Monday, September 5, 2011

Post-Europe Adventures aka Reality

I hope you all enjoyed the few pictures I put up of our amazing trip! Unfortunately after every vacation, there comes post-vacation (aka reality). Josh and I haven't been in reality for 2 months, so the transition was pretty brutal. Three days before we left for our travels, we moved into the basement of my sister and brother-in-laws house in Farmington. They themselves were moving in the morning that Josh and I were leaving for Europe. When we got back home, between the constant calls of family and friends wanting to see us, and the constant attention of our two nephews (Mac 2, Eli 9 mos), Josh and I were OVERWHELMED! Daily things such as laundry, unpacking, and picking up our cute new downstairs apartment seemed like a HUGE chore rather than a normal task. Jet-lag also gave us a taste of it's medicine. The Cooper's are known for sleeping in as long as they damn well please. But jet-lag made sure that didn't happen. Josh and I were up at 6 AM sharp every morning following the days of our return. Fortunately for us, we already had big plans for the weeks to come!

While we were in Scotland, I got to celebrate my 23 birthday on the 26th of June! For my birthday, my loving husband surprised me with tickets to the Goo Goo Dolls concert (This being both one of mine and Josh's favorite bands)! We also had planned our annual friend cabin trip to my family's cabin in the Uintah's! Of course the Goo Goo Dolls were AMAZING in concert and we got to share the experience with some of our closest friends (Brayden Jensen, Jason Hodson, & Jessica Thorpe). Directly after the concert, Jason, Joshua and myself met up with our cabin trip pals (Jonny Murdock, Tera Grant, & Maihi Fujita) and made our way up to the lush Uintah's! Of course the cabin is always a good time and this was one of the best! No drama or judgements, just a whole lot of dirty fun ;) Below are some pics to check out. I'm trying to do better on keeping up with the blog, so bare with me! :D

Cute friends
That Jason! HA HA HA!
We love to cuddle
Mmmm. I see you John Reznick!
The Coop's at their concert
I attempted to put pics up of the cabin 3 different times, and there is an error every time, so sorry. Maybe on FB.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eurotrip 2011!

So this summer Josh and myself went on a 7.5 week backpacking trip to EUROPE! We had saved for the long vacation for over a year and a half and officially left on June 11, 2o11. We met some amazing people, saw some breath-taking sights, and had once in a lifetime experiences! Our first stop was New York City, USA (Not so impressive, but it was cool to see :D) Length of stay was 2 full days & 1 night.

Times Square @ night
Times Square @ Night
Lady Liberty!!!
Our second stop on our once in a lifetime was London, England! There we met my good friend Alex Crystol (whom I met from my volunteer project I did in Australia in 2008). He lives in Camden which is right near London and he did a great time at showing us around. We were in London for approximately 3 days.

Trafalgar Square

Buckingham Palace
The London Eye
Big Ben & The British Parliament
Stop 3 was the small town of York. When we first got to York, we met up with my friend Suzie (again, a good friend I met in Australia) and her mom's boyfriend Gordon. Gordon is originally Scottish, but lives in York, England for business. Suzie and her mom traveled down from Glasgow for the weekend to show us around the small town of York and Ripon with good old Gordon :D They were GREAT hosts, and we couldn't have had a better experience! Here are a few pictures from the old town of York, England.

York, England (Original guarding wall)
York Cathedral (Not a good view)
Original Buildings (So close they're nearly touching)
Cooper's by gates into York (Marci has a weird neck)
After our weekend in York, England was over, we jumped in the car with Grace and Suzie Brownlow and drove northwest towards Glasgow, Scotland!! This is where we spend the majority of our trip which was roughly 2.5 weeks. Suzie introduced us to Blood pudding, Yorkshire pudding, Fry's Orange Cream (AMAZING), and Irn Bru. The one thing we didn't ever try was Haggis, which neither of us complained too much about. Also in Glasgow, we met people that we are going to be friends with for the rest of our lives! We also spent WAAAAYYYY too much money at the pubs, but TONS of memories that we took with us :D Here are a few shots from our long stay in Glasgow.

Awesome Mystery Machine!!
View of Aberfoyle, Scotland
Go Ape Ziplining
Drinks with the Girls
Driving to Glasgow
Ashton Lane (Best pubs/Cinemas)
Welcome to Scotland Sign!!
I'm sorry that I'm not posting a bunch of pictures from every location, but Josh and I came home with 3,600 pictures from our travels, so you're just going to have to bare with me. I'm going to try to put different images on FB so everyone can get a variety of pics. During our stay in Glasgow, we had a full day in Edinburgh, Scotland (Capitol of Scotland), where we saw the Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Dungeons. We saw a bunch of other castles, but they are on our other camera. That will be for another post.

A True Scotsman (Made us pay 1 pound to take a pic with him)
Scary Spire
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh Castle
After our amazing time in Great Britain, we ventured on to bigger and and older things.... Mainland Europe. We began our new voyage away from ones we knew and loved (other than each other of course) in Paris, France!!

Eiffel Tower @ Night
View of Paris from top of Eiffel Tower
There she is! Not a flattering Pic
Arc Du Triumph
Notre Dame (No, Quasey was not home)
Joshie in front of The Mona Lisa
Marci in front of Musee Du Louvre (The Louvre (Loov) Museum)
Align Center
Soon after the land of baguettes, crepes, and the language of love, we took a night train over to Munich, Germany (where we do visit), and jumped on another train to Prague, Czech Republic.

Josh in front of St. Charles Bridge
View of Prague from Prague Castle
View of Prague Town Square
Our stay in Prague was short because we had to continue our voyage to Munich, Germany. Munich was my personal favorite! When we first arrived in Germany, I was calling everything I saw "nazi". After going to Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, I had a new understanding for the beautiful country. While in Munich, we also visited the Schloss Nuesswanstein Castle. This is the castle Walt Disney designed his "Cinderella Castle" from. Germany is AMAZING, and I HIGHLY recommend going! :D

"Ash Grave" from Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial
Gates into Dachau saying in German "Work will set you free"
Schloss Neuschwanstein
Such a cool castle!!!
Germany is GORGEOUS!
After our 3 day stay in Germany, The Cooper's hit the train and headed to Venice, Italy!!! We were both SOOOO excited to eat real Italian food and have some warm weather! Venice was where we met our new favorite couple; Cameron & Sara from Edinburgh, Scotland. We met them on a bus in Venice, and became great friends ever since! Venice was AMAZING, and was so stereotypical. The people are rude, but the views and the food were FAB!

Venetian Masks
Cute Couples
The Grand Canal
Our next adventure in Italy was Cinque Terre. We heard about this beautiful place from my great friend Tera Grant. They were 5 small villages on cliffs on the west coast of Italy facing the Mediterranean. You could easily walk to the next village on paths in the mountains which took about 1 hour each. During our stay in Cinque Terre, we stayed in a small village south of La Spezia called Biassa. Cameron and Sara traveled with us until we departed in Florence.

Swimming in the Mediterranean
Cool Statue Guy....
Making a heart on the Love Fence
On the coast of the southern village

Following Cinque Terre, the 4 of us made a quick 3 hour stop in Pisa where we got some awesome cliche pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Look how strong my man is ;)
The Cooper's in PISA!!
Cool Picture
The cute Japanese couples!
Florence, Italy was the next stop and we were inching near the end of our trip. Our feet hurt, our shoes stunk, and we were getting tired of the terrible service and the rude/stinky Italians. Leaving Cameron & Sara only made it worse, but quick goodbyes always mean sooner hellos :)

Statue of David
Looking over Florence on top of the Duomo
Florence, Italy at sunset
Last night with C & S eating our Gelato!!!
At the train station saying our goodbyes :(
After Cameron and Sara left, Josh and I weren't sure what to do. So the same night our beloved new best friends departed, we sulked around the campsite until the following day when we made our way by train to Rome, Italy. In Rome we saw so much freaking stuff that I can't put it all on here. I'll put the biggest stops, but again, don't be offended if you can't see it all. It was pretty much all freaking amazing though.... Just an FYI ;)

My Amazing Photography
The Pantheon
Roman Beach
Vatican City
Sistine Chapel (Not allowed to take pics, but Josh does what he wants)
Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain (and food in my teeth~will be photoshopped later)
A cool building that I don't remember what it is....
The Colosseum!!!

We stayed a full 4 days in Rome, and had SUCH an amazing time! Everything there is so freaking old, but as we continued our travels, things just got older. Our next stop was Naples where we only stayed for 2 days. Naples is the buttcrack of Italy, and was completely trash. While in Naples we visited Herculaneum and Pompeii. Both are cities that were destroyed/preserved in the 79 AD explosion of Mt. Vesuvius. I believe there was a reason they were wiped out by the volcano.... if they were still here in 2011 they would be flying in spaceships! These two cities were SOOOOO advanced for their time. It's amazing. Have a look ;)

Preserved Pompeiian Body
And Again
And Again
Our final destination on our 2 month voyage was Athens, Greece. We visited the Acropolis where we saw the Parthenon and the Temple of Athenia and Zeus. Athens was the oldest place where we saw some of the oldest things. I saw a pot that was found that was assumed to be made in 5000 BC!!!! HOLY CRAP!!! So freaking cool. Anyways, below are some pics.

View of the Adriatic Sea from the Ferry from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, Greece
Cooper's in front of The Parthenon
The Cooper's in Athens, Greece!
Greek Flag
In front of The Temple of Zeus (IT WAS SO HOT THERE!!!)

We left Athens, Greece on August 4, 2011 at 8 AM, and arrived back home in Farmington, Utah on August 4, 2011 at 10 PM. The travel home was long and exhausting with no sleep for 30 hours, but it was 100% worth every ounce of sleep lost! And yes, I cried when I saw my family :D My mom had an adorable sign for us at the airport, and my 2 year old nephew stayed awake to see his favorite aunt and uncle arrive home safely. The things you take for granted at home are far more than you can even imagine, so be grateful for what you have, each and everyday!!

Excited to leave for home!!!
Got my first American coke!!!
To have a phone! :D
Welcome home Cooper's!
Marci & Mac together at last :)

We hope you enjoyed some of our photos from our amazing trip!!! We couldn't have had a better experience!!! Since this post took FOREVER, I'm going to wait a couple more days for my next update. Love you all!

Josh & Marci Cooper aka World Travelers ;)