23 November 2009

Please Do Not Be Distressed.

More photos to come soon

This past weekend, after having a mid-study abroad crisis, I decided to sign up for a trip to Prague in the Czech Republic. With a total of 4 weeks before I leave, 3 free weekends, and a weekend devoted to studying, I wanted to make the best out of these last 4 weeks as possible. Not that I can move any faster. I bet when I arrive back to good ol' America and have a chance to actually relax, my body will shut off from exhaustion and I will sleep for 4 days straight... Anyways, back to Prague. We left at 8 o'clock at night. On a bus. We drove for 12 hours with a stop here or there and tried to fall asleep. Those buses are probably the most comfortable things ever. I love when my knees are constantly crushed against the seat infront of me. Booyah. We finally checked into our hotel and went on a short walk of the city. It was such a bitchin city! There's huge gothic style churches and castles. It kind of reminded me of Germany, except everyone spoke Czech. The currency there is very strange also. You pay in Czech Crowns, and 26 Czech Crowns equals 1 Euro. So if you want to order a coffee, you would have to pay 100 crowns. Or 400 Crowns for dinner. I thought everything would be really cheap but the only thing thats cheap is food and drinks. A beer is about 1 euro and food is about 3 euros depending on what you get. And apparently it's very rude to vocally order a drink... You have to grab a coaster and hold up your thumb indicating you want 1 beer... Then when you're finished, you have to put the coaster on top of your drink or else they will automatically bring you another beer. Czechs are funny. Anyways we just walked around the city and went to a Czech dinner that night which reminded me kind of Oktoberfest. The next day I went on a free walking tour which was cool because I learned more about the history of the city. And for dinner I had real Mexican food! It wasn't as good as America, but it was an okay version of American Mexican food. Thats about all. The end.

Venice and Balogna

The days are winding down and everyone is going to the places they never got the chance to go to. For us, it was Venice. A trip we've tried planning numerous weekends before. We looked at train tickets and they were about 40 euros each way.. mehhh. So being the brilliant young college students we are, we looked into tickets going from Florence to Bologna to Venice. The tickets would be a total of 20 euros. Nice! Also we would be able to see the infamous college town of Bologna. We left early Friday morning and got to Bologna and checked into our hotel for the night. We left and got pizza at this really good restaurant and then set out to explore the city. Not a whole lot to see but it was fun none the less. We explored and saw some of the towers and the cathedral and much of the town. We then set out to find the college to see if we could meet some people and have something to do that night. Fail. But we did find this really cool Irish bar that we ate at and stayed for the rest of the night. Happy hour is cool. The next morning we woke up early and took the train to Venice. Probably one of my favorite Italian towns. We walked around, saw the Rialto bridge, the cathedral of San Marco (which was hands down the most incredible cathedral I saw in Europe), the Jewish ghetto and a few other places. We rode around on the bus boat for awhile and saw the city. Super cool. Then we went back to Florence. FIN!

You Sound Like You're From London!

More photos to come soon.

Stoked about our Ireland trip, we flew to London. After arriving we took a bus to another airport where we were met by one of Katie's friends named Callum. He took us back to his flat where we proceeded to celebrate and watch the movie "The Boat that Rocked". Funniest movie ever. The next day we woke up and hung out, walking through the town of Steins and got lunch. We then went up to Windsor castle and toured it. We must be super cool cause the queen followed us there... Apparently whenever the flag is up that means the queen is at the castle. We walked through the cathedral and the main part of the castle but were soon kicked out because it was closing. We met up with Callum and took a train into London where we went to Tiger Tiger and met up with some friends. We booked into our hostel and woke up the next morning to explore. Callum played tour guide and took us around all of London and showed us big ben, the London eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower bridge, the Ritz, Harrods, and pretty much everything else there is to see in London. Given of course it was over the course of 2 days. Callum was best tour guid '09. The next day we saw more sites and Matt and I went and got lunch with some of his friends at the original Hard Rock Cafe and boyed around till it got dark and met up with everyone else and we went and saw a movie. Not a great movie, but it was fun anyways. Next day we woke up early and went back to the airport and flew back to Pisa, where we caught a train to take us back to Florence. Great break.

They're Always Stealin' Me Lucky Charms!

More photos to come soon.

Dublin is officially the coolest city I've been to. It's a nice change from Italy because the people are actually nice. I actually thought it was strange when the cashier asked me how I was when I got a water. Even the cab driver was friendly and took us on a shortcut to our hostel so we could save money... weird. When we finally checked in to our hostel we went to a pub and had our first pint of Guinness. It tastes like chocolate. The next day we decided to walk around some more and went to St. Patrick's cathedral and then walked through the Temple Bar area where we had Guinness stew and Bangers and mash at this pub called Quays. We then walked around for a bit more and went to dinner at this place that makes really good kebabs. Then we went around some pubs and listened to live music. The next day we went to the Guinness factory to take a tour... we walked around the building and learned about everything then at the very end we were able to pour our own "perfect" pint of Guinness. First you hold your glass at 45 degree angle with the spout 1 cm from the glass. You pull all the way forward on the lever until your glass is 3/4 full and then close the tap and put the glass aside to sit for 119.5 seconds where you push back the tap to cut off the nitrogen. It's like a science. I even got a certificate for pouring the "perfect pint of Guinness". I'm probably the only person to have this certificate. Ever. We were really nice to the guy who taught us and after finishing our pint we asked how much it would cost to pour another one. He told us to sit down and came over a couple minutes later with 12 free coupons for Guinness. I will end that story there. Later that night we went out with these guys we met in the hostel from France, Australia, Ireland, and South America. The next day we went on a bus to Wicklow and Glendalough where we saw this lake where I ended up slipping and falling in the mud, and the Ireland countryside, and the spot where P.S. I love you and Braveheart were filmed. We also got to see the ancient mid-evil monastery, as well as the "Guinness lake", and the 2 lakes next to that. It was like a lake party. Later that night we met up with the guy who gave us the free Guinnesses where we ate dinner at his place. The next day we explored, had Mexican food for the first time in Europe, and then left for the airport to go to London.

Just Rome-in' Around.

Photos to come soon.

Finally, after a horrible weekend of cramming my studies to take 5 mid-terms in 36 hours, I was finally free. We took a train to rome Thursday night and made it to Rome around 7. We checked into our hostel, which turned out to be some guys apartment he turned into a hostel and went out to paint the town red. We woke up the next morning and did what was called the "Caesar Shuffle" where we visit the Colosseum, the forum, capital hill, the pantheon, the spanish steps, and the trevi fountain. They were probably built by aliens cause they're outta this world! Just kidding... but seriously they were cool! We basically did Rome in a day. We finished out night by going to the Hard Rock Cafe where we had real American food and free water with ice. Crazy. Matt and I split a burger and an appetizer with chicken tenders, potato skins, and buffalo wings (mom you didn't read that). We also had ranch! It's funny the things you take advantage of. The next day we woke up and went to Vatican city and say the cathedral, however, there was about a 2 hour line so we decided to go into the Vatican museum instead where we got to see all this art and paintings done by famous artists including Leonardo Da'vinci. We saw the Sistine chapel which was smaller than I expected but no less incredible. We met up with my friends from Chapman, and we chatted for a bit and went back to our hostel and packed our belongings to head to the airport. We got to the airport and made our flight on time! Time for Ireland!

04 November 2009


Photos and blog to come soon.

03 November 2009

Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri

Photos to come soon.

So I have officially decided that it is the photoshopping pictures that has prevented me from updating my blog. So I will write about it, then add photos later. Cool! Sometime in october I went to Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. First in Pompeii we walked around the city and say what they excavated thus far. We got to see how they lived, worked, and everything else. It was surprisingly a huge city with streets and crosswalks and a colosseum and 2 amphitheaters. We saw some of the people who died, which was wierd cause you could see their bones in some of them. They probably weren't happy campers that day. Later we went to Sorrento where we checked into our hotel and went to a traditional Sorrento dinner with salmon, some desert, and a rice dish. It was really good. After that we went to this little store where we tried the different kinds of limoncello which is this think lemon alcohol or something. Then we went out and painted the town red. The next day we woke up and sailed on a boat to the island of Capri all while singing "I'm on a boat!". That's actually not true, but I did say that. We took another smaller boat to take a tour around the island and got to see the green lagoon, a famous rock formation and 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, the blue lagoon. Unfortunately due to weather we couldn't go inside. After, we took a tram to the top of the island and walked around and went to this viewing point off a cliff. We walked a little further in search of a beach, which according to our guide was a 20 minute walk. We found a beach but found out it was a nude beach, so we walked for another 40 minutes and finally found the beach where I swam in the Mediterranean sea for the first time. That was neat. We left the beach and made our way back, stopping to get a canoli and some gelato.