Let the Games Begin!

Opening ceremonies for the Olympics began yesterday! I love the Summer Olympics so much and my favorite sport is gymnastics. I am such a girl, but I have always wished I was able to do the skills these girls can do. They have such strength and power and I admire it beyond words.

Anyway, the Olympics this year are in London, so what a perfect time to show you all the last bit of my dad’s and my vacation to Europe! We were there the morning the Olympic rings went up onto the bridge!

Now as I said, Paris was by far my favorite city of my adventure. But London has the history I adore to read about and dream about at night. In another life much earlier in history I believe I may have been Anne Boleyn because I am completely obsessed. Yes she was the wife of Henry VIII that was beheaded for adultery, and yes she manipulated the King into marriage… But boy was she a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it no matter what the consequences! Although she had very little glory, she did give England one of its greatest monarchs, Elizabeth I. And I fully believe Elizabeth would not have been the Queen she was if she had not had Anne for a mother.

Pretending to be queen at Hampton Court Palace

If you love making history fun (the way it should be) and you are in London, you must visit Hampton Court Palace. I walked the same halls Henry and Anne walked and they put on a play that plays out throughout the day. So much fun! This was a dream come true and my Dad was awesome to go through the whole day with me and my obsession! Thanks Daddy 🙂

Another must see in London is the infamous Tower of London where the crown jewels are held (I felt they were a little less than extraordinary) and where many were executed. Including Anne Boleyn!!! And the Tower is still an official royal residence. If you go you must go on a Warden’s Tour and make sure you take your time. We did (except for the jewels, like I said I was less than impressed) and it was worth every minute!

Me with our Warden tour guide

We spent the most days and nights in London, so we saw a LOT of history and a little bit of present too. Westminster Abbey was beautiful. I loved how sacred and serene it was on the tour. My dad and I went to see Les Mis one evening! Let me say this: The West End of London is just like NYC’s Broadway except with a lot of English accents. Funny story: We both thought the show started at 8pm so we got to the theater at 7 in order to pick up our tickets and then grab a quick dinner before hand. Welp… the show started at 7:30!!! Good thing we got there early! And don’t worry we ate afterwards. It was not like in Germany. We wouldn’t make that mistake again. But that is all pretty history related so I bet you are asking where is the present??? It is at Warner Bros Studios where Harry Potter was filmed!!! Yes I did write that and you did read that correctly. I have walked the same floors as Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint! Proof, you want proof?

PROOF!

This is THE Hogwarts Castle that is used in the movies. I bet you thought that the castle was made via the computer… NOPE! It is this huge model that takes up a room the size of my house! This was a dream come true!!!

Finally the food of London… It was not my favorite. England cuisine is very fried, a “traditional English breakfast” is fried eggs, bacon, sausage, and boiled beans (to name a few of the items) and that is just not my kind of food. So I tried to find foods that were more to my liking and we really did have a lot of luck. The first night Dad wanted to be traditional and get some quick Fish n’ Chips (fried fish and french fries served on newspaper) but I wasn’t thinking that would be the best for my sensitive stomach. Lucky me, the place also had freshly made falafel! and I love falafel and have always wanted to try it from a real deal place. After that night we branched out and explored the ethnic cuisine in England, which we had heard was the real deal. I officially love Indian food. Lentils and spinach with a little spice? yes please!!! And dad got a great curry dinner our last night that he loved. I did have a Plowman’s Sandwich one night that I really liked. Dad told me it was called a Plowman’s because that was what the workers in the field would pack to eat on their days at work. These workers were smart with their food, because the sandwich was fresh and delicious without being too filling. I will leave you with a few of my favorite foods!

My typical “English Breakfast”

Cute German Bakery we LOVED for breakfast (yes we were in England but the Germans know their bread)

Falafel: The real deal

I love Smoked Salmon thanks to Europe!

Indian Cuisine:)

The English gave me some great potato ideas!

Call me a Plowman

 

So if you get a chance to travel to London, or if you are there for the Olympics now (LUCKY!) Make sure to really take in some history, be a part of history, and really search for the good food that is good for you and still allows you to eat the country’s cuisine.

But most importantly in London…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Detour from Dinner

My first day in Germany included touring two beautiful castles

This is the first of the two: Hohenschwangau Built to be a summer-house for the King of Bavaria. It was about a 10 minute up hill hike to get to the entrance and then we got a great tour. I swear I was born in the wrong time period, because I really wish I lived, dressed, and ate like people did back then. But a tour of all of these great castles is the closest I can get to real life. I will take it!

Now this beauty is the REAL sleeping beauty castle. Neuschwanstein is the name and the King who built it was the son of the king who built the previous picture. Half way through the building of this over the top castle the treasury was used up and the government proclaimed that the King was unfit to rule and insane. If you go into the castle and into the rooms that were actually finished you can see that he may have been insane but was also probably gay (he did break off his engagement to a princess). This just shows how unaccepting the world has always been to this issue. This king died because we can not accept that not all people are the same, when will things change?

Anyway after spending the morning hiking up the hills of Bavaria I realized that I had nothing to worry about exercise wise so far. I actually really want to go on more hikes! Not for the nature, because honestly I have no idea how to appreciate it fully. it is glorious and God created it and I appreciate it, but what I really loved about hiking was the future destination was semi unknown! I am not good with unknown so this is weird to me. Hiking pushed me in a way I cannot push myself!

Next on our agenda? Munich! where the largest cuckoo clock resides, o and a really famous beer house (the Hofbräuhaus).

Needless to say Dad was happy 😉 Don’t worry he did not drive for at least 2 hours I believe!

Which one do you think I had??? Now remember I may bot be legal in the states but I am in Europe. But I wanted to save my first EVER drink of alcohol for another occasion

Now, here comes the learning experience of the day. Dad and I left Munich around 6 so that we could get back to our hotel in time for supper. Everything was going really well until we got behind a TRACTOR on a main road!!! But that was fine we got around it and still would be able to make it back in time IF the GPS would have kept us on the autobahn (German highway) but no it didn’t and yes we did come to a blocked road detour… and yes the GPS kept trying to get us down the blocked road!!!

Soon I came to the realization that even if we did get back (and that seemed like a big if) it would not be in time for dinner… Cue eating disorder coming to life. When my eating disorder awakens inside me it is not a silent thing, it causes huge break downs and tantrums. I am very out of control and do not watch what I am saying or where I am saying it. Let me finish the story before I really go into what was happening in my head though: We ended up having to take tractor roads (ironic, maybe) for 20 minutes before getting on a real road and finally back to our hotel, but it was after 9pm and all restaurants we CLOSED…

OK back to the issue. There was a time in my eating disorder that whenever something went wrong I collapsed to the floor after first having screamed at my mom, blamed her for everything, and refused to go on (in life). I have gotten so much better at dealing with things that do not go as planned.  But right then I was in a completely different country, and my dad has never completely understood how this thing changes me for the worse. So I lost control of the situation and all I could think of was “O this is my opportunity to skip a meal, but shoot (actually it was a little more profane) I am actually hungry!!!”

I did eventually come to again, and realize that my dad wasn’t out to get me. He didn’t mean for us to miss dinner, and really did feel bad. He just didn’t realize that something as little as missing dinner one time could send me over the edge so easily still. And normally it doesn’t, but I was hungry and vulnerable because of that.

I was hungry all night and did not sleep well because of a lot going on in my head. I didn’t eat enough that day as it was for all of the hiking we did and I knew it. So I came to this conclusion, I do not think it was my eating disorder that caused this huge break down. It was me fighting the eating disorder. I wanted to eat and enjoy myself, and more importantly I wanted to fuel myself and ensure that I wasn’t given the opportunity to go back to that place again. I never felt weak with no energy when I was in the depths of anorexia, but that night and the next morning I did. And I HATED it. So when 8am came and breakfast was served I enjoyed and savored every bite for all it was worth.

This was a huge breaking point for me, I not only showed my dad who I am but I also showed him and myself that I have the ability to really fight.  I fight every day to ensure I am healthy and I fight everyday to find ways to push myself to limits past what I believe I am capable of. Before this night I have always believed that skipping a meal meant I was giving into my eating disorder, but this time it was the opposite. I didn’t choose not to eat, although Dad would have gone out to get me something from a McDonald’s or something.  So I guess I did chose not to eat, but not because I didn’t want food. It was late and I was so tired from the day and from the huge scene I had made I really just needed to sleep. So instead of listening to the voice telling me “you have anorexia you either eat or go back to that” I listened to me which said, “you are tired and food will be there in the morning and you will eat it and enjoy it a lot more then.”

I am sorry this post was so log, but these thoughts are extremely difficult to express and plus I wanted to show you some of the awesome carefree parts of my vacation too!

Has anyone else run into dramatic (unexpected) problems on vacation? Please share, and how did you overcome it???

How do you act when you are really upset? I scream and fight and then shut down while crying not something I am proud of

What do you think of the castles? I love them and again, I was totally born in the wrong time period! were you, or do you like the modern world without castles?