Friday, July 31, 2009

Road Trip Video

Here ya go!

Sorry... the Compression specs were kinda funky and you tube didn't help so the picture quality doesn't look so hot, but just wanted to get this up for everybody to see.

*This movie is dedicated to my hardcore wife who ate nothing but bread and cheese for 10 days, got attacked by a ferocious feline, had to shower sporadically, endured non-stop heat, put up with her husband, slept in: an airport, in the hallway of a ghetto polish train, on a platform in a train station, a sweaty sticky hostel in Poland, on a couch, and in a car... but who still managed to whip up some bomb meals, look beautiful, smell girly, and have a smile on her face!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My mother land...POLAND

Can I just start out by saying...POOR POLAND. There is so much history and sadness in this country. Because of War and Communism there is a lot of poverty and run down buildings but they are very resilient and have always come back.
And no one speaks English
(ha ha just a side note) well actually a few do.......We started our tour of this crazy country in Krakow and then went on to visit Warsaw.

Along with their run down buildings, ha ha their trains weren't any better....they honestly sounded like they were braking down or derailing every 2 seconds and not to mention NO air conditioning and it was seriously 90 degrees with 100% humidity ahhhhhhh!!! This is Austin looking SO happy in the heat.... I didn't look much better :)

Once we arrived in Krakow we were totally impressed, the down town square was beautiful!! And can i just say Poland is VERY cheap! So we ate in the square both nights we were in Krakow, and our hostel was a 5 min walk from here.
Their parking was pretty much amazing...EVERYONE parked on the sidewalk
So i thought this sign probably meant watch out for little children? OR small scary girls with giant candies on sticks??? ha ha who knows

These little stands were EVERYWHERE! Apparently Poland likes their funny round pretzel bagels? I have to say though they were super good :)While staying in Krakow we took one day and went to the Auschwitz and Birkenau museums. This was honestly one of the saddest and most emotional experiences. They are ACTUAL Concentration Camps from World War 2 and Auschwitz was one of the largest of the death camps. You start out the tour by seeing a movie that was recorded right after the Ukraine troops invaded and is actual footage of the people and tragedy (so hard to watch), and then you continue through all of the museum which are actual bunkers all over the camp. You see so much, including rooms full of hair and shoes that they found when they invaded the camps, you actually go into the gas chambers and crematory rooms... everything we saw and heard really impacted me. I was so affected by all that I saw, I honestly broke down. It was something I am so glad I was able to see, I learned so much that i never knew before and it put the holocaust and what happened in a whole new perspective.

You weren't allowed to take pictures inside the museum (all the bunkers in the camp) so all these pictures are ones I took of around the camp....... and to be honest i wouldn't have wanted to share pictures of the stuff we saw in the museum.

After staying in Krakow we headed up to Warsaw. This was the old town in Warsaw (hands down the prettiest place in ALL of Warsaw)

This picture is my favorite...this building looked so beautiful all lit up at night. We stayed at a hostel (our first night) 2 min from the square it was so wonderful!!
Austin eating a chocolate donut that they are supposedly famous for..... YUM!
Lots and LOTS of Lody (ice cream in polish) so so good!!So while we were in Warsaw we decided to do some Geneology work (my ancestors come from Poland). While we were at the church(doing Geneology) Austin met Marcine who offered for us to stay at his house with his wife Beata. They were both recent converts and were the sweetest most humble people ever!! Ha ha Marcine was so sweet he made me laugh! He LOVED maps and seriously had a map from EVERYWHERE!! ha ha you could quiz him on any place and he knew where it was.... the rest of their apartment was so fun and interesting. Beata loved Elephants and they were everywhere, and they honestly had hundreds of books about all sorts of things. They were so kind to us.

Just a picture from one of their bookshelves....
Him and Austin playing ping pong at game day at the church!
We ended up staying in Poland for a few extra days and attended church there. It was in an office building (they only have one church building in ALL of Poland). It was so was an international ward so they had a translator so we wore earphones, and guess who spoke?....yes AUSTIN! We were at game day (the day before) and they needed another speaker so they asked Austin...he honestly did such an amazing job, he talked about sacrifice and EVERYONE after came up and said how wonderful it was!! It was hard cause he would say a line and then had to wait while it got translated into polish. I love him so much!!

On our last night In Warsaw we were able to have dinner at Marcine and Beatas with the Branch President and his Wife. They are on their mission in Warsaw and are from Arizona...they were a lot of fun and the dinner Beata cooked was sooooo good!! Yummy polish food.

Poland was awesome and we were able to see some amazing historical sights that I am so thankful for :) Yay Poland!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Prague (Praha)

Well we packed up some small backpacks (leaving most of our stuff in Sweden at the cabin we have been staying in) and did a mini trip to a few different countrys...and our first stop was Prague in the Czech Republic. This is probably one of the most beautiful cities we have seen!!

I have to say me and Austin have seen some pretty awesome things on this trip so far but when we turned the corner and saw the St. Vitus Cathedral for the first time we actually Gasped ha ha OUT LOUD! It is really THAT amazing!

This was what you see right as you enter the church.....WOW!

After getting out of the Cathedral you come over to a view of the whole city of Prague! It is so amazing!

ha ha so me and Austin were relaxing on this bench, I got up to take some pictures and when I turned about someone had taken my place...and she was sitting just as close ha ha I couldnt stop laughing...I had to be all sly while taking this picture cause I didnt want her to see.

Charles bridge down town

They had little Marionette shops all over the city

There were so many amazing streets that looked just like this one, and everywhere was cobblestone streets... and the view of the Tyn Church in the Old Town Square was so cool, it looked fake!

After a day of walking around the city we ended at a park on top of Petrin Hill, it has rose gardens, restaurants and the most beautiful view of the city. So we sat up there and watched the sun go down and then saw all of the city light up at night, it was so wonderful!!!

Late at night back on Charles Bridge looking at the lights of the Prague Castle

Austin in the Subway

Lastly... I LOVE this picture. We were on the bridge and this band was playing such cool music and the man in the middle was playing a wash board... how fun!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sweden and Denmark!!!

WELCOME to Malmo Sweden....
Let me start out with the two people that
have made this whole Sweden experience
possible... Anette and Rolf...
Well we arrived in Malmo, and Anette and Rolf
picked us up from the train station... and it has been
fun with them since...

They have been so amazing to us the whole time that we
have been in Sweden. They let us borrow their car,
they find us bikes,
they take us on tours of Sweden,
they help us find anything and everything!

Honestly I dont know what we would do without them...
and best of all they
invite us to sweet BBQs
with their fantastic friends.

This was the first night we got there and they had us over for a BBQ.
We pretty much were there for six hours laughing uncontrolably.
Rolf and Annette, and their friends, are seriously the best!

Then the following weekend... their friends, Violet & Peter,
invited us to another BBQ/Kareokee Bananza!
They dominated the mic, while Austin and I butchered
Sweet Caroline haha. (But they didn't seem to notice).
This pic is of Peter singing 'California Dream'n' (dedicated to us)
everybody else showed off their skills, and there was
dancing...yes dancing!!! it was pretty much

We have been staying at this amazing little cottage
(compliments of Rolf and Annette)

And let me just say this is pretty much what we
have been doing in sweden....

-Bike Riding (around town)
-Going to the Beach(on our bikes)
-Bike Riding (to the store for food)
-Lounging around the cottage
-Bike Riding (to church)
-Playing in the sprinkler
(it had been so hot and ha ha yes we are 5)
-Bike Riding (just for fun)
ha ha yes we have been doing a LOT of bike riding...
pretty much all of Sweden rides bikes...most of the time,
it is so much fun and I love it...
when it is windy and im in a skirt riding home
from church...then its not as much fun.

Bike riding to Anettes and Rolfs to pick some cherrys...

ha ha Rolf and Austin eating a Swedish hot dog!

Me and Austin at the pier where EVERYONE goes to lay out...
its not the beach but it sure is pretty.

So basically the ward that we found in Sweden has been so
incredible I am really sad to leave (We have been there for 3 sundays
so we have been able to get to know everyone)
. They speak in Swedish
the whole time but EVERYONE (and I mean everyone) speaks
English in Sweden (unless your over 80 or under 7) so we
have translators in every meeting. The people in the Ward
have been so kind we cant even begin to thank them all.
This is one of our favorites, this is Helene and her daughter
Michelle. They had us over for family home evening and dinner.
ha ha we had the best time ever and we are going over again next
week.... Helene is so incredibly sweet and her daughter is so funny!!

ha ha the shopping carts in Sweden...they look like the ones
you hold in your hands but they have wheels...ummm you
cant buy too much with these...Sweden does not buy in
bulk that is for sure!!!

I love this pic of the phone cool!

Me and Austin in Lund, a small town outside of Malmo..
it was super cute!!!

This is pretty much what I see everytime I look at Austin...

So since we have been staying in Malmo, Copenhagen
is just right across the bridge!!! ha ha oh so convenient so
we thought we would check it out.
This was by far my favorite place in Denmark it was
this little boat town named
Nyhavn it was so incredibly
cute me and Austin just sat next to two guys playing
their accordians and chilled it was

I love this pic!!!

Just chillin outside of the palace!

So at twelve noon at the palace they do a changing of the
guards...we couldnt miss that!

We were so lucky...we got to do a session at the temple in
Copenhagen. It was such a neat temple and we got to go with
three other people from the ward, which included the
De Sousa Family. They have been OH SO nice to us....
having us over for soccer games, dinner, taking us to temple sessions,
laundry you name it talk about giving service!!! We have
been so blessed to have them :)

and yes.... there is more bike riding in Denmark!!

Well I have more pictures of downtown Malmo to share
a little later.... so ta ta for now!!!