Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Firenze (Florence), Italy....May 31st

I have a habit of having to run to catch trains.....and for my Florence trip, this was no exception. Waking up late, I grabbed my two bags and RAN for it!!!! I met the girls at the train station and prepared for the seven hour journey. I didn't have enough time to do my make-up before leaving, so I did so on the train....only to be watched by an Aussie couple...ha ha the wife was amazed! Once in Florence, Lacey, McKenzie and I split from Kristi and Jessica to find our hostel. We ended up having to carry all our bags with us for about 3 hours. However, we did find some pretty cool Italian markets on our way to the meeting point. After meeting the other two, we got.......GELATO!

Me with Lacey and Kristi....after chasing the pigeons!

After eating our ice cream, we walked around the town square and saw all of the statues. We were staring at this one asking each other "What the....?" when a man came up and said "Perseus is holding Medusa's head" and walked away. It was a little strange...but informative.

Another square in Florence.

After trying to get into the Uffizi, and being told that the wait was until Sunday, we headed for The Baptistry. It has the most beautiful tiles on the ceiling...all layed out to show biblical scenes. I managed to get really close with my video recorder!

The Baptistry...(on the right)
Inside. No flash allowed.

Buried here: Antipope John XXIII.

Trying to get close!

The ceiling. All tiles!!!!
The Bronze doors....called "The gates of Paradise" by Michelangelo. Believed to have started the Renaissance.

After checking out The Baptistry, we headed to a Restaurant for......ITALLIAN PIZZA!!!!
Definitely not overrated!
So fine! Haha.
After dinner, we headed to the Ponte Vecchio to experience my first Tuscany sunset!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morges/Murten, Switzerland (May 17)

Abbey planned a day trip to Morges, Switzerland to see Audrey Hepburn's grave. Being a fan...and so close, I joined the other six girls for the 3 hour journey! We got going early and caught the 8 o'clock train. Once in Morges....we actually got lost for about an hour and a half....but walked down random small roads trying to find Audrey's house...which became really fun. Tiny Swiss roads surrounded by beautiful scenery is hard to complain about!

Right after the train ride. Stop for McDonald's!

Trying to find Audrey's house....but instead we get a cow. How typical in Switzerland!!!

Finally made it! Abbey said that she heard her son lives here...in which case, we saw him....or his guests....either way it was pretty stalkerish of us!

Her grave was right around the corner from her home. Very beautiful area to be buried.

We worked up an appetite trying to find these places. Bec (Aussie) and Abbey (New Zealand) had these to share. They were switching flavors here. Silly girls....shapes are for kids! (waha...corny?)
Judges approve!

While trying to find our way back, we got lost....just in time for it to rain. Luckily, McKenzie and Megan had ponchos for Lacey and I!

Still trying to find the train station....

Finally there!
On our way to Murten.

We stopped in Murten on our way home. Its a little village about an hour from Morges. We had coffee there and hung out a little bit...while Bec walked across the zebra crossings doing a crab walk! It was possibly the highlight of my trip!

Despite all the getting lost, it was a really fun day with the girls!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Le Paris...Sacre Coeur...Notre Dame...playing at the park. (Also May 11th)

After seeing the Eiffel Tower, we attempted to find a restaurant that our French friend, Pierre, knew of. Unfortunately, he wasn't sure where to go....and we ended up getting a little lost. Instead, we decided to head to the Sacre Coeur, and then eat lunch after. Jen had always wanted to go play in a fountain in Paris, so after eating, that's exactly what we did!

Getting lost in Paris!

At the metro stop for Sacre Coeur.

In front of the church.

....and again.

We ended up losing Jess due to her lack of sleeves on her dress. At the entrance, they wouldn't let her come in. However, she got to peak her head through the curtains and see the inside. It took about a half hour to locate her....ended up she was waiting just to our right.

At the restaurant. Although my face contradicts it, I got a super good traditional french platter here....!

Ratatouille advertisement....in french.

Notre Dame.

Making our way to the park.

Gorgeous park.

Playing in the fountain.

Abbey and I.


After a long day of site seeing, we headed back to the hostel and rested. I slept for a good two hours....and the girls thought I was dead. They tried to wake me up for twenty minutes, but I wouldn't budge. Finally, I got out of my deep sleep and got ready to go eat dinner.

For out last night in Paris, we went back to Champs de Elysee to eat and attempted to go up the Arc de Triumph, but unfortunately it was closed.
Goood bye Paris!

My trip to Paris was unforgettable. Even writing this made me think of how much fun I had. It could not have been spent with better people! Thank you ladies for the memories!!!

Le Paris...ode to the Eiffle tower. (May 11th)

Throughout the trip, we had only seen the Eiffel tower from a far. From the plane to Champs De Elysee...you can see this thing everywhere. It wasn't till our last day that we actually got close enough to touch it. We started at about 11....and by then, the line had wrapped around and around and around the building. I really wanted to go up...but was unfortunately the only one...and decided to bag the idea once I saw the line. Instead we took loads of pictures and walked around the park.

Jess and I holding her up.

Carson had the idea of jumping. I thought it turned out cute.

Lite up!
Again, really cool to see something that you have heard about your whole life. I can't believe how massive the thing really is. Right before I left for Paris, I had a dream that I went to the Eiffel Tower, and it was only high enough to reach my knees. By no means was this the case. I was a little disappointed to not have gone up...but this is my justification for going there again someday!

Le Paris...night life!

We decided to go out on the Saturday night to experience a little Paris night life. It was so much fun to have so many people on the street with places to go. Also, to just be walking and have to stop and say "Oh, there's the Notre Dame" or "Wow! The Eiffle Tower!" was amazing.
Gettin' ready!

I bought this jacket while shopping earlier that day. I was excited to finally have one!
On the metro.

Notre Dame at night.