Saturday, December 30, 2006

Paris and Brussels

I was quite ignorant. Of course I wanted to see the sights in Paris, but once I actually saw them, I was in awe. Pictures hardly do the city justice. The Arc de Triomphe is so detailed. Napoleon would have been proud if it was only finished before he died.

Having visited the Art Institute hundreds of times in my life I expected to be an expert at the Louvre, but I was quite mistaken. The museum is never ending. It’s not just the art work on the walls though; it’s the ceilings and architecture. Even the bathroom I used (go figure) had a butt of a statue in the window. I wish I had taken the camera in with me.

The hot chocolate in Europe is much better than home. I’m fairly sure that it’s because they put loads of cream in everything. Haha. The Eiffel Tour was also much more magnificent in person. Every facet (I think that’s a word my dad would use) of the tour is beautiful. There are twirls and shapes. It’s actually a light brown color. From pictures I always thought it was black. The line to go up so ridiculously long. We walked across the Seine River and when we looked back the lights were on. Paris is a beautiful city, but like many people have said, it is a little dirty and smelly.

This morning we left for Notre Dame before 8 am in the rain. Dad was of course afraid we would miss our train to Brussels. The cathedral isn’t so big as it is old and high. The ceilings keep going up and up. The stained glass windows aren’t original. It’s very dark inside, no one could read when it was originally built, but when people started to read, they knocked out all the stained glass and put in clear glass. Still the stain glass is beautiful. I wish I knew more about the Catholic saints because there are pictures and statues everywhere. But with my good Jewish upbringing, we didn’t learn about the saints.

Brussels is a quaint little place. There is chocolate, waffles, and French fries EVERYWHERE! Some people may say that it’s heaven. There are castles and the king is home. I didn’t get to meet him though. L We bought mom chocolate from a man who has a shop across from our hotel. He was so nice and gave us free pieces. This city is much more than I had ever expected.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

London and Normandy!

Freezin' my tush off on Omaha Beach!

Leaving home was quite emotional, I assumed it would be and it deserves to be. I don't like to cry, but the people I'm leaving deserve more than just tears, they mean the world to be and it'll be difficult to be with out them for the next few months.

Dad and I ran all over London. It was somewhat ridiculous really, but we got to see a lot. After the $100 cab ride, we checked into the hotel. It was a tiny room with squeaky beds and a narrow toilet. Facebook has the pictures! The London Eye was much better than I had expected and dad fully appreciated it for his Christmas present! Dad had such an awesome time seeing everything. I think he really wants to go back, but not as much as he wants to go back to Normandy!

Catching trains to Paris and then Caen was quite a hassle! I could not have gotten my suitcase by myself and I'm so grateful Dad was there to help me! We traveled first class on the trains which will probably be my first and last time of doing that, but getting breakfast, tea, and hot towels is all still fun.

Caen is a quint little town, that is presently decorated beautifully for the holidays! No one in France eats until after 7, at least you can't get dinner out until after seven. It's a weird thing to get used to. There are many parts of the trip so far that I wish other people could be with me, but today, there is no one I would rather share Normandy with than my dad! The day was freezing, absolutely cold and foggy. Despite the weather, it was a terrific learning experience. I was very moved and it's extraordinary to see the cliffs that they had to scale. Omaha lost 3,000 men, while 6,000 were lost on D-day. Half of the casualties were there and all American. It's a difficult place to describe because walking through a cemetery is never a joyful experience, maybe grateful is a good word for it.

I bought a cord for mom's camera to upload the pictures because my camera is pretty dead, we'll see if the PX has a cheap one! Tomorrow we're going back to Paris and then to Brussels the day after.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas picture at the beach and my adorable mom!!

Christmas Eve at Rick and Katie's!

Christmas Eve was so much fun. Everyone was up at Rick's little apartment, but it didn't seen that crowded! Jackie, Tom, Alex, Cindy, Grandpa, Jack, and Anita were all there from Rick's family and my grandma, aunt and uncle were there too! It was just a little stressful during gift opening time, but very fun overall! I even cried when Rick got my this little device that will allow my to talk to my parents over the internet! It was a great gift.

Katie's nephew, Alex!! Adorable.......

Off to Europe in 7 hours!! Ah!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Don't ask...just laugh. =)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Freaking out. A little.

Alright, I'm excited, but I'm getting a little worried. I can't wait to go and be in Europe, but packing is a huge job and I'm going to miss my family. Yet, I'll make a new family in Germany, I know, but it won't be quite the same. It's going to be the time of my least until I get to Istanbul!

We're doing Christmas Eve at Rick's and Christmas Day at home, then we'll be on our way to London!!!!!

I went to Nashville for an orietation about Istanbul and I got to meet a lot of the other scholars. They're really going to some incredible places like Chile, Hungary, Moscow, Singapore, Ireland, France, etc. I'm not jealous but I get to go to my own place, but it's still awesome to think about all the experiences that people will have!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

19 days...

My dad are leaving for London on Christmas day! Then going to Normandy on the 27th, followed by Paris, Brussels, and Waterloo. By January 2nd, we'll be in Frankfurt to meet the rest of the student teachers. We're going to Spain for a weekend in early February, and Dublin for St. Patrick's Day. Spring break will cover Italy and the open weekends will include Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, and Auschwitz.

Before that, I have two papers and three finals. Not too bad, but a big hurdle nonetheless!! (And of course, a LOT of packing!)

Sexual Content

I think this is interesting because although it was made as a joke, it's really not.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Myth: Humpty Dumpty was a giant egg.

The Facts: Humpty Dumpty was actually the nickname for a large cannon on the wall of St. Mary’s Church in Colchester, England. During the English Civil War (1642–1649), a shot from an enemy cannon damaged the church wall, causing Humpty Dumpty to fall to the ground. Royal sympathizers (“all the king’s men”) tried to perch Humpty Dumpty on another part of the wall. But since the cannon was so heavy, “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” couldn’t get Humpty back atop the wall.