Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hammond World-Wide Tour 2011 Part I

Exactly one month in Europe...

We've now been here one month and feel like we've done so much already. We started by flying in to London and spent 5 days with some family friends in their cottage in a little village called 'Henley on Thames'. Our hosts were SO generous; we are so grateful for all they did for us.
Rather than going over every single thing, we can save some of your and our time by just including some highlights!!

London, Henley, Oxford, U.K.

Across from the Parliament Building and Big Ben in London

Our lovely cottage in Henley. So quaint, but really modern on the inside. It was incredible!
Our last day in London we rented bikes (for 1 Pound all day) and had a blast going all over London!
Henley on Thames

This is the old Oxford castle.

Rome, Florence, Venice, Italy

Italy was AMAZING. So beautiful and absolutely incredible. We first went in to Rome where we spent two full days running around from the Coliseum, The Pantheon, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, Treve Fountains and more. It was lovely.

The Pantheon at night
Top of the Pantheon. We thought this one was fun...

Sistine Chapel ceiling. They say to not take pictures, 'but everyone was doing it'... so we did too..

Next we went to Florence and spent a couple days there. Florence is really cool- a little mix of Venice and Rome all put in one beautiful little place.

Lastly we went to Venice. Venice is an absolute MUST SEE... But only for a day or so. We're so happy to have gone there and experienced it, but feel like we definitely see it all in a short period.

Berlin, Germany

Germany was.... thought provoking. We were only there for a couple days, but after all that we learned, it was almost enough. So moving. We took a bike tour of WWII history sights. It wasn't quite what Craig had hoped for (he wanted more meat), but still very, very cool. We saw everything from the Wall (ya, ya, ya, NOT WWII), to the Topography of Terror (SS sight) and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It was a wonderful learning experience. To learn and see WHERE things happened was inspiring... in maybe a twisted way... Maybe after letting it settle for a bit, we can edit this to express our take-aways and experience.

Did you know that there were 44 attempts to kill Hitler? 44 TIMES?! Crazy! This led him to believe he was some sort of God-like figure. Terrible, terrible. This is where Von Stauffenburg was murdered. He led one of 44 murder attempts on Hitler's life. His story was made famous by the movie Valkyrie. In fact, in the movie it shows the square just like this.
Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe. It was very modern and critiqued quite a bit. It was really modern, but in a really weird way, was very thought provoking and moving.
This doesn't look like much, but in the 30's was the Jewish quarters and the square where the ONLY successful protest took place during Nazi rule.
Megan reading the atrocious horrors performed by the SS. This gave a very moving history of the SS and Nazi Germany.

We considered taking a picture straight down at the ground, and although this is just about as random, this shows better the surrounding area. This is the site of Hitler's bunker and right about under that red car, is where he took his own life, quickly leading to the unconditional surrender of the Nazi's leading to peace in Europe. Ultimate sacrifice by so many for it to all end by a coward 8 meters under the ground right here. So sad and so wasteful.

Lastly, of the wall. Although perhaps not as documented or publicized as Nazism, the USSR really was a horrible regime. Socialism is not the way, nor will it ever be and we can only pray our country derails from its move to a government that eliminates accountability and agency from its citizens.

We are absolutely loving Europe. We have been in Prague now for nearly 3 weeks now. Stay tuned for the images and experiences from here! We love and miss all of our beloved family and friends back home!

Mucho Amor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bring in the Spring

Once again, our photos are sporadic and random. We've had a great past month. Craig is nearing the end of his first trimester in school which means he will be 1/4 of the way done already! Wow, it sure is cruising by! Regardless of how crazy some classes are. We were so happy to have the Maxfields come down over conference weekend and spend an awesome weekend with us, and celebrate Mother's Birthday with us. It was so fun, and we're so grateful you were able to come down before our big trip. We have officially purchased our tickets to Europe and will be on the Hammond World-Wide Tour 2011 in three weeks from today!! Megan has been working hard, putting Craig through school and getting to spend a lot of time with the other MBAers wives. She is notorious on campus for being the best wife as she brings Craig dinner every Wednesday for his night class!! She's the best. Over the past weekend, Craig was able to go with the T-Bird Rugby club to Duke, in Durham N.C. to participate in the MBA Rugby World Cup. They beat Yale and Texas, while narrowly losing to Columbia, and getting beaten (lopsidedly) by Stanford... which was full of ringers. Craig also suffered his first battle scar after tackling someone in the Standford game, leaving a nice wide cut on his chin, necessitating stitches. He's all good though and was back on the field for the later games.

After conference, we made the trip to the Mesa Temple to check it out with the family. It was so beautiful and such a marvelous way to end such an uplifting and recharging conference weekend. Great job, Grandfather!
The family hike at the Thunderbird Conservation Park right next to our chapel! What a fun hike with the fam!
The Glendale Temple is being built just down the street from our Apartment. We actually hadn't made it to the grounds, until Nani and Popsi were here. We are so excited for a beautiful Temple to bless the lives of the Glendalians.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A little bit o' this, a little bit o' that.

Well, we still don't have a camera so we're still seriously lacking in the photo department. Luckily, we have our trusty camera phone to capture some of the memories along the way. We've done so much over the past month including, but not limited to, Utah for Keri and B's wedding, Cali with the Jacksonians, Plenty of Rugby, and, of course, SO much fun together down here in Glendale. It's been a wonderful average of 80 most days recently and we're loving it. Hopefully we'll get a camera soon so we can begin to record our lives with a little bit more frequency and excitement! We got to enjoy a little time in the city of Angels with Marissa, Jeff and the little ones. It was such a blast, but way too short. Thanks for SO MUCH generosity, Jackson clan!

After Thunderbird's rugby game, we decided to go and support our nationally ranked Utah Utes Rugby team as they were in town visiting ASU. It was INCREDIBLE and helped Craig realize his rugby is like pee-wee in comparison. Utes pulled out a nice victory with the help of our friend's game winning try. GO UTES!
Thunderbird hosts a 'regional night' every 6 weeks. The first we were able to go to was Asia, which everyone says is the best. We had free food, activities and entertainment for a wonderful date night. Above is Craig's friend, Tras(blue shorts), from Thailand, demonstrating a Thai sword fight.
Megan got to dress in the full Indian clothing, salwaar kameez. She looked so beautiful she just needed her ears pierced and a jewel on her forehead.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Az Adventures

Being new to this, we'll keep it brief.

We got married nearly 6 months ago, although our story began long before that. We pretty much just reconvened and continued our relationship from another sphere here on this Earth and its been great.

We currently live in Glendale, Arizona as Craig is currently studying at Thunderbird- school of International Business. Megan has decided to take a little time off to be the breadwinner, as well as be kind by not constantly having a better GPA than Craig...

Life here is wonderful!! It' Beautiful and Sunny; beautiful sunset; wonderful Saints and friends and of course, our Thunderlove.

Be sure to stay tuned for our sporadic updates.