Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Christmas letter

The close of 2010, a time to reflect and wonder where the year went. It’s been an amazing year, full of family, friends, trips, church,work and change.  There were visits to many family members and friends, a consistent increasing workload at the federal court, and many opportunities to meet new people as time was spent in church callings.  A highlight of the year was my first European trip. Three great friends and I traveled to the Italian city of canals, the singing hills of Austria, Germany, Hungary and Czech Republic, making stops in 8 cities in 16 days. So Great!! A stop in Klagenfurt, Austria allowed us time to visit Aunt Kelly and Uncle Martin, and a stop in Vienna meant time with Marie and an introduction to Egbert, Marie’s husband. After a year of planning, it was amazing to actually see such old historical buildings, sites and the richness of culture and food and experience being yelled at in German by the train conductor, everybody’s wish right?! It was the best trip with great friends and so many memories. More memories of mine can be found and browsed on
As the year brought a new niece and a new nephew, and the passing of family and friends, my thoughts turned often to our Savior and his atonement. The many changes and trials that occur in our lives, while hard, do bring times of growth and hopefully a turn of our hearts to the One who knows how to succor us. I am grateful for the lessons learned over the past year and wish all of you a Merry Christmas and wish you a wonderful 2011!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I apparently can't blog fast enough! It's December and I'm still trying to get my trip written about. Sorry for those of you who read this and either wanted it or don't, but it's become a way for me to document my trip and not have to rejournal entry it.

We arrived in Vienna in the afternoon on September 10th(I remember this because we left the same day of my brother's birthday and Marie and I did a video for him, which I just remembered I haven't ever posted:) Marie and Egbert met us at the train station and helped us figure out where our hotel was. Once we dropped off our luggage, we went back out on the town. Marie and Egbert showed us around, where we saw Stephansdom (which was under construction, but according to Marie and Egbert, it always is).

The church has beautiful gargoyles and the tiles were colorful. I can't say it enough.  I loved walking around the cities, where streets for walking were the norm in the center of the city.

We found a few shops near Stephansdom (which means some people found nativity sets!) and then we were on our way to the Vienna Opera, where we saw Mozart's the Magic Flute!! We got really cheap tickets, which get you standing room. Marie taught us that you take your scarf and wrap it around the banister to save your place and then you walk all around the operahouse and see the sights!

Tasha and I stayed for the whole opera, but across the house was the hotel where you can get the world famous Sacher tort.

They enjoyed that and were so kind to bring Tasha and I back a slice. It was pretty good! And helped us have wonderful dreams as we slept after our full day in Vienna.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Great Site

I found this site on my cousins blog and after browsing decided I LOVE IT!! I've been trying my hand at baking delicious things so this was right up my alley. Check it out!

Pretty much I want to be her!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Comings and Goings of September and October

I may have traveled, but other things did happen over the last 2 months. I had a birthday, yes, I hit 31. Kind of crazy to think of being 31. But I turned 31 and left on my trip, so guess it started off grand! For the big day, we did a dinner and dessert night at my friends newly built house. Bry has a wonderful kitchen, big tables, sitting room and outdoors, so fun. It was super fun, we had pulled pork sandwiches, salads, fruits, veggies and cakes, I've got great friends!! They're terrific. If I had to turn 31, they did a great job of ringing in this year for me, such great people!
So here's a few pics of the great event:

Bry always does beautiful presentations

Wonderful food and people!

So great!

These ladies are wonderful, love them!
It was a good birthday!

In October, Halloween of course had to be celebrated. So what better way than at the Happiest Place on Earth!! Halloween, Disney style, super fun!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Hills are Alive...

We reached Salzburg!! We looked around us and saw the mountains the Von Trapps roamed in and Julie Andrews sang in at the beginning of the movie we all know!

Another thing that made the city of Salzburg exciting to me was being in the same place as my dad and my brother. Both my dad and brother served their missions in Austria. Both of them served in Salzburg. Our first morning there, after we checked into our hotel, we were at the bus station trying to figure out which bus to take. We looked across the bus station and there were 2 missionaries. I felt a little like I was seeing my dad and brother and what they would have been doing and looked like. We asked them about the bus system, they gave us directions and we were on our way and they were on theirs. Both were from Utah. I really enjoyed meeting the missionaries.

We arrived in Salzburg  and went straight to our hotel. It was awesome!! It was a big room with enough for us four and one of the best things about it, is there is a tub, not just a standing shower with thin walls keeping the water in.

 Our first destination was Hellbrun, the estate outside Salzburg where the gazebo from the Sound of Music was moved. The grounds of the estate were turned into a public park, and so you can walk and kids can play on the playgrounds. But tucked away in the corner of the park, is the gazebo.

Of course we had to take pictures of us skipping around the gazebo. We took the bus back into Salzburg and walked around the city. We stopped at Salzburg cathedral, where Mozart started playing the organ, he played there for 2 years, where he was baptized.

The ceilings were intricately carved and the walls were painted with golds and bold colors. There is a huge pipe organ with 4 pipe groupings sitting right over the entrance.

As we walked we came to the wall and parts of Salzburg where in the Sound of Music, Maria sang her confidence song.

There was a square with a fountain where Maria sang this song and flicked the water. We walked through the square where in the movie, the Nazi's were marching into the city.

Our next stop was St. Peter's, which is the inspiration for the graveyard scene in the movie.

Nearby there is entrance to the concert hall where the family sang together before fleeing from Austria. We weren't able to get into the concert hall, it was under construction. So we continued walking and checking out the main shopping streets.

 I finally bought a purse here. I needed something, the pouch I was wearing was giving me a little rope burn. Dinner in Germany and Austria consisted of a lot of sausage, which I didn't mind at all. Potatoes and sausage, yes please!!

As we were walking, we got to see the fortress on the hill, which is what constitute the Salzburg skyline. It's the most prominent feature in Salzburg.

That night, we went back to our hotel and come to find, there is a channel that just showed The Sound of Music over and over, we fell asleep, in the city where this movie was filmed. So cool!

Day 2 in Salzburg was us getting up, enjoying a fantastic breakfast and checking out of the hotel. We then went to Mirabell gardens.

You might recognize this place from the movie as one of the places the family went through and sang, "Doe a deer, a female deer..." There were fountains, flowers, the overgrown tunnel where Maria and the 2 boys ran and the little gnome statue the children tapped on the head as they sang. We also walked up the steps they all hopped up at the end of that song in the movie. Pretty much the best thing ever!! I really enjoyed Salzburg, I thought the city was beautiful, green and the river running right through the middle of it was picturesque. Salzburg was one of my favorite's.

Our Salzburg time ended as we caught the train for our ride to Vienna.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Munich...take 2

Our second day in Munich was right out of a fairy tale! Kind of:) We had a plan to go out to the town of Fussen and the Neuschwenstein Castle, built by mad King Ludwig. It also is the template for Sleeping Beauty's castle. It was exciting to head out on the train about an hour outside Munich. We started the day, aware that the clouds above us threatened rain. So we headed out and sure enough, rain was what we got:) But that didn't stop us from enjoying the sights.

Our first stop, some of the little shops on the way up the hill to King Ludwig's parents "house." We stopped in a Christmas shop, everything was carved, created, stuffed or sewed there in Bavaria. Pretty cool. We of course all had to purchase something:) Next stop, Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig's childhood "house." Or castle if you want to call it that.

 It was interesting to hear about the family that lived there. The 2 son, Ludwig and his brother grew up there. The brother of Ludwig, was declared insane. So it's not too hard to believe that Ludwig himself was crazy.

When he got older and took over the kingdom in the mid 1800s, he started in on a building frenzy, building multiple castles, spending the money, which is what led him to be deposed and declared crazy. But he created beautiful buildings and put them in beautiful settings!We toured the castle and then hiked up the 1 mile trail to the main attraction, Neuschwanstein.

It was at this point that it really started raining. We got to the top of the trail, to the entrance to the castle and it was full on raining. Because of this, the castle was shrouded with a mist that added that fairy tail quality. So while we were a little wet, it was a beautiful sight.

After the tour through the castle, we walked up the path behind the castle to the bridge that gives you the iconic view of the castle. (fyi-it was pouring by this point:) So we enjoyed the view and enjoyed the walk down the hill.

Tasha ran down the hill, the rest of us walked down. We met up with Tasha at the Christmas store and then headed to get dinner and dry off.

We finished dinner and headed back to the bus station to catch our bus that would take us to the train station to catch the train back into Munich. When we got the bus station, we weren't really sure when the next one would come, everything was in German!

There was a group of young adults from South America, Uruguay to be precise, who were asking us if we knew what we were doing and how to get back into Munich. They stuck with us the rest of the adventure back. We met another couple from Chicago trying to get back to Munich as well. So we formed a rag tag group of English speakers who were trying to get back to our hotel. Fun times! We did get the bus back to the train station, to meet up with another couple who were from San Diego actually, trying to get back to Munich too. And one local man. We found out that the next train to Munich was 1 hour and 20 minutes away. We couldn't wait that long, we wouldn't get back into Munich till about 12:30 at that rate. So the local told us about a bus that ran to Munich, he said he was going that way too. So we followed him to the supposed bus, got on, but there was no driver. So our little group of castaways talked and hoped that driver would come, and if it came down to it, we could go back to the train, but at least we were warm on the bus with no driver. Finally a driver came, asked in German, if we were all headed to Munchen, we said yes, confirmed again with our one local passenger that we were all headed the right way, and off we were. We did get back into Munich, but the bus dropped us off 2 stops away from the one we needed, so we had to RUN FAST for the train at that train stop to make our connection to the train station we wanted. It was funny to see about 20 foreigners running through the station to catch that train, but we did, we all got off at the Munich Hauptbahnhoff, and parted having shared this wonderful experience with eachother.

We walked down the now familiar landmarks, the casino, places of ill repute that lined our street towards our hotel, happy to have made it back to Munich by the time we would have just been catching the train from Fussen. But a little worn for the not quite so confident of making it back to Munich adventure we took to get there.  One more night in Munich and then off to Salzburg!!