S: It's a Winn win!
FC: LL Winn Trip July 17-30, 2009 - Italy and Paris
1: Flying Denver- Milan | Our cute passport holders and our sleeping pillows! | All ready to go!
2: Our first meal in Italy at the train station- a panini! Then we hopped on the train and asked some girls who spoke Italian "Please tell us when to get off the train!" Laura slept but I was too worried we'd miss our stop. So I struggled to keep my eyes open. PS nobody spoke English. Good thing I had my English- Italian translating books!
3: We made it to the Cingue Terre just fine. First stop- Vernazza, where we would be staying. | Vernazza, Italy
4: Our hotel in Vernazza. Such a cute little place- here are the views we had and that awesome terrace right over the ocean. We walked up over 120 steps to get to our hotel. We learned to stop asking for a good view after walking to the top of each hotel we stayed in- no elevators!
5: When we arrived we decided to go get a bite to eat. Only to meet the most hilarious old men ever. They serenaded us with an accordion, and that bride there too. Then this one guy was using our book to translate pick up lines. It was such a funny night we were in culture shock. The guy in the black shirt even proposed to Laura. We went back to our hotel to take a nap but ended up sleeping until 9 am the next morning. We were too tired to go dancing with our new old men friends- so sad
6: Monterosso del Mare
7: We spent the day here relaxing on the beach- it was much needed. Met met Marco and Paulo- haha. And soaked up the sun!
8: Riomaggiore | Exploring the islands
10: Cousins! | Laura! | A fun night out in Vernazza with new friends
11: Our new friend Ralphi | An awesome dinner in the plaza
12: So sad- this flat iron that melted off of the plastic also melted my hair. That's why it looks so bad for the rest of the pictures. | With no stores that sold hair product, I turned to olive oil to treat my fried hair. Yummy! | My hair frizzled | This lady is a perfect example of the need for sunscreen!
13: Sun, gelato, and fun.
16: We went on a cruise around the islands and found this amazing spot. Laura got a little seasick on the crazy boat, but it was worth it! | Loving the sun!
17: On the rocky boat | Porto Venere, Italy | Love this place
18: We just so happened to be in town for Vernazza's saint day. So fun to experience!
19: St. Margaret of Antiochia July 20
21: Although we sweat to death, Rome was truly an experience with the rich collection of history around us. My favorite part was the night plaza walk that took us though the most popular plazas and ended at the Spanish Steps. | Rome, Italy | It was amazing to witness such a piece of history.
23: I loved the plazas at night. So much to see. | Famous death by chocolate gelato.
24: Trevi Fountain
25: The Spanish Steps were so much fun. We made some Dutch friends, listened to crazies play music and dance, had gelato, and watched some fun street acts. It was my favorite night in Rome. We wanted a good picture with the Trevi Fountain like our parents had taken years ago.
26: The Chapels in Italy are just gorgeous. Wow this city is incredible. I loved gazing up at the Sistine Chapel. It was so unbelievable. And I loved all of the columns at the Vatican. St. Peter's Basilica 's details were stunning.
28: Laura's not buying what he's sellin'! | The Colosseum So neat! | From Rome...
29: To Venice! | I really loved the gondola ride! | I absolutely adored Venice! Oh how I loved it! From the gorgeous details in the architecture, to the string quartets always playing in the plaza- it is quite the romantic spot! I really hope to go back to visit Murano and Burano in the future. I had the best steak in wine sauce here- my favorite meal in Italy. Oh Venice I love you!
32: Our hotel was right on the canal. One morning after breakfast we just sat in the window and watching all the boats come by. We couldn't believe how they just sped around within inches of walls and other boats.
34: This is one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. Laura and I on the Grand Canal on the Rialto Bridge.
35: I loved this sign somebody drew on a wall. Everybody gives directions to places in its location to the Rialto bridge- but there are no signs for it. I loved that somebody did this to help the poor tourists out.
37: Some funny waiters on the last night in Venice. He was trying to set us up but went in for a kiss himself. The next day we started our trek to Paris... a crazy adventure on Ryan Air where we almost got trampled to death. Sadly we have no pictures from that, but arrived in Paris alive! Minus the Roma Flu that was now in full swing.
38: Wow the Eiffel Tower is absolutely stunning. I had no idea I was in for such an experience. It is impossible to describe it to those who have not been in person.
40: Paris is SO CUTE! Oh I love it. Everything was designed with the most care to make it look elegant and beautiful. I definitely want to go back again. And look at their cute metro signs!
41: Our hotel was absolutely adorable. I would definitely stay there again. And there was the best bakery down the street with chocolate croissants. Yum! We ate at this restaurant which was right down the street.
42: Louvre Museum
44: We were so overwhelmed with crowds that we hit the most important thing and got out- the Mona Lisa. You can see at the crowds of people crammed in trying to get a picture of the famous painting. We then made a much needed stop to a Doctor- in this weird little apartment. He didn't speak English and it was a pretty funny experience. | I told Laura before we went to the doctor that I hope he didn't try to pop my eardrum with a knife or something. He pulled out a long, shiny sharp thing but luckily my eardrum survived!
45: This weird guy stopped me and asked if he could use my camera to take pictures of us because he "loved taking portraits". Luckily, he didn't rob us. We just loved our trip to Europe and wish we had more time. It was an amazing experience with memories to last us a lifetime. We can't wait for our next adventure! On the way home we flew over Greenland. Kinda cool to see all the ice.