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Gimmewald, Switzerland

The most beautiful and majestic place we've ever been.

Paris, France

By far Adri's most favorite city and monument.

Istanbul, Turkey

The most culture shock worthy and wonderfully diverse city we know.

Cairo, Egypt

Our craziest, most intense story to date.

15 December 2011

Mappy Hallogivingmas

Hello hello... it has been quite some time since we last posted. And in that time we have celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving and we are getting close to Christmas. So, in one conglomerated post of them all we have Hallogivingmas!

First, the Hallo...

Adri and I love haunted houses, and since Rocky Point is no longer in operation, we went to the place that pretty much bought all of their haunting gear... Nightmare on 13th.  We went to this one last year as well, and this year it had a lot of great improvements.

Adri had a work party where they dressed up as old ladies.  She may look like she is wearing a wig here, but I assure you that she is that "talented" to be able to make her hair that big.  I did the spray coloring to help out.

Then we got together with some friends and went out to eat in our costumes.  Mike and Lisa here made these themselves.  I was quite impressed!

Dimitriy and Monique I think just decided to bring out their secret lives.  Or maybe not so secret.

People ask Adri and I where we are headed next, or where we have been recently, so we figured this was only so very appropriate.  I'm sure we'll continue to be asked, which is okay because it means we are continuing to do something we love!

Next, the giving...

Unfortunately I realized that we didn't take any pictures during Thanksgiving (sorry!), but we had a great time with Adri's family.  In fact, we got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice.  Once with my cousins the Weidauer's and once at Adri's parents.  James, who is in school at BYU-I, came down to celebrate with us and we also got to see Danny, Denise and Liam.

This little bear happened into our life at this time of year, and we can't help but be grateful for the pranks we get to play on people with him.  He's already terrorized Adri's parents.  Not sure who is next... be warned...
Lastly, the mas...

Although Christmas has not yet happened, we are already in the spirit of it.  Shopping was finished in November, and Adri has already been asked by some people to do some baking.  These are some cupcakes that she made for a friends party.  They turned out so great!

As actual Christmas is almost here, we are excited to spend it with my family this year.  It has been so long since we have all been together that we aren't really quite sure what to expect (except a lot of great times and stories of course).

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever you may be celebrating at this time of year!

01 October 2011

Our Swiss Cuckoo Clock

We purposefully didn't put any pictures of this on our blog before we had a video to share.  So, we wanted to introduce the one thing Adrienne just had to get above all else while in Switzerland...
It plays a bunch of different songs.  not sure if it is random, or based on the hour.  Regardless, we love it and I have a feeling this may not be the last...

27 September 2011

From guten tag to au revoir...

Before we really get into the meat of this post, I want to give you fair warning.  In the just over a week we spent on this trip we took a total of almost 800 pictures.  So, narrowing it down was difficult.  By such, there are 71 here to go through.  Hopefully you have some time to sit and look.  We also took a bunch of video, but have not been able to go through that yet, so that will be at a later post.  Anyway, on with the post...

Adri and I have been planning a trip to Europe for some time now, as we wanted to celebrate our 1st anniversary overseas.  In talking to friends and family about things they had done that was a lot of fun, and looking at cost of tickets, we settled on a few days in Interlaken, Switzerland and a few in Paris, France.

We flew directly into Paris overnight and got right to work on eating French food.  Here we have our first meal, quiche and a chocolate filled pastry (for Adri's sake).  Quite good, and worth the price hike in food since we were now using Euro's instead of dollars.
We checked into our hotel and headed into Paris for a quick bit trip before we had to get up in the morning and catch our train to Switzerland.  As it was raining, we didn't take the camera into Paris our first night.

Up the next morning and off to Switzerland.  We rode the train from Paris to Basel, then Bern and into Interlaken.  We arrived at about 12:00 noon on a Sunday, and come to find out, our hostel wasn't open for check in until 3:00 PM.  It was still raining, and a bit chilly, so we found a little alcove in and alley way and sat and waited there for about 2 hours. The entire town was shut down, so there was no where to go except this alcove.  Finally, someone showed up and let us in for the last hour until we could check in.
 We stayed at the Happy Inn Lodge, which was quite quaint.  But, the people were super friendly and helpful.  The only private room left had 3 twin beds, so we shared a bed for a couple nights (Adri doesn't like to sleep alone and does enough of it while I am traveling for work anyway) until Adri got sick of squishing onto a twin bed and decided she wanted the top bunk.

 We explored Interlaken the rest of that Sunday and all day on Monday.  It rained both days, so we couldn't really see where we were in terms of being in the mountains, and there wasn't a whole lot we could go do outdoors like we wanted.  But, we started to fall in love with where we were.

On day 3 in Interlaken, the weather cleared up and warmed up and so we took a boat cruise out to see some castles.  We quickly learned that Switzerland was by far one of the most picturesque and beautiful places we have ever been.  Cruising along on a blue-green lake of glass, with massive mountains all around and little Swiss towns dotting the fields and green rolling fields. I'd be lying if I didn't say we started to consider just moving there.  With our pass we were supposed to be able to get into 2 castles.  The first one we entered was in Hilterfingen and was more of a mansion than a castle.  At least that is how it seemed when I think of a true castle.  The castles here were not your typical stone and moat castles.  The second castle was in Oberhofen, and they wouldn't let us in because we apparently didn't have the right ticket.  We talked to the tourist office later about it and the refunded us the ticket and said they would call because they've been doing it that way for 5 years and never had a problem.

The castle above is the one in Oberhofen and the one below is in Hilterfingen.  Both beautiful and unique in their own respect.

On day 4, our final day in Switzerland, we decided that we wanted to see if we could find the most typical Swiss town within a reasonable distance that we could.  We were told to head up the canyon to Gimmelwald.  We hoped on a train, the transferred to a bus, and then onto a gondola just to get there.  On the way up the gondola Adri went to grab her phone to take some pictures and found that she no longer had it with her.  She had left it on the train.  Luckily, after we enjoyed our time in Gimmelwald, we went back to the train station and someone had turned it in.  Blessing counted!
Gimmelwald was just majestic.  It was the perfect little swiss town up in the mountains.  Sitting in the rolling hills and cliffs of the Alps with the cows and their bells, flowers flowing out of the window boxes, intricate wood carved shutters and doors.  We quickly realized that if Switzerland was where we wanted to live, it was in a place like Gimmelwald.

The next day we hopped back onto the train and made our way back to Paris, sad to leave the beauty of Interlaken, but excited for the hustle and bustle of a big city.  We had a 4 hour layover in Basel, so we stowed our luggage in a locker and went exploring there.

We ate REAL chocolate chips (so yummy), found an incredible church, the zoo and Adri's next car (a little old school Fiat).

 Once we arrived in Paris that night we quickly navigated our way to the hotel, checked in and went to bed for the night.  We had a very full day ahead of us.

Our first day in Paris was a day to see as much as we possibly could.  After 9 1/2 hours walking around Paris, navigating the subway and seeing as many sites as we could, we were spent.  We visited the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees (even found an H&M and Zara there).

 We ran over to the Louvre Museum to see some of the famous pieces of art that it housed.

The most famous of which is probably the Mona Lisa.  The crowed just to see it was intense.  It had it's own wall and cost the museum thousands of dollars in renovation just to be ready for these types of crowds.
We ran over to Notre Dame and explored that church as much as was permitted.  It was the most intricate and detailed church I have personally ever seen, both on the inside and out.

 Then we made a quick stop at the Eiffel Tower to make sure we got some day pictures.  We didn't go up it this day because we had reservations for the following evening so that we could skip the lines.

On the final full day in Paris Adri had everything planned.  The morning and afternoon at the Chateau de Versailles and then the evening on the Eiffel Tower.

Versailles was enormous.  I've never seen a house so big, with 40 acres or so of land.  According to the tour information, it takes 60 minutes to go from the back of the chateau to the back of the property by foot.  We didn't make that journey, but we still did a fair amount of walking.  Sadly we weren't able to see all of the interior of the building, but it was still stunning and immaculate.  We were able to see enough to get an idea of the scope of what had been constructed here.

After we toured the inside we headed out onto the grounds to see the fountains and then head towards Marie Antionette's hamlet.  Along the way we came across the "Love Temple."

We quickly made our way out to the hamlet, and arrived there right as it opened.  For a short time we were the only people out there walking around the pond, enjoying the buildings and grounds.  Sadly we could not go into any of the buildings, but it was still stunning.  Adri described it as the place she dreamed about when she was told all of the fairy tales when she was little.  I think that is the perfect description of location.

On our way out a local college had students out taking pie to the face to raise some money for some event they were putting on.  So, for 2 Euros Adrienne smashed this kids face with whipped cream.
We made our way back to Paris, grabbed some dinner and headed out to the Eiffel Tower just as the sun was setting.  We took the elevator all the way to the top, and the view was amazing.  You could see pretty much everything about Paris from there.  All of the major monuments were lit up so that they were easy to pick out.  While we were up there they did the "Light Show," which is really just a ton of blinking lights on the tower.  Good thing I don't have epilepsy or I probably would have had some issues from all of the flashing lights.

We couldn't have asked for a better place to finish our trip and finish celebrating our 1st anniversary than at the Eiffel Tower.  We are happy to have completed our first year together and look forward to many more to come.