November 10, 2009

ITALY!


So...ITALY was BEAUTIFUL! I'm going to write all about it. I don't really like to write a lot, so we'll see how this goes. Plus I'll put up a bunch of pictures just in case you don't want to read, then you can just look at the pics instead! I don't have all the pictures from all of the places, so the frew that I have right now will just have to do since I keep on getting requests to post a blog on Italy!

Thursday and Friday, October 22 and 23:

This is the day everything started. Well, sorta. Sherstin was already over in Italy for a work conference, so we had to get over there without our fearless leader! Jen and I left Provo around 2pm and headed to the airport. We got to the airport and tried to get our tickets electronically, but the little machine told us it didn't know what we were talking about! So, we went to the ticket desk and they told us that they had our reservations, but not our tickets! What the heck does that even mean? So after a while of the nice airline worker being on the phone, working on the computer and getting management to help out, we finally got our tickets and headed to board our plane. I took a sleeping pill a little bit into the flight and ended up sleeping for some of the flight, but not for all of it. We arrived in France and tried to get our tickets electronically again and AGAIN the machine had no idea what we were talking about. So we went to the help desk where we were informed that there was a strike in Italy and our flight was cancelled! So, the lady took a while and checked other flights and found us another one for10 hours later! So we took what we could get and walked around the airport for a bit. We considered getting out and checking out Paris a bit, but the airport is about an hour away and we didn't want to risk it! So we ate, slept, shopped, and even got on the internet for a bit. Finally we were able to get on our plane and I think I was asleep even before take off!

Saturday, October 24:

We got into Italy a little after midnight on very early Saturday morning! We watched as the last bus left and therefore we had to get a taxi to take us to our hotel, Al Piccalo. We woke up the poor guy who runs the place and checked in. We were THRILLED to be there, and then promptly went to sleep. The next morning we got up and enjoyed our breakfast and then boarded a bus to get over to the Island of Venice. Once we got there, we took a water ferry to St. Marcos Square. We had tickets for a tour of the Doge's Palace, so we ran over to it quickly and checked in our baggage. The tour was awesome! The palace was beautiful and we got to see the behind the scenes of where Casanova was a prisoner and the whole story of his time there and escape! After that, we took off to find our hotel for that that Sherstin had booked. WE COULD NOT FIND IT. We walked around Venice for who knows how long with our luggage asking people if they knew where our hotel was. Most people would point in a direction and say "twenty minutes that way"!!! Finally we went into a hotel and a nice man looked it it up on the Internet, gave us a map and showed us how to get there! YAY. We finally made it and just sat around until Sherstin showed up. After she got there we went out and walked around for a while and got dinner. The hotel was very nice...by far the nicest one we stayed in!



Sunday, October 25:

The next morning we all got up and got ready and headed out. We were going to find church while we were there, however, Sherstin had found out that it was about three hours away! So, we decided against that and went sight seeing and took lots of pictures! We went on a gondola right, which was awesome! We split the ride with three other girls who were visiting from Brazil. After enjoying our time in Venice, we headed back to the hotel, gathered our things and headed to the train station to head to Florence. We got to the train station pretty early, so we took turns watching the luggage while others went looking around. Then we hopped on the train and arrived in Florence. We checked into our hotel and the man there was very helpful in telling us what we should go and see!

Monday, October 26:

On Monday, in Florence, we headed over to the Duomo. Basically we were walking, turned the corner and there was this AMAZINGLY beautiful building. We were speechless! We went and headed inside and took pictures for a bit before getting in line to climb the gazillion stairs to the top of the dome. Once we were up there, it was one of the most amazing sights ever! The rest of the day was spent walking around to the different squares and museums, etc. It was pretty sad because Monday is when the museums are closed, so we didn't actually get in to see the David. I really enjoyed being in Florence because my sister, Jennifer, lived there while going to school for a bit. It was fun to know that I was in places that she could see on a daily basis. We went to Santa Croce, which is where she used to live. What a lucky girl she is to have lived in someplace so beautiful!



Tuesday, October 27:

Tuesday morning we got up and headed to the train. We headed to Pisa for the afternoon. After arriving there, we headed over to the Leaning Tower, which was another one of those things where all of a sudden you look up and realize you are in front of history! We took our time taking our leaning pictures and hung out on the grass for a bit before heading back to the train station. Hopped on our train and headed to La Spezia where we were staying, just outside of the Cinque Terre. It took us a little bit to find our hotel, but we did. The lady who ran the little hotel was coughing so much from smoking that we thought she would die at any moment! But she was very nice and said hi and bye to us each time we came in and out of the hotel.

Wednesday, October 28:

We headed to the train station on Wednesday morning that would take us the 10 minute ride to the first of the 5 cities of the Cinque Terre. The hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola was more like a stroll. It was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Manarola to Corniglia was just slightly more difficult than our stroll, and then from Corniglia to Vernazza was starting to stretch us. We were pretty tired, sweaty and sore after that hike! We decided that we wouldn't do the last hike that night, since it was getting late in the afternoon and we were pretty tired. The last hike was supposed to be the hardest. So, we headed back to the hotel. We ended up getting "take away" pizza that night because we were so EXHAUSTED and SMELLY!

Thursday, October 29:

This morning we woke up and headed back to the train station. We were going to just take the train from Vernazza and then hike from there to Montorrosso, but we got on the wrong train and ended up hiking from Montorrosso back down to Vernazza. This hike was for sure the hardest with all of the stairs, but it was also the most beautiful! Each hike, even though in the same area, was very different in looks and levels compared to each other. Each beautiful in its own way though! The last hike, even with all the stairs, was probably my favorite because we were in so much foliage during it. We all know how much I LOVE greenness! We had plenty of time after finishing our hike, so we ended up taking trains to the different cities, taking pictures and rehiking the first and easiest hike (walk). Once it started getting late, we headed back to the hotel. On our way there, we got dinner at this great little crepe place...and then we got dessert there as well!

Friday, October 30:

We headed to Rome via train again. We got there and walked pretty far to get to our hotel, but it was nice to get to our hotel and know that we didn't have to drag our luggage around again for another few days! We were starving and ended up going to this restaurant where the old guy who owned it was just hilarious! The food was amazing as well!

Saturday, October 31:

It was a lovely Halloween day when we woke up in Rome! We went and found the hop on hop off bus and drove around to the different places in Rome. We got off first at the Roman Coloseum. It was pretty amazing being IN something that I've seen so many pictures of throughout my life. To actually be there was such a cool experience! We also went through some Roman Ruins and headed to the Vadican. We had tickets to go through the Vadican Museum and into the Sistine Chapel. WOW. Everything was so old, so beautiful and so historic! We headed back after not too long and went to dinner at our favorite place in Rome, Mama Mia...the same place we went the day before. This time, we had more company than just the old guy who owned it! Everyone working there was hitting on Sherstin and the cook gave her his number and asked us to go dancing that night! LOL! We had to head out and go to the Halloween tour that we had gotten since we had purchased a 48 hour tour and found out that they didn't run on Sundays. So, we got back to the bus and there weren't very many people on it. Just a few guys on top in the back drinking and smoking and then us in the front on the top with two other girls. The bottom of the bus is where the employees were enjoying themselves and had cute Halloween decorations up! We were pretty sure the bus driver was going to run over a few cars, buildings and people, but we go out of it without any scratches...and literally, that is a miracle! It was beautiful seeing all the sights at night all lit up, but it was freezing at the same time! We were happy to get back and get some hot chocolate for our walk back to the hotel.

Sunday, November 1:

Sunday was pretty chill. We walked around to all the sights that we didn't see the day before. We were pretty worn out from the week and ended up going home and packing and getting ready for the day of traveling we had on Monday.

Monday, November 2:
Monday morning, at about 3am, we woke up, took our showers and took a taxi ride to the airport. Everything ran smoothly this time and we hopped on our flight to France. I was asleep before we left the ground! The flight from France to Salt Lake was the LONGEST FLIGHT EVER! I didn't sleep much at all! Jen took off to go to the bathroom and didn't come back for forever. Sherstin and I thought she was dead and passed out in the bathroom until we found her chatting it up with an old friend she ran into on the plane! The flight played four movies, The Time Traveler's Wife (sad and not cool), Land of the Lost (I had already seen it and it was the dumbest movie I've ever seen in my life so I didn't watch it again!), My Sister's Keeper (Ok, so if I hadn't been in a plane with strangers, pretty sure I would have been crying through that one!), and Marley and Me (another sad one). What the heck was up with all these sad movies?!??! Either way, towards the end, you could tell that EVERYONE was pretty antsy to get off of the plane. We finally landed and went through customs and headed home! As awesome as it was to see such historical and beautiful places in Italy, it was lovely to come home to my own house and my own bed!
Things I Learned While in Italy:

Everyone smokes, ALL THE TIME!

Toilet seats are hilarious

I am obsessed with Nutella and Italian hot chocolate

I do well eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner


Well, there it is. When I get the whole bundle of pictures, I'll have to post any cool ones then!
Ciao!

6 comments:

* forever summer * said...

WOW. Blown away by your experience! Seriously incredible!

Next up... smith ranch adventure update! :)

karlie and brett said...

ok so I got the first hand slideshow...but fun to read about it and see them again...you are one traveling fool...thx again for the weekend...it was so fun to see you!

Charlotta-love said...

Maybe Prosper will open a branch in Italy...

Oh, and I totally could do the chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Traci said...

So jealous!! Next time you take me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your trip to Italy with us! Italy looks beautiful - can't wait for Lisa, Dad and me to go!
Love,
Mom

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.pi7.ru/zdorove/3068-massazh-povyshaet-immunitet.html ]Витамины для волос [/url]
у меня к примеру сначало веселое настроение, хорошо мне, соврать не могу, язык несет все подрят, а потом приходит порыв совести, очень ненавистное чувство)
с утра меня подташнивает обычно)