A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cinque Terre, Italy

I had seen pictures of this place on Pinterest. It looked amazing so we knew we had to go there. We are so glad that we did. It was beautiful. It was also nice to get away from the cities and go to the beach.

There are 5 cities. There is a path that connects to all of them. It takes 5 hours to hike it. We decided since it was so hot and we only had one day... we would take the boat that goes from city to city. You just buy one boat ticket and you can hop on and off the boat from city to city as much as you want. We ended up going to 3 out of the 5. Saw them all from the boat though.

We had fun walking around and exploring these beautiful and unique cities. The water was clear and so blue... and refreshing on a hot day.

 That is right, we got in for a swim. We saw the crowds on the beaches and didn't want any part of that. We saw some rocks... and decided we would find a rock to lay out on and get into the water from there. We didn't realize that it would be so hard to get into the water from the rocks. It kind of hurt actually. We thought we were the only ones that struggled, but as it turns out... everyone had the same problem that we did. That made us feel better... but I still left that afternoon with a cut on my knee from it. Thank goodness Allison is there to document the funny and embarrassing moments of the trip... like me struggling to get back out of the water. Ha!

We had dinner outside close to the water at sunset. We ate delicious sea food.

We enjoyed our time in Cinque Terre. We wouldn't have minded staying longer. We loved it there and were SO glad that we put it on our list of places to visit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rome, Italy

We fly into Rome, so this was our first taste of Italy. I was excited to see Rome. There are so many famous sites there. I guess all I know of Italy is what I have seen in movies and on Pinterest.... so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's really just a big city with scattered ruins and cathedrals here and there. Don't get me wrong, I liked Rome. I'm glad we went to Rome. I just wasn't sad to leave Rome.

We arrived in Rome in the late afternoon because our flight was delayed and then by the time you go through customs and get your bags... we thought we would have half the day to explore the city, but by the time we got to our hostel and checked and and had dinner... it was dark. We saw that there was a "Rome by Night" tour that night, so we signed up. We were glad we did this. We got a little information and saw where things were in the city and it's always fun to see a city lit up at night. It's when we also had our first gelato. Also where we met our first friend as well, Jacob, who we hung out with on the tour. He was traveling by himself. He was from Nebraska, but studying abroad in London. That night we got on and off the bus that took us to all the main sites (including the pantheon, picture below). We also walked around a lot. Almost all of the places we went that night, we went back to the next day to see when it was light and go inside if we could. Allison and I made a Bucket List of all the things we wanted to do in Italy and Greece. One of our biggest disappointments and the only thing I didn't cross off on my Italy Bucket list was throwing a coin in the Trivi Fountain. Why? Because it was drained and under construction. I can't tell you how sad that was. Allison got a picture, but it was a pretty pathetic picture. Anyway, we liked the night tour. It was also nice to walk around the city when it wasn't crowded.

The next day Jacob asked us if we wanted to explore Rome with him. We did just that. Always fun to make new friends. First thing we did the next day was go to St Peters Cathedral. We did this first thing because the Pope was speaking! Pretty cool right? We thought we were pretty cool. Not very many people can say that they started their day off listening to the Pope live in Italy.

After that we wandered. I took lots of pictures as we walked around.

We went to the Colosseum. Allison and I just looked at it and took pictures from the outside, but Jacob took a tour on the inside.... after this he was headed to London, so this is where we parted ways with our friend.

After that we headed to Vatican city to tour the museum and Sistine Chapel. SO beautiful! So much beautiful art and history covered from ceiling to floor.

After those crowds.... we were done with the city. After hanging out at our hostel for a little bit, we took the train to a charming and less touristy part of Rome for dinner.... where we had our first Italian pizza. The next morning we got on a train and left and our adventures in Rome came to an end.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Scuba Diving Santorini, Greece

Since I am scuba certified, I liked to go scuba diving on my trips, if I can. Usually I am traveling with people who are not scuba certified. Last time I had Daniel get certified before we left... which he did and Ellis ended up coming also and did discover scuba.

When we got to Santorini, Greece... and I saw how clear and blue that water was, I knew I had to scuba dive. Allison was supportive of this. Not only was she supportive of me doing it, but she was willing to do discover scuba and go with me since she is not certified. SO happy that she is so much like me. :)

So as soon as we found a scuba shop, we pulled our ATV over and we went in and signed up. We were going to be going with whoever signed up to go at the same time as us the next day in the afternoon. As it turns out, nobody else signed up to go at that time, so it was just Allison and I. Since she was doing discover scuba, she had to have her own dive master. So either I could go with my own dive master and have a more experienced dive, or I could go with Allison and sit through the crash course with her. I chose to go with Allison. Always more fun to experience scuba diving with your friends. I will never know what I missed on my "more experienced" dive... but the dive I went on with Allison was pretty awesome.

The dive master that took us was a middle aged chatty Greek man that was rolling up a joint before we left the shop. He was pretty "relaxed" (aka high) when he was giving Allison her crash course on how to scuba. I wished he was not so chatty because I just wanted to get in the water and go instead of sit through all of his stories of why you do what you do to scuba. We finally get in the water to start our dive. This was my first dive that was from the shore instead of jumping off a boat in who knows where straight into the deep ocean. It was kind of nice. Nice to ease in instead of jumping right in, especially for Allison who had never done it before and had a high dive master taking her for her first time.

It was nice having it just be the 3 of us. The water was not freezing and the water was beautiful and so clear. The dive was so different than anywhere else I have gone diving (not that I have been diving very many places). That is why it is awesome to dive in different parts of the world, because each dive is so different.  The fish were not as tropical... but I have never been surrounded by so many fish my my entire dive before. It was pretty amazing. Although our dive master was high, he also used to be a videographer, so he took some awesome video and pictures of us on our dive with my GoPro... so that was a major plus.

I love scuba diving. I'm so glad that I decided to get certified and I'm glad that I have been able to use it on my last couple of trips. It's AMAZING! So glad that Allison was willing to go with me. Greece in a cool place above and below the sea.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Milan, Italy

All I can really show you of Milan is what it looked like from the air. We basically just went to Milan to fly to Athens. Soo..... this is it.

Actually... we arrived in Milan in the early evening and checked into our hostel. Our hostel was awesome enough that we could have just hung out with the rest of the people out in the lobby all on their phones, but we figured, why not check out Milan at night. It was either see a little bit of the city at night or not at all. I'm glad that we decided to explore. It was our last hours in Italy after all.

We took the subway to the main part of town. We walked around the central park and a cool castle. We went out and had a nice dinner. The city actually looks quite nice. The architecture was pretty... like most of Italy. The best part of our night outing was going to the Duomo. It was quite awesome.

I would have gotten better pictures if it were during the day, but we also loved seeing things at night because you don't have the crowds of people. That is ALWAYS a good thing. Anyway... we we glad we ventured out just so we could see this.

A nice way to end the Italy portion of our trip.