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Hi All,
Just wanted to post a note saying that I finally finished my London post with pics and commentary, and apparently it posted on the date I started it...so you'll have to scroll down some in order to find the post. So sorry about that!

The week after the great snow...

Hello again,
Some of the ex-pats say about 8 years ago it snowed enough to stick to the ground but pretty much everyone agrees it's been about 30 years since we've had a snowfall like this. Our school bus was only about an hour delayed, although I think it technically only made one stop where all the kids had to get off. Luckily not a far walk for anyone. Joe's friend Oskar stayed the night as his father wasn't able to get to the bus stop by car and by foot it's a long walk. They made him abandon his car on the road and wouldn't let him drive home either...and that sort of explains the bad traffic inside the city as cars and more importantly buses were abandoned on the street. Out by us the problem was more accidents and downed trees. Nick tried to leave around 8 pm, normal time for him...and by then the trains were no longer running because trees were down on the line. They told him that the trains should be running by 10 so he went with a bunch of his co-workers for a drink. A couple of hours later the trains still weren't running and they couldn't get a cab out of town. They heard that they could get a train to Sarria and then a bus to Sant Cugat. So they took the train but no bus...and eventually found an adventurous cab driver who got them home-ish. They had to take another exit as our was closed...and the next exit is not one we ever take so it took them to a section no one recognized...and they were dropped off at the circle at Can Cadena in town because he couldn't get up the hill. Then he and his co-worker who just recently moved onto Mas Fuster, the road that runs on the top of the ridge that we walk along to the bus stop, walked the rest of the way. He got home around 12:45. Long day. At least the kids got to sleep in the next morning but Nick had to go in to work again. Thankfully the trains were running...and by mid-afternoon most of the streets were passable.

I took a walk to Sant Cugat since we were out of milk....and bread...and eggs.

It was so pretty with the snow on the trees/flowers but also dangerous as trees lost a lot of limbs on Tuesday from the weight of the snow.

Then Wednesday I went to pottery and was surprised that my pitcher was glazed and ready to go home!

On Friday Jessica didn't have school because of Parent Teacher Conferences. I scheduled all mine for next weekend...and so we took the opportunity to have a special Mom-daughter day. I arranged for Jess to go with me to my pottery class. The kids have wanted to go for the longest time but it's not a kid place. I got special permission and they treated her like a queen.
Jess making her mug...
Drying it a little to get it to hold it's shape.

Here is her finished products....minus the firing and glazing.

And we finished our afternoon with a little birthday present shopping for some parties we had this weekend and lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Today Andrea had arranged for the cast of Godspell to perform for our church congregation as a bit of free show publicity. Here are some pictures of the two songs....Andrea has the role of Judas.

Nick is in NY for the week so it's just me and the kids. Hope everyone has a fun St.Patrick's day!!
Love and miss you all!


More Snow!

More snow...

And the kids came home and played outside...

ok....I'm finished with the snow. Looking for Spring now.


I still owe you all a blog from our London trip...the pics are uploaded, just need to write it. But couldn't wait to upload these photos...Woke up this morning to a surprise!
We've had flurries a couple of times over the past winter but nothing that amounted to anything. Today it's sticking...and still coming down. The drive to the bus stop wasn't too fun with the hills and temps dropping making it slippery. But, back here toasty and warm in the house(with the heat fixed and working) it's all good!


London...version 2.0

Here are the long overdue pics and tales of our London trip. We had a week off of school in February for Semana Blanca (white week). But since Nick was still supposed to work we compromised on a 4 day trip to London. London in February is a bit cold and wet but we had plans to have a great time. After we arrived we regrouped, grabbed our umbrellas and headed out toward a steakhouse we had found in our London tourbook. Gauchos is an Argentinian steakhouse that is all about the cow...cowhide chairs, leather everywhere and melt in your mouth steak...Mmm I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. After we were completely stuffed we rolled ourselves to Picadilly Circus and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.

World's tallests man??? not believing it?lol Us either. But they had some artwork made out of extraordinary things... like gumballs

And a piece of the Berlin Wall...
Joe took a turn at being the man with no bottom half...

And....tootsweet...you probably remember this from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame...toot sweet, toot sweet the candies you whistle the whistle you eat...

That ended our first day and we had a restful night at our hotel near Grosvenor Square. We woke in the morning to a few rays of sunshine. I quick took a picture. Turns out the church behind us is the Ukranian Church. Who knew they had those in London.

Our first stop of the day was the Tower of London. I had always thought it was a prison where all the notorious prisoners were kept. But, it was the original castle of London that just happened to house a few of the more famous prisoners...who were more or less treated as royalty until they met their untimely demise at the hands of the executioner.

It was a cold, cold morning....

It is also where they keep the Crown Jewels. All the Jewels used in the Coronation ceremonies.

The Crowns were stunning. Absolutely stunning but...no pictures allowed. Below is the Tower Bridge as seen from inside the Tower of London.

Inside the Medieval Section.

Jess....probably in a closet but we pretended it was a jail. :D

After fully exploring the Tower we decided to cross the Thames on the Tower Bridge to hunt out a Britain at War museum.

The Britain at War Museum was sort of an experiential thing where you can read papers and watch a film on what happened in London during WWII. It really was a whole different experience than what we had in the US. Very interesting and a little playful as well...

After that we had an interesting historical discussion as we wandered to Shakespear's Globe Theater....and found this ruin of a Medieval Church.

The current Globe theater is a replica built using materials and methods of the original theater. The current location is not the same as the original though as it'd be sitting in the river Thames back in the day. So several feet behind it would have been the original location in the theater and well, let's call it "entertainment" district.

We were so lucky because there was a theater group rehearsing for a production for school children. So we were able to watch a little bit of Macbeth in Shakespear's theater...a real treat. Bubble bubble toil and trouble, something wicked this way comes.

The seats where the finer gents sat were in a decorated section.

After our inner theater geeks were satisfied we headed back across the Thames on the Millenium Bridge.
And that was a full day.
So, in the morning we woke early and caught a bus to Windsor Castle.

Even the lights had crowns.

The Moat...

The flag flying means that the Queen was in residence when we were there. We spotted several people out horseback riding in the gardens and when Nick commented on it. They told him that it could be the Queen as she rides daily while she is there. So that is our story...we saw the Queen riding. ;)

The Albert Memorial and St Georges Cathedral. It was amazing to walk through there thinking of the ceremonies that had taken place and people who'd paced those same aisles.
Back at the hotel...Grosvenor Square..on the way to Harrods for some shopping and a failed attempt at finding a place for tea. I know Harrods has tea but, Alexa and I were attempting to find a place in the tourbook...but it did not work out.
We shopped a bit at Harrods, bought the puppies some biscuits. Then found a American style diner...they had one bottle of rootbeer left that we all shared.

The thing about London is that even though you pack your visit with amazing moments and spectacular sights it always leaves you wanting more. So, we said farewell to the city knowing that our list of places we had to visit on our next trip had only grown. Hope you enjoyed seeing London through our eyes.