Sunday, December 03, 2006


The VW looks like its smiling. It must be frozen!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sushi Night Out

Yesterday, the climbing wall staff and friends went out with me and Romy for sushi! Mmmmmm. . . we went to The House of Sushi and Noodles. Its our favorite place for sushi because they have the buffet.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Puma is our new kitten. She is 7 months old, and we got her from the Chicago Animal Care Leaugue, an animal shelter on Western Ave. She has a microchip implanted in her! She likes to play and bite you. Here are some pics:




Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Party Hippies

This was our costume for Halloween 2006:

Halloween Hippies

Monday, October 16, 2006

Draper's Bluff Rock Climbing Trip

We went climbing over the weekend to southern Illinois, by Marion and Carbondale. It was lots of fun! We took the VW camper and went with two people from work (UIC's climbing wall). We loaded up the bus friday night, and started on our trip.

We arrive at Draper's Bluff. It is a short hike to the rock face.

Setting up at the rock face. We got all our rope, quick draws, helmets, harnesses, and shoes ready.

Romy and Dave bouldering. This is their "warm up."

Romy climbing up the 5.8 route. This was our first climb of the day.

Jenn climbing the 5.8 route.

Setting up the 5.9 route.

All these pics are up on our flickr account.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Front Seats Reupholstered

This weekend me and Romy worked on the front seats and the stereo system in the VW. First, I ripped off the old vinyl seats and threw away all the old foam and padding. It was so old and deteriorated that dirt was falling out! That explains why there was always dirt under the seats even if we didn't get the car dirty! It just fell out everytime we hit a bump! So the old seats are gone, and in with the new!


Its a little blurry!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Finished With Door Panels!

I am finally finished with the door panels for the VW camper. It was hard work. Not all of the holes in the MDF boards (the raw panels) were cut to fit the holes in the metal of the doors. So I had to drill new ones, and buy new pins to pop them in. First I popped the pins in, then I covered the panels with some cotton batting for padding, and then covered that in brown corduroy fabric (which really matches nicely). I did 4 panels in total: the two front doors, the sliding door, and the rear hatch. I wanted to do the right-side interior under the window, but it wasn't the right panel. . . oh well.


See the ugly light brown vinyl? It is all wrinkly and old.

The new ones look much neater, and the speakers are bigger.

As you can see, the seats need a little repair. I will do those next.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Working On Door Panels

Today and tomorrow, I will be working on making new door panels for the VW camper. We ordered new precut and predrilled panels from The Bus Depot, and now I am covering them in vinyl and putting them back on the bus. I gotta get some smaller staples for this and also some more fabric glue. I also have to get new pics to attach the MDF board to the metal of the bus. But once its done it'll look nice. The old panels are cracked and ugly.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wedding Pictures

We just got about half of our wedding pictures from Jarolyn, so I am going to post them very soon. They will all be on our flickr account by the end of the week.

Click Here!

Here are some:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Check Out Our Photos

I just posted some new photos from England. More will be on the way!

Our Photos

Sunday, September 10, 2006

V Dub work

Yesterday was the big day to get the camper running. Jenn, of course, was all into learning how to do everything before we started, but once we started replacing the starter, she decided that she was going to work on the sink.


And it wasn't like she worked on the sink by herself with no help...nope. About every 15 minutes she would ask me for help with something...then get mad that I was taking over her project once I helped more than she wanted. I guess I could say I was warned by my dad that women are freaking nuts. Is true!

Well, the starter is in now, and I patched a hole in the exhaust and fixed the fuel leak that it had. Jenn (with a lot of help) got the city water connection for the sink to work correctly. She re-plumbed it, which is good cos the old copper tube was nasty! She also got the material to make the curtains, and started on it yesterday...I think they'll be good...except they're teal! I'm not the biggest fan of teal, but Jenn has a good eye for color stuff (usually.)

And today it's raining. So all the work I put off on my car yesterday (welding on the quarter panel), I can't do today. Grrrrr....

But it's ok, there's plenty of crap for me to do in the clean, fix the fenders, patch the core support and inner fender, finish the fiberglass sub enclosure, teach Jenn to weld, etc. So it'll be a good day anyway!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

We're Back from the Rockies!

We finally got back from the long drive to and from the Rockies to pick up the VW camper. It was a long, but cool drive. It took us 3 days each way, and we stayed one night at Donna's (where the VW was). She let us go in her hot-tub outside, where she lived on the side of a mountain in the Rockies. We saw the stars so clearly, and the Milky Way! We saw lots of things along the way. . . the Badlands NP, and of course the Rocky Mountians and we drove past Glacier NP. We also drove past Theodore Roosevelt NP, which is in N. Dakota. We saw Painted Canyons SP. But most importantly, we got the camper, and drove it home all the way with no problems! We were really excited to sleep in it for the first night off the side of Hwy 2 in Montana. Cooking lunch inside it was fun too! Some pics:

These are the Badlands inside of Badlands National Park.

This is the VW on the bridge which leads to where Donna's place was. It is on the side of the mountain on the left.

Its first fill up of gas!

The VW driving on the deserted and dry prairies of N. Dakota.

The VW driving along Therodore NP and the Painted Canyons of N. Dakota.

The miles turned over to 20,000 miles somewhere in Minnesota!

Monday, August 28, 2006

We Got Married!

August 26th 2006.
More pics will soon be up on our flickr website. . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

WE WON!!!!!!!!!

EBAY link:

We just won Junk2Funk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is ours!!!!

VW Campmobile!?

Will it be ours? We are only 35 minutes away from finding out if we will win the auction for our Junk2Funk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the nervousness. . . . . excitement!!!!!!!!! It cannot be contained!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Today was the Army BBQ at North Riverside and it was fun. Cotto brought a roasted pig! Mmmm. . . And tonight we are going swing dancing at the Willowbrook Ballroom to practice for our wedding next Saturday since our first dance will be swing.
Speaking of BBQs, on Friday we have our rehersal BBQ the day before our wedding, and suddenly it looks like about 25 people will show up!! We gotta have a lot of food, so we're going for simple stuff like brats, burgers, potato salad, watermelon, and of course beer!
And to go with the flow, this pic was our BBQ in Sardinia this past May.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Well, today is Saturday, and Romy has a drill weekend. Tonight I wanted to do the high ropes course at the YMCA, but that is propbably not going to happen since Romy will do something else with army friends. Oh well.
I am exercising everyday for about an hour to an hour and half, so that is good, and I'm really watching what I eat, so its not that much. Today though, I just really don't feel like going to the gym since I woke up so late. Maybe I will go running outside instead.
PS: This pic to the right is a traditional wooden house in Siberia. We took the picture in Irkutsk. They have detailed woodwork around the windows, and they like to paint them bright colors. It probably looks so nice in the snow!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trying to exercise!

Now that we are back, and its less than two weeks til our wedding, I am trying to exercise a lot so that I can drop a few extra pounds!
Its tough! I am trying to go for an hour and a half each day to the gym, plus go rock climbing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back in the US of A!

Now we are back, and getting back to our old schedules and getting ready for school.

But, tomorrow we might be going camping for a long weekend to the Dunes.

This pic is us sleeping at the LaGuardia airport in NYC. We had no other accomodation due to very high prices, so we decided to get comfortable on the floor, in a quiet hallway leading to the parking garage. Nobody bothered us! But we did get a little cold!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Back from the USSR!!

Hi everybody! We are now out of Russia, with no problems! The train ride back was really really long, and kind of stuffy and hot! We were in platzkart (3rd class). We had a bed out in the hallway, like every person crammed in the train car. But it was really cheap and the people were nice around us so it was okay! We arrived in Moscow at 4:40 am, so it was hard waking up. Then it rained all day in Moscow, so we couldnt walk around the city. We ended up going straight to the Mocow airport, and found something to do for 12 hours before our flight left. When we finally got to London (because of the time changes) we realized we had been awake for 24 hours already, and we still had problems ahead. We got in sooo late that we just made the last train out of the airport to the city center, but once we got to the center there were no more connecting metros to Bayswater (where our hostel is). Oh no! So we had to walk around for about an hour to get there, in the middle of the night. But it was safe and okay, and we finally got to the hostel, and we were sooooo happy to find that it was a good hostel and not shitty like the other London hostel we had before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So now we just ate breakfast, and in 15 minutes we are going to Heathrow airport to fly back to the U. S. of A.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Old pics again

For some reason we cant upload the new pics we took in Russia, so we only have Finland ones. . .

This is Jenn and Romy while we were hiking on the Aland islands. It was cold!!!! In Siberia, it is very very hot right now. About 90 degrees F.

Building the GBT

We just came back from our adventure on lake Baikal. The lake was really really nice, and hopefully we will post some pics soon.
We starting hiking towards the lake on an older trail that followed a river. While we hiked, we stopped to fix up the trail, and we even reinforced a bridge. There were a lot of mosquitos and the land was swampy! We even saw a Siberian bear (same as a Grizzly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Good thing it was really scared, and ran away!!!!!!!!! We made camps every 15 km or so, and cooked over a big fire.
We finally got to the lake after 6 days, and it was soooo nice! The water was about the same temp as Lake Michigan, but the water was much cleaner, and less waves. There were mountains surrounding us all around the bay we were in. We camped on the beach for 5 days, next to a "party barge" which played music and had a "banya," which is a Russian sauna. They put water on the hot rocks, and then steam birch branches and beat you with it! IT WAS SOOOOOOO HOT! Then you jump out of the boat into Baikal, which is nice! We went twice. On our way back we took a boat ride to the island which has the Nerpas, the only fresh water seal in the world! They were funny looking, and kept trying to hit and scratch each other. After that we took a boat to the hot springs. Then we went back to a village to sleep in a backyard, and finally made it back to Ulan Ude yesterday.
We are going on the train now all the way to Moscow. It will take 4 days, and we are not sure if we will have internet until London, which we'll be in on the 6th of August.
NOBODY has to pick us up from Midway. We will just take the L-train.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Some Old Pics

Here are some old pictures from Finland. We cant get the new ones to load, so we thought to put some on anyways, even if they are older.
The first pic is Helsinki. The second pic was taken at midnight in Mariehamn, in the Aland Islands.

Lenin Head

We have been in Ulan Ude for two days now, and we lke it better than Irkutsk. There are a lot of native Buriat people here. We feel like we are really in Asia! Yesterday, we walked around the city and tried some KBAC (kvas in english). It is brewed from old bread. It is dark in color like dark apple cider, and it tastes like apples and raisins and is a little sweet. Today we went to the big Buddist temple (the native people here are Buddist). It was very colorful. We also got some prayer flags that they hang up on the trees. The monk put our names on it.
Also, in Ulan Ude, there is the largest sculpted head statue in the world, and it is of Lenin. He is in the middle of Soviet Square, which is two minutes from our hostel! His head is really really big! It is about as big as a bus, if you made a bus round into a head shape!
Tomarrow we are leaving with the GBT to Ust Barguzin, and then starting our hike through the mountains to Lake Baikal.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Overnight to Ulan Ude

We are leaving Irkutsk, and taking an overnight train to Ulan Ude, capitol of the Buriat republic in Siberia. It is a buddist place, and we are hoping to see the nice colorful temples. For now, we are waiting until we leave for the train station. Today we walked around Irkutsk, and went to a market, and lots of second hand stores. The city was not so interesting, but it had lots of old wooden siberian houses, which have very intricate wood work and are painted (some of them) with green, blue, yellow, and brown. They are all older than the 1800s because there was a fire in the city then, and after that, it was not allowed to built wooden buildings anymore.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rafting Trip

We met at 9 in the morning and drove along the kitoy river to the starting point. But it rained for the last 4 days strait, and all the roads were flooded and with mud (they wern't paved). We got the minibus/van stuck twice, and the third time, we thought we'd never get it out! It was out in like one hour because a jeep came by and towed it out. Then we decided we must start the rafting in a small stream nearby that connected to the river. It was all good, becuse the sun all of a cudden came out. We made a camp for lunch, which was all very good food and lots of food, and then we blew up the rafts and started. It was an adventure because the guide never went on it before!

The guide was Sasha, and he was like the nature man. he was really knowledgeable, and then we had a girl to translate into english.

The stream was shallow, and full of trees and bushes everywhere, we crashed a lot. But it was fun! Then we got to a part of it where the kitoy connected and we made our night camp. Sasha built a whole cooking place with a big fire, and a tripod for the big pots, and even a shelter for the rain that came every once in a while between sun. We had herbal tea and black tea, and sasha cooked a good dish with potatoes, chicken, dill, vegies and lentils. It was like a russian/siberian food. We had cookies for desert and bread. It was sooo good!

Next morning, we continued into the kitoy river. we rafted for about an hour and landed on the place where the caves were. We made camp and had lunch, which was the same again, and then we practiced with the climbing ropes. We had fun, we swung from tree to tree! For dinner he cooked us an uzbekistanian dish with rice, pork, and some carrots, it was even better than the night before! And the cookies were better too.

The next day, we took out our climbing stuff and walked up the ridge to the cave. he set up the ropes and then we walked down steep rocks (scary!) to the cave. We saw a little of the cave, but it was blocked off with debris. The ice stalagmite was still there, but almost all gone! Then we climbed up the steep rocks again, and went to the ropes to swing from the top of the cave to trees on the other side. We were suspended on the rope about 100 feet high, swingin to the tree. Not really swinging, but sliding like a cable car does, except faster. After we were tired of going up and down, we put the stuff away, and then headed back for lunch and then dinner again. It was good too.

The last day we slowwly rafted to a town, and cleaned up and went on shore to have lunch and wait for the minivan.

Now we're back. Tomorrow we will be walking around the town and see what its like and doing other stuff like buying train tickets to ulan ude.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Deep in Siberia

Now we know what it feels like to be exiled in Siberia, and now we can say we have been to Asia! Many peoples faces here are getting flatter and squinty eyed! It is a very gradual change, like you can see in the people how east we are going.
Our train across siberia was nice. We spent lots of time looking out the window, sipping tea. The train stopped for 20-35 min every 4 hours or so, and we went outside on the platform to buy homemade food that old babas were selling. Mmmm it was good, but we werent brave enough to try the dried whole fish!
On our last night on the train (4 nights in all) we had a party which was fun, and we met some of the people around us. They were from Checnia, but they were funny and nice. They even gave us a "souvenir memory" of some kind of traditional bead thing with some brown frill. We dont know what it was!!! It looks like a rosary but there is no cross or anything, and its too small to put around your head.
We saw out the window lots of forests and swamps, and the houses (or shacks that were really decorated) had colorful window shutters. We followed the guide book's km-by-km info about what we were passing, and it told us a little about each town and stuff.
When we got off the train in Irkutsk, we were met at the station by Natasha, and she took us to our hostel. Then she told us that just 4 days before,there was a fatal plane crash at the airport!!!!!!!!! Nicole was right, DONT FLY SIBERIAN PLANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomarrow we are leaving on our rafting trip. We will be rafting for 4 days. Unfortunately this computer doesnt recognise the camera USB connection so we cant put any pictures us yet!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


We're leaving tonight on train #044 to Lake Baikal. We'll be there in three days!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

We Arrived In Moscow

Last night, we arrived in Moscow by the Arora train. It was very luxurious and they even gave us a package of food!! We got into the most beautiful metro station in Moscow, and there were gold frames, mosaics, and painting all over, and marble everything. The trains come every minute. When we got to our hostel, we realized it was an old commie hotel. It is very nice! We have a TV and everything. Today we went walking around the Red Square. It is sooooo nice! We will post pics later. Early tomarrow moring, we will go see Lenin. He is all waxed up and on display. There was a line today about a km long!!!! The kremlin is HUGE and there are many churches. You can also walk around drinking beer, so we did, like it was soda.
We really like Moscow!!!!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Today we went to Peterhof, the palace built on the gulf of Finland, about a 45 minute train ride out of St. Petersburg. It was supposed to be like Paris Versailles. It was a lot smaller, but the palace inside was similar. We cant put up any pics from this internet place, so maybe when we get to Moscow.
We walked around the gardens and there were lots of fountains. They were all fed by natural springs, and the fountains didnt run on pumps, but the springs fed into high reservoirs which provided pressure from gravity. There was even a secret "fountain" that squirted unsuspecting passer-bys! It was hot again today, and perfect weather for the gardens.
Tomarow we are going on a walking tour, for about 5 hours before we get on the express train to Moscow. We really enjoyed our short stay here. We wish we could have stayed longer. Our hostel is really nice, and we are meeting lots of interesting people here!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hi from St. Petersburg, Russia

Yesterday we arrived in Russia by train. Everything went smoothly with the visas and everything, so everything was okay. Today we will be walking around the city and tomarrow we want to go to Peterhof palace. It is warm and sunny here. Last night we went on the "white nights" boat tour around the rivers, just as all the bridges were opening at 1:30am. All the buildings and bridges were lit up, and there were so many drunk people out and soooo many boats. We also went through the canals. We can't wait to see all the domed cathedrals and sit down for some Russian beer and vodka!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

One more movie.

Here is another movie of the second hut.

More. . .

Marcel: The Sony camera is messing up. Now the zoom lens sometimes doesnt want to pop back in. It still cant read the 512 card even after I pressed the reset button, but the smaller card works. But when I press the auto picture mode, it turns off the camera. There must be something wrong so get ready to return it.

More pics from Finland

Click here to see a movie of the midnight sun!!

Finally We are out of the woods!

We are back from our hiking trip through the arctic tundra. We saw many wild reindeers and even a SNOW STORM!!! It was a crazy adventure. We stayed in wilderness huts, and even a Lapish lean-to shelter. We saw many mountains and crossed many ice-cold streams with flip flops on. All in all it was unforgettable. HERE ARE SOME PICTURES:

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tromso is Rainy

Now we are in Tromso. From Helsinki, we got on the Santa Claus Express Train 61 to Rovaniemi, and then we transfer to a bus which took us all the way north to Tromso, Norway. The bus took about 9 hours. On the way we saw the Finnish countryside and forests, lakes, and swamps. Then when we crossed the border into Norway, it began to get mountainous. We saw the first snow covered mountains almost right away! As we got deeper and deeper into the mountains, the more snow, and there were lots of waterfalls running down the cliffs as the snow was melting. Then we found ourselves driving through the fjords. It was really cool how the mountains all of a sudden dropped down straight into the thin narrow fingers of the ocean. It was like the water was trying to swallow the mountains.
It is very rainy here. Once we got in the city, we had toput all our rain gear on and cover our backpacks with the rain covers. We walked about 3 km to the campground,were we set up a small shelter for our bags, and then built our tent next to a river, coming from the mountains.
Now we are walking around the city and later we will go back to the campground to relax.

Tomarrow we got back to Finland by bus. We will begin our 2 week hike in Kilpisjarvi and try to make it to Mt. Halti, the highest peak in Finland (but it is only about 4000 ft). On the top, you can sign your name in a book.
So, this will be the last entry for about two weeks!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hi from Helsinki

We are now in Helsinki. Wehopped on the ferry last night at midnight and since we didnt have a sleeping cabin on the boat, wemade ourselves comfy in the seating area. The were lots of people, and it was very busy all through the night. We got into Helsinki this morning at 10. Now we are walking around town until our train leaves to Rovaniemi, the "gateway to the arctic." Helsinki is nice and there are lots of boats. It is hot! Probably in the 70s.
We will update again soon, maybe with pictures.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stockholm pics

The first pic with the hotair balloon is the old fort. It is one of three that originally existed until they were burned down.

These pics are all in the old town.

This pic shows one of the many marinas, since Stockholm is all islands.