it will go by so fast.  I still can’t believe we’re on this adventure with our 1-year old awesome kid.  Who said that kids have to slow you down??!

and the euro adventure has begun

We are officially on our Euro Adventure.

The craziness started when Boone woke up with a high fever this past Saturday and it stayed until Tuesday.  We left Camp Eagle on Sunday and we ended up taking him to the hospital on Monday, Labor Day.  (Hopefully we aren’t making it a tradition to go to the hospital on every Labor Day- Boone was born last year on Labor Day).  Anyways, we didn’t take Boone in because he was THAT sick, but we wanted him to get checked out before we got on an airplane on Wednesday.  After a blood draw, nose and throat swab, physical exam, they determined that Boone had gotten the flu.  They said that he is the first person that they had seen this season to get the flu.  Lucky us.

So after 4 hours of waiting, a shot of antibiotics (in which Boone successfully grabbed the needle after the nurse had put it in his leg), and a crabby baby, we headed back to Scott’s parent’s house to celebrate Boone’s first birthday.  Boone didn’t care about food or anything, so we ended up eating a late dinner and trying to put poor sick Boone to bed.  We did celebrate his birthday more the next day with a birthday Eclair donut with 1 candle- a Chapman Tradition.

So that was the start to our trip even before our Euro Adventure had even begun.  We left for Madrid on Wednesday around 9:15.  We headed to the airport and found out that all east-coast flights were delayed.  Instead of flying through Charlotte, we ended up going to Philly.  Before we could even take off, we waited on the plane for 1 hour in which Boone was SO tired and going crazy.  We ended up walking him up and down the aisles.  The passengers referred to Boone as the highlight of their afternoon as he walked by and poked at as many people as he could.

We finally made it to Philly with no time to spare.  We pretty much ran to our next gate in order to get on our next flight for Madrid.  This flight went really well.  We just watched movies and tv shows the entire time.  Boone ended up sleeping in this little bassinet (that the airline provided) for 5 of the 7 hours.  It was wonderful.

So now we are in Madrid.  Boone’s asleep, Scott’s reading out on the balcony and I’m getting pretty tired.  It’s really only 1:50 pm Texas time, but it’s really 8:50 our “new time”.

Crazy, our new time…this will be our new time for the next 4 weeks.  We have so much to do, it’s kind of overwhelming to think about!  My brother Nick and I are going to Hillsong Live Worship Event this Saturday (http://www.facebook.com/hillsong.spain) and then we fly to Mallorca on Sunday.  Mallorca is an island east of Spain.  Beach and sand- here we come.  After Mallorca, we go to Barcelona for three nights and then back to Madrid before we go on the second part of our adventure to Italy.

So if you interested in hearing more of our trip, check our blog again soon.  We plan on updated it as often as we can!  Next time we’ll get some pictures on here too.

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