Thursday, July 5, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

if you like, continue to check the blog for the next couple of days, i will post some pictures of paris, since we had a hard time while we were here getting to a computer for very long. we are getting ready to leave now, just deciding what to do with our last euros, for breakfast.

It is hard to believe a month has gone by...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One More Day...

Well, we had our last day here in Paris! It is sad, I think this time has flown by faster than any other city. I woke up this morning with songs from the Musical, Les Miserables, in my head. I think it was appropriate considering that movie was about the French Revolution, and we are in Paris. The song in my head was, "One more more day more!"

We went to the Pantheon this morening after blogging a bit. Then we split up. She had some shopping to do, and I did not want to watch. I have no money to spend, so I did not want the temptation of spending any! I went by a few things to take some pictures. I went by the hotel I stayed at last time, but could not find it. I found the street, but the hotel was gone. I guess it did not get much business. O Well. I did recognise the streets on the way there..and it was fun being my own navigator for a while. (Katie has been a bit of a map hog this trip) ;)

I also went back to Notre Dame. It is just so excited to see this ancient architecture, I cannot help but take pictures of everything! (not just the E. Tower...although I probably do have more pictures of that than anything else.)

I think, this was our first day that it has not rained on us! It was good! I thought it might be cold, but it was lovely. I cannot tell you excactly what Katie did all day long, but I just walked, and looked at everything. I took the Metro a bit too...even though I like walking around better.

We met up for dinner at the place rocomended by our tour guide yesterday. It was similar to french style pizza, thin crust. He said it was french. I also had a ceasar salad, but it was SOOO full of parmesan cheese...i mean, it was falling off hte salad...a bit strane. Katie's salad came with Bologna...I think. It was pink colored meat in a sausage shape...I have never heard of a bologna salad before!

After dinner we went to Starbucks. Katie owed me a coffee! (from our bet last night!) actually, she is the only one with Euros out now, so she has been paying for everything anyway. We sat in the shop, relaxing, waiting for it to get dark. We were axiously awaiting the view of Paris at night, our last night.

There were so many people on the lawn in front of E. Tower. They were all waiting for the sparkling I guess. We got there a few mins before it started. I will try to put some pictures on a bit later. It was like magic, again. I can never be tired of looking at hte E. Tower at night, especially when it is flashing so brilliantly! I know, katie has told you about my facination...maybe she has exagerated a bit, maybe not.

We went on a walk to the Arch De Triumph. It took about 20 mins, and on the way we caught a glimps of the E. Tower sparkling at 11. it was lovely...sigh...

Then we headed back to pack, and so we are still doing...see you all tomorrow!
Wall behind fountain in garden, dedicated to American Soldiers.

Cemetary, US Land, given by the French to the United States. We were home for a while...

Floating roads that were on the beaches, to recieve supplies from ships.

German Bunkers and French Beaches

on top of hte Eifell Tower


We had a great tour of the D-Day beaches, as Rose told you. It was a very moving day. It really is incredible to see such beauty and know what horrors happened there. We visited Omaha beach, were almost 4000 soldiers diedin 1944. It is incredible. We also visited Gold beach, and saw the remains of the artificial ports that the allied forces brought to provide supplies to the Armies for the invasion of Normandy.

We learned so much about various details of the day. We had an incredible tour guide, as Rose mentioned. His grandfather was a French soldier, who participated in the invasion of France from the south. It was a very sobering experience to visit the American Cemetary overlooking Omaha beach. The memrial is very well done, and commands a great amount of respect for those who died freeing France and protecting the rest of the World.

I hope Rose can post some pictures. If not, we will try to later. Today is our last day in Europe, so we are anxious to hit the streets for a few last experiences!



Our American Breakfast!

Katie's Coffee was WEAK!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! and she got 2 CUPS!!!!!!!!!!!
My First Dr. Pepper....

Notre Dame

Monday In Paris

Wow, we have two amazing days to write about!!! It has been frustrating trying to get on the Internet, but I’m finally able to, even though it is costing over $5 per hour. This is crazy. Anyway, I’ll start with Monday.

Monday was our day at the Louvre. We had budgeted an entire day there, because we didn’t want to be rushed and knew there was a lot that we wanted to see. We arrived a little after opening at 9:00 AM. We have a museum pass, so we didn’t have to stand in the ticket line. Yea!!!! We went straight to the Mona Lisa, to see that before the crowds hit. It wasn’t too bad. They have banned picture taking, so that helps people move along. It is frustrating when people try to take pictures anyway. I guess I’m not very nice, but I blocked a kid who was trying to take one. He was kind of mad.

The Mona Lisa was fine. It was kind of a been there done that moment. There are a lot more paintings I like more.

We explored the rest of the museum at a leisurely pace. Well, not all of it. We looked at most of the paintings, but didn’t linger over many. We spent some time in the sculpture garden, which was enjoyable. We also visited Napoleon’s apartments. That was my favorite part of the louver. I enjoy visiting palaces. 

We left the Louvre around 2 or 3, I think. I don’t remember exactly. WE went to a cafĂ© to have lunch, which we were very ready for by then! I had a chicken baguette, and Rose had a quiche. We both had fruit tarts for dessert.

After the Louvre, we went to Invalides, which is where Napoleon is buried. It was originally a hospital for wounded soldiers built by one of the King Louis’s. (I get all of those Louis kings mixed up). It is still used as a hospital, and also houses three museums, and the chapel which holds Napoleon’s tomb. We visited the tomb first. Then we visited the chapel next to the tomb, and then the Military museum. The Military museum was actually pretty cool. WE saw a lot of medieval armor and weapons first. Then we went through their exhibitions on World War I and II. Those were really interesting. It was great that everything was in several languages, including English, so we could read all of the displays. It was perfect timing to get a big perspective on the wars prior to visiting Normandy the next day.

We stayed at the Museum until they closed at 6:00. After that…the Eiffel Tower! Rose was getting more and more excited by the minute. We walked to the tower, and promptly placed ourselves in line. We waited and waited. The line went pretty fast. Finally we purchased the tickets and then waited for the elevator. Finally we got on the elevator and went up to the second of three levels. At the second level, you have to get into another line to get to the top. So, we stood in that line. It went much faster, and pretty soon, we were at the top of the Eiffel Tower! The weather was beautiful, and we could see very far. It was gorgeous on top, with a nice wind. I don’t know how long we stayed at the top taking pictures. It was a good time.

By the time we got down, it was after 8 and we were starving. We had a restaurant picked out of my guidebook, so we set off to find it. It was pretty easy to find. We passed a building that I swear came out of Mario world. Nintendo music started going through my head…anyway, we found the restaurant, and, of course, it was closed. Oh well. We had passed about 50 restaurants getting there, so we just turned around and tried to decide which to grace with our presence (ha). We settled at a little tavern like place. They kind of had a menu in English. We could make out half of the words. Between the English and French menus, we figured out what to get. I ordered a hamburger and Rose ordered chicken, both with fries. I think she told you about that already. My hamburger came with an egg on top!! Yep, a sunny side up egg, runny yoke and all. It was interesting, but since I love eggs and I love hamburgers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rose’s chicken was cold slices of chicken, but she enjoyed it. After that, we finally made it back to our hotel room around 11:30 and got ready for our early morning to go to Normandy. Monday was a great busy day, and we were looking forward to our D-Day tour! I’ll start a new post to tell you about that.


i don't know if you all remember about the starbucks contest, well, last night i spotted the FIRST starbucks ofParis, well, i don't know if it was the first one, its just hte first one we have seen. so, katie had to buy mine...but, it was CLOSED! at 9:30pm...unbelieveable! STRANGE HOURS IN EUROPE! so, i guess we will have to go back today, or tomorrow before our train out of town or something...hehe.

yes, yesterday was a GREAT day! we woke up at an ungodly hour....5:30. IT wouldn't be so bad, except we kinda had late night the night before. But, we made it to the train station to catch our train to Normandy. We were a little early, so Katie and I bought breakfast, pastries and coffee. i didn't have coffee though. the train ride was uneventful. The sky looked a little grey at sometimes, but it turned out to be a beatuful day in Normandy. We started our all day tour at the Museum. It was a great museum of WWII, giving plenty of background information about WWI and The Hollocost, etc. It realy was quite distressing at some times. Any time you hear about one man having such a deviasting effect on SO MANY people is daunting. True, he was a genius, but he used it in such an evil way. We had a bout 2 and half hours inthe museum, then ate lunch in the cafeteria. WE ate with our tour guide, who is facinated with WWII and everything connected with it. HE was the best tour guid we have had, because his knowledge was so deep, and he was so respectful about it all. (on a side note: he gave us advise on authentic, affordable food for dinner tonight, so we are excited.) there are even gardens at the museum dedicated, one to British, one to Canadian, and one to American soldiers who fought in the war, especially D-DAY. At 2 we began our journey to 5 of the D-Day landing sites on the Beeches of Normandy. That was beautiful! We were 8 in a van, with the same tour guide. He had answeres for every question anyone had. HE had seen every movie about D-Day, and knew what was real and where it was filmed, and who the actors were...etc. He knows his stuff. i will post pictures of the day. it started raining while we were at hte memorial to the American Soldiers who died in the War. There are over 9 thouand crosses above the soldiers barried there. and there is a grave for over 3 thousand for those MIA. That is only 40 percent of hte soldiers who died in the war, the rest were barried in there homeland. We visited the grave of Theadore Rosevelt, the presendent's son, who recieved the medal of honor for risking his life and disobeying orders, which resulted in a great victory. It was all very incredible.

WE got stuck in some rain...I got pretty wet, again. So, when we arrived on our last landing site, i could not resist stepping into the ocean. It was all sand, and so beautiful, in between thunderstorms! I think KAtie has pictures of it...but they are not on my camera right now, so i can't post them. i do have some of hte beaches though. I did not want to take my camera out in the rain, and i didnt have a poncho...o well.

Katie was bit by a bug on the van, and bled. i screamed when it flew around...we almost crashed the van. not really, but it was a bit crazy for a second. the guy behind me said, "it's not like it has guns and its shooting!" i just thought i would give you all a funny thought...maybe you can laugh as much as i did about it, but i doubt it. ;)

the tour ended at 7 it was an all day thing.

there is someone who needs the computer, and i told him ten mins. so i better do some pics now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

sorry we did not get a chance to post today. we are just too busy and tomorrow we have an early morning. we are doing a D-day tour in Normandy, our train leaves at 7, so we are getting up at five thirty. we will post pictures tomorrow if we can.

today we went to the Louvre, and then the the Palace of Invalides...which is an army museum, and a WWI and WWII museum, and the tomb of Nepolian. Then we went to the E. Tower and went to the top. it was very crouded .the time i went up before it was a kinda rainy day, so there were hardly any people was a beautiful day, so it was packed. i am not sure which is better, having the tour to yourself on a less than perfect day, or enjoying it with a hundred other people. i think the less the perfect day is better...but we still enjoyed it. the whole process, bottom to top to bottom took about 2 hours. we were SO ready for dinner after knee, and our feet and backs were killing us. we found a place to eat and sat down!

katie ordered a hamburger, which came with a fried egg on top, instead of a bun. i had chicken and fries. the fries were hot and the slices of chicken were cold...but it was all good.

we are calling it a day, finally, and starting tomorrow nice and early. hopefully i will have time, and the internet will be free, to post pictures.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rose Loves Paris...and our great Sunday!

We had a good day today!

Before I talk about today, though, i have to say that my sister is obsessed with Paris. I mentioned Wednesday when she took off running toward the Eiffel Tower as soon as we were close, right after we arrived.

Well, Wednesday night, we climbed the Arc D'Triumph (for the second time) to see the tower at night. It was beautiful. We took pictures, enjoyed the view, and then decided to try to get to it in time to see it light up. Rose thought that it lit up at 8 minutes after the hour, and we had about 25 minutes to get there. WE took off, found the metro station, and made our way to the tower. When we got off the train and exited the station, we started walking toward the tower. In a minute, Rose spotted the reflection of the sparkles in the river, and yelled, "It's sparkling!" She then proceeded to run toward the bridge where we would have a good view. It was raining again, there was traffic, and there went my sister, blindly running for a view of the tower. I could barely see where I was going, with my poncho over my head. I followed her, though, and we were able to watch the tower sparkle for about 10 minutes. It really was beautiful. It just made me a little nervous to see Rose darting through traffic to get to it! I think the tower is a magnet, and Rose is the opposite pole. haha

The other thing about Paris that Rose is in love with is crepes. I think she has had three chocolate crepes so far. When she gets one, she just starts giggling. I now know what to do anytime she is mad about her a chocolate crepe!

Anyway, today was a great day. We went to Notre Dame this morning for the 10:00 mass. It was beautiful. They had the liturgy printed in various languages, including English, so we could follow pretty well. It was also a Gregorian mass, with the mass sung in latin. They had it printed in Latin and in French, so between the two, we could understand a lot of it. It was neat. After mass, we climbed to the top of the bell tower. We had a beautiful view of Paris, and could see a lot of detail in the cathedral itself. We were face to face with some pretty creepy gargoyles. In fact, creepy was the word of the day for me. I commented that the organ music before mass was creepy (it was), and then I commented that the gargoyles were creepy. Rose looked at me like I was crazy, and said "you think everything is creepy!" Oh well. I enjoyed it anyway. We'll post some gargoyle pictures and you can decide for yourself if they are creepy. One of them in particular was devouring a dead rabbit! The poor rabbit was hanging out of its mouth. That's creepy.

After Notre Dame, we went to San Chappelle, a chapel that is very close to Notre Dame. It is gorgeous! The main chapel is almost completely made of stained glass windows. There is about 1600 square feet of stained glass, depicting the stories of Christianity from Genesis through the Apocalypse. The sun was shining, so the windows were particularly beautiful. Hopefully those pictures turned out well also, and Rose can post them later.

After the two churches, we went to the Orsay Museum, which is art from the 1800's and early 1900's. It contains a lot of impressionistic art, which I love. We spent about 3 hours there, enjoying many painting by Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Cassatt, Pissaro, etc. We had a great time in the museum. They had some more modern stuff that we don't particularly care for, but that's okay. It was a nice change from the ancient art of Italy.

Tonight, we found a great restaurant for dinner!!!! We are really excited about it. It is called "Breakfast in America" and is a diner owned by Americans. It was so good. We both had omelets, fried potatoes, and toast. I had great coffee, and Rose had...a Dr. Pepper!!! It is the first Dr. Pepper we have seen here. She ordered water first, and then someone else mentioned Dr. Pepper. She quickly flagged down the waitress, and said "Did I hear you say you have Dr. Pepper?" "Yes, we sure do!" replied the waitress. Tears of joy welled up in Rose's eyes as she grinned and said, "Can I please have one?" It was classic. Our breakfasts for almost a month have consisted of breads. It is getting a little old. We have been buying fruit and yogurt, but it was so nice to have eggs. I am feeling protein deprived! By the way, it is a good thing that Rose enjoyed her Dr. Pepper, and that she didn't ask how much it cost before she ordered it. It ended up being over $4 for one can!!! Beverages are so expensive here.

Now I am blogging, and I lost Rose. She is probably headed in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. She just took off and said she was going to look for something, and I haven't seen her since. Oh well. She knows where the hotel is! I'm sure she'll show up before Thursday.

Everything is going well! We are having a great time, despite the rain. We are really hoping that we have at least one clear night to explore Paris at night. WE were going to out last night at night. We were in our room at 7:30 and decided to wait a couple hours, since it doesn't get dark until after 10. We both fell asleep, and when we woke up at 9:45, we decided we were too tired to go out. Instead, we took showers, got ready for bed, and went to sleep. We'll probably go to bed early tonight, too, since we have a big day at the Louvre tomorrow!

Have a great week!!!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Homestretch in Paris!

Wow! It feels good to be in our final hotel. I am going to be so happy to get home and not live out of a suitcase! I'm also getting kind of tired of the three pair of pants I have with me.

We took a train ride to Paris yesterday morning. It was all right, except the guy next to me had to assault the ears of everyone on the train with his Ipod. Seriously, he must be deaf. If he were listening to English music, I could have made out the words to every song. He was listening to some kind of dance remixes, and it was really annoying after about 3 hours.

We arrived in Paris, found our hotel, and checked in. We then left to explore! Rose decided she wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower first, so that is what we did. I swear, I think she is addicted to the Eiffel Tower. When we reached the metro stop, she practically ran up the stairs, frantically trying to find it. I don't think she even noticed the threatening thunder clouds looming above. Anyway, we quickly found the tower, and she started snapping away. She happily suggested that we walk towards it (away from shelter). Against my better judgement, I agreed, and we started walking through the park. After about two minutes, the sky fell. We sought the shelter of a big tree for a few minutes. After that ran out, we ran toward a covered merry-go-round. That kept us from getting more wet, but since we were already soaked, it wasn't that much help. Eventually, the sun came out. We were freezing. Rose, in all of her excitement to be in Paris, said "Now, the question is, do we go back to the hotel and change, or go to the arc de triumph?" I gave her a look, and she said, "ok, maybe that's not a question." I gave in, though, and we walked to the Arc D'Truimph, soaking wet and all. We were wearing jeans, which didn't help. Oh well. We were in Paris! There was no way I was going to get Roes back to the hotel.

So, we walked and walked to the Arc. I was wondering why we bought metro passes, since Rose kept walking past metro stops. Anyway, after a long while, we reached the Arc. Since we have museum/monument passes, we were able to climb to the top without paying. I was happy about that, until Rose figured out that we could have unlimited visits to all of the museums and monuments. We actually climbed the Arc D'Truimph TWICE in our first half-day in Paris. haha

We visited Versailles today, which was pretty fun. We did a lot of walking, which Rose already told you about. Now, she is waiting for me to finish blogging. I think she wants to go back to the Eiffel tower. It is raining though. I may just send her by herself. :)

Tomorrow we are going to do what I am most looking forward to in Paris. We are going to a Gregorian Chant Mass at Notre Dame! Yeah!

OH, Aunt Patty, if you are reading, we have been thinking of you! There is a restaurant by our metro stop called the Hippopotamus Restaurant. Every time we walk by, I can hear your voice in my head singing the Hippo song. I usually join in, much to Rose's dismay.

We are having a good time in Paris! More later...

MUA A A A!!!!

I, and my infinate genius, have figured out how to make the keyboard AMERICAN STYLE!!!!!!! YES! so now, with a small amount of manipulation, which everyone seams to think i am good at, we can type freely for the first time since we left home! And, it will be easier for you to read our posts! I am just kidding about that genius business...

Today we went to the Chateu de Versailes (spelling) you know what i mean...its a huge palace! But actually, i was a bit disapointed in it. the palace we visited in Vienna was more impressive i think. that may be because it was cold and a bit rainy when we were walking through the gardens today. Correction, we were not walking through the gardens, we were walking around the gardens, because it was 6 or 7 extra Euro to go THROUGH the gardens, and they weren't that amazing. But, we had a good morning walk. It did not rain too hard, so that is good. I was a bit underdressed. the weather said it would be almost 70...i was freezing. Later on though, the sun came out and warmed us up a lot. But it keeps going back and forth between cold and warm, rainy and dry...i never thought i would hear myself say this, but i will be glad to get back to the stable weather of tennessee. (its all relative you know)

we had a great lunch though! on the way back to the city we stopped at a small cafe. i had a chicken and cheese crepe for lunch, and a chocolate crepe for desert. katie had a kind of pizza thing, on bread, was pretty good. she had a chocolate crepe too. she will be SO excited to find out i fixed the french keyboard! since there is only one computer here, she is up in the room, probably fallen asleep waiting on me to finish.

we had a pretty late night last night, i was posting blog and pictures and when i went up to the room, she was in bed! i think it was about 1am our time. i was going to let her do the blogging tonight, but i am having so much fun remembering how to type i just can't stop myself!

once back in paris we hit a department store, katie had some things she wanted to get from Paris, so i watched. Paris seams less expensive than Luzern, but since i am a poor jobless college student, everything is expensive to me. i have seen nothing "walmart" quality. everything here is name brand. crazy.

we learned that there are 8 Starbucks in Paris...we have not seen any yet. I think we should make it a conest, whoever spots the first one gets a free coffee! (the other of us pays for it) We are realy not that addicted to Starbucks, it is just something familiar to us. I do not even like hot coffee, except Starbucks Caramel MAchiatos are pretty good. KAtie has not had a single coffee she liked here in Europe. She has to water or milk it down a lot...and they come very small. so she is glad when we find a starbucks where she knows she can get the kind of coffee she likes. And there reallys is more insentive to get coffee when it is cold and rainy like it has been here.

i think i am rambling now, sorry. I will go up and tell katie the good news and see if she wants to blog.


Friday, June 15, 2007

after rain

when we left the hotel, it was hot and sunny; i wished i had changed to my chacos and shorts. then it rained and was cooooold! and it has been switching inbetween ever since.

Traffic in Paris from top of Arc De Triumph

I love Paris!!!

so, this keyboard is very different than what we have been using, so be patient as you discypher these last messages from Paris!

we started the day off with 5 hour train ride to Paris. this was the first train katie and i were not sitting next to eachother. there was a guy across the aisle from us who insisted on sharing the music from his iPod with the rest of the train car. It was soooo loud! Kaite was losing paitence...Finally we arrived in Paris and made our way to our hotel. The next thing we know we are heading back to the Metro, to see the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc De Triuph. I have been to Paris before; so I am showing Katie around the city...;)

As soon as we got within sight of the Amazing Eiffel Tower it started to rain; we thought it would clear up soon...oops! sooner than later, we were seeking more shelter than the tree we were under earlier. A man told us there was shelter at a nearby playground; so i ran as fast as i could....dogding puddles and other unfortunate wet people. Before reaching the playground kaite and i were pretty much completely not worry though, my camera case proved to be waterproof (thanks Chris), so i will be able to continue my photographic frenzy!

The rain cleared up in a few minutes, so we continued our sightseeing in wet clothing. We visited the Arc De Triumph and climbed to the top. Kaite and i have what is called a paris pass; which means we can see and climb everything in paris for free and without waiting in any lines (excluding the eifell tower for some reason)...its pretty cool. so we have actually climbed the Arc De Triumph twice today already. Once to see the E: Tower in the daylight, and once to see the E Tower at night. IT is as amazing as i remember it Dad. The Arc De Triumph, by the way, is the largest triuphful arc in the world, modeled after roman arches, it was begun in 1806 and finished 30 years later because of power/control changes which delayed the construction. anyway; you can see all of paris from the top. it is in the center of a round a bout....this particular one is known as "vehicular roulette" because it can be up to 5 lanes; and no lines or rules as i could tell. there are underground passages to get to the arch because trying to cross the round a bout is certain to end in our guidebook says.

we were able to see the E Tower twinkle was just as beautiful as i remembered it. Katie wondered what was wrong with me when i started running and yelling; "its already twinkling!!!" she got the idea after she came in sight though.

it is free internet; but i do not want to hog it so i will post some pics and be off.



FREE INTERNET QT OUR HOTEL§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ only one you can see, these are completely different keyboards than zhat we have become fairly adapted too using...oops.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

One more thing!

The water is so clean! We were completely drenched in river\lake water, and when we dried off we did not feel sticky, or gross at all. Even my hair felt clean, maybe even softer than after I washed it! Our tour guide in Austria said the water is drinkable, it is so clean. The blue green color comes from the limestone in the mountains. We got to "drink" a little of it on our rafting trip! We will work on getting those pictures up next time, we have to download them off the internet first...

Water Falls!

Today, relaxing by Lake Luzern

The Duck must have been hungry..yes, it ate my toe!

I couldn't resist...I don't if you are allowed to get in...but I had too! IT was a bit warmer than the water we rafted in...

The View on the way to Interlocken

Yes, we had to wear wet suits...they made things safer, and warmer!

Our guide, Johnny

Its the latest fashion...

Last day in Switzerland

Well, as you have read from Rose's post, we had a good time rafting yesterday. The train ride to Interlaken was great. We had a panoramic train (although we really couldn't tell the difference between that and the normal trains). The views were gorgeous! We travelled past about 5 different lakes, all surrounded by mountains. The mountain views were beautiful as well. There were countless waterfalls coming out of the rock and falling who knows how many feet down the sides of the mountains. I think these mountains would be very difficult to climb. There is so much rock. There is ice also. We could have gone on a trip to learn how to climb ice, but we passed on that. I really would have enjoyed canyoning, but it was really expensive.

Basically, all we can afford to do here is look. haha that is fun, though, since the scenery is breathtaking in every direction.

Speaking of expensive, I did a load of laundry here a couple days ago. You would never guess how much it cost...15 dollars! Granted, that included washing, drying, AND detergent, but still. And, the load was tiny. It would have been half a load in the US. When the lady said it was 15 dollars, I hesitated and took a deep breath. The deep breath confirmed that the laundry was necessary, so I went ahead with it. I am fully enjoying and appreciating my clean clothes today.

We have only eaten one real meal in Switzerland, and that was the fondue. We've been going to the grocery store and buying apples, oranges, pre-packaged sandwiches, etc. for lunch and dinner. We have peanut butter and crackers for breakfast. All along, we had been planning on eating a meal at McDonald's here, since we knew Switzerland was expensive. We thought it would be the appropriate time to get a cheap fast food dinner. We walked in a lunch, and guess what? Even Mcdonald's is ridiculous! Their chicken ceasar salad is about 8 dollars. Crazy. So, we went back to the grocery store and ate another apple. We can get those for about 50 cents. haha

Today we went for a walk along the shore of the lake. It was nice and relaxing. We sat and dangled our feet near the water for a while. Some ducks swam up, expecing us to give them some food. We didn't have any, and even if we did we wouldn't waste precious food on them, so they proceeded to eat our toes! Don't worry, they don't have teeth. :)

Tomorrow morning we are taking the train to our last city...Paris! We are looking forward to that. We are completely rested. Luzerne is a pretty, quiet town. (emphasis on the quiet). The night before last, we were in and in bed at 8:30! We didn't have anything to do, so we just talked about how there was nothing to do and went to sleep early. I'm sure we won't have that problem in Paris.

We are going to have six nights in Paris. One day will be spent going to Normandy, and one day will be spent in Versailles. The other days will be in Paris. We look forward to telling you all about that!

Have a great week,

The Day After...

Well, White Water Rafting in the Swiss Alps was just as gorgeous as you would expect! It was so beautiful, though the water was not green. It was grey, that might have been because of the airbubbles flowing through it. Our Raft Guide, Johnny, said the water we were rafting in was 2 hours from glaciers..meaning, two hours before we got IN, it was flowing through the glaciers on top ofthe mountains...this means, the water was about 3 degrees Celcius...more math for you to do to figure out how cold that is in Fahrenhite (Katie told me how to spell if its wrong its her fault) ! It was cold! In about, 25 seconds after we got our raft in, and all 8 of us in the raft, we were heading down the river. Our guide told us what the mountains and rivers around us were called, and a few facts. It was fantastic. We had a couple times of relaxing durring "flat water." We were in a raft with a couple from New York, two school girlfriends from New York, and a couple girls from Mexico. Our guide was from New Zealand, as were most of the other guides and staff for the rafting company. It turns out thez are in Swizterland fro 6 months, then go to Australia and New Zealand for 6 months...working the summers. Our guide said he never sees winter. WHAT A GREAT JOB! If we had one more day of free travel on our Eurail pass, we would be back there today..mazbe canyoning (rafting without rafts basically. Thez take you through waterfalls and natural water slides, with knee and elbow pads, and helmets...) or maybe paragliding..) it all would be amazing. We should have gotten a hotel in Interlocken, which is where all the extreme sports are...instead of Luzern. Though, Luzern is beautiful and a cute little town, it the wildest thing you can do here is paddle boat...and that costs 15 Franks for 30 mins...O well. We are happy and enjoying the fresh air and lakes.
My back is a little sore from the paddling, a few times we tried to pass the other rafts..we got past all but one. Comeing from Last place, thats not too bad. (we had to bring up the rear in a few cases, incase anyone needed to be rescued in dangerous water)

TONY WALLEN! I keep forgetting to tell you, there is a word here that you need to know about. it is "Schmuck!" would you believe it is actually a word?!?!? it means, jewlery. yep, every time i see the word, i say it and think of how much fun you would have with this German language...we should have taken it in highschool together, it would have been hilarious! probably more fun than us talking in "amercian\mexican" accents...or, "Thats a watta wunch...not a watta wonch" (for all of you who are totally lost by this paragraph, it is just an inside "joke" between me and my brother...)

So, i here there are a lot of you raising money for us to blog while we are here in expensive land...aka: Switzerland. Keep it commin! We leave tomorrow though, so we will hopefullz find affordable internet in Paris...

Did you know Switzerland has three official languages?? French, German and Itallian...soooo confusing! I keep forgetting where i am...then i look at a price tag in a shop winow, and i remember.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Well, it has been a while since I have posted...

If anyone does not know, I am the trip photographer, except when i give Katie STRICT directions and let her take a picture of just kidding. Any way, you have seen only a sampling of the hundreds and hundreds...

wow...katie just asked me how to spell a word...that has never in my life happened! maybe she is tired...

back to my story about pictures. I have 12 cds with roughly 160 potos on each do the math. I am not sure if all the pictures are good, but they are documenting this incredible experience we are having. I am having to empty my memory cards onto cds at internet cafes when I can. it is a little frusterating not knowing what pictures on on what cd. I finallz found and bought a marker here in switzerland, to lable the cds and ease my stress. but alas, the marker does not write on the cds, so I am not only missing and arm and a leg, but I still have 12cd's worth of confusion plaguing my dreams. I just thought I would share a little of what is going on in mz life, outside of photographing God's beautiful creation!

And, since I am on this note of spilling my guts, do not ask someone in Germany to make you a shake...just ask for four scoops of icecream and a cup of milk. Mix it lightly yourself, unless you want it the consistancy of thinned water. This is what happend to me in Germanz, at Haagen Daz. It did not make me very happy. I drank a shake that cost four times as much as Katie's once scoop of icream, in a fourth of the time it took her to eat that one scoop.

I do not know what else to say. Katie has pretty much filled you in on our stay so far. i will comment on the fondue dinner we had. the chocolate was SOOOOOOOOOOO good!

And tomorrow we are going white water rafting, on the wildest trip they have! Bring it on! it is the same distance as the other trips, but in a 3 and half hours we will cover as much river as the 5 and half hour trip...yikes! I hope we will be able to post about it afterwords! ;)

Our Dinner of Fondu!