Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

London, England

We ended our trip back in London. By this time we were experts at our travel routine, but oh so tired. That did not stop us from getting out and seeing some of the sights. But the cold and the fact that everything seemed to cost much more in London, we found ourselves spending a lot of time finding refuge in cafes. As we found comfort in a warm cup of hot chocolate, we got to reflect on this wonderful trip, our time in college, and the new life we would start when we got home.
Our last day there we headed home early to order pizza and watch a movie. We needed time to relax and recharge before the long flight home. Thank goodness the flight home was the exact opposite from our flight there. Lizzy was an angle and slept almost the entire time. 
We headed back to the states with little to no regrets but after a month of traveling we were happy to be home.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Paris, France

Our time in France was much more pleasant then we had expected. I don't know why people say the french are rude and expect you to speak perfect french when you visit. We did not get that vibe at all. I mean the subways were disgusting, and some of the alleyways smelled like pee, but all that can be forgotten once you get a crepe in your hand. I know many people are Nutella fanatics fans, but I am not one of those people. So my favorite crepe was sugar and fresh lemon juice. You should give it a try.
We could see the Notre Dame from our hostel, so we started our day off there.
While we were in Paris we decided to walk a lot more than ride the subway. I love seeing a city while walking through the streets. A few things that were different about Paris were the sidewalk vendors. I know a lot of cities have street vendors, but in Paris they are all uniformed and it was like walking through a flea market as we made our way around the city. I also loved the Paris roof tops, I feel like they are so distinct from other cities.
After we got to the Louvre and saw the line to get in, we almost changed our minds about going inside. However, because we had Lizzy we got pushed to the front without waiting. Then she took a nap while we enjoyed the museum. Everyone knows the Mona Lisa is on display there, but what is more impressive about it is the amount of people that go to see the painting. As for Blake and I, our favorite parts were learning about the history of the building, and seeing the remains of the old medieval castle. Plus the newer parts, like Napoleons apartments. Then it is always fun coming across paintings we have studied, and others you wonder why we have not studied. 
After the the Louvre we ate our way down avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
Then finally to the Eiffel Tower. We chose this as our last stop because we wanted to see the tower in the day and after sunset. While we waited for the sun to set we found things to occupy our time, like go on Lizzy's first carousel. Oh, and watching all the wine venders trying to sell even more alcohol to drunk tourists. It still was a stretch to stay for the light show, Lizzy was getting grumpy, but once the tower lit up she was mesmerized. I barely watched the show myself, because I could not seem to stop watching Lizzy watch the show. Even something like the Eiffel Tower is nothing compared your child's eyes light up. 
We loved our time in Paris, our only regret is not walking by the Moulin Rouge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Europe Video: Prague to Budapest

Our second video from our trip to Europe is complete. 
Prague to Budapest from A.Russ on Vimeo.

Our first video, Brussels to Berlin is here

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jungfrau Region, Switzerland

Blake will 
tell you over and over again that this was his favorite stop on our Europe trip. And who can blame him? Every step you take in the Jungfrau region is picture perfect. There are so many places to stay in the region that it was a little overwhelming at first. We finally decided on staying in Lutschental because there was a really good Airbnb. By the looks of the maps we thought we were going to be a good distance from all the trail heads, but we were so wrong. If anything it was nice staying away from the main train stations because we were literally the only tourist, heck the only people at our train every morning. We saw more cows and goats than people and that was just how we liked it. Plus it was only a short train ride to Grindelwald.
But first let me expound on the place we stayed. It was the cutest thing ever! Our own view of the mountain, a fireplace to keep us warm, and a perfect size kitchen where we made our dinners from pasta we brought over from Italy. It was so peaceful we would have  been happy spending the whole two days on the porch, drinking hot chocolate.
^^a little gnome that lived by were we stayed. ^^
We knew our time was short in the region so after dropping off our bags we were off to get our bearings straight and explore. We spent the evening in Grindelwald and squeezed in a short hike before night fall. It seemed to be an easy trail because it was all paved, but at some points the incline was so steep that the stroller's handles were at eye level as I lunged up the mountain hill. We got to the top with a perfect view of little wooden houses, green fields, wild flowers, and snow capped mountains. 
What I found interesting about a lot of the houses was that many had engraved dated on them. It seemed to be the year they were built, or a different way to do addresses (but some had the same date... so I'm sticking with the year the home was built.) And I loved all the flowers at each window. 
As we were walking along, some cow herder passed us with their cows, each one with their own bell ringing along. It was as if the book Hidi, and the Sound of Music had a baby. I have never understood the words "the hills are alive with the sound of music" so well. Before heading back to our little cabin we stopped by a grocery store to stocked up on Lint, and Kinder chocolate. Oh, and we bought baby food for the first time, because little Lizzy was wanting more and more food as we traveled around Europe. 
The next day we bought train passes that made a circle around the region. With only having one full day there, and a baby this was the best use of our time. We road around enjoying the beautiful view and getting out at different stops. I mean look at the views just from the train ride. 
At Klein Scheidegg we ate lunch, we hear the Switzerland was very expensive and that there was few food choices that were not very good. But the place we ate had a lot of different food. 
^^Blake got a really good pasta^^
I just saw someone eating something that looked good and asked for the same thing when I was informed that was not on the menu, but was a local dish. I ordered it anyway, guessing it was one of those dishes people said was not very good, but I really enjoyed my hash, sausage and mustard.
Klein Scheidegg is where you can catch a train up to Jungfraujoch (the top of Europe or James Bond mountain). But being unprepared for the weather and thinking Lizzy would not enjoy the trip we decided against it. Still we got to see snow which was fun for our Florida family. 
We then headed down to Lauterbrunnen and took a gondola up to Murren. We wanted to rent bikes at this point and ride into Gimmelwald, but we missed bike season by a week. However we enjoyed walking the trails that surrounded us with nature. It was the prettiest hike I have ever experienced. I cannot put it into words how good the air fresh air felt and smelled.
^^ you cannot tell how steep the incline was in any of the pictures, but believe me they were unbelievable. ^^
On our last morning we could not help but ride back into Grindelwald for just one more hike and another grocery bag full of chocolate. I danced in the wild flowers like Julie Andrews and just like that our Switzerland adventure was over. 
It is so cliche but true, these pictures do not do this place justice. As you can tell by the amount of picture, we tried. So if you get the chance, go and see it for yourself. As for us Switzerland is one place we will visit again.