Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Many Places You Can Find ZULU :)

Our little kitten has such a fun personality. She loves to follow us around the house anywhere we go. Whatever we are doing, whether it's laundry, dishes, showering, eating and sleeping, you'll find her standing at our feet watching our every move. Zulu is a very curious kitten:) Hopefully it doesn't get her into too much trouble someday:) Here are just a few pictures I snapped of her being a curious kitty.

 She loves to sit in our clothes hamper while we take showers:)
 Every time we open the cupboard to get something to snack on she darts into it to see what she can find.
 Same thing with the fridge:)
Zulu is always sneaking drinks from Ryan's cup.
 She couldn't pass up the empty box of chips,
 or the shiny plastic bag we brought home:)
We found her in our sports bag before we had to pack it up.
And of course she had to check out the washer and dryer too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Windsor Castle

Last weekend Ryan's Dad came for a quick visit. He came Saturday late afternoon and left Monday morning. Although it was speedy visit, it was well needed. Having him here was a mental refresher for the both of us. Particularly for Ryan. Having been discouraged with his shooting lately, he found great encouragement from his dad. 

We find that as family and friends visit us it not only is an emotional refresher, but also as a spiritual refresher. Ryan and I find the motivation and support we need to persevere during our time here. There are SO MANY wonderful things about being in a different country but it can get difficult being away from home, away from our close friends and families, missing out on exciting events. So our perspective is renewed. Our attitudes are rekindled. We become certain of the many reasons why the Lord brought us here. 

Our time was limited when it came for things to do while Ryan's Dad was here. After  we arrived back in Leicester from the airport we took a stroll around the city center and visited the Rider's Shop to get some Riders gear. For dinner, we ended up at ZIZI's, an Italian restaurant. Mmmm...mmm...that was delicious food!

On Sunday, we both had basketball games, in separate towns, in the opposite direction. I was glad Ryan could spend some one on one time with his dad while traveling to and from the game. The women's team won in overtime and the men's team lost. It was a close but exciting game and Ryan finished really well.  So not too bad for the weekend. Early Monday morning we had to drive back to London to drop Dad off at the airport. It was wonderful although our time was so short!

Since we were already down in that direction, Ryan and I spent the day at Windsor Castle, only 6 miles from the airport. 

We had such a fun time taking a guided tour (with our headphones) of the castle. 

Strangely, the castle was in the center of town. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of business men and women were goofy tourists with headphones, like us, taking pictures of this massive historical site. Quite the experience:)

We had a chance to walk through the Drawing Room which held artwork from Leonardo De Vinci. This room also held young photos of the past princes and princesses. Unfortunately we couldn't take pictures in this room, but Ryan and I stood amazed as we gazed on the De Vinci's artwork.
In the courtyard of the castle were the famous guards that everyone longs to take a picture next too. I, of course, was one of those people:) I tried so hard to keep a serious face as I crept next to this frozen guard. He was as still as could be but I did manage to see him shift his eyes under his fuzzy black hat:)

As we took a dander around the castle we discovered and learned new things while we listened to each checkpoint on our headphones. 
These slots in the walls were for the soldiers as they shot their arrows when enemies attacked.
On the other side of this wall was a steep slope. This made it more difficult for enemies to approach the castle....I'm sure this view looks much different now than it did hundreds of years ago.

We continued on with our tour and saw many more beautiful glimpses of the castle. Here are just a few more that I captured....

We walked through some of the old cobblestone streets nearby the castle. Each street was unique and quaint. We even saw some as interesting as the "The Crooked House of Windsor"

After the tour in the Windsor Castle, we grabbed a bite to eat at a local pub to complete the day. Ryan and I really enjoyed this past weekend and we hope you enjoyed our pictures as well!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

International Markets Come to Leicester

This past weekend Leicester had International Markets through the streets of downtown. So after church on Sunday we decided to head towards the city and see what we could find at the markets. Although it was cloudy and a bit muggy, the atmosphere was quite festive. There were hundreds of venders and each came from different countries in Europe and around the world. Many of them have restaurants in Leicester as well. It goes to show you how diverse the city of Leicester actually is.

Ryan and I spent some time walking to each vendor taste testing all they had to offer. They had food like Italian pastries, Mediterranean olives and peppers, Turkish delight, and Polish sausages to name a few.


One of Ryan's requests for dinner when we visit my home in CA is bratwurst. The kind of Bratwurst you get at the grocery store. Well here at the International Markets they had Bratwurst on the grill made from real German hands:) When Ryan saw that he couldn't bare the thought of turning it down. So we thought we would for-go our packed lunches and grab a couple tasty Bratwurst. 

As we continued to walk down the street I spotted from a distance a bright yellow sign that read "Dutch Oliebollen." Now this was something I  couldn't turn down and since Ryan had never tried Oliebollen before we gave in and ate Oliebollen for desert! Finally our stomachs were satisfied:) 

We made our way through the rest of the Market and enjoyed all that we saw! Here are a few pictures. Before we made our way to the markets Ryan and I stopped at a nearby neighborhood so you'll find some extra pictures along with our trip to the markets. In this neighborhood we found two very large, beautiful churches. They were both old and gothic looking. Hope you find those pictures interesting as well as well as the market pictures. You'll also see all the fun fall leaves on the trees! The colors are really starting to change here and its beautiful!!!