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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Walt Disney World

Near the end of June we jetted off to DISNEY WORLD in Orlando, Florida!

My {exceedingly generous} grandma organized the trip for the whole family {aunts, uncles, cousins, and all}. A party of 11!

Our time at Disney went by in a flash! We toured all 4 Disney parks as well as Universal Studios & Downtown Disney.

We stayed at the Beach Club Resort. It was SO charming and sat beside this lake.

Disney Resort // rainbow sunset on the Boardwalk 
Florida, you are prettier than a painting.

Animal Kingdom // Kilimanjaro Safaris ride
 Just splashin' away! This little buddy was having way too much fun. I think we were all jealous of his water play while we were swimming in sweat. Did I mention Florida's heat?! Orlando's HOT and humid, double whammy weather.

Epcot // Test Track ride
 By far my favorite ride at Epcot! We digitally created a car of our own, and then "tested" it during the ride. After the ride there's a bunch of interactive activities and a showcase of cars. This spiffy red one was ready for pictures. I, however, was not {can't.get.out.of.car.in.5.seconds}.

Epcot // World Showcase Fireworks
 The best way to end our last night at Disney World!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Reminiscing Israel: Cat Nips

* Reminiscing Israel // memories from my semester studying abroad in Israel. See all of them here.

Cats in Israel are kind of like squirrels in America. Stray cats are everywhere in Israel. EVERYWEHRE.

Wandering the streets of Jerusalem, all over the moshav, even in our dorms.

Meet Nips, as he was affectionately named.
 
I have no idea where he came from or how he appeared, but he sure took a liking to our group. So much so that he would follow us around and wait outside our dorm. As soon as we'd open the door, he'd run into our rooms.

It was cute. He was cute. At first.

Until he started to open closed doors by hanging on the door handle. I would have been impressed by his intellect and dexterity if we weren't so distracted by shooing him away from our food and chasing him outside!

After honing his mad opening-closed-door skills, he entered the dorms while we were away and ate the sacred mac and cheese in a land full of raw vegetables and mystery meat -- that was the last straw.
A fellow from our group walked the feisty little one to a neighborhood down the street and left him there.

Ok, that was a little depressing! But with cunning and wit like his, I'm sure he managed just fine. We even heard that he returned to the campus after we left.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Bachelorette in Barcelona

This week, The Bachelorette headed to Barcelona!

Who else watches this show? I fully admit that it is all kinds of ridiculous, and yet every week I look forward to watching it. Guilty pleasure, ughh.

I was even more excited to watch Monday night's episode because Des and her guys spent the week in Barcelona {my favorite city in the world!}. After visiting the city last year, I fell in LOVE with it.

I know I'm going overboard in this post, but I just couldn't help myself :).
Des waiting for Drew...
on the same street as the flat we rented!

* * * * *
La Sagrada de Familia!

 * * * * *

Des and Drew under the arch.


* * * * *
The grand cathedral.

If you ever have a chance to visit Barcelona, do it!

P.S. Why yes, I really was wearing the same outfit in every picture, haha. We visited all these sites on the same day and they were walking distance of one another.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reminiscing Israel: First Field Trip

* Reminiscing Israel // a series of memories from my semester studying abroad in Israel. See all of them here.

Let's go back to the beginning.

Back to our first field trip.

Back to the first time I stepped into Jerusalem and placed my feet upon the heart of the Holy Land. The place where Christ was buried and rose again. The place where He ascended into the clouds and promises to return again.

I had no idea what the semester would hold, and frankly, I wasn't quite into the whole "being abroad" thing. I remember counting down the days, anticipating going home even though I had just gotten there!

Pit Stop #1 :: Roof of the Petra Hostel
We set our eyes on this panoramic beauty. Our first view of Jerusalem!

Pit Stop #2 :: Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This is the most probable location where Jesus was buried and rose again.

Pit Stop #3 :: Lunch by the Damascus gate
We stopped off at a grassy park and devoured the first of many shwarmas & falafels {it's Israeli fast food!}

Pit Stop #4 :: Shaban's Shop in the Old City
All the shops in the old city hike up their prices about 200+% for tourists. I don't know how many times I walked out of a shop thinking, I probably got ripped off like a fool, haha. Shaban offers honest prices, no bargaining necessary. Whenever we visited his store he'd pour us a drink and offer us a chair. Sweet man!

Pit Stop #5 :: Jerusalem city wall
We walked along the top of the wall enclosing Jerusalem. There's the Mount of Olives!

Pit Stop #6 :: Pools of Bethesda
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years . . . Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. ~ John 5

Pit Stop #7 :: Wailing Wall
 I'm exhausted just thinking about all the walking we did! We learned and saw so much in that one day. And that was just the beginning...