Wednesday, July 30, 2008

yeah. holy. crap.

I'm freaking out a bit here. We just arrived in Rome about 2 hours ago only to find oppressive heat and burnt, fish paste covered pizza. ok, yeah, we've only seen the street our hotel is on but still...I know I am being overly observant but given that i will be living in this city for the next few months, wouldn't you? However, I will not be so stupid as to judge too early. however expect more observations in a few days.

i'm actually pretty sad to be out of Madrid, I really enjoyed our slow pace and the beautiful sights Spain had to offer. I also enjoyed being able to slightly converse with people with my classroom spanish. Rome will not be that easy. I am extremely excited to see the old ruins however, already we have seen ancient walls randomly throughout the city, as if they still serve a purpose. it's fantastic.

let me know how you all are doing! being apart and out of touch is getting to me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

End of Madrid, Beginning of Holy Crap

hola mis amigos!!
We have about 2 more hours of awake time in madrid before we hurry off to Rome on a 6:25 am flight to Rome. Today has been excellent, we started off late, around 1 and took themetro to the gay area of Rome where we found the first ever "gay" restaurant in Madrid which blasted 90s R&B. it was delicious(if you closed your eyes). then we went to the Madrid park, for the life of me I can´t remember the name, where we rented row boats and paddled around trying to find shade on the hot lake. after, we took naps in the shade and chugged huge bottles of water. very very relaxing.

since then I have been relaxing at the hostel, eating pringles, and reading my new book titled ¨the monster of florence¨ which outlines a 40 year investigation of 14 murders. it´s interesting in that it delves deep into the old italian culture and history and it´s getting me really excited about living in rome. I really can´t wait to see my future home tomorrow, but I´m also really nervous. I really hope I like it...

"Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting." --Robert Thomas Allen

Monday, July 28, 2008

I think for the first time in 3 days I can finally take a moment for myself. we started on our journey to Madrrid 2 days ago, and due to train reservations, a faulty engine and general nonsense we ended up taking 20 hours getting here(the latter 4 were in 1st class, it was our only choice). it was a terrifying amount of traveling, but I´ve got to say, Madrid was worth it.

Last night we did(my very first) pub crawl through 4 clubs where we all proceeded to get wasted, dance, and meet other international students. Definetely a great night for everyone. (I even managed to find our way home with more than a few "flags of Spain" in me. yep yep, be impressed)

So far my time in Europe has been surreal. from the moment we stepped into our shabby hotel in france, to right now as we all recover from last night in our smallest clothing(it´s freaking hot). All in all I think so far it´s everything I was looking for in this trip, but it freaks me out in the best way possible to think that we have 3 more weeks of this.

Tip #1: When you feel culture shock just think "it´s only Epcot center".

Friday, July 25, 2008


sorry guys, this post will be short as i am working with a horrible french keyboard.

but just to keep you updated, i am in paris, the dirtiest, most grungy part of paris and it's wonderul. heads up, if you are trveling on a budget no one speaks english. we have become very good at sign language. but other than that paris has been relatively painless. after our flight(which lost our baggage for a ouple days) and flurried running around airports, it has been beautiul. wehave climbed notre dame and eaten crepes staring out at the eiffel tower at midnight.

thankfully everyone has gotten along, so i am pretty happy.

tomorrow, MADRID!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

quiet before the storm(final packing)

Helloooo ladies and gentlemen,
I am extremely flattered by all of your comments! I can't believe so many people care about this trip. I think I'm going to have to keep this travel blog a bit more updated to keep you all entertained. the pressure!!!!

Right now I am attending our final meeting for the Europe trip. All the others of which I was on webcam in which my face was passed around on a screen are long gone and now it's crunch time. We are weighing all of our bags and making everything as efficient as's not easy. it seems like everyone is giving up something they don't want to(I luckily did this process before I left for Kansas City so my dramatics were saved for my bedroom walls).

it's 4:51 pm in Kansas City right now and it is officially the quiet before the storm. Everyone is retreating to their respective families after perfectly stowing away their luggage and all the communication between everyone has been silenced. But when 6:20 hits tomorrow morning(when the first 2 people of our party take off) the storm will begin. thundering, we will be transported along with our 30 lb bags across the world. to Europe!!!!

and now a homage to Jack London(since I am missing Oakland already...): "It is so quiet and peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for some betrayal of that impending storm."

Next post will be in Paris...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Packing, mission statement, schedule

T minus 4 days. oh crap.

Tomorrow I am leaving to go to Kansas City to meet my lady Emily along with Erin, Bethany, Jan, Andrew, and Steven before we head off to Paris on Tuesday. Which means that before tomorrow at 11:55 am I have to have everything in my extreme hard-core traveler backpack PACKED and ready to go. As of right now I can't even pick the thing up(but I think that has to do with my muscles atrophying in the last couple months in my cubicle) and I still need to pack about 50 extra supplies! Tonight will be an epic night of stuffing and zipping(and probably crying as I have a feeling I won't be able to fit my gorgeous cashmere sweater). So wish me luck!

Since this is my first post on this blog I think it would good if I wrote out some sort of mission statement, so here goes:

This blog will not be updated all too often as hopefully I will be living a debaucherous, historically significant, and generally awesome time in Europe. As Thoreau writes, "Unfortunately, many things have been omitted which should have been recorded in our journal; for though we made it a rule to set down all our experiences therein, yet such a resolution is very hard to keep, for the important experience rarely allows us to remember such obligations, and so indifferent things get recorded, while that is frequently neglected. It is not easy to write in a journal what interests us at any time, because to write it is not what interests us." However, for the good of coming home and discussing my travels I will write in this blog. I would love to get some comments on my entries so I can hear from all of you as I'm sure all of you will be missed!

And just in case you're wondering, here is where I'm going:

Starting July 22, going back to CA August 16:

then, after a brief period at home I leave again on August 29 for Rome until December 20.

More updates to come as i set off on trek abroad!