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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On our way!

1. Cousins walking hand in hand
2. Warm weather in Europe
3. Rouladen
4. Celebrating birthdays with family
5. Walking in the Forest
6. A large Apartment
7. Sleeping children in the car
8. Baskets of rolls from the bakery
So far we are having fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Only 6 days!

April 20th, 2008 It is only 6 days until we leave on our adventure. Yesterday, we took the opportunity to do a web search of the town we will be living in. What is great now is that you can now see just about any city you want through satellites. Map search is just one link you can use. My children are so excited! They now know where the school is in location to our house. Where the closest movie theater is and even where we can find ice cream. The school that they will be going to even has a website, so they were able to get a look at the students, teacher and the school building. I think this even helped them not be so nervous about going. Anyway, the next time you go on a trip you might want to take a look at what is around the location where you will be staying, so that when you get there you have an idea of where things are. Next time I write it will be from Europe. Yahoo!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seattle Restaurants

Five weeks ago, I had the opportunity to make a quick trip to Seattle. While there I visited with old friends and walked the streets of where my husband and I met and fell in love. You could say I was taking a walk down memory lane. Our first son was born there. Seattle will always hold a special place in my heart, and I try to get back as often as I can. Seattle has some really amazing restaurants. The first is Rosita's Mexican Grill. The best time to go is around 5p just before it gets busy. It is a very popular restaurant and most nights is packed. However, by going for dinner you will have the opportunity to taste fresh hot tortillas. These are made on site by a lady who does nothing but make the tortillas. She will ask you, "Butter or Salsa." This restaurant is located in the Green lake district of Seattle on Wood lawn street. The second restaurant is Tutta Bella a Neapolitan Pizzeria. Very family friendly and it's atmosphere is light and open. In the same way it is family friendly it is also sophisticated. The most important thing is that the food is delicious. The pizza takes me back to Italy. Not this thin American crust but a thin almost crispy crust covered in what ever topping you could think of. My favorite is the Pizza Bianco which is a white pizza meaning no red sauce. The pizza is covered with ricotta cheese and mozzarella. Doesn't sound good give it a try you will be surprised. I like mine with spinach added to it. So delicious!!!! The gelato is to die for too. My favorite is the pear gelato. I have never seen it anywhere else and if you like pears this is a reason in and of itself to go to Seattle. It is so hard to describe; however, it is the ultimate of pear essence. The other flavors are good too. My baby loves eating the baby mozzarella balls on the salad. They have several locations in Seattle. I also tried Wild Ginger an Asian restaurant this time. This restaurant is located in downtown Seattle. The food is not cheap but you pay for what you get. It is certainly not take out Chinese. I had the Seven Flavor Beef which is marinated beef that is so tender it melts in your mouth. The dish is served with white and brown rice. Dessert was coconut ice cream so yummy. My only complaint is that the atmosphere is a little dark if you are seated in the middle, so I would ask to be seated by one of their big picture windows. Fran's makes the best chocolates in my opinion that can rival any European chocolate maker. Hand dipped chocolates that come in a variety of flavors. At Easter they make the best coconut eggs, but year round they make the best Salt Carmel's. Try a Gold Bar! A mixture of Carmel and nuts covered in chocolate. Heaven on earth to me. There is a Fran's shop located in the University Village shopping plaza located on the back side towards Crate and Barrel.

April 20th, 2008 6 days to Go!
It is only 6 days until we leave on our adventure. Yesterday, we took the opportunity to do a web search of the town we will be living in. What is great now is that you can now see just about any city you want through satellites. Map search is just one link you can use. My children are so excited. They now know where the school is in location to our house. Where the closest movie theater is and even where we can find ice cream. The school that they will be going to even has a website, so they were able to get a look at the students, teacher and the school building. I think this even helped them not be so nervous about going. Anyway, the next time you go on a trip you might want to take a look at what is around the location where you will be staying, so that when you get there you have an idea of where things are. Next time I write it will be from Europe. Yahoo!!!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Perfect Luggage

4/13/08 The Perfect Luggage
Today, someone asked me how do you pack for a 4 month trip to Europe. I said, "Easy, I can only take what fits into the car." However, it is not so easy since we will be in Europe for spring and summer. You can never really predict the weather in Europe. I remember one May we went to Germany and was shocked when temperatures dipped into the 40's and then even into June it never reached higher then 70 degrees. I ended up buying extra clothes that trip since I was so not equipped for the weather. Though back to my answer to my friend. We are really limited as to how much we can bring since it all needs to fit into the mini-van and that is after you add the bodies. Not much room! I am planning to take 5 days of spring/winter clothes and 5 days of summer clothes for each child. I will encourage my husband to take as little as possible, so I can have a few extra pair of shoes for every and I mean every occasion. I love shoes! I love clothes! It is going to be hard for me to stick to my rules that I made for the rest of the family. Which brings me to the title of this post The Perfect Luggage-I have discovered duffel bags with rollers. I used to hate duffel bags and loved my hard luggage; however, hard luggage does not adapt to being squished and crammed into small spaces. I have bought one duffel bag for each member of my family. The bags that don't fit in the trunk can be placed below the children's feet. I might have to change this strategy when they get older and no longer have room below their feet. Duffel bags with rollers can be bought at Eddie Bauer for around a $100 a bag though I found at the outlet mall last years models for $50, and even cheaper at Costco for $25 dollars. I found the $25 bags only after I had purchased the $50 bags. I can honestly say thank goodness for a furnished apartment because this saves us from having to bring or buy all those items you just can't live without. We will also bring with us the baseball and gloves, a Nerf football, soccer ball, and a chess board. The boys are going to learn what we call going Amish. The four months we are over there they will have no computer, no XBOX, and no TV. They will have their Game boys, but they will have to learn to entertain themselves for the first time. Say a prayer for me that we don't kill each other as we convert from a 3600 sq foot home to a small three room apartment.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa!

80 years and counting!
Everyone loves the Magic Kingdom
Watching the Parade at Animal Kingdom
My Grandpa is turning 80, so not knowing how many birthdays are down the road we took off for Florida and spent spring break in Orlando. What was cool is that we rented a 4 plus bedroom house with a private pool for only $600 plus a $75 cleaning fee. Had we ended up renting three rooms at a local hotel we would have easily paid quadruple that price. Most of the week we spent just relaxing at the house and swimming in the pool, but we didn't miss the opportunity to hit the parks. On our way home we stopped in Jacksonville to see my cousins and their children.