London – part 2

16 11 2007

Towards the end of our trip, Andy and I visited two iconic London sites – the British Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

britmuseum2.jpgThe British Museum was awe-inspiring due to the sheer volume of antiquities it contains. We saw stolen friezes from the Parthenon, Assyrian inscriptions, Egyptian statues and, of course, the Rosetta Stone.

(Yes, I said ‘stolen’. It was amusing to read the little pamphlet which explained how much of the Parthenon came to be in the British Museum and passionately – if not convincingly – gave rationalization for why it should remain there. It might as well have said “Finders, keepers! Losers, weepers!”)

Anyways, I told Andy that if I had been here 8 years earlier (or had been in Grad School only a year ago), all of the stuff we were seeing would be even more amazing. I might have even been able to read some of the Greek on the Rosetta Stone!

The one thing we missed out on seeing was an exhibit of terra cotta warriors from China. We were pretty excited to see that they were on display at the Museum AND pretty disappointed to find that all the tickets for the day had been sold out. Bummer!

All in all, I’d say that a visit a visit to London should not be considered complete unless one has visited the British Museum. It’s definately worth your time. (Plus it’s free!)


The last thing Andy and I did in London City (besides watch some rugby and have a late dinner at a local pub) was take in a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre.

To be honest, we had been hoping to see a rock concert over the weekend but that didn’t pan out. So, we figured this would be interesting, if not entertaining – which it really was.

We purchased our tickets for the show the day before and opted for the standing room tickets which places you on the floor at the foot of the stage. Had we really put some thought to it, we would have known that our feet and legs would be killing us after two days of walking around London and we would have purchased actual seats. But, we didn’t such foresight.

That’s why we saw only the first act of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

I still need to google the play to find out how it ends…




London – part 1

12 11 2007


A month and half ago (has it really been that long?) I was able to spend a couple of days in London with my brother Andy, who lives in Geneva. (Here we are near the London Tower Bridge.) Andy really enjoys London and I’d never been visited the city before, so when my solo October trip to the US ended up being routed through London, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

We had a fantastic time. Through some friends of Andy, we were able to stay only a short double-decker bus ride from downtown London. (Thanks Pieter, Naomi and kids!) As an added bonus, the weather was actually quite nice. It sprinkled only once and the air was crisp and cool. Oh how I enjoyed having to wear long sleeves and a jacket for a change!


We spent most of our time hanging out downtown, mainly on the south bank of the Thames. The Parliment building – and Big Ben – were impressive. We wanted to check out Westminster Abbey as well, but the admission fee was steep. (Actually, I should say too steep. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world so the price of everything pretty much classifies as ‘steep’.)

Anyways, we spent an afternoon taking in some very interesting art at the Tate Modern Museum. We also got a guided tour of London Tower and London Tower Bridge, courtesy of Andy’s Welsh friend, Rob, who meet us for lunch. As Rob was going through the centuries of British history I found myself being very thankful for the relatively short history of the US – much less to be tested over in school! Rob, a civil engineer, did some work on the London Underground system, so he was also able to share some interesting, little-known facts about its construction as we ‘tubed’ around downtown.


One of the coolest things we did was ride the London Eye, the very large ferris wheel which was recently added to the London skyline and is operated by British Airways (they called the ride a ”flight”, which I found amusing). It is an impressive structure (when they where putting it up, the wheel literally laid across the Thames like a bridge!) and it has really cool design.bryontheeye.jpg

During the ride, you get a bird’s eye view of the city. That was great for us since we didn’t want to spend the time trying to see everything up close. Thanks to the Eye, I can truthfully say that I’ve seen Buckingham Palace and Wembley Stadium…just not in great detail!

I’ve got more pics and stories to share in part 2 of this post . . . coming soon! (I promise!)

Daredevil Graham

23 09 2007

Here’s the caricature our friend Ro Diaz drew of Graham when we were in Kenya.


When it was Graham’s turn to be drawn by Ro, he walked up to front of the room, sat on the chair and said very seriously, “I want to be on a moto jumping off of a ramp.”

We cracked up when Ro told us about it. He loves riding things with two wheels and I don’t doubt that someday, he’ll be doing something like what is pictured in real life!

Super Isaac

13 09 2007

I was looking at the blog today and thought to myself “there are a ton of animal pictures on this page.” The scary thing is that I’ve got at least 4 more posts full of safari pics in the queue. So, for a change of pace, I thought I’d throw in this picture. (For you safari enthusiasts, I put a new elephant picture in the header – in case you hadn’t noticed!)


While we were at the All-Africa Missionaries’ Conference in Kenya, Ro Diaz, our friend from Dallas and an awesome artist, did caricatures of the kids. The boys got to pick out what they wanted to be drawn as and Isaac liked the idea of being Superman. He wasn’t crazy about the exaggerated head size of the drawing and he complained when we put it up in his room. (Tracey and I liked the picture so we left it up, but only for a few weeks.)

For some reason, though, he didn’t complain about the extra muscles…

High Roller

28 08 2007

Tonight was ‘game night’. Tracey and Isaac played a game on the computer while Owen, Graham and I played Hi Ho! Cherry-O!

How was it? Let’s just say Owen cleaned house. He won every single game we played (I think it was 6 total). He won going away and coming from behind. Each time he won, Graham and I said, “Double or nothing!” Good thing for us the double of zero is still zero!

If you see this little guy sitting across the table from you putting cherries on the trees, take your money and walk the other way!


Photo taken by Graham

Happy Birthday, My Love

18 08 2007




Today is Tracey’s birthday.  Which means, there is definite grounds for celebration around our house. I dare say that no one is happier that she came into this world on August 18th, 1974 than the boys and I! Tracey is an amazing woman, a terrific mother, a dedicated friend and more than I could ever hope for in a wife! Happy birthday, sweetie. I love you.



Donkey in the Front Yard

15 01 2007

We held Owen’s birthday party this morning, complete with ballons, streamers, presents, cake and – yes – a donkey!

Since Owen has been on a horse kick lately (that’s what he wanted for his birthday), we decided to make horses the theme of the party. Owen wore his cowboy gear and Tracey made a great horse-shaped cake for dessert. We really wanted to have horse rides for the kids, but horses aren’t very common over here so we got a donkey instead.

Like Owen, all of the kids got sit on the donkey and pose for a picture. However, that was only after Bryan tamed the wild beast!

In reality though, all he was interested in was eating our grass. We had hoped to give rides around the yard, but the donkey – true to character – was stubborn and wouldn’t budge and inch.

In the end, it was a win-win situation. Everyone had fun at Owen’s ‘horse’ birthday party and the donkey got a tasty snack!