Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grace's Ninth

Grace turned 9 ("FINALLY"-she'd tell you!). We had, at her request, quite a little luau. Complete with the limbo! The little girl in the picture behind Grace won, she went sooo low!

For the party I even found little straws with umbrellas on them to drink our punch with. Grace chose the menu this year, it included a mandarin orange cake with a whipped cream and crushed pineapple icing-YUM! She chose a rainbow sherbet, and of course, Hawaiian Punch. My Mom and Dad came dressed appropriately, I love this picture of them!

The guests all posed for their pictures, I really liked this one of Grace. This year was the first that Grace actually requested clothes for gifts, she's never cared about them before, I guess that just a sign she's growing up! She got some adorable, very grow-up looking outfits that she has worn just about every day since! Polly Pockets were expected, and she was not disappointed! She also spent her birthday money on another Polly Pocket set. She's quite the collector.

She had a great time celebrating her birthday this year with friends and family, I'd say she was princess for the day, but she's the princess everyday around here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Mediterranean

Rob and I just got back from a cruise in the Mediterranean on Sunday night! What a wonderful trip! My Mom and Dad took all of my sisters, brother and our significant others with them to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary! We also celebrated my Mom's 50th
birthday, and then my brother Nick proposed to his girl friend while we were on the ship (she said yes)! We had so much celebrating to do! We first flew to Barcelona, Spain, where we stayed for a couple of nights before boarding our cruise ship. We ate at amazing restaurants and Mom and Dad even humored us with a little "Lady and the Tramp" pasta scene-so funny!
We visited so many amazing churches, the most memorable in Barcelona was the Sagrada Familia, designed by the famous Gaudi. It looked like a massive sand castle, it was so intricate too.

A day and a half after we boarded our ship, we ported in a beautiful harbor in Malta, it is nicknamed the city of golden honey because of it's color, in the morning sunrise it was stunning!This is a picture of Rob and I with the Maltese countryside behind us, it was so beautiful.

Right after sunset, after we had left Malta, our ship passed an island that had a volcano erupting, that was unexpected and a beautiful thing to see at sunset.

In the morning we awoke to Naples, where we took the tour of Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii. I have lots of pictures from here, there was so much to see, here's my favorites.
This is my Mom and Dad with Capri behind them.

I love this picture of me and my sisters, it's in front of a very famously photographed coastline of Capri. We took a picture like this in Colorado about ten years ago. What memories that brought back!

This is Nick trying to take a drink from a fountain in the Pompeii ruins, dry for about two thousand years! This was the neighborhood drinking fountain till the eruption in 79 AD.
The next day we found ourselves in Rome. We saw the Colosseum, where Rob literally dug up a little history to bring back to Keith (a rock from the floor), and we walked all over taking pictures of this ancient marvel. If you didn't know, most of the ancient Rome has been buried and built on top of, our favorite part of Rome was in St Clemente's Basilica, where we could go down stairs, from the present day church where they still hold mass to the 4th century church, and down another level to the 1st century church where it was built approximately 40 AD! It was incredible!

In Florence, this was my favorite church, it was so fantastic! All marble out the outside! It was so intricate. I actually don't remember the name of this church though!

Well, Rob and Andrea ended up with the stomach flu and had to stay on the ship the day we made port in Florence and visited Pisa. This picture is me in front of the Tower of Pisa, yep, it's a leaning! Anyway, it's stable now, you can go in it, but I didn't have enough time, actually, it's like a million steps and I had no interest in trying them out!
In Florence I saw the tombs of Michael Angelo and Galileo, they have very ornate tombs as you can probably imagine.

This is the Nice, France port that we visited the next day. The flowers were beautiful, in bloom everywhere. Just amazing gardens everywhere, even balconies.
This is the port of Monaco behind Rob, huge yachts were all over the place here! We also saw the famous Monte Carlo Grand Casino, where the wealthiest gamble. Ferrari and any other very expensive car you can imagine were just driving down the street one after another!

This is the beautiful city of Eze, a beautiful little village built on top of a mountain! The winding streets that are too narrow to drive a car on and one hotel at the very top! Every nook is now filled with artisans shops, that create beautiful masterpieces and sell them, any type you can imagine, from glass to paintings.

Every street is made up of these ornate patterned cobblestones, the time it took, I can't imagine. Eze is oozing with creativity though!

During this entire cruise with my family, you can imagine that there was never a dull moment and of course with all the celebrating going on that was double! If you gauge who was having the best time everywhere we went by laughter to tears, it was definitely us! We had so much fun, the shows were terrific and Rob and I actually got to be a part of the magic show with Bob Trunell one night. Right there, in the action for some really talented slight of hand tricks. Having never been on a cruise before, I was impressed, I'd go again!

Everywhere we went the food was incredible! Everywhere, I haven't weighed in, nor will I!!! I was blessed with a break from my nausea, and what a blessing that was! I ate all the fantastic foods, and tried all kinds of things I'd never eaten.

The thing that was the most exciting to me I think was my brother's engagement, and getting to know my soon to be sister in law even better! I love you Stacey, you are fabulous!

There are a few pictures that others got that I wanted to share, so I will get back to you with those.