Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Miami II

Here are some of the things we did in Miami to keep us busy....

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Simon and I were totally bored here, but the kids thought it was the greatest thing ever.  Afterwards they kept asking us to go and we overheard them discussing it at night when they were suppose to be sleeping. The train that they are standing in front of carried a few Presidents of the United States.

They had a great area set up with tons of Thomas train sets and the kids spent a good deal of time playing there.

We spent a lot of time at parks and found new and cool ones all over town.  I have to say that playgrounds are better in the US and much safer than the ones here in Germany.

The kids are running and skipping down the hill. 

The Miami Children's Museum
Auburn the firefighter

shopping at Publix, the best grocery store ever

My little construction workers

They had tons of Teddy Bears from all over the world.

Because it was close to Christmas they had lots of art activities for the kids.

Santa came at the end.  Conley wanted nothing to do with him until the camera was put away and then he gave Santa a hug.

We also made a super quick visit to Jacksonville and spent the time talking instead of taking pictures.  Our kids think Jacksonville is wonderful and can't wait to go back.

Monday, January 28, 2013


At last, Miami.  I didn't blog at all while we were there.  It was partly because the weather was so wonderful that you just wanted to be outside and the other part was because I was sick, so very sick.  We found I was expecting the day before Simon left for Miami (which was a week before us).  He graciously took a million bags and pounds so that I wouldn't have to really lift anything, what a sweetheart.  Luckily, because he has flown a few hundred thousand miles for work, he can do this without extra charges.

We spent the first week at the beach at a hotel.  The night before we were suppose to move into our super awesome apartment on the 56th floor of this cool building on the bay, the guy bailed on us.  Incredibly bitter, especially since all the other options for housing were no longer valid, we finally found an apartment a week later in Coral Gables.  These are pictures of our first week on the beach.  What a nice break from freezing temperatures and snow!

We spent a great Thanksgiving with my family at my parents house.  I enjoyed it so much, that I forgot to take any pictures at all.  It was our first real Thanksgiving in four years.  My parents, who live in Orlando, also came after Christmas to celebrate with us, along with my sister.  It was great to have them and my kids loved having family nearby.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baby Hill 3 coming this summer around July 7th.  We couldn't be happier!

Benelux get-away

So way back in September, Simon and I had a little weekend get away.  I realized this is January.  I already uploaded the pictures but forgot to post them.  Simon's parents were in town (thanks for watching our kids) and we rented a car and drove up to the Netherlands and Belgium.  Those were last on my list of Europe and Simon found a way to make it work.  Thanks love.
canals in Amsterdam

coolest castle in the Netherlands

the Atomium in Brussels

Grand Place Belgium
probably the best square we have ever seen in Europe

enjoying a Belgium waffle


Borussia Mönchengladbach
German soccer team

Aachen cathedral
The was original constructed by Charles the Great and where he is buried.  Seriously impressive.

more of Amsterdam

Saturday, January 19, 2013

home again, home again

I realized that I have not posted a single thing since our two and half month stay in Miami.  I am not back in Munich and apologize for the delay.  We were enjoying the beautiful weather.  We left Miami with highs int he 80s and today came home to a high of 24 degrees.  That is brutal.  Although, my kids are excited to use the snow tomorrow for some sledding.

Miami was interesting.  I knew Spanish was prevalent.  I didn't realize that in my home country I wouldn't be able to communicate with some many people and have cashiers at every establishment speak to me in Spanish.  Auburn told me that people speak English and Spanish in the US.  I had to remind her that was really only in Miami.  The traffic is horrid there.  So many people and no place to expand.  It is almost suffocating.

We did get  to see family and spend holidays with them.  It has been almost five years since that has happened.  We drove to Jacksonville to see good friends, our old ward and our home.  We enjoyed traveling by car again, playing outside and wearing flip flops everyday, except for maybe two days.  The kids and shopped and I taught them to love Target.   They made friends at every park.  The language barrier here in Germany is getting bigger and bigger for them.  We spent a lot of time at the beach. 

I think my kids have super powers when it comes to flying.  I flew solo with them.   It was around 15-16 hours of travel and there was not one tantrum or even an argument.  We came home to lots of love.  A brother in our ward at church picked us up at the airport.   His wife sent along some staples, including dinner.  He offered to go grocery shopping for me.  After arriving home another sister from our ward came with more food and offered her assistance.  It feels nice to be home! 

I will post pictures and more stuff about our Miami adventure as soon as my brain isn't so jet-lagged and I have worked through the mountain of laundry.