Sunday, August 26, 2012

Killer Summer! (recap)

Well, summer is over! Here's a recap of what we did:

We started off with an amazing trip to the Holy Land. Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, Bethlehem. We stayed with some local kids and fell in love with this very special place.

We then went to Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast. The Gaudi architecture, the people we met, the beaches. Che chevere!

Then it was off to London where we were surprised to find the Diamond Jubilee! Biggest party ever. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to celebrate the the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.

From there we hit the road by bus.

 We visited Amsterdam,







and Naples.

After Europe we stopped by to visit our buddy Spence in Austin.

and then spent a day in San Francisco.

Then we went to the land of the rising sun, where we made many new friends and climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji. 

Next stop: Bangkok

Clark had to go back to SUU for a couple weeks so I spent that time in Taiwan.

We were reunited in LA and got to spend a day with Clark's sister and her family. 

On August 1st we went by business class to Melbourne, Australia.

Then off to Sydney to see the Opera House, Bondi Beach and Manly.

From there we went to Houston to see family and friends.

We flew to Peru, and saw the incredible Machu Picchu.

We joined two Peruvian friends, Lili and Vanessa, who guided us around Peru. 

We stayed with Lili's uncle in Abancay. 

Cusco, the navel of the world. 

and Lima, the capital. 

Before getting home we ended up with a short stay in Panama when the plane made an unplanned stop for repairs.

Statistics for the Killer Summer:
Continents: 5
Countries: 16
New Friends: 63
Miles flown: 74, 315
Value of air travel:  $29,545/each
Travel by bus: approx 3,000 miles
Cost of bus travel: $290
Money spent on lodging: $90/each

We got free air travel thanks to my dad's flight benefits, and we spent so little on lodging thanks to friends and We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity we had to travel and we hope that through this blog you have been able to enjoy our travels as well.
 We made some great friends, some of whom we hope will be lifelong. The entire trip we relied greatly on the kindness and generosity of strangers and friends.  

The world is full of amazing people.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Panama - Day 1

Okay, so we didn't really get to spend a day in Panama, but we did get to hang out at the airport for a few hours, and get a nice view of it from the sky. We had to do an emergency landing in Panama because our right engine kept vibrating. Some people were pretty ticked about it, but we were just thankful that we landed safely.

Technically Clark was the only one who actually saw the Panama Canal. I was sleeping when we flew over it. 

Haha. Ray was not only sleeping when we flew over the canal he continued to be in a haze after we landed. The seat next to me was a pilot rest seat. Since the pilots were busy it was empty so I asked Ray to come and sit by me. He was telling me how amazed he was at how quickly the flight to Newark had been. When I told him that we were in Panama he would not believe it. Only when I pointed out that the emergency vehicles that had escorted our plane in had Spanish writing on them did he finally believe me. hahaha

Seriously, I thought we were in Newark

Seeing  the canal was an experience of a lifetime! I am so glad I saw it.  

We were not allowed to leave the airport so this is as close to the canal as we got.

We're actually not sure if the flight to Newark ever made it out because we found a flight to Houston and hopped on that! It was exciting to be in Panama, but we definitely couldn't afford to stay there considering our lack of even somewhat-clean clothes.

The colors of Panama were amazing. I had only seen greens like this at the pet shop. Iguana green.

We were all separated but with a little persuasion and a lot of luck we ended up sitting together. I think Clark slept the entire flight to Houston. As soon as we landed we called Lia and after promising to give her souvenirs she agreed to meet us. She even brought us food from McDonalds.

 Lia was pretty excited to see us, but she refused to give us hugs!! All three of us had gone a few days without clean clothes or showers!


We then flew in to Las Vegas and Sue Wilkey (Clark's mom) came to pick us up. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peru – Day 8 – Last day in Peru


The Lima Peru Temple!!!! It’s beautiful, and it just got new patron housing! We had a light breakfast here because we knew we had a delicious lunch to look forward to.


In McDonalds!!!!!!

Just kidding. We just stopped in here to use their wifi. Thank you Ronald!


Sorry. You hang around with a group of nuts and some of it rubs off on you.



This is the lunch we had been looking forward to. The chicken at this place was incredible and the restaurant overlooked the Pacific.


And then Vanessa bought us gelato. Delicioso. Thank you Vanessa.


This is my buddy from the mission, Elder Tello. He was an amazing missionary. I was able to learn so much from him during my whole mission. It was quite the blessing to be able to spend some time with him. Here we are with his fiance Angie. I was so impressed with her. They are going to make the perfect couple for each other because they are truly best friends.


I love the beach! Unfortunately it is winter in Lima, but there were still quite a few surfers in the water (not in this part of the beach, but another). I really really wanted to go because the waves looked perfect! They were long, and predictable.


After our ice cream we went a  museum on the Spanish Inquisition. Those guilty of transgressions would be executed, tortured, or both.



This was pretty awesome and creepy. Here we have the old Congress and courthouse. They would sentence people to death and torture. They showed, inside, all the different ways they would kill people and torture them by having real sized manikins in the positions. I felt like I was in the Tower of London again with the Beef-eaters!


We finally got to meet Lili’s younger sister Noelia!! She’s really fun and happy, just like Lili! Finally we know who gives Lili all those bruises when they play around together.

Ray, she’s just kidding. Come on……


Ray and I slept in Lili’s room. This is her bed. She has decorated the wall with birthday wishes from her friends. She seems to be a popular girl. I got a good nights sleep there but woke up to take an ice cold shower. They mentioned days before that the water heater was broken but assured us that it would be fixed by the time we got there.  Those girls are so “mischievous” haha. We learned later that it had been fixed but  they just wanted to hear Ray scream in the cold water so had turned the hot water off. haha. Note to readers: Not funny.

Showers were a challenge for us the entire trip. Often freezing cold and in Cusco both Ray and Clark report receiving a jolt of electricity when they touched the control knobs. And then there was the matter of the 3 of us sharing the same towel. The last one to shower (usually Ray) was left to air dry because the towel was soaking wet by then. Sometimes it was even wet the following day.


After rushing to the airport we found that the Newark flight was delayed until 4am. Because of this our flight to Houston filled up.  While waiting we ordered a Papa John’s pizza.


Clark and Vanessa took the time to continue their war of words. I didn’t usually understand a word they said, but they sure liked going at each other.



Clark is going to miss those arguments. At about midnight the girls had to say good-bye and head home. We had to continue hanging out and hope for a seat.


Eventually we got our seats. Bryce and Ray in First Class, Clark in coach. Clark was cool with that because as you can see he can sleep anywhere. It was a short trip as one of the engines on our 757 started shuddering, so after a couple of hours in the air we diverted to Panama to see if they could fix it.  After a couple of hours we found that we could catch a flight to Houston so that is what we did.

Peru was awesome!!! We’re going to miss all the fun times we had there! It was the perfect place to end with before coming home to Spencer’s wedding, and school starting.