Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Feels Like Christmas Eve

I'm really excited for tomorrow's Dr.'s appointment. Sure I could do without the pap smear but I'm really excited to have a real due date and to have an ultra sound! I can't wait to see the baby and for it to feel more real.

All of the online due date calculators and the books and everything give me different due dates. (only varying from Oct 1st to the 4th) When I thought I was 9 weeks the Dr.'s office said 10. But I didn't want to get my hopes up that I was farther so I've been counting it the slow way still. At whattoexpect.com it says I'm 14 weeks and 2 days but according to webmd I'm 13 weeks and 4 days, so really I just have no clue. I realize its not a huge difference but it'll still be fun to know for sure how big and far along the baby is.

I know it probably sounds crazy because I KNOW its really early but I keep thinking I feel little, soft, fleeting movements once in a while. I know its early, I know its probably gas but still...

Anyway, that's all. I'm just excited.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And Baby Makes Three

Yep, I'm pregnant. The due date is October 1st but I still haven't seen a doctor so I guess it could change a little. October first is what the women in the Dr's office told me on the phone so we're going with that for now. We FINALLY see the Dr. on April 1st but I'm pretty sure there's really one in there because I feel like CRAP!

Don't get me wrong, I know people have it a lot worse than I do but I think I'm just a big sissy. I hate feeling nauseous all the time and I HATE throwing up.

I really am excited to have a baby, I just don't feel good that's all.

It is really fun to read about the development though, for example right now the baby is the size of a lime.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When in Rome...and There's Nothing Catchy With Barcelona In It

Rome. Rome was awesome. We took an hour train ride from Civitevecchia, our port city into Rome and hopped off as soon as we saw the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. We just walked towards it and sort of stumbled into St. Peter's Square and it felt amazing. It really was so great to be there. Of all of my many adventures abroad (which include this and a trip last year with my sister to Paris and Venice) I've come to learn that Italy is my favorite. I just really like it.

We wondered through the square, went inside the church and then decided it was time to find the Sistine Chapel because we had a lot to do and only a day to do it. The line to get into the Vatican Museum's was SO LONG. And we got there pretty early. It was well worth it to see Michelangelo's depiction of God touching the finger of Adam.

After the Sistine Chapel we got slightly lost and decided the some authentic pizza would probably give us the mental clarity we needed. Not to mention some Fresca Orange (Amber I know you'll be pleased.) Let me tell you a little story about Europe and Fresca. You know how Fresca is nothing more than orange soda that you might as well by the Shasta brand of and give it to the kiddos? Well in Europe its good. Really good. It's kind of like, carbonated orange juice but better than what you're thinking.

Anyway, some thin crust and fresh mozzarella proved to do the trick because we soon found our way to the metro and made a stop at Trevi Fountain. We tossed in some American pennies, more wish for your buck that way, and headed back to the metro for the Colosseum.

The Colosseum was awesome to see. I mean, how often do you get to see something so infamously historic? Unless you're Roman or Egyptian I'd say not very. It was huge and over looking the Roman forum was incredible.

We made our way down to the Roman forum, wandered around a bit and then decided it was probably time to head back to the metro. Just to be sure we caught the boat with time to spare. This was our first official stop after all. Well, when we got back to the station I showed Shawn that Circus Maximus was just one stop farther and we'd never be in Rome again. He agreed to make it a quick trip.

Sure it was nothing more than a field but still, this is where they held chariot races, ya know? Totally cool. Not cool however was hopping back on the metro, taking us to the train station, missing the train to Civitevecchia by 2 minutes and having to wait 40 minutes for the next one which had us running to catch a cab to take us right to the boat because we were supposed to be back on the boat at 6:30 and it was 6:40 and the boat was leaving at 7 with or without us. Holy Stressful. I am glad to report that we made it.

In Barcelona we Gaudi'd it up. After an interesting 40 Euro breakfast at our hotel we set out to see the Sagrada Fagmilia which was so ornate its ridiculous. One might even say its gaudy.

This is one of the doors into Sagrada Fagmilia. I thought it was awesome. We actually took a double decker bus tour of the city which is so stereotypically touristy its ridiculous but it made the day so easy. Just hop off hop on at all the stuff you want to see anyway. Before heading to our next stop we ate at what seemed to be a hip Barcelonian restaurant where I ordered paella and Shawn had some rabbit. Paella was...not as good as I always dreamed it would be. But still, I was in Spain eating Paella so who am I to complain?

Here we are a Park Guell, another of Gaudi's projects. It was originally intended to be a housing area but no one really bought into it so now its pretty much just a park people come to visit. I'm with the mosaic lizard because he's totally dope.

Shawn chilling on one of the benches in the park. They were so beautiful.

After a long day of site seeing I told Shawn that I wanted to see the Torre Agbar because it looked so cool in pictures. Armed with a map we headed there under the Spanish night sky. Imagine our disappointment when the tower came into view and it was not lit up! I was thoroughly disappointed. We decided to eat at a Spanish fast food place and then sort of wandered through an outdoor mall. After all of that our feet were throbbing so we started looking for the nearest Metro stop. As soon as we made our way out of the mall area we were greeted with a brightly lit Torre Agbar. Hallelujah! I was so happy.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gobble Gobble, Go Greace Lightnin'

That's right, I'm that big of a dork. In other words the title should read, Turkey and Greece.

In keeping with going backwards through our journey next up is Turkey. In Turkey we took a guided tour of Ephesus. It was really awesome. I think it was Shawn's favorite part of the trip as a whole.

In case you're unfamiliar with the Bible, Ephesus is an ancient city...remember a little book in the bible called Ephesians? They were letters that Paul wrote calling the people unto repentance. After seeing the brothel first hand and the "secret" tunnel underground leading there from the library you can see why. How stupid did these men think their wives were? No one caught on when their husband kept spending all his time at the library but didn't seem to be getting any smarter? Hmm...I don't know.

The stadium there was really cool too. Our tour guide, Tulay (pronounced July with a T) told us as we were walking the path there that many important people visited this theater in its time, when we walked there we were walking where Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, Caesar and even Paul had walked. Paul was even chased from this theater and he ran from his life. Below Shawn is on the stage preaching Paul style. I'm an angry Ephesian.

I could probably continue on about Turkey but we still have a lot of stops to visit so lets move on to Athens.

In Athens we just decided to figure it out on our own. We went to the acropolis and had a fun day just wandering around. It was awesome to see all of the ruins and the ancient Olympic stadium.

All over Athens there were these dogs that just layed there. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you they were EVERYWHERE. And they all looked mostly dead because they really weren't doing anything. Also, they all had on collars. Why so many seemingly stray dogs with collars? We have no clue.

We ate lunch at a fun spot right in the middle of the tourist area. There were accordion players aplenty. Our menus, which I forgot to take a picture of were so funny because this man brings out these two totally different looking children's books and walks away. Shawn and I just looked at each other and cracked them open. Yup, picture books but the menu was hand written on each of the pages, in English mind you but still, pretty funny.

We really just kind of wandered most of the day there, it was nice and low key. We got out of the super tourist-y spots and just sat in a square for a while relaxing.

Up next, Rome and Barcelona.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies...

It's good to be back I'm not going to lie.

Our trip was incredible we got to see so many wonderful things. I'm going to go back wards and talk about Malta and Cairo for now.

Malta was awesome and way exceeded both Shawn's and my own expectations. Probably because we didn't have any. As stupid as it sounds, I didn't even know what Malta was until we booked the cruise. For those of you as clueless as I am its a little island country by Sicily. It has been fought over many times, its notorious for having been pillaged by pirates a lot and it is an independent nation. It was a British Colony for a while and all of the signs are in English, all of the people speak very good English (at least that we met) and they drive on the left side of the road. That was insane to me. I kept feeling like the bus was about to turn head on into traffic.

We went to a city there called Mdina and it was so awesome. It was all stone and it was like a fortress. We went down into the dungeons there and it was really creepy. Reminded me of the opening scenes of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Our biggest problem with Malta was that we wish we had more time there. The beaches looked incredible as we drove by them but we didn't have time to go walk barefoot through the sand. Bummer.

Cairo. Well, what can you say, its...like no place I've ever been or ever want to go to again.

Seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx was amazing. It really was such a dream come true. I can't even begin to express how blessed I feel that I was able to see something I've dreamed about since 7th grade. Thanks Mr. Wolf for the inspiration to love Egypt. And for teaching me to spell hieroglyphics. I was so proud of myself for that one.

Cairo itself, as well as the port city Alexandria were just so filthy. There are canals dug out that follow along with the road that go from the Nile to irrigate crops. People dump their trash in there. Bags of trash, mountains of bags of trash floating along this water. Dogs lapping it up. I saw a dead donkey floating in it, continued down the road a little further and saw two men on a little boat fishing in it. Vial.

Our tour guide Nabil was very smart and informative. He did however make things a little awkward in the van when he got all political and said in his own words that the United States homeland security is overkill...hmmm...call us crazy but we sort of like our buildings standing and the people inside alive. Nabil insisted that he take a picture of me doing this. Very silly.

We were taken to a place where they did a demonstration of how they made papyrus and it really was cool. A total sales pitch and we totally bought it. We got a papyrus thing with our names in hieroglyphics to frame. The man doing our demonstration was Abrahem, I'm spelling it that way because that's how he insisted that we say it. He was so cute and funny. He just giggled the whole time. Afterwards while Shawn was in the bathroom he said to me, see people think Egyptians are mean but we're really nice. It made me laugh.

In Alexandria Shawn and I thought we'd just wander around for a while and stay sort of near the boat. We stayed very near the boat. The sales people were RIDICULOUS!!! They followed us down the sidewalk trying to get us to buy. At one point I thought I'd give the man a little, submissive woman routine (something I thought he'd get behind) and said, pointing to Shawn, "he says I'm not allowed." Didn't work. Maybe he knew Shawn doesn't have it in him to disallow me anything.
After giving up on Alexandria we stuck really close to the boat, below I'm amazed at how fat the rope keeping us tethered to the dock is. I'm easily amused.

Shawn was a big fan of the license plates so here's one for you to enjoy.

Well, this is getting long and probably boring for you for now so I'll give you more on Izmir and Athens later.