Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top Three...

Top 3 reasons why Europe > America
3. You don't have to take your shoes off at the airport.
2. Museums.
1. Gelato- everywhere, in every flavor, anytime.

Top 3 reasons why America> Europe
3. You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at normal hours.
2. Air Conditioning.
1. Washers and Dryers.

As you can see blog fans, so far... it's a toss up. We will keep you posted on our continent preference from here on out.


Day Two en Espana

Last night we met up with some of the other students in our program at an Irish Pub (weird, I know) called Dubliners in the city center. We only stayed for a couple hours because everyone else had just flown in that day an they were all extremely tired. We got to know everyone a lot better and we are excited to spend the next five weeks with them. Today we woke up and went back to La Parque Retiro, kind of a central park of Mardid, and walked around. We saw the Cristal Palace and the Palace of Valasquez. Then we went over to the business district and did a little shopping...but no buying. The dollar is super-weak right now so everything is very expensive. We are still looking for some good deals. The one thing Spain does right is shoes! They are inexpensive and so much cuter than in the U.S. I think they will be my downfall. Oh well...

This afternoon, we had a meeting about our first out of town trip to Toledo and El Escorial. I am excited to see this very old city and we have a pool at our hotel! It is hot as hell in Spain right now! Ok, dinner is ready...adios!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hola from Espana!

Hi from Madrid, Spain! Today was a busy day as we moved in with our host family and had a meeting with our program and a tour of Madrid. Our family is absolutely amazing! They are originally from Argentina and they own a theater school and company here in Madrid. They have four children, but only two live in the home. Tomas is 23 and very nice and their daughter, who we have not met yet is 17 and will be traveling a lot this summer. Adjusting to this lifestyle is definitely going to be interesting. It is 10:15pm and we just finished dinner...and it was an early dinner for them! We did have a wonderful siesta today though, which definitely gave us a little more energy. All the kids in our program seem really nice and we can't wait to get to know all of them. This weekend we are all going on a trip to Toledo and we are really looking forward to seeing the history of that great city!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Finale

The last stop on our trip was three days in Rome and we were both so excited to finally get there! After a five hour train ride to the Termini Station, we caught another metro to the Lepanto station, near where we were staying at the B&B Fiocca. About a five minute walk from the station, Andrea (a man) was waiting for our arrival. Our room was perfect, roomy with two beds and free wireless internet! We quickly dropped our stuff off and headed back out to Ancient Rome where we were meeting back up with Emily and Lauren.

Once near the Ancient Center, we headed straight for the Colosseum. We didn’t plan to, but we ended up stumbling upon a great guided tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We were absolutely amazed by the sheer grandeur that was once Ancient Rome. Our tour was great and lasted about three hours. Afterwards, we wondered over to the Campidoglio and then ate dinner near the huge Victor Emmanuel monument. We were exhausted from our day of traveling and headed back to our hotel for the night.

The next morning, after eating a very American breakfast of coffee ad cereal provided by Andrea, we met up with Emily and Lauren near the Trevi Fountain. Though beautiful, taking in the Trevi Fountain did not take long and after about 15 minutes, we headed over to the Pantheon, the best preserved of all the ancient buildings in Rome. Afterwards, we wondered around that area for a bit and then went to the Piazza Navona. Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is pretty amazing and the atmosphere around this piazza is great. We decided to have lunch there and had some of the best Pizza of our trip! After lunch, we wondered over to the Spanish Steps and window shopped around the designer stores before heading off to the Vatican!
At the Vatican, Ashley and I took a tour of the museums and the Sistine Chapel. It really is absolutely amazing to see it in person. St. Peter’s Basilica was more than we could have imagined and we spent about half an hour wondering around inside just looking at all the amazing works inside the church. We were pretty exhausted after our tour so we headed home. That night, we went on this really hilarious pub crawl and pretty much witnessed every reason why Europeans dislike Americans. After about three hours, we got bored and headed home.

On our last day in Rome, we went to the Borghese Gallery where we saw Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, one of the most amazing pieces I have seen in Europe. Though small, this gallery is definitely worth the trip as it houses some very famous works. As we had pretty much done everything on our Roman Agenda, we spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around the Villa Borghese and the surrounding areas. That night we met up with Lauren and Emily again near the Spanish Steps for a nice dinner and desert. That concluded our amazing trip to Italy and our last stop before Spain.

We are very excited to spend a night in Madrid to rest before we meet our host family and the other people in our program on Monday. This trip has gone by so fast…we can’t believe it is over. And as we probably won’t have as much free time on trains and at night, we probably won’t be blogging as much. Arrivederci!

- J&A

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cinque Terre Pics

Cinque Terre

We hiked 6 hours yesterday. Cinque Terre is comprised of 5 small towns grouped together by a various mountain trails. We woke up around 8am to meet Emily and Lauren so we could start or day of pretending to be outdoors ladies. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. I mean, would you really want anything but 80 degrees and sunny?? Nah. The hike started all uphill in Vernazza to Corniglia to Manarola and we ended for some delicious pizza, pasta and salad in Riomaggiore. We then took the train back to Monterroso to do the most difficult and longest part of the hike. Cinque Terre is a little piece of untouched paradise. The houses are plastered to the sides cliffs and you can see nothing surrounding clear ocean. We saw one car and it was basically a uni-bomber white van carrying fruits to a restaurant. (essentially the anti-thesis of Manhattan) The population consists of mostly tourists. Makes you think, people who live in Cinque Terre… rich or crazy? Cinque Terre was hands down my favorite part of our backpacking adventure thus far. I tried to convince Jess, Emily and Lauren to skip out on Rome and stay in Vernazza for a little longer… I was turned down. It is definitely on my list of places to visit again and I highly suggest it to ANYONE
This morning, we woke up at 5:15am to head off to the station to catch the train to Rome. We have 3 days of jam packed quests in Rome before we are off to Madrid. We hope our new brothers and sisters like us!

I brought my digital camera I’m gonna make the Pisa do a million poses.

Before getting to Cinque Terre, Jessica and I did a one hour drop-off at Pisa for some sweet pictures. For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the pictures below.

Florence to Cinque Terre

The morning of the 22nd, we sadly left Florence for Cinque Terre, five small towns in the Tuscan Region. We got on a train from Florence to Pisa, where we got off for a one hour lay over to see the famous leaning tower. We were seriously the most obnoxious picture taking tourists that have ever visited that leaning tower. We met three older American couples who realized our expertise at hilarious leaning tower poses (see below) and we became make-shift Pisa Photographers…it was funny. After about an hour in Pisa, we boarded a train toward Cinque Terre. Here is where it gets interesting…
Our ticket was for Florence with a stop over in Piza and onto Sarzana?? However, everything we read said to get off at La Spezia and then take a small regional train onto the town of Vernazza. I am not good at trains and so we mistakenly got off at Sarzana and had a one hour-wait until we could catch a regional train to Vernazza. So here we are in Sarzana, where no one speaks English and we don’t know what is going on…we are hoping for the best.
Update: it just started to rain. Cool.

Florence in Summary

Florence in Summary…
The Leonardo Hostel is awesome, however it doesn’t supply towels so we dried off with T-shirts
Ashley did laundry and met this bizarre American man. He said his name was Ray, but his friends call him Marcello??? RayMarcello loves Barack Obama and hates Sarah Palin. He wanted to talk about politics forever, but Ashley just wanted to do Laundry.
There are dogs everywhere in Florence…they poop on the streetz
We trekked up to the top of the Piazza Michelangelo for an absolutely amazing view of the entirety of Florence. It reminded us a bit like Sacre Coeur. Our legs are sore.
We had the absolutely most amazing gelato near the Santa Croce…we were so focused on this ice cream
That we ate it in silence and almost cried when it was finished. We recommend the cookie and cheese cake flavors.
We accidentally ended up in the middle of a marathon.
While in the Uffizi, looking at the Venus of Urbino, a mom asked her three-year-old daughter what she noticed in the picture (probably thinking the girl would say a dog)…instead the girl shouted, “ I see her boobies!”--We laughed so hard, the mom did not.
Note to Spanish speakers, Italian and Spanish are much more different that you think.
Michelangelo’s David is absolutely larger than life.
Florence is cool.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ugly Euroshoes...and pretty views of Florence


Hello blog men and blog women,

We've had an amazing two days in Florence. We got here early yesterday morning after a 3 hour train ride from Venice, where Jessica was unfortuneatly next to a man who obiously refused to bathe. We chcked into our hostel and got settled in. We knew we liked it immediately because we had FREE INTERNET! yes. The first thing we did was get some pizza, which lived up to our expectations. Next stop, obviously gelato. Here are a list of things we did:

1. Duomo and Baptistry
2. Orsanmichele
3. Santa Croce
4. Gelato
5. Pizza
6. Wine
7. Santa Maria Novella
8. Palazzo Strozzi
9. Palazzo Vecchio
10. Piazzale Michelangelo (my favorite)
11. Spedale Degi Innocenti
12. Accademia
13. Uffizi

Tomorrow, off to Pisa and then a couple of days hiking in Cinque Terre. We are super excited to carry Jessica's luggage up the steps of the mountain, it weighs over 50 lbs. awesome. We will probably not have internet for the next 5 days or so, so if you need us and would like to hear our voices, call us on the euro-phone! It is 6 euro per text we get/receive... so maybe no texts.

CIAO blogz,

the camera is on top of a random fiat. self timer rules.


The city

Palazzo Strozzi

Ponte Vecchio

Jessica and her new boyfriend, the david. nbd.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


we have a euro phone! If y0u have free international calling or a sweet phone card or want to spend a lot of moniez to hear our sweet voices... our number is...

(0039) 3463198925

SpEaK tO yOu So0n.

Happy Father's day!

Happy father's day to Norman and John! Hope you guys have an amazing day and we are sad we can't be there with you.

Jessica...after the smellest man in the world got up from the seat next to her. ew.

Doors of the Baptistry

Jessica trying to sneak through a very small door


Rainy Day at Versailles

Boom Boom BOOM!

Yesterday, I got yelled at by an old Venetian woman with a cane. After waking up at 4am to fly on a tiny plane sitting next to a small French business man with a bad case of “the sniffles” or perhaps maybe swine flu (just kidding Lourdes) the last thing I needed was a lecture in Italian. On the water taxis in Venice, the first row of seats is reserved for pregnant women, women with children, the handicap and of course, persons over 70. In my delirium, I mistakenly thought the sign had a picture of a stick figure with a backpack, however, it turns out the stick figure’s backpack was not a backpack at all, but rather a baby bump. I sat down unknowingly and proceeded to get a few curse words thrown at me in a foreign language. I almost cried, but quickly decided against it because there’s no crying in baseball, or Italy.
After this incident, I pulled it together and we maneuvered our way through the Venetian tourists to get to our hotel, the ALBERGO DONI. We quickly changed and headed out on an adventure. The weather was absolutely incredible. With not a cloud in the sky and a light breeze, we made our way through the museums and palaces on the water. We sat in front of the water taxi (or as we like to call it, the poor student’s gondola) for over an hour just looking at the old buildings, observing the locales and taking pictures. (shout-out to Sarah Scales. I’m taking plenty of pictures for framing in your kitchen). I saw a ton of work by Veronese, one of my favorites, and Jess is being such a trooper checking out the art with me.
Overall, I’d give Venince a b+, with points added for the sun and points docked for the mobs of people and the crotchety old people.
We woke up today around 6am to catch a train to Florence. I cannot wait to see some of Michelangelo’s stuff, I mean he was the best ninja turtle, so I have some high expectations. We should get there around 11:30am, just in time for some pizza for lunch. Hopefully we will have some internet at the hostel, so keep a look out for some phone calls today!

Ciao blog fans,

Our Day in Venice

Buona sera from Venice! Today was a very long but fun day! We woke up bright and early in Paris at 4:15am and got to the train around 5am in order to make our 7:20 flight. Ashley told me (as I was asleep from take-off to touch down) that the trip took about an hour and a half. In Venice things started to get a little hectic. We caught a bus from the airport to the edge of the city center. Though we managed to find seats it was terribly hot and crowded in the bus. Then we got on a water taxi to our hotel a few minutes walk from San Marco. The most difficult part of the day was navigating through the Disney Worldesque crowds to get to the Albergo Doni Hotel. Our hotel is perfectly located and comfortable enough…It also probably doesn’t look much different than it did a couple hundred years ago. After dropping our bags off, we started to make the most of our one day in Venice. We went to the Basilica di San Marco and then to the Palazzo Ducale. The Palazzo was definitely my favorite thing in Venice. Those Doges really knew how to live! Then we took an elevator up to the top of the Campanile for the most amazing view of Venice! It was definitely worth it to see the city from that height, especially on a day as beautiful as today! Afterwards, we took a water taxi down the length of the Grand Canal and got of at the Ca d’Oro and wondered around down there for a bit. Then we visited the Rialto bridge and that area of town before going to the Accademia, Ashley’s favorite part of Venice. We stayed there for a while as it was, by far, the least crowded museum we have visited yet. It included some really amazing works. Then we took the water taxi back to San Marco and washed up for dinner. We had what we can only assume is a pretty standard Venetian dinner of pasta, salad, and seafood. Of course we had to end our meal with some delicious Italian Gelato. We met a really nice older couple from Atlanta who had already gone to Rome and Florence. We got some great tips from them and can’t wait until tomorrow! Hopefully we have internet in Florence so we can once again blog away…!
J &A

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Waving to you from the Hall of Mirrors!

Final Day In Paris!

Our last day in Paris, like our last day in London, was overcast and a little rainy. We woke up early and got on the train to Versailles. We got right in and spent almost three hours touring the castle, wondering the gardens, and eating in the town of Versailles. The castle is enormous, but why someone would need a house that big is beyond us! After we got back to Paris, we rested for a bit and then went to the Museum d’Orsay. We really enjoyed this museum. It had works from Monet, Van Gogh, Dali and other famous painters that Ashley knows but I could not name for the life of me. The sculptures at this museum were especially impressive. After the museum, we took the long way home (this is code for getting very lost!) and on the way realized how hungry we were. We got a baguette and ate in the Luxembourg Gardens. Then we did a little shopping in the Latin Quarter and now we are back at our hotel completely exhausted. We have to shout out the Hotel des 3 colleges for its most amazing shower in the world…seriously, the water pressure and heating abilities are unmatched. That is all for today, but below is a recap of things that we have learned to love and not-love in Paris.
Our Hotel
Everyone speaks English
The band at the top of Montmartre
Dana, our tour guide

Do Not Love:
Amazing clothes, but too expensive to buy
Getting lost in Versailles
The calories from Baguettes
Getting kicked out of Sacre Coeur for our shorts
Restaurant food/prices
Hotel Internet

Overall though, we loved so many more things in Paris than we did not love. Paris is an absolutely amazing city! We are sad to leave and can’t wait to come back! Early morning flight tomorrow and then 1 day in Venice. See you soon bloggerville. -- J&A

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Best Day Ever...

Bon jour and greetings from Paris. In my opinion, this day sets the standard for the rest of the trip. Here was our schedule for today:
8:00am- try to wake up
9:00am- actually wake up
10:00am- Louvre
1:00pm- walk through Tullieres Jardin down the Champs Ellyses past the Concorde to the arc de Triomphe
3:000pm- get on the metro and go to Mont Martre
5:00pm- best place in the world- Sacre Couer
7:00pm- nutella and Banana Crepe
7:30pm-9:00pm- awesome nap
10:00pm- dinner and walk around Latin Quarter
I loved the Lourve, but my favorite part of the day was our time in Mont Martre. What an amazing town! It was an incredibly steep climb up the mountain, but considering the sheer amount of ice cream we’ve been eating… I’d say it did us well. From the Sacre Couer, you were able to see the entire city of Paris. We sat on the steps of the Church for an hour people watching and listening to live music.
Tomorrow we are off to Versailles!
Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paris is for Lovers

It is late here in Paris so here is just a quick recap of things that we did today as well as some funny facts that we thought you might enjoy.

First we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral and then took a walking tour of the Latin Quarter which was so amazing. Shout out to Dana who was the greatest tour guide ever despite being in a BUI (biking under the influence) accident the night before. Then we got some baguettes and they were the best sandwiches we have every had in our lives. We also had some very great ice cream and then came back to our hotel and got ready to go to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at dusk. We climbed 300 stairs to get to the first level and decided our thighs were burning too much to go any further. There was a ridiculous line to take the elevator and we didn't want to wait. Overall it was a great first day in Paris and we are excited for tomorrow. Funny Facts Below...

-Police walk around holding AK-47s. Funny enough, this makes us feel less safe.
-People love to make out everywhere. Stay tuned for a post full of PDA pictures.
-Everywhere we go we meet law school studets. they all hate law school. this is not comforting.
-Saint Genevieve's finger looks like a chicken wing.
-Foreign children rule, American children drool.
-Skype is being "dodgy" so apologies to everyone we have tried to call.
-Either the sizes in Paris are different, or Ashley's thighs are considerably bigger than when we left.

...ta ta for now,

London Conlusions.

Jessica and I are currently on the chunnel to Paris right now. It’s 6:55am here. Woke up at 4:30am, thanks to our super sweet high-tech ipod alarms that we recently figured out, and went to sleep around 2am. Amazed that we made it here on time, we’d like to give some shout outs to mama Lewis and Mama Rogover for making us get to our transportation location on time. We were obviously earliest, but not necessarily most sober, people at King’s Cross International Station this morning.
We just loved London! We did everything we wanted to do and more. Yesterday, we woke up, went to the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, met Ashley Delaney and Caitlin Grimes at Westminster for a tour, went to Regents Park OPEN AIR THEATRE to see Much Ado About Nothing (where I preceded to take a nice Shakespearian nap in the sun, sorry William) then Claudia made us dinner (awesome), then we went out to a “swanky” night club, MAHIKI, and we made some friendz. As far as perfect days go, we’d give it a a+.
Lastly, a BIG BIG BIG internet hug to Claudia Myles, who let us take over her flat for the past 4 days. YAY FOR CLAUDIA getting her room back! We had an amazing time with you and thanks for everything.
Next stop… Paris.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick post for inquiring minds...

Top five things we saw yesterday.
5. a subway station with 193 steps. WAY too many steps for a subway station.
4. Jessicas's luggage finally came in! shout-out to delta for finally getting it here.
3. Pret-A-Manger. We still can't figure out what it is, but it seems like a McDonalds? They are on every corner.
2. Big Ben!
1. A london night tour and even though our guide told no jokes and gave us no information, it was still great to see the city at night.

a more witty/amazing post to come later today!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

a traveling circus...

Greetings from London, the first destination in our euro-adventure. We are staying in CLAUDIA's flat and we just spent 30 minutes attempting to use our American brains to turn on the shower... turns out the English outsmarted us, thank you Winston Churchill.

Yesterday at noon, started the longest day of my life. A two hour flight to Cleveland was followed by an 8 hour layover. I tried to bust out and hitch a ride to the rock n roll hall of fame, but i was unsuccessful, sorry Elvis. Some deductions from the CLEVE. 1. If I were a businesswoman, I would think about perhaps opening a gym. Seemed like a good market for a few ab machines. 2. A few too many Ellen Degeneres look-a-likes flooded my terminal. Good thing OHIO went blue in '08.

The plane to London was awesome. I sat next to a small white woman who rarely moved or talked, always a plus in my eyes. I had a she-pilot and male flight attendants, awesome. Arrived in London at 8:00am and waited for Jessica's plane to arrive at 1:30pm. I slept on a sweet bench, sorry Lourdes because it probably wasn't clean and I probably looked homeless. I got up around noon when a janitor asked if I needed to borrow his phone, i figured that wasn't a good sign.

Off the the Globe Theater and to discover life as a euro!

airplane adventure

Delta put me through quite an adventure today...I boarded my first flight in Orlando around 7:30pm and got to Atlanta on time. However, we had to circle the airport for over half an hour because of storm cells. Once on the ground, I ran to my connecting flight to London and we couldn't board for another hour because of lightning. THEN...another plane was in the air with the same flight number as ours, so we couldn't take off until all the appropriate paperwork was taken care of so that we could get a new flight number. So two hours behind schedule, we finally left! The flight was fine and and arrived in London around 1pm local time...unfortuately, my bad did not. It is still in Atlanta and will arrive tomorrow. Oh well...just going to borrow some clothes from Ashley. We are now at Claudia's (my cousin's) flat and we are about to head out to do some sight seeing and find our way around the neighborhood. Final Feelings on Life: Yay for being in London, Boo for my bag being in Atlanta.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help Us Plan!

We are now in full on planning mode! If you have been to any of the amazing cities that we will be visiting and know of something that we just can't miss or have general travel tips, please please give us suggestions!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Greetings from Gainesville, Florida, where the sun has refused to shine for over a month. With only 3 days until our dreaded LSAT is over and 6 days until we embark on our eurotrip adventure, Jessica and I can hardly contain our excitement! Here is a quick look at the places we will be and when.

June 12- Fly from US to Heathrow
June 13- London
June 14- London
June 15- London
June 16- Paris
June 17- Paris
June 18- Versailles
June 19- Venice
June 20- Florence
June 21- Florence
June 22- Cinque Terre
June 23- Cinque Terre
June 24- Rome
June 25- Rome
June 26- Rome
June 27-July 29- MADRID!

If you have any suggestions of things we MUST do/see in one of these particular cities, please let us know!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

8 Days Until Europe!

We are so excited to be done with the LSAT and leave for Europe in 1 week! We will be posting updates and pictures when we get there so be on the look out!