Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Calling All European Travelers!

So in a little over a month, Tim and I will be heading across the pond for some well deserved vacay! We will be in Amsterdam over New Years' for a 4ish days, and then head on to Paris for 4ish days.

We are going on an EF Tour, and there's a few things built in to the tour, but otherwise we have free time to do whatever.

As part of the tour, we will be going to:
Anne Frank's House
Notre Dame
Louvre Museum
Seine cruise
Eiffel Tower

Are there any favorites of globe travelers out there? Or anything that we should skip? What's overrated and what is a can't miss?

We are open to hearing it all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So I feel this blog has already lost its zest, its pizazz, its harumph!

What do you guys want to see, hear, or anything through this blog?

I am open to anything and everything.

Reviews, personal moments, day to day crap, how to's, anything!

If you aren't the type to comment on blogs, become one! At least just this once.

Let's hear your voices!

I will also accept the completely insane suggestions, maybe it will spur an idea!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chilean Cha Cha!

Today's post is going way back when, back to the days of my first overseas experience.

When I was in 7th grade, my mom and I tagged along with NU's (local school) first trip to Chile. It took students (me, a 6th grader, and maybe 6ish 8th graders) and chaperones (my mom, a teacher at the school and his wife who were my moms friends, and the spanish teacher) down to Temuco, Chile for 2 weeks in the spring. We flew through Santiago, Chile on down.

As part of the trip, we were to all be split up and sent to stay with students and their families. Mine was interesting, to say the least. The girl was quite young, and insisted on being bestest friends with me immediately, which was awkward. I barely ever saw anyone else in the family. I saw her dad maybe once, very very early in the morning, and her mom a few times. We were up for school at about 6am and didnt get home til 5pm each day. Her house was very small, but for Chilean standards, it seemed average. The family had a maid, also standard, and also owned a condo by the beach that we went to for the weekend.

This was the weekend that I got extremely sick from eating so much fruit, but the family read it as I couldnt have any fresh food. So for the rest of my time there, all I was fed was cereal with yogurt, McDonalds hamburgers with guacamole (I still refuse to eat that nasty green stuff to this day) and Coca Cola. My mother would sneak me fruit during the day at the school. She felt so bad for me one day, she pulled me out of the school to take me shopping and out to eat for a real meal in downtown Temuco.

Our days were filled with going to school with the student we lived with, and field trips with our other American students to various parts of Chile. We went to a ridiculously large dam one day, met some high up in the Chilean government, went on a hike all the way up to the top of a mountain, and went to visit another school that showed us an entire presentation. During school we went to art class and gym class and all that jazz, trying to learn as much Spanish as we could. Como Say Disa (How do you say), was our favorite phrase. The school even hosted a dance for us at the end of the trip.

My host family, as I said before, took me to the beach that weekend. It was gorgeous. A view from the condo that was impeccable, even to a jr high girl. Along that trip, we stopped at my host families grandparents house, which was awkward because they didnt speak a lick of English. In fact, no one in the family did. My host girl spoke a little, the mom spoke none. It was definately a barrier. But we also went to the Termas, which ended up being my favorite part of the whole trip. Its the hot springs. Pools of water naturally heated by the volcanoes surrounding the area. It was fantastic. It might have to do with the fact that I was allowed to eat a chicken sandwich, but it was really cool. The pools were lined with pebbles and steam just poured out of the water into the chilled air.

It's sad that I don't remember much from an entire two week experience. I wish I could remember more. I kept a journal, as I always do when going on a major trip, but again, as a 7th grader, I didnt really note the stuff that I wish I had. Either way, its my first impression of the non American way, and it definitely involved way too much guacamole. :)

PS. Sorry for the crappy pictures. I didnt know how to take pictures of the actually cool stuff when I was a youngin. Plus, I apparently had a HUGE thumb...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Kitties and the Deer Car Destroyer!

I try to keep this blog to all things travel related, but frankly, these two other parts of my life are worth sharing!

These are the two feline loves of my life. Myla and Nessa. Holidays are meant for kitty costumes. But this year, we thought we would be kind, and only decorate them with cute Halloween t-shirts. Myla is the trick or treat kitty, while Nessa is fat like a pumpking. Very fitting for her.

And then....

We found this awesome chicken costume. It's a little small for Nessa. And by a little small, we could barely get it around her. Myla took one look at her in it, and asked for the barbecue sauce. But this is Myla in said chicken costume. And she looks too cute for words.

The day after Halloween proved to be almost even better though. We found costumes for 50% off!! Who could resist when they fit their personalities perfectly!!!

Myla is an adorable little angel. Always being polite and heavenly. The crooked one eared halo is for the mornings when she decides she needs to be our alarm clock at 6am...

Queen Nessa rules the roost. She tells us when she wants to eat, when the windows should be opened, and when cuddles are demanded. The whole world revolves around Nessa.

I just love that Myla has her tongue out and they both look like they have a few too many trips into the catnip....

And lastly,

Tim and I were headed back from Minnesota this weekend, and BAM! Deer. Everyone was fine, obviously not the deer. A trucker that stopped said he, "Saw her bounce". It damaged the hood, windshield, front bumper, side mirror, headlight, driver door, and passenger door. $5600 in total. Than god for insurance. And for quick repair service!