As most of you know, Phil and I, and Phil's parents went to Italy this month. It was such a great trip! We started the trip a little shaky, as there was a snow storm in DC the night we left. But after sitting on the plane for 2 hours, we finally took off and made it to Italy. We started our trip in Milan (the mission Phil served in). Here is a picture of us on the roof of the Duomo. We could see the whole city from there. Next, we headed to Lake Como. We went to church here in a ward where Phil served and he was so excited that everyone remembered him. This is a picture of us at Bellagio, a city about 30 minutes away, and where the two branches of Lake Como meet. It was beautiful (although a little foggy). We didn't find George Clooney's villa...too bad. After Lake Como, we headed to Verona, another city where Phil served. This was my favorite city, becuase it looked just like I thought an Italian city would look like. It was very quaint. As you should know, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet took place in Verona. This is us at Juliet's house under the famous balcony.

After Verona, we headed to Venice, the city on the water. It is much harder to get around Venice on foot, becuase the whole city is made of alleys and bridges, and there are a lot of dead ends. But we got to do so much here. We went to the Doge's Palace and saw the largest room in Europe. We also hung out in Piazza San Marco for an afternoon and got to see a glass blowing factory (Venice is famous for it's glass blowing). And of course we went on a gondola ride! Our cute gondolier was named Mario.

After Venice we ran to Florence, which is the city where the Renaissance started. Here we went to the Uffizi Meseum, where we saw several famous pieces of art by Botticelli. We also saw the David, which is AMAZING! This is Phil posing as the David in Piazza Vecchio. I was upset in Florence however, because the Gates of Paradise (the bronze doors at the baptistary of the Duomo) where being restored.

The final city on our tour was Rome. We had a little trouble getting there, because the there just happened to be a train strike on the day we needed to take the train. Luckily, we were able to get a taxi. My favorite venue in Rome was the Colloseum. It was so big and mind blowing. Phil and I decided we need to watch Gladiator again, now that we have been there. In Rome, we also saw the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain (where we of course threw our coins in) and the Vatican. Although it took us 2 hours in line to get in to the Vatican, we finally got to see the Sistine Chapel.
What a great trip, and thanks to mom and dad Broadbent for taking us. Also, happy birthday to our new niece Charlotte who was born when we were on our flight back!
I couldn't post all the pictures, or tell you all everything we did, or you would get bored, but if you want to see more pictures, you can view them at


We took a trip to Chinatown to see what that was all about. We ate at a place rated in the top 100 best chinese places in the country. There was even a duck hanging in the window. We also watched the cooks make the noodles.

We wrapped up all the preparations for our trip to italy. We're planning on going to milan, verona, venice, florence, and rome and probably pompeii. After we get back, there should be a slideshow put into production.

Jen's birthday is coming up - Apr 3. She already opened her present from me - a pink digital camera.

Inspired by the recent additions from Tina and H on their blog, and since people tell me I'm too centered around myself, I decided to come up with some Interesting facts about Jen Broadbent:

1. She danced her way around Europe with the Ricks Folk Dance team.

2. She underwent major brain surgery as a 5th grader to remove a tumor.

3. As a senior in college she preferred her faded goldish '92 Camry over her little brother's Maxima.

4. She spent most of her adult life believing that her natural hair color was 'mousy', until her husband convinced her otherwise.

5. Though she admits it is quite dorky, she clogs, but at least she's the best at it and has clogged to songs ranging from Michael Jackson to the Nike commercial where they're dribbling and passing the basketball around.

6. She enjoyed taking naps laying on her mom's stomach as a child.

7. Her favorite color is yellow. (Though she rarely wears it.)

8. She is able to drive a manual transmission car and refuses to do so.

9. She put her husband through the rest of his college after they were married by selling wedding bands to unsuspecting suckers on the internet.

10. She has lived her entire married life next door to a hospital.

11. She often pretends to be asleep on the couch so her husband will carry her back to bed.

12. She took her life into her own hands every day in high school when she drove a subaru that often mistook "Go" for "Stop".

13. She scared her father one night by bringing home a boy she'd been dating for a couple of months, and making him think the boy was going to ask to marry her, when her dad's house was just closer than the drive all the way back to Provo.

14. She speaks 2 languages (English and German).

15. She grew up in Blackfoot, ID.

16. She outski her husband down the mountain, 3 times to his one (on the snowboard).

17. Of the 36 hour drive to her new home in Fairfax from Provo, she drove 2 in Kansas.

18. She is a public notary of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

19. She played catcher for a softball team that won the Provo City League Championship game.

20. She can count on one hand the number of times she paid to do laundry during while she attended BYU.

21. Her favorite ice cream is Peppermint, but only eats it during the Christmas holiday season, and not even a whole carton when she does.

22. She thinks it is harder to clean the kitchen/bathroom floor with a mop then on her knees with a rag.

23. She prefers to clean the bathroom than take out the trash, and made a deal with her husband to that effect.

24. Her brother-in-law used to hold her down and lick her face to wake her up if she was sleeping in.

25. She danced at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake.

26. She amazes everyone with the pies, cookies, and cakes that she bakes, but rarely eats them.

27. Always claims she watches too much television, but holds fast to American Idol, Lost, Smallville, Grey's Anatomy, and of course, 24.

28. She has four nephews and a niece, 3 named after influential leaders, and one named for a surfer.

29. She refuses to sleep without a blanket, regardless of the fact that it could be 85 degrees in the house.

30. Her favorite christmas movie is "White Christmas" and tries to make it a tradition every year to watch it.

31. She claims to have met her husband in the hospital, when she really met him through a friend, but the hospital makes a better story.

32. She worked for her mother the entire time she was in college, and sometimes her mother worked for her.

33. She reads her father-in-law's weekly emails much closer than her husband does.

34. After eating a lot of sugar or sweets, she craves anything with salt on it.

35. She loves to put together puzzles.