A Travellerspoint blog

SPAIN HAS THE WORST INTERNET EVER

We didnt forget about you i swear! We've been trying! Internet only works for like 20 seconds at a time!

sunny
View Motherland bound & Christina Visits the Motherland (S. Korea) & Libby,Jordan, Kayleigh, and Ashley & Mindy va a Perú! on RXTRAVELS's travel map.

We will definitely definitely definitely post up a good bit about France which we adoooooored when we have reliable internet but the best we can do right now is forward all of you to our facebook albums! Myself, Kayleigh, and Libby have been pretty good about posting up pictures as fast as possible. France kept us too busy to blog and now Spain has shown us what REALLY SHOTTY INTERNET is like!

We're in Barcelona now, Valencia was good but we all got sunburned, and the internet here allows maybe a good 30 seconds to do whatever you need to do.

We love and miss all of you and we'll be home soon to the land of good internet, free refills, cheap diet coke, and easily accessible boyfriends (yes you fools are hard to get a hold of when we're away!!!!!)

Updates to come!

Kayleigh, Libby, Jordan, and Ashley

Posted by RXTRAVELS 14:47 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

I <3 Roma!

sunny
View Motherland bound & Christina Visits the Motherland (S. Korea) & Libby,Jordan, Kayleigh, and Ashley & Mindy va a Perú! on RXTRAVELS's travel map.

Kayleigh: It was a sad day when we had to leave Cortona. Sad in more ways then one. I suppose you could say we rode the "struggle bus" to Orvieto on Saturday (the 29th). The pictures below can show you what I mean. We, well most of us, held it together and embarked on the last leg of our Italian Trip.

Orvieto May 29th: The Struggle Bus arrived and we went and saw some beautiful churches. The town seems pretty enough but the food was comical. For the first time in Italy we experienced a serious language barrier--we ended up with microwaved hamburgers (thats what we get for ordering them I guess), luke warm octagonal hotdogs (yes 2..we asked for 2 hotdogs and got them both on the same bun), and "toast sandwich" which was neither full of veggies and meat as advertised, or even toasted. Laughed so hard we cried over our dumb luck, packed up our things and headed to Rome.

Rome May 29th evening: Of course we started off Rome that evening seeing some art including the Borghese's Bernini, David. Even though we were all tired, exhausted, starving, cranky, and smelly a group of us (Pharm girls plus a big chunk of the rest of the croud) thought it was a good idea to go out on the town in Rome. Wil had a good friend who did a Pub Crawl last year in Rome and after a little researching he thought it was fun enough, safe enough, and cheap enough for us to go. After dinner, which was freaking amazing by the way, we hopped on a few buses...a few because we couldnt seem to get on the right ones (us girls were not in charge of planning by the way)...and made our way to the Colosseum. The pub crawl was decent, lots and lots and lots and lots of Americans (even a few guidos with waxed eyebrows and rosary beads), our guide was very funny and really nice, and we got a free Tshirt. The girls and I headed home early after only 2 bars and all in all it was a good first night in Rome. The best part by far was the view of the Colosseum at night.

Rome May 30th: Bright and early Dr. Zuraw took all us science nerds into town to see a plethora of art. Sadly, there's no way my brain would hold everything we saw so I'll let you know what the syllabus says we did that day.
9:00 Capitoline Museums Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius (artist unknown) we saw a lot of other pieces of art here too. This was by far one of the coolest--and this was Libby's art project! (she did great!)
11:30 San Pietro in Vincoli
12-2 Lunch
2-5 Pantheon (AMAZING!!! The Pantheon is one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world and this is my second time there. Dr. Zuraw says her personal theory is in order to return to rome she says you HAVE TO get inside the Pantheon, she has every single time she's come. There is an opening in the ceiling to the open air, Dr. Zuraw says shes seen it snow, rain, sleet, hail..everything, inside the pantheon!)
Santa Maria sopra Minerva
Sant'Ignazio Apotheosis of St. Ignazio and Dome by Fra Andrea Pozzo
San Luigi dei' Francesi
Piazza Navona Bernini, Four Rivers Fountain

everything listed here are the basic layouts of what we did, the specific art mentioned were student presentations. We probably saw about 30X that with Dr. Zuraw talking. We also had time to walk through and see the Roman Forum ruins. Sunday night we about passed out but not before we watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua (in italian). haha

Rome May 31st: That monday was dedicated to all things Vatican. We got up early and left to climb the stairs to the top of the Dome of St. Peters and saw amazing views of the city. After our climb we met up with the rest of the group and toured St. Peters until lunch. After lunch we went into the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. We tried to shop the rest of the day but none of us had any luck. Raina (a friend from the trip) managed to buy her 6th new pair of italian shoes--yes 6th--and we raced home for dinner and sat down exactly on time...I dont suggest running down rome streets, they're dangerous. When we got to the hotel dinner was about to start so we were pretty pumped...until it came. I think other than the teachers our table was the only one who ate the food that night. I thought it was pretty dang good...but I'm also not a picky eater. It was seafood risotto, complete with baby octopi and tenticles. Then salmon and potatoes. good for me, not so much the rest of the crowd. If theres one thing to know about Italian waiters, they get pretty upset when you dont like the food. I felt bad :'( but at least we ate ours.

Rome June 1st: I feel awful but by this day we had seen so much art I cant even tell you what we saw specifically other than we blew through about 5 churches before lunch. Dr. Zuraw took us to the Trevi Fountain (Trivoli if you ask TIP) and set us free for lunch and afterwards we saw "the show of a life time" a one month exhibit never before done (and probably never again) at SCUDERIE DEL QUIRINALE, to see "Mostra di Caravaggio" and exhibit full of nothing but Caravaggio's art because this is the 400th anniversary of his death.

We got out early and as it was our last day we wanted to make the most of it. We left the Caravaggio exhibit and went straight to the Colosseum to see it in the day light. From there we took a metro to the Spanish Steps and admired many stores we could not go into. Took a few funny pictures and decided to look for some affordable shopping. We managed to find a Zara, spent a few hours and a few euros shopping, and then moseyed our way over to the Metro to head home. Dinner was more successful overall that night and I think the waiters ended up not hating us after all. We spent the rest of the night just hanging out with friends dreading having to get up the next morning...and having to say goodbye.

Rome: June 2nd: LA FINE
The trip is over for a lot of kids (thankfully not for us). At 5 am our alarms went off, kicking us out of Italy wayyyyy early in the am. We arrived to the airport about 5 hours in advance of our flight--rough. We couldnt check in until 2 hours before so we did a lot of sitting around, chatting, and eating McDonalds. All our bags made weight and we headed on a plane to PARIS!!!!!

Italy was amazing and I can't wait to go back. Here are a few pictures from our time in Rome...if you want to see more just go to my facebook album or the other girls
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Posted by RXTRAVELS 15:12 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Mi Scuzi!

Sorry we havent updated in a while!


View Motherland bound & Christina Visits the Motherland (S. Korea) & Libby,Jordan, Kayleigh, and Ashley & Mindy va a Perú! on RXTRAVELS's travel map.

eurotrip_2010_526_052.jpg

Libby:

Hey Everyone!

Sorry for the belated post! We are in the midst of the study part of study abroad! Nevertheless, I will update you on the events of the past week!

Wednesday 5/19/2010: Today was our first full day in Florence. Florence is very different from our little hill town Cortona. There are people everywhere and not everyone seems as friendly. We started the day off by visiting the Uffizi museum to see the Birth of Venus. We throughly enjoyed our time at the Uffizi because its name turned into a running joke, " Uffizi (ooo feetsy) stank." After mid morning coffee, we walked over to the Piazza della Signora Giambologna to see the Rape of the Sabine Woman statue. This statue is wonderful because it has no true front and displays 3 people in the statue. Afterwards,we saw the Brancacci Chapel, Santa Trinita, and Santa Maria Novella Chapels. After being dismissed, a small group of us explored the streets of Florence until dinner. The Puetts were kind enough to show us an old apothecary pharmacy where Michelangelo got his paints! So cool! We were in nerd heaven! Our group had dinner at 7:30 every night at a small trattoria across the street from our hotel. After dinner, Kayleigh, Ashley, Cassie, Tip, Pranav and I decided to roam around Florence and find " Da Duomo!" We ended up getting lost, finding a unique treasue called the Shots Cafe, but decided to make it an early night and head towards the hotel.
eurotrip_2010_526_087.jpgOld Pharmacy

Old Pharmacy

Thursday 5/20/2010: The morning in Florence began with a cappucino and crossiant at the hotel and then off to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's statue of David. We also saw the Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo and then we were dismissed for lunch. We decided to keep lunch light and explore the street market for souvenirs. After lunch, we made it to the OrSan Michele to see Doubting Thomas. After OrSan Michele we went to the Museo dell' Opera del Dumono to see a wooden carving of Mary Magdalen. Our final stop was to see the Baptistery at the Duomo, but Dr. Zuraw decided there were too many wild kids and dismissed us for the day. With our extra afternoon time, Kayleigh, Ashley and I found an H&M to spice up our wardrobes. We were getting very tired of seeing the same outfits over and over and over again. We shopped til we dropped, but came out with close to nothing. We headed to dinner and discovered that the food at the trattoria was better than Toninos, but the wine was worse.After dinner, Kayleigh, Ashley, Karolina, Tip and I went back to Shots Cafe for a few pre birthday drinks and card games. However, we began to realize that keeping up with Dr. Zuraw around Florence is quite difficult and decided to head to the hotel to Skype our loved ones.

Friday 5/21/2010: MY BIRTHDAY! The day began with an Italian serenade by the Puetts. They are a wonderful couple and made me feel very special. Im not going to bore everyone with the musuems we saw that day because I can't recall a lot of the information. However, we did see Michelangelo's apartment and the Santa Croce chapel where Michelangelo is buried. That day we discovered that are not able to pick wonderful restaurants while traveling. We had poor food , but great wine with great friends. We ended the day at the Baptistery where we were dismissed to catch a train to Cinque Terre. Almost 18 people from our program grabbed our bags and caught the 5:30 train to Pisa which connects with a train that heads to La Spezia and then we had to catch another local train to Riomaggiore, our town in Cinque Terre. Our group made the first train but realized that we only had 5 MINUTES to catch the train from Pisa to La Spezia. We jumped off our train while our friend Tommaso discovered our next train was leaving from platform 2. One thing to know that when you travel in Italy is to expect the worse and prepare the worse. We discovered there was two platform number 2s. Once we made this discovery our group hauled ass: yelling, panting, throwing bags, and losing shoes. We made valiant effort only to kiss our sweet little train goodbye. This prompted our crew to pop bottles of wine and celebrate my birthday for an hour while we waited for the next train to arrive. Once we caught the next train, it was smooth sailing to Riomaggiore. Kayleigh, Ashley, Cassie, and I met our landlord Simone who showed us to our winderful apartment that overlooked lemon trees and if you stood on your tip toes you could see the ocean.However, we realized that you didnt have to see the ocean to know you were at the beach. We were surrounded by waves crashing and the smell of the ocean. After unpacking, we headed into town to meet up with Tip and Pranav for dinner. Allie, Patricia, Shanise, and Allaynah were also staying in Riomaggiore, but had already eaten dinner. We had wonderful dinner of seafood, pasta, and wine while the girls oogled the first hot italian man weve seen. Listen Ladies, he .....looked...... GOOD. After dinner, we had an early night so we could get up early and explore our beach town.
eurotrip_2010_526_019.jpg

Saturday 5/22/2010: We arose to hear the sounds of waves crashing and birds chirping. The other group of girls decided to catch up on sleep while the 4 "Pharm Girls" (our nickname) along with Tip and Pranav hiked up to a small castle to get some senic shots. One thing we noticed that hill towns dont play any games and its an eye opening experience to be drenched in sweat before 9am. After gettting our priceless portraits, we rolled down the hill to find the best pizza we have ever tasted. Foccacia bread, butter, and cheese with a beer. SO GOOD! We met up with the other girls and our group set out on an adventure.We decided to trek to the Madonna Chapel which is the highest point in Riomaggiore. We took the legit struggle bus there only to see a mountain of steps ahead. Once again, drenched in sweat. Two times before noon- forget the gym, travel to Italy. After getting down from the chapel, we headed to the marina side and laid amongst the rocks. Riomaggiore doesnt has a sand beach, but has a rock marina. We had a sip of wine and admired Italy's beautiful coast. After sunbathing, we all headed to our respective rooms to get ready for dinner and a night out. That night we branched out and tried stuffed beef, mussel pasta, and SQUID INK PASTA. This dish was Kayleighs and it was Black! Check out the pics! After dinner, we found a market that sold 3E wine and started off the night right. We headed to Bar Centrale ( thanks Rick Steves) which had amazing Mojitos and we caught part of the European Super Bowls of soccer (football). We saw grown Italian men cry and celebrated late into the night.

Sunday 5/23/2010: The morning after a late night we packed our bags. We were a little sad about leaving, happy to still be in Italy and a smidge dehydrated. ;) We caught the 10:45 am train and made too many switches to remember. The only thing i know is that I have made wonderful new friends, created solid friendships with old friends, and made memories to last two lifetimes. We made it to Cortona just in time for dinner with some viticulture friends at La Grotta. We made it an early night, but managed to swap crazy stories from the week with Jo as she arrived from Pisa.

Monday: 5/24/2010- We really dont remember an stand out moments from this day except it was hard to sit through 4 hours of science lecture and Dr. Ivarie joined the teaching staff.

Tuesday 5/25/2010: Another full day of class and then celebrated my birthday with Jo! We had a great time- i think!

Wednesday 5/26/2010: The entire Cortona program was on the struggle bus. There was a lot of cold showers, blood shot eyes, and napping during class. However, it was totally worth it!

Thursday 5/27/2010: This day was devoted to study for our test the next day! Boo for studying but lets get real- we get to STUDY IN ITALY! I hope Pharmacy school can live up to these standards!

Friday 5/28/2010- Our last day in Cortona! The day started off with class and then a test at 4:30! After the test Ashley and I look at leather goods and wine while Kayleigh got ready for dinner. Ashley and I decided to go see Francis's house from Under the Tuscan sun! We walked through the beautiful park and walked over 45 minutes to see this house. Pretty, but far out of way! We made it to dinner at Toninos just in time where were took over the large circle table and played Paranoia. Ask me how to play later! After dinner, Ashley and I headed up the hill to get ready for a night out. We met our whole crew at the Lions well for laughs, good drinks, and some amercian music! It was a fun dance party, but we headed home at midnight to skype our families before we had to catch a 7:30 am bus to Rome!

Posted by RXTRAVELS 07:23 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Huge update from Korea

sunny
View Christina Visits the Motherland (S. Korea) & Libby,Jordan, Kayleigh, and Ashley & Mindy va a Perú! on RXTRAVELS's travel map.

Christina:

My apologies for not updating for a while. Been going all over the place with my family. I can't post all my pics but I'll hit the high points. Still a lot of pics.. but I hope ya'll like them.

May 25: My cousins, Jiman and Yoon-hyung, took me to the Korean National Museum, which is down the road from my parent's place. It was interesting but due to my lack of knowledge in Korean history, I was a little lost on all the different eras. Afterwards we just took a stroll in the Yongsan park and then headed back.
crown

crown


the cousins being silly

the cousins being silly


punishment beating sticks for criminals

punishment beating sticks for criminals


old pharmacy/medical instruments

old pharmacy/medical instruments


old mortar &#38; pestle

old mortar &#38; pestle


one of korea's national treasures

one of korea's national treasures


pond in the park

pond in the park

May 26: I went with my parents to check out Seoul Tower. You're supposed to take a cable car up to get there, but we got a bit lost so we walked halfway up to the tower...it was a hellish trek, but we made it in one piece. We grabbed dinner at this don katsu restaurant... it was alright. Then we went to get take the cable car up. Seoul Tower is a really cool place to check out. It's mostly a fun little place to take your significant other.

Cable car entrance

Cable car entrance


Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower


They have a teddy bear museum

They have a teddy bear museum


view from above... sorry it's a crappy pic through a window

view from above... sorry it's a crappy pic through a window


washing my hands in the highest bathroom in seoul. lol

washing my hands in the highest bathroom in seoul. lol


You can purchase tiles and write messages about the ones you love

You can purchase tiles and write messages about the ones you love


locks of love

locks of love


more locks of love

more locks of love


Seoul Tower at night

Seoul Tower at night

May 27: went to visit the Kofic Filming/Movie Studio in Namyangju. Very interesting and fun to visit. Got to see costume and prop rooms, historical memorabilia, different sets, etc. After visiting the Studios... we decided to go see the piano bathroom. Yea you heard me... Piano bathroom. The stairway leading up to it plays musical notes. haha
Before heading back we stopped by my maternal grandparent's gravesite. Today my dad told me the reason as to why the grave is shaped like a hump/hill. He said that the reasoning behind it is that when you are born you came from your mother's belly, which is shaped like a hump, and when you die, you return in the "hump"... in this case a hill. So if you visit Korea and see a grassy area with tons of bumps... It's a graveyard.
folk village set

folk village set


Japanese village set

Japanese village set


entering the studios

entering the studios


items of a famous director

items of a famous director


pretty hambok from a movie by hwang jeong soon

pretty hambok from a movie by hwang jeong soon


mini shipyard set used for 3d animation

mini shipyard set used for 3d animation


mini club set for 3d animation... it looked like a barbie playset

mini club set for 3d animation... it looked like a barbie playset


having fun with the bluescreen

having fun with the bluescreen


blue screen to skyscraper

blue screen to skyscraper


costume room

costume room


prop room.  that's a lot of rice bowls.

prop room. that's a lot of rice bowls.


Piano bathroom

Piano bathroom


mother being cute in the poppies

mother being cute in the poppies


Grandparents

Grandparents

May 29: Went and visited China Town... This is around Incheon. It wasn't huge, but fun none the less. Lots of chinese/korean restaurants. Supposedly the 1st cha-chang myun dish was created in that area. So since my dad loves that stuff... we had to get it.

Apparel

Apparel


me and the cuzzo's about to venture off in china town

me and the cuzzo's about to venture off in china town


china town

china town


china town

china town


aunt and uncle trying to look like royalty

aunt and uncle trying to look like royalty


china town

china town


wall art

wall art


my silly uncle

my silly uncle


bleeding heart flower

bleeding heart flower


This wall tells the story of fictional warriors in chinese folklore

This wall tells the story of fictional warriors in chinese folklore


my parents with said warriors

my parents with said warriors


general McArthur whom my dad states "saved Korea"

general McArthur whom my dad states "saved Korea"

May 30: Lastly, we went to the eastern part of Korea near Chuncheon. The parentals and I went hiking up one of the mountains in the area and went to see an ancient Buddhist temple at the top. We had to take a boat to the mountain because it was on the other side of a man-made lake formed beside a dam.
So yang gang

So yang gang


boat dock

boat dock


i'm on a boat

i'm on a boat


more boat shots

more boat shots


view on our pathway to the mountain

view on our pathway to the mountain


about a quarter ways up

about a quarter ways up


Statue of the snake that loved the princess

Statue of the snake that loved the princess


very pretty waterfall

very pretty waterfall


My mom says that people stack the rocks when they are making a wish

My mom says that people stack the rocks when they are making a wish


bell in front of the temple

bell in front of the temple


reads "please don't ring the bell"

reads "please don't ring the bell"


Temple entrance

Temple entrance


Lanterns with names that are prayed over

Lanterns with names that are prayed over


1000 days of prayer

1000 days of prayer


"praying"

"praying"


lots and lots of lanterns with names

lots and lots of lanterns with names


inside the main temple

inside the main temple


smaller prayer room

smaller prayer room

again i apologize for this being super long... but like i said... been traveling a lot the past few days. so i had a ton of pictures.

Posted by RXTRAVELS 08:18 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

More travels in Korea with the family

sunny
View Motherland bound & Christina Visits the Motherland (S. Korea) & Libby,Jordan, Kayleigh, and Ashley on RXTRAVELS's travel map.

Christina:

Sorry for the long break between posting, but been away from internet access for the past few days visiting with extended family.

May 15: Went to Achasan with my parents. San = mountain. It wasn't a bad hike... we ended up taking the easier route. The view at the top was great. The little city shops below the mountain are neat, they sell a lot of hiking gear and food to take on the hike such as kimbap, hard boiled eggs, fruit, etc.
neat church near my dad's work

neat church near my dad's work


me and my mom at the bottom of Achasan

me and my mom at the bottom of Achasan


me near the stream at the foot of the mountain

me near the stream at the foot of the mountain


working my way to the top of Achasan

working my way to the top of Achasan


view from the top

view from the top


atop Achasan

atop Achasan


me and my dad at the top... he's fast/athletic for being 61

me and my dad at the top... he's fast/athletic for being 61


chillin'

chillin'


pretty flowers on the mountain

pretty flowers on the mountain


a band was rehearsing and playing a concert on the mountain

a band was rehearsing and playing a concert on the mountain


Achasan's city shops

Achasan's city shops

May 16: The next day went to go visit my aunt. Just some random photos. My mom said in certain areas of the city, you'll see rubber sidewalks that were made from recycled tires. She said it's primarily for the elderly and children in case they fall.
rubber sidewalk

rubber sidewalk

here's my aunt's funny looking shih tzu. he has a messed up jaw so his tongue always sticks out like that.
my aunt's dog.

my aunt's dog.

Later that night, since our gym was closed, my dad and I took a long stroll around the area.. Down the road from our apartment is the National Museum. I'll have to check this out sometime this week.
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May 17: went with my mom to Namdaemoon to go to the outdoor market. They sell all kinds of random things. Clothes, food, houseware items, home decor, and little knick knacks
outdoor market in Namdaemoon.  bought some clothes w/ my mom for really cheap

outdoor market in Namdaemoon. bought some clothes w/ my mom for really cheap

May 20: my cousin, Yoo-jung, took me around to look at historical places. We first went to a Buddhist temple at Jo-Gye-Sa since it was Buddha's birthday (it was actually May 21 since we're 13 hours ahead from the US). We then went and saw Gyeongbok Palace. For more info look here. http://www.lifeinkorea.com/travel2/seoul/66/ and we visited the National Folk Museum located next to the palace. I didn't take pics inside the temple because I thought that it may be disrespectful.

can you spot buddha?

can you spot buddha?


buddhist temple

buddhist temple


temple on buddha's birthday

temple on buddha's birthday


korean palace entry

korean palace entry


guards in traditional garb

guards in traditional garb


da roof da roof da roof is on fiah

da roof da roof da roof is on fiah


sleeping on the job. haha

sleeping on the job. haha


look... a legit korean. lol.  my cousin.

look... a legit korean. lol. my cousin.


inside the palace

inside the palace


palace

palace


in the palace grounds

in the palace grounds


yes she's freakishly tall. lol

yes she's freakishly tall. lol


pond at gyeongbok palace

pond at gyeongbok palace


me with my chinese zodiac sign: tiger

me with my chinese zodiac sign: tiger


national folk museum

national folk museum


national folk museum

national folk museum


old statues from folk days

old statues from folk days

This past weekend I spent time with my aunt's family since my parent's had a vacation planned in the south coast. We went to a distant cousin's wedding and I met a lot of family that I don't recall ever meeting before. Like 3rd cousins and farther...

As far as food, I've been eating typical Korean foods, nang myeon, bulgogi, bimbimbap, kimbap, spicy stews, etc. The only bad experience I've had thus far is going to a raw fish restaurant with my aunt's family. Near the end of the meal my aunt ordered some octopus. I was cool with it, since I figured it was the cooked kind with the spicy sauce on it. Nope.. it was raw, which I also would have been fine with... IF IT WASN'T MOVING. Yea, it was chopped up in pieces and squirming around all over the plate. I grabbed one with my chopsticks and the suckers latched on. We were also drinking a lot of soju (korean liquor) so I ended up getting sick after eating a few and watching them move. Not a good experience... never again will I eat that. Tasty yes, but visually unappealing.

Ok that's it for now. My mom tells me we will be checking out the national museum tomorrow. :)

Posted by RXTRAVELS 02:16 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

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