Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog Renovation


Oh if you haven't heard. We changed the name of the Blog from We3Kings to We4Kings ;)

Halloween Re-Re-Revisited

It's hard to believe that October 31st has passed. It seems like just yesterday... yeah thats the ticket! Ok ok I have no excuse for getting these pictures up some 26 days after the fact but hey they are cute and cuteness knows no time limits. Cuteness is forever.... So anyways sorry this took forever hehe.



Here is our little BATS boy picking up some treats from his favorite Uncle Joe. "You can have either plain M&M's or plain M&M's kid. The peanut ones are all mine!"
Baby Sariah made a bit hit on the BATS runway in her stunning "Fairy Princess" ensemble.
Cheeky Monkeys love their Nana's
The Sweet Sweet Irony of a Dragon on a Fire Truck

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sick baby

So Ryan Is sick this morning. He vomited last night and twice today.
He barely ate half a cracker and only a litle water. Just when I'm
really starting to feel sorry for him I notice him hiding in the other
room.....

Friday, November 21, 2008

The very best

Sometimes spouses remind you how amazing they are. Jessi found me this
super comfy chair on craiglist. Thank you honey!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nice and Eze



The next morning at 6am we were going to be leaving for our long 25 hour expedition back to the United States. Today was our last day of cruising and enjoying the temperate climate in the Mediterranean. The French Riveria! Home to the beautiful towns of Nice and Eze both completely different. Both so amazing in their own ways.



Our first stop was Nice. I remember my french teacher telling me about the town and how amazing it was. She said that the beaches here are very popular during the tourist season and that they have the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the world here.
It was early and we were still a bit tired but they told us we would have some time to shop and wander around an amazing farmer's market while we were here.


Now this was no standard Missouri farmer's market with a few tents scattered around a parking lot and a cotton candy booth for the kiddies. This was a full fledged supermarket under tarp. The smell of spices and fresh fish and flowers permeated the air. It was alive with people everywhere gently haggling prices in french. Laughter and friendliness were alive here. The people were doing their normal morning shopping and taking the time to smell the flowers and to chat with friends as they walked from booth to booth.
As always I was amazed at the selection of fresh fish. Everything caught that morning and brought straight to the table. There is no fooling the people in this coastal town. There wasn't a creature on the table that didn't look ready to hop back in the sea for a swim.

I didn't know this but the french have developed some sort of performance enhancing drug for their mushrooms. A Fungoid Steroid if you will. Look at these things!
One thing we just had to have while we were here were strawberries. There is something about the strawberries in France. They are made to be eaten that day. Maybe even that minute. If left over night they will be a soft fuzzy mess by morning. They are so bright, so red, and so bursting with flavor you will devour boxes of these sweet, tart, berries before you know it.
It was a bit chilly here and Jessi stumbled on a very nice coat/poncho/sweater thing that she absolutely loved. She looks so happy in the picture I decided it needed to be included in the blog.
We scurried to the bus and hopped on for our trip to Eze. On the way we stopped and snapped some pictures.
It's in the low 60's but a gropu of crazy people are swimming down there.
Eze is amazing. They basically built this town as it's own fortification. It is built into a rock hill overlooking the coast. The town is a twisted maze of super skinny streets.
If you marched an army in here, the townspeople would know about it for days before you figured out how to get to the houses. That and the entire army would have to take a breather at the top. This town is STEEP. And of course we had to carry the stroller all the way up. No elevators, ramps, or easy ways up in Eze ;).
There are little shops and gardens winding all the way through the town. It is the model of a medieval city and the autumn season here is an explosion of color.
One last happy picture before we end this life changing journey and head back to parts more familiar.

Helpy helperson

It's funny how much Ryan likes to help out. He always wants to sweep,
mop, mow the grass, rake leaves, fold laundry, put trash in the can,
or any other chore he sees us doing. I really hope he stays like this
when he grows up!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Autumn entertainment

Nana has her little man hard at work

Pisa and Lucca

Ahhhh what sights our eyes have embraced in Italy. What could possibly be left in this wonderful country that would amaze us now? We've seen active volcanos, bodies buried under ash for almost 2 millenia, the ancient city of Rome, the colliseum, the Vatican, we've drank cappucino's and eaten tiramisu. What else?
The tower of Pisa of course!
We started off the tour by heading into the beautiful area of Italy fondly known as Tuscany. We headed to a small town called Lucca. Lucca is a very friendly town with a homey feel to it.
Unlike Pisa it really isn't a huge tourist trap and has several nice shops, deli's, bakeries, and restaurants. Lucca is the kind of town I'd want to live in if I moved to Italy. The architecture was beautiful and the buildings were very interesting.
We had an hour and a half to wander the city so we took in the sights and even had time for some Pizza and Cappuchinos. Yum!
I couldn't help but take a picture of cute little curly haired darling being ridden around on a bike by her daddy.
Next we headed to the town of Pisa.
I'm sure we only saw the highlights of Pisa. There has to actually be a town somewhere but the area we went to had the leaning tower, a church, and a fountain. Other than that there were booths with souvenirs for sale as far as the eye can see.
We did a little shopping and had a nice time getting ripped off by the locals and the not so locals. we saw a few gypsies and snacked a bit. We even got rained on ... again....
The church next to the tower is really beautiful and I was actually able to get a few pictures to come out.
If you ever wanted to get a job as a cool door maker, Italy is the place to go. Cool doors are everywhere. There is quite a market for them here.



And that pretty much sums it up. Fairwell Italy. We will be shoving off tonight for the south of France. In the heart of the French Riveria we will visit the fortified city of Eze and the amazing markets of Nice!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Video live from the Vatican

This is just a quick clip I took inside. I wanted to capture the beauty of St. Peters but the low light was causing my camera to take super dark pictures. Luckily the video came out pretty good so click on the link to take a look.


video

Roma and the Vatican



For our second day in Italy we traveled to a little known city called quaintly in Italian "Roma" . Ok ok everyone knows about Rome. The home of the Roman Empire, the city Paul called home, The Colliseum, the Forum, The Pantheon, The Pizza! Hey I'm hungry give me a break ;)

I will start off by telling you that Ryan was a miracle. This trip was around 9 hours long and he was a true champion. Thanks buddy!





We took about 8 million pictures in Rome. Most of them of the colliseum, you see it as you drive around and it really sums up all of Rome up for me. So much history here and it really feels like you are standing in the shadow of an ancient civilization. With that said, I'm going to get right into the good stuff.



We had a crazy italian tourguide with a stick that she waved at us when she wanted our attention. It was covered with a red scarf and if you saw it bobbing in the distance you knew you better hurry up or get left behind! (She meant business, she almost left one lady behind because she got lost).

We saw some cool stuff while driving around that I don't remember the name of.



We saw some ruins of the ancient city. Everytime they dig here they come up with something new. They don't have any type of subway because everytime they start in one part of the city they run into something ancient and have to try digging elsewhere.



Here is a monument depicting the Rise of the Roman Empire. If you look on the left you can see a tiny white speck that is Rome. If you look on the far right you can see almost all of the world at that time was under Roman control.



And finally we caught a peek of the Colliseum! The first side you see is the one that they don't show on TV. It was damaged by an earthquake and the marble has fallen off the outside and it has began to fall apart.



The other side of the building is much more magnificent.



And a great family photo opportunity!

After the colliseum the tour bus stopped and let us all out at a cute little Italian restaurant.

We were suprised by a large piece of lasagna and tasty fresh bread with delicious butter. We drank some wine and just as we were ready to pull our stuffed-selves out of our chairs they brought out a second course. Veal cutlets and fresh green beans. The lasagna it turns out was just an appetizer! We stuffed as much of that down as we could and then they brought out a salad with crisp lettuce and a delicious homemade dressing. At this point we knew that Tiramisu must be coming and we weren't disappointed. I tried this delicious coffee dessert two or three times in Europe and was pleased to discover that it isn't as heavily "boozed" as most of the tiramisu I've had in the states.



Sleepily we loaded back on the bus and headed towards Vatican City. We really didn't know what to expect. We aren't Catholic and mostly thought we'd just be seeing another neat church.



Here is a picture of the line outside to see St. Peter's Basilica



Of course it started to rain as we were in the middle of that line.



Above is a picture of the Vatican Guards at work. Their outfits were originally designed by Michelangelo and they still wear the exact same uniform today.

I was not expecting to have any religious experiences inside St. Peters. I knew I'd be impressed but we were overwhelmed. This is the most beautiful church I have ever seen. Notre Dame in Paris and Westminster Abbey in London don't even begin to compare. As we were standing there looking at a sculpture that Michelangelo made when he was 24, his first masterpiece and you look around knowing that the bones of Peter the most beloved disciple are buried right below you it's hard not to get a little choked up.



My pictures of this amazing place did not turn out. I did make a small video which doesn't look too bad so I will post it as it's own blog. I was very impressed and even for a brief second considered converting.

All in all Rome and the Vatican were amazing. We loved every minute and definitely recommend it as a vacation spot.