Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category

Little boy blue . . .

Okay, not quite.  But here’s the mini-statue from the secret courtyard that I posted a picture of last week.

It’s traditional to leave money here.  It’s given to childrens’ homes.  As you can see, he’s given flowers in the summer.  In the winter, and this is the best part, people knit little caps and mini scarves to put on him.  I LOVE it.


Upwards and onwards and marching into the clouds.

I think this is the best shot I have ever or will ever take.  These stairs look like they don’t end and I LOVE them.  They’re hidden in a tiny little courtyard that holds the smallest statue in Sweden (picture to come next week).  I think it’s one of the most vivid memories from that trip because it was like discovering a secret that was left there just for me.

Angels now scare me. Moffat!!

Oh no. It’s weeping. It’s an angel and it is weeping and I am going to die if I look away!!!!!

All I’m sayin’ is: Steven Moffat is a freaking genius.  Scariest Who monster by a long shot.


Don’t blink.  Don’t even blink.


This angel sits over the door of a church in Gravesend, England and this is one of my favorite little details about the town.  I miss my England family and home.

Have dream, will travel.

Okay, so most everyone I know has the list of places they want to travel. Some of those places are attainable, some of them are wild hair dreams. I have one of these lists, too. That is NOT what I present to you today!

Today is . . . RODEO WISH LIST! (In no particular order and by no means comprehensive.)

  • Sikeston JayCee Rodeo
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days (I know, I know, it’s so close what is my issue . . . there are more like that)
  • Elizabeth Stampede
  • National Finals Rodeo (Las Vegas)
  • Calgary Stampede
  • San Francisco Cowtown
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Mountain States Circuit Finals (venue periodically changes)
  • San Antonio
  • San Angelo
  • Who am I kidding?  ANY Canadian rodeo!
  • Australian National Finals
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Breckenridge
  • Mesquite
  • Woodstown Pilesgrove
  • Atlantic City
  • Tonganoxie
  • Albuquerque
  • At least one per PRCA circuit (I know I’m missing a couple circuits on this list)
  • At least one per NIRA region (I think I have ONE on this list . . .)
  • College National Finals (Casper)
  • PAFRA World Finals (venue changes)
  • Rocky Mountain region NIRA show

Anyone who feels the need to donate to my rodeo travel fund will get much love and kisses!

All over the world: a summary.

Okay, five picture summary, as promised.  Thanks go to DearestBex for the classic London tourist picture and my dad and mom for the rest (as this weekend is the big “off-load-edit-and-sort-a-bajillion-pictures” project for me).

First, a week in England:

Though this comes no where near describing or even adequately summarizing my week, it was a fairly iconic shot.  It was my “tourist moment.”  Remember how I talked about not wanting to do tourist London, except for the Eye?  Well, this was right after I got off the Eye.  The shot was too good to miss.  I wish I’d had time in the last couple days to upload some of my pictures with DearestBex, because THAT would be a true summary of my time there.  She was the reason I went to England, and she made the trip stunningly memorable.  I miss her horribly.

Next, I got on a boat:

The locks that took us across Sweden were sooooo awesome.  Open the gates, sail in, close the gates, fill with water, open the front gates: up and away we go!  Reverse when going down.  The system itself is pretty ingenious, and just plain fun.  I did not get sea sick, as I feared.  Hooray for needless worry.  However, it turns out I am allergic to Sweden.  So, while I was not sea sick, I was the red-eyed monster for several days before we found some eyedrops that worked and the allergic reaction moved to my nose.  Misery.  But pretty!

Of course, work followed me everywhere:

Yeah, so when it got around to the boat staff that I work in rodeo, they thought it would be a good idea to have me throw the rope to tie us up for our nightly docking . . . Not so much.  I do paperwork!  Lots and lots of paperwork!  I work in a business office!  I made this completely clear, but they decided it would be fun anyway and I’m always game for something new (and embarrassing).  Thank heaven for my friends on the college rodeo team who tried to teach me to rope.  I didn’t shame them too badly and I did have a blast.  Turns out, my time as a theatre techie came in a lot more handy than my time as a rodeo manager/desk worker–knowing my knots was helpful.  Thanks, Jamie!

Of course, being in Sweden, we saw a lot of vikings:

Viking relics are everywhere in Scandinavia.  This particular tour guide was showing us a viking town, one of only four in the world.  Vikings generally lived on spread out farms, not in centralized locales.  We saw some particularly awesome relics in a northern town, Gamla Uppsala, as well.  The tour guide there was equally knowledgeable as Andreas, but not nearly as well-dressed.

Last, I made some friends:

There were several monkeys at the second aquarium I went to in Sweden and this particular exhibit you could walk through.  (This would NEVER happen in America, way too many liability issues and animal rights and human rights laws.)  The lemurs decided I was an appropriate perch.  Why, I will never guess.  But they chewed on my shoulder and chewed on my hair.  They decided to be cute and NOT get off.  Of course, there were signs about tendencies to get belligerent if touched (THEY WERE TOUCHING ME!), so I was not about to try any serious antics to get these buggers off.  But, with some gentle shoulder rolling near a branch, we managed to coax the boys onto the tree.

Only for them to jump straight back onto my mother and brother.

It was awesome.

And then we flew home!  I’ll post more when I know what I want to talk about most.  I’ll try to do at least five pictures for each day of the trip if I can.  But there’s the Europe adventure in a VERY small nutshell.  Cool, huh?


That’s right: I’m on my way home.  If this picture were at all the reality of how I was flying home, perhaps I wouldn’t feel so bad about it.  In fact, this might have been the moment I anticipated the whole trip!

But alas, alack, I do NOT get to fly home in a whale with propellers.  Sigh.

Then again, I should NOT be complaining.  Except for the piddly little hop from England to Sweden, I got to fly business class this entire trip.  For all I know, that’s about as cool as a whale with propellers.  And less stinky.

As I mentioned last post, it’s going to have been a whirlwind of a vacation.  A beautiful, crazy, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind.  Not only that, I’ve turned 24!  Since when did I get that old?  I fully expect that on the flight to Germany, I’ll be really wired.  That’s what the books are for (there was a family co-ordination of books just so we knew what was being brought so we could do a swap on the way home and have that much more room in our suitcases).  On the flight to the US, I plan on sleeping.  A lot.  I’m going directly back to work tomorrow and it’s going to be an insane day of jet lag and catching up with what’s happened in the two and a half weeks I’ve been absent.  So yes, lots of sleep and probably a good deal of snoring.  I don’t snore horribly loud, but it’s sure noticeable.  Sorry, whoever I sit by.

On Thursday, I’ll have at least five pictures that I hope will have captured my twenty days abroad.  My goal is closer to ten, but no guarantees that I’ll be organized enough to do more than randomly choose five pictures and plop them on the internet.  I’m so excited to share this great adventure with you all.  For now, though, I need SLEEP.

After all, I did turn old on this trip. ; )


P.S. Happy July 4th to my American readers.  What a special day to be returning home.


I can tell you with complete honesty that as I write this post I feel the same way I expect to feel when this is posted:  It is too soon for this to be happening.  The fact that the “this” that is coming too soon as I write is leaving  for the trip and the “this” coming too soon as this is posted is the nearing end of the trip is a minor detail.

It’s been a wild run getting ready for the trip: eighteen months of preparation and studying what I want to do, what might be done, talking to people, anticipating, and preparing.  I can only imagine that the last fifteen days have been a whirlwind without compare.  I’ve been in at least three different countries–possibly four–and the airspace of who knows how many others (I don’t know exactly where the flight paths of my two flights went).  I’ve crossed Sweden from Göteborg to Stockholm on the Göte Kanal and spent the past couple days wandering around Stolkholm’s museums.  In the next five days, I’ll do some more museum hopping, go to the Stockholm Temple, then go up to Uppsala to see a few places my father treasured when he lived there and some old friends.  There is simply not enough time to see everything I want to see.  Somewhere in there, I’ll have a birthday.

And then, I’ll go home.

As quick as this vacation is approaching, and as much as I have left to do at the time of writing (all that choosing and folding and packing!), I know that right now, I don’t want to go home.  I want to revel and hop back to England to see DearestBex again.  I don’t want pictures stored on my digital camera and memory card to be all I have left in so few days.

And yet, as much as I’ll miss it here, I cannot wait to share this adventure with those at home.  Since the beginning of May, I’ve had coupons for online picture-making websites bought and lined up so that when I come home I can send off the files and have a little book to tote around and show everyone.  I even have enough coupons bought that I’ll be able to make two books of my time in England and send one off to DearestBex.

The end is approaching too soon, just as the beginning is, but I still have so much adventure left.  Why dwell on what’s coming when I can have what’s already here?