Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Hey y'all!

Betcha missed me.  Just lounging in the Montarina currently and have to update you all about our first 10 day trip.

We started with a nice flight to Dublin.  When we arrived it was unexpectedly windy and a little rainy but so Ireland.  Our first stop was the Guinness Factory.  We did a taste testing of a variety of different types of Guinness.  I was not expecting to enjoy the thick black beer, but I did!  It was so good.  We learned from professional Guinness pourers how to pour the perfect glass of Guinness, and then toured the museum to see exactly how the brew is made.  When we were done we went up to the Gravity Bar on the top floor and enjoyed a glass on the house.  Oh!  And I just found out the Guinness factory is a seven floor building shaped like a giant pint of Guinness...neato.  After a few more drinks we were STARVING so we headed to dinner.  I got fish & chips and they were out of this world.

Saturday morning we woke up and went on our standard free tour of the city.  We saw the Dublin Castle, Dubh Linn, Viking remains, Christ Church Cathedral, National Library, Temple Bar Area, Ha'Penny Bridge, Trinity College, Leinster House, and ended at St. Stephen's Green.  During the tour Ashley and I ran into a pub at the Temple Bar to check out what this Dublin pub scene was all about.  We were quickly acquainted with a bachelor party and told the boys we'd be back to Gogarty's (name of the bar) after our tour.  We got irish coffees at a coffee shop, had a disgusting chinese lunch, and then headed back.  When we arrived, Diana, Carla, Jess, Katie, and Madeline had met our friends and were there with them.  We spent the remainder of our day in that bar, listening to live music, drinking Guinness and baby Guinness shots (Kahlua and Bailey's Irish cream), singing, laughing, and dancing.  Five hours later we went on a little pub crawl of our own, met up with Tyler, and heard some live music playing from inside another bar.  We went in to go check it out and it was the perfect way to end the night.

Sunday morning we woke up at the bright early hour of 6:30 am to take a day trip to Galway.  Four hours later we were finally there.  Our bus driver was hilarious, and managed to make the bus ride from hell a little entertaining.  We spent the day frolicking around the rolling green hills of Ireland and looking for leprechauns and fairies.  The Cliffs of Moher were awesome, huuge huge cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.  I got a claddagh ring in the gift shop, and then we headed home.

We watched Superbowl Sunday in yet another pub and then called it a night.

Pretending to study for 2 tests we have tomorrow so I'll update ya on the rest later!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Currently working on our first group final project for Consumer Behavior, due tomorrow.  This first class flewww by.  We also had our first exam for Italian this morning.  It consisted of a 1 page fill in the blank questionnaire and then we each had a conversation in Italian with our Professor, Magda.  My kind of exam!

Walked back from class today with Ashley and stopped by Migros and Manor to get some goodies for the weekend and ate the most delicious lunch.  We stopped at our usual balcony to look over and see the sparkling Lake Lugano, huge mountains, palm trees, little houses, and the whole charming city.  Whenever we pass it Ashley says "wait, can we just stop for a minute to take this all in?" and then usually follows it with "I still don't feel like we're in Europe."  A month later, still hard to believe we are actually here.

Yesterday I took a different route home than normal and ran up the BIG stairs that start down by the lake.  I counted them, naturally (265).

It's 50 and sunny right now.  Enjoying this beautiful weather, going to finish this group proj, then packing for our first 10 day break!

See you soon leprechauns, Kate Middleton, and Eiffel Tower!

Thanks Ash :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Too many laughs.  Fell asleep cracking up with Ashley last night and plan on doing so again tonight.

Florence, Firenze, Florencia (what I called it all weekend).  Cool. COOL!  I loved it.  Our adventure began on Friday when we arrived at the Milan train station.  We finally learned that when the website says you need to make a train reservation, you should.  We thought that we could pretend we didn't know we needed one and that would be okay.  It wasn't :/ Jillian, Wes, Whitney, David, and I sat in the little connector lobby between the two trains for the duration of our ride enjoying a nice aperitivo (box wine & pringles).  Right before getting off at our stop, the ticket checker/flight attendant asked to see our train reservations.  When we told him we didn't have any, he charged us 18 Euro each.  BLAH!  And we thought we were sly foxes...

Anyway, we next arrived at our hostel, Plus, and did the usual check in thing.  When we were all ready we headed to Kitsch for another aperitivo.  When we walked in they had the most exotic looking buffet that looked so delicious and I secretly hoped that's what we were getting.  When we sat down and ordered a drink, we were informed that the buffet came with it... :-D This guy/bar promoter we met when we checked in to our hostel somehow ended up at the same place as us and told us of this bar crawl he knew about going on, so we decided to check it out.

Out first stop was the House of Sizzle.  It was so fun.  Free champagne was flowin', familiar music was playing, friends were everywhere.  We even ran into some Tech friends who were studying abroad in Florence.  A little later in the bar area where we were Barbra Streisand, by Duck Sauce, Ashley and I's favorite song, came on.  I HAD to find her so we could scream WOOO I LOVE THIS SONG!!! together and listen to it so I started looking around but she was no where in sight.  I ran into the other area of the House, where huge jugs of bright colored drinks with 4 foot long straws stood, and saw Ashley on stage singing karaoke ...o... When she was done I jumped on stage and joined her to sing Party in the USA - but we changed the words to Party in Florence It-a-ly.  We bar hopped to a few more stops until we were exhausted and decided to head home.

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to tour the city.  We saw the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore - their Duomo, and walked to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge).  It was so Italian - really felt like I was in Italy!  On the bridge there were shops and houses all lined up in a row.  Yellow, tan, pink, gold, salmon, cream buildings with turquoise and dark brown shutters.  I love all of the colors!  We stopped by one shop and got some gorgeous bracelets (thanks Anna!).  And then I got a belgium waffle with nutella spread on top.  It was magnifico!  I feel like I am Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love just trying and eating everything I want.  Ashley tell me if I get fat.  :-X

After walking around and seeing the market with tons of leather, purses, boots, jackets, a carousel (which I really wanted to ride on, but just took a picture of instead), a million statues, the gorgeous Arno River that the Ponte Vecchio sits over, venders on the streets trying to sell you anything and everything, and funny human statues, we went to The Galleria dell' Accademia where Michelangelo's David stands. We first walked in and saw original paintings dating all the way back to the 1400s.  It was incredible to see artwork from that long ago!  CREW: I ran into BEN CERNY (from Crossfield) in this section of the museum.  Crazy.  When we turned the corner low and behold there he was - THE DAVID!  So bright and pure with lights shining on him, the huge statue was amazing!

Saturday night we got ready, and headed downstairs to the hostel bar.  Ashley spilled a cup of wine on her lap and disappeared to go clean it up :-O *never to be seen again*

We made our way to Space Electronic Night Club and it was pretty futuristic.  The bar counter was a fish tank.  But that's all I will mention about that (Ashley was a little sad she didn't quite make it :/ )

Sunday morning we had quite the ordeal checking out of our hostel, walking to the train station, trying to get train reservations, realizing I left my Eurail pass and Passport in the hostel, going back to get it, going back to make the reservation, and finally, hopping on the train to go home, all before 1 pm.

I really loved Florence!  My 2nd favorite city so far.

The daily countdown for dinner has officially ended... buon appetito for us!

Pictures to and miss you all!!!