Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Festivities

Happy Holidays! We have been enjoying lots of Festivities this season, and it all started off with our Thanksgiving dinner. We spent the day at home and cooked "Thanksgiving for 3" by ourselves. It wasn't anything fancy, but we had a lot of fun....We watched the Macy's day parade, made dinner, went to Harry Potter 7, and then came home for left overs. It was really fun to spend the day with just the three of us.

The next day, we put up our VERY first Christmas tree, and Kai was in HEAVEN! He loves the tree, and every single day that it has been up, when we walk in the door he runs to the tree and says: "Lights, Lights, Lights" indicating he would like us to plug it in...he is not allowed to touch the lights, but he sure loves hovering while Darin or I plug them in.
One of our Holiday adventures included "Zoo Lights" at Utah's Hogle Zoo. We went with our good friends Joelle, Phil and Natalie. Natalie is a few months older than Kai, and he LOVED chasing her around (I'm not sure she loved it as much as he did).

And yes...the hat on top of Kai's head looks like a girls hat, because it is a girls hat...We forgot Kai's hat at home, so Natalie was kind enough to lend him one.What a fun night...I think we will make it a tradition (What do you think Whelan's?)
Darin was out of town during the Simar Family Christmas Party (his Mom's side of the family), so Kai and I celebrated with them, without him. Darin's Grandma is 93, and she is so good with Kai. She really loves the great grand kids, and he loves her too!

Kai was infatuated with this dog, and chased her around the house, until she couldn't take anymore and would literally hide from him for long periods of time. Isn't it nice to borrow other people's animals so that your kid can get their "animal fix" and then come home to the NO PET ZONE???
Tonight we drove around and looked at Holiday Lights. We had a great time, and ended the evening with Hot Chocolate. Kai had never had Hot Chocolate before, and when I took the lid off and he saw all the whipped cream, he about lost it. He couldn't get enough of that creamy white stuff. Finally we just gave in, and dumped all the whipped cream from our glasses into a little lid for him. He got a spoon and went to town...It's Christmas RIGHT?
And this is his post Whipped Cream resting daze. He really needed a break after all that indulging. What a little cutie!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Little Monkey

Kai was a little monkey for Halloween this year. Incidentally he is also obsessed with Banannas, so it was a perfect fit. In fact, both times that he wore his costume (which he borrowed from cousin Beckett) he was so preoccupied trying to get his face close enough to the fake bananna in his pocket so that he could bite it, that he never even noticed all the other kids eating candy.
We spent Halloween Weekend in Washington helping my step dad Chuck celebrate his 75th birthday...it was a lot of fun, and Halloween night we went trick or treating in some neighborhoods near my Mom's house. Kai doesn't really know about candy yet (we have yet to let him indulge), so Darin and I divied up the goods...best Halloween Ever! Thanks for the candy little Monkey!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I see London, I see France...

We spent the first two weeks of September in London and Paris...I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to blog about it, but after spending the last few hours looking at our pictures, I think I might have been putting it off subconsciously because now I am so sad the trip is over...it really was the very best traveling I have ever done.
We started off in London, and although Kai and I had terrible jet lag, the scenary could not have been more "lovely" as the British would say.
This photo was taken right outside our hotel room, and is one of the many entry ways to Hyde Park.
St. Pauls Cathedral
Downtown London
Big Ben
The London Eye and the River Thames
British food was fun to eat, and even more fun to order...
My first meal "Bangers and Mash"
The Millenium Bridge
I was quite surprised to see how well they had reconstructed it since everyone knows that the "Deatheaters" totally demolished it in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince...
The Tower (castle in downtown london)
The London Bridge
We walked along the South Bank of the River Thames for hours and hours. There were street performers everywhere doing amazing things. This sidewalk "chalk mural" was one of the most impressive.
We spent part of each day wandering through Hyde Park, and Kai even made some friends on the play ground. I'm not sure if it was the accents or what, but British children seemed so much smarter than American children???

Speakers Corner (in Hyde Park) was definitely one of the highlights of the trip (absolutely Darin's favorite part). Every Sunday rain or shine the corner turns into an "open microphone session" of sorts. People from all over the UK (and the world) show up in the corner with milk crates, soap boxes, chairs etc. and stand on them in order to be seen and heard as they share there thoughts on anything and everything with anyone willing to listen. The beauty of it is that everyone listening is welcome to talk back to the various speakers. Most of the people were talking about politics and religion, so it was really, really entertaining.

We took a paddle boat out to the Princess Diana Memorial, and had to rest several times on the journey...either paddle boats are A LOT of hard work, or we are just seriously out of shape.

Shopping in Piccadilly Circus
I was in love with telephone booths...they really were THAT charming.
One of the best things about London is that most of the attractions are Free to visit. We spent a few hours in the British Museum which was absolutely amazing. Even Kai loved it.
Kings Cross Station was everything I dreamed it would be and more...how could we not visit platform 9 3/4's right before the opening semester of Hogwarts was about to begin???

Leaving London was hard to do, but the fact that we were leaving on a train headed to a small town in Western England made it a little easier. This is the train station we got off in to get to Bath. It felt like we were in a movie.
View of Bath from the train station.
More Bath...
Stonehenge is about an hour away from Bath, so we joined a small little tour company for a few hours and visited this historical place. It was really fascinating to learn about how these stones were carried without any modern technology hundreds of miles and then stacked on top of eachother...thousands of years ago.

Welcome to Lacock...oh Harry Potter filming sites, how I love you!
This is the oldest standing village in all of England, incidentally it also happens to be the place that they filmed Harry learning to fly in Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. Also, Lacock village is one of the places they filmed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The village itself was built in the 1200's.

Our Hotel was a couple of miles outside of Bath on a hillside over looking the most most beautiful farming area. The Hotel itself was a stable for animals more than 400 years ago, it continued to be added to and remodeled until it now resembles a small castle. It was a very authentic way to spend a night in the England Countryside
This is the view from our window.Back at the Train Station...Paris, here we come!
Parlez Vouse English???
Parisian Streets
Catherdral Notre Dame

The first day we were in Paris, we walked around the city for hours. There literally were not enough hours in the day to see everything in Paris. Walking along the Seine River was beautiful...
And of course, Miseur Eiffel
From the top
From the Bottom

There are statues all over Paris, it was like walking through an outdoor museum.
Our favorite Parisian area was the Mont Marte district. Artists, crepes, and street performers by the dozens.

Kai made friends with the most talented soccer player I have ever seen. He taught Kai all of his tricks, and Kai hasn't stopped talking about playing in the next World Cup since.
Kai had his portrat drawn by a local street artist.
Crepes! Crepes! Crepes!
Even if I didn't buy a pastry, I still made us stop at every single Patisserie just to check out the scene.

the MOULIN ROUGE...we only saw it from the outside.
Arch De Triomphe

The Louvre

I'm not going to lie, I spent a good majority of my time in Paris eating...it didn't help that our hotel had an all you can eat breakfast spread, which was NOTHING like American Breakfast...can you say "Chocolate Croissants, Baguettes and Nutella, Fresh Fruit, Waffles, Eggs, deli meats, and delicious cheeses", it was amazing. Not to mention every night we ate delicious cheeses, meats and breads. Our last night in Paris we went to a grocery story and bought our own picnic food. We walked to Luxemborg gardens and had the most delightful picnic you could ever imagine.
Oh European vacation...how I miss you. If we could find jobs in London...I'd be on a plane tomorrow.