Thursday, August 06, 2009

Van Trip around Europe - begins 15th August!!!

Well, for those who have chatted to us over net or on Skype know we had been getting anxious as summer break was coming up and still no van.



Thankfully, Clint to the rescue, found a Ford Transit van over the net, saw it and bought it.


I have spent the past couple of weeks sorting out breakdown cover, getting a sat nav and other camping bits and pieces we will need, wow....what an adventure awaits us!

Clint took the van into work one Sunday, and him and his mate Guesty decked it all out for us, with a double bed, little bedside and kitchen bench at the back ready for our cooker!


So now I would love eveyone to meet 'Big Kev' our home for the next 2 months and 'Ozzie the Owl' our mascot!

Not long to go now!










Visiting the family in Ireland with Carmen - July 31st to August 2nd

We spent a long weekend of the 31st July to 2nd August with Clint and Carmen's family in County Antrim, Ireland.

Was lovely to catch up with everyone again and we were well looked after and spoiled.

We got a hire car from Belfast airport on the Friday and drove to Antrim. Then on the Sunday when we were leaving returned the hire car and caught a bus to Dublin, where Carmen was going to begin her Paddy Wagon tour the next day. This gave us some extra time in Belfast at the beginning and Dublin at the end, which was nice.


Here is our 3 day weekend in pictures-


Carmen and Raquel's Adventures in Paris - 21st July - 24th July, 2009

Day 1 - 21st July, 09

We departed for the Eurostar at 9am towards Paris. On the train Carmen bought out a lil package that Margie had prepared, a luggage charm each for our Pandora bracelets. What is gorgeous bout this charm is that on one side of the case it has a picture of the Eiffel and says 'Paris'!! So perfect for our trip and so special!

We arrived in the main station, struggled onto the underground train (ewww....so gross in Paris) and headed to our 4 star Mecure Hotel!! This hotel was 100metres away from the Eiffel!!

After we checked out our room, we triapsed our way under the Eiffel and towards the Arc de Triumph. We went up the 300 odd steps, to see the view of Paris from the top, so lovely.
From the Arc we went down the legendary Champs de Elysses - exclusive and very tourist shopping strip. Got some bargains - both of us some clothes and souvenier stuff.

We then walked towards Invalides sat and soaked up the view for a minute then headed back along the Seine to the Eiffel.

We went to a supermarket near the hotel. We decided to have a lovely feast of a picnic, including wine, to sit infront of the Eiffel and watch the colours and lighting show which happens every night.

Was such a beautiful night, awesome picnic, nice chilled wine (we took ice cubes from the hotel), great company and a brilliant view of the Eiffel.


Day 2 - 22nd July, 09

We got up around 9.30am and got ready and had breakfast downstairs in the hotel. They put on quite a good spread with cereals, nice breads and rolls, crossaints and pastries, cheese and all the usual cooked stuff....oh, and coffee, can't forget that!

We hopped on a Botobus this morning that goes along the Seine River and headed towards the Musee D'Orsay. We got off their and walked along to St Germaine and St Michael (I think it was).

Then we saw the beautiful Notre Damne, I love this place, and Carmen thought it was just awesome too.

Back on the Botobus to Hotel de Ville, along the main drag Rue de Rivoli towards the Lourve....not enough time to do the Lourve today - so hopped back on the Botobus to the Eiffel to give ourselves enough time to refreash before Moulin Rouge tonight.

Once all set and ready to go we headed towards Montmarte. We found a cute little cafe close to the Moulin Rouge, had some wine and more catch up chats.

Moulin Rouge was great. I had seen it but Carmen hadnt and was in her element. Champagne went down too well! After show went across to an Oz Bar, got home around 1-2ish......very worried bout having a sore head the next day, I dont have an iron stomach like Carmen! :oP


Day 3 - 23rd July

Late wake up today, 11.30am, but that gave me enough time to get rid of the headache and the yucky feeling I would have had had we gotten up earlier.

We decided to do an open bus tour today. Our first stop was Montmarte, again, not to visit the Oz bar but to visit the Sacre Coer. Wow....this place is really just amazing. I got myself some nice Rosary beads and had them blessed by the priest there, I thought that was a bit special.

We hopped back on the bus for a long ride back to the Eiffel. We wrote in some postcards we had bought and then headed out for dinner, we decided to treat ourselves this night.

Carmen wanted to come to Paris and eat frogs legs and snails. We found a restaurant whose menu did both and settled in their. Unfortunately, for Carmen, their cooker for the frogs legs was not working, but we did get to have snails. To be honest I dont think I could eat frogs legs - especially since our adorable pet FroggyWoggy is being looked after by my lovely aunt and cousins! Would feel very wrong.





Anyway, we had a feast of a dinner! As you can see from the photos it was yum, yum. We shared a cheese platter, a salad, a pizza, wine and snails!!!!!! The snails were delish too! haha. I tried my hardest to use the forcep looking thingys to eat the snails but could not do it, had to use my hands.
Then we topped off our lovely meal by sharing 2 desserts and having coffee. These desserts were truly heaven, a nutella and coconut crepe with coffee and vanilla icecream, and a choc and coffee sundae, oh my I'm drooling just thinking bout it........see for yourself, how good does it look!?!?!??!

We rolled, literally, back to the hotel round 11 and were in bed before midnight.

Day 4 - 24th July, 09

We started today off early, 10am, headed straight to the eiffel to get some selfies.


Then on the Open Tour bus towards the Lourve to visit Mona. Saw the Mona Lisa, more selfies, and walked around the area around the Lourve looking for a net cafe so we could book our Ireland trip for a weekend coming up. Finally found one and booked all we needed to.




Checked out of hotel, hopped on underground towards Gare de Nord, what a enlightening experience that was. Both Carmen and I had never seen so many weird and very scary people in one place before. I seriously worried about my safety there! wow. We caught the 8.15pm Eurostar back to London.



What a great trip we had, xoxox

Scrapbook Inspirations - Issue 56 - it's out!!

Just a quick recount of my excitement when I got my copy of issue 56 of the mag. Although I did not really love the layout, to be honest, I was so happy to see my work in print.

Here's some pictures of the layout, my excitement and the mag!




Wednesday, August 05, 2009

5km Race For Life - Hyde Park - Sunday 19th July, 09

Well, a while ago I decided I wanted to do the Race for Life 5km run in Hyde Park, London. So I registered and the day of the 19th July came up very quickly!

I planned on training for the day, but in the end only did approx less than 10 sessions.....but hoped that would be enough to prepare me and I would be fine.

The race is to raise money for Cancer Research, which is such a great cause........

I managed to raise £90 from staff at school and £10 online, and even though the race is still over you can still sponsor me here



Here's some pictures from the day:










Visitors Time ....... Carmen, Ray, Gemma and little gorgeous Max

Tuesday 14th July, we had 4 visitors arriving in London. Carmen from Australia and also Ray, Gemma and Max from New Zealand.
For the next couple of weeks after their arrival we did some 'London-y' things with them, saw the sights, etc.
Heres some photos from their time here.....isnt Max-y just too cute!?!?!


Poor Max got used to my camera flash by the end of the trip, thats for sure!



A trip to starbucks, haha





Along the Thames








Carmen and I


At the Wimbledon Dogs....




A bus adventure to Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden







Clinton feeding Max.....went slightly wrong!







Getting into the Fosters