Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roper/Rosenvall European Vacation!!!

8 Crazy American Tourists + 6 Countries in 10 Days = Good Times!

This was our sweet ride the 8 passenger Peugeot.

Check out the double decker cargo space. It's a miracle it all fit.

We took the direct flight from Salt Lake to Paris and after 9 LONG hours, it's amazing that we can manage those BIG grins!

Day 1

Paris, France

The Louvre

We spent the first 2 days in Paris. Our first destination was the Louvre. It was incredible. After spending some time there, you sure gain a greater appreciation for art.

The Mona Lisa

It was hard getting a good picture of the painting as it was enclosed in glass. Hmmm...who's she "really" looking at!

The architecture of the inside of the building was quite interesting. There are hallways upon hallways of paintings and statues.

The Eiffel Tower

We rode the elevator to the very top. It was bitter cold and the wind was blowing like crazy. However, it was absolutely beautiful. I took some pictures from the top but because of all the lights from the city, it turned out a blurred mess :(

Day 2

We stayed in a darling little villa right outside of Paris in Bailly-Romainvilliers.

The second day we spent seeing the French country. Dad is a HUGE fan of old presses {apple presses, grape presses, you name it}. Let's just say that there's definitely not a shortage of them in "wine country."

You would not believe the rows and rows of vines. I can only imagine the massive amounts of wine produced.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention the PASTRIES!!! Oh My......were they ever so divine? These particular ones were my favorite.

This is exactly what I envisioned the French country to look like. I just love the window boxes with the fountain of flowers.

Asking some locals for directions. They were so sweet.....and helpful too.


Louis the thirteenth's successor, Louis XIV, had a great interest in Versailles. He had grown up during the disorder of the Fronde, a civil war between rival factions of aristocrats, and wanted a site where he could organize and completely control a government of France by absolute personal rule. He settled on the royal hunting lodge at Versailles and over the following decades had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world.It's like looking out the backdoor at my courtyard.......oh wait!

The second night we spent back in Paris. If you look closely, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Day 3

We packed up and headed to our next destination.......Frankfurt, Germany.
Along the way, we stopped in Reims, France and attended Sacrament Meeting at a small ward building. A few people spoke English, including the missionaries, and the whole meeting was in French. Even though we didn't understand anything that was being said, the Spirit was so strong. It was confirmed to me that the church is true regardless of where you are in the world. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. This was such a neat experience for us.

After church we hit the road for Germany. It took us almost the entire day to drive to Frankfurt. We got there in the early evening and went and got a bite to eat. I can't believe I didn't take one picture. I must say, however, that the food in Germany was awesome!!!

Day 4

Prague, Czech Republic

The best part of the trip is that we had no plans (this is how the Roper's vacation). We had talked about spending the majority of the trip in Italy, but decided to visit Prague. I'm so glad we did because this was probably one of the biggest highlights of the trip. The city was magnificent. We stayed right in the "Centre" and spent the evening walking around and admiring the beauty of the city.

We dined at some fabulous restaurants. One great thing about Europe is their pastries and desserts {as mentioned above}. Check out those crepes!

Most every hotel we stayed in charged around $20 for Internet service. I was very grateful for Bryan's "Man Purse." He was able to take his laptop with him and connect to the WiFi in the restaurant so we could call home through Skype.

Day 5

The dollar was very weak in Europe. We had some breakfast at McDonald's one morning and it cost us nearly an arm and a leg.

We decided that we wanted to take city tour of Prague. Doesn't this picture scream "Tourist??"

The main stop on the tour was the Prague Castle. This castle is the only European castle that houses any government entity.
This little quartet sat and played outside of the castle. The music just added to the ambiance.

Couldn't leave Prague without having a famous "street" frank!

After the city tour we hopped in the car and headed for Innsbruck, Austria. The drive through the Austrian Alps was absolutely beautiful.Here we stopped in a little ski village. Not enough snow yet to hit the slopes.

Day 6We had the most picturesque view from our hotel room.

We got up early and drove through the Austrian Alps into Bavaria, Germany where we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular castles in Europe. The castle was about 1/3 complete when King Ludwig II was killed in 1886. Seven weeks later, the castle was open to the public.

Jordan looks like he fits right in.

The interior of the castle was amazing. All of the walls and ceilings were hand-painted.

This picture was taken from the very upper level of the castle. How would you like to have that veiw?

This picture doesn't do the kitchen justice. This would definitely be my dream kitchen!

Another shot from the top of the castle.

This castle, Hohenschwangau, is located just below Neuschwanstein and is where King Ludwig II grew up.

Day 7

Italy {Venice}

This is exactly what I pictured Venice to be like.
It had been raining quite a bit and so the water level was really high. It was crazy to see water flowing into the various businesses and homes. I guess they just have to get used to it.

Milan, Italy

We got a chance to visit Sister Wilcox. She's a family friend serving in Milan. It was so much fun to see her and visit with her. From what we were told, she is an amazing missionary.

Later that night we stopped at a little pizza joint and had the opportunity to have some "real" Italian Pizza.....Mmmmm!

Day 8


We headed up into the Swiss Alps on a winding little road, tunel through tunel, in hopes of making it to Interlochen. We never made it, as the road was closed because of snow. However, the drive was totally worth it. These pictures don't do it justice.

We made our way into Lucerne, Switzerland later that afternoon. Lucerne is know for its famous wooden bridge. It crosses the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne, is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

I think I have died and gone to heaven!!!

Bryan scoping out the local fruit stand.

Day 9

Approaching the end of our trip, we started making our way back to Paris. We took the country roads into Germany and stopped in a little village {can't remember the name}. Anyway, there was a festival going on with vendors selling homemade jams and jellies, wine, apple cider, etc.

It's amazing how 10 days can come and go so quickly {actually 11}. We missed our flight home, causing us to spend another night in Paris {long story}. Anyway, 24-hours later and $4,000 in change fees we were on a plane back to Utah. This was such an awesome experience and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity.


Candace said...

What a trip!!! Looks like quite the adventure.

Melissa said...

what an amazing experience!!!! I love all the pictures! Someday, that will be me there!!

Brian Sweeting said...

What a fun trip, and awesome photos! Always good to see the Ropers. I wish you could talk Greg & Sue into blogging or using Facebook.

Treo Sanders said...

WOW WOW WOW. The pictures make it look even better from all you told me. Great post Mo. Wish I could have gone w you. One day when I win the lottery we'll go again w all the girls. ha ha.

Terri said...

Marcae, what the heck. Love the pictures. I really need to hear about this whole trip in person. What are you doing next week? Lets do lunch, seriously...like Wed. afternoon. Let me know if that works. Miss you.

Jen said...

What a fun experience to do with your family!!! I'd love to visit those places too someday...also after winning the lottery. ;)

Jeremy and Lacie said...

Marcae, I am so happy you got to go on such a wonderful trip. I hope you had the time of your life. Love you, Lacie

Robertsons said...

so much fun...seeing ure photos makes me want to go back! I love it over there!

The Lapuaho's said...

How fun....Loved reading about your trip and all your pictures. I would love to visit there someday!

Lacey said...

That is a trip that I can't wait to take! Wow I am so jealous! Looked like such an amazing experience. BTW I love the red jacket too!

The Dumas Family said...

I love those pictures. I am so happy that you guys were able to do that together, that's amazing. I hope we have that opportunity some time. Thanks for letting us snuggle Mia for a little while. We sure had a blast without you guys!

katie said...

Amazing! I loved every detail. Love you, miss you, hope to see you soon.

Ephra said...

Oh I'm so glad you got to see my Kayla!!! She so enjoyed visiting with all of you. She has truly loved her mission and has just been transferred to Pordenone to open a new city for Sister Missionaries!! Thanks to all the Ropers for hugging her for me♥ Loved the pictures!

carolyn q said...

Sounds like it was such an eventful trip and to be with family that is awesome.
We need to get our dad's together. .my dad was giddy a couple of weeks ago when his New old fashion apple press arrived. It was like watching a little kid on Christmas morning opening a gift. . .well all six boxes. To funny.
Glad things are going well.