Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thanksgiving in Idaho

 I just love Thanksgiving! 
When you can combine eating-till-you-drop and spending time with family,  
what could be better?

We went to Papa and Namnam's in Idaho.

 The men went duck hunting, and Kollan got quite a few ducks.  
Ty's pose with the duck cracks me up. 
 He's like, "Yeah, it's cool...  Just chillin out and holding a dead duck." 

 One major point of the trip was meeting our new niece.  She is SO adorable!
 We felt so grateful to be there at Grandma Maxwell's with so many people we love.  
It was a great day, and we were only sad that everyone we love couldn't be there too.
 LOVE Jacy's open mouth smile!
 Nam nam and 2/3 grandaughters. 

 Ty and his shadow.
So cute together!
 My boys always look forward to wrestling with Uncle Brian.
 Look at those faces!
 Oops.  Poor Uncle Brian.

 Such sweet boys!
I know I definitely have a LOT to be thankful for!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Well, the truth is that Kollan had to talk me into going with him to Scotland.  I was very nervous to travel with Jacy.  That's a long ways to go for a short trip.  I wasn't sure it would be worth it, but it definitely was!  I won't lie, the travel days were very long.  She did pretty well, but it was still hard.
But, Edinburgh was a beautiful and amazing place to get the chance to see.  I'm very glad that Kollan was given this trip from Optos, and that Jacy and I were able to go.
 This is Jacy after our first flight.  (We had 3).  
She was very happy to ride around the airport in her "push chair" -that's what they call it in Scotland :)
She was happy to be out of the confined space of an airplane.  Little did she know that we had 2 more flights, and the next one was 8 1/2 hours long! Yikes!

 Too young for movies?  I think not.
 Sleeping?! Hallelujah!
We flew to Amsterdam, and then had one more short flight to Edinburgh.
By this time, we had been up for 24 hours.  Kollan and I couldn't sleep on the plane.

In flying to Scotland, we skipped a whole night.  When we arrived it was Sunday morning.  That's hard to get used to. At least for me- I love my sleep.  We figured we would sleep a little when we got our hotel room.  But guess what? It wasn't ready yet.  We walked around the city like zombies.  Later on we slept 3 hours and felt a lot better.  We didn't want to waste our day so we got up and went up Calton Hill to see some sights.  
I'm gonna give a shout out to my cousin Joe who knows a lot about Edinburgh and was SO helpful.
I'm also gonna give a shout out to our friends, the Clayson's, for watching Karter and Ty.   Thank you!!!!!!
 Going up Calton Hill
 Everything in this city was beautiful!  
I took SO many pictures.
Every building and monument had so much detail.
 I love that the city is a walking city.  
We could get everywhere on our own and enjoyed seeing everything along the way.

 Monument to Walter Scott- tallest monument to an author in Europe, and probably the world)

 Greyfriar's Churchyard
Huge tombs carved in great detail.
J.K. Rowling got some of her character names from this churchyard. 
Here is the tomb of Thomas Riddell.
 Just to show you some perspective- these tombs were huge!

 One night, we were able to go to a fancy dinner with the Optos group.  A piper led us down the street to the restaurant, Howies.
 The same piper led a toast for the hagis with a traditional ceremony.
Yes, Kollan and I tried the hagis.
No, it was not our favorite thing.
I ordered the salmon and it was amazing!
 One of Kollan's friends from Optometry school was also part of our Optos group, and she brought her husband and daughter.  Jacy was not the only baby in the group.  Her buddy, Olivia was only 3 weeks younger and they were cute together.
 Edinburgh Castle!
 It was really really big, and really fun to tour.

This small chapel inside the castle is the oldest building still standing in Edinburgh.

 The Royal Palace.  While we were there, Princess Anne was staying there.

 Optos arranged a tour for us so that we could see the countryside, along with great stops. 
We saw the two bridges, the island where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner, and Fife.
We drove through the small village where the two brothers from "The Proclaimers" came from.  Ya know the song, "And I will walk 500 miles, and I will walk 500 more...."
 We saw a lot of farmland and a lot of sheep. In fact, Scotland is home to about 5 million people, but 12 million sheep.
 Driving on the left side of the road was fun.  
Out in the country a lot of the roads were not even wide enough for two normal size lanes.  They would just squish two small lanes on the road, and you would take turns or make it work if someone was coming the other way.
 Falkland Palace
 This little cutie smiled for everyone! She was so social.
Also, she started learning to wave while in Scotland!

 St. Andrew's.  Kollan was super excited to go to the famous Old Course golf course.
It's a 3 or 4 year wait to play it.

 Coffee shop where Prince William met Kate.
This is the town with the University they went to.

 St. Andrew's Cathedral- beautiful!
 What's left of the Castle at St. Andrews

We also got to stop in Anstruther for world famous fish and chips.  Really yummy.

 Back in Edinburgh, we also got to see St. Giles Cathedral
and I'm so glad because it was amazing!
I've never see stained glass like this in my life.  There were many, large and beautiful stained glass window depicting Saints, or parts of the Bible, or scenes from the Savior's life. The detail was incredible.

 We also got to see the Thistle Chapel, which had amazing woodwork. 
 I wish I had a good picture of this room.  It was really impressive.

There was so much to see any enjoy.  We regretted that we didn't have more time to tour Scotland, or even Amsterdam, or ride into London....  I would love to see more parts of the world.
I enjoyed the people we talked to, and loved hearing Jacy called, 'the wee one'.
It was a whirlwind trip, but I'm so glad we could take it!