Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cheerio ...Here We Go!!

I just HAD to post what just happened. Brint and I had first decided to go home to California next year, seeing how I was getting home sick for the beach and friends. Instead, Brint came up with a brilliant idea. "Let's do something different, let's see something different. Let's go where we have always talked about, dreamed about". Where is that you ask, well no where better but the UK. We've been talking about it ever since we were dating.

So we have already been feverishly on the internet looking up flights, rail tickets, places of interest. We plan to go to Edinburgh ~ Scotland, London, Cornwall (Brint has family there), and Bath. Bath the place of my dreams. Bath, the place where Roman soliders once tread. Bath, the place where Jane Austen frequented. Bath, the place where beauty was in high court. Bath, the location of the Royal Crescent.

Well, I was looking at Bath online, and found a couple of places to stay. Now one of the major places to stay is a dream hotel. A place suitable for the Regency period, or even victorian period. This is a little excerpt from a hotel review ~"The Royal Crescent Hotel is an architectural masterpiece turned luxury hotel. Here’s the skinny on the setting from Wikipedia: “The Royal Crescent is a residential road of 30 houses, laid out in a crescent, in the city of Bath, England. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a grade I listed building.” Occupying two central buildings in the crescent, the elegant hotel lets guests experience a style of gracious living from a bygone age. Outside in the “secret gardens,” guests can indulge in a sumptuous Afternoon Tea. Dinner at the hotel’s Dower House restaurant is just as good. There are 45 guest rooms, each with their own character, appointed with authentic period carpets, furnishings, and fabrics.". If you desire to see more I urge you to go to their web site and feast upon the images and descriptions.

Anyway, for fun I requested a brochure, and completely forgot that I had. Until the other day. I went out to my mail box, pulled out the mail, and saw that there was a large manila envelope. I didn't look at it till I was half way down the driveway. I stopped dead in my tracks, and saw the postage mark where this envelope was from. BATH. It said BATH. As tears welled up in my eyes, I was realizing that I received a letter from bath. A letter, where a million letters had been sent back and forth for Jane Austen. Where a million letters of high society had been sent. And now I had first piece of correspondence from the place of my dreams.

I also had tears in my eyes, because this made the trip of our dreams even more real. I just can't wait. I was/am so excited about this piece of mail, I just had to take a picture and post about it. Please see them below!
Can you see the words Bath in the circle and the crown in the postage square ...just gives me chills!

Have you ever been to the UK? Do you have any pointers, or tips for the trip? We aren't going till April 2011, so we have some time to research it all out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Melancholy and the infinite sadness!

Today has been a melancholy day for me. Not for one specific reason. I knew I needed to find a way to shake it, then I remembered two things. One is the song you are hearing now, by Enya, called Pilgrim. I heard it and read the words at a work retreat where we learned to de-stress, and find our inner peace. Below are the words, for each person it has it's own meaning. I had to fight the tears the first time I heard it and read it. Take a moment for yourself, read it, and ponder what it means to you.

Pilgrim, how you journey
On the road you chose
To find out why the winds die
And where the stories go.

All days come from one day
That much you must know,
You cannot change what's over
But only where you go.

One way leads to diamonds,
One way leads to gold,
Another leads you only
To everything you're told.

In your heart you wonder
Which of these is true;
The road that leads to nowhere,
The road that leads to you.

Will you find the answer
In all you say and do?
Will you find the answer
In you?

Each heart is a pilgrim,
Each one wants to know
The reason why the winds die
And where the stories go.

Pilgrim, in your journey
You may travel far,
For pilgrim it's a long way
To find out who you are...

Pilgrim, it's a long way
To find out who you are...

Pilgrim, it's a long way
To find out who you are..

Below is the link to my favorite talk give by one of the members of the church's presidency. My favorite... Dieter F. Uchtdorf. When ever I need a boost, I read this. Again, take a moment for yourself, read it, and ponder what it means to you. Hope this brightens your day as well! - Ensign Article - Happiness, Your Heritage

Much love~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Irish Eyes are Smiling!

I love St. Patrick's Day. It has always been special holiday in my home growing up. My dad being Irish, we always celebrated by wearing green, we had a full Irish dinner (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, bread... yumm!), and 7-up with green food die dropped in it. My grandpa would cook the corned beef all day, and oh it would be just mouth watering. Dad would put some Irish music on the radio, and we would feast in style. I put some images in this post to show you the things that I love about St.Patrick's Day, Ireland, and it's people.

Corned Beef feast!

Four leaf clover

Chicago keeping it green ...Irish style!

Irish Places...

Irish Faces (I'm partial to freckles myself)...

Famous singers...

Celtic dancers..

What makes them unique...

Did I say POTATOES???

Éirinn go Brách!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Inspired by Greatness!

I have always been one to watch the Olympics. Does not matter, winter or summer, I'm watching. This was the year for great Olympics! There is an athlete with an amazing story, has the ability to rock his competition, shows cool style and makes it look easy, is a power house both physically and mentally, and has a cute smile. Who's that athlete?? None other than ...

Apolo Anton Ohno!!!

Here is a quick summary of what he has done. This all started when he was 12 years old.
"Ohno went to become the overall champion at the 1999 Junior World Championships and at the 2000-2001 World Cup. Making the 2002 Olympic team, he scored silver and gold at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the 1,000-meter event, Ohno was injured when several skaters crashed, but he was able to complete the race to win a silver medal. A disqualification led to his first gold medal, when a South Korean skater was found to have illegally blocked Ohno from passing him."

"Continuing his career as a superior skater, Ohno earned the title of overall champion at the 2002-2003 and 2004-2005 World Cup events. He also won gold for the 1,000-meter and 3,000-meter events at the 2005 World Championships. Returning to Olympic competition in 2006, Ohno won gold in the 500-meter event. He scored two bronze medals for the 1,000-meter and 5,000-meter relay competitions."

"Ohno also continued to train during this time, and in December 24, 2007, he won his ninth national title in the 1000-meter and the 1500-meter short-track races. The next year, he placed first in the 500-meter race during the 2008 World Championships in South Korea, and he won his tenth national title in 2009."

"In anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Ohno took on a strict training regimen. With diet and exercise, he lost more than 20 pounds and nearly doubled the amount of weight he could lift. In peak physical condition, Ohno was able to defend his national title during the U.S. Olympic trials in September 2009—and won the meet overall. During the 2010 Games, Ohno earned a silver in the 1500-meter, then snagged the overall silver in the 1000-meter. With these victories, Ohno broke the record for most medals won by a U.S. Winter Olympian."

Wow, enough said. I love to watch his style of speed skating. At the start of the race he just sits back like walking through the park, with hands on his back. Then next thing you know BAM he steals third place, second place, then in the last seconds ...first place! I found a video that showed a fraction of his training. So humbling what a human can do. Every time I watch this video, I just want to get up and hit the gym. Check out the muscle definition Apollo has in his legs when they do the deep lunges, especially compared to his training partner. Amazing!

Can't wait till 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow play!

This winter it has snowed every friday I have worked, or at least on a day I had to work. So today was a good snow storm, I was off and got to enjoy every minute of it. I was cleaning the house, but found myself looking out the window ...a lot. Even though I was home alone (Brint was at work), I felt like I had to get out there and play in the snow with our husky. So I did!

Here are some pics from my day. It was just me, Timber, the birds, and the snow. Oh yeah, and two snowmen Timber and I made. You can click on the pics to make them bigger.

Our brave bees trying keep warm.

Don't laugh, it's my first real snow man.

Winter's version of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree".

Our husky is enjoying the snow. I got some great video of him and I playing in the snow, but that will be another post. Timber and I had a lot of fun. He likes snow balls thrown at him, gets frisky, and he eats them too!

Here is Timber's snow man.

This picture cracks me up, it's as if the little snow man is saying "My snow people, let's unite". In the background you can see the bigger snowman in the front yard.

This last pic does not do the color any justice. The contrast of the bright white, and the deep red of the cardinal is amazing. We have two cardinal families (Mr. & Mrs.) and I love to see them in the snow. Just beautiful!

When it snows I really make sure the bird feeder is full, as it is hard for them to find food in the snow. The best part of it is the amount of birds, and the type, we get. If they didn't run every time I go to the window, I would get some great pics. Well, this was a great day. I ended it with shoveling the driveway. It was pretty easy, seeing how it was light and slushy. I even spread some sand. I guess the California girl in me is slowly starting to fade. As beautiful as today was, I really hope it's the last! Stay warm ya'll!