Just Rannin' Around

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The adventure continues . . .

After a bit of frustration with technology, we were finally able to get our GPS to actually speak English which is a great thing since that is the only language that I understand . . . we headed out onto the streets of Portugal.  It was about a 45 minute drive and finally with the help of the local mailman and a payphone (yes, we used a payphone since our cell phones weren’t on an international plan), we found these familiar faces . . . .

It was SO good to see the Roses and even more fun to be able to spend the next four days cruising around a foreign country with them.  We were able to see quite a bit of the country and tried to squeeze in as much as we possibly could.  However I must admit that I would have been perfectly content sitting on the couch in their living room and just talking.  They are such amazing people and what a blessing it is to have them in my life.  Of course I must admit that talking while wondering the castle walls in Obidos was pretty cool. 

We also headed into Coimbra where there is an amazing University.  The students all wear robes like they do in Harry Potter. 

I can’t imagine having to dress in those every day in order to attend class.  While there we went to their famous library.  You know the library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast . . . well this library is just like it and had I been allowed to take pictures I would have as it was amazing.  I’m actually quite surprised they were able to get me to leave.

Love their plant holders!

Sunday we went to church, okay we attended a Sacrament meeting in one ward and then Sunday School in another ward 40 minutes away and since Brother Rose is a Councilor in the Mission Presidency there we spent most of the day in between a few cities as he attended meetings.  One of those was right by the ocean so we just had to stop and take some pictures.

The next day we traveled to Sintra.  We toured another castle, walked another wall and then went through another mansion.  However what I loved most about this mansion was the grounds.  I could have played hide-and-go-seek for days on end.  There were tunnels and passages and secret places everywhere I turned.  It was a child’s (or a child at heart) wonderland. 

We ended the night by going to a light house.  It is the furthest point in Europe for something put I can’t read the sign and I can’t remember exactly to what.  Oh well, but hey I was there. 

It was sad for the next day we had to say our goodbyes.  I won’t tell you that we all didn’t cry because that would be a lie.  Sister Rose and I both had a hard time.  I will be excited when they get home and will only be 30 minutes away again. 

We spent the day in Lisbon as our flight left at 6:00 the next morning we decided it would be best to stay a couple of minutes away from the airport as to be able to get some sleep that night.  So we jumped onto a bus tour and took in as much of the city as possible before calling it a night and the end of our trip.

Over all it was a great trip.  The food left much to be desired, but other than that they both were beautiful countries.  I will say that it neither hit my favorite places list, but they all can’t now can they. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Missing someone isn't about how long it has been since you've seen them or the amount of time since you've talked.  It's about that very moment when you're doing something and wishing they were right there with you."

Thursday, April 04, 2013


Sometimes I am a big kid at heart.  We took the train from Barcelona to Madrid and who doesn’t love riding on the train?!  I decided to train verses fly because I wanted to be able to see the countryside.  Besides it was only a two and a half hour journey by train and so when I calculated time spent having to be at the airport, it just about evened out time wise.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It was a beautiful trip speckled with a lush green countryside of vineyards and olive groves. 

Upon arrival in Madrid, we had welcome introduction to the Metro lines.  I’m always so impressed with public transportation in Europe.  There are so many efficient ways to get from one place to the next without needing a personal car.

After checking into another hotel with a super fabulous location, we were off . . . this time with Rick Steves in hand and opened.  He had a walking tour that covered much of the sights I was interested in seeing and since Rick is typically my best friend when in Europe, I wasn’t afraid to test it out.  He did not fail me.  It went by some amazing sights and ended with the crown jewel . . . or rather the palace.  I love traveling during off season.  We had the place almost to ourselves and if there just wouldn’t have been guards standing in every room, I would have totally made myself at home.  It is hard to imagine that the royals still really do live in the huge “home” during some of the year.  The walk back was completely leisure and full of window shopping at all the tourist traps along the way.

The next morning we got up and headed to the Madrid Temple.  What an amazing day!  We were able to make it into a special session that they had set up for the members of the Canary Islands.  I had taken a couple of my family file cards and was able to do family names while there.  The temple was beautiful and also in that enclosed block was the MTC and the Stake Center.  When I went to gather my family file cards from the temple office, I was met by a handful of couple missionaries that were serving their missions there . . . all from Utah.  After talking to them for a while and gathering my cards I was getting ready to leave when the Temple President approached me and wanted to talk for a moment.  He too was from Utah and had heard that there were some American sisters at the temple.  It made my heart happy that we could give them a little bit of home which they all seemed to soak up. 

I will say that I don’t think anything would prepare me for the sights of the following day.  It was a rather leisure day and one that I was looking forward to because we were just going to wonder around the huge park.  We had spent a good portion of the morning finding little gems of fountains and statues and churches along the way and then within the park.  We were getting hungry and decided it was time to call it a day so I was taking one last path straight through the park.  We were talking as we were absorbing the warmth and beauty of the park when I glanced to my left because I saw that there was someone there.  Regardless of where I am I always am very aware of my surrounds and always make sure that people know that I see them . . . it is a tactic of safety that I do without even thinking.  Boy did I get an unexpected eye full!  There standing just off the path was a man buck naked enjoying nature himself.  It took me a bit off guard because I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but I did a quick recovery and told Cori to look to the right and to walk a bit faster.  It wasn’t until we were completely out of the park that I bust out laughing and through tears running down my face was able to tell her what happened.  She missed the entire thing and thought I was acting weird at the time but was grateful I had saved her an eyeful. 

That put a cap on our time in Madrid.  Got to love Europe! 


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