Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back at SMC

So even now that my study abroad semester is over and so is my european tour, I still long for some french bread. I know understand why everyone says it goes so quickly that even when you think it's going slowly, time is really flying by. My semester abroad was the best semester i've had so far. it was the most eye opening and i think the one that i actually learned the most. and the best part was that most of the learning took place outside of the classroom. every day was a learning experience. from what i should eat for breakfast to how to order lunch, everything was new, different and exciting. i met people that i will truly never forget and lived with a host family that went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable in their home. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for me, i will never forget my time in france and cannot wait to return!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back in the USA

SO as the title would hint... i am back! it only took 12 hours on a train and being up for over 24 hours to get back. Easy. haha not really. jet lag is just so fun let me tell you. and a 7 and a half hour flight is really fun when there's no TV. luckily i slept for most of it. but my dad was waiting at the gate which made the whole experience of setting off metal detectors and getting searched worth it.

now i write from my own house in my own house. it'll be an interesting transition back to US life. gotta start wearing snow boots and thick winter coats!

thanks to all of you who read my blog, i'll still write some, it just might not be as often!!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Vienna, Poland, and Prague!

Hey oh,

S'up everybody! I write to you from my homeland. aka the Czech Republic. In Prague. yayyy. we arrived at 6pm this evening. so we haven't really done much exploring yet other than to eat. which was good. now we're chilling in the spacious hotel room. fun fun fun. but here's a little description of what i've been up to the past couple of days...

Vienna was AWESOME. i really really liked it. and not just the fact that i sang sound of music songs the entire time i was there.... it was just really beautiful and stuff like bathrooms were free and there was no service charge and the metro was really nice. plus german people and austrians are kind of awesome. i like the language a lot. i could totally see myself living there someday. just gotta learn german! plus the food was good and the hostel that we stayed in was really nice. plus the train station was the nicest thing ever. we ate there a lot. so GOOD. plus there was shopping and so many things to do just in the train station! cool cool cool!

We headed to poland to see the Auschwitz concentration camps. which in one word was just really depressing. and upsetting. so i guess two words. it was a very powerful experience. really mind blowing. everything is still there. the camp, the death camp. even one of the gas chambers. it was a really disturbing tour sometimes. but it was really mind opening and definitely made the entire holocaust even more real for me.

this morning we headed to Prague. on the world's longest train ride. thank goodness we had rented a movie. go casanova. it was fun to watch a movie where we had already visited (it's based in venice) haven't explored prague yet but we've got metro tickets and i'm sure alex will have me up bright and early tomorrow morning to start exploring!

trip is winding down, prague then berlin then back to france to catch my flight back to the US on the 11th! can't wait to see everyone!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Florence, Venice, Budapest, and now Vienna!

Hey everybody,

Sorry it's been such a while. it's been a crazy couple of weeks. LOTS of traveling! i figured i could do a quick update of what i've been up to.

So after my mom left to go back home to the US i headed down to Florence to meet up with Alex and start the european adventure take two! it was a fairly uneventful train ride. he met me at the train station and we headed to find food. italian food is DELICIOUS. i love pasta and i love pizza so pretty much i loved italy. alex ended up buying a leather coat and gloves at the leather market in Florence, i held myself back and didn't buy any boots even though that's what i wanted to do... :)

After Florence we headed to Venice, Italy. It was super expensive, but still really cool! i mean we got off the train and BOOM hey what's up venice!?! there were canals and boats and gondolas and it was just so cool. it though, is very confusing to find your way about Venice. we got turned around a momentarily lost constantly even though we had a very detailed map. we managed to see soooo many churches, (there are a TON) and we went on a gondola ride! so fun! the guy whistled and sang and just was perfect!! even found a sea food market which was fun. it was chilly though, if i ever go back to venice i will definitely be going in the spring or summer!

we took a night train from venice to Vienna. it was fun. we got on the train at 9:05pm. and then played some cards and then went to bed! fun! it was like harry potter but with beds and snoring bunk mates! when i woke up we were in vienna! we spent an hour in the train station in vienna before boarding another train to Budapest, Hungary were we spent new years. it was so different than anything i'd ever seen! the exchange rate is 243 fironts for one US dollar, so everything was really cheap. though unfortunately we didn't get to try any of the local food cause everything literally shut down on the holiday. we ate a a lot of chinese food. i mean A LOT. it was kinda funny actually how much we ate. got to see some of the sights but due to the cold and it being yucky weather, we didn't want to stay outside too much! frost bite is no fun! we found the awesome public baths too late to actually try them which is unfortunate, cause they looked awesome! oh well, there's always next time!

today we got up early, accidentally jumped a tramway, and caught a train back to Vienna were we'll be for the next 3 days until we head to Poland. it's pretty chilly but i really like it so far. the train station is awesome and i like german and germans overall! it's funny cause i speak no german but for some reason i can sometimes understand what they say. alex says it's cause english is a combination of english and french. interesting eh? tomorrow we're off to see a castle and do some window shopping! fun fun!

I hope you all had a wonderful new years and happy 2012!!!