Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

Parlez-vous français ?

Oui, je parle français! Enfin! J'ai eu l'occasion de parler la langue que j'ai étudiée à l'université! C'était un rêve viennent vrai!

How wonderfully fun it was to speak French, to understand the street signs, to understand what people were saying around you, and to be able to barter in the market!!! Going to France has always been a dream of mine, and even though it was only for 1 day, it was wonderful.

We planned a long day trip in the French Riviera, going to Nice, Monaco and Eze. We drove through Cannes along the coast line, seeing the amazing hotels, beaches and shops. Our first stop was at the market place in Nice. They sell flowers, fruits/veggies, oils, soaps, and paintings. We got a painting, and some fruit. One of the funnest things for me, was trying to remember numbers... so that when I would ask how much something cost, I could actually try to talk them down!!!

We were able to get a painting for half the amount the seller was asking of the other Americans... It was a proud moment- at least it demonstrated that all that studying in college was worth something!

I loved all the cafes they have in every open space. Something the US lacks are outdoor cafes. They are everywhere in France and Italy, and no one ever eats inside! Who can blame them, when the weather is so beautiful and the scenery is so perfect?

After a way-to-short stop in Nice, we headed to Monaco. Monaco is the second smallest country (city-state) in Europe. It has its own king, queen and laws. It is where the famous Monte Carlo is (where all the high rolling gamblers come to play, and where James Bond movies have been shot several times). This was just inside the city walls.

We walked around the city, saw some churches, and the palace, then just strolled around the streets. This is just outside the palace.

A view of Monaco from a garden area we wandered into... Quite packed with hotels, boats, and shops.

I loved how romantic everything was. All the details of this little garden were just so well thought out.

After ah hour or so walking around, we headed to the medieval city called Eze. This city is perched up on the hillside, and is home to only 50 or so people.

Little did we know, that this city is composed of many many stairs... we got our work out for the day for sure. But it is hard to even think about complaining when you are surrounded by such a lovely place.

An example of one of the many steps we climbed...

When we reached the very top, we came to this lovely church with a wonderful garden and view.

Tyler by the gates to the garden....
The garden, surrounded by more steps!!

The view from the top of the garden. We were both so amazed how common it is to find massive buildings built right into the side of the mountains! This is also the view of the drive we had taken during the day, along the right coast line.

I know, it is just a sign for the bathrooms (which you have to pay to use - around 50 cents). But even here it looks so nice! Plus it was a welcome sign for this pregnant lady!

Momma and her sweetie pie boy...

The last view I had of France, as we left... the Cannes Coast line...

Oh, how I can't wait to go back. My love served me so much this day, in helping me with Tyler, just so I could soak it all in. He told me later, it brought him so much joy to see me enjoying myself so much! It was a blessed day!

Next stop, Florence, Italy.... (almost done!)

Prayer for the Davis', Formal Dinner, Barcelona and Storms at Sea

I have been hesitant to post the past two days, in light of the recent passing away of Micah Davis- a sweet 3 year old boy of a family in our church. He passed away after a valiant fight against brain cancer this past Wednesday morning. His family are heroes of faith and joy in the midst of a grieving situation. Our prayers are with them, as we can not even begin to imagine what it is like to loose a child. Praise the Lord, as Micah is now with Jesus, whole and experiencing joys untold!

I didn't realize it would take me 2 weeks to get all these posts on the blog... I have some other things I want/need to post on, but want to get through all the vacation ones first....

So back on the boat, two weeks ago.... there was a formal night, where we get all dressed up for dinner... a good excuse to look nice...

We don't own any formal clothes for Tyler, but he looked cute none the less...

Our maître d' was quite the entertainer. He would sing Frank Sinatra songs most nights, with impressive skill. He was very good. At dinner each night, we sat with our whole family, so it was fun to catch up on how everyone's day went. This picture is of our entertainer in the dinning room...

The dinning room we ate in each night...

So for me, to really get to know a city, you have to eat some of the food.... so in Barcelona, we did a tour called Barcelona and Tapas... basically, we were given a tour of some highlights and lots of food.... so for a pregnant woman, this was perfect!

We saw some very unique architecture... Barcelona was highly influenced by a designer named Gaudi, who brought a modernistic perspective to the buildings. The one below looks like it has the scales of a colorful fish on the roof. This was common throughout the city. Amusingly enough, the word gaudy comes from this designer...

This cathedral was also the work of Gaudi, and boy was it hideous. It is still being worked on, and has been for many many years.

We ate lots of food and enjoyed the sites. But were glad this was a short day... back on our way to the boat.

The parking lot for boats....

OK, so that night, we had a major storm at sea... mostly just a whole lot of wind... up to 60 miles per hour! They closed the top decks of the ship, so that people would not get blown overboard!

Literally, I was blown into a railing a few times... it was super windy! Jordan kept wanting to go outside... he said, "How many times do you get to experience a storm at sea??" Crazy times! The boat was rocking all night long. It was kind of amusing to try to walk down the halls, people were falling into the walls every few steps.

Coming next, my favorite.... Cannes/Nice/Eze, France!!!!!

These Italians know how to eat!

Our next stop on the trip was to Sicily. We planned to see another volcano, this one we would be driven up, not hike! It is called Mt. Etna, and apparently it is still an active volcano (the largest in Europe). You can see the steam coming off of some of the active spots...

We drove up to the top of the Volcano and went into a shop/bar where they offered up "liquid lava." Should have been enough said, for us to not even come close to it.... one touch to my lips and I had tasted enough.... it was like gasoline!

The black "road" is dried lava from the last eruption a few years ago. The crazy thing about this place, is that they keep building new restaurants and bars on it, even after they are destroyed in an eruption!

We walked down into some of the caters. MY cute mom demonstrating the size of the hole!

Lotte and Wes... the colors of the rock behind them are the elements ... yellow is sulfur.... I cant remember the other colors. But it was pretty cool looking!

When we left the volcano, we drove through the city, to see lovely places and churches like this one everywhere.

Then we arrived at the vineyard. It was such a warm welcome and such a lovely place!

Little Mr. Blue-Eyes

I don't know why, but I just loved this picture...

So after a little tour of the grounds, we headed in for lunch and the wine tasting... Tyler was so cute to watch run around...

So, as with the title of this post, they fed us well.... pasta, antipasti platters, olives, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, salads, cherries, cookies.... all paired with a wine to suit the flavors we ate. They had 6 or 7 wines to taste. We had 4 I think! You know you are going to be drinking a lot of wine, when you have 5 glasses in front of your plate!

Some pictures of the vineyard... It was so picturesque.

The wine cellar, where they age the wine. The barrels were ,massive.... my sister next to one to show the size.

We left the vineyard with full stomachs, a bottle of nice wine, and a sweet day of memories behind us. We got back to the boat to find that it had been involved in a little accident... notice the dent in the back of the boat and the sign that reads, " Security Warning, Keep 50 Yards Back"... oops.

Next stop, Barcelona Spain....