I've been putting up a photo or two most days on Instagram. So much happens every day and I feel time slipping away and my kids growing up and I want so much to capture and cherish the good moments and the beauty. Instagram is just so much easier and more immediate than this good old blog when it comes to capturing moments and sights I don't want to forget.
Here's a quick collage of some of what I've posted on Instagram lately - click here for more.
But I'm determined to capture ideas, thoughts and feelings and Instagram isn't so good for that. So I'll keep writing here (and saving my more personal ramblings as "drafts" in the back end of this blog - there's sure a lot of stuff I need to write out but don't publish!).
My sister Shawni and her family are in China for a few months, having crazy-exciting adventures with school and food and culture there. Last weekend (in between volunteering for the National Cycling Championships downtown and painting our sad-looking porches), we sat down together and looked at the photos and information on her blog so we could live vicariously a bit and catch up with some of our favorite people. So interesting. We ended up talking a lot about Chinese culture and customs and looking some more stuff up. I love all that we get to learn through others' experiences.
But, being an Eyre (we have a legacy of wonderlust and a thirst for crazy-exciting new experiences), checking out Shawni's experiences made me yearn to get extra serious about a big trip for this summer. Summer before last, we did our big cross-country road trip, taking in Chicago, Boston, NYC, DC and lots of church history sites while visiting relatives and friends and putting on FIVE Power of Moms Retreat. It was wonderful. It was exhausting. This past summer, it felt great to stick with a few day trips and enjoy our fun neighborhood between family reunions and time at Bear Lake. But this next summer we're thinking that maybe it's time to head to England and France. We're saving up and trying to figure out if we can make it work. So much of of my growing up experiences were in England and Jared and I both have lots of English ancestry. I yearn for England sometimes. I can hardly believe my kids haven't experienced England - haven't been on a double decker bus or climbed on the lions at Trafalgar Square, haven't experienced the pastoral beauty of the Lake District or the ancient grandeur of my favorite castles and cathedrals.
And while we're in England, we really might as well do France. I've loved my travels there in the past and I think the kids would so enjoy it. Then, of course, we need to get to Italy where Jared served his mission and Bulgaria where I served mine and where we need to visit the orphanages we've been helping to support with our Children for Children concerts every Christmas. And we want to go to Switzerland where both Jared and I have lots of ancestry (Loosli is a swiss name) and where our dear sister-in-law is from. And actually all of Europe would be fabulous to visit. But we're thinking England and France will have to do it for now.
But wow, Europe is expensive! We've been setting aside money for years by foregoing eating out and doing stuff that costs money for entertainment (luckily hiking and biking are free and there are tons of free festivals and events near us all the time). We'll step up our earning and saving and I think we can make this happen! Anyone got any great tips on how to save money when traveling to Europe? We need to get the best airfare we can, figure out transportation once we're there, find inexpensive places to stay, etc.