Friday, December 25, 2009

the lou-vray, chestnuts roasting, and some skulls

Time for another update! I still can't get the Normandy pics since they're all on mamas camera, so you're just gonna have to keep sitting in suspense for that one. Wednesday it was time to visit the Louvre, or as we not-so-eloquent Americans like to call it, the Loo-vray. AKA That big glass pyramid in the Da Vinci Code.

We of course started out with the Mona Lisa. Yung Keiff warned us that it was very small and everyone crowds around it taking pictures, and lo and behold, he was right! Point YK. But hey, still super cool to see the original. They guard that thing better than they guard the president. But we were thinking, why exactly is Mona so famous? She's pretty much just a creepy woman who stares at you no matter which direction you view her... or the most famous painting ever. You choose.
Did you know the Louvre used to be a palace? Because I didn't. It's BEAUTIFUL. Not even just the art, but the rooms! So pretty. We saw Napoleons apartment and the chandeliers were to die for! Please look.

We also got to see the Venus de Milo, aka the really famous statue that has no arms.

After our adventure at the Louvre, we went to this really cool ferris wheel at the base of Champs. We went on right as the sun was setting, and it was SO gorgeous. Panoramic views of Paris at sunset=PRICELESS. We could see the Notre Dame, the Sacre Couer, and everything in between. And the Eiffel Tower at sunset? This picture doesn't even do it justice. Definitely something I'll never forget.

We did a little bit of shopping on Champs, since we pulled names for christmas. Yase and Jessica got some sweet shoes, Dixon, Shay and Mom got some Nike store swag and me, Hannah and Father will be smelling sweet this year with our parisian scents. And we all tried Chestnuts that were literally roasted on an open fire, which I wasn't too fond of. Tasted like weird potatoes to me!

Yesterday we split up. Dixon, Shay and Hannah went to Versailles, while the rest of us explored the Sacre Couer and surrounding areas. The church was HUGE... so pretty and all set up for Christmas Eve mass. There were candles lit everywhere and it was kind of cool to be in this very reverent place in the middle of the city. There was this pipe playing statue guy outside that loved me and Jessica... sorta creepy.

We also went to the catacombs! Very cool. We went down this narrow spiral staircase way under the streets of Paris. The walkways were all lined with skulls and bones and it was weirdly really cool! They also had all these cells that were used to store prisoners... I couldn't even imagine that... SO scary. And they didn't even have electric lights back then... all candlelight. Truly terrifying.

Today we went to the Notre Dame... more on that later. Tomorrow, off to London. Cheerio!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sacre Bleu!

Remember that time we went to Paris for christmas? Oh wait, that's right now!! Yes it's true, I'm writing this from our lovely hotel here in France. We got here Saturday evening, and it's been quite the adventure ever since! We missed our connecting flight from London, so that was fabulous. Oh and of course with my luck, my bag (and my dad's) didn't make it from London, so that was fun, too. We started out at a hotel outside of Paris, and after the discovery that the train workers were on strike and it was a very lucrative 45 minute commute into the city, we decided to peace outta there and move onto bigger and better things. We woke up to this on Sunday morning...

Beautiful, but FREEZING! However, once we got into Paris, things warmed up a bit. We came out of the metro station only to see this gorgeous number... The Arc de Triomphe. Amazing.

We took a little stroll down Champs Elysees and loooved all the christmas stands at the market. So pretty. The Champs during Christmas is amazing! All lit up and gorgeous... this picture doesn't do it justice so just use your imagination.

Even though the trip started out a little rocky, experiencing the Champs all lit up made it all totally worth it. Paris is magical.

Yesterday, we had another crazy adventure thanks to my very entertaining mother. She was convinced that there was some kind of Louis Pasteur museum we could go to while my dad was off buying train tickets. Why anyone wants to see an exhibit on the man who figured out how to cleanse milk is beyond me (and I'm probably gonna get in trouble for saying that!!). So we walked all over this neighborhood and up a huge hill trying to find this place that ended up not even existing!! BUT... When we turned around to walk back down the hill, we saw this:
Um, hello perfect view of the Eiffel Tower!! It was soooo cool, since it was our first tower sighting. Made all the frustration worth it! I am still blown away by how beautiful the Eiffel Tower is in person... and HUGE. Sooo cool that I saw it with my own eyes.

We then headed down to the tower to get a closer look. While we were there, it started to get suuuuper cold and drizzly. Did that stop us from going to the top? Of course not! Even though we all were freezing our Parisian bootys off, the top was incredible. It was sooo cool to see ALL of Paris being blanketed with snow. We got our first spotting of the Notre Dame and the Louvre and took some pretty cool pictures.

Now I wish I could continue on with all the funny stories and pictures, but I only have 2 more minutes of internet left! Whoops... next time you'll hear all about our unbelievable trip to Normandy. Really, I was pretty anti at first because we had to get up at 5:00 for a two hour train ride, but it was beyond worth it. Seriously up there in my life experiences.

We are having so much fun but will miss all our family on Christmas! We love you guys!!
Au Revior

Saturday, December 12, 2009

3rd Annual G-Bread Houses!

I love this little tradition. Every year since I've lived in Provo we have a little gingerbread house competition with our friends. Let me tell you, it get pretty heated... you know, frosting flinging everywhere and graham cracker crumbs covering the floor and people arguing over who gets the last reese's tree. Its super entertaining, really. Anyway, this year proved to be a huge success right off the bat because my house actually stayed intact! No epic collapse this year, my friends! Once we were all done, we had a third party, unbiased judge known as J-Lev come choose a winner. Let me show you the houses before I tell you the results.
Me and Jackie made these little beauties.

Brittan made this PRECIOUS dog house...

...complete with Santa walking a pup

These two little lovers made...

This sweet little bow house

And there were two more that I didn't get closeups of but you can spot them in this lovely group photo... the green monster and the one that looks like it belongs in a gingerbread trailer park.

So who was the winner, you might ask? Well, after long and careful consideration, Judge J-Lev chose... ME! Holler... I am the g-bread house CHAMP. And I now have bragging rights for next year, which I am pretty stoked about. I know you want to admire my masterpiece further, so her she is up close.

I know what you're thinking... It's only the most wonderful gingerbread creation you've ever seen! I'm pretty proud.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

another reason why I love my job.

Read this article about Annika, one of my little 3rd graders. Tell me it doesn't amaze you that a 9 year-old can make such an unselfish decision and try to change the world, one penny at a time.

Isn't it comforting to know that there's still such sweet and genuine love in this crazy world?