Thursday, November 30, 2006
Oh Thanksgiving. Belching contests between Austin, Andrew and Bryce. Wonderful Family, Football and Food! Definitely one of the best holidays. We walked into Bryce's Condo after our drive from Denver and out popped Danica and Dave and then (big surprise) out popped Celeste and Brad! They told us they'd be in OK for the weekend. We ate at Uncle Eric's house and saw 41 Hogan relatives. We swam in the Hotel pool with Sammy. He is so funny! He never stopped moving or growling or dancing or chasing us. We held smiley, smiley Jensen. Oh heaven. I love being a grandma.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Austin Got his Patriarchal blessing today. It was a wonderful and unusually directive blessing, just right for Austin. It was very practical and specific about not wasting time. I'm just proud that Austin has got himself ready and is excited to go. We all owe a big thanks to Don who told him to stop playing WOW. (among others who told him to stop--but bless Austin's heart, he's cancelled his subscription) In other news, Dad and I have been called to be ordinance workers in the temple. I'm looking forward to the quiet time once a week, away from the teeming masses.
Sunday November 12
We flew to Champaign Urbana to see Celeste and Brad's play. Despite the repulsive name, it was a very entertaining play. Well not the first time we saw it! Brad gets killed half way through! So they explained that it's SATIRE and that their goofy 2 dimensional characters are to make fun of other musicals. 2nd time we saw it we enjoyed Brad leading a gospel choir, a handkerchief number like Fiddler on the roof and a flag flying Les Mis.
Tiana was supposed to go on a mission to W. Virginia April 5th of this year, but she met a guy and got really distracted. They broke up and she took off for Provo. So we were sleeping peacefully in our bed in September and Tiana burst through the door and announced she was home and going on her mission. She entered the MTC about 1 week later. We are very proud of sister Barrand. You can see px on her blog, sistertbarrand.blogspot.com
Aug 11 We hit Salzburg. Must say something about Mark here. He has this delusion that he's in the TV series "Amazing Race". We hustle from site to site, hefting our huge back packs. He's feverishly reading maps. Brad Celeste and Mark were all the leaders I found it easier to follow. Salzburg was where the Sound of Music was filmed so we hit those sights and also Mozarts Museum since he grew up there.
Aug 12 We were so excited to got to Prague because we heard the exchange rate was better so we'd be able to buy more food with our money. We went crazy on Lunch. We were confused and ordered "one of everything" on the authentic menu. Brad had a pig knuckle and Celeste thought the pear drinks were 40cents. They actually were four dollars. But, string ensemble was fun and the sausages were a highlight of our trip. I ate 3 in one day.
We saw the Newenswander Castle on the 14th. Disney modeled his sleeping beauty castle after this one. Usually castles had paintings of the crucifixion. This was different in that the paintings were of Wagners operas. It was exquisite.
The Land of Naked Marble men. All my life I've wanted to see Michealangelo's David. It kind of took my breath away. Florence was lovely. Venice was even better. I'd have to say that was my favorite city on the 3 week trip. It was like a gem. I cried a couple of times at how beautiful the 13th and 14th century building were while we rode around on the sparkling water. We all got addicted to gelato.
Aug 1-7 We made it to Spain. It's over 100 degrees. We stay in a Noisy, Noisy Madrid hostel with no air, I have to douse all my clothes in the sink water in order to sleep! We See El Escorial Castle. Gardens, more castles. Lovers walking in the gardens by the castles. Statues and fountains. The Prado! Now I've seen the 5 heavyweight art museums in the world (Louve, Tiawan, British, Met in NY0rk) We saw the beautiful Madrid Temple, Toledo, Sevilla and Flameco dancing. The last bull of the evening tried to get into the audience by knocking down the barrier fence with his horns. Terrible personality that one.
7/27 We Started in Switzerland. The jagged glacial alps rise straight up behind the hotels in Interlocken. Everything is green and the window boxes have lots or real red geraniums. We went to Ballenburg which is a 1698 to 1730 restored villiage. I've died and gone to Heidi land. Celeste and Brad did really well to plan this trip.
We rode a night train (hard to sleep) to Carcasonne Castle in France. Cobblestone streets. Built by the Visigoths in 500 AD. Added onto by the Arabs in 725 then the french in 775 to 1400. We saw a jousting match all in French. Dacron Sayson won. This is him.