Saturday, April 30, 2011


how could i not mention the royal wedding!! london has been set ablaze with the festive spirit...flags are of kate and william...wishes for their happiness are on the buildings...what a fun, crazy time...there are soooooooo many extra people here...that's pretty crazy in itself...but, it's fun to experience all the happiness..

12 hours in london

we got up way too early for a vacation and drove to marseille to the airport...our 'tom tom' navigation could not figure out where it was, so luckily kerry was up to the challenge and got us there!!! yea, kerry! jumped on a plane and flew to london...we got to our hotel, had a delicious brunch (i'm showing the special hot chocolate glasses they had)...we then took the bus tour to show ashley london...for only having the afternoon and evening, we did pretty good...did the tour of most of the city...stopped and shopped a we were driving in the theatre district, the girls thought it would be fun to see 'the phantom of the opera' we got tickets for that....the show was of my all time favs...brings back lots of great memories...after our show, our cabbie took us around a bit...we wanted to go past buckingham palace and most of the roads were closed...but he found one that was open...he was a fun guy to talk to...those taxis guys know everything about the city...he says it takes 4 years to become one, because of all the knowledge they have to, tomorrow our great trip ends..we are very sad...and have decided to extend it! we thought no one would mind if we just went on traveling...oh, i wish!!!
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Friday, April 29, 2011

country drive to gordes

gordes....what a gorgeous place!!!

the girls playing while I figured out where we were going!
roussillon and the drive back to aix

today we had a wonderful last day in france....we did a bit of shopping down the street from our hotel, then watched the royal wedding....and then took a fantastic drive...we drove up to the village of gordes which is in the luberon part of provence....what a fantastic view......we could hardly believe the view as we drove up the mountain...the village is high on the hill and overlooks the fields of lavendar (they aren't yet in bloom) but i'm sure it's amazing when they are....we walked around the little village, had lunch, shopped around....then, i wanted to go to roussillon but was having a hard time figuring it out with the 'tom tom' navigation....that's when kerry and ashley were bored in the car....finally i gave up and told kerry to be the in the first few turns we were lost...and all she did was laugh! finally we got on the right was only about 15 miles...but, in that time period a wild rainstorm hit was lightening and thundering, then it started hailing! it was wild...there was fog...all sorts of craziness....we got to glad we made the effort!!! it was amazing...the dirt there is ochre (red) alot of the buildings are that color...then we took a nice drive back to many of the little villages made us gasp in delight!!! our favorite day a wonderful way to end our time in france!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

st. remy

today we drove through the countryside to the beautiful town of st.'s a little town and easy to walk we walked around the had beautiful little buildings...after lunch we found out the shops are closed for we waited for a while until they opened...they were worth waiting for...very cute and quaint...we had a nice drive back until the outskirts....we had such a huge hailed we got out of the car, we were soaked in about 3 we went in, dryed off and watched tangled since there are no english stations on was a nice, easy day...we had dinner at the hotel in the little restaurant and have been sitting at our table for about 3's the only place we can get wireless...and as you can tell....we're addicted!!!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


today we said goodbye to kelly :( and boarded the train for aix-en-provence...or southern france...a beautiful ride in the countryside...when we got into the station...we had a bit of a problem finding the rental cars..they moved them and left no messages about where...but, we did finally find our little car...we drove to our beautiful little's an old villa and so pretty and so french! while waiting for our room to be ready we had a little french lunch of an omelette and 'french'! our room is so walk into a little living area with a terrace outside, then walk downstairs to the bedroom that also has a terrace...we walked down the hill to's a cute little town, tiny little streets...just very quaint...a bit of shopping (i found the famous macaroon cookies we were looking for in paris, was going to bring them home but they need to be you can look and i'll eat them), dinner and back to the hotel...tomorrow we'll go exploring!
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

shopping in paris

today, our last day in paris, we decided to do a little shopping!
we walked and walked...went to the champs elysees to see all the fun stores...we had lunch at a sidewalk little tiny tables...shopped in some stores...found a few favorites..had a drink at louis'....and generally just wandered...a nice, but tiring day...that shopping can take it out of you!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

easter monday in paris

today was a busy day...kerry, ashley and i walked to the louvre this morning thinking we would get in....surprise, was easter monday...i.e. holiday in paris!!! the line was really back to our hotel we went...we picked up kelly and went to the eiffel tower where we had lunch at the jules verne was so fun to eat in the is a great restaurant..pretty fancy..they had set the table with teeny tiny forks and spoons, which were never used...guess we didn't order correctly!....the food was delicious...afterward we went out to look at the was a gorgeous view.....from lunch we hopped on the red bus tour which took us around paris...we stopped back at the louvre, but, this time had prepaid tickets and walked right in....yea!!! we saw the mona lisa, venus di milo, winged victory....etc.etc...but it was really crowded so we left and went to notre dame cathedral...that's fantastic to see...from notre dame we went to the sacre couer cathedral...i've never been there before because it's a bit out of's on a hill looking over paris...gorgeous!!! walked around a bit, found a taxi to take us to moulin rouge...that was disappointing...not what we were looking after seeing that we headed home...a long but great day!!!
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Sunday, April 24, 2011


we arrived in paris this evening...went straight to the eiffel tower...made a new friend....had a crepe....went on a boat ride...and walked, walked, walked...tonight we had to say goodbye to kristen..she leaves early tomorrow morning...:(
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brugge easter

we're back to our story: on saturday and sunday we were in's such a beautiful little city...we went for a boat ride on the canals...they call it the little venice of the north...the weather was summertime...we walked around the city, did a little shopping...bought delicious chocolates..belgian, of course!! we went on a little carriage ride, we saw different parts of the city this was so interesting...a few facts of note...the city tax collector used to tax the people on the number of windows in their houses...the more windows the richer you were...some of the houses had a window, then a window boarded up....that wouldn't be counted...there is a convent still operating that opened in the 1500's...the clock tower rang it's bells last night and pretty much all day long today for easter...there are 21 churches in town...20 of them catholic and 1 protestant! now we're on the train to's kristen's last night...tomorrow we'll have to say goodbye to her....:(
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happy easter!

a break in the regularly scheduled program:
Happy Happy Easter!!!
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Friday, April 22, 2011


today we took the train from amsterdam to brugges was a very pretty ride through the country...brugges is a small little city...easy to walk's like a little fairytale...the buildings are so much detail in's really fun to we just wandered and looked around...shopped a bit...had some fun...we took pictures in all the cute little doorways that we found...tomorrow we will explore more's beautiful...tonight at dinner there was a little procession for easter...pretty times!
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on thursday we go up early and went to the van gogh museum, that was fantastic to see his amazing paintings...then went to the trainstation and jumped on a train to keukenhof to see the beautiful tulips...the flowers are so wonderful to see...keukenhof is a huge garden that is only open from end of march until end of may when all the flowers are in bloom...i never knew how many varieties of tulips there are! everone of them gorgeous....we took the train and then a bus to get there...out in the dutch countryside..after we walked around the gardens we rented bikes and went for a little ride in the country...that was really fun...i haven’t ridden a bike for a long time...luckily i haven’t forgotten how...while riding we saw the beautiful fields of many was quite a site...took the bus, train, taxi back to our hotel...we were exhausted and spent a quiet night in the hotel....friday onto bruges which is in belgium!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

touring amsterdam

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today kerry and i went to the airport and picked ashley up to complete our little group..we didn't give her much down time, but took off to explore the city as soon as we got back...she was a great sport..even though i'm sure she was exhausted from the we walked down and caught a boat to central station so we could take the boats around the city...afterwards we rode the boat to the anne frank house...that was an amazing thing to imagine them living for 2 years in that house...unbelievable! strong people...we then walked and walked and walked and ended up at the riiksmuseum...that is a fantastic place with rembrandts and other famous artists...afterwards we took the tram back to the city center where we walked in the famous 'red light' district...during the day it's not bad...we saw china town...and then found a little fair with a huge ferris wheel and other rides...kerry and ashley went on the swing ride, kelly, krisen and i went on the ferris wheel which was fun...unless you're kristen and afraid of heights...the view was amazing...we had a great dinner at an argentinian restaurant...had a crepe at the fair for dessert...came home exhausted!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


this morning we got up and drove back to belfast...after driving a couple of days, it felt almost natural...we made pretty good time. got to the airport, said good bye to marty and dee and checked in for our flight to amsterdam...the airline would only let you take one item on board...kelly had to empty her purse out so she could put her computer in to carry it on board..we arrived in amsterdam to beautiful warm weather...hope it holds! it is a beautiful city...we walked down through the city for about 20 min. to an area where there are alot of restaurants etc...we ate at a pizzaria...that took forever! we waited 1 1/2 hours before we got our starters...oh win some and lose some...walked back along the canals..tomorow we'll see more of the city..can't wait...
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Monday, April 18, 2011

monday in portaferry

today we have been in portaferry...we slept in and missed breakfast...this is the type of hotel that they know exactly what you’re always doing....they made sure to tell us tonight to get up earlier! we met up with marty and dee and took a wee little drive...we went up to windmill’s an old windmill and has a gorgeous view..the hills are so beautiful and green...also beautiful yellow flowers called brose...we then drove to different cemetarys looking for mary mullin’s grave...we didn’t find it, but found the was cool to look at the different headstones....they are so old and intricate..we also saw st. patrick’s church...went to the town of greyabbey...had lunch at a little pub...we dropped marty and dee at the library where they went to do some more research..we drove back to find the sign of the ‘wee damn road’...when we got back to town the girls and i took the ferry to strangford so they could also see the republic of was a very fun day...driving back to belfast tomorrow and then on to amsterdam!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011


this morning we got up, ate our porridge, an oat cake and took a taxi to the airport...we met kelly and kristen there and got our car...our large 7 passenger van would not hold 6 of us with any luggage at we rented a smaller car, loaded up and off we went..kelly did a great job driving after just getting off the plane from was a beautiful drive down the peninsula to portaferry...this is a small town that the mullin's great, great grandfather immigrated from in 1850...we are here to do some family sleuthing...trying to esablish a few things, find a grave or should be fun...portaferry is a cute little town...after checking into the only hotel in town, we went for a walk around...kristen was feeling a bit tired so she took a wee nap...the town is pretty small, has the obligatory castle, cemetary etc...after our wee walk, kerry and kelly opted for a wee nap...marty, dee and i took the ferry over to turns out that were then in the republic of in 5 minutes we were in a different country!  the view was beautiful...the sky was blue, the water even bluer...our wee ride was alot of fun...if you've noticed, i've picked up a new word..."wee"...they say that and "yous" all the time...there is even a road called "the wee damn rode"...pretty off to bed and more adventures tomorrow...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

belfast, northern ireland

on thursday night, kerry and i left los angeles (after a nervous ride to the airport, (bad traffic) for jolly old england...we landed, found that i had forgotten to book our luggage to belfast, so, in a rush, we went through customs, retreived our luggage, went upstairs to check in for our flight, found that our next plane was in a different terminal, found the train, took train to terminal one, checked in, went through one check point, then security....finally got to our plane with 5 minutes to spare!!! whew!!! so, we finally arrived in belfast...right after getting into our room at about 7:30 pm, we saw marty and dee walking down the street...we went to dinner, came home and we took a tour of know, belfast and northern ireland has had it's wars...they are called 'the troubles''s been going on for hundreds of years...and since about 1916 in the last go around...the catholics vs. the's all about religion...we toured around the areas today...we saw a park of murals...they show different aspects of the troubles, starting back in the 1600's...a really cool one is of the's an optical illusion...his gun is trained on you, no matter where you stand...we saw where the protestants live...the peace line, which is the dividing line between the two groups and the catholic go to segregated schools..everything is interesting...belfast is a neat city, not huge, easy to walk around...we are staying near queen's college, so there are alot of students...belfast is where the titanic was built...they are very proud of that...they say, it was great until the 'english' took over the ship...haha...after our tour we ate lunch at a little sandwich shop, then we went to a mystery book shop...that was fun...just full of mysteries...took a little nap...had some chinese food...alot of those in bed! tomorrow we pick up kelly and kristen, then the 6 of us are driving to portaferry where the mullin family originated...that is why we are here in ireland...dee is doing some research on the mullin family for we are tagging along to the 'old' hometown!!!
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

me, myself and i

how many times do you say the word I, me, my mine etc?  we are all self absorbed...we are doing what we have or want to's our lives so that's how it's my wedding, my trip, my day, my, my, my,...i'm not writing to's cause i'm on that path...i need to stop and smell the roses..
we need to look into other's lives...think of someone elses blog, talk about someone else...ask how a friend is doing instead of immediately talking about aware of the aware of your daughters accomplishments...of your son's worries at work, of your friends dreams....think of service for others...get out of yourself...or myself as the case maybe...but, i've gotta go...i have to go spend time on me!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


if you saw me walking down thousand oaks blvd...i wasn't, russ, kristen and i went on a little we went house hunting for the two of was fun to see what they might be living in after the wedding...then we went to dinner at p..f changs...that's always great...and afterward we went to a chinese foot massage....we had to split up because one place could only take 2 i went to one and they to was the best $20 that i have spent in a long time...i was instantly transported to, that's a great deal!  the massage was fantastic...i think i'm going to have to try all the places out around the conejo valley...that will be a fun job!!!