Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Happenings

I wanted to give a little shout off to my best friend, sister, and soon-to-be ex room mate. She is getting hitched in just a few days on Aug. 6 and I am just brimming with happiness for her, giving her all my sweet dreams for her life with ol Andrew!
They are getting married in this pretty place, the Mormon temple in Logan, Utah. I actually drove by it a week or two ago, and I know this is cheesy cheese, but it made me catch my breath it was so pretty.
Their engagement photo, absolute studs right? 
For a 80's skating party, lookin A+ per usual :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not this week but the next, I'm working a 40 hour week. I'm scared. Put on the working woman face and bear it, Hannah, cause you'll get a load of cash at the end :). That's what'll get me through.

Also, the more I see and hear about Duchess Kate, the more I love her! Secretly, I want to be her... and have her closet.. minus the hats. ha. But, seriously, she is classically beautiful, always says the right thing, has this Jackie O. grace or something about her. I'll work on it.

How classy is this!? So chic.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

home life

I gotta be honest. Its a lot harder to blog when you're not seeing things like 3rd century churches and Michelangelo's sculptures every day. But, I'm being hard hearted. I'm not really giving Provo a fair shot. The mountains covered in green are a treat to see every day. And it IS so good to be back with my Provo family.
You can see the Y on the mountain in the back, and that little curly
Q sidewalk over the road is what I would walk over to go from
work to school every day last semester. Photo from here
 My trip from London to Salt Lake was a dream compared with the rockiness Deanna and I experienced getting to Norwich (what with her having to fork out $700 for both our train tickets to London and then having to worry about her over withdrawing her account every time we paid for something, which was a $30 fee for EACH transaction!)

Dee and I caught the taxi from Thel's at some horrible hour like 3am (per usual.. we had quite a few early mornings that week!) and got to the coach station in plenty of time to catch our ride to London. From there, we parted ways as she was going to Gatwick and I to Heathrow. Easy as pie. The only bother was having to heave around my 98384748 lb. suitcase up and down the Tube stairs and trying not to knock people out with it on the train. Who packed that suitcase, eh? Not me...
who misses europe? i do. i do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Rome-> At the Vatican, you saw all kinds, including lotsa nuns.
And this nun wasn't chancing any sunburn, as she was wearing
 an umbrella hat. 
Rome-> All over the place were these 24/7
running fountains. I'm not quite sure how Rome pulls these off, but they
 run continuously and are cold and good to drink!
They saved Deanna and I a lot.
Paris-> This guy had his cat slung over his shoulder.
Why? How?  Dee and I did not know the answers-- but seriously.
Why isn't kitty inside? And if he's outside, Why is he slung over
the guy's shoulder? ha

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gimme Paris

 It is irritating that I have to admire the pompous and unabashedly power hungry leaders of all these foreign countries, they built the prettiest stuff.  Henry VIII? Prime candidate there, commissioned like half the buildings in England. William the Conqueror? Yep. Windsor Castle and the Tower of London are two notches on his stick. Emperor Nero in Rome built the Colosseum. Hoity-toity beyond hoity-toity Louis XIV did Versailles and the Saint Chappelle Chapel in Paris to just name two, the greedy guy. Marie Antoinette built her “little cottage” (little, my bum) on the edge of the Versailles gardens as a vacation home, which Deanna and I went to. Ha, they may have spent absolute loads of money and ignored the poor, but boy did they know how to build some cool stuff!
London-> Tower of London, by ole William the Conqueror who fought quite a few battles
so he could gain some extra land. 
Rome-> Nero's Colosseum. All the stone walls on the bottom were originally in the basement,
they were the cages where the animals were kept. There was originally the floor on top
of that where the gladiators would fight and the entertainment would take place.
Paris-> Versailles. Louis XIV was such a prick building this huge palace and the gardens just cause he fancied the big and the expensive. Granted, he did introduce ballet to the world, so he did do some good stuff. The palace is fabulous though.
Paris-> gardens at Versailles.
Paris-> Dee hangin out in the Versailles gardens
Paris-> La Sainte-Chapelle by Louis. This was
oh so fabulous. Stained glass that looked like lace
A close up for ya.  Louis you may be stuck up, but you can build a CHAPEL.
It only took 5 years to build as well. Huh.
Rome was super for all its churches- many even older than the ones in England. Several we went to while there were founded in the 100-300 AD range- freakin archaic. Italian churches were quite a bit different than in England…  they had such colored and ornate floors whereas the ones in England just had tombs all over but made up for it with fabulous gothic ceilings.
Venice-> beautiful floor mosaic in the church Santa Maria e San Donato
on the island of Murano (home of famous Venetian blown glass).
The churches were very cool in Rome, and it’s a good thing, cause otherwise I think Rome woulda been a bust, horrible enough to say. It was really dirty, and 80% of the men on the street were dirty too--creeps trying to “pinch our bums” as Ken indeed warned me about! And the cobblestones! Those things are brutal on your feet, all uneven with who knows how many invisible-till-you-trip-on-em crevices. But the churches? Fabulous.
Rome-> cobblestones. Right hazardous, I'd say. You can see the Colosseum
peekin out at the end of the walkway there.
And whoever stole my wallet (and they better be feeding their 14 starving children and not buying dope) in Rome can go to Hades. They caused me a ton of hassle, the dog. Canceling credit cards and having to use Deanna as a bank.

Paris I think was my favorite. It was sophisticated and classy and oh so European (everybody so stylish and always having baguettes and croissants) but was still obviously a city where people truly lived. There were schools and chic office buildings and guys in suits on the metro. It was way cool to be in a place that so fit the picture in my head of Europe and was actually a place where people thrived. As opposed to Rome where it was so dirty and seemed a bit too ancient with all the churches built in only the generation or two after the time of Jesus Christ. Venice was just a dream world, so quiet with no cars and not a school or a pharmacy or business buildings or anything else that spoke of people besides tourists in sight.

Paris, I could live in, no problem. None at all.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Honestly. The other night I had a dream that I was lost in an art museum. And there were paintings by Constable in there. You know Europe made an impression on you when...

Also, Deanna gave me some pictures from our trip and I'll give a little teaser here... with more to come.
Venice-> one of the many bridges crossing the Grand Canal. You can
see the Santa Maria della Salute church in the background, the one
with the dome, that I blogged about earlier I think.
Rome-> Dee and I at the Colosseum. Crazy how we all love this place even
though it was used for so much bloodshed and violence! On an information
plaque about the gladiator fights, it said that afterwards people would mop
up the spilt blood with sponges and sell it. It was thought to be a cure for
epilepsy. Gross!
Rome-> So beautiful! Our view from the top of the dome atop St. Peter's Basilica
in the Vatican. We had to pay 5 euro to go up the stairs for the view but it
was well worth the burn in the bum! You can see the backs of the statues
that lined the top of the church like sentinels and down into the huge square below.
Paris-> In that glass pyramid at the Louvre. In our opinion (it is possible
we may have been arted out at this point) the building itself was way more
stunning than most of the artwork inside of it. I gotta be honest, the Mona
Lisa painting seemed a bore! Almost a sin, I know...
Paris-> I'm tryin my darndest to get a good portrait,
but notice Eiffel Tower back there... looking so good
without even trying in every pic! This was taken
off the Arc de Triumphe.
Paris-> There's old Eiffel again, and cute Deanna!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And... I'm home.

The last few days in Europe have been nuts, but I am now safely in my apartment in Provo. Going to the bank now to fix all the wallet crap. Will write MUCH more later.
love, han

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roamin Rome

Saw the Pantheon (not Parthenon as I kept saying on accident)
today. Man, that dome was one of the coolest things I've seen.
With the hole on top, its like a little window to heaven. And did you know
that Raphael is buried here? Yea, I didn't either. 

The Risen Christ by none other than Michelangelo himself.
Saw that today in the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church. I was surprised what
good condition it was in... from 1521.
We're on tap for the Vatican tomorrow...

Dee and I went out with tonight for gelato with one of the girls who is staying in our hostel room with us. Tammy, from Austrailia, just got out the army (where she was for 5 years) and is now out and taking a little holiday. She is way down to earth. In the army, she packed parachutes for the people jumpin outta  planes. She's done it herself 18 times. So cool, right? 

Love to all, xoxo

PS Paris will be on Friday. The plane is quite early, 6:30am I believe on Friday, that we have to catch. We think we will sleep in the airport the night before to save having to get there at 2am like we did in London. But yes, Deanna is going to Norwich with me! But we will be flying into London and taking a coach as flying into Amsterdam was too pricey... I think thats what it was. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

and Miracles do happen!

So I had said it would be a miracle if Deanna and I caught our 6:30am flight to Venice, and y'all, we did. a little miracle did happen.

And it was kind of a miracle because for starters we got to bed at 11:30pm and had to wake up at 1am! Yikes. And poor Deanna had just had a 10 or so hour flight. What a trooper. But we woke up on time, praise to the heavens, and got outside to catch the bus at 2:09am. However, my contacts were going all funny and I couldn't read the map, so expert navigator Deanna successfully got us on and off the bus at the right stops in a country that she had only been in for 13 hours. And Deanna wins the gold.

The hitch was that we transferred to the right bus station, but it never came (after asking several people on the street if they knew if it was coming, several of whom had had a BIT too much of the So 20 min before our booked coach bus left the station, we were still quite a ways a way cause the dumb city bus never came. Sooo, we asked another city bus driver for help and sweet soul got us on our way and told us what alternate bus to take. However, at that point we were cuttin to the wire on time, so we decided to get a cab. Unfortunately, neither of us had cash. Really. Why are the fates against us?

 So I ran down the block and found an ATM just in time to get the cash and dash. We got a cab and got to the bus station with a few minutes to spare. Miracle? Uh huh.

At the moment, I am in Venice at the hostel (called A Venice Museum) using the free Wifi (awesome). Venice is a dream.  Though navigating around is a bit tricky. The walking streets go straight for about 2 yards, and then they connect with another street. So we keep having to get out the map every block to see what street to turn on!

Also, the city is so quiet without cars. It's a bit eerie, really. And despite all the stuff I've been reading about tourists taking over Venice, there doesn't seem to be that many really. Many times today, Deanna and I were completely on our own walking through different parts of town.

Gallerie Academia museum we went to today. Interesting cause the building was
quite in disrepair yet it was housing these priceless and beautiful works
of art. 
Church of Santa Maria della Salute. This picture, though beautiful,
doesn't do it justice. The sculptures on the building were 3-D ish,
bathed in all these lovely shadows and coming out quite far from the building.
Also, Tuesday is when we'll be heading to Rome via train. This one is a bit easier to catch at 9:39am, so hopefully it'll go ok. We are due to arrive in Rome at 1:13pm and are looking forward to it.

Love to all and so glad family got the package. And I heard about the little rock band get-together John had with the dudes and the chat you parents had with a friend of mine :) Gimme the details! Also, I'm enthralled that you guys went on a vacation to Topsail. I think this is the first holiday in what, 15 years?? You deserve it. love to all, xoxo

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In London safe! late but safe.

Due to my bus not being properly marked (and my own silliness) I missed my bus to London at 8am but fortunately was able to sort it out and take the 9am one. The tube in London was a huge mess as many lines were closed! Therefore... Ms Deanna had to wait about an hour at the airport (glad it took her a while to get through customs! means she didn't have to wait on me quite as long). But I found her ok in the airport (after a call to her mobile from a payphone!) and we made it to London safe 'n' sound. Relief.

If we can catch our plane tomorrow morn without a hitch, it'll be a miracle! Cross y'alls fingers for us. xoxo

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thellie is the Bomb

Some funny things that Auntie Thel has said that HAVE to be released to the public (some of them are a tad incriminating but just picture an adorable 80 year old saying them and you'll understand) :

1. "half-canned" --the term she uses for herself after her nightly vodka 'n' fruit juice
2. "a bit of the wind" --a term for a bit of flatulence
3. "let out a rouser" --a term for a lot of flatulence
4. "he's a bit of a poncy boy" --in describing boys who think too much of their looks
Thel lookin so fly. I think Justin took this...
Off to London tomorrow... and I'm pretty nervous. And excited. And pumped. And hoping that no scary boys snatch Deanna and I off the streets. :)

Soon to be...

Is is so weird that I will be home (the utah one...) in only 12 days. It has been such an absolute treat to come to Norwich and London and there is still a huge adventure up ahead (think venice... rome.. paris) still, like a huge exciting hurdle to enjoy before I come back, that it doesn't seem like only 12 days. But there.

Today I am packing and doing some last minute things before leaving tomorrow. Here are the details for tomorrow and Sunday:
-Take Norwich bus to coach station (7am)
-take coach to London (8am)
-take Tube to heathrow airport to meet Deanna (noon ish)
-Go crazy in London one last time
-Sunday... is a doozy.
-wake up (or still be awake) at 1:30am
-take local buses (because the blasted tube isn't open) to coach station
-take coach to Stansted airport (3:15am)
-board plane (6am)
-TO VENICE (6:30) to see this

via this website
Love to all, and Granny I am SO glad you (and Justin!) are enjoying your goodies from the package! xo