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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Plans

We officially have the bug. No, not swine flu (thankfully) - the travel bug. We are trying to make up for lost time (since we barely traveled all spring) and the nice summer weather, and have just finished booking all of our trips from now until October! Since you guys usually don't get to hear about our trips until AFTER (sometimes WAY after) I get back, here's a heads up as to where in the world Brian and Tracy will be this summer (and fall!) -

- Copenhagen - Another "tag along" work trip for me. Brian has to go for work and I decided to stow away in his carry on for the weekend. We will be splitting our time between Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden (two more countries down!)

- Oslo and Bergen, Norway - This will be a work\leisure trip. Work for Brian in Oslo, leisure for me in Oslo, and leisure for both of us in Bergen. We will be joining some friends in Bergen for a kayaking trip down the fjords. Speaking of which, I should probably attempt to get some arm muscles before this trip...

- New York\Rhode Island\Connecticut - we have TWO dear friends getting married in September! First its off to RI for wedding #1, I will be staying the week after to visit friends and family all over the state of New York, and back to CT for wedding #2.

- Ireland - AGAIN!! We loved it so much we just had to go back. And our friends that are visiting us from NY in Sept requested it as a side trip. Twist my arm, ok ok I'll go back to Ireland!

- Slovenia - This time its pure leisure (but not all relaxation!) as we head to Slovenia for two weeks in Sept and Oct. At first we were going to split our time between Slovenia and Croatia, but there are so many AMAZING things to see in Slovenia, we will probably end up spending most of our time there - hiking, kayaking, cycling, CAMPING (people who know me, you can faint now) - and enjoying some amazing scenery along the way. Check this out -
Julian Alps - here we come!

Speaking of which (again) - I should try to get some leg muscles, those peaks look pretty high...

So make sure to check back every couple of weeks, theres bound to be a new travel update!

I hope you guys are having a GREAT summer so far - let us know your plans for the summer!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Malta - Day 4

The original reason we decided to go to Malta was because Brian had to go down there for work. So, on Monday we split up - he went to work and I went off to Valletta for the day. And by go to work I mean he left before dawn to visit a ship docked off the coast of Valletta. Not a bad days work if you ask me.

I took the bus to the capital and wandered through it in a couple of hours. Its not very big but is very old and has a ton of history. And a ton of churches. Very religious people, the Maltese. By lunch time I was hot and tired and had enough of site-seeing for the day. I headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a little lunch and pool time before Brian returned for the day.

Unfortunately I was heading back to London that night, but Brian was able to enjoy one more day in Malta - "working" of course! We had a great time visiting this tiny little country - and would def recommend it if you are in the area!

Malta - Day 3

We had booked an all day diving trip for Sunday. We were to leave at 9 am, head over to the island of Cosimo, take a boat over to the first dive site, break for lunch, head to the second dive site and then make our way back to St Julians. After a *hectic* morning getting ready (lets just say it had something to do with us NOT setting our clocks forward to Malta time) we finally made it to the dive center. A short van trip later and we were on the boat heading towards the first dive spot. I should clarify at this point that Brian was going diving and I was going snorkeling. Anyone who remembers my not so pleasant diving experience in St Croix will know that I'm safer at the top of the water, not the bottom.

After all of the divers took off for their first dive, I jumped in with all of my scuba gear and immediately lost all of it. One of my flippers and my mask popped off when I hit the water and immediately sank. Who knew...plastic flippers and masks sink. Now I do. Snorkeling - so far not working for me. Once to divers came back, one of the instructors was kind enough to dive to the bottom to retrieve my gear - but not before he was alerted that the "American girl lost her gear!". Which I was thankful for because this meant I wasn't going to have to hose off diving gear for the next two weeks to pay them back.
We headed over to the Blue Lagoon for lunch - an amazing sandy beach area which is wildly popular with locals and tour boats. We grabbed some lunch, saw some amazing scenery and enjoyed an ice cream (or two) before heading out to the second dive spot. My second attempt at snorkeling was much more successful - I left the flippers on the boat and put my mask on after I slowly lowered myself into the water. Much better.

We were pretty exhausted from our busy day, so we headed back to the bay for dinner. We had some pizza and enjoyed people watching from our terraced view. All in all a great day!

Malta - Day 1 and 2

We arrived in Malta around dinner time last Friday. After seeing MANY rooms in our hotel and finally finding one that didn't smell, we settled in and tried to find a place for dinner. We stayed in the town called St Julians, which apparently is a huge party town. We made our way to a bay that had a lot of restaurants and ran right into the main party street in St Julians and noticed how YOUNG the people at the bars were. Now, I know I'm getting old, but I'm only 27. And I look like I'm 18. So the fact that I felt like a pedophile watching this kids get boozed up felt very wrong. We finally made our way to Peppinos for a great dinner. Brian managed to find the ONLY bar in Malta that plays Guns n Roses and promptly made that our outpost for the rest of the night. We made friends with a couple of Irish and British girls and partied the night away, mosh pit and all.

We woke up early Saturday morning and made our way to the private beach that our hotel has across the road, and camped out all morning on the beach. Best. Thing. Ever. I love hot weather, blue skies and clear water. By the afternoon we were getting restless and decided to check out some other parts of the island. We took a bus over to Sliema (check out the retro buses Malta uses for public transport) - which had some amazing views of the capital, Valetta, and some great shopping. We decided it would be fun to WALK along the coast back to St Julians, in the blazing heat, which was a good 3-4 miles. At least we worked up an appetite for dinner. We decided to make it an early night because we had booked a scuba/snorkeling trip for Sunday!
Here is the link for all of our pictures - enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Im baaaaackkkk - again!

I'm back from Malta! Brian had some work to do down there and he is in the air as we speak heading back to London, where summer appears to be over.

As soon as I can I will upload our pics - we had a GREAT time in Malta! Sunshine! HEAT! Ocean! 12 yr olds partying their butts off! Seriously. Malta was a great/weird/interesting tiny country. We went to the beach, went scuba diving (brian, not me...we all know how well that turned out last time I attempted breathing under water), explored the capital and had some great food!

A full recap will follow as soon as Brian gets back with the camera...and I am HAPPY to say that I do not resemble a lobster for once :)
We are back in London for a few weeks, the next trip isnt planned until August! Jeff is coming to visit this weekend so I will be busy playing tour guide - very happily I might add! Its been a LONG time since I last saw Jeff, and am excited to have another visitor!! I guess that means I should go clean the apt...more to come later!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ireland - Day 2

Day 2 recap! Day 2 was definitely way busier than day1. We woke up bright and early and Sean had made a rough plan of what we were going to do that day. We headed off to Kylemore Abbey to go hiking.

Kylemore Abbey was once a large house, but after the family passed away a group of tons took it over. It is now an all girls school, and some parts are open to the public. Brian and I had wanted to go to Kylemore Abbey anyway, and it happened to be the same place we were going to to go hiking! Or so we rained on and off all night and when we got to Kylemore Abbey the ticket office told us the trails were too wet to hike on, so the trail was closed. Not to worry though - we got some amazing pictures of the abbey (and there was even a rainbow in front of it when we were driving up!! how perfect!) and then made our way over to a neighboring mountain.
We started the climb and the weather was fine. Cloudy and windy but that's the way Ireland is. About 1/4 of the way up it started to rain. And then it started to pour. And pour and pour and pour. Now if you know me at all, you probably know that I am not the biggest fan of exercise. Through in some pouring rain, cold temperature and two enthusiastic boys running to the top and you can imagine how happy I was. However - once I crawled to the top of the mountain, the rain finally stopped and the wind was doing a great job drying us off - I decided that the climb was totally worth it. The clouds started to lift and we had an amazing view of the bay and towns below us - seriously amazing!
Next on our list was a visit to near by town Clifton, where we enjoyed mussels and a hard earned Guinness for lunch. Sean then took us to two beaches - one on a gold course and the other was Dog Bay - which just goes to show how varied the terrain is out there! We ended the day with another pint at an old mansion that was converted into a hotel. We sat by the fire and enjoyed our drink to the fullest! and may have taken a nap as well :)

Ireland - Day 1

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!

Brian and I went to Ireland for the weekend and we had an amazing time. At first we were going to go to Dublin, but then a friend of ours invited us out to his families house on the west coast of Ireland - about an hour west of Galway. Shortly after landing in Dublin, we picked up our rent-a-car and were on our way west!

We spent the afternoon of our first day exploring Galway. A small city with a big university population, Galway has loads of charms. Tons of little shops, pubs and restaurants to explore! We wandered around for the afternoon, taking our time, and enjoyed our first pint of Guinness at The Quays Pub (pronounced k-e-y-s). The Quays is super popular amongst locals and tourists, as the inside of the pub was an old church that was dismantled and reassembled in Ireland! The inside has tons of character, and we wished that we were going to be around that evening to enjoy it at it fullest! Sadly though, we said goodbye to Galway and headed west to Seans house in Carna.

The drive there was amazing - the west coast is full of rocks...seriously more rocks than I have ever seen in my whole life! The roads are VERY narrow and full of twists and turns (although the speed limit is still 60MPH...interesting...) and relatively easy to navigate since there aren't that many roads out there in general! After about an hour we arrived at Seans house - a small cottage on the ocean that has been in his family forever.

Sean showed us the lay of the land - we walked all along the coastline climbing the rocks and avoiding jellyfish. We gathered drift wood as we went along, and had a great bonfire to end the evening!

Here is a link for our pics - there are a ton just to warn you :) but def worth a look!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

NYC Update

FINALLY - youre getting an update from our trip to NYC a couple of weeks back. I'm slow. I know.

It was a VERY busy week - we spent lots of time in LI visiting friends and family, and lots of time in NYC visiting friends, looking at potential wedding venues, visiting with family, party with our friends and attending Frank and Laurens wedding!!

Sad to say, the weather was pretty crap - it was actually nicer and warmer in LONDON than it was in NYC that week...strange....

here is a link to our pictures from our week at home - of course i broke my camera right at the beginning of Frank and Laurens wedding, so I dont have any pics of that - but there are plenty of other good ones on there!

This weekend we will be in Ireland, so I promise a more timely update from that trip next week!