Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 30, 2012

Paris day 1

Greg and I got up early tues morn and Karen gave us a ride to the bus station. Our ride into London was about three hrs.

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We walked to our hotel first thing and dropped our luggage. After dropping our luggage we at lunch at Chipotle. London is the only Chipotle in England and one of Greg’s fav restaurants. The whole day was spent walking and using the Underground (England’s subway system). After lunch we went to the British Museum, British Library, and War Museum. After we were done with that we went back to the hotel to freshen up before going to Wagamama for dinner. It was a quick meal before heading to “Wicked”. Greg and Karen got me the ticket to Wicked for my birthday. It was a really great show and I enjoyed it a lot.

y!

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This morning we got up and took a taxi to the train station and are on our way to Paris for two days. We arrived in Paris and headed straight to our hotel. After we freshened up we headed out, we got sandwiches at a corner patassire. We spent the whole day jumping on and off of the Metro. Greg did a GREAT job navigating. We visited “Shakespeare’s Bookstore” where people like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald borrowed books. We then went thru Notre Dame…. No I didn’t see the hunchback… it was his day off!

Then we stopped for coffee trying to dry out and warm up from the rain that had started…. Then we stopped at some shops before eating at a restaurant that a local florist recommended (in French) called “7vin” it was amazing food and yes I ate snails.

After we ate, we headed to the Eiffel Tower. Within just a few minutes it finally quit raining (after about 3 hrs of rain). It was an awesome day.

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 22, 2012

Cotswolds

Today my brother and I went to breakfast and then explored some small towns in an area called the Cotswolds. We walked around for awhile and stopped and had lunch. I had a meat pie that was really tasty.

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After we came home, we all relaxed for a few hours and then went out to dinner with a friend of theirs named Hannah. We went to a place that is like a small buffet where you are supposed to cover everything in your plate with gravy. My brother said it was very British. His friend agreed. It was a nice day!

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 21, 2012

The English Riviera Day 3

Today we woke up and had another nice breakfast on our last day at the B&B. After loading up the car we took a walk down the road to a little town, called Cockington, to explore. It was very Lord of the Rings-ish. Lots of trees and cottages with thatched roofs.

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We stopped at a little restaurant and had what they call “Cream Tea”. It’s actually not just tea with cream… but it also comes with a crumpet that is served with jam and cream. The cream is VERY thick (it’s what is on the right side do the crumpet on the picture below). The cream is so thick that it stands alone like butter would. It is very filling and almost too sweet, but a great treat.

We are home now and relaxing awhile before heading to dinner. Tonight Greg is taking me to experience authentic Fish & Chips. I’m having an amazing time here and am already devising a return trip for next year!

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 20, 2012

English Riviera Day 2

Today we got up and had a nice meal here at the B&B.

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Today’s adventure included stopping at a few beaches and a cute little fishing town.

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When we stopped at a beach to have lunch, a bunch of birds surrounded us for tasty bites of bread. This bird was quite a bully, haha. He kept screaming at the other birds and chasing them away. At one point… he sneaked up behind us and stole an entire half of Karens sandwich out of her container! We laughed a lot!

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It ended up being a really nice day of exploring! I think we all really enjoyed it.

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 19, 2012

The English Riviera

Today we woke up and after breakfast at home, headed out about 10am. Einstein was left home with a puppy sitter. We had a 3 hour drive into Torquay. It’s on the southern coast and considered the European Riviera.

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We are staying at a quaint little B&B just off of the main road. We have two rooms and a shared bath. The bath is off of the main bedroom so I have to sneak thru Greg and Karens room if I have to use the potty in the night, lol.

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We set out right away to walk around town. It’s a great little harbor town with shops and restaurants.

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We just walked around for a few hours in and out of shops, rating lunch in the mean time. We stopped and got ice cream and coffee… searching the beach for crabs. We met a family on holiday, from Colorado, who’s little boy had no problem with finding and holding a crab for us to photograph.

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After exploring, we came back to the B&B and rested for about an hour before heading back out. We headed to another beach looking for dolphins (recommended by the B&B owner) but didn’t see any. We decided on pizza for dinner and now back at the B&B for Star Trek and bed.

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 18, 2012

A lazy day in Europe

Today was somewhat of a lazy day. We slept in and when we all got up, headed to the health club for about 45min. The club was really nice in letting me come in on a free pass. After the club, we came home and showered. Next we ate lunch at a cute little restaurant called Cafe Rubik, which is owned by two brothers that my bro and his wife are friends with. I had a really good grilled Salami sandwich and a great Baileys hot chocolate that my brother recommended. After lunch, we walked to a couple clothing shops so my brother could do some shopping.
After that we headed home and relaxed for a few hours before heading to the grocery store for dinner. Dinner is in the oven and we will soon be sitting down to eat and watch a movie. Tomorrow we will be getting up to head out for a 3 hour drive into Devon for a 2 night stay.

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | September 17, 2012

My European Vacation

It was a long time coming, but I’m here on day three of my vacation. Day one didn’t begin as smoothly as I would have liked. I left home 15min later then i wanted to, had trouble at the ticket counter, and was in the security line for about 30min….. which made me miss my flight out of Anchorage by about 3 minutes. I wasn’t the only one to miss it though, so they ended up having to rebook a number of us. I rebooked for 9pm that same night (my original flight was 6am) and went home to wait for the day.

I had two layovers. The first in Minneapolis for 5 hours and the second in NYC for three hours. They were long, but not to bad.

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The flight on KLM wasn’t nearly as impressive as when I flew on Turkish Air flying into Israel. The seats were regular seats and the food was less then impressive… But it was what it was. I arrived in London at 7am on Friday and caught a but an hour later for Cheltenham where my family lives. The bus ride was just over 3 hrs.
That first day my brother took to lunch and then to the ruins of Raglan Castle. He was doing his best to keep me awake until bedtime that night. He wanted to get me on schedule as soon as possible. By the time I went to bed that night I was going on about 26 hrs with maybe 3 hrs of of cat naps mixed in there. I slept great that night.

The next day we went into Bath, England. It’s a town famous for its Roman Baths. We ate a wonderful lunch at a place called Wagamamas and walked around town.

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Today we all went into Oxford. I learned from Greg that Oxford is not one big college… But a bunch of smaller colleges that is collectively called Oxford. My brother is attending Oxford for his Associates Degree in Creative Writing. We stopped at Maison Blanc for “the best cinnamon Danish I’ve ever had” quoting my brother. We walked around looking around campus, looked in some small shops, and then had lunch.

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After lunch, Greg had a meeting he had to attend so Karen and I did a little more exploring and stopped at a cute little coffee shop for tea and coffee. We sat and had a nice talk while we waited for Greg. When he got back we made our way back home. After a nice dinner it’s TV and bedtime.

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Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | February 1, 2011

The past few days….

Sorry I didn’t blog for a few days, but we had long days and I was pretty tired by the time we got home at night. On Saturday we finally made it to The City of David & Hezekiah’s Tunnels. We couldn’t go on Thursday because of the protests starting in Egypt (which caused some small protests here). The military had some streets closed off in case anything happened and there were some small protests…. the next day there were some streets that had large rocks that had been dumped in the streets… but that was all the evidence we saw of anything. The City of David was of course, the city that King David ruled over… and the tunnels were tunnels that Hezekiah had dug under the City of David. There isn’t much left of the city, but the tunnels are still in good condition. ((Pic of me in a tunnel standing in water)). There are some parts of the tunnel that are quite high and wide,,,,, and there are some areas that are so tiny, I had to squeeze thru (all of which is under water about to my knees). **** We went to the Israel Museum and The Holocaust Museum. The Israel Museum has a building that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is a display case that supposedly displays one of the Isaiah scrolls. Most of the scrolls can’t be displayed anymore because they are so fragile.

The Holocaust Museum is one of those places that you go to once and that is enough. A lot of it is hard to see… the pictures and news footage and such. We couldn’t take pictures, but the room that affected me the most was the Hall of Names. It is a 3 story room that holds books. The books record the names of all of the Holocaust victims. The room is 3 floors high,,, the books are about 5 or 6 inches thick,,,, and there are thousands of books! After the museum we went to a Church service that was very nice. Here it is called “Congregation” not “Church”.

Yesterday we went to the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock), Davidson Archeological Center, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Bethesda, the Southern Gate , and the Hasmoneum Tunnels. The Dome of the Rock is, of course, the place that theJews and Muslims are always fighting over ((pic of the building with the gold dome)).

The Southern Gate ((pic of me standing on steps, alone)) is the gate that Joseph & Mary would have come thru when they brought Jesus, when he was to be circumcised.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is where they believe the tomb of Jesus is stored ((pic of a big gold room-looking-thing inside a grey building))

Bethesda is where the pools of Bethesda were (John 5). ((pic from above of ruins with moss and plants all over the ground.))

The Hasmoneum Tunnels are underground tunnels that run along the Western Wall. Every time Israel was destroyed and then re-built, “ground level” got higher. Each time, the new level was built on top of the old level,,, and thus the Hasmoneum Tunnels.

Today we went to a place called the “24/7 House of Prayer”. It is a praise and worship service that runs at different times and there is always someone there 24/7 in case you need prayer. We then went to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb.

The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus went to pray (before the guards came to take Jesus away for trial) and he sweat drops of blood……… Kind of a cool note,, while we were at the Garden today I got to see the evangelist Joel Osteen! He is here for a meeting and was in the garden taping for one of his broadcasts.

The Garden Tomb is the tomb where they believe Jesus was buried before he raised after 3 days.

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 29, 2011

Jerusalem 1-28-10

Today was a nice day!!!! We were going to explore the City of David, but it was closed. The Muslims were threatening protests in Egypt, so I guess the Israelis wanted to be careful here too, so they had extra security. We went to the Shuk again (the open market). We were there for about hour and a half (I will have video later). I love the open market. Food of every kind, appliances, touristy stuff, piles of candy, etc. There are guys yelling out to the crowd, hawking their breads and meats. The crowds are crazy! I have learned in this country that if you need to be somewhere (driving or walking) you have to push your way there…. or you won’t get there. And it’s not considered rude either.

After the Shuk, we came back to the B&B and relaxed for awhile. At about 3:30pm we headed over to the Old City Jerusalem for the ushering in of Shabbat (The Sabbath). I hope to be able to upload a video today. There were at least a few thousand people if not more. Men and women alike were dancing and singing. Many of who were praying at the Wall. It is the way they usher in the Sabbath every Friday. The Jews Sabbath runs from sundown Fri to sundown Sat.

We came back to the house after about an hour and a half and had a very nice dinner. Salad, vege’s, bread, and beef. It rained most of the night which made it a beautiful morning!

Interesting Note: When we were at the hotel on the Dead Sea, there was a “Shabbat Elevator”  that runs on it’s own over Fri and Sat. it stops on every floor without having to push a button. And in the rooms, there is a system that you can pre set that regulates the heat and turns the lights on and off at pre set times. Devout Jews believe that you should not work on Sabbath and pushing a button (heat-lights-elevator-etc) is work.

Posted by: HisBeauty4Ashes | January 28, 2011

Jerusalem/Western Wall

 

Yesterday was one of the best dayso far! We left our hotel (on the Dead Sea) and headed our next B&B. We saw a Camel herder on the way (out in the middle of nowhere and on his cell phone, haha). We stopped at the sight of an old dig where you can pick up shards of pottery from 2,000-4,000 years old, and take whatever you want (it was pottery pieces that they were unable to fit back together).

((THE PIC OF ME SITTING ON A WALL.))We stopped on an overlook “Haas Promenade” that overlooks the city (old and new).

We will be here for the rest of our Israel stay. It’s a really cute home…. 4 of us girls are up in the loft. The view from the deck looks out all over the city. The night time view is just a wonderful as the day! When we arrived in Jerusalem we drove around the city for awhile. Some of it is really pretty and some of it is very dirty. But it is all fascinating! The trash here is mind blowing!!! TRASH EVERYWHERE! And when I say everywhere…. I’m not exaggerating! The traffic is awful, if you need to be somewhere… you just go there. And I think they teach the children, at birth, how to honk a car horn, lol.

We went into the old city Jerusalem (where the Western Wall is) and walked around for awhile. Last night the Israeli military was having a special ceremony for Paratrooper graduation. We didn’t stay for the ceremony itself, but it was cool to see all of the military all in one place. Here in Israel every person is required to spend a minimum of 2 yrs in the military. Even if you are American and want to live here you must spend 2 years. And you can e

ven come over to join,,, just because you want to join. Some people in our group talked the the parents of an American boy, who was graduating last night. He is Jewish and just felt it was his duty to come over and join for 2 yrs, so he did.  They usually join right out of high school. The military here all cary Rifles wherever they go. Streets, on the buss, in stores,,, everywhere. It’s just slung over their shoulder.

Our first stop was the Western Wall. ((SIDE NOTE)): Much of the world calls the Western Wall, the “Wailing Wall” but I guess that Israelis hate that name. That’s Americas term for it and not Israel’s. There are 2 sections at the wall. One for men and one for women. The women’s side is to the right and a bit smaller then the men’s. And the two places can not come together.  When you walk up to the wall, some people are standing and some are on white plastic lawn chairs. Many of the people have a prayer book (“Sideur” a book of prayers) that they read out of. Some women have their heads covered, but some don’t. When you leave the wall, it is expected that you walk away backwards because it is considered bad to turn your back on the wall as you leave. There are pieces of paper everywhere. For those that don’t know,,, when you pray at thewall, you can leave prayers at the wall written on paper. At the base of the Wall or in cracks (if you can find an empty one).

Being there at the Wall was something I can’t really put into words. You have to be there to fully understand! Yes I know God hears our prayers wherever we are, but there was just something special about being there. I can’t come up with the words, just….. wow!!! Even the feel of the smooth stone under my fingers was special!

After the Wall, we walked around for awhile. I had a Shwarma & Coke for Dinner,,,, with 2 fresh pastries for a snack.

The Old City was a bit different then I expected. Much more modern then I would have thought. Little shops all over the place. Food, trinkets, cloths, fresh baked pastries, among other things. There are beggars on some street corners. And swarms of people everywhere, but I guess it was only that busy because of the graduation. I LOVED IT!!!! If I was to come live here for any amount of time,,, I’d want to live in the Old City!!!

PS: I am perfectly safe!!!!!!!! But……As I am sitting here writing yesterdays blog, I can hear gunfire going off. Today is the Muslim’s hold day also (today is Shabbat “sabbath” for Jews). And I guess the Muslims tend to shoot of their gunsfor,,,,, whatever reason? We will be going back intothe Old City tonight for the official ushering in of Sabbath and then will be having a Sabbath dinner later tonight. See you all again tomorrow.

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