A place for family and friends to keep up with the Carlson's!

The Carlson Family

The Carlson Family

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to the U.S.

On August 10, 2009, we left Europe to return to the U.S. Here are pictures from the airport in Paris and on the flight back to the U.S. What an amazing journey it has been for all of us!!!!!
So now the question is should I continue on with the blog? What do you think? If you think I should, do I start a new blog or just change the name of this one? I've opened up the comment section again so you can let me know what you think!


Mark insisted that since we were so close (only 2 hours away) that we needed to go visit Gibraltar. Mark does a lot of work with Gibraltar for U.S. companies and he wanted to go see it. Gibraltar is actually a british colony and is known as "the rock". This tiny country was very important for England to maintain control of due to it's large sea port access.

We did some shopping while were here, and of course we had to take a cable car ride to the the top of the rock and see the monkeys. The monkeys are roaming around everywhere at the top and will take your belongings if they think it may contain food. So you are strictly warned to not carry plastic bags or food around. The girls loved seeing the monkeys so close, and Lauren still keeps asking us if we can go back to Gibraltar!
Before we left Gibraltar we headed to the beacon of Europe- the southern most point of Europe. Africa is only 15 miles away from here and the last picture is taken from this point. That is Africa in the background. If we would've had more time we could've taken a ferry ride across to Tangier and spent the day in Africa!


During our time in Spain we did go to the caves of Nerja. The caves were undiscovered until 1959 when a group of boys discovered them by chance. Scientists believe that these caves were inhabitated between 25,000 to 2000 B.C. and they are still researching them today.

We also drove about 2 hours to Granada and explored the Alhambra- which is one of Europe's greatest tourist attractions. The Alhambra is one of the most remarkable fortresses built in Europe. It is because there are so many tourists here everyday, the government limits how many people can actually tour the inside of the many palaces in the Alhambra. Unfortunately, we didn't arrive early enough to do this, however we did get inside the fortress walls to walk around the beautiful gardens and see the different palaces from the outside.

Our last trip- Spain!

Before heading back to the U.S. we took one final vacation to southern Spain for a week. It was exactly what we all needed for a little relaxation. We stayed about 45 mn outside of Malaga near the town of Nerja. We had sunny weather everyday and the temperature was between 85-90 degrees. We couldn't have asked for better weather! We went to the beach everyday and the girls absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A farewell gift from Luxembourg!

My final gift from Luxembourg- a PARKING TICKET 2 days before we left!! Luxembourg is known for issuing parking tickets- the joke is that is how the country makes all of it's money because everyone gets parking tickets all the time. Why? Well that's because the rules are different depending on where you are, and this can even change from block to block. Anyway it's amazing that neither Mark nor I received a single parking ticket during our entire 2 years here- something to be proud of actually! Well I guess we can't take that honor home with us. I'm just convinced it was my final farewell present from Luxembourg. Do you think I paid the ticket?

Final Days in Luxembourg

After all of our stuff was packed up and sent off, we stayed 4 nights in a hotel in Luxembourg. During this time we had time to relax and just enjoy our final days in Luxembourg. We were so fortunate to have come to this tiny, but very beautiful country. While there were struggles along the way, the lessons we learned and the friendships we made will last a lifetime. It's too hard to put in to words how much our time here has changed all of us. Luxembourg will always be a special place to us! We have been so fortunate. Here are just some random pictures taken during our last days here. Au revoir Luxembourg!

Packing up!

Finally- I have found some time to update the blog. I apologize that it has taken so long. An across the Atlantic ocean move and then a domestic move from MN to Ohio- Whew! We have finally made it. Then trying to find my camera cord amongst all of the boxes to upload my pictures- well that was the biggest challenge of all! But at last we are back in business, and I have a lot of catching up to do.

So back to July 28th of 2009- the movers arrived in Luxembourg to pack up all of our things for our move. It was two very long days for all of us! It was at this moment when looking around our apartment of everything boxed up that the reality of everything hit me. We were really moving back to the U.S. and our amazing european experience was coming to an end. I had a harder time with this than I thought I would.