Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Big Trip, Part 2: London

After our visit in Chicago, we flew to London, England. Being our first time this far east of the States, London was more fantastic than we could have imagined and we greatly enjoyed our time exploring the historic sites of this 2,000-year-old city. Just like the movies, red telephones and double-decker buses are everywhere, as well as miles of cute buildings, beautiful monuments, and over 7,000 yummy pubs. Here are a bunch of photos from our wonderful time there.

The World War I Memorial and Statue of Boadicea
We stayed at the quaint Oxford Hotel near Hyde Park. On the right is the street to our hotel; pretty much all the streets look like this, very cool.

Hanging out in Trafalgar Square, classic London.

At the windy top of St. Paul's Cathedral. We hiked about 500 stairs to get there, an amazing church only 400 years old.
Walking along the River Thames with Tower Bridge in the background, and Big Ben at high noon.

The very old Tower of London (a lot of executions took place here)
, and waiting for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (the Queen was there that day too, we saw her being driven in a car).

L walking across the famous Abbey Road (the Beatles fans out there understand), and A waiting for the Tube in the Underground. "Mind the gap."

A on Westminster Bridge with the London Eye behind him (the world's largest Ferris wheel, built for the millennium).
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, as seen from the Eye.
A strolling through Hyde Park. The parks in London are beautiful and ridiculously big!
It was truly a wonderful experience and we already miss London!

The Big Trip, Part 1: Chicago

The first leg of our big summer trip started with visiting L's sister and her hubby in their new hometown of Wheaton, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). Here's a family game of Life going on in their lovely and cozy basement apartment.

While in Illinois, we attended the lovely wedding of our Marine friends, Austin and Maureen, who are both stationed with A in San Diego. A is the Marine on the left in the Sword Detail as the newlyweds walk through the bridge.

The following day, we walked all over downtown Chicago with B and M as our knowledgeable tour guides. Although the day started out rainy, we had a blast checking out the enormous city. Here are some cute pictures from the day:

The Gee's reflection on the cool, silver "Bean" in Millennium Park. Finally, here's B in front of the Billy Graham building on the Wheaton College campus where he has most of his classes, and L by C.S. Lewis' actual wardrobe, hence the inspiration for his Chronicles of Narina (also on the campus).

Thanks B and M for making the first half of our summer trip very fun and memorable! Next stop...London!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Parades and Concerts

This summer has been full of performances for A, including Marine Band concerts-in-the-park in Woodland Hills, Buena Park, Escondido, Alpine, and other areas around San Diego such as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Coronado, and Balboa Park. In celebration of America's independence, the 4th of July started off with a big parade in Coronado.

The American birthday celebration continued with another Marine Band park concert in the evening, followed by fireworks show.
Another big summer concert was at our church which featured A in the Brass Quintet from Marine Band San Diego (below) and the College Avenue Baptist Church Orchestra (which also included A on bass trombone and L on harp).

Below is a quick video of Alex's feature with the Brass Quintet, though unfortunately, the footage is quite dark:

How about this as a possible Christmas card photo:
Additionally, L continued playing the harp at many wedding all over San Diego, as well as new opportunities such as playing at the fancy teas at the Westgate Hotel downtown.