GGW 2013 – Lake Tahoe Part 2

On the last day of our weekend in Tahoe we spent playing in the treetops! You guessed it – zip lines, suspension bridges and tightropes OH MY!  We were staying in South Lake and so we headed up to North Lake to go to the Tahoe Treetops Adventure Course!  It was absolutely the most beautiful drive.  (Tip to future Tahoe travelers – take a drive around the lake!)  This shot was snapped from the car:


When we arrived to the adventure course, we had to gear up! Kelly & Allie are sporting our GGW sweatshirts that were a gift to the group from Kim when she hosted in Portland last year!  We say “Nannual” GGW instead of Annual as a tribute to Milly.  We called her Nanny :) (The sweatshirts were designed by our talented cousin Shannon!)


And yes, it just so happened that the helmets matched our sweatshirts!  How perfect!  (Caroline you would have been so happy that “it all tied together!”)


Allie was a pro!


Kelly totally faced her fears and dominated the course!


Kevin and Kyle, you would have been so impressed by your mom!!  Aunty Candy you are too cute!  And there on the right is Aunty Joan and Patty (Sisters!).


Off I go on the zip line!  My pea size head barely fit the helmet.


The group shot!  This was such an awesome activity!  So much fun to do together.  Everyone was challenged to step outside their comfort zone.  I was super impressed by the “older” ladies – they were showing us up!  (Please don’t you all smack me for saying “older” – what else am I supposed to say??!!  I’ll be older one day too!!)


We stopped at Sunnysides for lunch afterwards… They are known for their zucchini sticks.  Here is the view…



Until next year!!  Can’t wait to see you all in Florida for the 12th Nannual Girls Getaway Weekend!!

South of France: Day 1


Bright and early last Monday morning (5am to be exact), all 70 students piled on to a coach bus and headed to the train station because we were going to the SOUTH OF FRANCE! Each semester in the study abroad program, there is an educational field trip where you go to a different country for a week and it counts towards class credit (oh, if only it could be an educational field trip every week!), and this semester we explored a couple different cities in the south of France. The first city was Marseille! Marseille is one of the largest (second to Paris) and oldest cities in France, so there was lots and lots to explore!

Our tour guides for the week picked us up at the train station and didn’t waste any time! Before checking in at the hotel or unpacking or getting situated, we headed straight to the Palais Longchamp, which was built to celebrate the construction of a canal that brought water from a nearby river to the city of Marseille. So, of course it had a huge fountain in front of it with lots and lots of water! It was quite beautiful.



Then, we headed to the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the Guard), which was built in the 19th century on the highest natural point in Marseille. So, you could see her golden statue on top of the steeple from just about anywhere in Marseille! The inside of the basilica was decorated so beautifully and colorfully with mosaics. I can’t even imagine how long it must have taken to put every itty-bitty tile in its place! But, it was worth all the time put into it cause it was one of the most stunning basilicas I have seen.







^^ The view of Marseille from the top!

After the tour of the basilica, we headed to an all you can eat buffet! And we definitely stuffed our tummies until we thought we were going to burst. We had several hours to kill there because the weather surprised us with a monsoon. Literally. Some brave souls went and danced in the rain, but most of us decided to stay dry. And, then, out of nowhere…the rain cleared out and it turned into the most gorgeous day. If I hadn’t been there to witness the monsoon, I never would have believed it happened because of how beautifully the day ended.

The clear skies meant it was time for our walking tour! We wandered through all the little streets of Marseille and heard bits and pieces of the history of the town. It was so cute and quaint; I just couldn’t handle it!








^^There’s the basilica up there!

Marseille16 Marseille17

And last but not least, we finished off the day with some gelato…in the shape of a flower! Oh and I got the Speculoos flavor (which is the same flavor as Biscoff cookies…you know, the cookies Delta gives you on their flights) and it definitely gave my favorite flavor (cinnamon) a run for its money! So so so delicious.


That’s it for day 1 of our trip to the South of France…more to come soon!

Spooooooky Brownies

I have stumbled across this recipe quite a few times on Pinterest lately…

I thought I should give it a try!  These brownies are spooooky good, and so easy that it’s spoooooky!!

There are just two ingredients.  One box of brownie mix and one 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin.


Preheat the oven to 325.

Pour the brownie mix and can of pumpkin into the bowl.  Stir ingredients!


Grease the pan.  Pour the ingredients into the pan.

Bake the brownies for 39 minutes.

Let cool!  Then enjoy!


You can do something fun for Halloween, like cut them into cute shapes and place edible googley eyes on them!


You could also serve them with a little dollop of cool whip!  Yummy!  Try them!

Note:  You can definitely taste the pumpkin.  I love pumpkin, so I didn’t mind.  They are very rich though so you only feel like eating a little piece!  I think the light and fluffy cool whip will help cut the richness.