Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When in Rome...

Alright, so Madrid was pretty sweet. It was a really lazy few days, which was a nice break from the frantic pace of Paris. The first full day we were there, we basically walked around and saw the big plazas- Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol- as well as the royal palace and cathedral. We also had some great tapas and sangria. The next day was quite lazy. We slept in, ate lunch, went to Parque del Retiro (like Central Park for Madrid) and slept some more. We slept so long that we couldn't even make it to the Prado! I know, I know. We're bad.

Anway, this 'morning' (3 AM), we woke up and hopped on a plane to Rome, which is where I am sitting right now. My initial reactions are that the pizza is not that good, but the city is pretty neat. We're sort of taking it easy today, because several of us seem to be getting sick and exhausted. So we'll be napping this afternoon and then we will be seeing some of the sights tonight.

This trip is making me more and more excited about study abroad. I can't wait to actually be in a city for more than a few days! Vienna will be incredible. I'm also glad that this trip is making it so my culture shock and jet lag will be long gone by the time I get there.

Living out of a backpack is getting to be easier and easier. It's still a little frustrating and at times very smelly, but I'm getting my system down.

I would really love to hear from people! Comment and tell me how life is going! I feel a little disconnected right now!

Monday, July 28, 2008

So the Trek Begins...

Sorry that it has been so long! There was no free internet in Paris and, being the cheap person that I am, I decided to wait for the free internet here in Madrid to post.

We all managed to make to Paris in one piece, though we lost 4 bags in the process and got two of us stuck in the Madrid airport for a day. In Paris, we managed to hit up the major sights, like the Eiffel Tower, Arce de Triumph and Notre Dame. We also had a bakery next to our hostel, so we had fresh crossaints and baguettes every morning. We left Paris Saturday night at 10 PM and took 3 trains and 20 hours to get to Madrid. So far we´ve had Tapas and we´re relaxing this morning. After I go back downstairs to our rooms, we will be heading out to see what Madrid has to offer.

In order not to bore you, I will attempt to do a little more than just give a play by play of what we´ve done, and will instead try to include some observations on my part. This trip has been such an experience in terms of independence and responsibilty. We have had to traverse language barriers like crazy. Less people speak English than we thought, and none of us can speak French. Many meals have involved pointing at some unknown item on the menu and using hand signals. We´ve been navigating foreign metros, and we´ve only gotten lost a few times. We´ve had to cancel hostel reservations, make new ones, fight with the hostel oweners to get money back, switch train schedules last minute, and all sorts of fun things like that. I´ve been learning so much about this end of the world and learning how to be responsible.

Another observation. All my clothes smell. A lot.

I will try to post again soon. I miss you all!

Friday, July 18, 2008

T Minus 4...3...2...1...

Hello all!

I have created this blog in order to have a means of communication while I'm abroad. For those of you who do not know, I will be studying abroad in Vienna, Austria and I will be spending the month before that backpacking through Europe with Erin, Andrew, Stephen, Jan, Emily, and Ally. We will be visiting Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Whew! We will be very tired, dirty, and hungry the whole time, but it should be the adventure of a lifetime!

We'll be leaving this Tuesday and starting the trip in Paris. The next four days will be full of preparations, packing (Haven't started yet. Eeeks!), goodbyes, and last minutes socializing. I've already eaten Outback for the last time for 5 months, I'm eating Mexican today, and I need to hit up Goodcents before I leave.

Please feel free to leave comments, tips, thoughts on posts or e-mail me at I will check/post as often as I can, depending on whether I have internet access in the hostel I'm at.