photos taken by me
“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.” – Jodi Picoult
Listen & Read:
King and Cross – Asgeir
Always in My Head – Coldplay (the one song that got me through the stressful times of that trip)
Wake Up – Arcade Fire
June 3, 2014 12:02 a.m.
Euro trip is in three days! I’m so nervous that I don’t even want to eat. I’m redoing my carry-on bag because the last time I just kind of threw the things I needed in there. From the beginning of this year until about two days ago, I was never really excited about it. It was just so unreal and now it’s hitting me. Well I’m going to get back to getting my carry-on together.
June 6th or 7th?, 2014 3:20 a.m.
It’s night time and I’m watching Toy Story 3. I can barely see the lines on this paper… We went through security and I forgot my purse on me! The man goes “You have something on your back.” And I grab my butt -__-. The old couple behind me laughed and the man goes “Your purse”… I held hands with Jonelle and Hannah for a while on and off because I wasn’t sure when we were taking off. I played “Always in My Head” by Coldplay on repeat when I thought we were taking off… It felt kind of like a rollercoaster… When we got to NY, I knew we had to turn at some point. So when we did, I was waiting for it… Sunset wasn’t long after turning during NY. It was so nice. It was a layer of pink and then a layer of blue… Now I’m like in the middle of Toy Story 3. There is 5 hours and 15 minutes left of the trip.. I don’t have much else to say, so I guess I’ll just relax.
P.S. These are the seats
Damali Kaley Hannah
Ms. Robin Jonelle Me
Keith Booboo Josie
June 7, 2014 4:41 a.m.
Flying between Ireland and the UK right now. The fact that I am so close to the place that I would possibly want to spend the rest of my life is crazy… Slept for a little during August: Osage County. Not as funny as I thought it would be. So a little over half way, I woke up and decided that I still wanted to watch Meryl Streep, but when she wasn’t dying of cancer. So I’m watching the Devil Wears Prada… I know next time to wear earbuds instead of headphones because headphones hurt my tender ears. Well that’s about it. Until next time.
June 9, 2014
On our way to Italy now. I think it takes like 5 hours to get there, so I’m going to recap my Swiss trip.
We get off the plane, and I go to the bathroom straight away. When we all start to move, the first familiar face I see is David Beckham. He was on a billboard for Swiss watches. Then we start getting excited and we start running everywhere… So this is the first time I had to roll my suitcase and carry on, which was tough. After walking around a corner, we all gather to meet Eva. From there we went to the ATMs in the airport. And guess what?! My ATM card refused to work! Of course! Why would it work? I call mom (it was 4 a.m. where she was) and she said that the bank were the ones that made the mistake.
So anyway, on the ride to like central Zurich, Eva tells us how lucky we are to go to Zurich because most groups don’t have enough time. Cool. We aren’t going to a place with a nice bed, we are going to walk around in the heat after being up for over 24 hours (10 hour flight). And we are in the same grimy clothes. So we finally get there, and it’s like absolutely beautiful. With the lake and the buildings on hills and the mountains in the background. So basically we walked for a million years, and she thought she was teaching us about art history. I guess my teacher never told her that majority of his group took his AP art history class this year. So then we walk up 500 steps (this is a good estimate) and we made it up to this wall that was made forever ago to keep out intruders. I’m breathing heavy af, and then I look at the edge of the wall, and an angel had been placed upon the wall in criss cross position and he was by himself at that. He was blonde, with blue tinted sunglasses, a plain white tee shirt, and jean shorts that rolled up right above his knee…So then we walked back down the steps and have free time that lasted like three and a half hours. Remember: we all had less than thirty minutes of sleep on this plane and then went straight to walking around. We are hungry, we are annoyed, we are hot. So the first place we go is the restaurant right next to the meeting point… The girls that worked there were gorgeous, nice, and helpful. (PS, by that point I had money because I used my debit card). Then Lana Del Rey played! I felt right @ home.
After that, we just walked in and out of shops. The girls there weren’t that nice. They had zero shame in staring at us and then laughing and mumbling to each other. But in our defense, at that point we have been up for about 36 hours, we were still in our airplane clothes (which consisted of leggings and a t-shirt), and everyone was sweaty with no makeup on. But despite all that, we looked good for all that we have been through. So after that we just sat for the rest of the time (which was about an hour and a half) all slumped over with people staring at us.
So we have to walk all the way to the bus, which wasn’t even in existence so Eva had to ring him up. When he finally got there, he had nowhere to park, so basically it was like we were playing a game of tag. He would drive down the road, we would follow him on the side walk, he would stop, we would catch up, and then he’d drive off again. I started getting upset because I’m damn tired and Sival think he playing games… About three minutes onto the bus, I was knocked out cold. That sleep was better than on the plane… When I woke up, we were at the hotel. My teacher was behind me going inside, and at first I said I would take the elevators, but then once I saw that it fits two people tops and my group was trekking it up the steps, I grabbed my shit and hauled ass. That was like the most difficult thing I ever had to do, especially since I felt like I had to prove to my teacher behind me that I could do it.
I find my room, and it’s the cutest place ever. Jonelle and I slept upstairs while Hannah and Kaley slept downstairs. So we all took the most marvelous of showers and then we went to dinner on the first floor. The starter was this good ass soup with bread. Idk what soup it was, but it was living for it. Then we had these noodles with this sauce that had chicken and mushrooms in it, with steamed carrots and peas. After that, we had about 2 hours until we had to be in our rooms (10:30)… I went upstairs to get sleep after taking sunset pictures. Jonelle came up there too, and we were all about to go to sleep, when I started randomly getting up and putting things away. Which made Jonelle get up, and soon enough, we had the steps blocked with the chair and we’re throwing things at Kaley and Hannah from upstairs. This bolt of energy was probably from the glass of Coke Jonelle and I both had. But Kaley and Hannah got us back… Hannah knocked on the door and basically tricked us into thinking that our teacher came up there and then later the manager came up to tell us to be quiet or else. She didn’t even stop Jonelle when she went to tell her mom we got in “trouble”. But after that big prank, we all really did get tired.
We go down to breakfast and that stuff was good as heck. Croissants and cheese and ham? With grape jelly and grapefruit and orange juice. I could literally eat that cheese by itself. So we eat, go back upstairs, and stuff our bookbags with extra layers because we were told to dress warm.
So we drive for a while and I’m glad I chose a tank top because it was like 90 degrees. We had free time, where we walked around for about 20 minutes trying to find somewhere cheap to eat (which is hard to find because Switzerland is expensive). We then get on a boat and sit outside. We were the last stop on the ride, so it took an hour to get to the mountain. When we finally got up there, we had to go on this train-like thing to the top. Apparently it’s the steepest transportation in the world? So apparently it took 40 minutes to get to the top, but it felt more like 15. We were on the edge of the mountain a lot of the time as we went up. Kaley and I couldn’t look. She had to lay on my lap and I would put my head on my bookbag… When we finally got to the building on the mountain, the view was really nice. I had to inch towards the window, but I got good pictures. There was an outside portion of the building, so we decided to go out. This might be a good time to state that it felt the same on top of the mountain as it did on the ground– hot. It felt the same. Which means my bookbag stuffed with a huge sweater and two jeans was a waste of time… When we got in line to go to the mobile car/carrier car down to the ground, I wasn’t that scared. When we go on, we were packed. I mean they really pack you in like sardines. It was our entire group plus two couples and a dog and a family of four. I never looked outside, and then… It dipped. Jonelle and I grabbed each other, her mom’s eyes practically popped out of her head, Kaley started crying again, while everyone else said “woaaaahhh” like they were on a boring rollercoaster. At the first stop, we had to all get off so we could get in line to get on a smaller cable car that only fits four. Hannah, me, Jonelle, and her mom were in one. These cars don’t stop, so we had to like scurry and jump into one before it was too late and the door closed. When we finally go to our place, the doors opened and Jonelle’s mom was the first one out, and instead of stepping out, she kind of hopped out. So she tripped backwards and stuff fell out of her purse, and as I’m writing this, I’m trying to hold in my laughter. It was so funny that I couldn’t breathe. I had to make myself stop laughing so I could breathe and get out before we go back around. When we got back, we go across the street for pizza and that’s when I realize how nice it is to just walk with one more person and not be scared. Little kids were even on their bikes by themselves.
Jonelle and I went up to bed and we planned to prank them. So when the lights went off, we grabbed my covers, grabbed each end, and tossed it over the banister and onto Hannah and Kaley. Kaley whacked it away while Hannah basically drowned in it. We always get hyper before we go to bed. So then Kaley brought my covers back, and they talked to us for about three minutes, then we went to sleep for real.
June 11, 2014
Ok so I just had to finish up the Switzerland trip. Right now we are on the way to Florence. But day 4 still starts off in Switzerland.
We drove about five hours to Lake Como which had a lot of nice houses. After the cruise, we just walked around. When we got to the hotel, we were all appalled. It was the creepy hotel that I only saw in the pictures. We open our door, and it’s like the beds were just shoved in there anyway they could fit.Our view was the driveway of the hotel with 2 white horses (real) up on a hill. Oh, let’s not forget to mention that the halls were so incredibly dark and when we got to our room with our luggage when we first got there, it was just Jonelle and I and an old couple came out from the room next to us. Jonelle and I both jumped and screamed, and then had to cover it up with laughter because you can’t just be alarmed by an old lady with a crutch, that’s kind of mean. Then, the old man came out. Definitely one of the creepiest men I’ve ever met. He literally stopped in his tracks and stared at us whole we tried to haul our stuff in the room. So Jonelle had to go to her mom’s room to shower, but right when she closed our door, she was knocking on it again. the creepy man was literally outside, staring at her again. And that’s why to this day, Jonelle has to call her mom to tell her she made it to her room.
The next day, we were traveling to Venice. We drove to the harbor and got on the boat and that’s when we saw a really hot sailor guy that does the ropes for the boat next to us. He had blue tinted sunglasses, red and navy striped shirt, and blonde hair. So we get off, and my skin feels like it’s burning.
So we get to St. Mark’s Square, and that’s the first time I encountered a gypsy. At first I kind of stepped away, but then she got closer and I hid behind Damali. We went to the Doge’s palace which was big and white and great and magical and I’m really being sarcastic like I don’t care about a palace. Then, we got a free gondola ride. So we get on a gondola, and this old man is our “steerer”. But he was really nice and he spoke English. So as we were going, a hot ass man steering his own gondola said “Ciao Bella” and we all squealed like second graders. The ride was nice, though. Getting close to the end, we go past another cute gondola man and when I look up, he looked down at me and stuck his tongue out at me and it made me smile. Literally swooned. I knew we were together at that point. We were engaged. So we go back to the hotel and have dinner then we go and venture out with my group and Josie’s group. We go really far, actually, and the sunset was really nice. Then we go back to the room and it’s the first night that we actually go to sleep without getting hyper, and it was the second night that we kept the door open so I actually wasn’t dripping with sweat.
The next day, we headed for Florence. There were a ton of Americans around that area. The place where the gates of paradise is was under renovation so we had to get close to it to get the picture from under the sheet.
And that’s the last time I wrote in it! I think we had like three extra days, but we were always doing something, and when we weren’t, we were on the bus to do something else, and that’s when literally everyone slept, even when Eva was trying to tell us something historical.
I really hope you enjoyed my little diary. I tried to take out as much boring stuff as I could! But I do truly love Switzerland. If I was told to pack tonight because I was going back I so would! However, Italy not so much. It just didn’t speak it me as much. Maybe because all of the tourists. But it was such a surreal experience, and it made me feel kind of renewed in a way. Ten days away, on my first flight and first time out of the country, I would say was a success.
Promise me you will travel.