Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Weekend!

Well our time here has sadly come to it's last weekend!  We spent one night hanging out with the Parker's and their cute girls.  The next day we met all the American couples in the center of Milan by the giant Christmas tree so we could all have lunch together and do some last minute Christmas shopping.  We are so grateful for the church and the opportunity that we had to connect with other people from America.  Doesn't matter the age difference, we all enjoy each other's company!
(Kade, me, Amy, The Parkers with their two girls, and the Clutters)
The Christmas tree is HUGE! Not as wide as Times Square, but we think it might be a little taller.
Goodbye Milan, we will miss you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A little home haircutting

Kade and I are getting a little creative over here in Italy... or maybe we are trying to save money on unnecessary spending. Either way we both needed a trim, badly.  My ends were splitting everywhere, and Kade was growing a mullet in the back while growing his hair long.  To say the least, we did a little home haircutting!  Kade had tried to convince me for over two months that I could trim his hair while we were here and I continued to say no way.  I am not artistic at all, and I know it takes a talent to do hair.  Finally I gave in and trimmed his mullet, but barely enough to even tell because I was so scared of ruining it! Somehow I was then convinced that he could cut mine too, and next thing we knew we were using house scissors to trim each others hair! It actually turned out just fine.... and Kade is convinced that I will end up loving it so he will never have to pay for a haircut again! Wrong.  But at least we had a good time!!  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Our two week adventure!

Lucky for us, Kade had a two week break from school!! We knew ahead of time and were able to map out an amazing two week trip for as cheap as we possibly could, while being able to see a few different major cities.  The flight prices over here are great if you get to them in advance.  We first started in Madrid, Spain.  I was SOO excited for Kade to meet the family that I nannied for last year! When we arrived, they had a sign ready and also decorated the sidewalk with chalk to welcome us! 
My host Mom, Milagros, took us to the city of Segovia with the kids while we were there so we could see the cathedral and the Roman aqueduct.
We were also able to do a session in the Madrid temple.  We as members are so blessed to be able to go church or the temple anywhere in the world, and have the feeling and the spirit be exactly the same no matter where we are... and no matter what language is spoken.  It was a neat experience!
We are grateful to the Elwell's for letting us stay in their home! We had a great time catching up... and of course I loved hearing how much they approved of Kade.  "A very clever and handsome chap."  Suits him perfect! 

Next stop... Paris!
We stayed in a hostel not too far away from the Notre Dame and walked all over the city.  We enjoyed many crepes and baguettes! 
We walked up all the stairs to get to the 2nd platform of the Eiffel Tower.  (It was cheaper this way!)  We didn't go up to the top, but the view from the 2nd platform was amazing! 

Next stop... London!
Quick Story:  We were supposed to fly from Paris and arrive in Glasgow at 1 am.  We were then going to kick it in the airport and leave on a flight at 6 am to London.  The flights were cheaper if we did it this way.  As some of you may know, there have been lots of strikes going on in Paris at the moment.  They so kindly decided to cancel our first flight... which caused us to miss the second as well! We were lucky our hostel wasn't all booked for the night! We tried to get on an overnight bus to London but they were booked for over 4 days, and the next available flight was cancelled for over a week.  There were A LOT of people that had the same problem as us.  It seemed like everyone was trying to get out of there as soon as possible! We ended up taking a train up to a little city called Calais, on the coast of France.  We were able to see a little of the French countryside from the windows and it was beautiful! We then took a ferry across to Dover on the coast of England. The Dover cliffs were really neat.. and then we headed on another train to London.  The English countryside was really beautiful.  
Hyde Park had gorgeous leaves!! We didn't miss fall after all!!

We had lots of hot chocolate to keep us warm.  London was cold!
London Bridge!
We stayed in my friend Georgie's flat in the middle of London.  We are so grateful to her for letting us stay and I was glad she was able to meet Kade! 

Next stop....Amsterdam!
They had their Christmas lights up and it got Kade excited for Christmas music.  We haven't listened to anything else in our little home since we have been back.  We are ready for the season!
We loved the little canals and now understand why they call it Venice of the North. We also went into the Anne Frank house/museum.  I want to go and read the book again after actually being there! It was really interesting.

Last stop..... Prague, Czech Republic!
Isn't he cute?  I told him I was setting the camera on timer, and he was showing me where I was going to stand when I took the picture.  haha!
Besides London and the fact that people speak English there... I think Prague was our favorite city to look at.  We took over 400 pictures there.  Not one building looks the same as another so walking around all day was really interesting!
We feel very grateful to be experiencing all that we are out here.  By the end of our trip we were pretty sick of dormitory style hostels and sharing showers with strangers... but it was worth it. Back to school, homework, English lessons, and nannying!

Friday, October 22, 2010

U2 in Rome!

After sleeping in the airport for the night, Kade and I finally made it to Rome! We spent Friday walking around the city and enjoying the major sites to see.

That night U2 was playing at the Stadio Olympico! Kade is a big fan, and thought it would be cool to see them in Rome! We stood outside the stadium for a few hours before the concert started and ended up buying tickets from a random person on the street!! When we got up to the gate, the tickets ended up being fake.  We were NOT happy.  We went to find the person that sold them to us and of course he was gone.  We went back to the gate and I acted as innocent as possible and told the guy I didn't know the ticket was fake. He didn't speak ANY English at all, and ended up letting us through quickly.  The concert was AWESOME!! 
The next morning we went to Hertz to pick up the rental car we had reserved.  We were going to take a two day trip and drive back to Milan so we could see the Tuscan landscape.  We had a hotel reserved in Siena, about halfway there.  Well, Hertz had a rule that you can't rent a car on the weekends without being 23. We ended up having to take a train, but we made it to Siena!
The next day we woke up and got on another train to the city of Pisa! 
The streets were enchanting to walk through... and....
we made it to the Leaning Tower! Even though we didn't get to do our road trip, the sight from the train window was just as good.  We made it back to Milan and ended up being so grateful for public transportation!! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Milano, Italy!

We finally made it to our little home in Milan! There is a family of four that bought a warehouse, and remodeled it to be their home.  They made the back part of their house an apartment to rent out, or for their parents in the future.  We rent the apartment from them and their two kids made us this sign when we arrived! It was sitting on the ground right next to our front door. 
We had no idea what the house looked like before we got there... we were in for a treat! 
This is our cute little kitchen:
We don't have a stove, microwave, or toaster... so we have made great use of the oven! It has worked out really well.
Next is our bedroom which is a really good size! It has started to get cold lately so the lady we rent from gave us one of her comforters to put on our bed.  Nice and colorful, it keeps us warm! 
We don't have a dresser... so we got creative! Two ironing boards and our suitcases! It has worked perfect! 
This is the cupboard that we are supposed to hang our clothes 'in'. We actually hung too many clothes the first day, and the bar fell down.  It is now propped on top of the cupboard doors and we keep it balanced so it doesn't fall.
This is our little kitchen table! Good thing there is only two of us or we would have some problems! 
This is Kade's desk inside our bedroom
This is our bathroom... don't you love the tile? One thing that comes in handy is all of those shelves! We love it! 
This is the Duomo in the center of Milan.  Sometimes we go into the city at night to walk around and have some gelato! 

Life is good and we are loving our four month honeymoon!


And the adventure begins!!! I wanted our honeymoon to be a surprise, so Kade was careful not to talk about it around me during our engagement.  All I knew was that I had to pack up as if we were going straight to Milan to live until Christmas.  We spent our first night in Park City, and the next day we went home to pack last minute things and say goodbye to our family. The second night we stayed downtown so we were close to the airport.  Kade finally told me during breakfast before we went to the Airport that we were headed to Venice, Italy!!  He didn't tell me how long we were staying, or if we were going anywhere else.  He acted as though we were going to Milan straight after.  I was definitely in for a treat!! 

After spending three nights in Venice, we headed to Hertz to rent a car.  We were driving back to Milan is what I thought... how fun!! Kade and I each had two 50 lb. suitcases, a carry-on, a backpack, and I had a purse.  When they pulled around our car, we just started laughing.  It was a tiny little Fiat with only two doors.  I had zero faith that all of our luggage would fit.  Kade starting working at it, and after about 20 minutes of re-arranging and squishing... we finally got it! Kade's knees were up to his chin because we had to slide his seat forward while I drove, but we managed to get the last carry-on in the car! We were on our way! We stopped in a little city called Verona to have lunch up in the mountains, and ate at a pizzeria that over looked the whole city.  Kade made this pit stop because it is the city that Romeo and Juliet takes place.  Isn't he cute? After driving for another hour we started seeing signs for "COMO."  They were pointed in all the same directions as Milan so I didn't think anything of it.  There came a point when Milan was left, and Como was right.  Kade made me go right and I immediately put two and two together!!! We were headed to LAKE COMO!!! It was beautiful!! We took an hour boat ride out to a town called Bellagio, and stayed our first night up at the top of the mountain overlooking the whole lake.  Here is a pic of the view:
This is where we had breakfast:
When Kade reserved the hotel room, he also reserved some bikes! We went on a bike ride all the way down to the shore and through the streets of Bellagio.  The weather was perfect!  Kade really enjoys painting so we stopped along the way so he could take some pictures to possibly paint.  The view was incredible. 
The second and third night in Como, Kade reserved a hotel a little closer to the shore of the Lake.  The window in our hotel room was the size of the wall and by the push of a button, the entire window would open to this view:
One day we went on a boat ride to the little villages nearby.  I had my feet hanging off the edge of the boat and Kade told me to take my shoes off before one of them blew off.  I started bringing my feet back into the boat and on the way in, I hit the edge of the boat on my foot.  Yep, my shoe was then floating on top of the water.  The boat was so big we couldn't reach in to get it... all we could do was watch it float away and laugh.  I wore Kade's sock on my foot until we were able to find what seemed like the only pair of shoes in the entire village for sale... a children's pair of flip-flops with cartoons on the front.  We were both puzzled as to how it came in a big enough size for my foot, but we were really grateful. I was then referred to as "Little Brittany" for the rest of the day as Kade treated me like a little child. HAHA  I love Kade's sense of humor.  He could have been so frustrated with me that it had happened because he warned me, but instead it makes a great memory.  Laughing is a good cure for everything and we try to laugh as much as we can.  
We had a really fun honeymoon and I loved that it was a surprise.  Kade did such a good job planning it... I am so lucky! It was fun to be able to read in little parks, relax, walk around the little cobble stone streets, and just be together all the time.  Life is good!