Thursday, February 26, 2009

Off Again

Hiii!!!Just to catch you up: the day after I got back from Florence we left on our Educational Field Trip. The whole program took a week off of classes and we all went to Greece! We stayed in Athens right next to the Acropolis! We took a day cruise to three different islands: Poros, Hydra and Aegina. (The picture with the donkey is on Hydra, and the bottom picture is on Poros). We also took a day trip to Delphi. The trip was amazing and I learned so much!So spring break is here! It starts tonight! With papers, midterms and projects though we are not going to leave until Saturday morning to try and get some work done. Spring break is 10 days long and there is so much to see and do. On Saturday morning we are taking off and going to France. We are going to be traveling to a few little cities and getting to Paris by Sunday afternoon. We will spend about 2 days in Paris and then move on to Brussels, Belgium, where we will fly out of to spend the rest of our time in Ireland. We are going to Spend one night in Dublin and then it's off to the Irish countryside, I'm so so excited for this!! We are going to the city of Dulin. We are going to see the cliffs of Moher and maybe go bike riding! We're going to come back to Switzie-land on Saturday evening to finish homework and get ready for the next week. Say a prayer or two for safety! LOVE YOU

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gelato, Pizza, Pasta and a Cheeseburger...thanks Florence!

Hiiiiii!!! Long time no post! Sorry about that; things have been crazy travel-wise. I’m finally finding a little bit of this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in Lausanne to tell you about it.
So the weekend after London we went to Florence, Italy. It was so amazing and full oh history on literally every corner. First of all I got to ride in my first sleeper train. It was so fun, like having a sleepover where you wake up in another country!! We arrived in Florence at 6:30 am. Since we got into Pepperdine’s house there, Pepperdine fed us breakfast every morning. We had all-you-can-eat passes to the most delicious Café ever! The chocolate croissants were my downfallJ. After breakfast we needed to walk it off a little, so we started walking around the city and made our way to the Duomo. The Duomo in Florence is so cool. We got to walk in and take pictures, and admire all the architecture of the old buildings that we just don’t have in the states. So after that it kind of started to rain, so we went somewhere inside. We went to the Galleria Palatina, aka the Medici Palace. We saw all the old art works and the old palace which was so neat. By the time we were done with that the rain had stopped, and the weather was still warm compared to Switzerland and had that beautiful “after rain” feel to it, so we went right over to the Boboli Gardens. The Boboli Gardens were enormous!!! They were so fun to explore and had so many places where we could overlook the whole city. The Italian food was, of course, to die for, and we, no doubt, indulged in gelato a time or two.
On Saturday we got an early start and went to the Accademia to see many of Michelangelo’s works, including the David. The David was magnificent. I was not expecting it to be that amazing, but it absolutely took my breath away. We then moved on and went to the Ufizzi. The Ufizzi is a famous galleria in Florence filled with renaissance art. The Ufizzi has in it many famous paintings, including the Birth of Venus. It was so neat to be able to see everything that I had learned about in all of my history and humanities classes, it really made things come alive. We spent so long in the Ufizzi admiring all the art so by the time we got out my tummy was about to die. We went searching for this little American diner for lunch. We got lost eight times and finally found it. It had pink walls and a little fish tank, it was so cute. It also had the best bacon cheeseburger I have ever consumed. I totally miss American food, so that was really fun. When we tried to go back to the house there were blockades across every street to our street. The police were everywhere and told us that there was a communist rally/ demonstration going on and that it wasn’t safe to be there. We were so confused and finally gave up and had to wait out the rally. It was a little scary and there was kind of mayhem every where after a little while. When they finally let us back to the house it was time for dinner. We went looking for a little Italian place and I had pizza, typical, I know. The pepperoni there is just so so so good though. I loved it. That night back at the house I was humming “Sing and be Happy” in my head and this girl that I didn’t even know too well came up and stared singing the also part. Before we knew it we had like ten of us at an impromptu worship session till 1 in the morning. We finally got a little sleep and had to wake up at 6ish to catch our train back to Lausanne. Our trip back to Lausanne consisted of 3 train changes and a McDonald’s stop in Milan! It was such a fun trip. I would LOVE to go back to Italy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

London Town!!

Oh my goodness!!! This weekend was fabulous!! London is such an amazing city; if I went there every weekend for the whole semester I would still not be over it.
My traveling buddy, Paige, and I set off Friday morning from Lausanne, and after a train ride to the Geneva airport, security twice, a flight to London Gatwick, a train ride to central London, Figuring out how to take the tube to South Kensington and a short little walk to 56 Princess Gate, we were finally at the Pepperdine house in Central London. We were so fortunate to get a spot in the house, or else we would have had to find other means of lodging…whew! So we dropped off our stuff in a hurry and we were off to meet the rest of our group at Big Ben!! We met up with them and went to the London Eye, and on the way there saw the original London Bridge, we almost missed it because it just looks like every other bridge in London. We all wanted to see a show while we were there, some of us wanted to see Wicked and some of us wanted to see Les Miserables. We try to find the theaters that are playing our shows, and we ended up at the Chicago Theater. We walk inside and find out that there is a show in 30 minutes, with tickets for 25 pounds… sooooo we saw the show! But we definitely were starving by this time, so we were looking for someplace to get a snack when we came across this little bakery/café called Candy Cakes. I’m not even lying….when I walked into this place I felt like I was literally in Candy Land, everything looked absolutely fake, but was so delicious!! I ended up sharing pesto pasta and a double chocolate fudge cupcake (Mom, I thought of youJ) with Anna. Then we saw Chicago. The actors were not quite up to par, but I guess it was the experience that counts. After the show, we found a little Italian restaurant called the Spaghetti House, and we ate great Italian Food there. We were utterly exhausted by this time, so we just went home and right to bed.
The next morning we got an early start, and went straight to the Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge was so so beautiful! The railings are blue and it just made me feel like a little princess!! It was amazing to actually be there. We then went to Buckingham Palace. We were on the wrong day for the changing of the guards, but we did see the guards, in their little fuzzy hats, but we couldn’t get close to themL. So we went to St. James Park and walked. I felt like I was in 101 Dalmatians! It was so cute. Next we went to Notting Hill and walked all up and down Portobello Street, the Portobello Market was enormous. We also found the Traveling Bookshop, from the movie Notting Hill. I have never seen the movie but one of the girls was really excited about it…so we went along. The next goal is to check out the tickets for Les Miserables. We got to the theater and in order to get cheaper tickets we all had to split up, which was okay. We got our tickets and then we were off to Harrods!!!!!! We finally found it, it was amazing, like a museum!! As we were leaving Harrods the door man was talking to us and we asked him to point us in the direction of a little English pub. He sent us in the direction of the Tea Clipper. This was such a fun dinner, where Anna and I just had to get fish and chips, it was delicious!! Then we separated and went to see our shows. Les Mis was marvelous. I was sitting in the front row next to this little old couple from Exeter, England, they were so cute! We had one last goose chase of our trip…we had to find platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter!! We tried to find it ourselves, finally asked a man in the train station, followed his advice, and that got us a little ways. Then a scary conductor with 3 teeth popped out of at train and asked us if we needed help, while following his directions we ran into a crew of construction workers who finally just took us there! Oh my.. it was crazy, but yes, it does exist!! We get back to south Kensington, finally, and we kind of wanted deee-ssert, so we went to the “pink berry” of London, it was called Snog. I opted for the “Naughty Snog” with brownie pieces and a shot of espresso! It was deelish. We walked back to the house and got to hand out with friends form the London program for the rest of the night.
The next morning it was snowing! I got on my first public bus, and went to the London Luton airport, and came back to Lausanne, where it was still snowing and had my first chicken and lamb kebab! WHEEEEWWWWWW!!! What a weekend- wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gone for the Weekend

Okay so this weekend is going to be the first out of Switzerland adventure!! Tomorrow morning I leave for London. I will be catching a train to Geneva around 8:30 am, and flying out of the Geneva airport at 11:15 am...then arriving at the london Gatwick airport at aroung 12:00 pm, so it's a pretty short flight. I'm super excited, and can't wait to tell you all about it :) Please pray that my friends and I have safe travels this weekend!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kind of a lonely weekend here in Lausanne

So the original plan for this last weekend was to go to Paris!! Well, that did not work out according to plan. My Eurail pass, that was supposed to arrive on Wednesday of last week, did not get here until Saturday. So that was a little sad. It was a little lonely with almost all 56 people that I live with being gone. But I had a nice, slow weekend here in Lausanne. Despite the quiet house, I was able to meet some wonderful people from the other Pepperdine abroad programs that were coming to visit Lausanne, and that will definitely come in handy if I ever go to any of their programs!
It snowed all morning on Saturday, so I opted to stay in and relax have a late breakfast, catch upon homework, and chill.
On Saturday night Professor Giboney invited a bunch of us up to her apartment on the 5th floor of the hotel. When we got there she had popcorn and hot chocolate ready to make, she is so cute. So we start to make the popcorn in the microwave, and all the power goes out in the whole apartment!! We had to track down the maintenance guy to turn it back on, and the second we try to make the popcorn again we knock out all the power...again!! He told us it was because the popcorn bag was too big for the microwave, and that the turning tray was spinning but the popcorn was not, and that’s what caused the power outage…yeah, he was really confused! So now we’re afraid to use the microwave, so we resorted to heating milk in a pan in the stove to make our Ho Cho. So then we sit down to put the movie in the DVD player and a little message popped up that said, in French, that this DVD was in the wrong region. Professor Giboney did not know that you couldn’t play an American DVD in any DVD player in Europe. We resorted to watching the movie on a laptop. Our movie experience was a little bit of a fiasco! The movie was very good though, I definitely recommend it. It was called “Though None Go With Me.”
Sunday morning was absolutely gorgeous, and I have never enjoyed the walk to church more. It was the epitome of the clearing after the storm. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was snow covering the Alps.
Church yesterday morning was wonderful, and the Smith family, once again, fed us a delicious lunch. I am so thankful for them, especially when every meal here is average 15 franks. I think I forgot to mention my European McDonalds experience…well let me tell you about it. Your average combo meal, #2 or #6 or whatever, is about 12 franks here!! That is absurd!! Where we have our dollar menu, they have a 3 frank menu, there are no refillable drinks and no self serve ketchup; every ketchup packet is 20 cents. Anyways… things are just different. I have a lot of school work this week. A religion exam and a large french quiz already on Tuesday. So as fun as traveling is, school is still very important, so prayers are always needed in that department!!

Well, I'm off to study until my next class!! LOVE YOU ALL:)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Switzie Days!

Well....a lot has happened since last week. I saw the Alps for the first time, it snowed and it rained!! I spent this weekend hanging out in Switzerland and getting to know the place where I live, and the people I live with before I take off and see the rest of Europe.
On Friday I went to Geneva and visited the United Nations and the Red Cross Museum. Both very informational visits, but not the most stimulating when you're exhausted and can't really understand your tour guide!! But it was fun. After that we spent the rest of the day exploring Geneva and ate fondue at a little Swiss restaurant for dinner:)
On Saturday we woke up early and went to the market Saturday Market here in Lausanne. The market was comparable to the farmer's market in Old Town Temecula, except there were a lot more antiques. There was a man playing the accordion!!! I wanted to take a picture with him but I wasn't sure how to ask in French, and I didn't want him to be creeped out!! So I let that one go.... Then that afternoon, we caught a train up to Montreux, a little town up the shore and visited the Chateau de Chillon, an old castle in Switzerland with too much history to even go into! It was an amazing day!
Sunday, today, I went to church at Brady Smith's house; Paul Begin's brother-in-law! It was so neat to listen to the service all in french, and sing the same songs we do back home all the way in Switzerland! And then we had a potluck with the people there ...It was a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009