Monday, August 5, 2013

Fun Photo Shoot Part II

My good friend Alexis was unable to make it to the original photo shoot, so we had a fun one :) I really do have gorgeous friends!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun Photo Shoot

With some friends home from college for a short period of time, I took some fun photos of them. We had SOOOO much fun messing around up in Quail Hill. Check back later this summer since it definitely isn't the only fun shoot that I'll do this summer. Enjoy! (Taken 6.15.2013)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hambly Family Photos

I took the Hambly's family photos back in May right before Mother's Day. Clearly, they haven't been posted since I was overseas. Never fear though, as the blog is FINALLY being updated!!! I had a blast hanging out with them at Mason Regional Park. Enjoy you guys!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 10- Today: Catch up time

Mom and Dad I am alive. I just haven't blogged because I've been lazy or busy, one of the two. Soooo time to catch you up if you haven't been following my instagraming. On May 29 it looked like there was definitely some rain potential as Valerie and I headed to the Louvre. Okay, that museum is ridiculous. We got these audio guides, which are Nintendo 3Ds, and they also have GPS so you can figure out where you are in the museum. Yeah, had no clue where I was in the museum. I ended up seeing more sculptures and more epic ceilings. Oh, I of course saw the Mona Lisa and all those other important pieces of art. Honestly, they are mostly overrated, because there were WAY better pieces in there I had never seen before. We hung out at the Louvre for about 5ish hours and then ran into a random church called St. Germains. It was a reallllyyy pretty church and someone from the choir was singing so it was really nice. Then we ran and got beverages for Matt's apartment as he was making a delicious meal that night. He made an honest to goodness delicious three course meal. Cockles for entrée, duck with some amazing sauce and mushrooms and bacon, and crepes with homemade caramel sauce and nutella (not homemade). So all six of us chowed down--Weston's dad flew in the night before--and had some fantastic conversation in-between dish shifts. Finally around 11pm we headed out to the Eiffel Tower  and at midnight watched it light up! It was soooo cool and probably one of my favorite days in my trip.

The next morning Valerie played housekeeper and cleaned almost all of Matt's apartment (I was asleep) before we headed out to Notre Dame yet again, as we wanted to view Paris from the towers. Ohmyheavens. It was AH-mazing. The view was absolutely stunning despite it being absolutely freezing. We also went to the crypt of Notre Dame and learned some history about 5th century France. (Spoiler alert: it wasn't super exciting) Then we came back to the apartment where we hung out for an hour before giving Matt his keys back. We then took the RER B to Charles de Gaulle, which I think is tied with Madrid as one of my least favorite airports, however their food is delicious so it makes up for something. After taking a bus for 10 minutes to get to our terminal and FINALLY figuring out where to get our tickets, we made it to our gate with an hour to spare. But AirFrance Flight 5182 was delayed. Hooray. I didn't care as long as I got back to Prague which is as close to home as it's gotten for me on this trip. Kaja and Alan picked us up and we headed out around 8:30a the next day to explore the city.

The day is May 31st on a day very much like today. (jk, this isn't the Twilight Zone, but it was seriously raining like today). I took Valerie to Vasclav Namesti (Wenceslas Square) , Republic Square, Old Town Prague, Lesser Prague, the Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. I took some illegal castle pictures, but oh well. It was mostly of stuff outside the castle, just saying. Did some souvenir shopping and saw the nighttime Prague. But I needed to sleep since our bus to Budapest left at 7a  the next morning.

June 1: Woke up at like 5:15a after not getting a lot of sleep. I was super paranoid I'd sleep through my alarm and miss the bus, because that would be just my luck. Luckily I slept on the bus, which was actually really nice. I had my own personal TV, so I watched The Big Bang Theory Season 3, New Year's Eve, and part of Catch Me If You Can. We found our apartment all right and it's actually quite nice considering we'll only be here for a little bit. I however was tired and hungry so I'm acting like Mr. Grumpy Gills and dragging poor Valerie around looking for the exchange place and a reasonably priced restaurant. I finallllyyy ate and was a little bit happier but then we had to find the market, which we walked by and luckily Val was paying attention. But now I'm tired so you get some pictures and I may or may not blog the rest of the trip... who knowwwwsss.. Love you!!!

The Mona Lisa is watching you.

Gargoyles. Ain't they cute?

Notre Dame and the little park after some rain.

Prague from the clock tower. (Oroloj)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 8 & 9- Museums and Mastering the Metro

Day 8- Valerie and I had the lovely task of trying to find out where we could buy a museum pass. Paris sells them and gives you access to over 80 museums and monuments in the Paris area. We started off at Notre Dame, realized we may not be able to get our tickets there, so we walked to a bookstore to buy them. Well, the bookstore only had six day passes (we wanted four). So, I was slightly frustrated and irritated but told Valerie I wanted to look around for an adapter for my computer. After some searching I found one!!! Yay!!!! So the trip wasn't completely worthless as Val pointed out. We decided to buy our passes at Sainte- Chapelle, so we wandered over to the church. The stained glass in that church was simply BREATHTAKING. The windows on the second story depict over 1,113 scenes from the Bible. Some renovation is going on, but it was still amazing how much history is involved.

We then officially went inside Notre Dame. The organ was playing and it was simply the most wonderful sound I have ever heard in my life. They do hold masses inside still, and although that would be cool, we just did not (or do) have the time for that. We also came during the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame which is actually pretty fantastic. On Thursday, we plan to climb the towers of Notre Dame and visit the Crypte.

Finally, we ended the day with walking to the Eiffel Tower (about a 30 minute walk from where we staying) and then climbed alllllllll the way up. Via the stairs. To the second story. This is about 500 steps. It was awesome. Thank goodness we've been training via stairmaster, because the city at dusk is simply breathtaking. I'll be honest, I don't think Paris is the most beautiful city from the ground, but from the Eiffel Tower, your perspective changes. We met up with the guys at Le Piano Vanche to listen to some gypsy jazz in a random bar. I took video Eddie, because I think you'd really enjoy them.

And what have we learned from all of this besides all of the history involved? We've learned (and in my opinion) mastered the metro and the stupid ticket thing.

Day 9- It's been raining. All day. I'm on vacation. It shouldn't be raining. But Matt took us to Le Cordon Bleu where one of the chefs did a demonstration. Ohmyheavens. It was the most beautiful food I've ever seen in my life. And the most delicious. I have pictures on my phone but I guess that doesn't really help you as a reader huh? So we hung out at the school for a bit then came back to the apartment. I still wanted to do something since you know, I'm in Paris so we took the Metro to Musee Rodin. We mostly mocked statues, pretended we were statues, or admired statues. I mean that's all you can really do right? It was fun despite the mud, granted I was exhausted (and still am). But we tried to hit up Muse d'Orly. The line was way too long for my liking as I was about ready to pass out so we just headed home. I made what was supposed to be dinner, but it ended up being dunch/linner. So far I'm enjoying my trip, but I miss my bed. And the sun. A lot.

The Thinker (le Pensevr)
Me and Valerie at the Eiffel Tower
Stained glass windows in Sainte-Chapelle

The outside of Notre Dame

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 6 & 7- Just a little Paris

I know, I know, I'm behind in my blogging!!! Time for the quick recap:

Day 6- I went to a palace in Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The son of the people who own and LIVE there gave me a private tour!!! It was so cool being in a palace that is still being used and in the middle of restoration. We then ate at the brewery right next store and it was simply delicious. We were all exhausted and then I skyped with my parents. Because, it was time to get ready for a day full of airports and getting lost.

The renovated palace. FYI nobility lived here, not royalty

Day 7- I left Prague temporarily so Kaja can study for her exams. I took a fantastic AirFrance flight to Paris (it was not so fantastic as there were two screaming children literally right behind me, thank goodness it was less than two hours). Valerie's flight had gotten in about two hours before mine, as she was temporarily delayed in the United Kingdom, and waited for me in the airport. Okay, I thought Madrid-Barajas was a confusing airport, but I had yet to experience Charles de Gaulle Airport. It was kinda, sorta, just a little bit, crazy. But, Valerie and I found each other and we were both beyond ecstatic. Now it was time to figure out how to get to Matt's place. We got most of the way there before we had some issues with turnstiles and figuring out how to get to another train. Val, called Matt and he rescued us at a station and assisted us (well Val) with our luggage as we walked the streets of PARIS!!! Matt is quite the hospitable person, as right after he dropped us off he went to a nearby Starbucks to pick up a couple otherrrr friends who are staying until Thursday!!!

So, Matt's trying to come up with a game plan for us to get used to the Metro system and the city, as well as finding a place to eat. The four of us are just more than grateful to not be paying some ridiculous hotel/hostel price and tell Matt that we are just as flexible as can be. He starts to catch up with us all as he serves us some delicious French pastry and foi grais. Yeah, that was seriously our welcome-to-Paris snack. (Did I mention that Matt is a level superior student at the French cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu?) We all freshen up and walk down Champs- Elysse and see the Arc de Triomphe, which I had only seen before in Mary-Kate and Ashley's "Passport to Paris". It was seriously beautiful and we hung out with the tourists taking pictures of it. Matt then led us to a delectable restaurant (after finding out the crepe place was closed) called Café Restaurant Le Murmure. It was sooooooooooooooooooooooo worth the 16
, I paid for the best squid, vegetable, and chorizo plate I've ever eaten in my life. Below is the spread of French cuisine. I'll blog again tonight, about today hahaha. Sorry Mom and Dad, but at least you have something now!!
Arc de Triomphe
My calamari, Val's raviolis, Weston's burger, Grant's steak
and Matt's ratatouille & duck

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 5- Kutná Hora

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday. I was planning on it but I ended up Skyping with my brother so blame him. Yesterday, I went to Kutná Hora, about an hour and half drive from Prague. I was really excited
to see the bone church (The Sedlec Ossuary) but Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady ended up being
my favorite part of the three stop trip. I feel like no one wants to go there because everyone talks up the
Church of St. Barbora (Barbara) or The Sedlec Ossuary. No one was inside the cathedral and it was
pretty awesome climbing up into the attic and seeing the cathedral from a different vantage point. Parts
of it were original from the 14th century but a good chunk of it is original from the 1700s and then what
was redone again later in the mid 2000s. The Sedlec Ossuary is made of the bones from 40,000 people
that died during the plague. It's actually pretty cool and not really creepy. Other places were more eerie
than that.

The Sedlec Ossuary: Made with bones from about
40,000 people.

The ceiling at Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady.
Just wait until all of my photos of this place are up. It's
just stunning.


We then drove over to the Church of St. Barbara. This church was so beautiful. The architecture of the
building is phenomenal. There are painted windows, not actually pieces of colored glass glued together,
but are still just as beautiful. The pulpit is handcrafted out of wood and there is a beautiful altar as well.
There are several chapels within the church, devoted to various saints. This is yet again another 14th
century building. (Seriously, these buildings are amazing). We tried going to the Church of St. James
but it was closed. We did manage to visit the Stone Fountain as well as the Plague Column in the center
of the city. It was an amazing day and probably ties with Karljsten Castle as one of my favorite parts of
the trip.