Thursday, October 20, 2011
we got rear-ended! Of course, it was rental car, so we weren’t sure what to do…the damage wasn’t that bad. The lady who ran into us spoke English, so Hampton talked to her and got her contact info in case the rental company wanted it. The woman apologized profusely and we continued into Rome.
We got checked in to our hotel and proceeded to the bus stop to get into town. There was a supposed “strike” amongst the bus drivers, but we didn’t see any effects of that in our two days there.
We headed straight for the Coliseum and Forum. Hampton had downloaded a couple of walking tour audio guides on his phone, so he set that up and we headed to the Forum first.
It mostly consisted of a bunch of old buildings…like REALLY old. I don’t remember what everything was called, but here are some pictures:
Next, we headed to the Coliseum. SO COOL.
We managed to find a way to the second level, which I’m not sure that we were supposed to go to, but we did. And I’m glad, cause the view was much better up there!
As we were leaving the Coliseum, the sun was setting on our first day in Rome.
Next up…Vatican City and a little more Rome!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Anyway, for the second leg of our Europe trip, we headed east. Our first stop was Prague, Czech Republic. BUT WAIT. Funny story to start us off…
Before we made it to Prague, we had to navigate many small towns. We made a wrong turn and ended up on a small, two-lane road. I suggested that we should probably turn around because this road just didn’t look right. SO, Hampton decided to attempt a three-point turn in the stick-shift car. (Not his first, mind you…)
Umm…there wasn’t much room on each side of the road and yeah, we…got…stuck. In a gravel ditch. On the side of a road. Somewhere in the “backwoods” of Czech Republic. Oh dear.
Thankfully, a nice Czech guy stopped (somewhat hesitantly) to help Hampton push the car out of the ditch. And I, who had never driven a stick-shift successfully before, got in the driver’s seat and slowly eased us out as the guys pushed.
Here’s the street:
We DID get un-stuck and continued on our way. After much laughter.
We made it to Prague and I thought it was a beautiful city…
And I had to play with the color selection again…
After Prague, Hampton decided we needed to take a detour on our way to Vienna, which was our next sleeping stop.
SO, we drove through Bratislava, Slovakia and the corner of Hungary to Vienna, Austria. This leg of our journey has another funny story. It wasn't funny at the time...but it's funny to look back.
As we were approaching the Hungarian border from Austria, we saw a police officer in the middle of the road. We were slowing down but still traveling pretty fast. Suddenly the officer starts waving at us (with either a white flag or a flashlight, I can't remember). He waves us over to the side of the road and makes us stop. We were pretty worried at this point, but stayed calm as the officer approached the car. Hampton rolled down the window and the officer asked for our passports and IDs. We gave him our stuff and he asked if it was a rental car. After our affirmative, the officer took our "papers" back to his car and looked something up on his computer. After a few minutes, he came back, gave us our IDs and passports, and said "goodbye." He walked off with no further words. Hampton and I sat there for a minute, thankful that there wasn't further trouble, then we drove on!
We got to Vienna fairly late, but managed to get an UPGRADE a the hotel! Junior Suite – yes, thank you! We woke up to a great view from our balcony…
We left Vienna and drove to Lake Bled, Slovenia – which was just a short detour out of the way. We had to take a LONG tunnel to get from Austria to Slovenia…
The drive was definitely worth it – BEAUTIFUL!!
One of my favorite parts of our trip, for sure!
From here, we drove through the rest of Slovenia to Italy…on our way to ROME!
Next up, Rome and the Vatican City!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hampton and I recently took a much-needed vacation in Europe. (Much-needed for him at least – he hadn’t been off for almost a year.) Hampton was already in Germany finishing up his 6-week TDY.
My journey began with a LONG plane ride from New Orleans through Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany. Add to that a few train rides to Landstuhl and a little wait for Hampton to pick me up at the train station. I slept most of the afternoon after I got there. We ate at this yummy restaurant in Landstuhl that actually had really good Italian food!
We started our road trip Thursday morning and began to drive south through Germany towards Switzerland.
This map book was my best friend for a few days!
The autobahn – not as cool as you would think. Sure, there were parts where you can drive as fast as you want…but most of it was set up just like any interstate – speed limit of 130 kph.
So, we drove through Switzerland and made our way to Liechtenstien.
We ate at this restaurant in Liechtenstien and then continued on our road trip. We were headed to Schwangau, Germany, where we had a reservation at a small hotel. Unfortunately, it was almost midnight when we got there and…
the hotel was CLOSED. Yep. Closed. Hampton managed to find some of the staff who spoke English and they laughed at him, saying that the hotel owner was asleep and we couldn’t check in that late!
SO…we stayed here instead:
VERY nice hotel in the neighboring town of Fussen and a very nice room and free breakfast!
So, Friday morning we set out for some castle-viewing. Here’s a couple of pictures of Neuschwanstien Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle:
VERY cool to be able to go into these castles…couldn’t take pictures inside, but got some great ones of the outside. By the way, we had to walk up a VERY big hill to get to Neuschwanstien Castle. Whew!
I played around with my new camera (Nikon CoolPix) a lot on this trip, and I loved the color selection option.
Blue selection was really cool looking!
So, our funny story for this leg of the trip is a toss-up between cows being herded down the middle of the road…
…OR attempting to find the town of Schongau which supposedly had an ESSO gas station (for which Hampton had a preloaded gas card). We FINALLY found it and I was so happy I took pictures.
So, that’s the first leg of our European trip! Stay tuned for Prague, Vienna, and our detour to a couple of extra countries!
I leave you with a few pictures that were only possible because of my 18x ZOOM!
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The most common phrase in your prayers was that God would wrap His arms around me and my family. OH, how your prayers were answered! God's peace surrounded me so intensely and He constantly reminded me of His presence and His love.
THANK YOU so much for your prayers. For those who prayed a year ago and for those who have prayed since. Hampton and I are ever grateful. And the girls are in the best place they could be - in their Heavenly Father's arms.
Thank you for reading this blog and allowing me to share my heart with you. This week, we remember Joanna and Rita on their birthdays...but more than that, please remember the God who fearfully and marvelously made all of us and can give YOU eternal life.
Just know that I have been missing my blog and I WILL be back soon. Here's a rundown of my life as of late:
Went to Europe (including Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, and France)...
Ran a Half-Marathon (took forever but finished!)...
Helping to plan a Women's Prayer Retreat...
Writing a Vision Paper for my Evangelism Class...
Remembering two precious gifts from God that celebrate their first birthdays in Heaven this week...
AND, looking forward to some other changes that may or may not take place.
SO, starting NEXT week, I promise to have some great PICTURES and more details on all the happenings. Until then, I love you all!!!
And, here's a teaser pic: