Friday, July 10, 2015

Flower Crown Photoshoot

My lovely friend Caty and her husband Connor have been in London for the past year.  You might remember Caty from my post on Switzerland.  She was one of the fabulous SwissMisses.  She and Connor were getting ready to move back to the USA, so before they left we decided to have fun with a couple of photoshoots.  Caty is an amazing photographer.  We wanted to do something really girly, and I ask you, what is more girly than a Flower Crown Photoshoot?

So we hoofed it over to Morrison's and about £20 later we emerged with a crap ton of flowers.  Caty could barely carry them all!

We hiked up to Canizaro Park near Wimbledon Common.  I crafted Caty's crown and did her photos, she designed my crown and did all my photos.  And then we put the camera on a tripod and used my remote to do some group shots.  It took pretty much all afternoon, but it was such a good time!  

Photocred for all the pics of me: Caty Gainer
I love how this pictures of Caty turned out.  She looks like a Greek Goddess!

 Afterwards, we had a flower crown destruction party.  These images capture how excited we were to take the flowers out and go home.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Spring Break to Utah

After Houston, we caught a plane to Utah.  Going home is great.  We get to see friends and family that we miss in England.  We eat all the food that we can't find in London (good Mexican), have late night campfires, make s'mores, and go shopping at all our old stores.  However, there is also a downside to going home: the dentist.  We still go to our Utah dentist because we love them, and they are great, but this last visit, I had to get a crown.  ... ... ... ... ... I felt like my mouth had betrayed me!  I take really good care of my teeth.  But I guess it's genetic?  That's what they said anyway.  So I went 3 different times to get things sorted.  I'm glad my US dentist could help me, but now I'm a bit obsessed with my teeth, like tons of brushing, flossing, mouth wash, oil pulling.  I'm becoming a crazy lady, but I do not want a repeat to last time.

We always go stay with our friends Ali and Jon for a night.  We eat great food, play games and have a fabulous time.  Ali always has the cutest guest room set up!

We saw a double rainbow at their house!

And then Ali made the yummiest breakfast.  I love her frittatas!

We had some good family time as well.  This was after a little jam session at my Dad's girlfriend's house.  She has a lovely baby grand piano.  We all took turns playing and singing.

Rachel and I got pedicures.  It was heaven!  

I had an blushing purple and her color was electric watermelon.

We had to grab some Utah hiking before we left.  This was up Lamb's canyon near Park City.  We told Kyle we wanted a nice easy walk, so he took us up a mountain...  However the view was great once we made it up.

Goodbye Utah!  Until next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Houston: A Forecast of Thunderstorms and Jolly Good Times

Twice a year we get to fly home.  Our semi-annual trip was approaching and we decided to include a quick stop to Houston to visit our friends Brendan and Tiffany.  They had come to London to spend Christmas, so it was our turn to visit.  We were so excited for some beach time and board game time!

Porter loves reading comics to pass the time on the long air plane ride.  I actually think we are getting pretty good at long plane rides.  We flew Virgin Atlantic this time via Delta, and loved it!  Just FYI if you are looking to fly to Europe.

 However, long flights are still long.

One of the first things we did was go sailing!  Brendan and Tiffany are training to become pirates.  They had some pretty mean sailing skills.

We were rained on pretty hard, so Tiff and I hid down below, while trying not to get sea sick.

"A Beautiful Day for a Beautiful Sail"

Porter and I snuck out to the bow of the boat for a fun Titanic moment and photo opp.

Another good thing about Houston: TexMex!

These tacos were amazing, I still dream about them sometimes.

Taco Face!!!  Because, let's be honest, you can't eat a taco without making the face.  Go on try it, I know you are thinking about it now.

Porter's Taco Face

We went treasure hunting on Hipster Row at all these fabulous second hand shops.  Our favorite was a men's shop that was full of manly man stuff like fancy boots, jerky, and mustache wax.

 Beach time with this Bathing Beauty!  We had so much fun splashing around at Galveston Bay.  However, RIP to Tiff's sunglasses.  We were diving into waves, and the wave ate them.

 Catching some rays.

Tiffany made us the best watermelon juice.  That is one thing they really don't have a lot of here in England, is good watermelon.  Utah has amazing watermelon, as does Houston, so this was a welcomed treat!

The pirate ship that Brendan and Tiff are going to sail later this year.

An old movie theatre turned TEXMEX!

The last night of our stay we decided to go for a fancy night out at Underbelly.  This restaurant is amazing.  If you go to Houston, promise me that you will go.  Anyway, during our dinner it started raining.  We didn't think anything of it.  Just a normal thunderstorm, right?  Wrong.  When we were eating, at the exact same moment, everyone's phone when off with a flash flood warning for our area.  It was wet out side but we still weren't concerened.  However, as dinner ended and we got in the car to drive home, we soon realized this was not just a thunderstorm.  More like Thunderstormageddon.  The roads starting flooding, fast.  The bayous were filling up like crazy.  We drove around for almost 3 hours trying to get the car home, but in the end, we had to park the car on high ground and walk home through the water.  Porter and I had never been in a tropical thunderstorm with flooding, so it was very exciting and a bit scary for us.  

This was us waiting for Tiff to bring us provisions for our walk home. 

The flood waters rising.

One of the bayous.

 We loved our time in Houston and plan to go back soon, but for now, I prefer to be above the Thunderstorms, not below them.

Bonus Footage!
We always play epic boardgames with Brendan and Tiff.  This was some of our Battlestar Galactica Game with the Bounty Hunter Expansion.  I love this game, but it stresses me out.  Brendan was a bounty hunter coming after our wanted crew!  If only my favorite crew members weren't so naughty and getting themselves in trouble with the law.  This is the real reason we have to go back.  We need a rematch. ;)

Kyle visits the Motherland

Porter's Dad, Kyle, told us he had bought tickets to visit us the last week in April and the first week of May.  He is the first of our parents to make it to the Motherland, so we were pretty excited to see him.  The morning he arrived we met our lovely friends: Tom, Vicki, and Susie for brunch.

We have had a lot of company lately and have been traveling a lot, so we were very relieved when Kyle let us know that he was fine taking it easy.  We did a lot of hikes around the city and Wimbledon.  We ate lots of yummy food, played some music, visited some maritime museums and Kyle also did a bit of sailing in south west England around Plymouth.

I took Kyle to an old bookstore.  He loved it, and I found some fun old sheet music.

We, of course, had to do the walking tour around Big Ben, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and Exhibition Row.  The walk is roughly 5 miles.  We also took the dogs, and they LOVED it!  However, the tube ride home was during rush hour.  I was super impressed with how well the dogs did on the train.  They just sat, squashed among fifty other bodies, and waited for our stop.

We stopped by the palace for some tea with the Queen.

We took Kyle to one of our favorite Indian restaurants, Curry Royal.  I think he is a fan.

Puck was super excited to have a new human to snuggle.

Kyle is very into sailing.  He lived on a sail boat for a few years, and frequently spends winters in Mexico sailing around.  He actually has his own blog where he talks about all his adventures.  We all took a trip down to Greenwich for a visit to the National Maritime Museum.

They loved looking at the ships.

GBK is one of our favorite burger joints.  Kyle ordered a burger that was almost as big as his head, haha!  But really, we go there for the rosemary fries.  You can see them at the bottom of this picture.....pure heaven!

We hiked all over Wimbledon Common.  The dogs had a blast with all the walking they got to do.  

We finally discovered a nice stream where they can play without getting too muddy, and without chasing ducks.  On one of our hikes, the dogs were off leash, and we accidentally let them go into a pond where different birds were nesting.  There was a lot of excitement (from the dogs), yelling, splashing, and frantic grabbing, but we got them out with out any ducks becoming chew toys. Phew!

On our way up to Wimbledon Village.

Long hikes deserve long naps.

Nitro ice cream from Camden Town Market.  I told Kyle we should split it, but he said no.  He was ready to face that ice cream sandwich all by himself!

Porter and his Dad in front of our Local, The Dog and Fox.

We found a funny little Mexican place with a real life, plush, Mexican giraffe.

Walking under the Thames.

Kyle also spent a weekend dingy cruising around Plymouth.  He has a whole blog post on it.  I stole a few pictures from Facebook to put on here.  It looks beautiful!

We loved having Kyle visit!  And the dogs loved going on 5 mile hikes every other day.  Hopefully he can come back and do a little more dingy cruising.