Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 196 (7/29): European Vacation Day 1

This summer I had the opportunity to take a European Vacation.  I was so nervous about flying across the ocean but I told myself it would all be worth it when I was viewing all those incredible sites.  On Wednesday, June 15th, we boarded a flight in Kansas City.  Our first stop was Minneapolis to board a flight to London.  The plane from Minneapolis was huge and each seat had its own tv system where we could watch movies and see where we were at in our journey.  It was a night flight but everyone I spoke to said to stay awake as much as possible so you can sleep that next night in London.  Good thing Adrian and I ate in Minneapolis because airline food is disgusting.  I watched 3 movies and then finally fell asleep when we were somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.  I did not want to look at that gps thing so I wouldn't know we were over the ocean but everyone else around me had tuned into that channel so I knew. 

OK enough of that boring stuff...let's get to the pics. I took over 1500 pictures.  Lots of architecture and the buildings because it was so different than what we see here.  We arrived in London in the morning and went straight to the hotel to drop off our bags. The Premier Inn was one of the nicest hotel rooms we had on our stay.  There was a that I will remember because we won't see one for a while.  Check out the moderness of the toilet.  You press a button to flush it. The room was big and spacious and the internet actually worked!  The only bad thing was that it was on the outskirts of London so we had to take the "Tube" whenever we wanted to go some place.

The "Tube" is like a subway.  We got off and on at Hanger Lane.  You rode both underground and above ground.  The intercom always mentioned to "Mind the Gap" as you exited the traincar...essentially look down because there might be a gap that you have to cross over!
Check out how steep the escalaters were.  And thank goodness that 80% of the time these escalators were working because it was a thigh buster!

And of course on the walls were theatre placards.  Of course I had to take a picture when I saw the Wizard of Oz!

The buildings were incredible.  Just so well kept and brick. 
 We went to Picadilly Circus..which was not a circus.  I'm not sure what I exptected but what do you think when you hear the word circus?  Well back in the 17th century a frilly collar maker named Roger Baker lived in the area and those collars are called piccadils.  It gets the name circus because of the roundabout where 5 major streets come into the heart of London.

 Many in our group decided to stay here and shop.  Adrian and I chose to go to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.  I could not wait to see some Rembrandts, Monet, VanGogh, Botticelli and many more!  Plus it was free - many of the museums in London are free.  I would go back to London and going to all the free museums will be on my to do list!

Even the outside of the museum was art.  They planted a landscape on one of the walls.  It was really cool and a replica of a VanGogh painting.  This living wall will also insulate the /*museum and lower the outside air temperature.  The masterpiece was grown elsewhere and then installed in a plant-by-numbers style.

There are tons of street entertainers around Trafalgar Square.  They are called Buskers.  This bloke was playing and fire was coming up out of his tuba.  Buskers were everywhere - in the "Tube", on the streets and were very talented!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 195 (7/28): Vacation Video

OK last post for Beaver Lake vacation.  This place is a blast and if someone would like to buy it for me, I would let you visit anytime.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 194 (7/27): Beaver Lake Vacation Tidbits

A couple more posts of Beaver Lake. We had so much fun and learned so much about each other. It is always interesting when you stick different families in a house for a week. Here's just a random listing of tidbits:
1) When you tell everyone to bring snacks, they might think like you and love sugar! I think we went into sugar comas at night when we were playing games.

2)  Mark likes to play games by his own rules.  And yes I will admit after almost causing World War III and having to call the game publisher in order to settle the argument, Mark was right and I was...well...less right.
3)  When you leave your swimsuit on the deck, creatures of the night might come and try to steal it away.  Kristi found out the hard way and Matt was very good at using a broom to get them out of the tree.  Whatever it was, they literally got Kristi's panties in a bunch as they tried to carry it off and they were twisted around the tree branch.  Come to think of it..her panties were in a bunch that next morning as she realized that it was her suit on the tree!  :)  Remember I love you Kristi!

 4)  It is an art to be able to jump in the lake.  This getting older has done weird things to me.  I used to be adventurous but the older I turn, the more I realize that my body is not the same and does not do the same things.  The kids wanted me to jump in the lake instead of taking my slow dip from the ladder.  I was nervous....what if I didn't pop right back up?   Yes I know I was probably the one telling the kids two years ago to not worry and you'll pop right back up because of your life jacket.  So when it was only Mark and I on the dock, I tested out this old body and jumped in.  Wow who knew that you could get a LOT of water up those two little nostril holes?  It burns!  But I did it and I flopped right back up.  So that next day when the kids were jumping in, I was going to show my stuff and jump in.  But I was going to hold my nose.  Wow! Who knew that you could cough up a lung when you leave your mouth open while jumping in?  I thought I was going to die in the water with all that coughing and hacking.  So jumping off the dock is an art, a skill, that I don't have. But I had to do it again for pictures so much concentration was done but this old body learned how to hold her nose and keep her mouth shut.

5)  No matter how old you are, jumping in the lake is hilarious to watch!  I'm sure I looked like some kind of alien art form when jumping in the lake.  The kids did tons of tricks and got tons of "air".  They perfected the craft of butt busters, cannon balls, catching balls in midair and flips in the water. 

6) When it is 100 degrees outside, stay at the lake.  Do not go into Branson.  We had fun but we were so ready to go back and jump in the lake to cool off!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 193 (7/26): Beaver Lake Talent Show

It has been an extremely busy June and July - baseball about every weekend, 2 weeks in Europe, 1 week in Arkansas, teaching 5 classes online, Colton's birthday, and the list goes on.  I'm extremely thankful that I'm not teaching face-to-face classes at this time!  My online classes just ended and I have 3 weeks until the next round of classes start.  My plans are to blog and sew and possibly clean the house a little....but I think that sewing and blogging will take a lot of my time!

We were fortunate enough to get to rent the "cabin" down at Beaver Lake again.  It is one of my favorite vacations because all you do is relax.  There is very little cell service so work has to wait and sometimes you just can't answer your phone due to the poor service! 

We still had the annual talent show and this one was the best!  Colton, Madeline, and Parker worked for 4 days perfecting their songs and actions.  They guarded the basement stairs whenever they were practicing down there so we could not peek and find out about the show.  You will have to excuse the extra commentary in the video. Check out the future superstars:

I think they should take their act to America's Got Talent.   They outdid Louie, the fart impersonator, in my opinion. I laugh every time I watch this one...and they call this talent? I'm think I am very talented! :)