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Archive for April, 2010

Spring break 2k10!!!

SPRING BREAK 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me preface by saying this was the BEST spring break I’ve had so far. I mean, I’m in Europe — how could it possibly fall short of that!?

This is how it all went down:

Dad and Suzy showed up in Brussels the Saturday morning before Easter, they stayed in a 5 star hotel near the Grand Place. I met them there a little after noon, and we started exploring the Grand Place, and we had lunch ON the Grand Place at a restaurant called Le Roy de Espana, which means The King of Spain…and of course us Americans called it “Leroy despana” haha. After we ate, we started to walk around and were planning on doing some shopping, we spotted the Opera house and said “hey, let’s just go in and see if they have anything there this weekend that we might be interested in…” Turns out, they had a Mozart opera playing that night at 7! So we rushed back to the hotel for some clean up, and headed to the opera. It was a bit hard to understand, lyrics in Italian, subtitles projected in French and Flemish…a lot of culture all at once, I really enjoyed it! After the opera, we went and got dessert from a little place down the street.

Easter Sunday we went to St. Michel (the notre dame of Brussels, and also where the royal family goes to church) for mass. This was one of the coolest things to see, being Methodist, I’ve never been to a Catholic mass so it was interesting to see how it worked. It was also to see the diversity of the crowd, as well as the alter boys, etc. Brussels really IS a melting pot! Directly after mass we went on a city bus tour, which was really cool and a good way for both for them to see the city! We also got to go to a chocolate demonstration in Grand Place, which we were so impressed with that we came back after some beers and cheese at Delirium to buy some of the delicious chocolate.

Monday, we went to Bruges!! Of course I had to show them one of my favorite cities in Europe. Right when we got there, we had some lunch at a small local restaurant, where I literally had HALF of a chicken. Soooo that was interesting, haha. After lunch we went on a carriage ride around the entire city, followed by a boat tour through the canals. Both were really fun, and the weather wasn’t that bad so it made it a lot more enjoyable. While on the boat ride, I noticed an antique sale/market…so OBVIOUSLY I had to go. At the market, I found 3 really old post cards that have pictures of places I’ve been in Brussels. A couple of them actually have letters written on the back…translate later.

We went to Paris on Tuesday! The weather was PERFECT! When we got there, we signed up for a double decker city bus tour. Since dad had never been to Paris, we figured this was the best way for him to see all the major sites without having to rely on a map and a metro. The bus tour was actually perfect, we got to “hop on and hop off” at the sites that we wanted to further explore. Half way through the tour, we got off at the Eiffel Tower and laid (fell asleep) on the lawn next to it. That was so much fun, I really loved doing that. I felt like a local, and it was just fun to relax and be able to close your eyes only to open them to the Eiffel Tower. Best thing to wake up to.

Dad and Suzy left Wednesday morning, and I headed off to Barcelona to meet some friends. I was a bit nervous to travel by myself because up until this point I hadn’t flown to any of our destinations yet. It took a some effort to get to the airport, and conquer the Barcelona metro, but it was a great sense of accomplishment after. Realizing that I can travel efficiently and effectively by myself is one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. I feel so independent, and reliable — makes me really happy!

We went out to a few really cool bars in Barcelona, a couple of them were:

Dow Jones — where the prices of drinks fluctuated with supply and demand, just like the stock market!

Chupitos — a shot bar, where almost ALL their shots were lit on fire, so fun! and toastyyyyyy

another one was where you asked for a vodka drink, and instead of making it for you…they handed you the entire 5th and a diet coke and you made it yourself, for 3 euro.

Noooowwwww, we didn’t just go out in Barcy, we also went to Parc Guell which was designed by Gaudi, probably the most amazing architect ever. We also went to Sangrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Place ¬†Catalunya and of course Barceloneta beach.

I really miss Barcelona, it’s definitely a city I can see myself living in — especially if I knew spanish. I’ve never missed a city that we’ve visited like this…kind of pathetic, but really great at the same time?!

Becky Slogeris, a friend from high school is coming to visit this weekend and I could not be more excited! I’m really happy that I get one last visitor before I head off to Rome for a week, and then home.

This semester has gone by so fast, and I wish it would just slowwwwwww down. I know when I get home all of this is going to hit me and I’m going to realize what a huge impact this has had on my life. I know it’s greater than I can even imagine right now. It’s like one of those things you don’t realize how it’s changing your life until you step back away from it…you know what I mean?

I wouldn’t have changed this for the world.