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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going blind. Bon Voyage!

I am going to Europe tomorrow for almost 2 weeks. So I will be signing off on the blog for awhile but you best bet that I will have a lot to tell when I get back about what I learned over there!

I went to church on Sunday and the message hit me pretty hard and I have been evaluating a few things from it. Let me open with the prayer that placed me on the edge of a cliff ready to fall.

[I] acknowledge [my] lack courage and [my] tendency to remain in comfortable, familiar, and undemanding ruts and routines. Forgive [my] faint heart, I pray, and grant [me] the fortitude to take risks, to attempt new challenges, to experiment with fresh ideas.  You called us to renounce the patterns of this world and be transformed into the image of Christ. Give [me] the strength to change those thing that [I] can influence, the patience to accept those [I] cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I have an old dance I choreographed to Leanne Rimes “What I cannot Change” and I have so much emotion connected to this dance because it really represents how long and how hard it was for me to realize that there are things in my life that I cannot control. That I have to pray and have faith that God has a plan for me.

But I haven’t been dancing, and it has been almost 6 months since I have performed this dance and I guess I may have forgotten the lesson I was trying to live through it a little.

Routines are great and so is planning for the future, but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do about what will happen in the years to come.

My Life Examples

  1. I can study for hours and still walk into an exam and not know all of the answers because I didn’t make the test. All I can do is try my hardest and answer what I do know correctly
  2. I can get all of the grades, and all of the volunteer hours and STILL not get matched to a dietetic internship my senior year. Again all I can do is do everything in my power to have the best application but that still might not be enough
  3. I can dream up and “talk the talk” about how my future husband will be a doctor, or in the military but the fact is if I do that I may be giving up real love (which I have experienced and will document one day when I am ready) just to have a “comfortable life” You can’t control who you fall in love with, but you can try to make the best life possible with that person

I used to believe I could plan out my whole life. Graduate from high school, make it in a dance company, audition and star in a Broadway show, meet the perfect guy and have a family. Then it became graduate from high school, go to college and meet the person I would spend the rest of my life with, start my career and have the perfect wedding, have kids and live happily.

What a rut I was in and how boring I am making my life! I am going to make a point to remind myself everyday how FANTASTIC the blind spots on life’s road are.I am going to use this trip to Europe as the perfect starting point.

Parts of the trip I am nervous about because “I don’t know what will happen”

  1. What will I be eating every day on this trip? I don’t plan out my meals on paper like I used to in recovery (I got really sick of that and took that as a great sign that I was fighting anorexia) but I do normally have a general idea of what I will have for my next bite but after breakfast in the car tomorrow morning my bites and when I eat are left up to my ability to sense my hunger and then choose what I really want
  2. Not knowing the language and how to get around. I don’t like not being able to communicate or where things are. I feel out of control, but that is what this is all about, giving up my control and trusting that I will figure it out
  3. Not having my apple a day- OK I haven’t really stated this on the blog yet but I have at least one apple every day (alternating red and green) but I don’t think I will be able to have that these next 2 weeks. First time in a long time and I am nervous and sad actually not to have it. but it will make my first apple back all the sweeter (sometimes it take giving something up to really appreciate it again)
  4. Finally, sleeping in strange places (hotels and apartments not hostiles don’t you worry)and with out my manatee who I have slept with since I was in 3rd grade (and still trying to figure out how he will fit into my bed too when the day comes that I find “the guy”)

But remember I have a new philosophy: I will appreciate the blind spots these nerves introduce and handle them as they come up. because I am strong and gaining patience with the uncontrollable. and through my life I will learn the wisdom to tell the difference between what I can and cannot change.

Here is the video that people put together for the song by Leanne Rimes

 

Well I am off to Europe! (After a good night’s sleep, a longish car ride and an even longer plane ride that is!

What should I be on the look out for while on vacation?!?

Anyone else have trouble walking into an unknown future without a complete plan in motion?

 

I leave you with this funny video that made my night (well except for what just happened on my evening walk!)