1: England Switzerland Ireland Italy France | May 12 to June 14 2010
2: A month in Europe wasn't a bad way to start our marriage! We lived in the Crystal Ave warehouse for months in order to pay zero rent and afford this amazing trip! And we started very appropriately , if I might add, in ENGLAND.
4: We started our trip by meeting up with our friends in Cambridge, the Bybees | Rachel & Brian are a brother-sister duo Laura knew from Los Angeles. | The grass behind us isn't a backdrop - its real! They are CRAZY about their "bowling greens." | Joe dressed up in Brian's official formal school uniform, which happens to resemble what Harry Potter would wear.
5: Laura is deathly scared of cows, which were roaming freely on our walk. Which of course made Brian try to rile them up. Luckily we escaped with our lives intact. | Rachel & Laura stopped into a drugstore to buy a band-aid and came out with a package of "bandages" by mistake.
6: Paris in less than 24 hours: | After a long night in the airport, we arrived in Paris! | We didn't have much time, so we hit the big things - the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower & a free Paris walking tour.
7: Next, we were off to Switzerland to meet up with Bryan & Taylor Law, Matt & Rachel Olsen & Dan Smith! Laura's favorite part was touring the Gruyere cheese & Cailler swiss chocolate factories. She had this goofy grin on her face the entire day.
8: The entire crew traveled together to Interlaken, Switerland, which is the extreme sports capitol of the world and Joe's favorite part of the trip. It was his turn to have a day-long goofy grin. The first stop in Interlaken, was bungee jumping, which everyone attempted but Taylor & Laura who chose to take lots of pictures of the madness instead. Then, Laura went hang gliding with the girls & Joe chose a more manly route by going on an advanced canyoning course.
9: The next few days in Switzerland were a little more low key. We took a ferry ride, a bike ride, and a paddle boat ride. We also walked, hiked and toured the towns and country around the beautiful city of Zug, where Bryan & Taylor were living. We also made a solo trip out to Bern (the capitol of Switzerland), where Joe's friend, Martin, from film school was living.
10: And just like that we were off to Italy! We made a quick stop to Lake Lugano, and then In Milan, we stayed with Marco's family (another one of Joe's friends from film school) & his mother taught us the true Italian way to make Pizza.
11: Marco also took us to Bellagio & Lake Como, an old castle in Milan, the Duomo di Milano (Milan's Cathedral shown on the left) and to this crazy putt-putt course with some of his friends. Marco and his parents took such good care of us that despite the miles we walked everyday, we each put on about ten pounds during our week long stay.
12: Oh, and did I mention the food in Italy? Marco's parents served the best food by far, but that didn't stop us from trying food everywhere we went (especially the gelato)!
13: While we were staying with Marco, we ventured out to Venice for a quick day trip. Joe's mom had graciously gifted us dinner & a gondola ride for our wedding, so we found the perfect gondola and hoped in!
14: From Milan we traveled to Rome and on the way there we stopped in Florence & Siena. Florence had hundreds of little street market shops & Laura promptly bought dozens of scarves while Joe bought a few leather bound journals. | It also happened to be the 2010 Gelato Festival in Florence, so we bought entry tickets and eagerly began trying as many gelato flavors as they would let us. I think in the end we each ate 5 scoops of gelato - it was glorious!
15: Once in Rome, Joe hooked us up again with a buddy from film school, Eugenio, who gave us a place to stay and took us to amazing restaurants in the area. We also made sure to take a tour of the Coliseum (which was under construction, see picture on right) & the Imperial Ruins. We had been going strong for about two weeks by the time we made it to Rome, so we were both pretty exhausted, but we made the most of it!
16: While in Rome we also made sure to visit the Pantheon (also under construction), the Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth, see in Roman Holiday)... | ...and the Trevi fountain (which was almost impossible for us to find!) Joe also found a different fountain to cool off in with some other tourists.
17: Then we made our way along the coast of Italy & France. We traveled to Massa, Cinque Terra, Nice & Cannes on our journey. In Nice we tried out the infamous rock beaches and decided that they weren't as bad as we had thought.
18: For our final leg of the journey we traveled up to Laura's homeland - Ireland. We stayed with another one of Joe's friends, Robin, who he actually met in Costa Rica, not film school :) Robin & His girlfriend Frankie took us camping, surfing (Joe, at least), and to a true Irish pub with live Irish music, which was a blast!
20: Robin & Frankie also took us to the "Cliffs of Insanity!!!!!!!!!!!!" These beautiful green cliffs (actually called the Cliffs of Moher) were used in the filming of the Princess Bride. So naturally, we all quoted the movie the entire time we were there. It was the perfect way to end our trip!