Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tagging Alone on the Class Field Trip

Chateau de Menthon Saint Bernard
This is allegedly the castle that inspired Walt Disney in Sleeping Beauty. However, to me I agreed with the tour guide who thinks it's more Beauty & the Beast. The family that owns the castle, and has owned it since 1000 AD, still lives in the castle.
Bruce and I, outside the castle.
Meghan, me and my new friend Kira from South Dakota. She maybe my only friend
from South Dakota.
Picture of me in Annecy, France.
Another shot of the Old Town in Annecy, France.
Bruce and Kira rockin' the hats at the French Hat Shop.
My other new friend Emily - as we made a quick stop for ice cream - before we had to be back at the bus.
Meghan & I posing in Annecy.
the end.

Annecy, France

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Monday, July 27, 2009

I heart Gaudi in Barcelona

So we went to Barcelona for the weekend. We left early Friday and were lucky to arrive to a hotel room that was already to go. We dropped off our stuff at hotel and started wandering down La Rambla - it is a vibrant street with a market (that rocks.) We enjoyed some fresh fruit and some great fresh juices. Then we walked through the old town and explored the shops. It was typical European Old Town with winding roads and you don't know what cool shop or restaurant you will find around every corner. We ate at a Tapas buffet for lunch. They count your sticks to figure out how much you owe - it was 1.60 Euro for inside and 1.75 for outside.

Due to our super early flight and very hot weather, we were exhausted come 2 pm. So we decided to embrace the Spanish culture and take a siesta. We woke from our short siesta and went for a Tapas dinner at a place in La Raval called Bar Lobo - it seemed cool and hip - it might not be - but it fooled me into thinking it was cool.

The next morning we headed to La Sagrada Familia - the cathedral that Gaudi started building before his death - but more than 100 years later it is still not finished. Meghan, Bruce and I decided that we needed to return when the cathedral was finished in 30 years. We also headed to the Park Guell, a park designed by Gaudi, orginally for the rich, but to his disappointment was opened to the comman man - Meghan, Bruce and myself. However, what is amazing like Barcelona and every other city in Europe I have been too is that we manage to find every hill in the city and hike up it. We topped off the night with Sangria made from Champange and Oranges, it rocked!!! I also had Montchego cheese - it was delicious. Wolfgang introduced me to this cheese in Berlin (ironically.)

For instance the next morning we headed to the Olympic Park that was on a hill. We walked up what could be the steepest part of the hill followed by hundreds of stairs. However, on the way down we did find that had we come through the front we could have taken escalators all the way up, but really what fun would that have been. It was worth the hike though - there is something rewarding to stand at the top of the hill and that overlooks the city and know that you walked up the entire way.

We didn't do much shopping in Barcelona due to the fact that the Euro is an international conspiracy against us - in other words the exchange rate sucks and that means I usually stick to building my pin collection - which is under 10 dollars a city.

Then late Sunday night we headed back to our homebase the John Knox Center in Geneva - home to the U of M Flint Global Program. The next trip Zurich and Liechtenstein - a very small country - which is home to a stamp museum and a castle. All which were in my presentation in German 1 class.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

La Rambla
The Market in Barcelona

Meghan & I chillin' in Barcelona.
Scenes of Barcelona.

Park Guell (designed by Gaudi & Guell)

A famous apartment building designed by Gaudi.
Olympic Stadium

Bruce & I in the Olympic Stadium.
Meghan, Bruce & I on La Rambla!
Greetings From Barcelona

This is our last day in Barcelona. We have eaten a lot of great Tapas and enjoyed a lot of long walks. We seem to find our way to every hill in the city. I am hoping that will mean that all the eating won´t go directly to my hips.


Bruce & Meghan in the Barcelona Airport

Dining in Barcelona

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back in Geneva

Well I am back in Geneva, sitting in the classroom, but this time I am just using the Internet. There is no homework to be completed. I have come back to Geneva to serve as a mentor for the new U of M Global Cohort. Three members of our 7:11 club returned this year, Bruce, Meghan and myself. Our mentoring tour of duty doesn't really start until next week, however we arrived early because we wanted to adjust to the time change.

Last night we went to our favorite dinner spot in Geneva called Fifty-Fifty. Then today we woke up early to go running. We just did 2 mile to get ourselves acclimated to the hills - however I think the hills of Prince Edward Island helped. Usually my first time trying to run up the huge hill here is unsuccessful, but this time I made it all the way up with no problems (well it was a very slow climb - but none the less I did not stop.)

Tomorrow we are leaving for Barcelona, I am very excited because this is my first trip Spain. We made Meghan practice her Spanish - but the bad news is that her soon-to-be Sister-in-Law is Spanish and pretty much said that they speak a dialect - so her Spanish is worthless. We are hoping that they will be used to English speakers because they are used to tourists.

I don't have many pictures yet - but will post some when we get back from Spain.
All Grown Up

This is Nichole, I was literally there the day she came home form the hospital. She is great young lady, but this thing happened, kids grow up. And I feel old. Now she is going to be a Sophomore in high school. I ran into her at the Manchester Fair Parade. It makes me realize how much I miss her. And because we aren't technically family, she is not obligated to see me at holidays - so things happen and the next thing you know they are all grown up. Can I freeze time?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pictures from Prince Edward of Island Everybody including Hosehead.

The sun setting over the ocean.
7:11 Club Photo (minus Hosehead)

Green Gables

North Rustico, PEI

Bruce by the Sea

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Cloudy PEI

The weather was cloudy day one but it's been great the rest of the week.