Friday, July 31, 2015

The Tower that Towers Over ALL..

To my amazement, this tower really does tower over all, let alone be seen from nearly everywhere in Paris.. All it takes is looking up, and turning til you find it :-) 

I had the privilege of going to Europe in late July and aside from all the preparation nerves, I'm so glad to have went.. This trip will forever be great memories to us! To know that it was something we really had hoped to be able to do sometime, and to say that it ACTUALLY happened is awesome! 
Over the course of several posts, I hope to let you in on some memories and experiences we have had.. but I'm sure it will take awhile, as I'm already nearly 2 months late! What is it that they say, "Better late than never?"

I thought I would start out by sharing just a few of MANY snapshots of the Eiffel Tower. This first one may just be the first one I snapped, as we walked to our hotel. I went back and forth between the cell phone and the camera, so who knows. I have to say though, I've been hesitating even posting pictures yet, as my love clearly has better snapshots and wanted to use his!

To see the tower in person is quite amazing, to say the least. It definitely was the biggest highlight for me! I mean, when one thinks of Paris, the first things that pop into my mind is Love & the tower! To be here with my Love and enjoy this beauty together was incredible! Paris has a lot more to offer too, which I may get into at a later date.. but for now, here are just a few shots.

...Paris By Day...

This shot below was while we were at the Eiffel tower itself waiting to go to the top! What an incredible moment! Tim has a group shot of us & the couple we went with, and when I can, I will insert also.)

...Paris By Night...

A painful focus..

When one thinks of going on vacation, especially females, :-) we dream about our outfits to take with us, our MANY options. We want to look cute and have cute shoes to go with each outfit! I bought this pair (below) a while ago now, and have worn them frequently with very little issues! (A side note) I seem to have an issue with the muscles to my arches that flair up and get tight, causing a LOT of pain when walking. This problem I became aware of probably 4 years ago.. and it was not fun nor has it been since... Forcing myself to walk great distances, with minimal support to the arches and a  lack of relaxation to the muscles (tightening my muscles to keep my shoes on my feet) etc is just asking for trouble, so in preparation for the trip, Tim & I searched high and low for some good sneakers with great support to take along! We knew we would be walking ALL over these cities and wanted to eliminate the potential of this flareup. This was a priority for Tim, as he took me all over to find just the right shoes.. You ask? So why these shoes? I wanted to look cute for when I saw him upon arrival :-) I love these shoes, and thought they would be a safe choice since I've worn them a lot here and felt great! Due to some itinerary complications in starting my trip that I'll elude to later on, I had to do some running.. and ran just fine in these too! They treat my feet well, most times... until I arrived in Paris and started walking in their HEAT! Within 5 minutes, I had 3 decent sized blisters in the locations of the straps that became my focus most of the trip! I tried so hard to block it out of my mind, and focus on capturing pictures and enjoying every moment, but the pain and irritation was almost too great.

I anticipated this problem and brought a few band aids and ointment as a backup, 
but what is seen here, is NOTHING like the collection I ultimately had. The blue/greenish hard cases of specialty band aids are the BEST.. They have this thickness to them that truly provides comfort, decreased irritation and are the utmost of quality. Regular band aids did no good. We visited their pharmacies several times a week, buying a couple packages of these specialty 6 count band aid kits that cost between 8-10 euro each time. Yea, definitely not a way I wanted to spend money. It was my only hope of relief I received. I should have saved them all for the final count and picture, but didnt.

So, you ask.. "Surely, you thought to wear those wonderful new sneakers that you spent so much time  looking for to help with some added relief?" I did, but the problem was.. I never thought to try breaking them in before taking them on the trip. Growing up, when we would get new clothes and shoes for our first day of school, we were not allowed to wear them until THE FIRST DAY. This has been ingrained in me, and never thought otherwise! When I thought they would provide me the relief I needed in the areas of the blisters, I was just greeted with new ones to my heals :-( My feet were plastered with band aids - top of my feet and back of heals, and at some points to the bottoms too. I was a mess to say the least and the heat didn't subside until we got to Switzerland, more than a week later!  Each day became this dilemma of which blisters do I want to give more relief to? I was alternating shoes every day and sometimes going back to the room to try the 3rd pair. 

Traveling with another couple that had each day packed with things to do and see, I didnt want to be the one to alter their plans! We had discussed these plans before hand, but they had taken the reigns of planning initially since we weren't sure if we were going to go! The plan was to pretty much walk to each place if possible, as you can clearly see so much more than hiding out on the subway. We were there to experience the city, so why not. I had expressed my concerns of walking so much with the history of my feet to Tim prior, and he always expressed if we had to stop and rest etc. we could do just that, however often I needed. Believe me, I didnt want to be the cause of slowing anyone down, and the idea of it bothered me greatly, but I had to different times. Every break was my moment of relief, but they were just too far gone to benefit from each break when starting to walk again. :-/ It was so sunny and hot each day that I wore sunglasses.. The sun glasses actually benefited me in the sense that they hid my tears.. I did all I could to not get emotional, but unfortunately I couldnt hold out. It was embarrassing to me to cry because I just couldn't walk anymore.. We would be so far away from the hotel and the thought of having to get back about killed me. The muscles in my feet were also tightening up on me and I was scared of a full blown flare up. When this happens, I can hardly be on my feet at all for 3-4 days, icing the arches and wrapping them, massaging them, before everything subsides. Yea, I clearly didnt need that. Luckily, I caught that in time, and ended up canceling on some evening plans of dinner and a cruise on the Reine River to try and rest up! I felt terrible, but knew this is what I needed to do that evening. Tim & I ate some of our snacks and protein bars for "our dinner" that evening. He was such a good sport about it. I told him he could have gone ahead and ate dinner with Tony & Meghan and I would just rest. He wouldnt leave me which was so sweet!

This brings me to an experience that I will never forget! Our canceled plans the night before were attempted the next evening after I rested... We had been out all day, and once again was feeling pain and discomfort, so instead of walking back to the room to rest/get ready before our evening out, I asked Tim is he minded that we take the Subway back towards the direction of the hotel to save on some walking. We did just that, while Tony & Meghan decided they still wanted to walk the distance back! We set up a time to meet back in the lobby to go to dinner later and went our separate ways. We had already taken the subway a couple times by now I think, but not necessarily because of me.. so we took it again this time. We got on and found there to be minimal seating, and ended up sitting facing a couple next to the doorway, where as most seats go in one direction. We always figured out our route and tried to familiarize ourselves with what the stop we needed to get off of looked like or what we even thought it sounded like. Everything was announced in french so never understood it. We always went off of sight. So, Pasis' subways are a bit older than other country subways and their doors are a bit harder to open. We arrived at our stop, stood up and Tim attempted to get the door open! After struggling for a moment, the french couple across from us leaned over to help him open the door and successfully did so. Tim got off and at that time, as I was trying to get off, the door to the train closed before I was able to get off myself. Apparently, they dont stay open long for unpopular stops! I stood in pure fear seeing Tim on the other side and the train starting to move. In that moment, our eyes were doing whatever communication a quick moment would do and I had to try to translate what Tim's was to mean quickly. He motioned with his pointer finger in the direction the train was going...I thought, "What was that to mean?" The french couple realized real quick what had happened, and attempted to help me. They tried talking to me in french and all I could do was shake my head no and shrug my shoulders, They pointed to my cell phone also thinking I could just try calling him, but clearly I had no service to use it. I was carrying around the phone primarily to take pictures :-) They grabbed the door to try reopening it and got it about 6 inches or so, and then the door forcefully shut the rest of the way. I was on my way.... Everything you could imagine went through my mind. I didnt have a map, nor did I have the name or address of the place we were staying. I didnt even have money on me to get a taxi if I had to. I didnt know when or what the next stop would be... I just was on my way. Anyone that knows me, knows Im absolutely terrible with directions and would never find my way. I knew I just had to get off. I couldnt stay on getting farther and farther away... so the very NEXT stop, which was a desolate stop, (LITERATELY, NOTHING OR NO ONE WAS THERE)  I stood up, and just said "I'm getting off." I struggled to get the door open and finally did. I had everyone on that train looking at me like I was absolutely crazy. A young female, in her orangish/red dress getting off at this stop was pure craziness! I saw it in their eyes... I knew what they were thinking. The french couple initiated conversation with the other people in the train car about what happened.. and all eyes peered out to watch. I now was standing there twirling around with my hands over my eyes, about ready to explode with tears/ My heart was racing so bad, and all I could do was pray. I prayed that I would be protected and that my translation of what I saw in Tim was correct.. I prayed that I wouldn't have to wait long and he would come after me. I knew it was more of a danger for me to try taking a train back to his location... I would never of gotten there. We would have been passing each other all over the city depending on what I had done if I hadn't gotten off. Within a few moments, I heard another train coming through the tunnel and went running. I scanned as many windows as I could to try spotting Tim. When I did, I was afraid he wouldnt have seen me and wouldn't get off. I waved my hands to get his attention.. In that moment, the train stopped and Tim jumped off real quick! I ran into his arms shaking and balling my eyes out. I was so scared and relieved at the same time! If I hadn't gotten off when I did, this could have been a very difference situation. In a moment of fear, one doesnt always think clearly, thus the decisions arent the best. I knew that God had impresed the idea in me to just get off. After I calmed down a bit, I mentioned that if only we had a plan for something like this, it wouldnt have been so scary. It was then, we made a plan of who would do what and where they would go if this happened again. From that moment on, I hated about every subway train we went on, and shook about every time we went to get off. I always latched onto Tim's clothes and knew I was always going to be real close to prevent from happening again. When we would be carrying our luggage on the trains, we made sure to step off at the same time or Tim would take my luggage so I didn't struggle getting off.
It wasnt until Switzerland when I got use to ridding the trains a bit more. They were very updated and we didnt have to struggle at getting the doors open. They opened with a push of a button.

This whole experience happened because of my discomfort and wanted some walking relief.. and in the end, received the scare of my life. I came through it and thats all that matters now!

I have to wonder if you all think that this wasn't necessarily the best trip after all. NO! We had a great time.. most good times, also have some negative with them. I dont mean at all to make this post or my experience seem negative! It just was part of the experience for me. I promise, we had a great time and made many fun memories!  This is just the start to 2 weeks of adventure and fun!

To be continued at a later date... :-)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Just a little fun ahead..

Today was to be a blog post kind of day, or at least that was my hopes and was excited when thinking about it! I guess today had other plans...  I thought I would go ahead and upload some mini posts just to feel like I'm not so far behind, even though until I really get my Europe posts done, Im sure I will feel the same.

Here are a few posts to enjoy!

July 4th x 3!

With so many to choose from and well, so many events and fun times that have been left behind, I thought I would grab a few celebration shots to represent each year! There are WAY too many for IN, so just chose a selected few :-) to share! Love fireworks!

July 4, 2013

July 4, 2014 Weekend

What a great job Lynette did in decorating!

Oh, the delicious food too ;-)



Such a great time was had! Found myself reminiscing several times this year over last year's memories! 

July 4, 2015

We had a mid afternoon meal at Phil's BBQ with Tim's friend, Mark! It is by far the BEST restaurant we have ever come across for pulled pork! Believe me we have tried many.


Happy Birthday to Me :-)

"Happy Birthday to Me."

 My husband is so good to me! Each and every day I feel more blessed than the day before! I love that he listens to even the smallest of things. Growing up, we always had a birthday cake or some other form of dessert of our choosing! It would be consumed by all, and all enjoyed. Since being away from home, desserts are a bit different with it just being the 2 of us. We prefer to not have tons of sweets sitting around waiting to be consumed, so on our birthdays for the last 2 birthdays, we would head to a delicious bakery/diner where on display would be TONS of options of delicious pies to choose from. We would each decide on what we wanted, buy a slice each and then sit to enjoy it together! I've loved it.This year though, for whatever reason I just wanted cake, my favorite chocolate with white frosting cake, and happened to mention it in conversation several days prior about craving it! To my surprise, Tim brought home just the cake I loved, and personalized for my birthday. I could have cried. After going out for dinner, we came home to this delicious dessert!

We certainly enjoyed this for a few days, but that was ok! It's not very often that we have it! 


I thought I would share just a few of the items I received. Other gifts came in the mail afterwards, but don't have shots of them right now. 

I have been eyeing this at Michael's for awhile, with may things that it could be used for.
I thought it might be a cute option for transporting smaller crafty things home if I wanted or needed to work on a project, or had a shower to help decorate for! Love the quality and polka dots!


Clear rubber stamps! YAY. 

I received some other clear rubber stamps and framelits from Mama too, which I have already so enjoyed! Thanks so much!.

A small Gerber pocket knife.. This will be great to take camping!

It was a great day.