Sunday, September 30, 2012

Off to Hogwarts :)

After a long bus ride, we made it back to Birmingham. Our weekend in London was fantastic. There is so much to do and see in the city that we could have spent the entire semester living there and still probably not have seen it all.

Although we didn't catch any shows this trip, I'm hoping to before we leave for Christmas. We spent the weekend exploring lots of different neighborhoods, including the famous history sites, giant outdoor markets, and fantastic shopping on Oxford street.

We purchased day passes for the underground so that we could quickly move around the city and see a lot of different areas in a short amount of time. We also saw a lot of train stations!

Today we went to King's Cross station to find Platform 9 3/4. Although it isn't actually a platform (only a sign near the entrance of the station) it's still really cool! We took some fun photos and had a look through their HP themed bookshop.

We also took a stroll though the Sunday markets near Brick Lane. When you add up all the different markets in the area there had to be several square miles of vendors!

Last night we were able to meet up with a couple friends who live in London. Next time we will know to make a much more definite meeting point, as Hyde Park is massive. MASSIVE, but beautiful! I wanted to ride horses through it but I'm sure it was too expensive.

Great weekend, I hope we get to go again near Christmas season when everything is decorated! I think I could live in London, except for how expensive it is. I love the extensive public transport and sheer volume of culture and activity in the city.

Party Pics!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Eurogamer adventure!

London! We left Birmingham early this morning on the national express bus and pulled into Victoria Station around 11:30. That was just in time to head to Earls Court for Eurogamer, the convention Raymond has been dreaming about attending!

It was fun. The convention center was huge and filled with unreleased games and demos to play. Raymond looked as excited as a little kid on Christmas, and I joined in the fun to play some too.

After a day of games we found some fantastic dinner at a little Italian place and went to find the British night skyline. It was beautiful, and we had a great time walking along the south bank by the London Eye. We even caught the last night of a carnival on the river!

Tomorrow we will go explore the tourist sites, but I also hope we will get to some of the lesser known but culture rich places too. We're considering a pub crawl to see some of the pubs that date back for centuries.

So far, the weather looks good! Praying for sunshine tomorrow :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Get ready for travel!

An amusing taxi driver always seals the deal on a great night!

We survived our first two days of classes and it has been really interesting. So far we've noticed that the watching style is very different. Both our lectures were extremely laid back, with students on first name basis with the professors and even teasing them throughout the class. The students seem to be more like friends with the professor than the traditional student role.

Our business start up class is unlike anything we have done before but very interesting. Through a simulated computer program we will build and manage a business with a small group and create a portfolio for our assessment in January.

Today we booked a trip to Dublin! I would love to get out into the countryside but I think this trip we will probably just stay in the city. We're excited to see another country!

Excited for London this week. Any tips?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Classes start tomorrow!

We finally have classes! Our schedules, or "timetables" as the English call them, were almost finalized today. We're taking a British History/Culture class and an Entrepreneur Business Start Up class. I think both will be very interesting! The business class is worth more credit hours than most, so we'll probably spend a LOT of time creating a model business this semester. What do you think I should run? A gellato shop? Clothing line? Maybe I should expand Mexican food to the UK! I'm taking suggestions. :)

Something I love about this campus is the new library. It was only finished a couple of years ago, so everything is brand new. The giant complex serves as both a study area and student center, as there is a ton of natural light and lots of bright, inviting couches (as the one below).

There are always plenty of computers and they have special "completely silent" study zones for those deep in concentration. Also, there are practice rooms for group presentations, complete with the computer and television to practice with Powerpoints.

This is a high tech book scanner. Just put your ID card in, place the books below, and it will scan all of them at one time. You're done!

There's also a Starbucks on the bottom level. I try and avoid it to save money, but sometimes a nice hot late is perfect to get me through the morning or remind me of home.

Basically, the building is huge. There are lots of different study rooms and areas for different learning styles, and a lot of books! The entire basement is dedicated to student teachers and has visual aids for classrooms and things.

Our classes start tomorrow!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rainy Sundays

Rain rain go away, go to Kansas right away... :) Does home still need the rain? I bet the corn fields need it more than we do here!

We've had rain for days, but we're adjusting. I'm so glad I brought my yellow rain jacket! The beautiful umbrella my mom bought me before I left matches perfectly, too.

All the upperclassmen moved into the residence halls today so there has been a lot of activity around here! Classes start tomorrow, but the schedules are pretty different so most students don't have classes every day. It is possible that we will only have class two days a week ourselves... it's a good thing the campus gym opens tomorrow!

We also signed up for lots of different campus clubs, including some for singing and dance, acting, playing pool, and maybe even one for environmentalism. Basically it's hard for us to tell people no to joining things. That's why we're here anyway, right?

So excited for London this week! Hope you have sunshine back home, or rain if you need it. Enjoy fall! I wish there were more decorations and celebration here. All my decorations are in a box in my parent's basement.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rain, sun, tomato soup!

Hello world and happy Saturday! Today was a little strange for me, I'm not used to having lazy Saturdays since I started working at the bridal shop over a year ago. I did some laundry, caught up on the news, and was able to talk to my family back home. I miss them! Little baby Peyton has a tooth coming in.

We spent the week attending various campus events and finding our way around Birmingham. We've had both sunshine and rain, most of the time both in the same day. The weather changes fast here but you can always bet to have clouds, even when it is sunny. I asked one of the locals if they had ever seen a completely clear, blue sky and they said no!

Whenever we get a patch of sunshine I like to take a walk or sit outside for awhile. Here are a couple pictures of the outside of campus.

This above photo is the top level of the quad. The buildings are pretty much all in a big square, connected by hallways or underground passages. If you look across and past Raymond, there is a railing. I stood and looked over the side to take the next picture, which is another quad but one level down. 

It's a nice campus once you figure out the winding maze of hallways and buildings. They've made some great updates to their classrooms (most I've seen so far have a smart board in them), and the library is brand new. I'll post some pictures of that building soon because it is beautiful! 

Yesterday we went to go check out the iPhone5. There were no lines at all and we were able to walk right into the store, pick up the phone and take a look. From our observations so far, many more people here use Blackberry or Android phones than Apple. We're still going to try and find the Apple store in London next week!

Finally, this is one of our improvised dinners (we know you loved our cooking show!). We made some ham/egg/cheese sandwiches with some tomato soup! It was fantastic comfort food in a country full of Indian curry.

That's all for now. Check out the video I'm about to upload from our lunch out yesterday... yum!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So, are we students?

Unfortunately, when traveling to a different country you will often come across moments of confusion, disappointment, and even frustration. The idea is to move past them and realize you are in a new place and things are different! We had several dissapointing things happen today, but we're decided to stay positive and plan a trip to London instead of dwell on it.

Still, an update for everyone: looks like we will not be taking the media and communication classes we had hoped for, because the entire course has been canceled due to a change in staff. We spent four hours today trying to get new courses and still are not enrolled in anything. All the classes that we looked at are either canceled or not offered until next semester.

I thought I had finally found an interesting business course, but then we found out it is with a partnership university and we would have to ride the bus to a different college three times a week to go to class. Not exactly what we had in mind when we decided to come to this university, and we are only here for a semester. Also looked into a class discussing the importance of physical activity and how being active effects well-being and lifestyle... not offered until February.

There are not many electives offered at this kind of school, and most of the programs are really specific. The school has a great emphasis on education and teaching, as well as some Theology and History modules. That leaves us, Communication students, a little disappointed that the department was scratched.

We will probably be in a British history and culture class, and looking for another couple electives.

Also, based on tonight's cooking experiment... we will not be buying any more beef from a supermarket while we are here. I can wait until Christmas for real meat!

Here are a couple pictures from my dorm room. Each room is private and has a sink (but the water is no good for drinking). Then there is community kitchen and bathroom, check out today's vlog for that!

Oh, and no, I did not pick the curtains or the bed spread. Life of traveling student.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fresher's Week

Fresher's Week! In the UK, they have an entire week for Freshmen orientation. Although we aren't freshmen, we are new to this school so we have been attending some of the events. They also have some kind of social event in the bar every night (yes, there is a bar on campus!). The fact that their drinking age is 18 makes campus events very different from back home! Their student union has a lot of freedom to plan night out in Birmingham or nights in at the bar on campus.

In general, it's a lot cheaper to stay on campus because of taxi fare, entrance fees, and everything else. Owning a car is expensive, but so is public transportation or taxis! The school is just far enough out of town to be too far to walk, but just close enough that it is only a 20 minute bus ride in to town.

I said I would feature a different place each day... here are some pictures from the bar! Unfortunately I took them at night so they are not great quality.

Students hang out on the couches. Some nights are pretty low key, others have themes and higher attendance. In general, students who live on campus will come down in the evenings to study with other students or just relax for awhile before bed.
By day, the area is used as an extension of the cafeteria. By night, they turn on music and open up the bar for pints of lager and cider (only served by the pint, not a "glass"... my mistake).
They're pool tables are about half the size of ours! I think they are actually called something different, but it's fun to watch. The balls are different too, they're small and sorted only by colors, no numbers or lines.

It's small but it is 200 yards from our dorms and a great, safe (and free if you don't want any drinks) place to hang out with other people around on campus.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Do you remember the shire, Mr. Frodo?

"Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?" -- Sam from LOTR The Return of the King

Welcome to Oxfordshire! We made a group trip across the countryside yesterday to visit Oxford, home of many colleges, and on the way there it felt like we were driving through the Shire in Lord of the Rings (get it? OxfordSHIRE? the SHIRE?). Did you know that the books were actually written in Oxford? The inspiration is clear, the only thing missing was the funny shaped houses Tolkien managed to draw up.

Oxford is even more beautiful than I ever imagined. The buildings are so old and unique that you can see the history in the stones! We went to a couple of the universities there that were the film inspiration for Harry Potter. So cool!

The computer is messing up so I'll give you some pictures below. Today the "Freshers" move in, so there will be a lot of activity on campus today! This week I'll be putting up pictures of campus for the students who are interested in doing the exchange back home.

Here we are, in front of Oxford!

They had so many small shops, and this one was perfectly English! I had to stop and take a look at the hats (and take a picture for Allison Aday). They're expensive!

We found the oldest pub in Oxford! It is said to have been built around 1300 and still serves food and drink all day, every day.
They also have some really interesting and free museums. I saw more real mummies in an hour than I have in my entire life! This is some ancient work from NUBIA! I had to take a picture for all my Aida fans (miss Kelly Reynaga included). It was so interesting!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So far so GREAT

I'll be honest, I was worried as we were leaving Italy that I'd be stuck in a place for 4 months that there was a chance that I wouldn't like it. This opportunity is amazing but everything isn't for everyone. BUT! I'm having the best time of my life so far.

The night we got into Birmingham train station was the point of, "Okay this is really happening." We got in the taxi and told him where we were going and we were off! Flying up the street I realized and remembered we were on the other side of the road and I cringed a little when we say the first set of headlights from the other direction. Actually I still cringe a little when were out and have to look to our right first then to the left.
When we got to the school I hopped out to go and check and see if security was still there to let us in, there were a few girls in the lobby that sort of stared at me for a few moments before the security guard came to open the door (AWKWARD) . I told him my name and he smiled saying, "We've been expecting you." in a sort of super thick British or Irish accent, I couldn't tell, I was tired and SUPER hungry.
 I ran back to the taxi to grab Rachel and our bags before we rolled in and looked around before we went to collect our keys from the security office. Once we got those and headed back to the lobby there were now double the people because 4 English chaps were there now and were INCREDIBLY happy to see us or so I thought, again I was tired and hungry. We talked and talked, finding out those 4 girls were from Spain and were waiting for their other friend to arrive, who I was not, when we arrived.

That's just a little re account of what happened the first night and I'm sure I'll write more when we have more time since balancing homework and activities has become really important.

I love yo faces! See ya soon

We made it!

We made it to Birmingham! After a long day of traveling on Sept. 11th (our flights were rebooked, sent us to a different airport, and we missed our train... thanks Swiss airlines), we arrived late in the night at our new home of four months.

As many of you know, we are now attending Newman University College in Birmingham. It's a bit confusing because the school shares the same name as NU in Kansas, but they are completely unrelated otherwise! However, throughout the past couple of days we are already realizing the schools are a lot more similar than we expected.

This Newman is about the same size in student population as back home, but the campus is much smaller! There are about the same number of buildings but they are all squished together around one small quad in the middle. I kind of miss my long sidewalks, sprawling lawns, and giant trees of NU back home! Here, all the buildings are connected, so it almost feels like one giant building. The plus side? You never have to walk in the rain or cold if you don't want to, and it rains a lot.

The building complex is a little confusing because all the hallways look the same and they all connect. You have to read the signs or look outside to get an idea of where you are. If you thought it was fast to walk to class in Kansas, you have no idea about here!

The dorms are pretty standard, we'll put up pictures as soon as we are settled to give future students more of an idea. They're pretty small but individual rooms so it's not so bad. The cafe/restaurant on campus is actually pretty good and the prices are the cheapest around so we will probably be down there a lot.

We've met some fabulous people so far! I never, EVER, expected anyone to say that they loved my accent (I have an accent?), but they're all over it here.

Also, we got out on a bus and into the downtown area yesterday and it is wonderful! Honestly, parts of the city feels like a cleaner, better paved, wider streets version of parts of New York. LOVE IT! They have a giant shopping and entertainment area and great places to walk around. Nice parks and I found out that the Cadbury factory is only three miles away!

Alright tons of pictures of campus and the town coming soon! Also maybe a video tour of some places on campus for those students coming next semester.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh cannoli, where are you?

Good afternoon! I know it is barely past lunch at home but here we are about to go to bed. Today was our last full day in Italy, and since we had already seen all the "big" things in Rome we spent it walking around, stopping in small stores, and catching the bus where ever we pleased. It was a nice and relaxing day before we catch a flight out tomorrow.
Yesterday we went to a castle! It's not a very big castle, but it is very old. VERY old. Throughout history it has been used as a home/giant palace/castle, a prison, and finally the Papal apartments. It is still used as an emergency escape and refuge for the Pope if he is ever in extreme danger, because there is a covered passageway that connects the Vatican and the castle. It was really interesting to look through!

We also had some amazing Kabobs for lunch from a street vendor. They shave off the meat that is roasted right there and wrap it up with some yummy veggies and sauce. Mmmmmm. Raymond couldn't get enough of it.

After a few hours at the castle we made our way to the Pantheon. It's actually not as big as I thought it would be, but it is very pretty inside and the architecture is cool. I guess since we had just been in the basilica there was no comparison.

To finish off a great day, we stopped in a little cafe for a glass of vino. Who remembers Lend me a Tenor from last year, and Raymond's fabulous performance as an Italian opera singer? We decided we had to try some Chianti wine while we were in Rome, and it was fantastic!

Now, where can I find more cannoli? Apparently that's more popular in Sicily than Rome. SAD!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Spanish Steps, People's Plaza, Vatican, Trevi Fountains... all in one day!

I just attempted to listen to a podcast for my online class and pretty much fell asleep. I think I better listen to it tomorrow! We had such a full day here in Rome that it is no surprise I'm ready for an early bed time.

We started our day with breakfast with the sisters. It is so wonderful to get to know some more members of the ASC and they have all been so nice and helpful!

Once we had a couple cups of coffee and some food, Raymond and I went to find the metro. Our first stop of the day was the Spanish Steps! This beautiful staircase is huge and surrounded by famous brands... Guchi, Prada, Burberry, Cartier anyone? Yes, we had to go inside and take a look!

From there we went to the People's Plaza and had a look around the giant square. We also found some delicious gellato... mmmmm it can't get any better than it is here. You can stop at any of the little shops and they are all fantastic!

Before heading to the Vatican we bought pizza. I didn't really understand what was going on between me and the man behind the counter, but we ended up with four giant slices for about $8, and it was the best pizza I have eaten in a VERY long time!

The Vatican was definitely the highlight of our day. We took another tour and so we were able to skip the two hour line to get in, but the place was still packed! I think there were ten times as many people at the Vatican than the Colosseum yesterday. Anyway, we walked through the giant Vatican museum, housing hundreds of thousands of artifacts, and saw some really cool and famous artwork (but not everything because it is estimated that even if you only spend one minute in front of each piece in the museum, you would be there for about 12 years).

This is us, standing in front of St. Peter's.

This is the tomb of St. Helen. It's made of the same marble I was telling you about yesterday! Can you imagine how long it took to carve that? And how much it is worth today?

And here is one giant bathtub that is a solid piece! It was cut from one big chunk of this marble!

At the end of the museum is the Sistine Chapel. WOW! It was so amazing to stand under the artwork and know it was painted nearly 500 years ago. Simply magnificent! Sorry, no pictures were allowed inside.

After seeing the chapel, we finally went in to the biggest church in the world! I was completely blown away by the scope and magnificent size of St. Peter's Basilica. It was also really interesting to look at all the marble and know it came from the Palatino and Colosseum 2,000 years ago! Most of my pictures really didn't turn out well because there was barely any light, but this is the original Pieta--we stood right next to it.

When leaving the church we found ourselves in St. Peter's square. The news coverage on TV does not give it justice. It is giant and can hold so many people! Get ready for a podcast later... that's where we shot it for the day!

We finished the day with cannoli and a trip to the Trevi Fountains. The area was packed, so we didn't stay very long, but it was beautiful!

Mass and a castle adventure tomorrow!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gellato and ancient history... awesome.

What a fantastic day we had! We set out this morning in search of "The Pope's Church" and walked through a lot of small streets on our way there. The church is HUGE and the ceiling is covered in gold artwork!

From there we managed to find gellato (we promised ourselves we would eat it every day we are here) and it was fantastic. After some more exploration, including looking through an open air market and finding an ATM, we had lunch with the ASC sisters. They know how to cook! Also, one of the sisters was in Milan yesterday visiting her sister, and she brought back a cake to celebrate that we were here to visit! It was the most delicious cake I may have ever eaten... it was so good. We also had frozen lemon cream and an interesting alcoholic lemon drink the sisters had made themselves. It was strong but it was good!!

After lunch we walked to the Colosseum and bought a Rome Pass, a ticket that is good for three days of public transportation and two free entrances into museums. With this ticket we decided to also take a guided tour of the Colosseum and it was a great decision! The tour was worth every penny, as we had fantastic guides and it was about four hours long. We learned so much history about the Colosseum and the Palantino! I feel like we both have a better grasp and appreciation of Rome because of our education today. The tours were so good that we are going on another one through the same company tomorrow of the Vatican museum.

Below is one of my favorite pictures of the day. That's us looking out over the ancient city of Rome!

We heard a lot of interesting stories, but I found this door to be particularly intriguing. I think it was built before Christ even walked the Earth, and the lock and key still work! The pillars on both sides are also made from the most precious marble on the planet, worth more than gold and really hard to work with! Even with modern technology, we are only able to cut through three centimeters in an hour. It is so rare, and so precious, it has never even come up on the market for sale. It is called the Kings Marble and is were the royal purple color in ancient history comes from.

So cool! Tomorrow will be another day full of adventure... and a really funny awesome vlog coming as soon as we can get it uploaded!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

BEST BLOG EVER. In 5 minutes or less

We were on PLANES AND TRAMS that terminated.
Went through immigration that looked at our visas funny, and felt Raymond up at the security check.
We laughed and slept and wanted to slap old bald heads that kept pushing their seats back on my legs (Mostly me >:o )
There was nausea and and Swiss chocolate that made it all better!
THEN IT WAS ALL IN ITALIAN (In Italy, but then the sisters surprised us with amazing Italian fruit, pizza, and wine!)
Then the Italian Keyboard made me spell pretensious and Prentenacious  instead of pretentious all over my homework. *FAIL*

And that's how today was in my head.
I love yo faces, Good night!

When in Rome!

Hey everyone at home--we made it to Rome (that rhymed). It was an extremely long day of traveling but we finally made it to the wonderful ASC sisters here. They even had pizza for us when we got here from the airport, and the best tasting grapes I have ever had in my entire life. Ever. It felt like I was eating the most delicious wine in the world.

Thankfully, all of our flights went according to schedule (almost). We had a short twenty minute delay on the runway, so we caught a nap. We thought we would be able to check in with everyone in London but there was no wifi! I guess I took the free internet in Wichita for granted. We did not find it in any other airport we were in today. I can write to you now because the sisters have a computer for visiting guests!

I usually get super motion sick while traveling, but thanks to the recommendation of sea-bands from my sister and mom I did great today! They're recommended for travelers and pregnant women, and they really work wonders through simple accupressure. Although they are not the most stylish bracelets ever, they were worth every penny of the $12 I spent on them.

I was especially proud of us today in Heathrow airport. We managed to get through immigration (which by the way they asked us, again, why we needed a visa. I told them to call and ask Newman University College in Birmingham), get our bags, change terminals via train, get our weight rearranged in our luggage, get checked back in, go through security again, walk half an hour to our gate, and still get there on time all in only an hour or so!

An intersting story from tonight... looks like I need a new power converter. I read the directions before I left and it said my blow dryer would be fine, so I brought it! WRONG! I tried using it and it blew out a port on my converter. Hoping the actual dryer is okay! I guess I shouldn't have trusted the directions and should have trusted internet blogs instead. I could have saved so much space and weight!

I guess we should go to bed. My body feels really weird because we're seven hours ahead of Kansas right now. Adventure tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Goodbye USA

Hey! Rachel and Ray here from the Atlanta airport. Our first flight went really smoothly and now we are about to board for London. This is a giant plane!!

It was hard to say goodbye to all our loved ones and friends, but we are off for a learning adventure and we will be back!

To all those people I really wanted to see before I left and didn't get the chance, I'm really sorry. We can catch up over Skype or FaceTime!

Good luck and best wishes to everyone at home. We'll be back before you know it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You'll know change when it calls you

Right now its 12:22 am meaning that today Rachel and I leave for another country. Yeah, its not a third world country. This trip is for us, we're taking the steps through a new door that will change everything for the both of us from here on out.

I'm finally ready for this to happen, I was nervous for a long time but now I'm just ready for the adventure to begin! I've stocked up on equipment, bought the appropriate amount of health potions, equipped my best clothes and now its time to sleep at the Inn.

This will probably be the best way to communicate/check up on us so keep your eyes here!

I love yo faces! Goodnight and thank you all so much for your support. This is just the beginning!

One last night

One last night in the states. We made the most of it and had the most American dinner possible: hamburgers and fries while watching a western movie with my parents. Perfect.

Packing is 99% done, just the last things to throw in after getting ready in the morning. Thankfully our flight isn't until the afternoon so we don't have to be up at 3 am or something.

I'll miss my family. I'll miss the day to day laughter, teasing, and hugs. My family is so important in my life, and it's hard to leave, but I'll be back. Besides, my parents might come visit for Thanksgiving!

Leaving for the airport in about 12 hours. No more calls or texts after tomorrow night please!

Thank you to all our readers and fans for your love and support. Your encouragement pushed us on to make this trip happen!

Make sure to catch our latest blog. I think video somehow better captures our nervous excitement.

Lots of adventure starting tomorrow!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Go ahead, click and have a laugh.

We leave for the airport in about 36 hours.

This is how far along my packing is so far.

There isn't enough ROOOOM!!!

Awesome. But Branson was really great!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Well. Stealing wi-fi isn't so difficult after all,

First off, NO, we're not actually stealing wi-fi, its free but we just have to sit in a parking lot to get it!

We are currently in Rachel's car in an empty parking lot working on homework and listening to the radio after listening to one of the podcast for our online Ethics class. Its times like these that we will remember forever and talk about and laugh in the future.

After a long and great day in Branson and making and incredible find, SUPER ROPES!! I love those licorice deliciousness, I'd been looking for them for about 3 years before we found them in an Toy/Candy store in Silver Dollar City. I stopped dead pan and my mouth dropped, when Rachel looked at them she already knew how happy I was. But there were only TWO left so talk about a gold mine!!

By the way there is also a Vlog you can look at pretty soon!

We head back to Wichita tomorrow only to get ready for bed and then truly have our last day in town. So it may actually be a final chance to see us if you want before we leave!

I love yo faces! Goodnight all!

Super Rope aquired!

Today was hot and dry! It was quite the change from yesterday, all rainy and dark. We had a great time at the park and Raymond found Super Rope candy! I think he has been talking about Super Ropes for months but he has never been able to fine any, anywhere! We walked in a toy store and he just about had a heart attack because there were two pieces, staring him in the face. They were the only two we could find in the WHOLE PARK!

Seriously, though, we had a great day. We had a LOT of frozen lemonade (it was delicious) and rode a few roller coasters. I think Raymond's favorite ride of the day was the teacups... hehe just ask him.

Now we are sitting in the parking lot of the condo complex we are staying in because it has wifi. I bet this exactly what we are going to do in England too, walk around looking for free signal! Maybe an awesome corner cafe? Otherwise we will be totally MIA in Italy.

I think Ray is having a good time with my family. They keep telling him all sorts of funny stories about my childhood... like how I jumped off the high dive when my mom wasn't looking when I was barely four years old.

We're getting up to do some shopping in the morning and then we're headed home. Two more days I can hardly believe it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Once upon a time my shoes...were dry

The day started with my shoes so comfortable and dry, a slight smell that would turn the most dull nose up but decent nonetheless. I decided to ride just a few of the mellow rides at Silver Dollar City because well I dont like being shot down rails at high speeds and expected to scream at the top of my lungs in excitement or terror. -.-

But something said, "Hey its okay to ride one of the water rides, you won't get completly soaked." WRONG! let me give you an example of what happend. "AHHH SPLASH, OH NO NOT AGAIN SUPER SPLASH, MY SHOOOOES."

That was just a small portion of what happened. It was an Awesome day here in Branson with Rachel and her family wet shoes and all. :) With just 3 days left before we leave I just keep getting more excited and nervous with each passing hour! But with a cute baby like Peyton laughing and playing all the time this is just so wonderful.

I've got to call Birmingham on Monday to secure my room and my bedsheets and I am officially ready to go. But I'm tired now So expect a vlog tomorrow from Rachel and I if we can get it to upload since wifi is kinda on and off!

I love yo faces! See ya! Say bye Peyton!

I'm finally dry!

Rain! We have been wishing and hoping for rain in Kansas all summer, and instead it hit us on the one weekend we are spending in Missouri at Silver Dollar City. We were hoping for one last hot, sunny weekend (and a chance for me to nap by the pool), but instead we have rain. Oh well. It figures. I guess Branson wanted to try and prepare us for the wet, cold Birmingham we are about to explore.

After our drive yesterday we got up this morning and went to the theme park. Can you believe my entire family and Beth and Ray were all able to come? It's amazing! My brother-in-law, Clayton, is about to leave on deployment for Turkey on Monday, so we are making the most of these last few days of everyone together.

The morning was actually dry of rain, but my family convinced me to ride on some water raft attractions. In five minutes I was soaked! It hadn't even started raining and my shoes started squishing water out of them. When it started to rain in the afternoon, it didn't even matter because we were already wet.

We spent a long time at the park, but Raymond had the chance to see everything for the first time! For years he has wondered what I love about this place. I hope now he has an idea... I can't wait for him to see it at Christmas time!

Now, we've both had hot showers and a glass of wine. I don't think I've ever been so thankful for dry clothes.