I think I was hoping that Julie would blog about the trip because somehow I wouldn't feel obligated to do so, even though I spent about 11 days without her. Oh well. I'm a slacker. What can I say?
When I travel outside the U.S., I like to check out the snacks that other countries provide. I especially like to see if they have same different flavors of Lays potato chips. Well, in England, our first stop, Dub and I got a variety of snack foods:
I'm pretty sure Lays and Walkers are the same thing. They have the same design, so that's my assumption. I didn't really care too much for the Prawn Cocktail, but the Smoky Bacon flavor was alright. In reality, I am a slave to plain potato chips and tolerate flavored kinds, but you've gotta try them when they're Prawn Cocktail-flavored, right?
Turkish Delights: Vile. Even covered in chocolate. Rose water is vile. I had tried them before, but somehow I had forgotten exactly how bad they are.
Dub got the trifle sponges to make trifle. I haven't had any.
The Apple & Blackcurrant Pies were exceedingly good. It wasn't false advertising. Seriously, exceedingly good.
Highlights to England:
-The lamb dish we got at the Paradise Indian Restaurant
-Being mistaken a few times for locals
-Our 2' x 2' shower with the curtain that cut across it
-Kensington Park and Hyde Park
-Visiting the Science Museum & Natural History Museum
-Church at the Spanish/Portugese branch in which they alternated languages for the hymns, talks, and prayers
-Eating Christmas Pudding at the Cafe in the Crypt of St. Martin in the Fields
-Going to a Christmas program at Westminster
-Abraham Lincoln statue
-Windsor Castle and sub-par fish 'n' chips
-Cornish pasties and white chocolate at a cafe in Bath
-Getting stuck in traffic for 3 - 4 hours and watching "Casino Royale" on my mp3 player 1 inch screen
-The Tower of London & the Crown Jewels
-Eurostar breaking down, and being "stuck" in London an extra night
-Front row seats to "Wicked" because we were "stuck"
Highlights of Visit with Mom and Dad:
-Meeting up and spending time with Mom and Dad (and Snake, my brother)
-Having time to go to the Christmas markets in Valkenburg and deciding that the best Nativity scene could be purchased at Chievres Air Base and buying it there instead
-Going to the State Archives in Mons and seeing a document dating back to 965 AD that had the biggest seal EVER.
-Also, I really appreciated the glass-work at the archives; I can't even explain how cool it was
-Going to Waterloo and eating frites with curry ketchup
-Spending time with family and eating chocolate
-Those popular small Santas hanging from people's windows
-Rubbing the monkey's head for luck at Le Grand Place in Mons
-Buying chocolate and synthetic diamonds in Bruges and seeing the Madonna by Michaelangelo
-Church at the English/French branch
-Even more spending time with family and eating chocolate
-Reading Harry Potter and playing Rook
-Going to Calais and seeing the White Cliffs of Dover from the lighthouse
-Driving to Dunkerque and hearing about the "Miracle at Dunkerque"
-Seeing the windmills at Kinderdijk
-Driving to the temple in Hague
-Het Loo Palais (it was crazy gigantic)
-Buying andalouse sauce to eat in the states with french fries
Highlights in Paris:
-Quickly learning to not smile at guys unless I blah blah blah blah... (that was for you, Sarah)
-Walking to our hotel and having Julie yell to me from the window of her room and finding out that she had exceeded my expectations in finding guys
-The day we went to what seemed like a million museums, including Arc de Triomphe
-Riding the disk with Julie in the yard at Notre Dame
-Dub, Julie and I riding a random carousel with the kids
-Surviving the metro at New Years
-Ringing in the New Year at Trocadero with a great view of the Eiffel Tower and an underwhelming display of no celebration, except the guy setting off fireworks next to us who had one backfire
-Julie kissing my brother Snake at midnight
-Getting split up and Dub and I having all the metros close down just before we got on them
-Realizing that I don't care that much about crepes with Nutella
-Sacre Coeur, the red light district, and Moulin Rouge.
-The general pain in my feet from walking so much
Sorry this was more list-like and less story-like. All-in-all, it was enjoyable. We experienced a lot, and ultimately, I was glad to come home. There's no place like home.