Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Europe Days 7-11 (haha! 7/11)

Day 7: Olympia, Greece

Olympia was awesome! Probably because we had a fantastic guide. He was really funny, and he brought everything to life. Greek food is amazing, especially fried cheese. If you ever go to greece, make sure to get the fried cheese pie. The outside is crisp, but the inside is soft and its almost completely melted.

When in the ancient city of Olympia, Dad, OB and I ran the original Olympic track!

Day 8: Athens, Greece

We went to the Parthenon. Actually, that's the only part of Athens I really recommend seeing. It is beautiful, and most of it is original. The city itself? The quality is like the dumpy parts of San Francisco, actually, probably worse. If you go to Athens, do the Parthanon and leave; there is not much more to see.

Day 9: Mykonos, Greece

Beach day! We didn't take any tours, just hung out on the beach. To most people was cold, but to me it was warm. Probably because the ocean where I live is FREEZING. Like, you don't have time to get used to the temperature before your legs cramp. While in the water I met Hanna, a girl on our ship, who likes "Star Wars"! Towards the end of the day, OB and Gino buried me and Hanna in the sand.

Day 10: Ephesus, Turkey

Turkey is amazing! You may be thinking "middle east, Muslim, oppression". That's not what it's like. Many of the women are getting educated, looking for jobs, and being threaded as equal. It is more if a western country.

It's really cool to be there, because Mary (Jesus's mom) is buried in Ephesus. She is one of my heroes, because she went though so much, and she was so pure she could be the mother of God!

I got a few comments on my eye color, I guess blue eyes are unusual in the middle east.

Day 11: Santorini, Greece

Today was quite an adventure! Our family (minus Mom and OB) did a tour of the volcanic island Santorini. First: wine tasting! Because we're not old enough to drink, Gino and I had smoothies. Then we went to a near by town which didn't that've much other than a church that was like a mini art museum.

Then we went to another town where we had lunch. I was going to have octopus, but had a gyro instead, and fried cheese for dessert (i cannot eat enough of that stuff).

Dad and I took the stairs to the port. All 598 of them! I rode a donkey the last 10%.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Europe days 19-26

Day 19: Continued

Next we went to visit the Barsottis and Chelinis, who live in adjoining homes. It was really cool to see where my great-grandparents lived! Not many of the relatives spoke English, but my dad and grandmother were there to help out.

Dinner was lots of fun! One of my relatives, Irene, speaks pretty good English. Actually, most of the people that I sat with did speak pretty good english. Because of that, and my little experience in Italian, I was able to communicate with my cousin Melissa, who is about my age. Irene and Stefani have an adorable three month old son. He's the newest member of the family!

Day 20: Lucca, day trip to Florence.

Today Mom and I took a train to Florence. We got dinner and I sketched the Medecci Palace. On the way back to Lucca, we met a model from Brazil.

There was a concert next to our hotel, the band was Blink-182. We were able to see from right outside the lobby!

Day 21: Ceva, Italy

Ceva is about a three hour drive from Lucca. I read Eragon, I'm almost done! We went through about 125 tunnels; try holding your breath for 2 miles! Yeah, I can't.

When we got to Ceva, we had about an hour to rest and get ready for the family dinner. We had a 10 courses, we had a cake that said something in Italian with our last name, and an American and Italian flag next to each other.

Tomorrow we leave for... Como, I think.

Day 22: Costa (family), drive to Como

When we were leaving Ceva, we went to Costa to visit family before we left. We had lunch with them, then walked through the town (one street with old buildings), and Guido showed us his garden.

On our way to the hotel here in Como, we got a little lost. I'm really tired... yeah. More driving tomorrow.

Day 23: Como/ drive to Isltwalt

We went to the lake house today! I got to stand where they filmed the scenes in AOTC. It's beautiful, and there are a bunch of places to explore.

We drove thru the Alps to Switzerland (MAJOR CAR SICKNESS!! DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH THE ALPS!) Iseltwald is a very pretty town. We are staying on the lake, which is a beautiful blueish- green.

Day 24: Iseltwald, Switzerland

Dad, OB and I went to a model train show. It was actually pretty cool. Other than that, I read ( finished Eragon) and went on TLF. I tried to update my blog, but my iPad deleted my post. Ugh.

Day 25: Iseltwald

Rented a motorboat.

Day 26: Drive to Genova, Switzerland

On our drive, we stopped at a chocolate factory. It was a really fun tour, which showed the history of chocolate, then how they make the chocolate good. We bought TONS of chocolate, mostly for friends. We leave for home tomorrow!

Day 27: Home (aka: a 21 hour plane flight)

Well, I must have missed a day somewhere, we were in Europe for 28 days, this flight being the 28th.

I watched quite a few movies, and my favorite episodes of ATLA on our way back to America. We were in business class, so we had chairs that completely transformed into beds!

When I stepped out of the last airplane, it was about 8 pm. Wh had flown into the local airport, which is only a few minutes away from home. The sun was setting, and I could smell the ocean.

That song "This is home" was one of the first things to pop into my head.

Moms parents came to see us, and the Jessi picked us up and drove us home.

Now what am I supposed to do now that we aren't traveling? Well, in two weeks I volunteer at our churches VBS, then cousins on my moms side come to visit (thank God they speak English;)) then her brother comes to visit, and then off to CVI to meet my TLF sisters! On the weekends in between all of that, we will probably go up to our second house. When will I have time to work on my Ahsoka CVI costume?
Yay! I get to watch LOK tomorrow!

This is where my journal for the trip ends. Next week I am volunteering for VBS, and the dress for my Ahsoka costume came yesterday! Because can be expecting pictures from our trip to be up by next Sunday. Actually, I'm thinking about making pictures from trips it's own page... Idk.

Have a fantastic summer, everybody!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Europe: Days 1-6 + Travel

As some of you know, I am on a Mediterranean cruise with my family. It's for my dad's mom's birthday. I wanted to post pictures, but because of the bad Wi-Fi, I have to wait until we get back home. The travel plan is: go to Venice for a few days, board the 12 day cruise which we get off of at Rome, then drive through Italy to Luca and Ceva to visit family. Then my Noni, Zia Linda, Zia Diane, Uncle DL and little cousin Gino will fly back to America, while my parents, brother and I will drive up to Lake Como where we will go to the Lake House where AOTC (So Excited!!!!!!) was filmed, then go to Switzerland where my mom lived for a while, then fly home. All of that will take about a month! I am going to copy my journal entries from the past few days.

Day 1: Venice

We arrived in Italy last night, some time around 7:30 (Italian time). We took a boat from the airport to Venice! It was so cool going on a taxi here, because, well... you don't have water taxied in the US, do you? Me on the taxi: :):):):):):):):);)!!!!!. Yeah, that's the best way I can put it.

Once arriving to the island area, we went straight to our hotel. Back home in the US, everyone wants the biggest room, the best room service, the newest TV, the softest bed etc. I'm not really expecting any of that, but I was not expecting what we got, either! There is a bridge, then a little store, then a sign with the Hotels name on it sticking out of the wall! The rooms wear tiny, but I loved it! I have a picture I will post when I get home, its totally non-American.

Day 2: Venice

We went to Morano to see glass blowing. Went on a gondola after dinner. Noni, Zia Diane, Zia Linda, Uncle DL, and Gino came late. I haven't seen them yet, but will tomorrow.

Day 3: Venice, then boarding boat

Again, we got up late. Ed walked around Venice, visited land marks, and went to lunch with Viviana and her mom (Viv was Zia Linda and Uncle DL's most recent exchange student). Before leaving Venice, I got a ask for my "Lady Vader" costume for CVI.

We boarded the boat we boarded the boat, and got totally lost on the wag to dinner. The buffet has SO much food! I'm going to have some of everything.

[no entry day 4; I didn't really do much but sleep]

Day 5: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Today Dad, OB (remember my little brother?) and I walked around Dubrovnik and went into a lot of churches/ monasteries (we found a weeping angel. Don't blink!), ate ice cream, bought stuff at the market, and felt like we were in an oven. There are days when modesty is nowhere near my top priority!

I loved Dubrovnik, it's a port city, so it's something I am comfortable with (we live on the ocean), and it's really pretty. If you have seen "The Prince of Prussia": if it weren't for the fact that most people were wearing their swimsuit, it could have easily made a market scene in the movie, it's loud, hot, and people are sitting on the walls playing music.

Day 6: Corfu, Greece

We took a bus up a mountain (the engine fan thing broke half way up!( and had lunch. Dads side of the family wasn't with us today. Now I'm siting on OB's couch-bed writing this.

Yep! That sums up my time here so far.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Graduation... and stuff

Adding "and stuff" to the end of a thought makes it feel like the thought is complete, but can still be added to. Yeah... that probably made no sense.

News in my life: I graduated from 8th grade!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to miss my class so much; I've known most of them for about 10 years (well, 12 out of 38, but close enough ;) ). On Thursday, Sierra, Blythe, Hayley and I went to a sand dune that people write stuff in sea weed on and wrote "Congrats 8th gr Cougars!" It was one of those days that you just have to scream "YOLO"to the world. Actually, after we finished, we stood on top of the sand dune and spelled out 'YOLO" with our arms. I was the "Y".

We listend to this about a million times while writing on the sand dune!

Friday was graduation. I got very sunburned, I should have been wearing sunblock! But in general the ceremony went well, except for that one time when Jordan said "There goes my future bride" when Veronica walked down to get her certificate. I was trying not to laugh, so I had to silently giggle until I couldn't breathe! I made it down the stairs with out tripping! Yay! 

Ok, let me just say, our school knows how to reward hard work. The graduating class gets a pool party, a awards lunch, the graduation mass and graduation, and then a dinner/ dance on the night of graduation. Oh, and we also get individually announced at the flag-lowering ceremony (which I sang a duet with my friend Marie). 

So then there was the dinner/dance. I sat at a table with Ben and his family, and Mrs. M, the head of middle school. She is such a nice person, I'm so sad she is retiring. Any who, we did the dance party and had dinner and stuff. Then was the hard part: saying goodbye.

I had never thought about how hard it was going to be to leave this school. I had been there from the time I was three, in pre-k, and am now graduating 10 years later, in 8th grade. Well, except for the four years I home schooled in 3-7th grade. Most of these people are like family to me (as in: we have no problem telling each other to shut up when needed). Its like... yeah... sad. 

So we all gathered together inside, and said good bye. I hugged just about everyone twice. And by the end I was crying. Everyone was, even some of the boys. Then Lauren started singing "My Wish", which we sang at graduation, and we all joined in. Then someone (I cant remember who) started singing "13", which we sang for our spring concert.

'My Wish'

I had a solo in it: "I'm becoming a woman/No one tells all the scared in-betweens/ just how we should be strong be good with so much pressure now" and a whole bunch of small parts.

Yeah, by the time I got home (which was relatively close to the location) my makeup was all over my face, and the only song I could listen to was:

"We are young"
It will always remind me of 8th grade.

Then there was Saturday and Sunday, and that brings us to today: Monday, June 11, 2012. The first official day of summer break and Syrena's thirteenth birthday! Happy birthday, Syrena!