Bitten, Part 1

May 4, 2007 at 11:04 am | Posted in geography, holidays, london, travel | 4 Comments

thanks for all the recent sweet comments about my header photos!  :) 

i went a little cropping crazy recently, and i have tons of photos lined up for display–not only for variety and to keep rebeekah a shade above boring, but also so i can have some writing material!  i commonly suffer from blogger’s block, and i thought this would be a good way for me to keep going.

the first photo i chose is of my beautiful sister, Sarah, taken by me while we were in London together last summer.

London, O, London, i love you so.  i fell in love with you during our short affair last year, lasting sadly only four tiny days, and i have painstakingly longed for you since.

i had always wanted to go to London.  i was bitten by the irrepressible travel bug at a young age, being blessed with international travel experiences thanks to my dad’s job as a chemical engineer and his accepting of a position in Western Australia.  many of you may already know, but on our way back to the States after living in Australia for almost six years, we had what i’ve always called a “mini-world tour.”  i got to see Singapore, Cairo, Rome, Athens, Jericho and Jerusalem, and the memories have stayed with me for over twenty years now.

since that trip, i’ve traveled overseas a few times–twice back to Australia, once in college on a singing tour to France, Germany and Austria, and then on a mission trip to Honduras 6 1/2 years ago.  one of the reasons, i’ll admit, i decided to go on the rotary trip to Finland last year was because i had not traveled since going to Honduras.  and those of you who love to travel can imagine the burning and the almost physically present NEED to travel!  :)

because Finland was such a blur of uniforms, packed (often unpleasant) itineraries, and keeping on of the diplomatic, professional mask to various host families and rotary members, many days during those 4 1/2 weeks all i could think of was the extended weekend in London i had planned with my sister to cap off my stay in Europe.  she was coming over to stay for a while in France, anyway, so she decided to come a little early and meet me in London after i was done in Finland.

backing up a bit–prior to reaching Finland, my team and i had decided to do a one-night layover in London.  i remember sitting on the tube for the first time; although incredibly exhausted and jetlagged, as we passed (above ground) through communities and i took in the beautiful, old cobblestone buildings and roads and all that was, in fact, London, i couldn’t help but weep.  i was in London.  after years of wishing, i was finally there.  and perhaps i was a bit emotionally unstable due to the jetlag and the trip to Finland that lay before me (and perhaps due to being five months pregnant), but i was overwhelmed by a sense of completion, of longing fulfilled, of a feeling that perhaps i was arriving some place i was meant to be all along.

i don’t know if i could make it living there.  i like to imagine i could, but who knows, really? but isn’t that the mystery and attraction of travel?  you go, you fall in love with the place, you subsequently picture yourself there in a daily routine…you may never return and thus always have this magical affair–and i say magical because it more than likely is just that and not realistic, as it would be if you were to actually go again, let alone live there as you dream–and love for this golden place that you still find yourself talking and daydreaming about months and years later to anyone who will listen, including unsuspecting blogging friends.

i come from a land down under

January 26, 2007 at 5:15 am | Posted in celebrations, family, geography, travel | 3 Comments

EDIT: I actually wrote this on the right day–Friday–but I couldn’t get the video loaded until this morning.  Happy Belated!  :) 

My tear-off Far Side calendar tells me today is Australia Day. 

I therefore CELEBRATE AUSTRALIA today!!  Although I wasn’t born there (unlike my youngest sister), I do often feel like that beautiful country is my “home.”  How ironic since my older sister, Kellie, who has lived in Australia for the past 20 or so years now (and could therefore rightfully call it her home), has recently decided she is moving back “home” to the good ole U.S. of A.  We couldn’t be happier!!  She plans to be here in June in time for the true Aussie’s wedding and then LIVE here–possibly with Sarah (another sister).  I cannot begin to imagine how wonderful it will be to have Kellie with us once again.  Our other older sister, Michelle, will of course be flying in from Denver for the wedding, as well, so we five sisters will be together for the first time in around 20 years.

I told you I am celebrating Australia, and now I’m beginning to sound like I’m celebrating sisters, instead!  :)  They are worthy of celebration EVERY day, indeed.

I love Australia for many reasons: her people, her language (yes, English, but if you were to visit and/or live there, you might think it a different language altogether), her food, her BEAUTY, her way of life…

Last summer I went to Finland for four weeks.  I have to admit my time there was not wholly enjoyable–although, I will admit I have not truly spent time reflecting on my trip (trying desperately to remember more “good” things about it than the few memories that spring to mind).  One of my favourite moments was during a rotary meeting, of all places: there was also visiting a team from beloved Australia, and they gave a short presentation similar in form to the one our team presented.  At the end of their speech, all members of the team (20 something in size, I believe) came forward to sing for us.  My heart began racing–not only because I love most anything to do with music, but also for the chance to hear all their beautiful Aussie voices.  They proceded to sing a tune that I learned later is actually a “cheesy tourism commercial jingle” often played in their home country.  I didn’t care.  I LOVED that song.  Tears streamed down my face as they sang, “I am, you are, we are Australians,” for a pride had swollen in my heart that could surely only live in the heart of one who had been given the amazing opportunity to live there.  Down under. 

This was embarrassingly HARD!!

January 8, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Posted in geography, quizzes | 1 Comment

You are 78% Knowledgable regarding US State Capitals!

Nice Job! Still, you do have some room for improvement. Keep up the good work. Be sure to try this again!

Do You Know Your State Capitals?

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