The Thursday after we got home from Croatia Blake had to go to North Carolina for some business stuff. He left really early in the morning, then I got the 3 Hatch girls that evening, for the weekend. Then Friday night i got the 4 Hartvigsen kids. So, for a few hours on Friday night I had 12 kiddos. That was even during dinner time. I was amazed at how smoothly it went. The kids all had so much fun playing together and the girls were all tons of help with dinner! We really had a lot of fun together. Then Lauren came and got the older boys and Alissa and dropped off Avery. So there were 10 kids here for the night. All the girlies were so cute in their matching jammies. In the morning the girls made us German Pancakes for breakfast. By the time the Hartvigsen's came to get their kids that afternoon I was in shock with how smooth everything went and how much fun we had together. The kids were all great!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I have been wanting to go somewhere big for our 10 year anniversary. I thought another service trip to Peru would be perfect, but the timing just wasn't right. With getting ready to move and transition out of the Air Force, and taking time off etc, etc... We just didn't have the time, money or energy to make it happen. And we are so close to Europe, we might as well enjoy one last trip!
The first year we were here we saw some of Blake's co-workers pictures of a place they went called Plitvice National Park. I have wanted to go ever since. It looked beautiful. We tried to find a flight that would leave on a Friday and return on a Sunday and the only ones flew into Trieste, Italy. So we did it! The Hatch's watched the older kiddos and Kelsi stayed with the Koffords. We left bright and early on Friday morning at 5:00 am and flew to Trieste. We picked up our rental car and were off!
The car looked really nice, but it had no power. It was funny trying to speed up. Blake had to be careful to not pull out in front of anyone. We stopped to grab some food at a little grocery store in Italy, then into Slovenia and onto Croatia. We borrowed the Ingersoll's GPS because ours doesn't have Eastern Europe and when ours asks about toll roads it says do you want to take the toll road, so we click yes. I guess theirs says do you want to avoid toll roads, but we didn't' read it closely and just clicked yes. So our drive turned out to be a crazy back road, in the middle of nowhere kind of drive. It was beautiful and we saw things I'm sure we wouldn't have seen on a toll road.
I loved the bright houses. Not all of them were bright, but I liked taking pictures of the bright ones.
Our little kitchen in our hotel. It was really a room in someone's house, completely separate from the rest of the house.
The next morning we parked at the Plitvice parking and paid to get into the park and walked to the boat dock. We took the boat across the lake and started hiking. We hiked along waterfalls and from lake to lake all morning. It was so fun to just enjoy being together, in such a beautiful place. We barely saw any people and the weather was perfect. The actual park is amazing. It is a series of Lakes all connected by waterfalls. The way they made the paths really allows you to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the waterfalls. They are wooden paths, that go right over the water, without guardrails, so you can see everything.
When we were walking at one point we saw this plastic lizard in our path. At least I thought it was plastic. It was real though and not a lizard. I think it was a salamander. We found quite a few of them in the path. They looked so fake.
When we got to our car we started heading to our next place to stay, a bed and breakfast in Slovenia. We wanted to find a Pharmacy on the way to get some pain killers for Blake. The cut was deep and needed stitches, but we weren't very sure about the medical facilities in Croatia, so we wanted to wait. We stopped at the market and Blake tried to find some pain killers, they didn't have any at the store, but one of the workers took pity on him and she had some tylenol in her purse she gave him. Then we headed on the road again.
When we were driving into one town there was a guy standing on the side of the road waving a flag. At first we thought he was a construction worker or something. Then we realized he was a police officer. We pulled over and he told us we had been speeding and needed to see our passports. He said the fine is usually 1000 kuna, but since we are tourists is is 500 Kuna. We said we would have to go to the ATM, we didn't have that much. They were going to keep Blake's passport while we went to the ATM, but we weren't comfortable with that. So we offered Euros. We ended up paying about $50 in a mixture of Kuna and Euros. It was strange for us to barter with police officers for the amount of the ticket.
When we got to the town near our bed and breakfast we stopped at an Aldi to check for pain killers and grab a couple treats. They didn't have pain killers, but said the pharmacy would open that night from 8-9pm. The pharmacies are only open from like 9-12 in the morning on weekends, but this one has a one hour window on Saturday night. So we checked into our place, talked with Marta, the owner for a while, then headed into town for dinner and to go to the pharmacy.
The pharmacy was open so Blake talked to the pharmacist and wanted to get some Ibuprofin and an antibiotic. She wanted proof that he was a doctor before she would give him an antibiotic, so he gave her his American Dental Association card. I guess because it said Dr. Jones, it was good enough proof. Then she told us the Urgent Care right next door was still open. So, we headed there. We walked in and Blake talked to the lady at the front desk. He siad, "Can I just talk to the doctor." The doctor walked into the room and Blake said," I cut my leg pretty bad, to the bone and was just wondering....." They took him straight back to the exam room to examine his leg. I guess just wanting to "talk" to a doctor about a cut to the bone just doesn't work. They took off his bandage and examined his leg. They flushed it to get it cleaned out really good and moved it all over to look inside. Then said he needed to go to a surgeon to get it stitched up. Then they bandaged it up and gave him a shot of pain killer in his bum. Then we went back to the pharmacy and picked up some more Ibuprofin. We decided not to head to the surgeon that night and just wait until the next day when we got home to go to the doctor. So we headed to find food. By this time it was after 8 and we were starving! We found this little restaurant and ordered some food. It was really good. I got turkey with some cream sauce and cheese on top, it was amazing! My mouth still waters thinking about it.
After dinner we headed back to our room and fell asleep listening to General Conference.
In the morning when we got up, Marta had prepared a special breakfast for us to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! She made Tiramisu and had fresh bread and homemade jam and fresh flowers for us. It was beautiful and delicious!
After breakfast we headed to some really cool looking caves. You could only go in the caves with a tour though, and we didn't have time. So we just hiked on the other trails and enjoyed the scenery. There were huge cliffs and caves and birds. A perfect Sunday morning hike. Then we headed to the car and back towards the airport. Luckily we got there early because it took us forever to find a gas station and figure out how to get gas. The gas stations would say open 24 hours, but the pump didn't have a way to pay and there wasn't anyone in the shop. Then we realized that they have little machines you pay at and tell what pump you are using. We couldn't get those to work either, then my debit card got stuck in one of them. Finally some people helped us out and showed us where an atm was, so we got cash, gas and headed to the airport.
Posted by Blake Jones at 2:56 AM