Let's Talk Travel (And My Crazy Life)

It's Hump Day! Ya-ey-yay! 

Today I'm doing a post that's going to pretty much be all over the place because I have so much going on in my life. So many new and exciting things. And it will probably be really, really long.

Let's Talk Travel

First things first, most of you who have followed for a bit know that I love to travel. I was blessed to be born into a family who believed that traveling develops you as a person. When I was a kid my mom and grandparents took me all over the United States. In fact, I think I have about 30 states checked off. When I was 6 my grandparents told me they would take me to England when I turned 13. They had a couple of things going for them when they made this promise - I was the only grandkid at the time, and they probably thought I would forget about it over the next 7 years. I didn't. I will never forget the day I turned 13 and going to my grandmother's house. I reminded her that I was 13 and that this was the year they were supposed to take me to England. And guess what? They did! My aunt was a flight attendant for American and had been on so long that she worked international first class. You know what that meant? Free upgrade to first class. Woot woot! LOL.

On that trip my grandparents took me to London where I was lucky enough to actually get a glimpse of Margaret Thatcher. That was pretty cool. Of course I was so into NKOTB that I spent the majority of my trip looking for magazines of them. Ah, youth. Don't get me wrong. I remember the crown jewels, the Tower of London, Big Ben and Windsor. But my favorite part? Going to Scotland! We took the train over and when we got off, there was a Scottish man in a kilt waiting for us. That was so cool. 

While in Scotland we were having tea and experienced the IRA. The stockmarket in Glasgow had been bombed. I will never forget sitting there, drinking our tea, and hearing the explosion. It was chaos.

I didn't travel again until I was 22. My mom called me and asked "Do you want to go to Paris?" She had found this deal that was like $330/person for roundtrip airfare so she wanted to take her kids. So I said, I kid you not, "yeah sure. I don't have anything else going on." My friends and family who read that will laugh because they know that trip was the birth of an obsession. I absolutely fell in love with Paris. I'm a huge history buff so that had a lot to do with it. 

I took this picture while on a dinner cruise on the Seine. It was taken on my iphone, but I photoshopped it to create this pic. I love the combination of Lady Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. 

The next year we found roundtrip airfare to Amsterdam for $220. Oh the good old days. Funny story on that trip. We did a canal trip and our driver says "hold on I have to pull over to light a joint." We laughed because we thought he was joking - he wasn't. On that particular trip we took a train to Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. It was awesome!

It was almost 10 years until the next trip. Mom and I went to Italy and France. We did Venice and Milan on that trip and then into Paris. 

A year later we went to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Bratislava.

This is Prague at night. It is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world.
This is me in front of the "blue" Danube in Budapest. Budapest was a real surprise. It was a last minute day trip and we loved it so much, we are going back!

The next trip was kind of a fluke. My mom is friends with a man who works in Russia and who travels over twice a year. He invited us and a few other friends to travel with him. They went to Moscow first, but I couldn't join them until they got to St. Petersburg (which, by the way, is gorgeous). After leaving St. Petersburg, we went to Helsinki. I love salmon and the fresh salmon at the market was amazing! We took a boat over to Estonia which was cool. Not much to see, but cool. We did find this little restaurant where the owners loved Texas so much they opened a "Texas" restaurant. The funny thing? I think their nachos were better than ours in the states! After Estonia we headed to Stockholm (I'm pretty sure it is what Heaven will look like) and then on to Paris.

The left is me on the ferry to Stockholm with Helsinki in the background. The center is the Estonian restaurant and the right pic? I had to take a picture of this Swedish military guard because he looked so much like Christian Bale!!!
I have a thing for churches and water. The picture on the left is of the Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia during the white nights (where there is light for almost 24 hours. I took that picture at 1 am.) The picture in the center is Notre Dame and the Seine at sunrise. Can you believe I took that on my iphone? The right picture is of a church in Venice I have said I am going to visit and yet never have. I've been told it's stunning.

The next year it was Rome, Venice, Florence, Turin and Paris. I found out that I'm allergic to something in Rome. I was sneezing my head off the whole time!!!! Turin on the other hand? Wow. If you ever go to Italy, take a trip to Turin. It is stunning. And the chocolate is AWESOME!

Last year we did 2 weeks in France. Half of the time we were in Nice and the last part we were in France. That was the first trip the kiddos went on and now they are hooked.

I know there are a lot of people who will think "what's the big deal? So you've been a lot of places." And still others who may think I am spoiled (I am. I acknowledge this fact. My family believes in spending money to see the world. One life and all). Yes, that is a lot of travel. But here is the thing. We understand the value of travel and really love seeing the world. I want my kids to know there is more to the world than just where we live. And yes, we travel around the U.S. also (my oldest has been to 10 states, I think). This summer we are going to Paris, London, Scotland and Ireland and I am lucky enough to go to Hawaii in August (thanks to a wedding). I truly am blessed.

Let's Talk About the Future

So what does all of this have to do with the blog? For one, all of the travel is what has created my design style. As I travel, I see things here and there that I love, and I incorporate them into my design. I also thought it might be cool to do posts about my trips for those interested in travel. Just my reviews and thoughts on places I travel. It should be fun, right? :-)

Now this is where it gets crazy. About five years ago I approached my mom about flipping houses. Since then, we've talked about it here and there but I finally got her to commit. With that, I will be starting real estate classes in the next few weeks and we will be starting to flip houses in the fall. Y'all... I am so darn excited! I've been wanting to do this for so long and can't wait to get started!!!!!

The blog isn't going anywhere because there is plenty to do around the house (like the powder room I should be working on right now). I just wanted to let you all know what's happening if I only post once a week or once every two weeks. I'm actually pretty excited because I know flipping will result in some pretty awesome tutorials. :-)

So there you go! My crazy life. I hope you all stick around for the journey because it should be an interesting.