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After an amazing time in the French Alps, we made the big journey up to Calais via Dijon (yes, home of the mustard!) where the big P&O Ferry awaited us.

One final night camping (only 10 euros at this joint, bargain and my mind clicked over at the extra we’d have at Topshop) and the pair of us plus our fancy little Citroen were onboard, heading to the white cliffs of Dover! We arrived, after a few curse words at road closures, at Trish’s house in Uckfield where her and my second cousin (cousin’s son) Joe were waiting. It was so nice to be chatting away in English, in a house where we could close doors and my cousin’s nail polish collection awaited (thousands of shades of pink, heaven). Trish had organised a family barbecue and I got a family snap. It’s minus Katie though, who was still working.

Trish being hugged by Ben, Joe, little Miya, Jim and Jana

The next day Sean got up early and had a run through the local woods which he loved while Trish and I did an exercise dvd and it hurt to walk up stairs for 4 days following. Trish organised for two of my great aunts, Thelma and Muriel to come for lunch to a local pub and Mum’s other cousin Chris joined us. Typical english pub food, we all had fish, chips and peas (i made sean order the mushy version for tradition’s sake, he liked them!).

Sean, Chris and Portia outfront of Trish's local, The White Hart

Muriel, Trish, Sean, Thelma and Chris chanting for the fish n chips, I had to ask them to sit still for the pic. Larrikins.

After a great afternoon catching up on all the family gossip, we headed home through the fields, keeping our eyes peeled for the albino deer that lives there and tried to dodge the summer rain. The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking tea, lamenting the British summer and beating Sean at cards (Joe helped me, it was a good team effort).

The next day we had been looking forward to for ages, Fleur and Ricky’s wedding! Katie had arrived home late the night before and allowed  me to attack her pink nail polishes… my fingers and toes may or may not have resembled Barbie’s. Trish, Sean and I had made the guest list and we set off in plenty of time to get to Stoke Newington’s Town Hall. We were the first ones in there! Who knew we could make it early to an important event? Must have been Trish’s influence. We met up with a pretty nervous-looking Ricky (even though he declared he wasn’t nervous at all… suuuuure!) before taking our seats, being moved several times and ending up in the back row… not sure how it happened, but we coped, especially as we got the first glimpse of Fleur!

Getting excited to see the bride!!

Fleur, looking stunning, with her nephew Todd walking her up the aisle

The ceremony was lovely but once i saw Fleur was crying, the waterworks started for me too. Sean, being Sean, asked “why is she crying, is she sad to be marrying Ricky?” I almost didn’t dignify him with an answers but spluttered “tears of joy” through my own. Trish was discreetly wiping away tears too, I don’t think there was a dry eye (apart from all the uber tough men like Sean – only tears he shed when he thought he’d miss out on the cake).

Ricky just held it together and the two of them looked so in love, it was very special to witness. Here they are after the ceremony, looking just a little relieved and ready to party!!

The newly married, Mr and Mrs, looking incredibly happy.

We all breathed a collective sigh of relief that the emotional part was over and that the party began straight away! We had a few pics out the front of the church and headed to Ricky and Fleur’s back garden where marquees were set up.

Fleur and Ricky with Fleur's sisters, Selina, Fanny and Joey

The cousins beating the summer rain in the gorgeous marquees

The cake was a sight… Fleur’s sister Fanny went on a cake-making course and made this beauty!! It looked gorgeous and ohmygoshgivemeanotherpiece it was delicious.

Glorious wedding cake... is it wrong this is may be my fave part of weddings? I love wedding cake, even the weird icing.

Fleur about to cut the cake with... a sword! Her nephew collects them and she cut perfect pieces with it.

After some excellent speeches (Ricky, yours was perfect well done!), cake mouth-watering cake, and the bouquet throwing – we all hit the dancefloor! We stayed till fairly late before the 2-hour drive back to Uckfield beckoned. Trish and I chatted merrily away with Sean to keep him awake and before we knew it we were home and filling Katie in on the fun and emotional day. I slept like a log that night.

Next up is the London escapades with Hazzy and Pete with a surprise cameo from Pip!! It was fun to the extreme. We are now in Amsterdam, soaking up some unusual smells (the first thing we noticed when we stepped out of our trusty steed was the stench of marijuana), sights and shops. Now off to find our next campsite!!

Hope you enjoyed the wedding blog, wish me luck in keeping Sean in line with the red light district and “coffeeshops” beckoning. He’s WAHLD this man, I tell you.

Lisa and Sean xoxo

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Viva le Tour

While Lisa is still dealing with the fact that we are camping our way around Europe now i thought i better write this blog in sympathy. Yes, i am still finding it hard to believe myself but bribery is a wonderful thing and the temptation to go shopping with the spare cash is just too much to resist. I must also thank Pete and Harriet for their gentle words of encouragement!

After leaving Spain we made a quick stop at a famous French fortress which overlooks the Pyranees to the north and the Spanish border to the south. How they built these incredible structures in such remote and hard to reach locations so long ago still mystifies me but it was great not to have to fight the crowds and line up for hours to get in for a change.

The view from the top looking back over Spain

From here it was a quick stop in Montpellier for dinner before finding a random campsite on our way up to Nice. Crossing the border back into France also meant i could practice my French again and i’m proud to say that i can now say just a couple more words than please, thank you and hello. We did have one more stop on our way up to Nice in a famous celebrity seaside town of St Tropez. Yes, it was filled with Ferrari’s, massive yachts and designer clothes stores but it was also difficult to walk down the street amongst the crowds of people. After a few hours in traffic we made it out and finally got to Nice.

Lisa looking glamorous while mixing it with the stars in St Tropez

We wandered the streets of Nice and found a great park overlooking the beach before driving along the spectacular coastline into Monaco and then accidentally crossing the border for a night in Italy. Yes, 3 countries in one day was a bit more than we expected and if people thought our French was bad you should have heard our Italian (well mine anyway).

Looking over the Mediterranean Coast while driving to Monaco

A night of camping traded for a gourmet lunch overlooking the French Coast. Yay, a break from the baguettes!

From here it was finally time to hit the French Alps and see what cycling up a real mountain was like. As we ascended it was like entering a different country, the people were nicer, the air was fresh and a can of coke no longer cost $5!

The view from atop La Bonnette at 2800m. Unfortunately i didn't get to climb this one but it is a regular feature in the Tour de France.

Stuck in a traffic jam, I tried to get Lisa to move them but she just wouldn't have a Baaah of it!

We made it to Bourg d’Oisans which is a relatively large village at the base of the French Alps but the epicentre of cycling. We found ourselves a 4 star campsite with a 25m swimming pool (luxury!) and situated just 100m from the base of Alpe D’Huez. From here you could ride a different route every day for 2 weeks and still not conquer every climb. I only had 5 days and with my severe lack of fitness and the fact i was riding in sand-shoes meant it was really going to hurt. I managed to squeeze in as many of the famous tour climbs as possible as well as some of the lesser known routes and after 5 days i was struggling to walk.

Lisa kept amused by lounging by the pool, enjoying a massage and even hiring a bike herself one day and climbing the gruelling Alpe D’Huez. I stupidly tried to time myself while doing it and almost had a heart attack in the process but it is incredible to think Lance Armstrong does it in 39mins while i couldn’t even go under 1hr! I am definitely coming back here fit one day to do it again!

Lisa doing it like Lance up Ale D'Huez!

Enjoying a picnic after a hard day on the bike!

The view of Bourg D'Oisans from one of my climbs

Nearly at the top, can taste the coke at the finish line

So with Lisa absolutely sick of my cycling stories we moved on to Calais and boarded our Ferry over to visit Lisa’s family, attend Ricky and Fleur’s wedding and visit the sights of good old London town.

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The Spanish Inquisition

Hola amigos!!

I know, I know, we’re so behind in blogging! Please forgive me, I will do my absolute best to rectify the tardiness. Thank god Mum’s still reading (love you Mama).

So I left you just before our journey to Pinoso, a massive 7.5 hour car journey to the gorgeous little village my aunt and uncle live. We arrived in pouring rain and headed up a crazy dirt track to their perfect little house where we would stay for 2 nights.

Following Trish's car along the maze of roads that lead to her home, which has an orchard of figs and almonds

We were so excited to have a house to sleep in, it’s such a luxury when you’re travelling! Trish took us to the local expat pub/restaurant for dinner and we happily caught up on all the goings-on of the past couple years since we saw them at our wedding.

The next day there wasn’t a cloud to be seen so we went up to the local sight-seeing spot, Pozo de Nieve, an artificial snow house that the Spanish used to build to store snow and eventually sell ice after hardpacking it.

All the cool kids were there... Sean, Trish and John out front of the snow house.

Then John drove us up to see the sights from the peak of the mountain, which was pretty spectacular!

Great heights... the boys looking over Pinoso

After a big hike in the hot sun, what better way to cool off than head to the local pool! No photos folks as nobody wants to see Sean and i in our bikinis right now… haha. But despite being a little town, Pinoso’s pool was lovely and John impressed us very much with his daily 500m swim. I managed 50m and it was breaststroke and I didn’t get my hair wet. Booyah.

That night we were hoping to see running with the bulls, but really unlucky for us, it was on Saturday night and we had to leave Saturday morning! So instead we parked up at Trish and John’s, sat on their balcony and watched the sunset with sangrias in hand. I cracked lots of almond shells (welllll… maybe 10, it’s hard work!) and then we played cards well into the night. Trish and John have us now totally addicted to the game they taught us. And Sean is beating me really badly (as of today 10/8 he is beating me 5 games to 1, my pride is in tatters).

After saying “see you soon” to Trish and a sad goodbye to John, we set off for Barcelona. I was so excited after having THE best time here in 2001 with my beautiful friends Cin and Tanya. We arrived about 9pm which was perfect time for Tapas, weeeeee!!! Little bit of food porn for you Mr Bryant if you’re reading, we know you love it.

Everything here was so delicious, except that big wedge of omelette unf. We did it justice, you know we did!

The next day we had to cram in as much as possible and we had such a fun time doing it. We started off up at Parc Guell, Antoni Gaudi’s design so of course there was lots of crazy shapes and animals, plus the mosaics.

Next up was the Sagrada Familia which we observed only from the outside as the line was soooo long to get inside and we only had one day in Barcelona.

This amazing piece of architecture is still completely under construction... I wonder if we'll see it completed in our life time?

Then it was off to La Rambla to see some street entertainment! Best effort of the day must got to the Predator from the Alien V Predator movie who was there from early afternoon til late evening when we left… stamina. He was totally scary too, plenty of grown men screamed and one of the may or may not have been Sean. I’ll let you make up your own ending to that story.

Sean trembling in his boots watching Predator do his thang.

We then walked the lanes which were great, filled with sneaky little cafes, frozen yoghurt stores (thank you god!), clothing stores and people with weird faces. Sean will kill me for putting this pic up, but that’s how i roll. No mercy.

Someone was ready for the "snap" someone was not... in Barcelona laneways

We then walked to the seaside and found the Steve Irwin! Paddy are you in Barcelona? We thought this was your boat for the winter?!!

Sean on the Barcelona harbour with the Steve Irwin boat

After all of this sightseeing, a little shopping and bad pictures, there was only one thing left to do… sangria!!!! We wandered back to la Rambla and parked up at a cafe and ordered a sangria while whipping out the playing cards.

We each had sangria goblets and while i only got through 2/3, we were both feelin' it! Phewee, the Spanish know how to serve up a drink.

It truly was an excellent day, even if it did end up with us camping next to the loudest snoring man on earth. I was almost homicidal at one point but stuck a finger in my ear and finally went back to sleep. The joys of camping, eh?!

The next day we headed to Figueres on our way to Nice as we really wanted to go to the Salvador Dali museum. It was another rainy day amid many fine ones which was a shame as the line to get in to the museum was mammoth and completely exposed to the elements. We realised it would take about 2 hours to get to the front of the line and we’d be sopping wet and competing with hundreds of others to see Dali’s works… so instead we hit the local creperie and cut our losses.

Goats cheese, spinach, walnut and raisins on a buckwheat crepe... i die, seriously heaven!

Sean ready and willing for his egg and bacon crepe. Note the cheeky cards... addicts.

 After this it was back to the land of “Bonjour!” and Sean was eager to use those words he’d learnt. Fact – Sean went to fuel up while I read my book in the car. He returned looking super pleased with himself and said “I just had a conversation in French”. My eyes bugged out and I swiftly put my book down and gave this francophile my full attention. “What did you say?” I ask, ready to be impressed. “I said ‘Bonjour’ and then ‘merci'”, he says, chest puffed up. “And then?” I say. “And then I left!” he says. He has since learnt many more words like “deux boules glace” (2 scoops ice cream), chevre (goats cheese, coz he hears me say it so often) and cafe au lait. Our attempts at speaking French have been the source of much hilarity, but most of the time we get by and i often get kudos from the locals for having a go.

New post to come soon… from Nice to the Alps, mes amies!

A bientot et bises,

Lisa and Sean xoxoxox

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Allo!! We are still alive despite a dramatic change in our travelling conditions, mes amies. After meeting up unexpectedly with my wonderful friend Harriet who i haven’t seen since 2004 and she had only remembered Sean as “that guy I had my eye on”, her and her boyfriend Pete convinced us to buy a tent. This is what I look like in our swish new accom…

Cooee!! Our little red tent is our new home.

Seksi, I know. Who needs spas and queen-sized beds with ocean views when you can have fresh air, toilets with no toilet paper, mosquitos masquerading as birds and showers with your thongs on? Aaahhh the good life. In all seriousness, we are enjoying camping and started this charade after the destinations in this post but I thought you’d all like to know! I’m sure many of you who know me well are falling about laughing at the thought of me suffering in a tent and sometimes I wonder who I’ve become, but mostly I’m enjoying the random locations and saving money to spend on clothes and dinners out. Oh yes!

So back to the beginning eh! Loire Valley… it was fleeting actually because both of us had our eyes on Biarritz, the surfing town in the south west of France. We visited one chateau, Chateau Chenonceau which was lovely but way overcrowded. I think we both loved the maze in the garden the most, which was apparently created to show off their extraordinary gardening skills back then.

What am i so happy about? Finding Sean in the middle, best prize ever.

After this we found ourselves a cheap hotel (ah the good old days) and ate at a ridiculous restaurant called La Boucherie (meaning the Butchery) which as you can imagine, was filled with loads of meaty delights. Urgh, I cringe at the memory.

The next day we went via Bordeaux to Biarritz. It was a gorgeous drive and I tried my hardest to stay awake for much of it and sing along to my new Glee CD. Sean loves it. Especially when i make him duet with me for Total Eclipse of the Heart. “TURN AROUND” and “TURN AROUND, BRIGHT EYES” are his bits. He is a bit mad that’s all he gets but I didn’t write the song, I just make the magic happen in the car.

Anyway, Biarritz was out-of-control amazing. It was so beautiful and I could easily have stayed there way longer than the two days and two nights we did. Especially when we ran into Hazzy and Pete!! It was completely serendipitous, we were finding somewhere to eat for dinner and liked the look of a pizza place but didn’t look like there was anywhere to sit. As we walked away, one of the waiters chased us up the street and told us he had a table… right next to Haz and Pete. We were meant to be together again!!! After pizza and plenty of catching up and gossiping about the old days of WAIS and 2004, we headed out along the gorgeous jetty.

Pete, Harriet and Sean get happy on our late night walk in beautiful Biarritz

After finding each other, we planned a day of beaching it up and visiting the chocolate museum the following day.

Chocolate is sooo good for you and I don't want to hear anything else. See? The museum says so!

Except some might take it too far… after our taste testers and cup of pure hot chocolate (too rich for me), Pete hit up the “ne touche pas” fondue fountain and encouraged Sean to do the same. Naughty, naughty!!

Pete the bad influence haha

Guzzle guzzle melted chocolate

And then it was time for the beach! This was the  most gorgeous beach with reef, rocky ledges to jump off and clear blue water.

Lots of people, but we found a patch of sand and parked up for a couple hours

Can you spot them? Pete and Sean swimming around the point.

And after swimming, tanning, trying to read some French gossip mags (their equivalent to NW and Who mag have boobs! It was like soft porn and Sean was reading/perving over my shoulder which he never usually does when i’m catching up on Brangelina et al), we headed up for a yummy french dinner before saying goodbye to Haz and Pete.

Dinner overlooking the water with Haz and Pete

And then we made a massive drive the next morning to cross the border and swap our Bonjour for Hola!! Hello Spain! And just when Sean was coming to terms with “Bonjour, merci and s’il-vous-plait” hehehe. Welcome aboard “Hola, grazias and por favor!”. Our next stop was Pinoso to visit Trish and John, my super aunt and uncle and we had heaps of fun. Next post will feature them, Barcelona and Figueres!

Adios amigos, Lisa and Sean xoxo

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Bonjour, actuellement, ce n’est vrai pas… we have just left Paris as I mentioned at the end of NYC final blog and are god knows where (we’re guessing Limoges). we’re on our way to Bordeaux after a fun day touring through Loire Valley stopping off at Amboise and then the Chenoceau Chateau, which was beautiful but overcrowded. However, as I have loads of pics of the fun times in Paris, this is going to be a pic heavy, word light kinda blog. Although here are a couple of comments about Paris;

1. Amazing, the history of this place is astounding and we love wandering up any given street and discovering something beautiful or incredible with historical significance.

2. The pastries are magnificent… we even found a hybrid of the almond and chocolate croissant, combining these two greats to make a symphony in the mouth. I couldn’t even bring myself to share mine with Sean (he had his own, mind!). We have snacked on some form of crispy, buttery deliciousness every day.

3. After American coffee being pretty average, we were hoping for something special in Paris. Unfortunately, it went downhill which would have been hard to believe after our last Starbucks. French coffee is bitter and they put a drop of milk in despite “cafe au lait” seriously suggesting the inclusion of our dairy friend. We’re even considering popping into one of the Starbucks, which proves dire situation.

4. Parisians are yet to receive the memo that smoking kills. French women don’t get fat because their poor little lungs are dying, not because they’re any stronger in the will department than us Aussies! We eat chocolate, they smoke. Who are the winners in the long run?

Ok that’s enough ranting, on with the pics!

Our first night in Paris, Sean finds the french put ice cream in their profiteroles instead of custard... he a happy man

Our dining companion Marco, great company and he even provided...

Marco brought me roses! So sweet... check out Prawn, passed out even though I was wide awake with jet lag.

Sean out front of the Louvre

And me right out front of the fabulous pyramid entrance to the Louvre

The beautiful sunset on our second night overlooking bridge leading to Place de la Concorde

This cute little girl statue reminded us of our niece Lulu who we hope is having fun skiing with the family!

 Woohoo, the big guy and the Eiffel Tower!

At the second level of the Eiffel Tower, we did the stairs option so didn't get to see the top (stairs stop here, boo!)

Us doing the night tour of the Louvre, at the ancient Egypt exhibition which was tres cool

Then things started getting cheeky... yes we are 10-years-old.

Monkey in the Louvre... or a man with a BO problem? Either way, what did you expect, that we'd just LOOK at the art?

Ok that was officially the point where things got ridiculous, I straightened my headband and we became adults again

Coz it was time to see some serious art... the Mona Lisa! WOw... it really is an incredible painting albeit a little small.

Fourth day we wake up at 1pm and make a run for the Notre Dame! Darn jet lag...

Sean out front of the Pompidou Centre

 

Seano meet Alberto... the best ice cream in Paris, the best we've had on our whole trip!

 

So good he used a photo to distract me to go in for the kill... popcorn and salted caramel right there, dreamy.

And then there was the Tour de France! We got to hang out with Sarah Egan all day long and lunched with Annie, Thommo, JP, Mel and Timbo while watching Lance, Andy and Alberto screaming up and down the Champs Elysee. Such a cool day!

Starting with a cafe trip (Sarah et moi)... I'm on to chocolat chaud, can't do coffee no more :o(

A truly french lunch with the STC gang, out of context and tres amusement

Getting into the spirit with our TDF t-shirts, the crowd already building with 3 hours til the riders arrive

Sean getting creative with his viewing spot... until half hour later when 10 more peeps joined him and police kicked them all off.

Have you ever known Sean to resist a challenge? Let the creativity continue…

Sarah can't believe the lengths Sean'll go to... monkey boy himself. Hehe love Sar's expression.

And that's what we waited for... the perfectly timed snap of the Astana boys with yellow jersey as they made their first loop around the Champs Elysee.

So we sat and watched til the end and some old dude nearly fell off his step ladder cheering for Mark Cavendish (“He’s unbeatable, the best ever, gahhhhhh!” except he wasn’t in the green jersey was he… but hey, enjoy your moment, British old dude) and the Spaniards cheering “Contadorrrrr, Contadorrrr, Contadorrrr” while Sean and I said quietly “Schlecky, Schlecky we love Schlecky!” or maybe it was just me while Sean tried to prevent me from being beaten up by said Spaniards…

Anyhoo, we left the area and went on a crazy hunt for shops that turned out not to be open and ended up at one of the most beautiful places in Paris totally unintentionally… Sacre Coeur! The music from street performers was so loud, the buzz from other tourists was electric and I just loved it up there. See if you can tell…

We have had a great day, full of fun times with wonderful friends and crazy adventures that left us with sore feet and happy hearts.

And just in case you don’t believe how much fun we had in Paris, I leave you with my final and fave pic of the time we spent there…

Eiffel Tower in the background, hip hop street entertainers filling our ears and we were having a giggle... good times indeed.

So for now, we leave you as we road trip to Biarritz via Bordeaux! And I really need to stop going to bed at 1am… yikes.

Big love, hope Perth is pushing up with some sunshine (or wherever you may be, hope you got sunshine :o).

Lisa and Sean xoxo

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It had to come to an end, if we wanted to squeeze in Europe. I know, cry me a river right? But I was seriously sad to leave the States after such a ball. So without further ado, here are some of the fun times in our last stop, back in NYC! It will be fairly quick coz I want to get up Paris tonight too… we write from a small town on the way to Bordeaux and Biarritz! We think it’s Limoges, but we ain’t sure, we just stopped at the cheapest hotel we could get wifi. Priorities, check.

We got back to NYC, checked into our new hotel (much nicer and our own bathroom yewww!) and headed to Soho coz I was getting my hairs done, whoop! Throughout the four hours I was there, new record for me, Sean also snuck out and got his hairs done too so we both felt totally fancy with our NYC hair. This is us the next day feeling pretty, oh so pretty, we felt pretty and witty toniiiiiight!

Sean - shorter, Me - fringe, copper highlights and layers (hair less of a mop, more of a styled broom)

Did any of y’all get the broadway reference back there? Oh yes, us and our fancy hairs were off to see West Side Story!!

Someone was uber excited, someone could hardly keep his eyes open...

Hahaha his face, cheeky bugger would not smile for West Side Story. His choice too! I wanted Promises, Promises so I could dream that one day I will be just like Kristin Chenoweth but we had to make a compromise somewhere. We queued up in the cheap TKTS line for hour and a half, it was worth it to get half price and great seats too!

The nest day was Sean’s birthday so we went back to Soho and had a ball wandering around the fantastic shops, eating yummy food (how I will miss the humble bagel with cream cheese when we leave) and sightseeing.

Prawn not sho we at this place for his birthday treat or his wife's...

Looks like he was on to something! Where are we? PB & Co!!! We found it randomly, I swear I didn’t plan it, we stumbled across it on a walk from the post office back to shops!

Fancy seeing yoooou guys here! Peanut butter dreams... I sent some home :o)

After this it was total boy heaven, we went to see the new action movie Inception with Leonardo di Caprio. It was v good, I recommend despite the slight state of confusion you might be in the entire movie. Sean believes he understood the whole thing, no ifs or buts… although we did have a hearty discussion about a few loose ends over dinner. And yes I did make sure he had cake! Course I did.

Think it was rhubarb, but it had ice cream with it more to the point

But that was the sugar he was really hoping for, I think I got a bigger grin than the cake!

Our final day in NYC was very chilled. One final bagel (sob! Croissants aren’t as good… ok I sound totally spoilt now, sorry to anyone reading over a soggy bowl of weetbix), a wander up Fifth Avenue, a Magnolia Bakery latte (couldn’t do another cupcake but the coffee there is goood), a stroll through Central Park to check out some baseballers doing their thang and Time Warner Centre for a Wholefoods salad bar lunch, Godiva for dessert and Sean being told off for this photo…

Heh heh, Sean puffing up his cheeks likening his weight gain to this funky mama

Not sure whether alluding to this ladies largeness or the fact Sean’s hand was on her booty, but some old ladies wandered past and told him he was naughty and did the whole “tsk tsk” hehehe. We laughed all the way to Godiva for more plumping.

And finally, here we are in Central Park. Goodbye America, thanks so much for having us, y’all!!!

Sean ready for Paris, me never wanting to leave NYC

Ok hang tight, I’m aiming for a double tonight! There may or may not be a Paris blog in a couple hours… no promises! Sean has to check his emails and it takes him a hundred years if he has to reply to anyone. Aye.

Thanks for the messages, miss home a lot now in Paris. Obviously there’s the language barrier (although people have generally been sooo nice helping us as we try our limited French), but the lack of vegetables featuring anywhere on the dinner menu, terrible coffee and jet lag have left us in a bit of a heap! But we shall recover!

A bientot! Bises, Lisa and Sean xoxox

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While we have sadly left the States, but happily it was for Paris, it’s about time we updated you on the fun we had in Boston and Philadelphia (I know, witty title right? I’m trying to think in French most of the time so cut me some slack). 

We spent a fairly hideous 5 hours on a bus from New York to Boston (a young Bostonite lady and an old one carried on all trip talking about their sister’s broken hip and an unruly boyfriend to their childhoods and rude New Yorkers… at the top of their voices – even the busdriver asked them to keep it down to which the young lady said “how else are we supposed to entertain ourselves on a 5 hour bus trip?” how bout a book, ipod, magazine anything that involves you shutting the hell up!!! I backed up the busdriver with my most evil “mmm-hmmmm” look, yes I did). Anyway, we made it and Boston was frickn gorgeous! 

Me just hangin' in Back Bay, on our gorgeous tree-lined street near our hostel

 

We only had one day in Boston and two nights, so during our day we got as much done as possible. We decided to find the Freedom Trail (2.5 mile walk) which leads you to the most important parts of Boston’s history which includes plenty of  important moments for democracy and a history rich in Irish refugees (being Sean O’Neill, you might guess he has some Irish heritage somewhere along the line!). Here are a couple of snaps of cool things we saw along the way. 

Seano at a fountain in the Boston Common, the starting point of the trail

 

The State House, with its gorgeous gold dome, is apparently known as one of USA's finest pieces of architecture

 

Big bad Ben - statue of Benjamin Franklin out front of America's oldest public school Boston Latin School, which Mr Franklin graduated from.

 

 After a good wander and not quite making it to the end due to our growling stomachs, we went off to Flour Bakery which is renowned for its excellent sandwiches. It was a long walk but we had such a nice lunch there and recommend it to anyone visiting Boston (there are two). We then caught a bus to a beautiful university (although in honesty, I think UWA is more beautiful, I haven’t seen a uni yet to compare with UWA campus) and one of the big names of USA’s colleges, Harvard. With a JP Licks in hand (oh yes, Boston has a brilliant ice cream store chain which must be visited multiple times, even if you are there only one day and two nights), we wandered around the campus soaking up the green. 

John Harvard, the college's first benefactor and namesake

 

One of the buildings in Harvard, who wouldn't want to study hard in buildings like these?

 

So a short but sweet time was had in Boston and then we caught a flight to see our gorgeous friends, James and Mary Kelley who now live in Philadelphia! It was so fun to catch up with them, stay in a house, get some girl/boy time and just chill out. 

The day we arrived, Mary and I headed out the door almost immediately while the boys were on kid duty (Branson 2 and Lucy 4 months). We headed into the cute town of Ardmore and found some farmers’ markets, grabbed a yummy coffee and hit the shops. While not much was bought, plenty was gossiped about and it felt soooo good to have girl time with my lovely friend Mary (when you movin’ back to Aus again?!). Sean got some fab boy time too, hitting up James’ Wii and got beat at everything bar boxing I believe!! Sean also was totally fixated by the gorgeous Lucy, getting in a cuddle at every opportunity. It was kind of adorable. Here he is having a cuddle with Lucy and the gorgeous Branson hanging out (doesn’t Branson look like a cherub? He is gorgeous and so well-behaved, we kinda fell in love with him too!). 

Sean getting clucky? The Kelley kids certainly warmed him to the idea of babies one day soonish...

 

And we got a home cooked meal! James baked salmon and cooked corn in their husks with salad and to-die-for bread from the farmers’ markets, it was amazing. And tarts from the very same farmers’ markets for dessert were made short work of… check it. 

That's how we roll... haha fun times in the Kelley household.

 

Our second day at chez Kelley was slightly more eventful. We got up early to take Mary’s spin class (Mary was the hardcore instructor, she made our booties burn alright). Sean and I sweated a bucket, as you do in spin, and blew the cobwebs out. Afterwards I ate lunch and straight away took a nap, i am not used to intense exercise right now! Particularly as it was nearly 40 degrees in Philly. Here is Sean working hard – can you see where he has put on the 6kgs? I can’t!! 

Prawn working the magic on his bike, wishing it was his McMurdo back home

Back home, James was booking us in to tour Philadelphie on a segway. And boy was this guy excited! He decided to tour with us, because he’d been itching to try the segways again after ripping one out of a child’s hands for a joy ride while at a museum with his family… or something like that. 

We started at the Philadelphia Museum which houses the famous steps from Rocky 3 (Steven, if you’re reading I hope I got the number right haha). Did we run up them in 40 degree heat after a spin class in the morning and right before attempting segways? Hell yes!! 

The race is on as Jim and Prawn storm up the stairs... who will take the Rocky title?

Oh lookey here, the blue rompered lady stole the title from under their noses! That's a victory dance right there.

And then there was the Rocky statue… 

Sean, Rocky, Lisa. The dream team. Maybe.

And then we jumped on our segways and the madness began. While I tentatively got to know my segway, James and Sean pushed theirs to the limit. Once they worked out how fast they could go, Sean decided to go through a big dirt patch and break in it. The thing stopped dead and threw Sean off who just managed to stay standing but it was pretty graceless and this might have happened afterwards… 

uhoh... we knew it was coming...

Not really, this is Sean taking a rest at the Philly airport while we waited for James to pick us up. This is how it really turned out! 

And they're off oncemore

Here’s that Rocky stairs champion looking seksi with army helmet on segway… 

Hey there hot stuff. Can I get a bom chika wow wow?

All was going swimmingly with the boys racing and me playing nice and slowly, until we set off. You have to keep your knees bent and my feet kind of ached straight from the get go. We went past a couple of amazing monuments including a very golden Joan of Arc… 

Recently polished, Joan and her horse looking their best!

Unfortunately it was soon after Joan that a wave of nausea came over me. I was sure I hadn’t eaten anything dodgy and couldn’t imagine what it was. At the next stop i realised i was about to faint and got off the segway, with a quick “I feel sick” to Sean. Ever helpful, Sean says “that’s no good” and carries on doing wheelies on the segway. 

While listening to the guide’s next spiel (which i caught absolutely none of), I started swaying like a slow-mo hula dancer which Sean thought was pretty sexy apparently (his re-enactments look like slow-mo gyrating which is pretty embarrassing) until I collapsed on the ground and ate dirt… in a short romper. I came to pretty quickly and the tour guide wasn’t as impressed with the slow mo gyrating as Sean was, calling for water. It was pretty much game over for me and I walked back, telling the boys to go on without me. They did although apparently they felt guilty for the rest of the way. I found myself an Orangina (preparing for Paris0 to top up sugar and hydration levels and lay down in the car. How embarrasshment. 

I recovered enough to re-enact the scene for Mary and the kids when we got home and we had a good laugh. Mary then got the kids and took Sean and I out for coffee and cookies while James had to take a nap (turns out i wasn’t the only one a little depleted from the heat and excitement of segway!). That night we went Downtown which was really fun and had the most delicious pizza at Stella, which I highly recommend (get the pistachio pizza, it’s a winner). Here we are getting ready to partay. 

The Kelleys and the O'Neills dressed up and ready to hit Philly town

And then there was Stellllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa pizza. 

Looking good James! Note the pistachio pizza nearly gone down below. So good!

We had such a fantastic time with these guys and felt sad leaving them knowing it could be a while we’d see them again. Fingers crossed they’ll make a trip down under soon! 

So there’s Beantown and Cream Cheese for y’all to see, next stop is a quick revisit to New York including El Prawno’s 27th birthday. Miss you all, give us a shout, you know you want some cyber love. We do! 

Lisa and Sean xoxo

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