Sunday, October 31, 2004


Happy Halloween

BOO! (did i scare you? --thought so! )

So this weekend's been very uneventful. Although I did go to Nottinghill market on Saturday, and it was awesome! I thought it was going to be just a street with vendors, but it's *huge*. It's gotta cover at least 4 or 5 square blocks. I got myself some cool shirts, one that I got for Kent, but I liked it too much I'm keeping for myself (don't worry Kent, i'll get you another one!!). And I'm going back to get people's birthday/xmas gifts =) wouldn't you like to know what your getting....

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Greece Roadtrip!!

So Pepperdine calls last week the "Educational Fieldtrip". We called it the best week ever (VH1 can sue me). It was the greatest time we've had so far. All 46 of us (including about 6 administrators and faculty family) traveled to Greece to explore the historical significance of the ancients. But we did so much more than that. Oh sure we saw the Acropolis (it was cool), the Parthenon, Mar's Hill, the Oracle in Delphi, Temple of Zeus, the site of the first Olympics in Olympia, and the ruis and Corinth. That was just the stuff that we *had* to do. Our program director is so awesome that she gave us lots of free time to do whatever we wanted. So besides those historical sites, we visited the Olympica Stadium in Athens, and the island of Aegina (my personal favorite). Here's the run down...

We left London on Monday night, arrived at our 4 star hotel in Athens at about 6AM. We were given until 12PM to sleep or do whatever (all of us slept). Then we began the tour of Athens by bus. Little did we know we'd be spending A LOT of time on that bus. We saw the Temple of Zeus, stopped at the original Olympic Stadium (pictures of the new one below!), and walked around the Plaka (old town Athens). At night we ate at an authentic (although very obviously aimed at tourists) Greek restaurant. They had dancing and singing on a stage... it was pretty interesting, and the food was good.

Next day -- Walked up to the Acropolis (serious just up the street from our hotel, we could go onto the roof and see it all lit up at night...what a nice hotel) saw the Parthenon, toured around some more museums, got yelled at *numerous* times by the guards... we were walking around the Agoura (gardens) and got yelled at for sitting on a bench (wasn't a bench after all), posing infront of a temple, standing on these pillars (pictured below, but we did that because we KNEW we were gonna get yelled at), got yelled at for accidentally walking off the path... by the time we left, we had guards following us, it was really stupid... i'm not going back there!! By the end of the day, it was a competition among us to see who could get yelled at the most. Anyways, after that we headed off to the new Olympic Stadium - got there right at sunset! And while we were there we ran into a Greek MP who informed us that we were stupid Americans who were trying to "conquer" Iraq, and that killing insurgents was pointless because "they are like roaches, they just keep coming back." What an amazing specimen of a man.

So the next morning we all herded onto the bus for our day long travel out of Athens, through Delphi where we saw the ruins of the ancient Oracle, and eventually ended up in Olympia where they light the Olympic torch every year. I can't really say much about what went on, when you put 40 college students on a bus for 2 days...strange things happen... we had some great times on that bus though, eventually you just get into some strange mood where everything's funny and you just get really goofy. anyways...

We got back to Athens on Friday night and walked around the old Plaka more, ate dinner (they have some AMAZING crepe places there!!) and came back to the hotel, went to bed and woke up at 6 00 AM on Saturday to catch a ferry to the island of Aegina. This was by far the best part of Greece for me! We rented scooters and rode around the island for the next 4 hours. The rental place we rented from was kinda sketch, they didn't give us helmets, and took our licenses away from us... but it was so cool to have the Greek air rushing by you as you hugged the coast! So awesome, i want to go back from spring break.. anyone down to come along?? (except you parents ... =)

So ya! I made it back just fine! Everyone came back sick, so the house is kinda dead. I think pretty much everyone is staying in London this weekend (maybe one or two going to Paris) but next weekend I'm trying to go somewhere (anywhere!!!)... and I might visit Oxford or Stratford. Well, dinner time!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

yay!! the beautiful Greek water off the Aegina island... i'm so going back there.. wanna come?

and the next morning we rented vespas and rode around the island of Aegina! soo much fun!

A beautiful Greek sunset, as seen from the back of the bus as we traveled back to Athens from Olympia

Corinth!!! where Peter was!!! yayyyyy

Me and Susan in Olympia!!!

Me borrowing my friend Cathy's hat which just happened to match our tourguide's hat!!! i'm soooooo craaaaazy

Me and Christina after lunch... that was the view outside of the restaurant's windows... it was absolutely amazing!

Wooo hooo! It's the ruins of the Oracle at Delphi with a nice valley behind it. We pretty much looked at ruins the whole trip... sometimes it got *really* dull

That's as close are we could get to it....

Well, we found the Doping Centre... that building sure had a lot of use!!!!

We went exploring and found the Olympic Stadium just as the sun was setting behind it.. it was awesome. Although we couldn't get close to it at all because theyhave it all fenced off with armed guards... i guess they're worried about terrorists blowing it up

Artie, Matt, Me & Dap got yelled at from this guard across the yard (like 50 yards away)... she had an earpiercing high pitched squeak ... apparently taking a picture on top of some ruined columns is a serious offense in Greece....who knew?!?

Me doing what I do best ;) just kidding. Yeah so that's Kate, Me, Meaghan, Megan, Callie and Christina with the smog of Athens and the city of Athens back there. That's just next to the Acropolis.

Me on Mar's Hill, next to the Acropolis (just out of the picture on the right) and the city of Athens behind me. (much more not pictured)

The Acropolis in all of its glory! Did you know that the current condition is due not to natural circumstances, but rather some darn Turks stored gunpowder there and it exploded when a Venetian cannonball hit it... whoops... there goes an irreplacable historical landmark... oh well!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

yes!! vespas rock my world!!

I'm Baaaack!!

Yes, so I'm back from Greece! Arrived around midnight last night in Heathrow. Today is the last day before midterms, and I haven't done a second of studying so I can't spend a lot of time writing this. I'll give you the general jist though. This whole trip to Greece was coordinated by Pepperdine as an educational field trip, so I didn't have to do any planning or pay for anything except some of my food and any activities that I did on my free time. We arrived in Athens really on Tuesday, and spent the rest of that day and Wednesday touring around. We saw the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus, and did some shopping and exploring. On Thursday morning we left on a bus for Delphi where we saw the remains of the Oracle, and stayed the night in Olympia. We spent Friday exploring Olympia a little (it's just a little village, but it's where they light the Olympic torch every 2 years). We left for Athens midafternoon and arrived in Athens at about 9PM. The best day of the trip was Saturday. Me and about 8 of my friends left for Aegina, an island about an hour outside of Athens. We spent about 4 hours on the island exploring on Vespas. It was awesome! I am definately going back to the Greek islands like Mykanos for maybe spring break or just a nice weekend.

So I just wanted to let you guys know I made it back in one piece. I've got some great stories about my adventures, which i'll write about later. Right now I gotta get started on some homework and studying. See you guys later!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Yay for Vatican City!! woohoo! This is going to be my last post for awhile, and probably my last pictures from Italy. i'm leaving for Greece for a week tonight, so i'll be sure to take a bunch of photos!! see ya guys!

All of us at Trevi Fountain (L to R : amanda, carolyn, taylor, me, dap, susan)

A random alleyway in Venice.. it's so pretty there... everywhere you look it's like this.

Me and all the girls on a gondola ride. Yes, it was the most expensive 30 minutes of my life... but oh so worth it!!! you can't see it here, but our gondola dude had the weirdest haircut... Italians are sooo weird

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Long Weekend Recap

Hey guys, so I haven't updated this in awhile and some of you might want to hear about my long weekend in Italy. So here's how it started...

We left Tuesday afternoon for Stansted Airport just outside of London to catch our RyanAir flight to Milan, Italy. I think it was about a 2 hr flight, but when we arrived it was already dark and the airport was pretty much deserted. We luckily found a bus to take us from Bergamo (where we flew in to), to Milan (where our hostel for the night was). After about an hour and half bus ride to Milan, we got dropped off in the ghetto part of Milan. We had to walk another 1/2 hr to our hostel, and the city was dead. We walked through some very sketchy parts of Milan, and in my mind it was not whether we were going to get mugged, it was WHEN. I was certain we were gonna turn and corner and get held up for sure. But nothing like that happened, however we were forced to sleep on park benches because the hostel accidentally canceled our reservations and didn't have a room for us anymore. So we crashed for a few hours (by this time it was midnight, and our train to Rome left at 5:30), and caught our train. I think I slept for about a half hour that night, but once we got onto the train I crashed and slept uncomfortably for the next 5 hrs.

We arrived into Rome around noon-ish and found our hostel for the night, checked in and dropped off our stuff and began exploring the city of Rome. Rome is actually a very dirty city. It's not at all like London. There's trash everywhere, graffiti everywhere, and there's a lot of smog, even worse than LA. But we stopped for lunch and had our first Italian food (mm mmm good!) and continued on walking to the Coliseum. We took a tour of the Coliseum and honestly it wasn't worth it at all. It was cool to see it, but there's not a whole lot there. And they are in the process of rebuilding it, so it looked horrible. The coliseum was definatly not my favorite part of Rome. It was getting a little late by then, so we took the underground metro (again, really really filthy place) back to our hostel and crashed for a few hours. We woke up in time to get dinner at another really great Italian restaurant. After that we walked around more to see Rome at night and saw the Piazza Venezia where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7. Oh, and about the hostel in Rome. We had six people in the group (3 guys, 3 girls), and our room was TINY. There were simply 3 bunkbeds crammed as tightly as possible into a room. Plus the shower was in the corner of the room, with only opaque plastic between your naked body and everyone else in the room. The girls freaked out about it. I personally took a shower in the water closet down the hall (it was really really dirty and after i got out i wasn't sure if i was cleaner or dirtier). But it was still funny to watch the girls try and drap their sheets over the shower... anyways, that was a little adventure in and of itself.

The next day was the best part of Rome, we got up and headed over the train station to find food and get money. And well, while we were standing around trying to figure out what to do, my friend taylor go the bright idea that pantsing Elliot would be really funny in front of hundreds of Romans. So he runs up behind me and yanks my pants off, well, my belt was loose enough so that the pants slipped off easily, but tight enough to also pull down the boxers with the pants. So there I was exposing myself to hundreds of Romans not to mention my RA and several of the girls who i was traveling with. Yeah, so Rome's seen me in all my glory. ;) Oh.. and if anyone ever goes back to Rome, could you please bring me back my dignity... i seem to have left it there....

Well after I pulled my pants back up after an initial struggle with undoing my belt and button-fly (yeah, it was awkward), we took a bus to Vatican City. The Vatican was the best part. It it absolutely ENORMOUS. It was definately the best part of Rome, and if you go there, spend a lot of time! St. Peter's Basilica is breathtaking, initially just because of the sheer size of and volume of the building, but then you realize that every nook and cranny is ornately designed and decorated. The dome above the basilica is the biggest dome ever, and the volume of just the dome is actually equivalent to the total volume of the building below it. Below the basilica are all the tombs of the past Popes, included St. Peter himself. We took a tour of the museums and saw the Sistine Chapel.

After that we headed onto to lunch and ate at yet ANOTHER amazing Italian place. They even gave us free drinks afterwards cuz we ate so much. =) I love Italy! We explored more and saw the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. Trevi Fountain was amazing, there were so many people there. It was a mess to get down to the actual water and take a picture.

Well that night we took a night train to Venice. We left around midnight in Rome and arrived at 6AM in Venice. It was still pitch black outside and we had horrible horrible directions to the hotel from the train station, and of course I was incharge of getting us there, and with no map, I got us extremely lost. We wandered around for about 2 hrs trying to find this certain square where the hotel was located. Finally we found someone who could speak english fairly well and he led us there. Anyways, there's this whole long hectic story about that hotel and I don't want to recap it cause it would take to long...some other time... That day was horrible, we were all dead tired from not sleeping well on the train (and for probably only a few hours), so we were all in a daze wandering around Venice.

Now, between all 3 cities that we visited, Venice was definately my favorite. I am trying to find some people to go back with. While we were there we got to see St. Marco's Basilica where I was mauled by pidgeons (we have video and pictures!), we took an expensive Gondola ride, and generally wandered around getting lost among the maze of little alleyways in the city. Venice is awesome, it's just filled with shops from corner to corner and it's a lot of fun to get lost somewhere and try and find your way out. Anyways this is getting kinda long so i'm cutting it short. And I actually bought my sister her birthday present ( a handmade object in Venice) but left it on the train ... =(

The week was awesome. We had a good group and had a lot of fun with only a little drama. I really want to go back to Italy sometime (anyone wanna come along??) Well I need to do laundry and study, so I'm leaving now.....

Monday, October 11, 2004

St. Marco's Bascilica square, with THOUSANDS of pidgeons

One of the random canal ways that litter Venice. the colors of each of the buildings are very subdued colors, but they vary for each building, is really beautiful

Gondolas in venice! we took one for 80 euros (about $100). it was absolutely awesome, totally worth it

Dap, Amanda, Taylor, Me, Carolyn, and Susie at St. Marco's Bascilica in Venice... and if you look close that's a pidgeon on my arm


Me and Susie at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. This place was so beautiful! And yes, I did throw a coin over my shoulder, so I should have 10 cents worth of good luck!! woohoo!

Me infront of the Pantheon

yeah... we were tired outside of the Pantheon

Left to right : Carolyn, Susan, Amanda Taylor all eating gelato (trust me, i've got some too =) ... italian ice cream is amazing!! (and cheap!)

Inside the Sistine Chapel, where your not allowed to take pictures, but i managed to sneak this one...

From just outside of St. Peter's, looking out on the square. Just imagine hundreds of thousands of people standing there waiting to hear the pope speak....

The inside of St. Peter's. Below they actually have his bones in a tomb. This is only a small fraction of the immense size of this place. The dome's volume is actually the same as the volume of the entire bascilica.... so it's BIG

St. Peter's Bascilica in Vatican City. This place was absolutely stunning!

Taylor Me and Dap inside the Colluseum... it sounds more exciting than it actually was =)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Ok, so I was really hungry and all we had was cake mix, so I decided to get Megan to help me bake a cake. Honestly it was the best cake ever!!!

Megan, Taylor and me at a pub one night. Obviously one too many beers =) Just kidding

Left to right : Christina, Elliot, Megan, Artie, and Kate. All at one of the courtyards at Windsor

This is one of the ornate ceilings in windsor castle... me and artie had to sneak this picture in while the guard was looking away, they have strict anti-photography rules. but anyways, as you can see, windsor is awesome!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Someone asked if we had fast food here... the answer is a resonding yes. they just look different... but we have KFCs, Burger Kings, McDonalds (no Taco bell, i'm bummed!!), and Pizza Huts... and others i just can't think right now

The town Eton is build right up to Windsor castle and here you can see they have shops and tourist traps right along the otherside of the street. It's a really cool contrast. We walked along the shop streets for a couple hours, ate lunch, shopped a little, it's a cool little town and would recommend anyone go at least once.

An overview of the size of Windsor castle, and your seeing MAYBE a 1/5 of it. It's absoluty HUUGE... and that's Cathrine in the forground looking a little lost...

This is an almost unreal picture of one of the terraces of Windsor castle... (it's my desktop background =) It was an absolutely beautiful day when we were there. This is from the inner court yard where the Queen arrives and leaves. They have guards 24/7 and they have the same Changing of the guard ceremony as Buckingham.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Our failed travels

Well, I had planned on going to Brighton on the southern coast of England today and tomorrow. But we ran into a hitch. Me, Lianne, Artie, Megan and Caroline got up this morning and took the underground to Victoria station, where many a train and coach leave everyday. When we got there, we found that the train ticket that we thought was 8GBP was actually 22GBP. So while we were standing around discussing what we were going to do, I snapped this photo:

I am of course in the chuck taylor's
Yeah... We were bored. So instead of spending a lot of money on Brighton, we decided to save some money and just hang around London this weekend (just like last weekend). We walked out of Victoria station and just started walking. We got a little lost but managed to find Belgrave Road, where Gwenyth Paltrow lives with the lead singer of Coldplay. We didn't see her, but it is a really nice neighborhood anyways. We ended up walking along the River Thames and just enjoying views like this...

That's Big Ben in the distance and even further is the London eye. We had fun anyways, but all that walking made us really tired, so we had to pop a squat on a bench.

These are my buddies who accompanied me... Megan, Lianne, Caroline and Artie

Yea, I was tired, so those are bags under my eyes =) But yeah I had to lug around a backpack all day filled with useless items (besides the camera), cuz we were planning to stay over night, and I really got sick of hauling that thing around...

Well, we caught a bus to Piccadilly Square so we could do a little shopping. And in case you don't know what Piccadilly Sq. is (I had heard of it before, but didn't know what it was), it's a huge square with lots of shops and Leicester Sq. (pronounced like Lester) has a bunch of clubs, restaurants, shops and pubs.

Piccadilly Square, much reminiscent of Times Sq. in New York, although on a smaller scale.
Anyways, I got back and decided it was time to get a haircut, so I paid Lianne with a PB&J sandwhich (common currency in the house) to cut my hair....

She got a little carried away and cut it all off pretty much, but I like it...and so do the girls here ;)

Alright you guys have a fantastical day, and tomorrow I'll upload pictures of Windsor Castle.