Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Ok, so just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I am posting this early because I am not smart enough to figure out how to schedule a post  I am just that organized!! No seriously, I just want to relax tomorrow and enjoy the day. No chores, no work and no blogging!

I have been busy recapping my spring break trip last year so I didn't have time to share with you my very minor holiday decs.

My mantle this year.
I totally had planned to make a banner to kind of fill
the gap at the top but that never happened.
Maybe next year?
For some reason, I just love the rabbit on the left and
that is not my normal go-to type of decoration!
In the large holder are a bunch to $1.00 glitter eggs from Target from last year.

I also love this guy but he freaking sheds everywhere -
just like a real rabbit!
My Girl Scouts made these many years ago.
Just a styrofoam egg with a popsicle stuck in it.
We added floral foam in the pot and just pushed the popsicle stick in.
(Note: the egg is that smooth type of styrofoam, not the porous kind).
Another Easter decoration made by my scouts.
Super easy and adorable too!
My favorite holiday chalkboard.
Egg dyeing time.

Hubby's contribution.
We are very excited about making the Elite Eight this year
Go Gators!
So just a quick blog post to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I am looking forward to church, food, family and relaxation tomorrow. Can't wait! I will finish tackling the backyard, but that is for another post!

Spring Break - Day Huit

Ok, so our final day in Amsterdam was a lot of fun, full of beautiful colors and sights!

How can we resist the beautiful flowers,
even if it didn't feel like spring!?!
I about had a cow! 50 tulip for 8 Euros,
about $10!! I wanted to take hundreds home!
Playing at a local park.

We decided we needed some culture so we took a
tour of the Vincent Van Gogh museum.
We saw tons of paintings including many of his self-portraits,
sunflowers, still lifes, landscapes, you name it.
It was a very impressive collection and a great way to spend an afternoon!
We weren't allowed to take photos inside but
my youngest lost a tooth in the museum.
She lost her first tooth in Paris on our first visit
and was visited by the French tooth fairy - Giselle.
Hanging out at the famous "I AMsterdam" sign.

I tried and tried to put these next to each other on this blog,
but never could. I have come to the conclusion that it is
because they are horizontal photos and not user stupidity!
Proost to a great vacation!

There were beautiful swans everywhere you looked.
Fearing the cutting off of fries when we returned home,
we decided to have one more go around.
They were totally worth all the calories! 

We made a reservation at one of the most authentic Dutch restaurants for some
home cooked food. We had no idea of what to expect.
Ok, one MORE  helping of fries and that is it!
The potatoes and meat on top were delicious.
It was a cozy room with lots of charm and a great last meal!

Checking out of our hotel the next morning
before heading to the airport.

Heading home after another great trip. The beauty of this trip is that I don't have to do any laundry since we actually got home a year ago!! I hope you enjoyed all our special moments and photos. I am off to finish cooking for Easter tomorrow but that is for another post!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break - Part Sept

Ok, so we woke up and said good-bye to beautiful Brugges, hoping to come back here for more divine chocolates and beautiful scenery and headed to the train station. Our next stop is Amsterdam but first we had to change trains in Antwerp.

Antwerp had such a pretty train station.
This is a horrible picture (remember, good camera dropped and broken
in Brugges), but the yellow is just rows and rows of tulips.
We passed several of these farms and believe it or not,
this is the best shot I got! A little in my defense though,
we were riding on fast moving trains.
Needless to say, they were just beautiful.
I loved our cozy room and the
 hotel was super charming - The Hotel des Arts.

You know I like a pretty ceiling!

I believe this square is called the Dam Square.
It's the main square in Amsterdam.
So, us being us, spent the whole day saying,
"where is that dam square!"
Of course, it was freezing cold so we ducked into a restaurant
for some drinks, one thing Amsterdam is known for  . . . 
And cheese, another top pick here!

So, we happened upon a great little cheese shop and felt like "tacky" American tourists because I think we sampled every single cheese they had, one better than the next! We ended up buying several rounds of cheese and headed out to explore more of the city. I have the name of the cheese shop saved somewhere, I think on my Pinterest, but at the moment, not sure which folder! I will find it and update this.

This is the narrowest (is that a word?) building in Amsterdam.
I would totally be claustrophobic!
The girls in front of the house Anne Frank hid in
during the war. My oldest was reading the book in
school so it was perfect she was able to tour it.
In fact, the lady in the gift shop liked her
so much, she gave her an English copy of the Diary that
was slightly damaged (back corner flap was folded in!).
Hopefully, she will always think of this day when
she reads that book.

This is the church bell tower that Anne Frank
writes about hearing.
Apparently, it still looks the same.
We had a great Italian meal here and needless to say, tulips were everywhere!
The girls hot chocolate was so hot in the glass,
they used their gloves to drink it!
See that water pitcher in the bottom right of the photo?
We were so thirsty, we drank five of them.
No biggie, right?
Except they charged us 5 Euros for each pitcher -
and that was tap water!!

So "Proost" to another great day and, come to think of it, I don't think we took a cab once today. Just a heck of a lot of walking!! We were all exhausted and tumbled into our cozy, cozy beds, all made with thick down comforters. We have one more great day in Amsterdam before flying home, but that is for another post!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break - Part Six

Ok, so this morning we have the privilege of waking up in Brugges, Belgium. What a great day (except for my poor camera - more to come on that!).

And look at the view outside our window this morning -
right on the main square.

We headed out to explore and of course, eat and drink Belgian beer. It was amazing how much colder it was here than in Paris. Brugges (also spelled Bruges) is known as the Belgium Venice because of it's canals. Ironically, we had trouble finding the canals (and no, not because of the beer!). We did come across some at the end of the day though!

You know the old saying,
when in Belgium, eat chocolate at every stop!
We even got a large box of chocolate from
our hotel as a welcome gift!
The flowers are starting to bloom.

My hubby tried Green River Eel - and liked it and
no, that big beer did not influence his taste buds! 
This church, tucked in the corner of the square, is called
The Church of the Holy Blood.
The church claims that it has a holy relic, a cloth covered with Jesus's blood after he was taken down from the Crucifix. There are no photos allowed inside but when you go in, there is a priest holding the vial. You walk up the stairs and just look at it. It was a little weird because I didn't know if we were suppose to bow or congratulate him. We just smiled, said thank you and moved on. Here's a picture I found on-line of what we saw -

After that, it was time to eat again.
The girls loved the menus on the wooden board.

My youngest got a treat in her kids meal, this had ice cream in it!
Great Christmas shop where we bought some large glass icicles.
Didn't think about how I was going to get them home but
luckily they all survived the plane trip!
We also bought some fun handbags and cute ballet flats
(but no photos - sorry!)

See, I told you we found the canals!!
I guess I was so excited I dropped my camera and this is where
I broke my good lens. That really irritated me!

We headed back to the room for some well deserved rest and chocolates (I am proud to say, we didn't take one cab here, other than to and from the train depot). We joked that we would all have withdrawals from all the sugar we ate (and maybe from the Belgian Cherry Beer that I LOVE so much!).  Time to pack because we are moving on to another city/country - Amsterdam, here we come but that is for another post!