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Archive for the ‘Mom’s Traveling Sock’ Category

Well, it’s official – tomorrow I will be fighting the time stream home. This was clearly the only explanation as to why it takes longer to fly home than it did to get here. Maybe we can try warp speed to get us there faster =)

One more side nerdy note: I can’t wait until I am Dr. Stock because it sounds so close to Dr. Spock that I will be completely okay with people calling me that =)

Moving on. Guess what I finished?

Rose’s socks are all done just in time for me to take them home. I even tucked the ends in!

And …

Mom’s Traveling Socks are also officially completely and made a little trip around Ambialet yesterday. Everything is so green here now given the high amount of rain we have been having. On top of that, the river is muddy because the rain was so crazy and at one point, I looked outside and it was legitimately hailing. But the weather is being quite beautiful for our last couple of days here.

Have a rich and wonderful day! =)

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Today has been an extremely relaxing day. After our one class this morning, I decided I really wanted to work on my sister’s socks.

That was only a cuff and heel flap when I started today. But when you pick a two hour movie, you really can get quite a bit done! The movie we picked for the day was the first Sherlock Holmes movie. And can I please tell you that I received a huge reality check when watching this? In the movie, they are constructing the Tower Bridge.

And you know what was so cool?! I was able to think “I was there!”

And Big Ben was in the movie, which I also saw, and I feel like this is going to be the first of many instances where I can say that and really appreciate my time here and the experiences that I have incurred.

And do you know what else is odd? I realized I never posted a Mom’s Traveling Sock from London! So I got the picture off of Carly and I look like I’m deep in thought but I am knitting on Mom’s Sock!

We were just hanging out in a park reading and knitting. It was quite the nice experience =)

Have a rich and wonderful day =)

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Even coming up with a title for this blog was thought provoking because Switzerland was over the top, amazing, and ten kinds of wonderful.

Jen and I headed off on our adventures on Thursday. We kind of had an idea of where we were staying and had definitive modes of transportation in and out of Switzerland but other than that, we were flying by the seat of our pants. I did not bring my Kindle along, no books, and no knitting because EasyJet does not allow knitting needles (this is a travesty), so Jen and I brought along a deck of cards. That saved us the entire trip because we played cards everytime we had free time. One of the most memorable moments was when we were playing a game where you hit the cards and yell ‘Spit!’ except we changed the word; so yes, I did yell ‘Ostrich!’ rather loudly in the Toulouse airport =)

We flew into Basel Airport and then took a train to Zurich. It was really early in the morning so we took an extremely early train because we wanted to be warm and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the train was neither warm or comfortable. There was a wicked draft coming in through that window! Then our plan was to stay in the train station that night only to find out right after getting off the train that the station was closing until four in the morning. Yikes! Thank God for the McDonald’s across the street that was open until 4 am. What a lucky break! We went back over to the train station around 4 and caught a train at 5:55 to our hostel. We walked to our hostel after we got off the train and arrived around 6:30 am and had a lovely breakfast. However, Jen left at one point, and I put my head on my hand and instantly fell asleep and fell off my hand. We clearly needed some sleep. So we grabbed a 45 minute nap on hidden couches so the receptionist couldn’t yell at us. Then we decided that on 3 hours of sleep, a hike in the Alps would clearly be the best idea possible!

This is where we went hiking and it was just such a break taking experience.

I just could not get over the views!

Just being able to see these views was all that I could have hoped for in Switzerland. But you know, Switzerland wouldn’t have been complete without some yodeling so Jen and I found an awesome little clearing and we yodeled away!

After our lovely hike, Jen and I just hung around the area near our hostel. We walked and found the lake, and found an awesome swing set which I am sure we could have fell asleep on. We decided to call it an early night, and both of us were in bed by 630 and went to sleep between 830 and 9.

Sleeping a solid 10 hours will do wonderful things so the next morning we were ready to go! Our plan was to spend the entire day just touring around Zurich. I loved Zurich for the fact that it did not feel like a tourist city. The architecture did not make it feel particularly old like some of the places I have visited and was quite appealing to me. We walked down the main shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse. Everything was so expensive on that street that I was afraid to breathe on it but it had some great window shopping. Jen and I found this awesome toy store and spent a ton of time in there.

Then we headed over to Linderhof which was this awesome park with some great views over Zurich. It was such a wonderful place to sit and ponder life and just enjoy what was in front of you without feeling rushed whatsoever.

Next we spent some time over by the lake and guess what?

Mom’s traveling socks made it to Switzerland! No way were they going to go everywhere else that I visited and not Switzerland! And here they are looking over lake Zurisee which had such lovely views.

We also found another green space and took pictures there under a really lovely tree.

We just had such an incredible day just walking around and stumbling upon cool little things and enjoying each others’ company and constantly reminding ourselves that we were in Switzerland! We appreciated Switzerland the entire time we were there and never really got over the fact that we were there!

Jen and I have a notorious sweet tooth between the two of us and so, of course, we splurged on Swiss chocolates!

And they were just as delicious as they look! We capped off the night by hanging out with friends and that just made Switzerland end on such a high and happy note =)

And here we are after over 24 hours of being awake:

And not looking too shabby either!

I can’t believe we actually made it to Switzerland and more than that, I can’t believe how much I fell in love with it. It’s right up there with Dublin for me on favorite places I visited which means it made the number one spot with Dublin. The whole trip was so laid back and we did such a wonderful job of enjoying ourselves seeing as we had practicially no plans whatsoever! Thinking about this weekend still puts a smile on my face =)

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Edinburgh!

What a wonderful bit of time in Edinburgh! After sleeping in the airport, we flew into Edinburgh around 9 in the morning. We took a very quiet day and just walked around Edinburgh for a bit.

Carly and I took some time together in a café during the afternoon. We ordered drinks and something to munch on and spent a while just sitting together and reading. What a wonderful friend to travel with when you can spend just an enjoyable talking as you can just reading in each other’s company.

We had to make the most of our day in Edinburgh. Carly and I started it out leisurely and went from there. We stumbled upon Calton Park which was lovely to visit. Another example that ‘Not all who wander are lost’ because we find the most amazing things when we just go. From there we headed to Holyrood Park. There is an extinct volcano there called ‘Arthur’s Seat’ and we climbed all the way to the very top!

There was so much wind but the trip up was so wonderful and just felt like real Scotland to me even though we were still in the city. I had some seriously wrong misconceptions about Scotland; my conception was a man in a kilt playing bagpipes on a green hill. Edinburgh was not like this at all in the best possible way =)

That night, Carly and I followed our noses in the direction of a really good smelling place to eat. We had some real Scottish food and both ordered haggis which was excellent. I’m glad we were able to have a chance to do that. =)

Also, Mom’s Traveling Sock made an appearance!

We also stopped and saw the outside of Edinburgh Castle which was really neat to see.

The next day it was off to London! We both  agreed to splurging on breakfast so we went to a place called ‘The Urban Angel’ which was very health conscious and organic and the food was amazing! I love getting tea and scones and it was such an excellent way to cap off Scotland before taking the train to London!

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After we had gotten back on Wednesday, Carly and I plotted out a trip to Galway/the Cliffs of Moher for the next day. This involved getting up at 540 so we could catch a 645 bus. We found the bus and enjoyed a three hour ride out to Galway. It was stunning to ride through the countryside on the bus. When we departed from the bus, we were graced with more examples of true Irish hospitality. A tour bus company asked us if we would like to go with them for the day, and offered a ride back to Galway for free. What an excellent deal! So we took them up on it. We got to see a bunch of cool different sites.

However, the main attraction was when we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher. Despite the slight mist, the sight was still beyond stunning. I actually think the mist added quite a bit to it overall. As someone else described it – magnificent.

We arrived back into Dublin late and just spent another night in.

Friday, involved so much walking it was unreal. Carly and I didn’t have a real plan but rather things we wished to see. We had some typical Ireland weather and it was misting/raining all day but we did find Trinity College …

Dublin Castle …

And Saint Patrick’s Cathedral!

All quite by accident too. We had some of the best luck with our wandering. We did decide that after that, we needed to stop for some tea and something warm. And what a better to knit then in an awesome café! Hi there, Mom’s Traveling Sock!

I ordered tea and a scone. The tea came in something that looked like a big tea pot but you actually took the top off and the bottom was the cup. The scone was scrumptious with raisins packed in it and served with butter, cream, and jam. It was exactly what we needed to keep going. We walked over to an Antique part of the town only to find out, they were legitimate antiques. We kept walking thinking we were completely headed in the right direction to go back for the day. However, we eventually stopped to ask for directions and found we had wandered off the map! But we made our way back eventually =)

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The sheer amount of activities we did today was crazy!

We started off by having the morning free so we went back to the Eiffel Tower to see it during the day. We had the most perfect day for outdoors adventures! The weather was awesome and the sun was shining. The view was awesome and then we continued to get closer to the Eiffel Tower by strolling through the park. From the park, it was just a quick jaunt over the bridge but hey, look what made an appearance?

No way could Mom’s Traveling Sock make it to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower! =)

After that, we walked through another park/lawn, and we found a light pole and this resulted in a photo shoot for everyone!

Next, some of the people wanted to go shopping and I am so bad at shopping so my friend and I hopped on the metro and went to a park for a bit and walked some more. When we got back to the group, we went to Olivia’s favorite Chinese place which was really cool because rather than ordering solely by quantity, you could order by price of the amount you wanted. It was truly excellent and now I can say I tried French Chinese food! From there, it was off to the bakery where I got a strawberry tartlette which, as incredible as this sounds, I am starting to prefer fruit desserts to chocolate desserts in the middle of the day. Didn’t think I would be saying that did you?

After the crazy morning, we were nowhere near done! We regrouped at where we were staying and tripped over to La Defense. We looked at it for its correspondence between industrialization and nature. I liked the fact that the one square area at one end actually is not square but rather off by a few degrees on each corner. The sculpture at the end reflects that.

From here, we jumped back on the metro to go to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Arc di Triomphe!

It was a little tricky because there are no crosswalks to the Arc di Triomphe (because it is in the middle of  a round about) so we got out of the metro, walked a half circle around it, underneath it, didn’t stop where we were supposed to, came back up the other side, back tracked and finally make it there! Not only did we see the tomb of the unknown solider . . .

But we were part of the ceremony that goes along with it! We walked in and stood right next to the tomb while the ceremony took place! I’m hoping whoever got those pictures puts them up on Facebook soon! The feel ing was incredible and to be a part of that was awe inspiring.

Once the ceremony was finished, we tried to find a specific café and guess what we found instead?!

I am used to accordions and I was a little caught off guard by the person who brought the cello on the metro, but never in a million years did I expect to see someone who had rolled and entire piano down the streets of Paris! Then my friend and I danced together and now I can officially say I danced in the streets of Paris!

How much better could this trip get?

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Paris!

We started off the day by waking up slowly and getting breakfast. After that, Kellie, Carly, and I walked over to the Pont d’Avignon. It’s a really famous bridge and we couldn’t not be in Avignon and not go see it. Unfortunately, the bride was closed but it was a really nice walk over there. Then we sat and watched the ducks for a bit while sitting on the banks of the Rhone River. What a perfect way to spend the last bit of time in Avignon.

After lunch we were off! We hotfooted it to the shuttle to go to the Avignon TGV. We took a train that went 300 km/h, which is 180 mph! We took a trip that normally lasts around 8 hours and did it in 2.5! The ride was really nice especially for my first train ride. Mom’s Traveling Sock made an appearance for a while as well!

When we arrived in Paris, it was raining and our bus never came to take us to where we were staying. Instead, all 18 of us piled into different taxis and off we went! We dropped our stuff off, grabbed dinner, and it was time to see Paris by night. We took the metro and in the process learned how to use it. You had better be ready to jump on and off that thing fast because you aren’t given much time! And it was so perfect because on our first night, two accordion players jumped on and went to town.

It could not have been more perfect! As Olivia said, they are like the soundtrack to Paris.

Then we finally all saw it out the window – the Eiffel Tower! We all did the tourist thing and became way to excited over it but, hey, sometimes you just need to show that level of excitement. We were also able to watch it light up and sparkle which was so incredible to see. It really did look like lacework the way the metal was used and placed. What a perfect and awesome way to spend our first night in Paris.

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