Friday, July 16, 2010


we went on our 10 day tour through with our group.
it was incredible.
saw some lovely smaller towns in germany, learned alot about of history and saw alot of historical sites. became even better friends with the people in my group. and then had to say goodbye to them.


it was so great though!
then our parents came (SO FUN!)
and we've been hanging out with them for the last few days.

we go back home on sunday!
well i head to California to hang out with my cousins and see some Sacramento Capitals matches...and my parents and jos head home.

sorry for the lack of cool posts and pictures...i assure you that i have a bagillion pictures waiting to be shared.
when i'm home hopefully!


and italy came to an end

last day was a good one...we got up early enough to pack all of our things and then since it was sunday had a short everyone share their favorite scripture time. lovely. we headed out around 10 with our backpacks and all...headed to the Duomo, the beautiful cathedral for a last photo shoot. the crazy bracelet and bird seed guys were there flocking the courtyard, but since we were pros, we didn't fall for it this time!!

enjoyed the Duomo
this is only the detailed and incredible.


we took a tram back to this area that was close to the train we needed to take to the airport AND we hoped maybe there would be some flea markets out that way.
turns out we didn't find any markets...but DID find our way back to an incredible ice cream place that we had visited earlier! worth it.

we just loved that it told us down to the half minutes how much longer we had to wait.
we don't get such luxuries in berlin.

hah this candy looks great, right?
colorful. delicious.
WELL tracy got a relatively small bag of it and turns out the bag was 11 euros.
whoops...he ripped us off there.

we were just walking around parts of milan sort of wasting time because we had a few hours before we needed to head to the airport but then it started to rain. we figured since we weren't going anywhere and the part of town we were in didn't have much to see we'd just start on our way and look at things on the way. turned out to be a good idea, we found a little market outside of one of the train stations we had to stop at!

hah while we were waiting to get on the ryan air plane it was a bit chaotic. (well first of all the plane was delayed like 30 minutes so we were all waiting in this room completely crammed together because as previously mentioned ryanair has NO sense of organization). so next we are standing in some corridor waiting to actually LOAD the plane and suddenly an alarm goes off and they come and shut the doors. causing us to be locked in a small hallway wish no exit. cool? haha mostly funny. we didn't know what the alarms were for, but they stopped after about 5 minutes.

see ya were great.

really appreciated the beautiful sunset on the way out also.
that was a nice farewell treat.

really was a great short trip.
sort of sketchy hostels but really nice people. check.
beautiful city. check.
a bit of shopping...check.

it still seems sort of fake that i went to italy?
i think that was real life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

well, we're going on a trip.  we're traveling with our group from BYU throughout germany...we're going to 10 different cities in 10 days! we're going on a bus and then staying in different youth hostels every night. will be fun for sure...but also an adventure, living out of a suitcase for quite awhile!

when we get back from the 10 day trip our parents will be waitinggg!!
can't wait.

have a lovely week.

probably won't have much computer access, i'm not even bringing MY computer, so if we do it will be other people's computers!

got a new red suitcase.

only problem was, i bought the dang thing at the beginning of the day so had to cart it around with me everywhere. it's worth it. the tag said from the 60's...not sure if that's legit? i'm gonna believe yes. and it's so beautiful and was such a good find. it was in the COOLEST store i just wanted/needed to buy everythingg that they sold. but i walked away with only one red suitcase.

by the fountain at alexander platz.
jos was eating her first ice cream in a crepe.
and it made a mess everywhere but was delicious.

inside of the berliner dom.
we heard lovely organ music
some scriptures in german and english
and saw the inside of a beautiful cathedral. 
still my favorite building.

waiting for the S Bahn at potsdamer platz
i had blisters.
bad ones.
thanks keds, i had really looked forward to owning a pair of you.
but you didn't impress me.

on the train ride home.
good old hermsdorf.
the S1.

round 2.

on the schedule for day number two: shopping. milan is, after all, known for it's fashion and shopping and so naturally we had to take part in that one day. first things first we walked through the square in front of the duomo and we saw a big flock of pigeons. like we're talking a BIG flock. so this guy walks over to us and puts some bird seed (aka popcorn kernels) in tracy and katie's hand and suddenly the whole flock is by us. surprise. they were literally eating the food out of the girls' hands! gross/cool/scary, you pick.after the bird family was leaving the girls thought it would be nice to give that man a tip...maybe 50 cents or something. they went to give it to him, thinking he would be grateful, but he instead said to them "no, it's 10 euros." whaat? excuse me? they tried to just give him the 50 cents or 1 euro that they had and he wouldn't take it...kept demanding 10 euros.

a. you gave them the bird seed before they didn't even ask.
b. you already gave it to them, they don't have to pay for anything.

luckily we're with a smart team and they didn't pay it. unfortunately the other two girls didn't know what else to do so one girl paid him 10 euros and another paid him 5! so dumb.

naturally, macdonalds cafe for breakfast.
the chocolate muffins were really delicious, i could have almost believed that they were freshly baked that morning until i saw one left in the plastic wrapper in the back.

then we just walked through the mall that was by the had alot of name brand stores so it was fun to look around!

after walking through the name brand mall we went on to something a little more around our price range! our favoriteee store is Zara, anyone heard of it? i guess they have a few in the US also, but i've never seen/heard of them there. we also found a few other stores that were sister stores to Zara so they had similar beautiful things. we tried not to buy tooo much. but. a few purchases needed to be made.

after that...surprise meal time!

mmmm carbonara

then italy forgot that we liked sun and rained a bit. but it's okay at first it was humongous raindrops but then it was just light rain and not a problem!

we decided to go into the duomo to get a look at the cathedral. i just couldn't beleive how big it was. huge.

there was still another castle we hadn't seen yet that we decided to go to, the castle itself wasn't amazingg but we sure had alot of fun there! we decided to make chain flower crowns. it was a lovely break in the day.

behind the castle there was a beautiful park...and we saw this BEAUTIFU L hydrangea bush. the ccf part of me just couldn't let that go...look at those beautiful flowers! and do you know how much those cost? well, alot. (except i meant of course they don't cost that much at ccf because every flower is a bargain! come on down!)


on that other side of the park when you kept walking was this arch...apparently an old roman arch. who knew! it looks alot like the brandenburger tor.

this one was for SURE my favorite.
gnocchi with some kind of white cheese that i can't at the moment remember. 

we were able to make it home way early this time...we were walking around the park trying to get to the castle to retrace our steps and we happened to see a bus that we knew led straight back to our hostel! we hopped on and made it back way earlier than expected!

okay only one post left for this trip.
you guys can do it.

italia. [1]

"is it really necessary to have all of those pictures with the food?" one might ask. well, yes. yes, i believe it is. the best part of going to italy, in my humble opinion was the food. THE FOOD. is that okay to say? that we went to another country to eat the food? i think it is. i just want gnocchi every day. i can't even pronounce the word right, but i want to eat it. the good news it that my good friend tracy tells me that she can make tasty homemade gnocchi. we'll be sampling that when we're back in provo, i'll promise you that much.

the morning of our italy trip was an early one. our flight left in the 8's and so we wanted to get there in the 6's. thiss meant that we had to leave our house really early, we got up in the 4's. (the last time i got up in the 4's was when i CAME to germany! that's alot what it felt like to me and jos. we discussed it.) we flew with ryan's an airline here in europe that typically has really cheap flights (ours was only 58 euros...and i've seen much cheaper than that if it works for the day that you need!) it was lovely how cheap the flight was, and really there weren't many downsides to flying with such a cheap airline. the main thing i noticed was the complete lack of order with bording. you know with southwest you have A21...or B32 if your not so lucky? well....with ryan air you either pay a special fee to be priority or you are in "everyone else" everyone else means that you just full on just push and shove your way up was a mad house. complete chaos. our seats were totally fine though...we all sat together!
the one other thing that is less than ideal is you can only have one carry on literally one. this includes your purse...personal item...everything. southwest or other normal airlines you can normally have a "carry-on," "personal item," and maybe a coat or something. not so with ryan air...EVERYTHING has to fit in one bag. of course we wanted to be as cheap as possible so we were all in one backpack for the weekend. such travelers right? ya we're cool like that.

SO excited to be going to itallyyyy!!
is this real life?!

first real sightings of italy.

tracy saw the real life italy pictured above and that was her face.
so excited.

the airport we flew into was like an hour outside of milan so we took a bus to the center of milan. of course there were like 9238 people trying to sell us on "their" bus company...we went with one that had a buy 2 get 1 free deal...what a bargain!

after we arrived in milan we headed to find our hostel! the hostel website gave us directions by bus so we were able to find it pretty easily, with some help with the local italiens. the people in italy were SO nice to us the wholee time. always when we needed help they would help with out a roll of the eyes or anything. another point for italy.

and here we found our hostel. we stayed with mr. mido for the weekend. we don't actually know who "mr. mido" is...but amongst ourselves we called the two workers mr. mido. we first arrived and they told us that they were come back in an hour and a half. (funny because we had put an arrival time on the website when we reserved the hostel and the time he told us to come back was well after that time. but no problems no problems!)

ESPECIALLY no problems because this gave us time to go and eat at our first italian restaurant! we found a small place near our hostel, again with the nice people...the waiter was so nice. he told us what EVERY dish was in english and was so helpful. i ordered gnocchi and joslin got her favorite lasagna! both were so so yummy...our first experience with italien food was a good one!

i apologize in advance for the weird faces with the food.
don't have a good excuse for that.

we had seen this cute little italien eis place when we were walking around trying to find the hostel originally so we decided to go and try it out while "wasting time" waiting for our hostel to be ready! it was honestly suchhh good gelato, i just couldn't even believe it. i got one cinnamon scoop and one scoop that was chocolate with hazelnut bits in it. incredible. the man who worked there was so so nice too...we came back here on the last day and he recognized us and we chatted a bit, a sweet old man. he made it on the "nice people in milan" list.

so after our lovely first experience with italien food we headed back to the hostel. this time the room was ready...he showed us to the room and then the hilarious part was when he said "oh one minute, excuse me," remember we're all in the room where we're going to be staying at this point. so he proceeds to grab a bag, some shoes, a towel that had been hanging up to dry....and some other various items, maybe a bottle of alcohol?! and then take them out of the room into his office/bedroom (yeah don't worry it's all in one). too funny. apparently someone had been taking a nap real quick before we came? then he also rummaged through the drawer in the night stand and grabbed some things and then took those also, haha it was great. after that was finished he showed us the room. originally the rooms were supposed to be only 8 euros...but apparently that was without linens...we missed that part. but still it was only 10 euros a night, a bargain!

the door that led into our room techinically wouldn't latch. but they gave us a pad lock and there was a small side room that we could leave all of our stuff in during the day so it was totally fine, not even a problem! we just moved everything into that side room when we left. hah after the first day i left my pajamas out in the big room on accident...the side room was already locked and so i didn't think it was a big deal...just a tshirt and shorts. i just threw them under my pillow just to hide them a little bit, but wasn't too worried. oh and my book of mormon was left our also. so when we came back late that night all of our beds were nicely made...(nice of them...maybe kind of weird also? just that they were in our room? i guess mostly good...just like a hotel!) AND haha pajamas that were hastily thrown under my pillow that morning were nicely folded at the end of my bed! it was so funny to me...maybe that's not funny in real life? no i'm pretty sure that's real life funny.

that first day was SO nice weather, and one of the things that we really wanted to do in milan was to sit somewhere and paint. we brought along some canvases and then we bought some oil paints (the old man who we bought the paints from was another person on the "nice people in milan" list...SO ADORABLE!) and wanted to find a good spot to paint at. mind you, none of us are painters. we just thought it would be fun. and...italian? or something. we had heard about these lovely canals in milan that were a hub for local artists, so we thought we'd join the crowd. we imagined a small river with maybe a park on the side...lots of green for sure. well...this was the canal we found. it IS pretty...just not what we imagined. we can't sit by it!

but no worries we found this little was just off of an apartment complex and had a good spot to sit and some shade! we spend an hour or two just taking a break and painting. so fun! no pictures of the actual paintings here...tracy has those. maybe i'll share them eventually.

afterwards what else were we to do but eat.
by the canal.

delicious. we all got the same!

jos likes her spaghetti.

so lucky that she's my travel partner.

so the getting home this day was QUITE the adventure. first of all after these canals we had asked the workers at that restaraunt where tram 14 was. thats all we needed...we were good to go after we had tram 14. he sends off and we thought we knew where we were going. after walking for a bit we decided to try another way and just WALK towards where we knew we needed to go, we figured we'd see the tram eventually. as well as we kept asking those nice italians if they knew where it was. along the way we had the best gelato of my life (well i didn't have it the first time...but when we came back i for sure did!), it was a cone that they filled with a scoop of melted warm nutella and then two scoops of ice cream on top. the nutella in the cone was a for sure winner. 

well after enjoying that delicious icecream (and updating our facebooks...they had complimentary computers with internet when you purchased icecream SO we could tell our families that we were alive!) we asked these workers if they knew where the tram was. they didn't...but they wanted to help us and so looked it up on the computer! the funny thing was we thought we knew where it was at this point...we just wanted to ask to be sure and then it turned into this whole ordeal of looking it up on the comp etc. and it was starting to get dark which was less than ideal being that we were in an unknown city and didn't know how to get anywhere. these ladies were SO nice...they asked us where our ultimate destination was and then sent us on a whole new path. no more tram 14! okay so then we are off to find tram 31. we hop on the tram and are pretty sure that we're going the right way...the thing about italian trams is that there is no sign saying what stop you're at or no voice announcing where you are...what stops are next etc. made me grateful for that germany transportation!

eventually we decide that it would be a good idea to ask the driver if we're going the correct direction so tracy goes and asks him. he is responding in italian which is a small problem and then while i'm observing this i see a man who was sitting on the tram with us hop up to go and help her to translate into english (so nice). his translation was that we needed to go the other way on the tram...we missed our stop (or maybe were on the wrong one the whole time, we never determined that). so we hop off the tram and are laughing at how silly this is getting and decide to look at the map before just simply hopping on the other tram. while looking at the map we see that WHOLE tram that we just had gotten off of, it was stopped and the passengers were sticking their heads out the window alll pointing us in the direction we were supposed to go, they thought we didn't see the other tram station for the other direction! haha it was the best moment of my life...we just saw the whole tram with heads sticking out shouting and pointing to us "gooo that way!" haha so funny. and so nice of them to be concerned about us. 

to sum this night up, eventually we decided to go a different route and take the underground metro to the duomo...which turned out great because duh of course we wanted to see this at night! good thing we accidentally did that.

beauty right?

form the duomo we took a bus...which took 02398 years because we actually walked out of the wrong side of the duomo again and had to ask for help again. BUT thanks to the nice people of italy and our great sense of direction we eventually made it home! whew.

i'm doing this in two posts.
here is number one.

sorry i write so much.
merry christmas love kaitlin.