Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Assisi

{Mt. Vesuvius}
So we head south to Sorrento and on our way we stop in Pompeii to see “the city frozen in time” by Mount Vesuvius. It was so neat to see all the old engineering work that had been done; speed bumps, metal plumbing, and directions to the brothels! Okay, maybe brothels aren’t an ancient form of engineering but it was so funny to see random penis’ carved into the walkways and building sides indicating “fun” was awaiting you inside. They even had pictures you could point to of what you wanted and how! Haha. They did this because Pompeii was a port and many visitors did not speak the same language as the locals so to keep money coming in the visitors could just point to a picture, pay, and everybody was happy! LOL Apparently this was the main money maker in the town. I have to say it was something else to see the molds of left over cavities some of the remains had left; a dog tied up trying to run away, people sleeping or curled up in the fetal position, pots and tools left over.  Such a site to see, we only walked something like 20% of the grounds and I thought that was a lot! Who knows what they are keeping from us in the other 80%.
{follow the "arrows"}
Next we headed to our hotel in Sorrento. It was the cutest hotel on top of a hill. There was the main hotel and then there were some “bungalows” away from the main hotel. We got a bungalow! It was so cute! The whole property was covered in lemon and lime trees. It is night time and time for some dinner, tomorrow we will venture into the city of Sorrento and visit the Isle of Capri. First thing we do in Sorrento is go to this inlaid wood-working shop where we find the most beautiful hand crafted knick-knacks.  Things like jewelry boxes, small end tables (for a not so small price), coasters (that were still 15€ each!) and other beautiful things. Then we head to Capri to see the famous sights and take in the beauty. We visit a small perfume factory where you can only buy this special perfume made from plants, flowers, and fruit from the island…of course we bought some! We have a snack at a cafĂ© and then it is time to head back. This is when we decided to venture out on our own and not go on the excursion. We had dinner at nice restaurant located right next to a traffic circle and in the circle was a huge Christmas tree! And then we just kind of mosey around town and marching band went by and then we made our way back to the hotel for some shut eye.

{Me and Ash in Capri}

The next day we woke up early for an excursion to the Amalfi Coast! This is where many movies have been filmed, including a James Bond flick! We stopped to take in the scenery. We stop at a roadside stand and have a look at the biggest lemons you have ever seen! LOL not really, there were a hybrid between a lemon and grape fruit! Then back to the hotel to pick up our other travelers that slept in and then we are off to our next destination, Assisi. Assisi is where we spend Christmas Eve and it is very foggy when we head up to the church. It was kinda fun; there were some shops open and some modern art around the grounds. We were only here for a night, a quick stop on our way to Venice!
{Amalfi Coast}
{huge lemons!}


{Our Christmas stockings! Travel size!}

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Italia here we come!!!

Christmas season 2008: We arrived in Rome! We find our bus and make our way to the hotel. One of the best things about Trafalgar is that they try their hardest not to book “name brand hotels” so we were in this cute little hotel with a rooftop terrace and garden. We loved it! We saw so many amazing old things! All the history to take in is just unbelievable! We have the most amazing tour director named Federica! She was so much fun and knew exactly where to take us! Now…andiamo! :) (let’s go in Italian). 

The first full day we visited the Sistine Chapel where the works of Michelangelo are located. Then we headed into St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. From here we went into ancient Rome to overlook the Forum and the Circus Maximus where chariot races used to take place. And then…we went to the Colosseum! So crazy that the Romans were going to destroy this building! Then we had dinner at a cute local place and had so much food! Classic Italian dining where the food just kept coming and coming and coming! And after that we went on an excursion to the Trevi fountain. We also saw Rome by night which was so incredible since it was all lit up for the holiday season! Saw the Pantheon which I studied when I was an Architecture major (that only lasted a semester). We saw so much in such a short amount of time it was incredible! Now, onto the South!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Break 2008

Thanksgiving wasn't out of town or at a unique destination, it was at my house! But Lene came with me! She got to experience some fun “Texas Country” stuff. We went to see a Randy Rogers concert and I got Lene to take a picture and dance! Kjersti called Lene and said that she and a Czech student, Veronika, were going to be coming through San Antonio on their Texas road trip to the coast. Of course I said they can stay with me and my family and had a nice American Thanksgiving dinner. It was so wonderful to have a houseful of friends for the holidays. I took them to Enchanted Rock State Park and we went for a hike. Kjersti got me hooked on the Twilight books and over Thanksgiving is when we became really great friends! :) 
Lene, Veronika, Kjersti, me
Before you knew it, it was time for all of them to leave :( it was really sad to see them go. Lene stayed in the states for a little while longer and had Christmas with Amanda; I was sad that I didn't get to spend more time with her while I had the chance but Ashley and I had a country to take by storm…Italia!
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