Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm so told Joseeffff

We said our goodbyes the night before because today by the time we woke up everyone would be at school & work. We woke up around 9 to shower and pack our bags to head back into London for the day. We make peanut butter and nutella sandwiches and hit the train for a quick 2 hours train back into the city of London. Upon arrival our luck has almost ran out. The train station lockers closed to early to use and every hotel we went in..we didn't come out empty handed. Nobody would hold our bags for us! :( It was along day of hauling those dang things around..and a pain! Our vertebras and backs are aching at this point..ready for a much needed spa/massage day or even a chiropractor when we return to "the states!" We visited Oxford street and did a lot of window shopping :(..walked around the city to make sure we didn't miss anything and then headed over to buy our tickets to see WICKED! We have about 2 to 3 hours before the show starts so we decide to take a detour and head over to get some dinner and then to the London Ice Bar. A bar which is -5 celsius.. 23 degrees Fahrenheit BRRRR. We stopped at an Italian restaurant and can anyone guess what we shared? DING and pasta! After full bellies we head next door to the ice bar. The benches/bar/cups anything and everything is all made out of ice and blue lights. Pretty legit! They give you a jacket and gloves as you enter and you have 45 minutes. Its about 25$ USD per person and it includes a drink..which was tiny. So a rip off, yes..but well worth the experience..Of course Laura who is always freezing couldn't even handle the full 45 minutes and peaced out after about 30 minutes..leaving Shelly to hang out with the cute bartenders and socialize..which she didn't mind! :)  We did meet some super nice people per usual! Next on the list..walk back to the Theater and see WICKED! I have never seen Shelly so excited in my life. Normally Laura is always OCD about being early and rushing around..this was the first time Shelly was ever early and anxious to get somewhere ;) We were 5th row seats but the last two on the end because they were slightly cheaper because of the view. But 2 seats were opened in the 70$ nothing held us back from scooting' our booties down a couple of seats! The show was amazing. For all you people who grew up watching "The Wizard of Oz"…the wicked witch is NOT evil! go somewhere and watch the musical Wicked and then try saying that! We left the theater feeling bad for her!! With only a few hours to go, it was dark and pretty chilly outside but we bus it on over to the London Eye to see what it looks like from night time vision. It was lit up in all blue! We take a few pictures..Laura grabs a vanilla cap because she's "freezing to death" and then we head back to the metro where we take the 30 minute ride back to the main London airport. We go to get on the tram and the doors shut and Laura happens to be in the middle of the doors at this time. Normally, like elevator doors you would think they would just retract and open back up..but No..Laura is pushing super hard and then you hear a loud beeping..a guy from inside shoves his arm to help and it loosens a little then retracts back and squishes his arm along with Laura's arms..Shelly is behind the tram panicking that Laura will make it and then it will drive off without her..what a nice little disaster! But the strong boy opens up the door and after everyone is laughing..we get in the tram and make our way to the airport. We see two guys next to us with backpacks and of course the nosey people we are start asking them questions. Ends up they are on day 3 of backpacking but confused because they are going to terminal 4..we laugh because we are in the same boat. The tram drops us off at the airport stop and its about 1am and completely dead and if we were new at this we'd be freaked out..but we weren't because we were used to this by now. The two guys..taller than us..males..were panicking! One was a sophomore in college and one had just graduated. It was so funny because we click with so many people, within an hour of meeting them we were all laughing, joking around and picking on each other. At the airport stop it gave us directions on how to get to terminal 4. They didn't want to go because they didn't believe the person who came on the radio. They were so scared and honestly freaking out so much, we couldn't help but laugh!! About 30 minutes later we all made it to the airport..TERMINAL 4!! Thanks to Laura and Shelly! The pro backpackers!! We give them tips on the places with 24 hour wifi..aka McDonald's and a few other tips..but they actually had all their hostels and plans booked and organized..psycho rookies!! Where's the fun when you aren't sleeping in airports and trains? Anyways we go up every floor in the airport until we find a comfy looking corner..with considerably clean tile and we all drop off the backpacks and take a little nap..their flight was at 6am..lucky!! We had to wait around until 9! At this point it was emotional just because we couldn't believe that we had traveled around Europe for 5 weeks and it was already coming to an end…The trip of a lifetime, full of memories..the trip that we had anxiously been awaiting..was over :( It's crazy how time flies and you honestly must savor every single moment. 

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Oops, I "popped-off" my love :)

The next morning..or should I say afternoon? We wake up at about 12:30/1:00 ish..relaxed and feeling like a million bucks! We go downstairs and lounge around on the sofa for a bit and catch up on some rest/emails/and Skype dates! (with the rents!) haha Marion did a little bit of work from the house and then a few hours later we headed off to pick up Joe from school. He was so excited to see us, as we were excited to see our "little brother!" Marion, her husband, Joe and the 2 adopted daughters then head off for a little sight-seeing. The first stop is at an ice cream parlor that Marion grew up going to. We got double scoops of amazingness and continued to sight see. The outskirts of London, "Stroud" was beautiful and a lot like Ireland. Hills and hills of green grass and sheep. The "3 kids" in the backseat..aka Shells, Laura and Joe, make different animal noises and shove our faces with our ice cream. Next stop was a little relaxing park to feed the ducks! There were so many, it was "AWESOME!" The ducks knew it was feeding time and so many came around. They are so little and precious! We ran up and down the river in excitement chasing Joe and to see all the baby ducks that were heading our way. The feeling of simplicity and being so happy over the basic little things in life is such a great feeling to come across. It feels like time has stopped, and just feels so good to feel so happy in a park with no technology..aka no Facebook or texting. Just great company and beautiful scenery. After a couple hours of being back we stop on the way home for some UK fish and chips and head back to eat it at Marion's. The cod was massive and they admitted they were very impressed that we licked our plates clean..and finished first. In the middle of dinner Joe "popped off" and giggled..aka tooted!! Laura thought it was a burp..haha She was wrong! After dinner we all relaxed and talked for a bit. Then being the 'girly girls' we are..somehow ended up watching Marion's wedding DVD's and looking at baby books of Joe. It was a nice relaxing couple of days which we needed before we headed back to the states, straight to work! About 1 or so in the morning we all hit the stares and head up into bed! 

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

Feels like home to meeeeeeee

We start the next morning off at McDonald’s. Big shocker, right?!? One hour of sleep and needing grease in our system we decide to go for the double patty meals this time!! Double up the hashbrowns..And Laura doubles up on the blueberry muffin and chocolate muffin!! We then head to National, drop of our little black nugget at the rental shop and head towards the airport. We arrive a few hours early and we check in and print of our boarding passes. Or so we thought. We were flying Ryan air which we hear is a bit shady and super strict on their rules. We go to check in and the lady says we didn’t print off the correct pass. (Even though we checked in online and clicked “print”) I guess somewhere in small font it says this must be done 4 hours prior to your flight. Having the wrong documents printed we EACH had to pay another 40 euro..aka around 65$ USD. Just another scam on how they make money. We had to pay it just for them to print off our boarding pass..even though we were already checked in. UHHH. Such a horrible feeling. Laura being tired and a little upset tried to argue her point on how it didn’t make sense at all and how absolutely ridiculous this rule was. But she had to stop when the lady threatened to have security called on her. We couldn’t get separated and have my partner in crime sent away! Ha-ha 130$ later. We fly back over to London. From there, we take a few trains and make our way to Stroud. We were so sleepy and crashed the entire time on the trains. At one point, Laura put her ticket on the table so when the guy came around to check them she wouldn’t have to wake up. And we ended waking up to her ticket being thrown away. There were empty drinks on the table and someone threw the ticket away with the trash! On the next train she just explained the situation so luckily she didn’t get a fine. Not like we had any money to pay the fine after our mess earlier! We finally arrive in Stroud in the evening where a client named Marion picked us up. Shelly had met her back in Atlanta at another ECRM event. Marion...aka “Maz” was super welcoming. Her and her 3 year old son Joe catered us back to their house. She knew exactly what we needed. She said you girls go shower, we can eat, get some clean clothes and y’all relax and make yourself feel at home. Later we met her husband and 2 of her other sons, Connor (15) & Matt (22). This was the cutest/happiest little family! Everyone had a great sense of humor and we felt right at home. Her husband and Joe called us “Girly girls” as they informed us they had the wedding of Kate and William DVR’ed so we immediately jumped on that. He even laughed and offered us tissues! Joe, the 3 year old, was the absolute cutest kid ever, and the London accent just melts our hearts! Of course we played toys with him. I guess us Texas gals use the words awesome a lot because every time we used that word someone in the family cackled. Turns out they don’t use that word. They use “buzz”, or a few others I don’t remember! We continue on the night with a family dinner with ham, chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, everything home made and delicious! Of course to finish it off with homemade chocolate pudding cake (the same ingredients that Prince Williams’s cake was made out of) and ice cream!   Nothing like a family dinner and a little bit of YouTube. Made me feel even more at home! Listening to the latest jams and singing along! This family is “AWESOME!!!” Full bellies and clean bodies…we headed upstairs to our big comfortable bed and in no time fall asleep!!

"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful." Colossians 3:15

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dublin Got a Hold of Us!

We wake up to this amazing Irish breakfast! There was also another lady staying there, and eating breakfast with us, who decides to inform us she just got over the SWINE FLU and she "won't shake our hands, in fear of spreading germs"! Later on she offered us to try something off her plate and I had never said no to free food so fast in my life!! During the middle of breakfast she left for 10 minutes, and b/c she was so chatty/nice, she reminded Shelly of the lil old couple on the movie Dirty Dancing who go around stealing wallets. So when she returned, I immediately went up stairs to check our wallets! Turns out I'm just a psycho and she's just a nice chatty Cathy, who knew. When we leave the B&B the owners little 3 year old son sticks his head out the window and waves bye to us *adorable*. Now it's off to Dublin!! Along the way we decide to stop in Cashel and visit the castle. We take our signature jumping pictures, scare some sheep and carry on. It was only another hour and half before we reached Dublin. We went straight to the Jameson Whiskey Brewery and did a tour. Shelly was picked as a volunteer to try three different types of whiskey: Scotch, Jameson and American. She couldn't even get down the Scotch one, but finished the Jameson and American like a champ. Just call her a lil whiskey girl! Then we raced over to the Guinness brewery but unfortunately it was too late…very sad day. We drive around and sight see for a little bit. We're hungry(surprise, surprise), so we stop at an Irish bar, have a beer and split fish & chips and a club sandwich. With full bellies, now we're ready to do an Irish jig!! We hop back in our little nugget and head to where the locals go out. Finding the place was quite an adventure in it's self. Laura successfully drove down a oneway street and drove into an outside mall where only pedestrians were allowed! This is where a band, called Slydigs, found us and asked if we were lost and told us to come party with them. They gave us a CD, and we said we might see them later. Of course, we knew we wouldn't, but their music is pretty good! Finally we make it to the street lined with bars. After we park, we ask guys standing outside of one bar if this was the right place just to make sure and they confirm it and go inside. We sit in the car for 30 minutes getting ready and grabbing clothes, makeup, jewelry and a curling iron from our packed full backseat. We are finally ready and head inside, where we run into the same guys and they had a bet going on if it was a stick or automatic, and whether or not we lived in it lol!! We have a beer there, then head to another pub called Flannery's. This is where we saw a vending machine that would make a whole pizza for you. It was super cool, but I dunno if I would trust it…unless I was 3 sheets to the wind:) We meet some other guys there and they are heading to Copper Face Jack's. It's the locals "club" that stays open until 4am. After shots, dancing, beers, laughs and singing they invite us over to their place to continue the party….little did we know we were partying with babies! We ended up in DORM ROOMS at Trinity College, hahaha…don't worry there was no robbing of the cradle :) Just innocent fun/talk then passed out around 5:30am. Only to wake up at 7am, this next day should be interesting…..

"God's voice is glorious in the thunder. We can't even imagine the greatness of His power." Job 37:5

Friday, May 13, 2011

Top O tha Mornin to Ya!!

Top of the reeeaaally early morning actually. We landed in Dublin at midnight and then, once again, camped out in the airport until 5am when we could pick up our rental car….our little nugget of a rental car that is. Good thing it was only two of us b/c there was no trunk and our backpacks took up the entire back seat. It took a couple of miles to get used to sitting on the opposite side of the car and driving on the other side of the road. After that though, it was a breeze. Don't get me wrong, we had our moments, but no one got hurt :) Shelly was super excited about Ireland b/c that is where a lot of her ancestors were from. My last name is Green and Ireland is the greenest country ever…coincidence?! I think not! We headed off to the west coast of Ireland to see the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula and the town of Killarney. The drive only took 2 hours, but the thing that made it seem like 3 was there was no radio!! We could only pick up 1 talk radio station half the time and the other half just static. If you ask me, Ireland needs to step up it's music game, just saying. We did manage to see two rainbows on the drive and find some Irish jig music…and also sang our own songs, "she'll be commin' round the mountain when she comes..toot toot". It rains when it is sunny over there all the time. It will pour for 5 minutes and then be super sunny and then repeat. We go see the Cliffs of Moher first, which is currently in the running to be one of the new 7 Wonders of the world(so go vote!), and it was incredible. When I say incredible, I mean incredibly windy. Ha, just playin…but no, seriously, it almost blew us off the cliff. It really was amazing, just like you see in all the movies, but better!! Shelly found Name Crests for both last names, which was exciting(I'll be tagging all you fam members in FB pictures fo sho)! We manage to leave without falling over or dying from wind burn and head down the coast towards the Dingle Peninsula. On our way Laura stops for a chocolate muffin, chocolate croissant, powdered sugar croissant and a raspberry strudel thingamajig. I think she was hungry. We drive around the peninsula, which was beautiful. Rolling green hills, sheep, cattle and horses everywhere, plus one unicorn!! Shelly spots the most beautiful white horse in a pasture and points it out to Laura. Laura asks what it is and Shelly jokingly replies a unicorn. We back up to take some pictures and I turn around to say something to Laura and she is just in awe at the moment and with wonderment, magic and excitement in her eyes she says, "I didn't know they existed!!"! Hahaha…yes, Laura they do…in your happy place :)!!!! (ps when we skyped hot mama..aka Sue Nagy to tell her that story..she said when she looked at our Facebook pictures that she thought it was a picture of a unicorn..she said, "Shelly…the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ;)" Oh the Nagy's!! We then stop to get gas, where a whole team of high school football(soccer) boys were. Being typical young boys they stared the whole time. So when Shelly needed help filling the car with gas she asked one of them to help. Gas was only going in like $1 at a time. He thought it was broken and told her to pull up to the next one, and at about that time Laura comes out and says she had already filled it up! Shelly had managed to put in another 7.30 Euros in the already full gas tank, and the thing is, they had all watched Laura already fill up!! Little rascals. We stay the night in a cute little town called Killarney. We found this cute little B&B(bed & breakfast for all you special people out there) to stay in for the night. our room was Pink!! Before we head in for the night though we stop at a restaurant and get some amazing home cooked food…fish & chips, mashed potatoes, salad, fries and a cheeseburger. Then on our walk back to the car in the freezing, drizzly and windy air, Laura still spots an ice-cream shop and buys a two scooper. Then it's off to bed we go in our lil pink bedroom, where we'll wake up and have a real authentic home cooked Irish breakfast…wooohooo for more food!!!

"He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

Saturday, May 7, 2011

So long Saronida

To begin, we can't start without saying...
"Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly!"
We LOVE y'all so much & are the best Mom's in the whole entire world!! =) xoxo

It's a bitter sweet feeling to be leaving Greece! The experience and hospitality has been far too good for words! Harry, Harry & Irene if you are reading this, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS..we can't thank you enough! We took it easy today and relaxed around the beach house. We are always on the go so it was nice to relax and take in the beautiful view and home. We packed our bags, showered and got ready for the day. We sat out on the balcony and laid in the sun. Harry, Dimitiri, Irene & the two little pups arrived around 430pm. They brought with them tons and tons of meat, sausages, chips, dips, drinks, ice-cream, ect. This was our first time to meet Irene (besides for the brief minutes we talked on the phone for directions around the city!) We all had a great time and felt like we had known each other…especially since Katy Perry's "ET" is her favorite song and loves to listen to it on repeat everyday…(we do the same) haha! We blared the music, sipped on some beverages and all relaxed outside. Dimitri grilled away for an hour or so..Boy oh boy what a great cook he was. Dimitiri is Irene's brother and also works for Harry. I'm not too sure of everything we ate because it was all Greece meats and they were all delicious. He also made a beer shandy…it was beer mixed with sprite. A light refreshing drink! Irene also made her blended recipe..not sure what was in there but amazing as usual! Following dinner, we of course managed to chow down on ice-cream!! We then watched the sunset..words nor pictures can describe the beauty of this. It is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen in my entire life. It just freeze's the moment…time stops…it's almost as if you have to check your pulse to make sure your alive and not living in a dream world. It could not be more perfect. In fact, the entire stay of Greece could of not been more perfect. We were welcomed from the beginning. Harry went out of his way to make sure everything was perfect and that we were always happy. We had to keep reminding him that the fact we had a BED mean't millions!! & how much more soft it was than the airport floors!! At about 930, Dimitri takes us to the airport because we are flying to Dublin at 1020pm. It was bitter sweet. Having to say goodbye to amazing friends and an amazing place, yet we were so excited to be heading off to Ireland! (in hopes to find some cute boys with a cute Irish accent..just like in the movie "P.S. i love you!!"  

"This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24