Thursday, August 30, 2012

History -- Owned

Timeline of Stress

Throughout the summer:  Bri put off reading The Jungle for AP History but finally finished.

Tuesday: Bri finished up her chapter notes due in history and started studying for her test.

Wednesday morning:  Bri started her junior year. 

Wednesday Afternoon:  I picked up a hyperventilating Brianne.  Between breaths into a lunch bag, Bri explained that she had MRS. WILL for AP History!  The hardest teacher.  That her test tomorrow was not just on one chapter of notes but also the previous chapter’s notes as well.  The chapter from last year – the one she already took a test on.  She said, “I’m going to get a 5 on the AP test.  Last year my friend never got above a B- on a test and got a 5 on the AP test.”  Bri spent the rest of the day studying and quizzing me about Lincoln and reconstruction.

Somehow we ended up talking about how reconstruction was different under Johnson.  And I ended up saying, “After Lincoln was assassinated by vampire sympathizer John Wilkes Booth …”  (And yes, that is exactly what it can be like to have a conversation with me.)  Bri said that she was going to use that in her test.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where were we? Oh, that's right Spain

But maybe I should detour to Carcassonne first.  On our way to Barcelona we stopped by Carcassonne (it’s not just a game*) for the morning.  It’s impressive!  It’s Europe’s largest fortified medieval city.  

Picture attribution here.

How could we miss exploring a giant castle?  Jacob bought a crossbow, Elizabeth bought two helmets and we stuffed ourselves with French junk food – crepes and paninis so the day was quite successful if filled with French tourists**.

We decided to drive over the Pyrenees Mountains and they are absolutely gorgeous.  I wish that we had planned a river rafting trip or to go on a zip line.  That is the one big regret I have.  I didn’t realize until seeing them how nice it would have been to stay there for a day or two.

Picture attribution here.

*Sorry for the geeky board game humor but I can’t help myself.  Next time we play it Eileen, I will own you!  Because I’ve actually been there now and I’m sure that conveys actual skills - probably through subliminal messages via the audio guide.

** Going during the height of the tourist season might not have been the wisest, or least crowded option.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Drinking down the last dregs of summer

My dad called me today to see if I was still in Barcalona.  It was a subtle hint to post something.

I told him I was still in Europe and didn't have Internet in a desperate attempt to buy myself some time.

The truth is that for some odd reason (peer pressure) I decided to go to girls camp with Bri for a week and for another odd reason (insanity) I decided that we could paint our own house and save ourselves $5,000 dollars.  That is actually true; however, I fear that the defense lawyer I'll require after I strangle  a couple of kids might require that money as a retainer thus I will not end up saving anything.

Monday, August 6, 2012


We drove to Barcalona on Wednesday.  I would never want to drive there because that city is huge!   Fortunately I didn't have to.  My husband did.  Thursday we got up, ate breakfast in the hotel and we went to Sagrada Familia.  It was well worth the wait.  It was beautiful!  And while we were waiting in line a man came up to us and gave us the ticket he'd bought for his family to go up the elevator because he had to leave.  So nice!  After lunch we returned to the hotel for a two hour seista since we were trying to adjust to Spainish customs.  Then that night we took the metro to see the Magic Fountain.  

Friday we walked La Rambla and checked out La Boqueria Market.  It was great!  We bought snacks and two fruit juices each.  Then we drove to Taragona.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Montpellier and On

Before we left Paris we saw the Louvre.  My husband spent a significant amount of time in the Gare de Lyon train station picking up a rental car and trying to navigate through Paris by himself after sweet talking Hertz into renting him a car with an expired license that my nephew David had Fed Ex'ed to him after the pick pocketers stole his current one.  ( I guess renting from Hertz 30 times so far this year has paid off for us!). While the rest of us waited for 2 1/2 hours to see the Catacombs.  (A one timer for me.)

We drove down past Dijon and stayed for the night then we arrived in Montpellier.  Monday we checked out the Coloseum in Nimes and on Tuesday we walked around Montpellier, swam in the pool, did some laundry.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Safety First

Because we are so concerned about pick pockets we decided it would be safest to have a moat. So, my husband found a Chateau with one.  

Bonus - my hand was kissed by a Count TWICE!    It was a little exciting.

Not a bonus (because I don't like Microsoft) but interesting.  Bill and Melinda Gates stayed in the same suite on their honeymoon.

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