Phillip has had three different poems published this year! He has submitted some of his poems to different publications over the years, but has had a hard time finding a publisher that appreciated his poetry. Nonetheless, he was persistent and his poetic talents were recognized by three separate publications.
On Saturday August 12th, Phillip and Andrés were married in a beautiful hazelnut grove. They had planned everything down to the last detail and it was all beautiful. After the ceremony we enjoyed a delicious dinner followed by music and dancing. We appreciate all the friends and family that traveled to Oregon to support them!
After 21 years, we finally got to see our friend Marta Estrany Borrut again! On July 11th, Phillip and I flew to Barcelona where we were greeted at the airport by Marta and her cute family. Alan joined us a week later. We were able to sight see, play at the beach and spend great time getting to know their family. And of course, I got to have a Spanish language immersion experience! I took way too many pictures and of course am probably putting too many in my blog, but hey, it’s my blog right? Here are a few of the highlights from our trip:
The Borruts actually live in Vilafranca, about 40 minutes from Barcelona. Vilafranca is known for their vineyards and the Castellers (human towers: see videos one, two, three). We visited a castle, swam in the Mediterranean, enjoyed paella with some of their friends and attended church with them where Pere is the bishop.
Barcelona…The Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia was our favorite thing to see in Barcelona. Designed by Goudi and started in 1882 with a predicted finish in 2030, it is a spectacular cathedral inside and out. We really enjoyed the headphone tour. Thousands of people tour it everyday, so if you decide to go, save yourself a long wait by buying your tickets online ahead of time. The most amazing thing is that we actually found 2 parking places right on the curb of the cathedral next to the huge line of people. When does that ever happen?
Barcelona…The Olympic Stadium
Do you remember the cool bow and arrow lighting of the torch in the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics? The Olympic Stadium is a fun place to visit especially since while we were there, the 2013 International Swim Competition was taking place. It was fun to go home and watch it on TV after sight seeing there!
It was fun to spend a few days in Madrid. Phillip was our excellent tour guide. The first day we walked to the Plaza de España, toured the Palacio Real and walked to La Plaza Mayor. Not as humid as Barcelona, but still hot…I took my fan everywhere with me. Now I know why all the Spanish ladies have fans to flip open…I bought two!
Madrid…The Temple and Plaza de Toros
Saturday morning we took the metro to Spain’s Temple Square and attended a temple session. It’s a small but beautiful temple. It was fun to see the MTC where Phillip served as a missionary four years ago. On our way back into town we stopped and took a tour of Plaza de Toros in Ventas. They were getting ready for a bull fight the next day. It reminded me of “Ferdinand the Bull.”
Sunday evening we decided to take a walk through Retiro Park. It’s basically like Central Park in New York. There were lots of people…fun to see all the families. We enjoyed a picnic dinner and seeing all the statues and fountains. Europeans love their statues and fountains!
Madrid…Museo del Prado
For sure one of the highlights of our trip was touring the Prado museum on our last day. So much beautiful art. I’ve included a few of my favorites. Seems like the artists of the day either painted the birth of Christ or the death of Christ with a few portraits thrown in here and there.
We feel so blessed to have been able to take this trip. How wonderful to be with Marta, Pere, Sara and little Pere. We love them and miss them. What a great experience for all of us.
As a fun new project Phillip has written two poems set to video. The one about horses he did for school and enjoyed it so much he decided to make another one. He asked me for some of my sunset pics…I love it!
Memorial Day weekend always brings birthday celebrations. Loren and Phillip turned 28 on May 28th and Tess turned 25 on June 3rd. Phillip flew in from Oregon to spend the weekend with us. It was a great weekend…Elliot gave his missionary talk in sacrament meeting (all the family came over afterwards), we celebrated Memorial Day and three birthdays! It was definitely a weekend full of family. My mother passed away on Memorial Day 16 years ago. I so wish my parents could be here sharing all these great times with us…I’m sure they are more a part of our lives than we realize. I’m sure they are watching over us all!
Phillip is now a graduate student at Oregon State University, where he will be working towards a masters degree in creative writing and also teaching an undergraduate English class. He loaded up his car and he and I did the all-day drive (actually a really nice, but long 14.5 hour drive) on a Friday. Saturday we spent shopping for everything an unfurnished apartment calls for (like a bed :)). Then Sunday we went to his young adult ward, took a long walk on the beach together, and watched the CES Fireside with Elder Holland. Monday we saw a little more of Corvallis and the Oregon State campus, and then headed to Portland to spend a few more hours shopping at IKEA before he dropped me off at the airport to fly home. It was a great weekend…I loved seeing where he will be living his life. It seems very “Phillip.”
Take a quick peek at some of the design work Phillip (the company’s new design director) and his team have been working on everyday. Go to collegiatepride.net. I like to look at the BYU stuff!
As per our New Year’s Eve tradition, we enjoyed gathering around 3 fondue pots. Our three favorites are: cheese, meat and chocolate. Because we ate too much (as per tradition) and all went into what Madeleine calls a “food coma”, some of us had a hard time staying up till midnight! A few of us did see the New Year in and I personally am looking forward to 2012…I feel in my heart that it will be a good year for our family.