Friday, June 28, 2013

Tour de la Seine

Through JP's school program, we get the opportunity to go on all these awesome guided tours in Paris! 
The first one we did was last night, and it was a boat tour on the Seine! Last time I was in Paris, this was hands down one of my favorite things I did, and JP had never been on one! 
So, I was probably a little more excited for him than I needed to be, but nonetheless it was so much fun! The other students in JP's program are from all over the world, literally (think Turkey, Greece, Denmark, France, USA, Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria) and they are the coolest people and are so interesting to talk to and get to know!

Anyways, back to the river tour, I loved every minute of it. 
And JP did too, despite his protestations of how "touristy" it is haha. 
If you ever come to Paris, I highly recommend it -- get off the metro at Pont Neuf and cross the bridge and you're at the loading dock!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Evening Stroll:

Last night, after a whirlwind first day in Paris that included finding JP's school,  getting him all checked in, finding every supermarket with a 3 mile radius of our apartment, and discovering our shower didn't work, JP and I decided we would go on an evening stroll!
About ten minutes later, we ended up at the Eiffel Tower and I couldn't believe it -- we live SO close! Just a short walk away! The lighting was perfect and we had such a fun time walking around; we saw brides and grooms taking wedding photos, a bachelorette party in a limo that stopped to have a dance party, and tons of parisians congregating on the park in front of the tower eating dinner and drinking wine. So we decided to blend right in with the locals and take a million pictures (ha ha ha)

*also, as of about 20 minutes ago, our shower is working! Hallelujah! :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Auf Wiedersehen!

Our time in Vienna has come to a close! 
We've had so much fun these past few days, I can't wait for Eric and Kimmi to move back to Utah so we can hang out with them again!!

We did so much yesterday, and had such good weather too! (The heat wave toned it down a bit, thankfully).  The Reas are such good hosts, we felt like we were right at home!
So, without further ado, here's Vienna round 2:
*rhyming unintentional, but it rolls right off the tongue doesn't it?!

> a traditional Austrian brunch at Cafe Sperl, a place that used to be frequented by Hitler...
(JP was the mastermind behind this outing, what did I tell you about him and local food? ;)

> shopping, because for some reason all the stores collaborate and WHAM, they all have massive sales on the same day. 

> exploring around Belvedere Palace! Such a beautiful palace and the grounds are stunning! (You'll see below, I took plenty of pictures don't worry haha)

> dinner at a scrumptious Italian place named Vapianos (apparently they have these on the east coast in the US too! Anyone ever eaten there?)

>watched "Queen of Versailles" a documentary that I've been wanting to see ever since it premiered at the Sundance film festival last year!

> said some tearful farewells this morning and are currently sitting in the Vienna airport waiting for our flight to Paris! 
(Kidding about the tearful farewell part, Eric's work contract is up in a couple weeks and then they're coming to Paris! Hooray!)

^^^ Yeah. JP thought it would be hilarious to pick me up while we were trying to take a photo. My face clearly indicates I didn't think it was that funny... haha

^^^ We had to. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guten Tag from Vienna!

Vienna is the BEST city!
It's beautiful, and there's so much to see and do, it's been such a blast since we arrived (minus the MASSIVE heat wave yesterday that required us to get ice cream... twice. So actually it wasn't that all that bad haha)
As usual, food has been a  big part of our whole trip while we've been here (a fact that is preeeetty obvious from my pictures).

We went swimming at a lake today, watched part of an opera (they project whatever opera is happening inside on a huge screen outside for free!), rode the highest swings in the world (for real), ate a pork knuckle (I didn't eat any of it... that was mostly JP and Eric ha) and walked all around downtown! 
We love Vienna! 

 ^^^ The world's oldest ferris wheel!

 ^^^ These. Donuts. Unbelievably good. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Top O' The Mornin' to ya!

Our 2nd day in Dublin started off bright and early -- JP got ahold of a map of Dublin and planned out our whole day down to the route he wanted us to take haha.

Trinity College was our first stop, the oldest college in Ireland! It opened in 1160 and still has over 15,000 students. 
The coolest part about Trinity College was seeing the Book of Kells --  one of the oldest handwritten bibles. It's written in Latin and has super detailed and ornate pictures and has been preserved through vikings attacks and other invasions since the year 800. 

We then wandered around Dublin and found St. Patrick's Cathedral, ate in another pub, enjoyed some live Irish music (fabulous, I might add, the musicians here even on the street are SO talented!) discovered that the Dublin Castle is not quite as castle-like as you might expect, and kept our eyes open for President Obama (apparently the Obama's were visiting Ireland the same time we were).

Early this morning (much too early) we found ourselves catching a bus and heading back to the airport. 
We're now in Vienna visiting our friends Eric and Kimmi for a few days! They've been living here for a year and we always talked about coming to visit them, and I'm so thrilled it actually happened!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dublin, Ireland + Some Jet Lag...

We made it!
We arrived in Dublin yesterday morning -- which felt like midnight to us, thanks to the time zone change.
So we checked in to our hotel and went exploring around the city center and found Dublin's biggest most fantastic park, which really is my favorite part about big cities... just huge parks in the middle of everything!
Then we could NOT eat lunch until we found a pub serving Irish stew (have I mentioned JP's absolute insistance on eating local food? When we're in other countries he literally refuses to eat anywhere you can find in the United States) and after we finally found one suitable to JP's standard, I had a happy camper haha. 

However, jet lag started kicking in and somehow we found ourselves back at the hotel and falling asleep at 5 PM... whoops! Rookie mistake, I know. And we paid for it too because we both woke up at 3 AM ready for the day haha. 

Can't believe we're actually here! Today we're going to the Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Trinity College!