Tuesday, June 23, 2009


If you want the stories and highlights (the stuff that can't be told through pictures,) read below. If you want the pictures, you can go to this link and get the 200+ set. Just feel grateful we edited down the original 951 pictures we took to this more manageable set. picasaweb.google.com/alisaerin/EuropePics

  • After sprinting a mile through the airport, we missed our connection on the way out of the states and against our wishes spent the day in downtown San Fran
  • Hotels went from Fantastic to Abysmal, in that order, as we hopped one stop to the next. Each one a notch lower than the next.
  • Drizzled on us our first night in London and it felt so appropriate that I couldn’t be sad. Had an amazing rainbow just behind the Tower Bridge following the rain.
  • Naps, advil and diet cokes got us through the days
  • Front row tickets to see Les Miserables. They were practically spitting on us and I loved it. Almost cried about 47 times.
  • Bought some Antique Dickens Book from Covent Garden Market. They looked really cool, so we bought them and now they sit on our shelf.
  • After ordering our train tickets in French, I embarrass myself by saying “Gracias.”
  • Home sweet home – had a strange “coming home/homesickness” feeling the whole time we were there.
  • Crepes, baguette, more crepes, french fries, more baguette
  • Packed all our stuff for the 2 week vacation in one REI backpacking backpack and a smaller, school backpack. Had to do laundry in the sink twice during the trip, ring everything out and hang it all over the hotels.
  • Walked about 12 miles in the am one day to get around Versailles and out to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet which was the first of many irritably hot days
  • Ran into a high school friend in the Louvre. He hasn’t been back to Paris since he graduated either. So completely random.
  • Witnessed a 45-minute full on make out session in the Tuilleries Garden. May have gone on longer but the gag reflex wouldn’t let us take anymore. Also we had a train to catch.
  • Took the night train out of Paris with 4 strangers in our room. B & I had the top of the 6 bunks and slept in a pool of our own sweat. It was lovely.
  • Train Connection MIRACLE – night train got in late and we had a connecting train. Jumped out while the train was still moving, sprinted with ALL of our gear from the last car of the train and jumped ON to the next train as it was pulling away from the station. It was amazing.
  • Gorgeous views and a fun hike
  • I bought the world’s largest map of Italy so I could follow along as we rode the trains. I think Brian was a bit embarrassed.
  • Some sweetheart gives us his waterbus passes for free (about $24/ticket), in our excitement, we get on the wrong waterbus and take an hour detour past cruise ships and warehouse looking buildings to get to the main square.
  • Heat wave starts and the number of stories I tell from here on out that involve me being a sweaty mess goes up to 100%
  • Ran from A/C store to A/C store and ended up buying some sweet Venetian Masks. This picture is beyond embarrassing, but the mask is pretty sweet.
  • Stopped by an internet cafĂ© to learn that Kris Allen is our American Idol.
  • Took the train to Florence and we were in the only car on the train with no A/C. Enter sweating Ali along with lots of sweaty, smelly Europeans. Brian had a crazy cat lady come sit next to him and let her cat walk around on our table. I couldn’t stop laughing. We are not cat people.
  • Arrived in Florence late, after the long travel day with no A/C and crazy cat lady to realize we’ve misbooked our hotel and there’s “no room in the inn.”
  • Brian unleashes one of the best quotes of the trip, “Seeing the world is hard work.” Amen. Then again when you have views like this - it's hard to complain.
  • Desperate for Mexican, (Brian, not me) we found a burrito type kebab place and ate there for 3 of our 4 meals in Florence.
  • Rented Honda Scooters and cruised into Tuscany to see the vineyards. One of the best things we did the whole 2 weeks. Scorched our arms and gave us awkward tan lines for the rest of the trip. So worth it.
  • Got totally lost on the scooters trying to get back, ended up on the freeway with no clue what we were doing. Brian rode up to my side to scream, “GO FASTER!!!” as cars were whizzing past us.
  • Didn’t die. So count it as a success.
  • Got royally screwed over by some Gelato place and spent over $20 on a few scoops of the worst tasting Gelato in all of Italy
  • Most ghetto hotel in the whole world. Our room was a storage closet turned hotel room, no windows and reeked of smoke. Couldn’t lift my arms in the shower without hitting the doors and the water would vary without being touched between scalding my skin off and ice water. The room did have A/C though.
  • Brian cranked the A/C down to below freezing and we tried to sleep with a sheet. Somehow in his sleepiness, he couldn’t figure out how to warm it up or turn it off and assumed it was broken as my teeth chattered away. After not being able to sleep all night and requesting he try again with the remote, he loving said, “Do you want to sleep in your coat?” Dear Husbands of the world, no one WANTS to sleep in their coat. The answer to that question will always be no.
  • So sick of extreme temperatures and not wanting to sweat in my jeans another day, I wore Brian’s camo shorts and looked like a boy but was so worth it.
  • Lara Fisher (one of my BFFs) and her sister Shannon went to Rome on vacation 6 years ago. Shannon met Leo, a Vatican City researcher and Rome tour guide, and she basically never looked back. Thank goodness they were willing to meet up with us!!! They know absolutely everything there is to know about Rome and stayed with us an entire day showing us around. Talk about GOOD PEOPLE - we love these guys.
  • Watched the Manchester vs Barcelona game and had drunken Barcelona fans singing all the team songs the entire next day.
  • Ran into someone from work. In Rome. 3 times in one day.
  • Took 951 pictures and carried the tripod almost everywhere we went. Brian did an awesome job and got some fantastic shots.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Brian's parents came to LA and we had an awesome weekend with them. Brian is hoarding all the pictures from their trip and since he refuses to blog about it, this post is to entice him to get on it and pretty please fill this post with pictures. I mean come on... I said please!


My little brother Eric, (aka lil brudder, BROTHER, or E) came out to visit the end of April and I was SO so happy. We thought it would be fun to take him camping with the Skanchys. Turns out the campsite was REALLY close to the ocean. And by close I mean, practically under water at high tide. If you can see the mini rock wall in the picture below, the waves were splashing up and over that a couple times. Pretty hilarious.How awesome is that sweatshirt I have on! Nope - not pregnant. Just the most ridiculously large (and comfy) sweatshirt ever.This is our drunken friend Noel that decided to come hang out at our campsite. It was like having a conversation with someone with a 7 second memory reset. We reintroduced ourselves multiple times and then started to freak him out by reciting things he'd already told us about himself. He narrowly escaped falling into our fire on many occasions. Lara (the sweetheart) offered to make him a hot dog. Brian and Andy pulled a MacGyver and used our marshmallow skewers, the stakes for the tent and a lot of duct tape to build a game of horseshoes. I lost in the final to Lara.

I just realized there are practically no pictures of Brother on here so here are a couple more:
Brian has all the good pictures from the rest of the weekend so this is the only other one I have: put an apron on those boys and get them cooking!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Went to San Diego for Cort & Laura's wedding and decided to make a weekend of it. The wedding itself was beautiful - flawless even. We stayed with our amazing family friends - the Nuckols (how is it possible we took zero pictures with them?!?) and enjoyed some time in La Jolla.


Went to a famous Malibu biker joint - Neptune's Net. Food was unappetizing, but experience was worth it. Here are some of our "sea life" pictures. See if you can guess what sea animal we're acting out before looking at the answers below!

Shark & Fish

Mermaid & Seahorse


We thought Spring Training would be the perfect excuse to get down to Phoenix to visit Tom Hung. Got hooked up by my boss with some sweet tickets to see the Rockies play and loved hanging out chez Hung. TOM!!! We Miss You!!!


Had some of our “singles-ward-now-married/almost-married-but-we’re-split-up-in-different-wards” friends over for Sushi Night. Had to rearrange all the furniture in our apartment to get 8 people at the table, but we did it! Made our own rolls which were delicious. Love Andy's eyebrows. Always willing to get into character.


I haven’t been shy about my American idol obsession over the years. How could I feel shame from something that brings me so much happiness??? Our great friends Byron & Kim even came along for the idol journey this year and we created a bracket and point system to track through the season. I would also like to come clean that I have been reading ew.com’s recaps by Michael Slezak – the expert on American Idol, watching his “Idolatry” episodes and even catching the behind the scenes articles when I get a chance. I have also bought a record breaking 19 idol performance songs on itunes and 6 of the performances from results night, and the only time we checked internet on our 2 week trip to Europe, the first place we went was americanidol.com to see who won the season. I'm happy with my idol illness and will not be seeking help anytime soon. =)

Friday, June 5, 2009


Co-threw a baby shower for my friend Britney and had an idea for a new game to play. I wanted to get pictures of Brit & Mike and make everyone cut out different features from each parent and paste them together as one to give them an idea of what “Baby Zoey” could look like. I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but it was a HIT! Check out these awesome potential Zoeys. I feel it important to point out that Zoey is an adorable baby, and looks nothing like any of these.


When I asked Brian what he wanted to do for our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, I tried not to be offended when he was quick to respond, “Something simple and low-key.” So romantic.
Apparently by that he meant a 3-day trip to the sand dunes in an RV with our friends Chelsea and Mason.
How sweet is that RV?!? It may not be the typical romantic Valentine’s day – but for us, it was perfect. I mean, come on, what’s more Valentine's Day-y than sand in every crevasse of your body and smelling like campfire for 3 days??? Apparently nothing. We rode 4-wheelers and “circled up” with some guys that had the most amazing sand cars (you can see them in the background of the photo below. We got to go on a ride and they are INSANE! So crazy fast and had us whipping left and right and practically upside down. I loved it.