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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paris... The City of Lights!

This trip to Paris was pretty last minute, but so worth it! We had originally thought about going sometime toward the end of the school year, but the stars aligned and somehow we were able to find an open standby spot on the nonstop flight from Salt Lake! It was only a short four day trip, but we were able to see everything we wanted to! 



It just so happened that Aaron and his friend Cory left for Paris the day before we did (for the start of their 2 week tour of Europe), so we were able to meet up with them the day we got there for an awesome bike tour around the city. We packed in a lot of sights in four hours!

At the Louvre...



Nick and his crafty way of filming-while-biking... haha
video


In front of the Eiffel Tower...




The best dinner crepe I've ever tasted - grilled chicken, sauteed tomatoes, and gruyere cheese. yum.



Got to see the light tour before we went to the top!



At Notre Dame





One thing I love about Paris is that there is a beautiful view no matter where you are... whether it's right in the middle of the city or up on a hill. Even the apartment buildings are beautiful!


At my favorite patisserie near Sacre Coeur.. the best macarons I've ever tasted! 

Again.. my beloved macaroons along with Orangina. Probably the best dinner... ever!


Arc de Triomphe


They are in the process of restoring the stained glass at St. Chapelle, and you can see the difference on each side of the cathedral. The restored glass is SO brilliant in person.. pictures just don't do it justice! 


One of my favorites at the Louvre -- David's Coronation of Napoleon

Napoleon's Tomb


We took a good two hour nap on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower. I had never seen it so packed with locals just enjoying themselves with their wine and baguettes! Definitely a prime location for people watching :)

Probably one of the best recent additions to the city... rental bikes! For a few Euros you can tour the city by bike... and return it at any kiosk throughout the city. Such a great idea!


Our audio tour at Versailles

Sadly, our camera died right after this picture at Versailles, but we were able to tour the entire palace along with Marie Antoinette's gardens as well as the Grand Trianon. This place never ceases to amaze me... every detail is plastered in gold or marble. So beautiful!

Leaving our hotel for the airport... we found a cute little hotel just a few minutes outside the city and it worked perfectly for us! We had such an amazing (and exhausting) four days in the city. I don't think my feet have ever been that tired.. but I definitely wouldn't trade it. We can't wait to get back to Europe!



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hawaii


We had been planning this trip to Oahu for several months as our big end-of-summer trip before school started up again. Oahu is definitely my favorite island in Hawaii and I've been wanting to take Nick there for a long time since it's one of my family's favorites. It was so nice to see the beach again and relax for a few days! 





We spent Saturday morning at Hanauma Bay, probably one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. We saw so many colorful fish that we had never seen before! 

During our drive around the island that afternoon we decided to stop at Shark's Cove to get some more use out of our snorkel gear, and I'm so glad we did! I've never been snorkeling there because every time I had been there before was in the winter with really high tides. But this time of year the water was more clam than I had ever seen it.. and we saw some amazing schools of fish! 

And of course, you can't drive through Haliewa without stopping at Matsumotos! 


Church in Honolulu


Pali Lookout

Pearl Harbor



We spent lots of time on Waikiki beach just soaking up the sun.. it doesn't get any better than that! Nick's skin got about 10 shades darker... while I'm pretty sure that my skin stayed the same color!


A trip to Waikiki isn't complete without getting conned into holding the infamous parrots! 

It was so much fun to get to see Jordan and Cole... on their Honeymoon! They stopped in Oahu on their way back from their stay in Maui, and we got to go to dinner with them while they were there. 

In front of my favorite hotel...


We spent our last day on the island at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I hadn't been there since I was really little, so it was fun to go back when I could really appreciate it. This is a giant canoe that was built about 10 years ago by the students at BYU- Hawaii. It looks way bigger in real life! 





We topped our day off with the Luau and their their new show, Ha - Breath of Life... which is amazing! 

And in between dinner and the show, we got to visit the temple grounds for a little bit... a tradition to take a picture there every time I'm on the island! 

San Francisco

On our way to and from Oahu, we had an overnight layover in San Francisco, so we decided it would be a great chance to get out and see the city together. I guess I should have checked the weather.. but just assumed it would be summer just like everywhere else. Nope! We were surprised with a cool 60 degrees and lots of wind when we got off the plane. We had to resort to a cheesy tourist sweatshirt for Nick so we could try and stay warm! 

We hit the typical tourist spots downtown... Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. It was pretty cloudy, so you can't really see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, but we had a great view of Alcatraz!



Fisherman's Wharf and the famous stinky sea lions in the foreground


Ghirardelli Square... we definitely got our chocolate fix for the day! We also enjoyed some killer clam chowder bread bowls at the Boudin bakery. To die for! 

My Best Friend's Wedding!

My best friend and next door neighbor, Jordan, got married on July 30th. It's was so much fun to be able to throw her bridal shower and be there at her wedding and dinner afterward! It was the first time that all five of us girls had really been together since graduation, and it was just like old times... except for we're a little more grown up now :) Hard to believe that Jordan and I have been friends and neighbors for 10 years!


All of us at the shower that we threw at my parent's house in Logan -- and the food table below. Thanks to Lindsey and Kyndra for making amazing cupcakes!

We also loved getting to spend time with Erin's new baby Quinncey, who is just so adorable.
We hit the sidewalk sale in downtown Logan after the shower, and got some treats at the old Bluebird restaurant. 




Waiting for the happy couple outside of the temple...


I should have taken more pictures of her dinner room, but everything was absolutely amazing.. especially the flowers (and the food)!


All five of us on the dance floor after the dinner






She had the most stunning dress that fit her style just perfectly. Definitely one-of-a-kind!


We couldn't be more happy for Jordan and Cole. We've known them both for a long time and think they are perfect for each other! 


Jordan's car that we decorated... and the sparklers we lit to send them off on their honeymoon! And as Jordan said during the reception (and as you can see in the picture)... July 30th was probably the hottest day of the summer in Logan!