Map of the world...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Heading Home

Well it has been an exciting adventure and I would love to share more with you guys but right now I have a big headache and it's late and have to be up at 5 AM. I am all packed and ready to head home. I'll be in Washington Friday and we'll be heading back to Maui on Sunday.
When I get back I will write a little bit about each city that I saw and post more pictures.
Talk to you all later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


More update...

First of all to answer everyone’s question: YES we got our luggage. It came to our hotel in Rome in the evening.

Our first trip was to the Forum and Colosseum. It was a beautiful day and walking around on no sleep was hard, but I was amazed at the size of the buildings and how it’s so different when you actually see it in person. You may see it on TV or in books many times but to actually see it in person and hear about the history is very different. I will have to put some pictures later.

That night I was real tired and running on barely any energy but I wanted to see some of my friends from camp in Romania who lived in Rome. So I called them up and at about 7:30 PM we were able to meet. My group was done touring for the day and we had dinner already (I had the same thing as I did for lunch because it was so good). We walked around, had some juice (fresh squeezed - so yummy), and had a great time talking about lots of different things. It was almost 10 PM and I was tired so I said “good night” and off to bed I went.

The next morning we were up early with our luggage ready. We had a great breakfast at the hotel and at about 8:30 AM we were again on the bus for our next tour. We went to the Vatican and St. Peters’ church with the same tour guide. The art, building and history was incredible. The amount of people that visit is amazing. I did not like the rushing, pushing, and walking like cattle through those places. It did not give you the time to appreciate what you were seeing.

Soon we were off to our ship. About an hour away from Rome. We got in the departure area, filled in our paper work and were ready to check in. Ok the next story is going to be told with little detail, but you had to be there (and maybe real tired for it to be funny). The paper they gave us to fill out asked about our past medical history (last 3 days). Take in account that I have been flying for a two days, not much sleep, and had lousy plane food. I indicated on the form that I had one too many things in the past 3 days, so when we were checking in they told us we had to see the doctor (mostly me but because L. was my roommate she was also affected). We walk over to the other room again and wait. We wait about 15 min and no one comes. The next room is empty and everyone seems to be checked in and the staff is cleaning up their stuff. L. asks some one and they assure us they will not forget about us and we will soon see the doctor. A few minutes later the lady who pulled us aside, along with the doctor, nurse and some other dude (who at the time I thought was the captain). They ask me about my problem and they say this is very serious and I need to be serious about how I respond to the questions (I was tired and I just wanted to get on the ship and of course was not taking this very seriously). Long story short I had to write a statement stating that I was not sick and would visit the doctor if any problem arouse and would wash my hands constantly throughout the cruise. For a moment I thought they would not let me go on the ship but they did. Yay...

Off we were to our rooms. Which I might say are very small but you get used to them since you’re not in there much and the ship is so big. Soon after we were on board we had a life vest drill. At 6:30 PM (which was our assigned dinner time for every evening) we had dinner where we were able to meet our waiters and other staff who would serve us for the rest of the cruise. The rest of the evening we checked out the ship (casino, gym, library, pool, outside area, stores, etc) which is a city on the water. We also had a chance to meet our celebrity singers and dancers (I thought the first show was cheesy) in a introductory show.

That first night I slept well despite the fact that the ship was rocking (I know we were on sea).

More to follow. (We are now on our second day at sea with no stops so I’ll try to update everyone on what I saw in every city later).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Beginning...

Well here we are on the cruise enjoying the beautiful view on the Mediterranean Sea, but before I tell you about what’s going on now I will tell you about the past few days.

My friend and I left Maui around 3:05 PM on a direct flight to Portland Oregon. We arrived at about 11:30 PM and my dad was nice enough to come pick us up and take us to their home. It was past midnight and we were tired, but I wanted to change suitcases and charge all my electronics. I went to bed about 1:30 AM and was not able to sleep, but soon my alarm went off. It was 3:30 AM.

We got everything together, had some coffee and soon we were on our way again to the airport. My dad was nice enough to get us so early and take us back to the airport.

We were there about 4:45 AM and we were soon checked in and at the gate. The flight to New York was about 5 hours and we had great seats. The first seats in the couch section, lots of leg room, and no one sitting next to us. We had our own individual screens and were able to play games or watch TV (of course many of them cost money but there were some free ones also). We were soon in JFK. There we got some food, walked around and soon we were on our next flight to Roma, Italia. We had OK seats and around us there were a lot of LOUD and excited people. The food was bad, the movies I’ve already seen and the service was not so good. But after 8.5 hours we were in Roma.

We arrived around 7:30 AM and after getting our stamps in the passport we were off to get our bags. One lady came up to us and asked in full spanish if we knew where something was but since neither of us speak spanish we were not sure what she was saying (for those of you wondering, yes I know Italian and spanish sound alike, but she did specifically say “something espaniol”). We were not sure how to help her but I hope she figured it out. We found the belt the luggage was coming on and we waited... and waited.... and waited... After a while no more bags were coming. Almost everyone was gone. We asked some one what to do and we were off to Costumer Service. While in line I saw someone that looked familiar (Before this I was looking and looking for anyone that seemed like they belonged to our group because we were not sure at this point how we were going to get to the hotel and plus we did not have out hotel name to even take a taxi there). Anyways back to finding the person I knew. I could not remember her name but she seemed to know mine and I was not about to loose the opportunity to get a ride to the hotel. I talked to her and she gave me the hotel info and said she would be waiting for us to take the bus with everyone else (about 10 people).

We did the paper work for the luggage and we went to meet everyone else. My friend D. also just arrived so she was waiting for her luggage. We went out side of the airport and there was a girl holding up a sign with our group name on it. We met others who were already in Roma and after everyone else we were off to our bus. Our group escort was Saia. She helped to make sure we all got to the hotel safely.

When at the hotel we had time to change some money and relax for a little while before meeting with everyone. We had introductions and I was real surprised to see how many people from Maui were there and I did not know they were coming. We grabbed a quick lunch (yummy bread with tomatoes, yummy cheese with really yummy eggplant - it was the best sandwich ever) before heading on our first tour.

Well that’s it for now. Coming soon: Details on our first and second tour, and cruise stories.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nothing Exciting!

Well nothing exciting has been going on in my life since I've come back from Romania but I will entertain you all for a little while.
I've been working a lot and hanging out with friends in the evenings and on weekends. Some weekends we went hiking and lots of going away or birthday parties.
Last weekend my friend L. and I went for a day at the spa at the Grand Wailea where we enjoyed the Therma baths and a massage. It was amazing. I wish I had the money to do it more. It was a special for $99 and it was for L.'s birthday so those were the main reasons I was able to do it right now.
Otherwise, I am getting ready to leave on Friday for my next adventure. One of my co-workers and I, and other people (who I know or don't know) will be leaving this weekend for a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. We will arrive in Rome, Italy on Sunday October 12th and spend the first night at a hotel. We will do some touristy things until Monday afternoon before we get on the ship at 5pm and leave on the water at 6pm. I'm hoping to not get sea sick or feel claustophobic in our little room.
Over the next few days (two weeks) we will visit four cities in Greece, two cities in Turkey and Naples/Capri in Italy.
I will keep you all updated as much as I can over the past few weeks. Please pray for safe travels and health.