Saturday, March 24, 2007

Schnitzel & Guggenhiemer...aka Shaun and I

Today we are touring Vienna. Not sure exactly what we are going to see, but I can tell you later about that. I do know that I will be eating some Schnitzels and Brats, trying the coffee and deserts too. Italy was so much fun. A whole week there!

A few highlights of Italy...
First, my favorite city was Florence. It was a chill town with lots of stuff to do. I loved Michaelangelo's David the best. We met some nice people there to hang out with and of course ate great food.

We drove from Venice to Rome, which brought lots of adventures. We got to stop at a winery and try some excellent wine. Pisa only has the Leaning Tower and that is really all there is to see.

To compensate for the added cost of the car, we decided to sleep in the car. The first night was cold, but we just started the car occasionally to warm ourselves up. We slept on the Mediterranean, so the sound and views in the morning were spectacular. However, we learned that you should not make U-turns in Rome. Actually maybe you can in some places, but at one intersection we were at, the police did not like this. I don't know what sign on the road means "no U-turn". Anyway, we are tourists and not worth the hassle, so they told us to pay more attention.

Secondly, when sleeping in your car in Rome do not turn on the car at night to warm yourself up, because this draws attention to you. After telling the police that we just arrived in town and need to return the car around the corner at 8am, they laughed a little at us all bundled up and freezing in the car and then left us alone. Once again it is good to be a tourist!

Finally, after seeing Italy and the Vatican City, I am all churched out. I have seen enough for the entire rest of the year!

In a week, I will be back with my class. I am excited to see some familiar faces and experience a part of Europe with them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I am in Rome

I don't have time to write much, but Shaun and I are still having fun.

here are some fresh pics!

Europe 2 - Italy

Sunday, March 18, 2007

BWEAR Short Film

This is another video that Shaun and I made for our presentation. It is a bit slow for the first couple of minutes, but it gets really good. Prepare to smile, be disgusted, and possibly laugh!

Check out this video

Shaun and I took a strategy class this semester. We got to play an online game where we ran an athletic footwear company. This is a commercial we shot for our presentation.


Europe so far...

I left last Monday morning from AL and the fun, excitement, and exhaustion are never ending. I flew Paris, via Dublin which has an awesome airport, and was greeted by a fellow IMBAer. Nanda took care of us our whole visit! Check out the pics I just uploaded...

Europe Trip 1

While I was there I got to see the Louvre, D'Orley Museum, Napolean's tomb, and tons of stuff I will have to describe later when I have time. The night was spent hanging with our friends, while I tried to figure the purpose of having door knobs in the middle of the door and not on the side. We saw the Eiffel Tower at night, drank 2 Euro wine bottles (or less), and had some awesome food.

There was a lot left to see in Paris, when Shaun I headed to Venice. I will defintely put that on a list of places to return. We arrived in Venice just in time to have dinner, before the last bus left to return to our place. It was my first experience with pasta in Italy. They know how to do it right!

Yesterday was spent seeing St. Marks Square, The Guggenhiem, and walking/riding boats through the city. The maze of streets and narrow alleys was something to experience.

Shaun and I decided to rent a car for our journey through Italy aftering looking at the costs of trains. So, we got our car and headed to Florence today. The city driving is quite fun and challenging. So many cars, lanes, and round-a-bouts. I love it!! The countryside of Italy is beautiful...mountains, farm land, and lots of green everywhere. We made our way to our hostel for the evening and had time to see Michaelangelo's David. It is huge! The detail of the statue is stunning. I also got some of the famous ice cream around here. It is very good, but I would take the ice cream from Wisconsin that the HBC group got to eat in 2005 any day of the week.

Tomorrow we will spend the day in Florence and then head out to Pisa and then Rome. Tell then...

Havin a Blast

Just wanted to say that I am having a great time traveling around Europe. I have been to Paris, Venice, and just arrived in Florence.

Will tell all soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I am out of here!

Where is "here", you may ask? "Here" is the USA. I am leaving tomorrow morning for five months. My next post will be from Paris! I can't wait!!

I left Columbia on Friday after giving my last presentation for the semester. Shaun and I knocked it out of the park. Then I left town and headed towards Memphis.

Last night in Memphis I had a blast. I went out with some old friends, a few who I had not seen in quite a while. Between Pat O'Brians and Rayford's, I made it home in time for a few hours of sleep and then it was off to AL to pack up things and get ready to go.

If you would like to reach me by phone while I am away, please dial 803.753.0592.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Let's get this party started!

All I have left to do is finish one class, pack up my things and put them into storage, and get on the road. Since my last post a month ago, I have been up and down the east coast. Here is a recap...

On February 9 I left Columbia with my roommate, Shaun. We left with about three hours of sleep at 4:30am. I was able to catch the noon bus up to NYC. That night I went to Seth & Amy's for a dual bday party. I spent the next few days seeing friends from Colorado, DC, some biking buddies, and some old friends from Memphis. I got to eat at Carnegie, which has become a quasi tradition for Seth and I. We order the same thing, but I eat my whole sandwich and he eats about one-fourth of his.

After the weekend, I took off to Boston to see my sister and brother-in-law. I got to see their beautiful new home and hang out a bit. I had a bunch of homework to do, so one of the days was spent working on the computer. I also got to meet up with another biking buddy for a drink. The day before I left it snowed, sleeted, rained, and a combination of all three at some times. It was a messy day. Diane and I went out to ship some gifts to my nephew, for his first birthday, so they would arrive on time. Before we walked back, we stopped by an amazing bakery next door. I got to eat a Boston Crème in Boston. On the walk back to the house I managed to step off the curb and into 6+ inches of nasty water. I had no choice but to continue forward. My shoes were soaked and my feet were instantly freezing. Luckily we were only a block from the house.

While in Boston, I tried to go see “Old Ironsides”, aka The USS Constitution. This is the USA’s oldest ship still commission in the Navy. It is a sailing ship which leaves the dock once a year to venture out into the harbor, turn-around, and then return for another year. I have been to the ship a couple of times but it has always been closed for tours. This trip I was sure that I would get to see the ship, since I would be going on a Tuesday (the other times have been on a Monday….the day they are closed). It was a brisk 17 degrees when we arrived. Diane and I walked to the ship with our coats wrapped tight around us. We were not concerned by the lack of tourists because it was so cold. However, as we reached the ticket booth, I saw the familiar “Closed” sign. Once again my efforts to see the ship was thrown off-course. As long as my family and friends are in Boston, I will continue to visit. However, I will think twice before attempting to see “Old Ironsides”.

I returned to NYC for a couple of more nights. I got to see "Avenue Q" and some friends. then it was off to DC. I headed straight for my friend’s, Daniel’s, restaurant. It is called Lia’s and it opened just a few weeks after I left DC last year. I sat up at the bar where I was treated to several appetizers that Daniel prepared for me. They were outstanding! I have never had the opportunity to be treated with such exclusivity in a restaurant. It was like a wine tasting, but with food. I wonder if that is how the food critics are treated. Needless to say, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Over the next couple of days, I met up with some friends that I met while living in DC and an old friend from Memphis. Finally my last day of travel arrived. Before I caught my train back to Columbia, I visited the last place I worked in DC. It was nice to see the changes and overall expansion of the company. After coffee and a quick lunch with friends in Silver Spring, I was off to the station. I boarded the train and that is now where I am sitting.

This is the second time I have taken a train for traveling; the first being a short ride from Portland to Seattle. It will take me an additional three hours to arrive in Columbia, rather than driving. However, I am enjoying the peaceful scenery and comfortable/spacious seats. It is quite nice to be able to accomplish wok on my computer, read a book, watch a movie, get up and walk around, and just look out the window and not have to see cars. Instead I am seeing lakes, trees, fields waiting for the spring planting, and snow-covered ground. The US has some wonderful landscapes!

After returning to Columbia I did not stay long. My roommate and I went to Tampa and I got to meet his family and friends, spend a little time on the beach, and go for a nice run along the Bay. My last stop was to my folks house in AL, where I am storing most of my things this summer. I dropped off a car load of things and hung out for day. Then it was back home to finish the semester.

Going on trips like this always reminds me of how difficult it is living out of your suitcase, going from house to house, saying hello and then good-bye to friends. It is emotionally and physically tiring.

I love meeting up with my friends and family and finding out what they are up to and chatting about what all our mutual friends have been doing. It is amazing to hear the adventures which people’s lives have and are taking them on. But at the end, I wish I could have more time and not have to be so quickly on my way. Sometimes just when you are becoming comfortable and reacquainted, you have to say good-bye. Take care everyone and I hope to see you again soon.

Check out some pics from the trip.

I am off to Europe on Monday! I can't wait!!