Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ciao Bella

SO I have been pretty busy and finding Internet is the hardest thing in the world. I hate paying for it at Internet cafes but school is terrible for Internet. Anyways...I went to Florence and climbed the dome at dumo, saw David, and some Botticelli paintings. I was there for a short time but it was still a lot of fun. I will be going back to Florence again at least twice while I am here. I still have lots to see and I also need to find some hot leather boots while im there too. This pass weekend.
The best part of the trip was the bus ride home. I had a drunk guy almost fall asleep in my lap...he was getting way too close for comfort. One of the girls took a picture so as soon as I get that I will post it. On the same bus, my friend Elizabeth had the opportunity to reassure an Italian that Mormons arnt spies. She was studying Italian on the bus home and one of the passangers asks her is she is learning italian and if she was any good. She responded that she was trying to get better. The guy asks her where she was from. Salt Lake City she replied. The man became alarmed with her response and replied but theres mormons there. Elizabeth agreed that there were a lot of mormons in Utah. But mormons are spies the man replied. Elizabeth replied that she is mormon...but promised that she wasnt a spie. The rest of the bus ride the man was a little jummpy. Her version is much better you can check it out on her blou under our friends link.
went to Pisa and Lucca. It was my second time to Pisa but it was just as fun. I decided not to climb the tower...one day Nathan and I will come back to Italy and we will climb the tower together.

Luccawas a lot of fun. I ate pizza on the city wall. The best part of the trip was renting bikes for an hr and ridding on top of the city wall. It has been a very long time since I have ridden a bike. It took me about 15 min to be refreshed and I stil wasnt confident in my bike riding. It was beautiful ride on top of the wall. I couldn't help but be reminded of the sound of music. I kept singing in my head. I also got a pretty cool vase at the antique market in Lucca too. I had to resist the urge to buy an antique chandelier...What would I do with one I had to tell my self.

Great Pizza

My pink bike

A beautifull villa
Me and myICe Cream thats almost gone

Climbing the Dome

Top of the Dome...I dont know what the smoke is in the back

Sunset on the way home

The Dumo and bell tower

It still hasnt fallen yet....I was keeping it up

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Italy Pictures

Trevi Fountain

The Almalfi coast

St. Peters Square

Holy staircase
Can you see the Roman Forum?

Sorry that some of the pictures are so small. I dont know what is going on with my computer.

I am Alive!

Wow, this post is long overdue. I am sure everyone wants to see pictures of Italy...and now I shall deliver. It is hard to post a blog at an internet café, so I have been patiently waiting for my chance. And I finally have it Now that I am in Sienna. So I should probably update, what I have been up too. So my first day in Rome I went to the colosseum and almost fell asleep standing up thanks to jet lag. However, I was able to wake up for the Roman Forum which is AMAZING. The Forum is essentially ancient Rome. It is the Rome for Julius César and the birthplace of western civilization. So it’s a bit nerdy, but I loved the idea that I was walking where history was made. It was great to think that it was there where I was standing that Cesar was killed, temples stood, and there was once a thriving civilization. By the time the group finished up with the Forum, we were so tired that we took the metro back to the hotel and got dinner. I was out at 10pm.

Sunday, we went to church. And it was in Italian. The ward was small and our study abroad group doubled the size of the ward. But it was great to sing hymns in Italian and try to understand the speakers. After church we went to St. Peters Basilica. We were able to walk around the ornate church. It really is an amazing place. I was able to see my one of my favorite statues; Michael Angelo’s’ Mary and Christ. It is beautiful to see. I climbed all 521 stairs to the top of St. Peters dome. Which from the ground to the top of the dome is longer than a foot ball field…except it was all stairs. My legs were shaking after. At the top of the dome we could see all of Rome. It was fantastic and worth the work out. Climbing made me and some of the other girls tired so we went back to the hotel to rest. For dinner, we took the metro to the Spanish steps and ate at a restaurant on the second floor that overlooked the steps. It was very pretty and a lot of fun. By coincidence, there was a 10k race in front of the Spanish steps. It was fun to watch and reminded me of Nathan. (I started talking to Nathan at institute when I heard he ran the LA Marathon…I thought it was amazing that it was his second time.) After dinner I walked to Trevi fountain and there we ran into other girls from our group. We walked with them back to the Spanish steps and from there we took the metro back to the hotel and ended another long night.
Monday the group went to the Vatican museum. The museum is just as amazing as St. Peters. There are so many wonderful pieces of art it is amazing. This time I was able to see parts of the museum that most people don’t attend like the early Christian art…which was amazing. I still saw the Sistine chapel and got a neck cramp from looking up for so long. My professor showed us around the art gallery and taught us how to describe art. I viewed an incomplete Da Vinci painting. It was cool to see the parts that were still a sketch and the painted parts all in one. After the Vatican it was time for some shopping…I didn’t spend that much either (around $23 on a coat its cute!)Anyways…me and a few friends took the metro to the old city walls and there I found La Scala Sancta (Holy Staircase). Basically, the staircase was taken from Jerusalem in 320 AD by Constantine mother, St. Helen. It is believed that these steps were walked by Christ the day of his crucifixion. The marble staircase is covered with wood planks and you are only allowed to crawl up…which I think is good, it allows people to contemplate the atonement. It was a good experience and I was glad I was able to go because it is not an average tourist place.

Tuesday, my last day in Rome, started by viewing a Caravaggio painting In a church in the Pizza del Poppol, actually it’s the church in Angels in Demons where they find the Earth branding. Then we were off to the Borghese gallery. I was excited to come there because my favorite sculpture is there. I fell in love with the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne when I first saw its picture. I decided that Bernini is amazing! His control over marble to produce this beautiful image, was amazing. There is a strong life like quality in his work that I keep waiting for one of his statues to move. I was so happy that I was able to see more works from Caravaggio and Bernini and comparing the two artist and there points of view. Fowling the art gallery, My professor, Peter, took the students to Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, another art gallery, and one more church to see another Caravaggio painting. The last painting was amazing. I can’t remember the name however, Christ and peter were dressed in clothes of their time and Christ points to Mathew who is dressed in Caravaggio’s time. It’s an interesting painting. And I enjoyed it a lot. Then a few girls and I went to another church to see Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa. That was beautiful as well. The day was long tiring but a lot of fun for a last night in Rome.
Wednesday we drove to Naples and visited the National Archaeological Museum there. I was able to see artifacts that they discovered from Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was very interesting to see some of the jewelry and preserved food. I even did a little sketching too. From the museum the group went to Herculaneum. Now Herculaneum is a smaller town, where more wealthy people have lived than Pompeii. Furthermore, Herculaneum is better preserved because it was buried from the bottom up in mud and better preserved. It was nice to see some of the mosaics. I thought it was amazing to see how deep the city was buried as well. After Herculaneum, I almost died on our way to Minori. We took our big buss up a little curvy rode up a mountain. It was kinda scary, but worked out when we made it to Minori which is on the Amalfi coast.

Thursday the group went to Pompeii, and since it was my second time going there I didn’t take that many pictures. However, I was able to explore the ancient city more and learn new facts. Pompeii is larger than Herculaneum however it was buried from the top down causing roofs to collapse so it is not preserved as well as Herculaneum. It was still nice to see their versions of fast food, election posters, and remains of a once thriving civilization. And once we were back in Minori it was time to finally hit the beach. It was nice to swim in warm water.
Friday was a free day and me and a few girls went to the island of Capri. The whole trip was a little pricey but well worth it. We took a little boat around the whole island. We were able to go inside the blue grotto and that was amazing. Inside the water glowed an electric blue. It was fantastic. It was fun a fun trip and I am glad that I was able to do it.
Saturday the group left Minori early and went down to another ancient site which I cant spell the name. But anyways, there we were able to see some temples and at the museum we viewed some interesting frescoes. Then we were on the bus for a 7 hr drive to Sienna.
There was a bit of a switch around with families but it is ok now. I live inside the city 2min from the main square with a retired lady who doesn’t speak any English. She is a great cook…she owned her own restaurant for a while. But she really wants my roommate and I to learn Italian and pushes us to learn new words. Its hard because you never know if she is yelling at you because Italians are very pushy and emotional when they speak. But hopefully I can get the language down and eliminate some of the awkward moments.
I will try to keep this blog updated with my travels….Internet is hard to find for my laptop but I will do my best.
I miss everyone a lot….especially Nathan.
But I’m having a great time. I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chelsea is GONNNEEEEEE!!!!!!

What am I going to do now? Not having her around is like somebody cutting off my right arm. All my free time is now spent.....sorting my sock drawer? I need her back. Saying bye was the most difficult thing I have done in my life up to this point. Not only is being engaged for 9 months incredibly hard, but not seeing your fiance for 3 of those 9 months? It's torture. So I have to find ways to keep myself busy and the best I could do was updating this blog. Your all welcome.

Chelsea has been a very busy girl lately with wedding plans and packing for Italy, yet always found time to spend with me, thanks babe. Anyway, I'm sure if she had had more time she would have posted about finally picking a venue for our reception. No, its not gonna be at the church, but 10 times better: The Coco Palm. (http://www.cocopalmrestaurant.com/weddings.htm) This place is awesome and we are so excited to finally have a place and be able to finalize all the smaller details. So get ready for a rockin good time and an amazing 3 course meal on December 27th, 2008.

Also, I went skydiving last week. My senior project teacher offered to take our whole team sky diving for free. Now normally, I would never go skydiving because I am so scared of heights. Just thinking about jumping freaked me out. Also, the price would have kept me from skydiving. So I felt like this would have been my only opportunity to ever sky dive in my life and decided to take it. I did a tandem jump which meant some dude was strapped to my back, however being at 12,500 feet having a dude strapped to my back was somehow not a major concern for me. Luckily, I wasn't really required to do anything, not even jump. My partner pushed me out of the plane and for 60 seconds we went into a free fall which almost blew my contacts out. Then I pulled the chute and for 6 minutes we steered the parachute around and then finally landed. It was the funnest thing I have ever done and I want to go again ASAP. Next time I will have to take Chelsea. Your life is actually in no danger, I learned, but I guess the people that have died from sky diving would tell you otherwise. Skydiving: Recommended by Nathan.

Lastly, Greg and Cori got married....lucky. I am really happy that they finally did it, I love those guys and hope the best for them. And I am moving to La Jolla in a week and starting UCSD really soon. Exciting times. Come home soon Chelsea, I miss you.