Thursday, December 24, 2009

Europe Photo Entry #16: Bath

Merry Christmas everyone. I'm just killing time while Michelle shops for some Christmas dinner ingredients.
Here are some pictures of Bath, the English city which is the site of some ancient Roman baths, located over natural hot springs. It was a nice, calm little day trip.

The Roman baths. I am such a sucker for anything having to do with Roman history.

A couple pictures of Bath Abbey:
Michelle liked this bridge a lot:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Europe Photo Entry #15: London

Ha! You thought there was no way we had any more photos from Europe up our sleeve! It's been 1 1/2 years since we got back, but no, we haven't finished blogging about it.
I have no real regrets about the way we did our trip to Europe, but I have to say that seeing England last was very odd. If we had gone to England first, then I'm sure it would have seemed very foreign to me, but having visited six other countries first, it was almost like visiting New York or Philadelphia. Just not nearly so foreign an experience as, say, Hungary or Italy.

Of course, we loved it just the same.
Well, we had to put at least one picture of Big Ben up. The is the British parliament building at Westminster. Visiting the House of Commons and the House of Lords was my idea. And while no one debated about whether Oasis is the best band to come out of Britain since the Beatles (see here: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/96/96pmajor.phtml),
the Commons were definitely more lively than the Lords.
Michelle in front of Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey doesn't tilt like that in real life. Neither do I. No cameras were allowed inside, so I can't show you the graves of any legendary Britons, although there were many. You can see a list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Burials_at_Westminster_Abbey. This place had the most knowledgeable tour guide in history. I thought T.E. Lawrence was buried here, so I asked the aged guide where his grave marker was. He told me that he's not buried in Westminster, but then he told me where he was buried (it's some little English village, although apparently there's a bust of him at St. Paul's cathedral, which we saw but didn't have time to visit). Then I asked about a couple of other people I didn't see buried there, and he told me their burial sites. Now that's a tour guide who deserves a raise.


Piccadilly Circus (I think the "circus" part refers to the shape of the plaza, but the behavior of the people there lends a double meaning to it).

After the debacle at the Frankfurt Temple, the London Temple was a nice respite from the frenetic pace of our trip.

Self-explanatory. The Tower of London. I learned a lot about English history here, more than is worth mentioning in this short space. I should mention that due to Michelle's careful planning, we made it into the exclusive "Ceremony of the Keys", which is the symbolic locking of the Tower at night. It was very neat, although the redcoats who performed the ceremony took their duties waaaaaaaaaaay less seriously than any U.S. military drill team would have (they were not actors). Their comportment was a bit of a joke, and the trumpeter sounded like he hadn't picked up an instrument since sixth grade. Let's hope that the best and brightest of the British Army are in Afghanistan. If you were to compare that ceremony to what you see at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, it's not hard to summon some chest-thumping pride in the American soldier.

What's six months between friends?

Hello? Anyone there?

Soooooo....I haven't written anything on this blog since March. A couple reasons:

1) I have a full-time job. I'm starting to realize why most of my friends with full-time jobs don't blog with any regularity. Please don't interpret this as a knock on the moms out there. I wouldn't trade my job for yours. I just don't have lots of opportunities to write. (This is even more true since I was called as EQ pres. in August)

2) Ever since Michelle started her blog, there hasn't been much urgency on my part to let you know what's going on with us. She's been doing an admirable job at that. You have been checking her blog, right? She reopened it to the public, so if you stopped reading it because you were blocked and didn't want to bother asking for an invitation, it's no longer a problem. And by the way, to the creepy middle-aged guys who continually comment on it, seriously get a #*&$*& life.

That said, I enjoy posting stuff every so often, and I enjoy the interaction with you guys. The Denny's saga was probably the high point. So I've been on the fence about whether to continue this at all. I've got some old photos that I've been meaning to put up for the better part of a year. After I'm through with those, I'll put up a poll to see just how many of you are interested in seeing this blog in the future, and in what form.

Meanwhile, enjoy this delightful youtube video. If you've ever wondered, "Why aren't there more videos of polar bears from outer space destroying Anchorage with a hockey stick while the theme music from Top Gun plays in the background?", then this video is for you: