Leanbean in Germany

Military wife trying to figure out this military life

Hawaii – Pearl Harbor June 25, 2011

Filed under: Family,Traveling — leanbean @ 11:53 am

I just realized I never posted pictures from our trip to Hawaii back in January.  So here they are!

We spent almost two weeks in Hawaii back in January because momma bear was finally getting married to Karl.  Most of our trip was spent on Oahu.  There we got to hang out with my family, which was awesome as I don’t think we had all been on vacation together since I was 15.  One of the days we spent Pearl Harbor with my brothers.  Tony and Andrew thought it was the coolest thing ever.   Also – No sighting of Ben Affleck or Josh Harnett.  boo…

Oil still comes out of the USS Arizona after all these years.



Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 10:58 am

After spending three days in Mykonos, we got on the ferry to Athens.  Not just any ferry but a five hour ferry.  Had we known it would be such a long boat ride we would have paid for the flight.  Again, the tour operator picked us up and dropped us off at our hotel.  As we are driving to our hotel the tour operator says, “As you all know about the protests here in Greece, there are a lot of people camping out in the square.  They are peaceful and will not harm you.”  I looked at Joe with wide eyes a little worried we could be in the thick of it. Curious enough a few days after we left this happened:


Riots!  Our hotel was one block from where all of that went down.  Thankfully we had already left…

We only had one day to spend in Athens and at this point we were fairly wiped out, so we weren’t all gun ho to do things.  We went to the Acropolis and that was about it.  Athens isn’t a place I would feel the need to visit again.

Oh and in case you were wondering if there were a lot of tourists in Greece…

The answer is “yes, yes there are”.

We have decided next time we go we are doing Santorini and Corfu.  Can’t wait!



Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 10:43 am

After three days in Santorini we boarded a ferry to Mykonos.  The ferry was decent and the ride only took about 3 hours.  Once there we were dropped off at our hotel – Hotel Dorion.  The hotel itself was nice, however, our room was awful.  The bathroom had pipe problems and there was constantly water on the floor.  We realized once we got to Mykonos that there wasn’t much to do except go to the beaches.  We spent most of our time on the beach, at our pool or driving around the island on an ATV.  Mykonos was not our favorite stop on the trip,  Santorini was, but if you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation Mykonos is a good place for that.

The ATV we rented was only 50 CCs and barely made it up hills.  At one point I had to get off and push the thing because it stopped.  Kind of a bummer but still fun to drive around the island.



Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 10:21 am

Greece was at the top of our list of places to see while we lived in Germany, however, it took us over two years to make it there.  I found a great trip online through VirginVacations and booked the Santorini, Mykonos, Athens package.  The best part about the package is that they met you at every stop and got you to your destination.  Once at your destination they left you alone until your departure.

Our first stop was Kamari, Santorini.  What was great about not staying in Fira or Oia was that there were less tourists and it was more relaxing.  We stayed at the Aegean Plaza and it was was fantastic with three pools, a bar and free internet.

Joe drinking some beer outside our room:

Unbeknownst to us was Santorini is know for its white wine.  Joe was a little skeptical but one of our favorite things we did on the trip was the private winery tour.  It was a bit pricey but we had a lot of fun and the guide only allows 8 people per tour.   We visited four wineries and sampled a lot of wine.  The group we were with were a lot of fun and one couple actually owned a vineyard in Sonoma.

At the conclusion of our winery tour we stopped in Fira, the main “city” on the island.  Fira had some wonderful shopping and food but it was packed.

The next day we decided to rent an ATV and drive around the entire island.  It was the most fun we had the entire trip.

The next day we were off to Mykonos.


Around Scotland May 15, 2011

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 9:52 am


May 10, 2011

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 7:45 pm

This past weekend we spent four days in Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh for the most part, and it was great.  The trip started off rocky due to me not having my SOFA stamp passport and the border patrol guy basically cussing us out for being American.  When we arrived in Edinburgh my bag wasn’t there so needless to say, our trip was off to a great start!  After being notified of my no show bag, we were off to the car rental place.  It was my first time driving on the right hand side of the car and the left hand side of the road. As I edged myself out of the parking lot at a snails pace I saw a car coming from the opposite direction.  I screamed, “Oh my gawd, it’s going to hit us!”  Then I remembered where I was driving and calmed down.  At first I was driving way below the speed limit because the limits are in miles per hour.  Joe and I argued about this for at least a day before I was proven right that the speeds were indeed in miles.  70 km seemed a little slow for the highway!

The first day in Scotland was uneventful.  We met Mom and Karl for some drinks and a lite bite and then they were off before you knew it.  We walked down to Buchanan Street so I could see where all of the shopping was for the next day.  Then we crashed in the hotel room and watched UK TV, which is always entertaining.  Did you know they have a show on MTV there called The Geordie Shore?  There’s even a little Snooki look a like.  Kind of amusing considering while we were watching the preview we kept saying, “These people look like they belong on the Jersey Shore”.

The next day we drove the 30 minutes to The Cameron House where Mom and Karl were staying on Loch Lomond.  Look the hotel up.  It’s gorgeous!

* The Cameron House

*Loch Lomond from The Cameron House

Saturday we headed out to Stirling Castle and then back to Glasgow to do some serious shopping.  If you haven’t been to the UK you should go for the shopping.  The shoe stores alone are amazing.

Sunday we spent breakfast with mom for Mother’s Day which was nice.  Then it was off to Edinburgh to see what it had to offer.  As I was just about to pull up to our hotel Joe yelled, “Holly Sh*t!”  I didn’t see what caused him to say this until we parked the car.  This was the sight from our hotel:

Right next to our hotel was Edinburgh Castle!  We trekked it on up there for the afternoon and spent the rest of the day walking around.

That is all for today.  Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to post some more pictures.


Istanbul – Topkapi Palace and Bosphorus Cruise February 27, 2011

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 10:13 am

Topkapi Palace is located behind the Hagia Sophia.  The Palace was the Ottoman Sultan’s residence until 1856.

Topkapi Palace was ok.  It wasn’t our favorite sight in Istanbul.  There were buildings that housed a lot of weapons but we didn’t really spend too much time in there nor did we take pictures.  The weather may have also contributed to us not being happy at the place since it was cold and rainy.

The other thing we did on the cold and rainy day was take a Bosphorus Cruise.  We honestly could have skipped this because the cruise consists of seeing a couple of palaces from the water and a bunch of run down houses.  The cruise would have been better in the Spring or Summer months.

Once we were done with the cruise and Topkapi Palace it was around 2 in the afternoon with nothing to do.  We sat our butts down at a cafe for a good 4 hours.  We drank, ate, played video games on Joe’s phone and read.  It was probably the best thing we did the entire trip.  If only I had pictures of the American college girls who sat behind us and entertained us with their conversation for an hour.