Rockin’ the Mustache

Sometimes,  you step into a random photo booth armed with a paper mustache and an empty popcorn container.  You don the popcorn container as a hat, put your ‘stache on and smile -you give it all you’ve got…and then you laugh for days to come.


Upper left: The teeth.  Oh.  The teeth.  I will laugh for years to come. 

Upper right: That horrible moment when your popcorn hat falls off minutes before the camera snaps the picture.

Lower left: We got this.  We can behave.  Mustaches and all!

Lower right: …and then your sister’s popcorn hat falls off moments before the camera takes the picture, but she is more graceful and managed to prop it up while you dissolve into a pile of laughter because her hat fell off just like yours did.  

I think we rock the mustache!  The paper one, that is.

Bike Ride!

“We want to go for a bike ride” they said “It won’t be muddy at all!” they said.

It was a beautiful fall day -with the leaves blowing and all.  It wasn’t raining.  They secured a babysitter and away we went.

It was a little muddy -because that’s what you get the end of October!  There were some cows, some nettles (blasted things) and some conversations.  There was a quick lunch at a garden center -and then the dreaded ride home…because apparently -what goes down?  Must come up.  At least when you are biking.

It was a fun ride, however.  Yay for bike rides in the country!

See?  Not muddy at all!  Ha!


Amazing views!



Great place for some autumn portraits!


Pulling some dangerous stunts and taking selfies while riding!


Biking pictures






And those blasted nettles…I rolled my jean keg up so it wouldn’t get caught in the chain.  It didn’t get caught in the chain, but I rode past a patch of nettles -and got a bunch of stings.  Eeks!


…and of course, a crazy video…

Brighton, Take One

September 12, 2015

We went to Brighton twice!  The first time was with mom and dad…it was an especially windy day!

We spent the day on the Pier watching the waves, eating fresh waffles and doing a little bit of shopping.  We also went on a few rides -something Amanda and I feel compelled to do every time we go there.  Thankfully this time, the ride was less traumatizing than last time.

See?  Brighton!


The waves were so big!


Crooked horizon and big waves together


Good hair gone bad!


Making friends with a lobster!



…I have a SLIGHT obsession with these.  I admit.

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Is it bad when you can’t tell if you or your three year old nephew is having more fun?


It felt like the paparazzi was there -Amanda was on one side, dad was on the other…cameras flashing everywhere!

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Ahhhh!  Love them!

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Some random views




We also had some fish and chips on the Pier.  My face pretty much sums up how I feel about them.  Don’t get me wrong -I love me some fish and chips, I just don’t like the fish and chips here.  It’s what happens when you grow up on Alaskan fish and chips…cod just doesn’t cut it!

london15 127_00027

Good-Bye, Brighton!


London, Take Two

October 2, 2015

When Morgan came over for a month we had wanted to take her to London to see all the things (you know, the big sites such as Big Ben, the bridges, etc) the only problem was trying to get everyone into London was proving to be difficult –since ½ the sites were in one part and ½ were in another. We had to use the underground a few times –something that is difficult to do with two kids. Instead, we decided that I would take Morgan to see ½ the things, then we would all meet up together in a few hours.

The only problem was…I had never been to London alone, let alone –changed trains, used undergrounds etc. Everyone promised me it would be “Easy!” and since Morgan was game, we went for it.

It turned out to be a great day. A busy, action packed, wild but fun day! We saw everything (and then some!)

The first part of the day consisted of seeing the Buckingham Palace –there was a huge crowd of people and I was convinced something big was happening –like the queen was going to appear.


Lots of people must mean something big is about to happen!!

Not wanting to miss out I drug Morgan through the crowds and up to the gates where we saw, not the queen but this…

The changing of the guards. I wasn’t impressed (haha) but Morgan was excited. I casually mentioned that I was the best tour guide, like, ever –planning out to see the changing of the guards and all :)

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

From there we went to visit Big Ben (which is when my camera conked out). Rode the underground to see Piccadilly Circus -a popular site because of the big TV screens?  I guess it is sort of like New York…I’m not entirely sure.  The area has never impressed me that much, but we also heard there was a big M&M world so of course we had to go.  After hitting up M&M world we grabbed some lunch then continued on.


Big Ben

Flash back time…Amanda and I in 2010 -first time meeting Big Ben.

Naw, look how young and clueless we looked!

Naw, look how young and clueless we looked!


Being brave!

Being brave at M&M world!

After seeing those sites, we where we met up with the rest of the gang.  Amanda was nice enough to bring my other camera so I could take pictures again.  Yay!

We took another ride down the Thames river to see the sites from the river.  Much like we did with mom and dad.  The great thing about travel cards (the type of ticket we need to take the train from Caterham to London) is that they work on every form of transportation, including the underground!  You also get a discount when riding the river boats.


Morgan on London bridge looking at Tower bridge

Morgan on London bridge looking at Tower bridge

I had wanted to take Morgan up The Monument.  Something we did in 2010.  Once we got there, Judah decided he wanted to go up as well.  I agreed to take him -so long as he walked up himself.  There was no way I was going to carry him up all those stairs!  He made it all by himself -up all those 311 stairs.  Both up and down!  I was impressed.

View from the bottom:

DSC_0063View from the top:


Yay!  We made it!  As soon as we got up -he was ready to go back down.  Don’t think he really understood why we went up to begin with!



Trying to be all artistic


…and then we saw it.  A carousel.  I have a slightly weird obsession with them, and the undeniable need to ride every. single. one.  Thankfully, Morgan was happy to oblige and we rode off on our big horses.

Morgan said she was going to be “lady like” and ride side saddled.  Me?  I don’t know what I was being.  Whatever it was, it wasn’t very lady like!!!


Oh, I do love me some flying horses…




England: Week 1

Someone asked me earlier tonight what I had been up to this week. It caught me off guard (as do all normal questions –ask me anything but normal questions!) and so I stumbled around with my words for a few seconds before landing on a very wide eyed look and the answer of “Recovering.” Thankfully because of accents and noise my answer got lost and I had a chance to redeem myself. Which I did. Very smoothly with “My friend left.”

In all honesty tho, this week has been all about recovering. Because the past two months have been nothing if not a whirlwind of adventures.

Adventures that I just recently realized –have gone without mention. I guess that’s what happens when you are busy having fun.

To make up for the lack of postings, however, I am going to attempt to recreate some of the past few months. And you know, hopefully not just disappear for three weeks at a time.

Dad and I flew over the end of August to meet up with mom (and the rest of the fam). We had originally decided to stay for three weeks as opposed to two –which is normally the amount of time we stay together for. This turned out to be a good idea –we had one week in England, one week in Italy –and then finished up with another week in England. However it didn’t seem like nearly that long. Thanks to the week in Italy –it ended up feeling like we were only together for about a week!

We decided to make the most out of the time together and see as much as possible!

Week 1:

I think this picture would look great as a silhouette.  Unfortunately my photo editing program is back home so this will have to do for now.  The force not to be reckoned with, The Fam:

DSC_0001Capn’ ‘n’ me




We saw the sites, via boat!  Something we haven’t done since 2010:




Just for fun, a 2010 shot of Amanda n I from the same location


Back to the present, with mom and dad!

DSC_0201Ah, yes.  Selfies.


Back home in Alaska!


These next pictures crack me up.  The first is from 2010, the next is from 2013, and the final is 2015.  They were all taken at the Royal Observatory.  I did a whole thing on it in 2013 here.







I am kind of liking this auntie business!


Of course it helps that Baby E is just as cute as her big brother (just don’t tell him I said that!)


Thorpe Park

One of the things we had wanted to do while Morgan was here was go to a theme park. We originally had decided on a smaller theme park –but after looking into things, we decided that Thorpe park had more of an assortment of rides that would give us all a better time.

We chose the date, bought our tickets and headed out for a day of fun.

Amanda and I were originally a little worried since we always feel compelled to go on all the rides (especially the scary ones!) even though we usually end up getting sick.

The day started with this gem:


While it doesn’t look that scary (and it really isn’t) it was a bit sickening. The seats went up then dropped. The dropping always does me in. You can see Morgan and I in the above picture (between the people with their hands in the air). Morgan LOVES such rides so she laughed while I busied myself by screaming. Ahem.


The next rides were a combination of fun and entertaining –nothing to scary, but nothing to boring either.  Rides like this one:


Mr Judah wasn’t impressed with this ride.  I failed to mention that this wasn’t a ride, but rather just a seat.  After he sat in it he told me I “Tricked him” because it didn’t do anything.  Woops!


One of the favorite rides of all of us was the log ride. Since the park wasn’t that busy –they let us ride again and again. We told stories –while perfecting our southern accent (since the ride narrator had a southern accent) and collected money (you would be amazed at how much money was lost in those logs!)


We came prepared with our swimming clothes -underestimating just how cold it would be!  We were pretty much the only people in shorts!


Another ride Amanda and I were (thankfully!) smart enough not to go on since it looked really scary! Morgan and David went together while Amanda and I discussed the more important things in life: such as ice cream.

The scary ride:


We then hit up another ride that was a good combination of scary and fun –it was so much fun in fact, that Morgan and I decided to go again (without even getting off!) This proved to be a bad idea, especially just after eating lunch and Morgan got sick.

It was a great day out!

Day 5: Paris

We took a break from our early morning wake ups and slept in a bit today.  We took off for downtown Paris and saw the Eiffel tower.  It didn’t blow either one of us away.  It was amazing to be there -simply for the fact that it was the Eiffel tower -but after a few minutes of looking at it, we weren’t entirely sure what to do.  We took our pictures, walked around -then headed back to another stop we had found yesterday to get some souvenirs, and of course -our baguettes.


It was grey and cloudy -but we still took our obligatory photos in front of the tower.


I had read online that when going to Paris -you should dress up as nicely as possible.  I think we were the only ones dressed up.  Don’t get me wrong -no one was wearing sweats or baggy clothing -but there were a lot of jeans!


While it was fun to visit – I don’t understand what the big fuss is about it, to be honest.  I think it has been played up so much, that I was expecting way to much from it.


But now I can say I have been there – seen that!


Hello there, big tower!


…and finally, another obligatory photo: The creepy elevator and baguette story!


It was another amazing trip -albeit fast!  Seeing three countries in five days tends to make  a fast paced sort of trip!

Au revoir!


Day 4: Paris

We have gotten up before six (and really, before three) every day this week.  With early flights, connections and limited time to see ALL THE THINGS -early mornings have been a must.

But today, all that combined with the stress involved with trying to find a location in a foreign land with instructions that made no sense to us, meant that we were tired.  Confused.  And frustrated.  All that meant that we got one picture today.

After being declared “homeless” -(for an hour since the person we were staying with wouldn’t be home for another hour, and we had exhausted all of the places within walking distance) we sat down on a bench with our baguettes and crossword puzzles:


Personally I think I look like a mad ogre rather than a temporary homeless person.  But to each his own!  Don’t worry -not twenty minutes later we were safely inside (not that we weren’t safe outside!) with wifi, beds, and all things lovely.

Until tomorrow…

Day 3: Venice

So when we booked our tickets -we wanted to hit up Germany, Paris and Venice, but we didn’t know how exactly to make it work.  When booking our tickets from Germany to Paris, however -it popped up that the cheapest option was with a 24 hour layover in…Venice!  We jumped all over the idea, and found ourselves with the day to spend in Venice.

After successfully navigating our way to the house we would spend the night at -we hopped the train and headed for the city center.

It was more than I expected.


The “Main Canal” -there were little canals that wove throughout the towns.  Snaking with roads, curling around the town -making for awesome pictures, but impossible to get from point a to point b without getting lost.  As the man that gave us directions said “You will get lost.  Everyone gets lost.  I hope you get lost in Venice -because that is when you really see it all.”  He was right too.  We got lost.  We saw it all.  It was amazing.


The sneaky canals!




This is where we ate lunch.  Seriously.  We sat right there on the edge of the canal and watched the boats go up and down.  We even got splashed.  It was awesome.


The lunch was equally amazing…


This is what they call “Sausage.”  Sausage, by the way, was really good.


More randomness


Gelato!  Where are you gelato!


You know, just hanging out by the Venice canal…


No. Big. Deal.


Germany: Day 2

So day two was even more exciting.  Except the part where we got up early (again!) to make a long journey into the Black Forest.  But first, we stopped off at another castle: Hohenzollern Castle.  It was foggy on the way up, and made everything look especially creepy.  After lunch and a brief tour, we came back outside and the fog had burned off…leaving an amazing view.

After that we drove through the Black Forest.








The fog is starting to lift….






“Sheep, with their sheep dog…and sheep…man!”


DSC_0735Me….trying not to fall!


The Black Forest: