Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Wonderful Family

I'm so grateful to have been able to spend two weeks with my amazing family!
There is no one on this earth I would have rather had this experience with.
We had an amazing experience meeting the Brazilian people, 
relaxing on the beach, laughing a lot, and making new memories.
Thank you Mom and Dad for this amazing trip!
I love you Mom, Dad, Cameron & Jared.
I'm so grateful that families are forever... You're stuck with me!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Finally Sunny... We got Burnt!

Finally the sun is out and its our second to last day here!  We took advantage of the beautiful weather by going on the beach and basking in the sun!  We read, swam, played soccer and just enjoyed being out on the beach with the fam.  Unfortunately we enjoyed the sun too much and we got fried to a crisp (I lucked out and didn't get burned as everyone else!).  Cameron was especially burnt because parts of his body haven't seen the sun in over two years being a missionary! He actually got huge blisters on his shoulders because of it!!  I think it was totally worth the burn because we finally got a sunny day!

The Man in the Convertible

I just finished "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch.  I wish I would have owned the book when I read it because I would have highlighted a lot of things in that book that I loved.  I think I'll go buy another copy and read it again and mark it as I please.  Its a pretty fast read.  One of the chapters I really loved was chapter 13: The Man in the Convertible.  Its a pretty short chapter so I'll type it up here.  Just a little background, Randy was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  He has been a professor at a couple different universities in Computer Science.  He gave a his last lecture to students as part of a year long lecture series.  He wrote this book mainly for his young children to be able to get a little understanding of who their father was and what he believed and thought.  Here is chapter 13:

    One morning, well after I was diagnosed with cancer, I got an email from Robbee Kosak, Carnegie Mellon's vice president for advancement.  She told me a story.
    She said she had been driving home from work the night before, and found herself behind a man in a convertible.  It was a warm, gorgeous, early-spring evening, ands the man had his top down and all his windows lowered.  His arm was hanging over the driver's side door, and his fingers were tapping along to the music on his radio.  His head was bobbing along, too, as the wind blew through his hair.
    Robbee changed lanes and pulled a little closer.  From the side, she could see that the man had a slight smile on his face, the kind of absentminded smile a person might have when he's all alone, happy in his own thoughts.  Robbee found herself thinking: "Wow, this is the epitome of a person appreciating this day and this moment."
    The convertible eventually turned the corner, and that's when Robbee got a look at the man's full face.  "Oh my Gosh," she said to herself.  "It's Randy Pausch!"
    She was so struck by the sight of me. She knew that my cancer diagnosis was grim.  And yet, as she wrote in her email, she was moved by how contented I seemed.  In this private moment, I was obviously in high spirits.  Robbee wrote in her email:  "You can never know how much that glimpse of you made my day, reminding me of what life is all about."
    I read Robbee's email several times.  I came to look at it as a feedback loop of sorts.
    It has not always been easy to stay positive through my cancer treatment.  When you have a dire medical issue, it's tough to know how you're really faring emotionally.  I had wondered whether a part of me was acing when I was with other people.  Maybe at times I forced myself to appear strong and upbeat.  Many cancer patients feel obliged to put up a brave front.  Was I doing that, too?
    But Robbee had come upon me in an unguarded moment.  I'd like to think she saw me as I am.  She certainly saw me as I was that evening.
    Her email was just a paragraph, but it meant a great deal to me.  She had given me a window into myself.  I was still fully engaged.  I still knew life was good.  I was doing OK.

Would people see me as "The Man in the Convertible" when I'm at my lowest?  When I was dealing with my cancer did I have a positive attitude for real or did I just force myself to put a brave front for others?  Its a great way to think about things and how we need to change our attitude in life to be the happiest we can be.  I hope that when people see me when I'm by myself and unaware of everyone around me, that they see a happy person.  I'm definitely going to work on that.
Me during radiation before my Bone Marrow Transplant

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pretty Chilly Here... Still!

 Still pretty cool here!!  Just our luck!  We took a walk on the beach despite the chilliness and got some food at the same little beach shack we ate at on Christmas Eve.  We've made friends with the waiters there already (see photo of Cam below!).  It started pouring when we were finishing our meal so Jared and my Dad ran back to the beach house and got the car.  Despite the weather, its been great to just be here and relax.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How the Bardsley's Celebrate a Birthday!

Today was Jared's birthday and it was still pretty rainy.  We went to the beach a little bit but not too much.  We played games and went into the center of Florinopolis to do some shopping.  We walked around and found some soccer gear that we all wanted.  Jared and Cameron also found some "pretty sweet" Jaguar rings that they are EXTREMELY proud of!  They say it's there gang rings and they even have a handshake with the rings.  Oh wow! After shopping we went to get Pizza for the birthday boy's Birthday dinner and brought it back to the beach house!  When we were in the living room we found a big lizard on the wall that wanted to join us for the celebration!  We ate yummy pizza and then the fun began.  Of course there was shot glasses at the beach house so we decided we needed to do some shots (of Pepsi & Guanana!) for Jared's birthday!  Then Cameron (the newly returned missionary!!) decided we needed to do hands free shots.  Oh man was that funny.  I was laughing too hard to even do it.  Here is a video to show what the Bardsley family does in the free time and to celebrate a birthday (watch Cameron as he takes the shot!!):

Oh, I'm so proud!  We had a pretty funny night laughing about all that!  We had some very yummy Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry Truffle cake to celebrate the big 2-5 and played lots of games the rest of the night!  It was a fun day and fun to celebrate my cute brother's birthday!
The most celebrated Jaguar Ring

Taking Birthday Shots!

Happy Birthday Brother!

It's Jared's 25th birthday today!  It makes me feel old cause he's my younger brother!  For those of you that know Jared and I, you know we're very close!  He's my best friend.  It hasn't always been that way.  When we were younger we would fight a lot and we wouldn't want to hang out with each other.  Now we have a lot of the same friends and I always love having Jared do stuff with me and be there when things are going on.  So for Jared's birthday I want to tell you the Top 10 reasons I love Jared!
10.  He's a hard worker! He works hard on everything he does.  Especially school.  Sometimes our friends will ask where Jared's been and stuff and when I tell them he's been studying they find it hard to believe.  But he really studies that much and he does really well in school because of it.  I'm really proud of him.  I wish I had as much work ethic in school that he does.  In his jobs he's a hard worker as well.  When I got him a job with a physical therapist he worked with not too long ago, I told the PT that Jared was a very hard worker.  Jared didn't make me a liar. He worked even harder than I said he'd work.  He really wants to be a Physical Therapist and it is awesome to see him work so hard on these goals!
9.  He's an amazing artist.  I wish he'd draw and paint more.  He's really talented.  When I was fighting my cancer Jared was on his mission and drew me a picture of Christ and I love that picture a lot.  You should see the work he does!
8.  He's athletic.  There aren't very many sports that Jared tries that he can't do well.  He's great at Rugby, Football, Soccer, Swimming, Surfing, Tennis, Skate boarding, Snowboarding, etc, etc, etc!  He tries it and he's naturally good at it!  It amazes me! 
7.  He has no fear!  If you tell him to try something or do something that would be scary, he'll do it (unless of course you ask him to go into a Haunted House, then there is no way you'll get him to do that!  He's a chicken when it comes to that sort of thing!!).  When he was really little my dad told him to go cliff jump off of a 50 ft. cliff in Lake Powell.  He totally did it.  Lets just say my mom wasn't too happy with my dad for that one!  We went bungee jumping in Mexico off of a 400 ft. cliff.  I stood at the edge for minutes being scared to death of taking the first step off.  Jared gets strapped in, takes a step and does a back flip off the edge! Yes he's crazy!  But its always entertaining!!
6.  He dresses well.  This only started happening about a year after his mission when he started taking my mom and my advice on clothes (Jared will back this up.  He told Cameron the other day to listen to him, myself, and our mom when it came to picking out his clothes when he came home from the mission because Jared learned the hard way and picked out awful stuff when he got home from the mission!).  Now we don't even have to help him!  He's a pro on his own and probably does better without us!  He does like to have us there to get our opinion on stuff.  I love going shopping with him and we help each other out on picking clothes out.  And he's a boy who actually doesn't complain about shopping!  Its a lot of fun! (And no he's not Gay! I promise!  He just dresses nice!  One of his pinboards on Pinterest is called "I'm not Gay I just dress well."  Yep that sums it up!). 
5. He's friendly.  Jared makes friends really easy and people are just drawn to him (probably because of his good looks! ;)  ).  Whether they are a tiny child or an elderly person that Jared worked on in Physical Therapy at the nursing home, people just love Jared and his personality.  He has a ton of different friends and always makes new friends in all his classes.  I can tell he was a great missionary because of how friendly he is. 
4.  He is funny.  He always has the best one liners!  He is very sarcastic so some people take his joking the wrong way but if you understand sarcastic people, he's one of the funniest!   You should hear him and my mom when they are on one!!  Its great!  He always can make me laugh and he has a great smile and laugh.  There is a picture I have with him and our friend Danica (they play a lot off of each other with their humor) and they are totally laughing because Jared probably just used Danica for his comedic expense but she takes it so well!  Its a great picture and it just shows how happy Jared is.  He also pulls some great funny faces.  Its difficult to get a normal picture out of Jared.  He's always trying to pull some goofy face (or photo bombing a picture!)!
3.  He is strong in the gospel.  He served a full time mission in the Brazil, Sao Paulo South mission and was very successful.  We've been in Brazil the past week and a half and its been neat hearing him speak Portuguese like its his native language and he's been home for 4 years!  He is a great example to me of staying true and reading your scriptures and fulfilling your callings.   Its nice to also have other priesthood holders that can give me a blessing whenever I need one if my dad isn't available.  Its a special feeling to be able to go to the temple and have your whole family with you there. 
2. He is a gentleman and very kind.  Jared is always getting the car doors and doors to buildings for me and my mom and any other girl around us.  He is very considerate that way.  He'll always give his seat up on public transportation to a woman if there are no other seats.  I love getting random texts from him every once in awhile that just say "I love you sister.  I hope you're having a great day!".   They always make me smile and I make sure to save those texts.  One night I was just having a bad night and struggling with some stuff.  The next morning I went to my car to go to work and there was a plastic sandwich bag with something in it on my windshield (it had been raining so he put it in a bag!).  It was a note folded up into a panda, and colored like a panda, with a note saying he wanted to give me a bear hug so I should consider myself hugged.  It was so sweet and thoughtful and I have it hanging up at my desk at work so whenever I get down I look at that and consider myself hugged by Jared.  He does a lot of sweet and thoughtful things like that.  He is a great brother!
1.  He's my best friend.  I hope he knows how much I love him and how much I value his friendship.  It will be hard for me when he moves away someday for PT school and has a wife and family so we won't be able to hang out as much.  But I know we'll always be close no matter what.  No matter how far away he is or how busy he is he'll always make me laugh and feel good about myself. 

I love you brother and I hope had an amazing 25th birthday!  Thanks for being my best friend and brother!

Your Favorite Sister!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Being Pushed

I'm a high school swim coach and I love it.  I don't know if they love me though.  I think some of them think I ride them too much and push them too much.  After all they are just teenagers. But I'm glad my swim coach didn't look at me as just another swimmer.  She pushed me and I accomplished some amazing things in my swim career and I regret not swimming in college like I could have.  I'm probably not making sense right now but basically what I'm saying is I'm a tough coach, I know that.  I don't know if my swimmers understand why I'm a tough coach though.  I don't know if any of my swimmers read this, they probably don't, but I wish somehow they would read this post.

I'm reading a book right now called "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch.  It's a true story of Randy, the author, who is diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and he gives his last lecture at a year long lecture series at UPenn.  He decides that his topic is "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".  One of his childhood dreams is to play in the NFL.  He never reached this dream but he talks about his football coach that made an impact on his life because he pushed him.  He says in his book:

    Coach Graham used to ride me hard.  I remember one practice in particular.  "You're doing it all wrong, Pausch.  Go back! Do it again!" I tried to do what he wanted.  It wasn't enough.  "You owe me, Pausch!  You're doing push-ups after practice."
    When I was finally dismissed, one of the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. "Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?" he said. 
    I could barely muster a "yeah". 
    "That's a good thing," the assistant told me.  "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you." 
    That lesson stuck with me my whole life.  When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be.  You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.

I have a lot of swimmers that I know get upset with me because I continue to critique and sometimes I can get on their case sometimes because I don't think they're living up to their potential.  But that's why I do it, because I care about them and I want them to succeed to their greatest potential and because I can see what they can become even if they can't.  I hope they someday realize that's why I do it.  I know some won't, but many will and that will make it all worth it.  I'm grateful for my swim coach, Shari Skablund, for never giving up on me and for pushing me to the point I was mad at her sometimes!  But it made me part of the person I am today because I worked hard and was pushed harder.  I hope she considers it worth it still for pushing me and putting up with me being a whiney teenager more times than not!  I consider her one of my biggest role models and she's family to me. 

So to sum this all up, I hope my swimmers know that I'm hard on them sometimes and push them harder than they think they can go because I care about them and I want them to succeed.  The harder they work the greater they'll succeed.  They know that but sometimes being a teenager its hard to remember that with all the other things going on in their teenage life.  I wish someone would have told me this when I was a teenager.  I would have listened to my coaches even more. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feliz Natal from Brazil!

We spent Christmas day in Florinopolis, Brazil at a beach house!  The only problem is its raining here pretty hard and we're kind of cold!!  Not what we were expecting for a Brazilian Summer!  Mom and Dad made us a yummy Christmas breakfast and then we went to church for Sacrament meeting.  We got to the church and there was only 15 minutes left!  The bishop had changed the time so they were nice enough to do sacrament again for the people that didn't know about the time change.  We relaxed after church and watched "A Christmas Story" and took a Christmas nap!  We went and Skyped our family at home (the Willis' and Grandma and Grandpa) and it was fun for them to talk and see Cameron for the first time!  We also talked to some friends in Sao Paulo and our basically family member, Josh Thorn.  When we came back we made a Brazilian Churrasco (BBQ) for our Christmas dinner.  We had yummy Brazilian rice that we learned to make from one of the ladies in one of Cameron's areas, sausage, steak, salad, and yummy roles.  It was delicious!!  It was fun BBQing in one of the big BBQs they have in the kitchens.  We played games and watched the First Presidency's Christmas message.  To finish the day off, we set off fireworks from the roof of our beach house!  Jared was as excited as a little kid christmas morning!  I wish I had a video of everyone lighting off the fireworks cause it was hilarious.  You would hold onto this cardboard tube and shoot huge fireworks out of it!  My mom's stance as she was doing it was hilarious and Jared doing it bent over between his legs was hilarious as well.  It was a great day!  It wasn't full of presents and gifts, just family, good food, and the Savior.  It was perfect.  I am thankful for the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, and the opportunity we have to celebrate his birth.  Too many times we forget the meaning of Christmas with all the shopping and gift giving and receiving.  I am grateful that we just spent time with family and relaxed in the beautiful country of Brazil.  It was a great Christmas. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rainy Christmas Eve!

It rained today!  A lot!  So we spent most of the day inside but we still had fun!  We went to a yummy little seafood restaurant right on the beach.  The fisherman would pull in their daily catches right there!  There was so much shrimp and yummy seafood!!  Unfortunately Jared doesn't like seafood so he ate a lot of rice and french fries but he was a great sport about it.  The waiter was hilarious and I swear he was drunk but that made him even more fun!  Even though it hasn't been the best weather, it was still a great day.  It doesn't feel like Christmas Eve though!
Still Raining
Yep, Its still raining!  My aunt used to say that my mom had a curse to bring the bad weather with her to the beach in California,  the curse is still upon us!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sunny Day on the Beach!

It was a sunny day on the beach and we enjoyed it by swimming in the waves, walking on the beach, and finding a ton of HUGE sand dollars.  My mom is the queen at spotting them.  We even found some live ones in the water that we moved to deeper waters.  When my mom and I were looking for Sand Dollars, my dad was swimming and I spotted some fins about 50 feet from him.  I wasn't sure if they were sharks or dolphins.  So naturally I swam out to see!  They were dolphins and there was two of them!  It was neat to see them swimming in the wild!  We enjoyed the sunny weather all day and Cam made us a yummy brazilian pasta that was delicious.  We spent the evening playing cards and just hanging out. Jared, Cameron, and I decided to sleep on the roof of the beach house.  It was a beautiful night and the weather was beautiful! It was a great first day in Floripa!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We flew to Florinopolis today!  It was an early morning and we were tired from only sleeping about 2 hours the night before but it was all good because we were going to the beach!!
Highlights of the day:
    ▪    Getting to Florinopolis
    ▪    Night swim in the ocean w/ Cam.  It was his first time swimming in two years!
    ▪    Mom finding a HUGE sand dollar!
    ▪    Seeing a lightening bug in the sand.
    ▪    Yummy pizza buffet at Aloha Pizzaria
    ▪    Staying at an awesome beach house over looking the ocean!

 Not so Highlights of the day:
    ▪    Sitting at the airport for 3 hours waiting to go to the beach house
    ▪    Actually that was the only not so highlight of the day!

"Priority Seats for Obese People"
-Seats in the Campinas Airport!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sao Paulo East Mission Christmas Conference

Highlights of the day:
    ▪    Going to Cameron's Mission Christmas Conference
    ▪    My mom getting asked to speak at the Conference 10 Mins beforehand (she did GREAT!  Spoke about what its like to have a son on the mission).
    ▪    Meeting more of Cameron's companions and friends that are missionaries.
    ▪    Going shopping with Jared, Nicole, and Wissali
    ▪    Swimming on the roof of our hotel with Nicole and Wissali.
    ▪    Late night sleepover with everyone!  We played UNO and just listened to music.  6 people in a hotel room for 2!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sao Paulo Temple

Today we had the opportunity to attend the Sao Paulo Temple.  It was really neat to all be there together again.  We did initiatories because we had to be at the sealing of a member Cameron knew at 12:30.  All the temple workers were really nice and we even met the temple president.  We went to the temple sealing and Cameron got to be a witness!  It was sad because the couple's family wasn't there but they had some friends there as support.  The Sao Paulo temple is very beautiful with dark wood and beautiful stain glass.  After the temple we headed out to Lorena, another area Cameron served in.  We went to some members house and had the most delicious BBQ I've ever had!  It was fun because they let us help prepare some of the food and I learned how to make some delicious Brazilian rice and a yummy Brazilian dessert called Brigedara (sp? I'll have to check on that spelling!).  The food was seriously amazing and the family was absolutely wonderful!  I really enjoyed spending time with them.  The father of the family is a contractor so Sergio, my Dad, and Jared talked forever about construction and it was pretty funny to watch them!  It was probably at least an hour they were talking about it all!  We then went and met a family that Cameron baptized the mom of the family and a couple of the boys.  The father was already a member.  She was a spit fire and so excited to see Cameron!  She was baptized one week, confirmed the next week and that same day was called to be the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society!  I bet that was pretty overwhelming!  We visited one teenager that Cam played soccer with while on his mission and it was really cute because he was wearing Cameron's High school jersey that he had given him.  We made the long trek back late that night but it was a really fun day and fun to get to know some of the people in Lorena.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Elder Bardsley is Released!

We went to the mission office this morning to have Cameron released.  Cameron and his companions were meeting us there at the office.  We were sitting there for a bit and Cam wasn't showing up.  The mission secretaries called Cameron to find out where he was and they were on there way.  We later found out that when Cam was on his way over he had the worst stomach ache and he thought he was going to poop his pants!  He didn't have any incidents while he was on his mission but the last day he thought he was going to have a major accident.  He lucked out and found a bathroom just in time.  It was pretty funny that it was the last day on the way home to be released and he had that experience.  We skyped our stake president at home and he talked to Cameron for a bit before releasing him.  President Clare is a neat man and it was neat to hear him talk to Cameron about the mission and share some experiences from his own mission.  Afterwards, we met with Cameron's mission president, President Moreira.  He talked to him about what he learned from his mission and what he was going to take with him and use in his life after the mission.  It was neat to be able to be there and hear him speak about his mission and what he has learned.  His mission president is a really neat man and really nice.  We took pictures, took Cameron's companions to lunch, then made our way out to one of Cameron's areas so meet some of the people he taught.  We met several different families and they were all funny and crazy brazilians!  It was a lot of fun.  Everywhere we went they wanted to feed us!  We went to Wissali and Nicole's house for dinner and met their mom.  She is really sweet.  We also met a bunch of Cameron's previous companions.  One of his previous companions, Elder Torres, is a Brazilian version of Cam's friend Dan Hales.  It was crazy how similar they were and they even looked alike! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We went to the ward in Cameron's area today.  They asked Cameron to bear his testimony since it was his last sunday on the mission.  Even though it was in portuguese, I could tell he really loved his mission and really loved the people.  It was neat to be able to be there and watch him interact in the surroundings he's been in for the past two years.  After sacrament, Cameron baptized a girl he has been teaching.  That was neat to be able to be there for that and watch him baptize one of his last investigators.  After church we went to a member's house for dinner.  It was a lady that Cameron reactivated and her name is Vanessa.  She is my age and really sweet and funny.  Her mom and grandma live in the same little area as her so we met them as well and Vanessa's mom was hilarious!  She isn't a member and Cameron would always tease her that he was going to baptize her.  She was a hoot.  Vanessa had this little kitten that was adorable and so sweet.  His name was Edward!  Elder Rodrigues kept tormenting it though just to bug me so I smacked him around to see how he would like it!  He is a little pest but hilarious!!!!  He reminds me of some of Cameron's friends from home!  We have some pretty funny videos of him from that day that I'll put at the end of this post.  Cameron and the other Elder's had to go do some work so Jared, me, and my parents went back to the hotel.  Bruno was nice enough to drive our rental car back to our hotel to make sure we made it back ok.  He's been so nice to make sure our trip goes well.  We relaxed the rest of the evening.  Tomorrow Cameron gets released so that will be fun to have him stay with us for now on.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cameron!! I mean, Elder Bardsley!!!

We got into Brazil this morning and headed to our hotel to drop off our luggage.   We called Cameron and decided on a place to meet up.  We headed to the metro and took some trains to meet him.  As we were trading trains and walking from one station to the other, I saw three missionaries, then I realized one of the missionaries was my brother!!!  He surprised us and met up with us at a closer station!  It was crazy to see him and so great!  His two companions are brazilian so it was hard to talk to them but they were funny guys!  Elder Rodriques is a goof ball and always keeping us laughing.  He kept hugging my dad and saying "Poppy!!"  It was hilarious.  Elder Dullius is a sweetheart and always smiling and laughing.  We also met one of Cameron's friends from one of his areas.  His name is Bruno and he was the mission leader in one of the wards Cameron's been in.  He is very nice and has been so helpful to us.  We went to a church in their area where we were meeting up with two girls from one of Cameron's areas.  Their names are Wissali and Nicole.  I had facebooked with Wissali a bit before we came and knew she could speak a little english and Nicole is pretty fluent at english.  So it was fun to meet them and have someone to talk to!  They are the cutest girls!  Jared went on divisions with Cameron and his companions so the girls came with me and my parents and they had a sleepover with me since they were going to church with us in the morning!  We went and had pizza and Acai with sweetened and condensed milk and mango!  It was manna from heaven!!!  I seriously could eat it everyday!  So delicious!  We have had fun tonight just hanging out in our room and even lucked out cause Twilight was on TV!  What appropriate movie for a girls night!  I love these girls like sisters already and I just met them today.  They are adorable!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brazil Bound!

We're off to Brazil!  My dad didn't get any sleep last night and I only got 2 hours so we should sleep pretty well on the plane!  As we were getting in the truck to go to the airport, the truck's battery was dead!  Of course it was!  There is always something that happens when it comes to a vacation with the Bardsley's.  We got to the airport in time and had sometime to browse the shops.  Jared found a hat that suited him so well.  For some reason I couldn't talk him into buying it!  Well we have some long flights ahead of us and we'll be in Brazil in the morning!  I'm tired so I hope I sleep the whole flight! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My Bud!

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the weekend with my great friends Holly and Gio in Boston on December 9-12!  I have never been to Boston before and I was very excited.  It was so great to spend time with Holly and Gio and that was definitely the highlight of my trip.  I can't wait to go again for a longer stay and maybe when its a little warmer!

LDS Boston Temple
 Holly lived near the Boston Temple and it was absolutely beautiful!

Holly's Cute Kitty!
Me & Gio

The Most Amazing French Toast Breakfast!  Best Ever!
 We had an AMAZING breakfast at this cute little restaurant near Holly's home.  We ate French Toast which was the BEST I have ever had and I'm not exaggerating!  A great way to start our Saturday adventures!  We fit a lot into one day!

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Home
 Holly showed me around Boston and the cute little towns surrounding it.  We went on a hunt for all these neat homes and places.  It was amazing all the history.

Louisa May Alcott's Home of "Little Women" 
 We ended up at Lousia May Alcott's home and they had a tour that you could go on.  Gio was asleep in the back seat and Holly and I decided to go on the tour.  They were having a "Christmas Tour" and it was a lot of fun with people dressing up and telling stories from Louisa's life.  It really was adorable and I really enjoyed this part of my trip!  

Me & Holly

Yummy L.A. Burdick Chocolates
Mysterious Gio!
Delicious Hot Chocolate @ L.A. Burdicks, Harvard Square

 We went to Harvard Square and it was the most enchanting area!  I can tell why so many people love the Harvard experience.  We went to a yummy chocolate shop and got some hot chocolate to warm us up!  We stopped at Anthropologie and Gio humored us and let us try on clothes while he patiently waited (and posed for goofy pictures).  Holly and I had a fun time shopping!  As if chocolate wasn't enough, we stopped at the cupcake shop "Sweet" and got some cupcakes for later!

Lobster Mac & Cheese!

Lobster Mac & Cheese and Filet Mignon Sliders
 We went to dinner in downtown Boston at a restaurant called "Max & Dylans".  It was some of the best food I have had.  We he got Filet Mignon sliders (oh wow!) and Lobster Mac & Cheese (double wow!!).  It might have been some of the best food I have ever had!  When I got back to Boston, I will definitely be eating there again.  

Chilly Night in Boston

Enjoying the Christmas Lights in Boston
 We braved the cold for a bit looking at the Christmas lights then it was back to Holly's house for movie and relaxing.  The next day we went to church and I got to meet some really amazing people that are pretty well known (Ann Romney & Jane Clayson).  They are truly amazing women.   It was a great weekend and I was really sad to leave and say goodbye.  I sure love Holly and Gio and I am so grateful for their friendship.  They'll never know how much they mean to me!

I love you Boston!!