Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Europe 2017


Wednesday, October 18

We had driven down to Lehi the night before so that we could drop Sophie off. So we woke up at my mom’s house at 6:30am and got ready and drove to the airport. We caught the start of rush hour so it took us a little longer to get there than we thought it would so Jeff dropped me and Tyler off with the bags and we got in line while Jeff took the car to economy parking. There were SO MANY people at the airport! Every line was long. The checked baggage line went fairly quickly so after we checked our bags, we went to security. I left Tyler in general security because I had TSA. His line was super long. Mine was long but it went pretty quick. By the time I got through, Jeff was just getting in line. Luckily we all made it through with enough time to go to the Sky Club and grab some breakfast. After we grabbed some food, we went to our gate and boarded. I fell asleep almost instantly. I woke up when we landed and I was sore everywhere. I hadn’t moved I guess and the leg room was awful ha our layover was at JFK and it was 3 hours so we found the Sky Club closest to our gate and we found some good seats. The food didn’t look super appetizing so while Jeff stayed back and worked, Tyler and I walked down the terminal to find food. The only food we food was McDonald’s so we got some food and ate and then I got some food for Jeff and I had to hide it in my bag in order to get it inside the Sky Club. While we were in the Sky Club, we saw Joe Leery from Stranger Things! Once it was time to board, we walked over to our gate and we were the last ones on. It was so weird. They were waiting for us ha but we weren’t late. Super weird. Anyway, we got on and I attempted to fall asleep again. I couldn’t get comfortable! But I refused to watch a movie. I just kept on trying to sleep. It was like a strange dream the whole flight. I woke up when they served food and I got some but I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t eat any of it ha basically it was just the longest 8 hours ever. Every part of me was sore.

Thursday, October 19

Once we landed in Zurich we had to take a train to Zurich HB main station but it didn’t leave for like 45 minutes. Then once we got to Zurich HB, we had to wait another 30 until our train to Interlaken left. It was so uncomfortable. All three of us were so tired but so uncomfortable. The sights were incredible though! Cute little houses, fall colors, amazing blue water. Ugh I love Switzerland. The train to Interlaken took 2 hours with quite a few stops and Tyler and Jeff were able to sleep for a bit. I just watched the landscape. Once we got to Interlaken we had to walk 2 kilometers to our Airbnb. Interlaken is gorgeous though so even though our backpacks weighed a ton and we felt like our backs were breaking, it was so pretty to look around! The Airbnb is in Unterseen, right outside of Interlaken and it’s tucked right up by the mountain. It’s such a cute little town! We finally found the Airbnb and we were able to get in. It was a three level house all to ourselves! We crashed pretty hard on the beds immediately when we got there. It felt so good to stretch out haha then we just napped/chilled for a while until we had to walk to the bungy jump meeting point. We left a little later than we should have because the nap killed Tyler haha I ended up not sleeping because I knew I would never wake up ha but we got to the bungy jump meeting point (Alpin Raft) right on time! It was across town. When we got there, we talked to Matt (the photographer) about life in Switzerland and he said the guides were from all over the place! He’s from Calgary and only lives in Switzerland from May-October and then he travels for a bit and heads home. Once the final guy in our group showed up, we drove 25 minutes to the gondola that would take us up to the bungy. The other guy in our group was from Italy (we never learned his name ha whoops) and he was traveling around Europe for a month. He didn’t speak much English. It was a quiet ride up and all of the guides asked what was wrong with us ha we told them how we had just barely got into town and then they understood why we were so quiet ha they also asked where we were from and when we said Utah, they all started talking about how they couldn’t swear around us ha one guy was married to a girl from Provo! Small world. Not religious anymore but her family is and he said they get mad about his language haha once we got to the gondola, we had to wait for 20 minutes before the lift closed to the public and then it was our turn. We headed up the mountain and once we got there, we put on our gear. We were given the schpeel on what to do when we’re jumping and then we went up in the next gondola. They took us to the top of the mountain and it was incredible! Mountains, lakes, green hills, cows, unreal. Then they took us back down halfway and we were ready to jump. They said it was about 460 feet above Stockhorn Lake. Our guide turned on this weird Asian music that reminded me of massage music and it made the anticipation way worse. The Italian guy went first and it was hilarious. He was freaking out ha I was so glad he was first. Then a random guy that had joined our group later went and then it was Tyler’s turn. The second he was clipped in, he was silent. He walked right up to the edge, the guide counted down, and Tyler jumped. No scream, nothing. It was almost even more hilarious that he was silent haha after they reeled him to the boat on the lake, it was my turn. I got to the edge and it looked way higher than it originally did. The guide had turned on better music at this point. They were all songs related to jumping ha so I got to the edge and he counted me down and I went! It was awesome! It had been pretty chilly but the second I jumped, my adrenaline kicked in and I had a blast. When they started lowering me down to the boat, I was spinning so it was hard to catch on to the stick they were wanting me to grab ha but finally I got a hold of it and they lowered me down. Tyler and I were still in the boat when Jeff jumped. It was a super cool view of the jump! Once all three of us were on the boat, we went to shore and hiked up to the top where the gondola ride back down would start. We purchased the pictures after we got all of our gear off and then got on the gondola and rode to the bottom of the mountain. The sun was setting and it was beautiful! On the way back to Interlaken, we all fell asleep ha it had been a long day haha the guides dropped us off in the main square and we stopped by Subway on the way back to the Airbnb and ate real quick and then headed to the Airbnb. We passed out SO FAST. I was gone by the time my head hit the pillow.

Friday, October 20

Tyler and I slept in until noon. And the bed I slept on was way too soft. I woke up and my back was a disaster. I hurt everywhere. Jeff had been up since 8 ha whoops. We finally got up and out of the house by 12:30pm and we went to McDonald’s for “breakfast”. They weren’t serving breakfast anymore so we just got chicken nuggets ha after we ate, we headed to the start of the Harder Kulm trail. I did this trail last time I was in Interlaken and it led to the Top of Interlaken and so I thought Tyler and Jeff should experience that too. As we started on the trail, tons of stuff looked familiar. There was a little mini zoo with goats and stuff at the beginning, tons of switchbacks, we kept crossing under the cable car track, but then the further we went, the more I started to doubt the trail we were on and google maps wasn’t helping at all. So finally after hiking halfway up the mountain, we decided to take a different trail that split from the trail we were on. And the new trail was ROUGH. Basically straight uphill. Tyler and I were dying. We were not a hiking family growing up. Jeff, on the other hand, went backpacking constantly. So he was fine. Ha we hit a point where we didn’t think we were on the right trail at all but I made the executive decision that we should keep going and it was hilarious because after that point, we were about 1200 meters away from the end haha so we made it. We came in to the top from a completely different direction that I did the previous time, but we made it! Ha they had changed the cow at the top from a blue one with flowers to a white and brown spotted one. Not a great change in my opinion but it’s whatevs. Ha we took pictures at the viewpoint and then we decided we wanted to eat at the restaurant up there so we went and got a table. Tyler and I decided to share the cordon bleu (it was the largest cordon bleu in all of oberland). It took a very long time to cook and it ended up only being okay. But the views were killer! Also, still water cost us 5 Swiss Francs EACH. It was ridiculous. We thought we would save money ordering water ha After we ate, we ended up taking the cable car down because the sun was starting to set and we didn’t want to be left in the dark. Once we got to the bottom, we did some souvenir shopping and got a horn for our wall decoration and a cow bell for our ornament. Then we walked to the Airbnb and played Phase 10 (I totally won) and then we went to bed.

Saturday, October 21

I slept terribly this night. I was up at 3am wide awake and so sore from hiking. I slept on and off until 8am and then we decided to get up. That’s what I get for sleeping in the day before. Don’t let jet lag get you! Sleep when you’re supposed to sleep and be awake every other time ha we were out of the Airbnb by 9 and we went to a grocery store to buy stuff for sandwiches. They didn’t have peanut butter so we ended up eating breakfast at this little cafe by our Airbnb (Greek yogurt and granola!) and then we went to Coop and found sandwich stuff and energy drinks ha after we were ready for our day of hiking, we walked to Interlaken Ost and took the next train to Lauterbrunnen. I also did this the last time I was in Switzerland but I wasn’t sure which hike we did. Tyler, Jeff, and I decided we would take the train to Kleine Scheidegg and hike the panorama trail to Männlichen Mountain and go from there. So we boarded the train to Kleine Scheidegg right after we got to Lauterbrunnen without buying tickets but then we saw that we would be heavily fined if we didn’t have tickets so I ran out to buy some before it took off. I ended up being behind this group of Asians (sorry but they fit the stereotype) and they could not figure out the machine. They took forever! I was freaking out. I was able to get my tickets and get on the train literally 20 seconds before it left. They closed the doors right behind me. It was way too close for comfort. But they did end up checking tickets so I’m very glad I was able to buy them. They were WAY expensive though so we decided that we would need to hike the whole way down to Lauterbrunnen from Männlichen Mountain. The ride to Kleine Scheidegg was absolutely gorgeous. I realized that was the hike we did last time. We hiked clear to Kleine Scheidegg and back! I was amazed at my past self that I was able to do that. That is a very long and strenuous hike! Anyway, we arrived at Kleine Scheidegg and took SO MANY pictures. The three peaks (Jungfrau “Top of Europe”, Mōnch, Eiger) overlook that area and it was breathtaking. We hiked up to a little cabin viewpoint and took even more pictures and then we started the panorama trail. It overlooked Grindelwald and we basically just kept taking the same picture over and over again because it was amazing. I had the song Higher by Creed in my head the entire hike. No idea why. The panorama trail is a simple hike, very family friendly, so we were feeling good by the time we reached Männlichen Mountain. We decided to do the Royal Walk to the top of the mountain and it was beautiful! We ate lunch at the top. It overlooked the entire valley. We could see Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, and Interlaken. Amazing. After we ate our sandwiches, we started the trek down the mountain. It was three hours of constant downhill. We think we hiked about 15 miles total that day. We hiked down the Wengen and then to Lauterbrunnen. It was crazy long but incredible. On the way down, we saw a black lizard (Tyler and Jeff were loving that thing) and we saw and HEARD so many cows. Those cowbells are incredibly loud! Poor cows ha when we finally got to Lauterbrunnen, the sun was just setting. We decided to walk over to Saubbach Falls and hike up that. It HURT. And the end of the hike wasn’t that great. It took us behind the waterfall so you couldn’t see anything and we got wet ha we did see a cool cemetery on the way to the waterfall though! Then we walked to the train station and went back to Interlaken. The soreness was unreal. Ha when we got to town, we needed food. We decided on Italian and so we ate at Pizzeria DaRafmi. I got spaghetti and it was really good! We inhaled our food and then had the awkward trying to get the check thing (getting the check is very hard in Europe) and the guy threw my leftovers away on accident but finally we got out and then went to the Airbnb. Jeff and I watched Modern Family for a while and then went to bed.

Sunday, October 22

We slept in again. Noon. Whoops. That hiking killed us haha we had scheduled with our Airbnb host to go paragliding and they were supposed to pick us up at 1:30pm but it was raining so they had to cancel. So we had to get out of the Airbnb so they could clean. We took all of our stuff to the main grass square and posted up on a bench. We took turns watching the stuff and going and looking at stores. Jeff took first watch and Ty and I went and bought drinks. Then I took the next watch and Ty and Jeff went and bought Swiss chocolate. Then we decided we wanted to take an earlier train to Zurich so we would have longer there instead of an awkward amount before our night train to Budapest. So we hopped on the 4pm train and went through Bern to get to Zurich. On our way to the train station, we saw this girl almost get hit by a bus because she stopped to text in the middle of the road. So she was smart... anyway, we bought these cheese pretzels in Bern and they were SO GOOD. It was just a normal salted pretzel but with cheese melted along the whole pretzel. And it was delicious! The train from Bern to Zurich was PACKED so we had to stand at the door for the 40 minute train ride. We were exhausted from hiking ha I was so sore! Once we got to Zurich, we put our bags in a locker. It took forever because we needed change but we couldn’t find the change machine and the cafe next to the lockers wouldn’t change my cash into change. Super frustrating but then a kind man pointed me in the right direction and we got change. It was 6 Swiss Francs each to leave our bags in a locker. So we wanted to make paying that worth it haha we decided to walk around Zurich but it was so dead! There were hardly any people out in the streets. It was super weird. We looked up directions to a souvenir shop and everything was closed around us! Finally we found a souvenir shop that was open and we headed that way. There were a ton of people by the souvenir shop! So after looking around the souvenir shop, we found a place to eat on the same street called Johanniter. Since we get charged for water, we all ordered soda. And I was getting sick of the “fake” Fanta (it doesn’t taste like real Fanta in some countries!) so I got Sprite. It tasted weird too ha I’m a baby. Anyway, I ordered this potato, bacon, and egg dish called Speckrösti and it was delicious!! Super good. This was the first restaurant that we actually wanted to chill at because we didn’t want to sit at the train station until our train came but it was also the first restaurant that actually waited on us ha we hung out there until about 9pm and then we went and found what gate we would be at and then got our bags and went to the train. It was a sleeper train so we got a compartment to ourselves and it was awesome! There were three beds stacked up the wall on one side and then a sink and hangers and a mirror on the other side! Once we got to our compartment, the worker came by and asked what we wanted for breakfast (coffee or tea) and when we said neither, he was in shock. He didn’t understand why we didn’t want either of them haha so he wrote us down for orange juice ha We got all settled and I was on the top bunk because I’m the smallest and then I basically went to bed right away haha it wasn’t the greatest sleep of my life but it was better than it could have been!

Monday, October 23

The worker came by around 8:30am and woke us up and said we were 30 minutes away from our stop. He brought us orange juice and these croissants filled with chocolate and then said he’d come tell us when it was our stop. We packed up and they had some tiramisu bars and some mini water bottles behind the mirror so we grabbed those and then it was time to get off. We had to wait at the train station until 10:30am because our Airbnb host, Gabor, wasn’t responding to my messages asking if we could check in at 11am like we had previously discussed. We just people watched and the guys at the train station were sketchy! They would follow girls around trying to talk to them and there were homeless women trying to get money from everyone. One of them came up to me twice and even after I said I had nothing she wouldn’t leave. It was so awkward. The second time she came up to me and wouldn’t leave, we decided to just walk to the Airbnb and wait outside of it ha it was pouring rain outside so we got soaked on the walk there. It was only about 2k away. Once we got there, I messaged Gabor and said we were there and he opened the door a few minutes later. The place was super cute! It had two levels and Gabor was very prepared for us. He talked to us for like an hour about places to go and places to eat. He had multiple maps and was showing us very specific directions. He tried to get us to take shots of vodka with him ha the fun part was he hardly spoke any English so we had to guess what he was saying the whole time ha he had a guy come and translate for him for a little bit and the guy told us that he didn’t like Gabor because he was too much. We understood. Hahaha FINALLY Gabor was leaving and he asked us what our plans were. We said we wanted to go to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath and he offered us a ride in his car and said it was a gift. We accepted and he said 30 minutes so we got ready and met him outside. Before we even got in his car, he walked us to each place that he had told us about earlier. Finally we got to his car and he started driving and he DROVE EVERYWHERE. it was seriously the most stressful ride of my life. He would just stop in the middle of the road to show us something. Cars would be honking, people would be yelling at us, and Gabor would just laugh. He thought everyone was just joking with him. It was a nightmare. He started going the opposite direction of the thermal baths and it took him forever to finally take us there. He even tried to get us to leave the car and go in this market. I just said no we’re good, we want to go to the thermal bath. And he laughed and finally took us there. It was awful ha after we got to the thermal bath, he parked his car in the middle of the road and walked us in. Then he said bye and went to his car and STILL didn’t leave ha so we hurried and bought tickets inside and went in so he couldn’t get to us ha we bought the tickets that provided us with a cabin to change in and keep our stuff in but if I was to tell someone which ticket to get, I would say just purchase one cabin ticket and then have the rest pay the locker ticket price because it’s cheaper and you can all still use the cabin. They give one person in your group a bracelet that will unlock the cabin door. It’s a cool system. So we each took turns changing and then we walked outside to the outdoor thermal bath. It was freezing outside so we hurried and went to the inside portion. We got in the first pool we saw and it wasn’t super warm so we didn’t last long. We found a pool that was 38 degrees Celsius but it was so awkward. Everyone watches you get it and basically everyone just sits and stares at each other. So awkward. We didn’t last long there either. We went exploring for a hotter pool but only found sauna rooms that were hotter (40-55 degrees Celsius). We sat in a few rooms for a little bit and then we explored the entire building. We ended up in the outside pool but it was still freezing outside so after about an hour and a half of being there, we left. We found the closest metro station and went to purchase tickets in the kiosk. We bought the 7 day pass because it made the most financial sense for how long we would be there and as the tickets were printing, it broke and said out of service. So it only printed my ticket. I called the help number and he said I had to email in to get my money refunded. So he gave me all of the information I needed and hung up. We had to get on the metro but there was no other way to buy tickets so we just got on and hoped we wouldn’t get caught. We made it to the stop by our Airbnb and we were hungry so we ate at one of the restaurants that Gabor recommended. It was called Menza. I ordered Hungarian beef stew with homemade noodles and a COKE. I’ve never been a Coke person but the Sprite and Fanta suck! The food was absolutely delicious. We got some dumplings filled with jam and covered in cinnamon and sugar for dessert and they weren’t great. Ha but the meal itself was perfect. After Menza, we went back to the Airbnb to chill. Tyler and Jeff fell asleep and I attempted to watch a Hitler documentary but I felt disgusting so I showered. And then passed out. Luckily I set an alarm ha we had to head to the bus station at 10:30pm. We were taking an overnight FlixBus to Krakow, Poland. It was a 7 hour bus ride ha so we took the metro to the bus station (lucked out with no tickets again haha) and found the bus. It was a rough night ha I’m the only one that got any sleep but those seats were awful ha

Tuesday, October 24

We got to Krakow at 6:30am and our tour didn’t meet until 8am down the road so we saw that there was a McDonalds open and we headed there. We got lost constantly ha we couldn’t find the entrance! We got there eventually ha and ordered egg McMuffins and Coke and we just out there until it was time to meet with our tour guide. We had to meet down the road at a hotel. We walked there and we met up with our tour guide and got on a bus. We headed to the meeting point where we had to get on another bus to head to Auschwitz. Krakow was beautiful from what we saw so far! I loved the roads and the building! On the way to Auschwitz we watched a documentary on Auschwitz. Tyler and Jeff fell asleep but I was able to watch the whole thing! It was very sad. It ended right before we got there. It just talked about how Hitler got to power and what he did with it. Once we arrived, we got our audio device so we could listen to our tour guide talk without her yelling and then we started the tour! The sign over the entrance said Arbeit Macht Frei and translated it meant work brings freedom. 1,300,000 people were brought to Auschwitz. 140,000-150,000 of them were Polish, 23,000 were Roma gypsies, 15,000 were Soviet prisoners of war, and 25,000 were from other ethnic groups. 1,100,000 people died in Auschwitz and 90% of them were Jews. We first went into where the prisoners slept. They had added pictures and signs that explained different aspects of the building and the prisoners themselves. The prisoners slept on hay. They were treated like animals. We learned that only the Jewish people went through the selection process where they were divided into people who could work and people who went straight to the gas chambers. Pregnant women, children, anyone with a disability would go straight to the gas chamber. They were divided right off of the train. They have pictures of the selection process and the lines of Jewish people waiting to be sorted. We also saw all of the shoes, suitcases, hair, glasses, kitchen appliances, and fake limbs that were all confiscated right when they arrived. We went into Block 11 which was known as death block. They were tortured here in many ways. They had a suffocation room where there were no air holes at all, it was just straight concrete. They had a starvation room and they had a room where they would put four people in it and it was so small that they could sit or move and they’d leave them in there for like 12 hours after they had been working all day. If you lived through the torture, they would take you out to the execution wall and shoot you. The also have gallows set up where they would hang prisoners in front of the other prisoners. We were able to go in the only gas chamber that was left standing. It’s in Auschwitz and they only used it for a little while but they built more in Birkenau and added fake shower heads so the prisoners actually thought they were showering. Going into the gas chamber was awful. Just imagining thousands of people dying in this room was unreal. The stoves where they burned the bodies are right next to the gas chamber. After touring Auschwitz we drove to Birkenau. They added to the railways so that it brought trains directly into Birkenau. They called the entrance to Birkenau the gate of death because the prisoners would get sorted directly off the train. The Nazis destroyed most of the structures in Birkenau when they were trying to get rid of evidence but a few structures were still standing. These living conditions were even worse than at Auschwitz. The structures were built by the prisoners very quickly out of wood (the buildings in Auschwitz were made from brick; they were old units for soldiers) and there were gaps everywhere so in the winter, tons of prisoners froze to death. They were sleeping in the same structure as their bathrooms and the bathrooms were rarely cleaned so they were overflowing. Birkenau was HUGE. There were so many destroyed structures. We walked to the back of the concentration camp and on the way, we stood on the very platform where the prisoners were sorted. We walked the same pathway they walked to the gas chambers. The Nazis had destroyed some of the gas chambers and a few prisoners had stolen dynamite and blown up two of the gas chambers but you could still see the general layout. The entrance to each gas chamber was actually underground so the walls were still standing. They would enter and undress in one section and then they would go into the next section and there would be fake shower heads. The gas would then enter the room and then 30 minutes later they would open the vents and the floor would raise and the Nazis would then go through each body and shave their head and if they had gold teeth, they would take them out and melt them down into gold bricks. And then after they were done, they’d throw the body into the stove and then spread the ashes either in the field behind the gas chamber or in the river. The tour ended at the gas chambers. I couldn’t believe the things we learned. That humans could actually do that to other humans. After the tour, we walked through the bookstore and bought a book that tells stories from prisoners. Then we headed back to Krakow. When we got there, we walked around the shopping center that was connected to the train/bus station to find food. We ended up just eating at Pizza Hut because we didn’t have much time. We bought a few souvenirs in the train station and then went to our platform that would take us to the airport. We decided that the 7 hour bus ride wasn’t worth it so we bought flights back to Budapest for $200. I tried to buy them earlier in the day but apparently my payment didn’t go through and they sent me an email to notify me but my phone had been on airplane mode to conserve my battery. So I checked my email on the way to the airport and realized our flights weren’t actually purchased (I had bought them through a third party site that sucks). We thought maybe if we went to the airport we could try and get on the flight. So once we got there we found the Air Berlin desk and talked to the lady. She said they still had seats available and she said to buy them online because it would be cheaper than booking them at the airport so we hopped online and we were able to book the flights! So we went through security and stopped by the store to get a drink and then we headed to our gate! We got on the flight and had an hour and a half flight to Berlin, Germany. Then we had an hour and a half flight to Budapest, Hungary. We arrived around 10:30pm and just planned on taking a taxi to our Airbnb because the city transportation was no longer running. The Budapest airport taxi system was AWESOME! You follow the taxi signs, stand in a line, they input where you’re going into a computer, and then they give you a receipt with the taxi number on it. You stand on the curb and when the taxi with your number on it drives up, you get it and they already have where they’re taking you. It was so cool. Very efficient! We had kept our Airbnb with Gabor so we didn’t have to take our stuff to Krakow with us and it was super convenient (and cheap!) so the taxi took us there and it only cost like $25. We passed out hard right when we got back.

Wednesday, October 25

We slept in. Until like 12:30pm ha we slowly got up and got ready and we ate at a restaurant by our Airbnb called Beef Heaven. I ordered macaroni and cheese with bacon on top and they had Dr Pepper! It was a miracle!! I ordered two. Ha my macaroni and cheese wasn’t super great, it tasted burnt. By the time we were ready to go see Budapest, it was like 3pm. We attempted to buy a metro ticket again but the machine wouldn’t work. And this was a completely different machine than the first time! So frustrating. And this time, there were guards checking for tickets at the entrance so we decided to walk to the Parliament Building. It wasn’t too far and it was nice to see the city! We saw the Soviet War Memorial, the Ronald Reagan statue, and the Igny Moor?? Statue on the way to the Parliament. The Parliament Building was HUGE. It had a reflection pool in front of it and a flag pole. The flag was at half mast on this particular day because October 25 marks the day that a bunch of Hungarians were killed in front of Parliament during their revolution. There were soldiers by the flag doing their marches. It was pretty cool to see. We walked along the river by Parliament and walked over the Chain Bridge. On the way to the Chain Bridge we saw the shoes along the river that symbolize the shoes that were removed from the victims who were shot on the rivers edge during the war. Once we were over the Chain Bridge, it was getting dark and we knew the Parliament Building would be lighting up soon so we walked up to Buda’s Castle to get a good view of it! It was a beautiful view of the city! We watched the lights turn on around the city and the Parliament Building and then we walked around Buda’s Castle. We headed back down towards the river and on the way we bought some bracelets from a street vendor and I had to pay to use the bathroom (which I think is so ridiculous) and then we walked along the Buda side of the river so we could see the Parliament Building straight on. We took tons of pictures and then crossed over to the Pest side and we found a Döner Kebab Express stand for dinner. They took cash only so we had to find an ATM and I accidentally took WAY too much money out ha everything was so cheap! The kebabs were only like $5 and the cans of soda were like 50 cents. The kebab was pretty good but nothing special. It tasted just like the kebabs in the states. After eating we walked back to the Airbnb and got some ice cream that was across the street from Hiszteria Cremeria and then went to bed.

Thursday, October 26

We wanted to wake up early so we could see everything so we tried waking up at 8am. Didn’t go well. We didn’t get out of the Airbnb until 10am. We had to pack up our stuff and leave our bags in the basement of the apartment complex and then we escaped before Gabor found us ha Then we walked to the City Market Hall and on the way we walked Váci Utca (popular shopping street) and looked at some shops. Then we went to City Market Hall. The first floor is all food. Mainly fruit, vegetables, and meat. The meat stands had pictures of the animals alive and then right below each picture was the animal’s meat. Didn’t love that ha then on the second floor, there were souvenir stands (TONS) and some other food like langos. I was told to eat langos so we stopped and each ordered a savory one. Langos are deep fried bread and they are delicious. I didn’t love my savory one. It was a Hungarian original it said and it had mozzarella cheese, spinach, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, and sour cream on it. But then I ordered a sweet one with just butter, cinnamon, and sugar and it was AMAZING. I was so mad that I was full because it was so good. After eating, we walked around the souvenir stands and bought some things and then we left City Market Hall and went to see The Great Synagogue and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Before we went inside St. Stephen’s Basilica we went out in the front in the square and took pictures and while we were there, a man let us ride his Segway. I’d never ridden a Segway before and it was actually way fun! He was trying to sell a tour to us but we didn’t have time. After the Segway ride, we went inside the Basilica. It was very beautiful. I do believe that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all but they are all beautiful! The guy inside told Tyler to take his hat off but not me and Tyler thought it was because I was wearing a beanie so he replaced his hat with a beanie and then the same guy got mad at him again haha after walking around for a while, we left and walked to the House of Terror. When we first got there, we just bought the tickets to get in and not the audio tour. We put our bags in the free cloakroom and then started the tour. It was rough! They have papers at the entrance to each room and it’s basically a novel that you have to read but then there are things to read around the room as well and there are videos playing so we thought the audio tour would provide more information and more structure so we went back downstairs (the tour starts on the second floor and ends in the basement) and purchased the audio tour. It was not organized at all! There is background music playing in each room and it’s so loud that you can’t hear your audio tour. Plus there are so many videos playing, it’s hard to decipher between the videos, the music, and the audio tour. The House of Terror is majorly unorganized and it’s sad because it has the potential to be so good! Basically, the House of Terror is an old building that was used as the headquarters for diplomats during the revolution right after the Holocaust. The basement was a prison that tortured and held prisoners of war. Honestly I can’t even remember details because of how unorganized it all was. After the House of Terror, we went and ate at a place near our Airbnb called Porto di Pest Gasztro Bisztro and we all ordered chicken paprikash. It was the best meal ever. It came with gnocchi and the sauce on the chicken was unreal. 1000% recommend eating that. The food in Hungary was so good. We ate very well. After eating, we went back to the Airbnb and grabbed our bags and called a taxi to take us to the airport. It was right during rush hour so the traffic was horrendous. Luckily we had left fairly early so we weren’t stressing out. When we finally got to the airport, we checked our bags, went through security, and boarded the plane. The flight was about 2 hours and I passed out. We arrived in Paris around 10:45pm and we requested an Uber to come get us. We headed to the meeting spot but it wasn’t a spot where we could get picked up so the Uber driver called us and he hardly spoke any English so we couldn’t find a spot to meet him. He ended up giving up and cancelling the pickup because we took so long to find him. The Paris Orly airport isn’t set up very well ha so we requested another Uber and this guy found us no problem. We headed into the city and on the way to the Airbnb we drove past the catacombs, the Louvre, Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame. We got to the Airbnb around 11:30pm and the cousin of our host was there to unlock the door. We had to climb 5 flights of stairs to get to the Airbnb and by the time we got up there, the lights’ timer had turned off so we were in total darkness ha Jeff ran downstairs because we forgot to grab the keys out of the lock box and the lights turned back on. Unlocking the door was such a struggle! It had three separate locks and one of the locks was a spring lock so if you didn’t open the door right away, it would lock again ha it took us forever to figure out but we finally got in ha and we passed out immediately.

Friday, October 27

We had planned to be out the door by 8am and we were actually out by 9am. Tyler and I struggle at mornings. Jeff was always ready on time ha so we left and our first stop was Versailles so we found the closest Metro station and tried to buy tickets. It wouldn’t read our card. We had such bad luck with buying Metro passes! Ha so we left and found an ATM and got cash and attempted to buy passes again but it only took smaller bills than what we had. Luckily we happened to pass an information booth so we ended up buying the passes there. And we loved the pass we bought! It was amazing to have. If you are planning on going to Versailles and seeing every site in Paris and going to the airport on the metro, I would recommend buying the Zone 1-5 Paris Visite Metro Pass. It allows you to go basically anywhere and on any form of city transportation. So we used the trains and bus system and it was awesome. We hopped on the metro that took us to the train that would take us to Versailles and on the stop, we bought our first French pastries. They were croissants filled with chocolate and they were so good! We arrived in Versailles and while Jeff and Tyler stood in line to get in (the line was VERY long) I went inside and bought tickets. I bought the Passport ticket that included entrance into the palace, gardens, Mária Antoinette’s village, and the Trianon. Don’t wait in the line that says tickets if you’re paying with card because there are ticket machines in the back where you can buy tickets and not wait in line at all. So follow the automatic ticket machine signs instead. After I bought the tickets, I joined Jeff and Tyler again and we waited in line for about an hour to get into the palace. A guy tried to butt us but I told him that he didn’t belong there and he went to the back of the line. It felt so good telling him that ha I’m usually a major pushover and I’ve been trying to stand up for myself more and it felt good! I had Jeff run and grab a map though and there was a line to get the map so by the time he got back, we had to tell a bunch of people to go ahead of us so then it looked like Jeff was butting ha whoops. But we made it in! The audio tour is free with your entrance and I think it was definitely useful (especially after the House of Terror audio guide) and I learned a lot from the audio guide! It took us through the staterooms where they met for business, we saw where King Louis XIV slept and ate, the Hall of Mirrors, and it was a pretty spectacular palace! It was HUGE and sooooo gold! The paintings were super intricate and it was fun touring the palace! After the palace, we went out to the gardens. The gardens were amazing! They give you a map with a suggested path to take and we decided to follow it. It led us to all of the most popular fountains. Unfortunately since it was heading into winter, most of the fountains were turned off. We saw two fountain water shows but the rest were off. Also, they were preserving some of the statues so one of them was completely covered in tarps and a few others had been removed. In one of the areas, the statues had been replaced with a giant ice sculpture! I’m honestly not sure what it was of but I did recognize an overturned piano. In one section there was this freakin WEIRD sculpture. It was a man sitting cross-legged but he had the nose and mouth of a dog. He had pens sticking out of his arm, his chest looked like a geode, a disembodied hand was on his shoulder, there were gold balls where his balls should have been and a gold ball in his forehead, and there was a golden ear on his back, and his butt looked like melted paint. It was seriously the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. After the tour of the gardens, we headed out. We were in Versailles for about 4 hours. We weren’t able to see Maria Antoinette’s village or the Trianon but we felt satisfied with what we did! We stopped by a souvenir shop and McDonalds on the way back to the train station and then we headed into Paris to the Louvre. We were a little early for our 5pm tour at the Louvre so we took pictures and hung out. While we were walking around, these guys grabbed our hands and just started making bracelets on us! They do it so quickly you have no idea what is even happening and then the bracelet is on your wrist and they want money for it. And you feel totally obligated to pay them. So we vowed to not let that happen again ha We had to check in for our tour a couple of blocks away so we headed there and picked up our audio guide. The audio guide was awesome. It isn’t through the Louvre itself but this separate company put everything on their tour that they thought was worth seeing and I thought it was perfect. The Louvre is HUGE and totally overwhelming but this tour led us to everything that was worth seeing and it was perfect. It was an audio pen that you could touch the tip of the pen to the number you were on and it would explain the painting and then it would direct you to the next painting. I’m not a museum person and I enjoyed it! We saw the Mona Lisa! I had no idea why the Mona Lisa was famous but I learned that a man that worked at the Louvre stole it and hid it under his bed for two years. Who knew! I don’t know the names of everything we saw but it was a great tour! We did it in about 2 hours and I felt like I was satisfied at the end. After the tour, we returned our audio guides and then we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower. It was our only chance to see it at night! We wanted to watch the lights sparkle so we sat around under it was 9pm and while we were sitting around, we watched these gross rats climbing into a hole in the bottom of garbage bags. It was disgusting. There were SO MANY of them! We had to sit on this wall because we were pretty grossed out. Jeff kept walking over there but it made me want to puke haha finally at 9pm the lights started to sparkle and we watched and enjoyed. They only do it for 5 minutes. After we watched that, we headed back to the metro to go to the place we wanted to eat. When we got there though, it was super crowded and there was a wait. We decided to find a new place because Jeff and I really wanted French onion soup and they didn’t have it on their menu. We ended up going down the road to a place called La Poincare. I got French onion soup and this cooked bread with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top. The soup was delicious! The bread meal wasn’t that great though. I got sick of it pretty quickly. Our waitresses were super nice! After we ate, we headed back to the Airbnb and I got on Jeff’s computer and made a plan for the following day. I was up until like 1:45am and the goal was to wake up at 8am. Then I passed out.

Saturday, October 28

We definitely didn’t wake up on time. We got out of the Airbnb at 10am. We had to take all of our stuff with us because our Airbnb host had someone coming later that evening so we packed up and took the metro to Gare du Nord. It’s a main train station and it has lockers! Plus it has a direct train to the airport. It took us forever to find the lockers, the station was huge. They had signs pointing one way but they led to nowhere but eventually we found them (lower floor, follow signs for left luggage). We were able to fit all of our bags in one giant locker and it only cost 9 euros for 24 hours. After we left the bags, we took the metro to Arc de Triomphe. The Arc is surrounded by a roundabout and it is hard to get out there! So we just stood in a median on the road and took pictures. We felt like that was all we needed of the Arc anyway. We were starving but there were only sit down food places around us and we had a limited amount of time before our Eiffel Tower tour so we just headed to the Eiffel Tower and said we’d stop if we saw anything good. We had to take the bus and our passes worked for the bus so it was very convenient! We got off on our stop and on our walk to our Eiffel Tower tour shop, we found an adorable cafe. We all ordered pastries and drinks and ate as we walked. Jeff won on the pastry choice. His was so moist and chocolatey and delicious!! Once we got to the tour place, we checked in and had to wait for our tour guide. At 12:15pm we were all there so we walked to the Eiffel Tower. I volunteered to bring up the rear so everyone in the group knew my name ha we got to the Eiffel Tower and we were in a separate line from the general admission and I was so glad we bought a skip-the-line tour because the line was forever long! We stood in one line and went through a bag check and then we scanned our tickets and then we had to stand in another line and go through metal detectors. Then we were able to go to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. We took a lift up and once we got out, our tour guide told us a few fun facts about the Eiffel Tower and then we were free to roam. The tour was basically just to get us in quickly and get us to the second level. So we walked around and took pictures and then we bought tickets to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s only 6 euros! This line took longer than the other lines we had waited in. And it was cold up there! Eventually we made it to the lift that would take us up. Once we got to the top, we walked around and took pictures. It was freezing ha so we hurried. Honestly, the top view looks basically the same as the second level view. But I guess we can say we went to the top? We took the lift back down to the second level and we couldn’t find the way to get down to the ground ha we ended up making friends with a couple from Arizona as we were all trying to find the way down ha eventually we found stairs that would take us to the first level. All of the stairs and lifts were closed except one stair entrance! So we finally made it to the first level and then we had to take a lift down. When we got to the ground, we exited and found a spot to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower in the daylight and then we went to find the metro that would take us to Sainte Chapelle. The line to get into Sainte Chapelle was super long and we didn’t have time to go in so we just saw the outside and then we walked down the road to Notre Dame. We took pictures and then we walked over to the side where there were TONS of pigeons. There were guys there that had a ton of rice and they told us to put our arms out and they’d sprinkle rice along our arms, in our hands and on our heads. Then the birds would fly up on our heads and arms and eat the rice! We LOVED this haha we had a blast. My favorite moment was when Jeff wanted a bird on his head but he wasn’t wearing a hat (Tyler and I were both wearing hats and so the birds would see the rice and go to our heads) so I had a bird on my head and Jeff put his head super close to mine hoping the bird would go to his head. Eventually it did and it couldn’t stay on his head so it kept sliding off and scratching Jeff’s forehead just trying to stay on hahahaha it was so funny. And Jeff was so excited it landed on his head but you could tell it hurt haha finally the bird flew away and gave up but another bird landed comfortably on his head so he was happy ha after we had fun with the birds, we paid the guys for the rice and then we headed back to the metro. On the way, we stopped in a few shops and bought our souvenirs. Jeff and I bought matching Mona Lisa shirts ha they say La Jaconde on them which is Mona Lisa in French. Then we hopped on the metro and headed to Sacre Coeur. I thought Sacre Coeur would be deserted because it’s kind of on the outskirts of Paris but when we got off the metro, we were immediately in a giant crowd. The road we had to go up was FULL of people. And cars were trying to drive through but they couldn’t (they still tried though). It was a madhouse ha we made it up to Sacre Coeur and it had a great overlook! And it was a beautiful Basilica. We couldn’t go inside because of time so we started walking to Moulin Rouge. We saw a guy posing as a statue and it was not convincing at all ha the street we took to Moulin Rouge was adorable and SUPER crowded. It was insane. When we got to Moulin Rouge, I took pictures because I was the only one that cared ha Jeff took pictures of me on this vent and there were streamers blowing up from it and it was fun to take pictures on! But my shirt blew directly up and my garments were all over the place ha oh well. Then we walked down the road and chose a place to eat. Tyler really wanted pizza so that was where we headed. We found a little restaurant that was totally deserted and went in. I ordered ravioli and it was really good! After we ate, we got crepes at the place next door. I got cinnamon sugar and it was delicious!! Then it was time to head back to Gare du Nord. We hopped on the metro and went to find our bags. The place was huge so it took us a minute to find the lockers even though we knew where they were ha after we got our bags, we got on the train that would take us to the airport. Once we got to the airport, we followed the signs for Terminal 2 and it led us to a train shuttle. We waited there for a while and then an announcement was made that the shuttle was closed so we should follow the signs to the bus shuttle and a bus would take us to Terminal 2. So we followed the crowd to the bus shuttle and we all waited there forever! I was getting so nervous that we were going to miss our flight. There were no signs telling us what to do or anything. We walked around all of the buses trying to find one that would take us. We couldn’t walk to the terminal because it was far so a bus was our only option. Eventually a bus came and we all crammed into it. We were the first stop so we got out and then there was no sign directing us to Swiss Air. We lost Tyler in the mess of trying to find where to go so Jeff and I just headed one direction trying to find signs for Swiss Air. We finally found Swiss Air after walking quite a ways away and we checked our backpacks. Tyler was smart and connected to WiFi and texted me so he made his way over to us and checked his backpack and then we headed to security. We made it through super quickly so that was nice. Once we got to the gate, we were able to relax for a minute. I didn’t feel well at all. The combination of the ravioli and the stress was killing me. I was having heat flashes. It was crazy. After we boarded, I fell asleep almost immediately. It was only a 50 minute flight which was awesome. We landed and got our bags and then the hotel we were staying at had an airport shuttle so we followed signed for hotel pickup and found our ride. We stayed at Hotel Fly Away and it was a pretty nice hotel! Once we checked in, I showered and then passed out.

Sunday, October 29

We had to be up and ready for our shuttle to the airport by 6:30am. Once we got to the airport, we checked our bags, got through security, and made it to the gate. Our plane was apparently leaking gas so our original flight time got delayed an hour. We waited around, hoping for good news, but an hour later they delayed the flight another hour. It was now scheduled for 10:30am. Jeff was getting nervous because he couldn’t miss another day of work. When 10am came around they canceled our flight and rescheduled all of us to leave the next day. I immediately called Delta and told them that we needed to get Jeff home. The lady said there was one seat open on a flight to Paris that left at 10:30am. She told me the flight number and I found it on the departure screen and it was in Terminal A and we were in Terminal E so while she was solidifying the seat for Jeff I told him to run. Once we got Jeff figured out, I asked her to see what flight Tyler and I should be on and she rescheduled us to leave the next day and we would go through Amsterdam. She said the desk should give us hotel and food vouchers and a free shuttle to the hotel so Tyler and I got in line at the gate while I was still on the phone with Delta. I asked her for any compensation for the inconvenience and she said we could eat get a $300 voucher so she got those added to our accounts. While she was doing that, Jeff texted me and said he couldn’t find the flight. I looked at the departure screen and he had missed the boarding door closing by like 2 minutes. So I told him to head back to us. The lady at the desk got Jeff rebooked to be on the flight with us and she gave us the shuttle vouchers but she said the hotel and food vouchers were at a different desk. She pointed us in the right direction and we had to go wait in another line. At this point it’s 12:30pm and we are still in line. Jeff made it back and we wrote up a text to his boss while we were in line. Eventually we made it to the front and they gave us the hotel and food vouchers and told us the lady at the other desk could have easily done that for us so basically we waited in line for nothing. Once we got our accommodations figured out, we went to leave the airport but we realized we had to go through customs even though we hadn’t even left the dang airport! So we waited in line at customs for an hour. It was awful! When we finally got our bags it was 2pm. One nice thing was that we were able to check our bags for the flight the next day while we were still at the airport so we checked our bags and then we had to use our food vouchers that day so we found a restaurant and sat down. It was called Asia Restaurant. We each had a 30 Swiss Franc voucher so we ordered tons of food. I got dumplings and Pad Thai and our bill ended up costing 113 Swiss Francs so we had to pay money on top of our food vouchers and the food wasn’t that great ha it was a wonderful day for us. Anyway, after we ate, we took the shuttle to the hotel that Delta had put us in. Once we checked in, we just laid in bed and watched Modern Family on Jeff’s laptop ha Tyler fell asleep. We got up around 6:30pm and headed down to the hotel restaurant. Delta had also included dinner and breakfast with our stay! We didn’t know if we could just sit anywhere so we stood awkwardly in the doorway for a minute and then I was able to flag down a waiter and he said to sit anywhere so we sat and waited for someone to come tell us directions haha a lady at a neighboring table told us we just get up and serve ourselves. They had tortellini and soup. The tortellini was SO GOOD. The waiter brought us some Coke and we were able to get as much tortellini and soup as we wanted! It was great. After we ate, we went back to the room and watched more Modern Family. The hotel brought a roll away bed for Tyler to sleep on and then we just went to sleep ha

Monday, October 30

Our shuttle picked us up at 5:30am. We grabbed some croissants on the way out. It was so nice that we had already checked our bags! We were able to go straight to security and then the gate. We flew to Amsterdam and went through customs and then we boarded our flight to Salt Lake. One of the Twelve Apostles was on our flight! We all sat separately on the plane but we all had windows which was nice! The lady in front of me was the worst. The second she got on the plane she was complaining that the bin over her and her husband’s chairs were already full and she said she paid extra to have that bin specifically for her. Delta doesn’t even do that haha she asked each person around her if any of the bags were ours and we all said no. We knew it was a lady’s bag that was sitting in First Class ha so she was loudly complaining to her husband and then she loudly complained to a flight attendant. He was like “in my 37 years of working with Delta I’ve never seen them taking extra money for the bins to be used by specific people” haha it was hilarious. She wouldn’t shut up about it so I eventually put headphones on to drown her out. I went through all of the receipts of the trip so I could see what Tyler owed us, I watched tons of movies, and I journaled. Didn’t sleep a wink which is saying a lot! I always sleep ha it was an 11 hour flight. I didn’t move once! Not even to go to the bathroom. I was in shock I made it the whole way ha we landed in Salt Lake around 3pm and we got our bags and went through customs. My dad picked us up and took us to our car. He had Sophie with him! She was stoked to see us. It was adorable. She laid on both of us and just had the most content look on her face haha once we got to our car, we drove to Logan. It was a super fun trip and I’m glad we were able to travel with Tyler!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Costa Rica 2017

Costa Rica

Sunday, September 3

Jeff and I were in Quebec City for my Color Vibe event so we were up very early. The event went really well and then we cleaned up and headed to the airport. We dropped my coworkers off and then went to Taco Bell because our flight was a little later. After Taco Bell we went back to the airport and luckily we got there early because our bag drop and security took FOREVER. Eventually we got through and were able to chill for a bit before boarding. We had a layover in Montreal and we had to sprint to our next gate. We had to go through security again and customs but we made it to our gate before they had even started boarding. We had a long flight from Montreal to LA. Then we chilled in the Sky Club for about an hour. They had the greatest snacks! Little to-go things of grapes, yogurt, chips and salsa, veggies, salads. It was awesome! Our flight started boarding at 11:45pm so we headed over and I passed out almost immediately. I think I slept the entire flight. I was dead. Ha 

Monday, September 4

We landed around 7am and customs was quick. We got our bags and went to National Car Rental and this guy gave us a sticker that said Emerald Club and then he took us to another guy and he drove us to the car rental facility. We used some of my free days and then we paid for full coverage protection since we weren't sure how the roads were. Once all of the paperwork was filled out, we headed out! Our first stop was Monteverde. We started the 4 hour drive but we were hungry and we needed a car charger so we stopped at a gas station and got the charger and then we found a McDonalds. We tried to order two sausage egg mcmuffins and we got ham egg mcmuffins but whatever, we were killing it. Once we officially got on the road, we hit our first toll. Once we got there we realized we had no cash at all. I found $2 in my bag but that was it. I didn't think we'd need cash that quickly so we hadn't gotten any yet so fun tip for Costa Rica, get money out or at least have USD on you. Our first toll was fine because we had a dollar but the next toll was $3 and we didn't have it. So they started having the traffic back up so we could get out of the line but the lovely truck driver behind us paid for us! It was awesome! After the second toll, we looked up the nearest bank so we could go get some money out but we tried 2 different banks and Jeff wasn't able to get money out so we went to a third and luckily I was able to get some out! THEN we were finally back on the road. The drive was gorgeous! Green EVERYWHERE. It was beautiful! The road into Monteverde was TERRIBLE. It was a good thing we had a 4x4 because there were potholes, giant rocks, straight up holes, etc. it was such a bumpy ride. We arrived in Monteverde around 12:30pm and we couldn't check in to our Airbnb yet so we parked there and then chilled on the balcony for a minute and bought some groceries at the mart next door. We got supplies for peanut butter and honey sandwiches and then this SUPER good fruit drink called Nectar Mixto de Frutas. Then we made sandwiches and waited for our zipline tour to come pick us up. They came around 1:30pm and we headed to the ziplines! When we got there we got all of our gear on. There were two girls from Germany and a man from Spain in our group. They were super friendly. Our guides spoke very little English and didn't have much of a sense of humor so we talked mostly with the people in our group. The guides wouldn't let us record us ziplining which was super frustrating. They wanted us to buy their pictures which weren't good at all. They sent Jeff and I together on a really long zipline so we ended up filming that one ha totally worth it! It was beautiful! There were 14 ziplines, a rappel, a Tarzan swing, and some hikes in between. The Tarzan swing was a blast!! We saw these beautiful blue butterflies and monkeys! The last two ziplines were Superman style and the second to last one was way fun! The last one sucked. They said we could record ourselves on this one but come to find out it's only like 50 meters long and you go through a dark tunnel. So stupid. But other than that the tour was fun! After we went ziplining, we got to go the bungee jump! We had two guides with us and both of their names were Danny. One spoke very good English and the other not so much. The one that spoke English was hilarious. He made it way fun! We went out on this little metal cable cart to the middle of this valley. It was CRAZY. We were just suspended there by a few cables. Seemed so sketchy. And if that wasn't enough, mist came in everywhere as we were up there! Jeff jumped first because I won rock, paper, scissors and watching him jump was crazy! He was lost in the mist. Once they reeled him back up, it was my turn. Right as I got to the edge, the mist parted. I didn't know if I liked that it did that or not haha and then Danny counted me down and I jumped. You jump between two of the cables holding the cart up so I was nervous I'd hit one ha I didn't. The jump was a blast! The part I hated was hanging there afterwards. You're upside down and the blood is rushing to your head and it feels like your eyes are going to pop. But then they send the cable down and once you latch it to your harness, they pull you right side up ha but for those moments you're hanging upside down, it isn't fun. Haha as they were pulling me up, the mist returned ha it was overall super fun! They had strapped a GoPro to the helmet we were wearing so we watched those videos and it was seriously the most unflattering angle ever. But of course we bought them. We always do. Then we headed back to the Airbnb. Once we got back, we were able to check in and then we chilled in our room for a while and then we walked through the town to find a good restaurant. We stopped and bought some bracelets at a little shop and then we went to eat at Taco Taco. It was the cutest little place. We sat at the bar and I ordered a Mango Madness drink and a quesadilla. They deliver the food through a little crate that comes up from the floor. It was awesome ha while we were waiting for our food, Jeff leans over to me and says I think a moth just landed on me can you see it? And he turns around a A BEETLE is on him. Not just any normal beetle. It was easily the size of an egg. IT WAS HUGE. I made a scene. I shrieked and stood up and stepped back and Jeff kept saying get it off and I hit it with my phone but it was clenching on to Jeff's shirt so tightly! Oh my gosh I was dying. It was a beetle from nightmares. A guy ended up taking Jeff outside and getting the beetle off of him and then explaining the different things about the beetle ha I was dying. So after that fiasco the whole restaurant was staring at me. Then our food arrived :) haha my quesadilla was way good! It was refried beans in it and they gave me chipotle sour cream to dip it in. Super good! After we ate, we headed back to our Airbnb and then watched some weird Spanish channel and then went to bed. 

Tuesday, September 5

We were planning on waking up at 7 but I couldn't haha I was dead. So we finally got up and ate breakfast at the place and we were on the road by 8:45am ha we had a 3 hour drive to Arenal Volcano. This drive was amazing. The road out of Monteverde was also terrible but not as long. We could see the Arenal Volcano from almost the minute we left! It was amazing! About 2 hours in we hit Arenal Lake (the largest lake in Costa Rica). But we had to drive around it which took a while ha we were supposed to rent kayaks from Arenal Kayaks but apparently that company doesn't exist so we kept driving and eventually we hit the dam and there was a man off to the side of the road manning a fruit stand and we rented kayaks from him! One hour for $20 a person. And we were right at the base of the Volcano (well as close as you can get). So we kayaked out onto the lake and we were headed for this island out in the lake but my vision was spotty. I could feel a migraine coming on so I just laid down in the kayak and we chilled and stared at the Volcano. It was super nice and relaxing! We were pretty far out so we had to row ourselves back and it was rough for me. My head felt like it was going to explode at any minute. But we made it back and gave the nice man his life jackets back and then I laid down in the car as Jeff drove us to our next Airbnb. We were supposed to go to the Tabacon Hot Springs (natural hot springs from the Volcano) but I was dying so we went straight to the Airbnb. I fell asleep on the drive and then when we got to the place, they were still cleaning it but they finished up real quick. Jeff walked me in there and I thought I was dying. He got me a cold rag and I put it over my eyes and I fell asleep for a good two hours. But when I woke up it was still there so we turned on Friends, ate some Ramen soup from the store that Jeff went to and I put the sheet over my head and just listened to Friends going in and out of sleep. 

Wednesday, September 6

We woke up around 7:45 and I felt awful. There was still a remaining headache and it hurt if I coughed or laughed. We ate some cereal that Jeff had purchased from the store and then we went to La Fortuna waterfall. We were some of the first people there. It was $15 a person and we had to walk down 500 stairs to get to it. Once we got there, we walked around taking pictures and waded in a little bit but I got a whistle blown at me for going too far ha and then we started the trek back up the stairs. It was hard for me ha but we made it! And then we got in the car and drove 5 hours to Manuel Antonio National Park. I slept for a lot of the drive. Once we got there around 2:15pm, we paid $16 a person to get it and they told us they close at 4 so we didn't have much time. When you walk in, you walk along this road and then there's a waterfall trail to your left and if you walked a little further, you'll hit the sloth trail. We took the sloth trail and we saw a TON of monkeys! Unfortunately no sloths but tons of howler monkeys! They were making barking noises and they sounded like dogs. They were so cute! The trail leads to Playa Manuel Antonio. So after the trail, we went to the beach! It was BEAUTIFUL. We dropped our bags and got in! As we were swimming, I look over and there's an animal getting into our bags so we run out to see if it's a monkey (hoping it's a monkey) and it's a raccoon! It had unzipped all of the pockets on our bags and was rifling through everything! I had a scare it away with a giant palm tree leaf. So we hung our stuff up in a tree and went swimming for a little bit longer but then we packed up and headed back. On the trail back we saw bats, these weird giant rat looking things, more monkeys, and a bunch of lizards but still no sloths! So sad. The second we got in the car it started pouring! We had to drive about an hour and a half to our next Airbnb and it poured the entire drive there. It was a crazy storm! But our Airbnb lady wasn't there when we arrived so we went and found food at Pizza La Formuga and I got spaghetti. It was only okay. I should stick with food from here ha during dinner a lady played her guitar and sang to us in Spanish (we were the only ones there haha) and it was fun! After dinner, we headed back to the Airbnb and we got into our cabin. It was so cool! It was an A frame cabin right on the beach! It was a pretty little area! Except the road to it is full of potholes! We watched Friends on my phone for a bit but then I passed out hard. I've been so sleepy on this trip, it's ridiculous. 

Thursday, September 7

We woke up around 7:15 and cleaned up our stuff and had some cereal and then we met at Bahia Adventures at 8am (right down the road from our Airbnb) for our whale watching tour! Once we got there we signed the paperwork and got our life vests and then we did this big caravan down to the beach with all of our cars. We parked right off the beach and then walked over as a giant tractor towed our boat into the water. On our walk over we saw a bunch of macaws! They are such beautiful birds. Once we were on the boat, we headed over to the "whale tail" peninsula to see if we could see anything. Right away we saw about six dolphins! They came right up by the boat! Ugh I LOVE dolphins. We watched them and followed them for a while and then we went to find whales. It didn't take long before we found a mom and her baby! They were so cute and man are whales cool!! They are so big, it's insane. We watched the mom and her baby arch their backs out of the water for a while but then we moved on. We drove pretty far away from shore and the ride was thrilling! The captain was catching air! We were flying. It was a blast! After we'd been driving for a while, a baby whale BREACHED right in front of us!! It jumped out of the water a good ten times! I'd never seen a whale breach before and it is an incredible experience. We waited for the mom to do it but she didn't. We headed out after the baby stopped jumping and we saw sea turtles and a couple more whales. Then we were able to swim for a minute so Jeff and I jumped in. The water is extremely warm! It's amazing. Then we went to a little cove where they had some caves. It was beautiful. We took pictures and then we made our way back. After getting off the boat, we walked through Uvita and we ate at this place called Las Esferas. I had THE BEST chicken nachos ever. They were incredible! We also got passion fruit mango smoothies. It was a fantastic meal. Then we tried to barter for a shirt with this lady but she wasn't budging so we left. The motion sickness pills we had taken made me super drowsy so as Jeff drove 2.5 hours to the Osa Peninsula, I slept. Ha I'm useless. Once we arrived, we checked in to our cabin on the beach. It was very quaint :) Waleska was an incredible host. She was super friendly! Her dog Luna kept biting us playfully but it definitely hurt ha When we got there it was just lightly raining so we walked down to the beach and walked in the water and collected seashells and then we went back to our cabin, showered and chilled for a minute and then we drove to a restaurant close by called Pearl of the Osa. It was pouring rain so nobody was out. I swear the whole country shuts down when it rains ha the restaurant was closing in an hour so they told us we could order if we ate quickly so we both got Gloria's Burrito and they brought it out fairly quickly and I paid right away and then we ate. It wasn't super great. It had a LOT of mole on it and I don't love mole. After we were done eating we headed back to the cabin and went to bed. Another thing about Costa Rica is it gets dark SUPER early. The sun goes down at like 5:30pm this time of year. It's crazy! 

Friday, September 8

We tried sleeping in but the sun woke us up at 7am. We laid there for an hour and then Waleska made us breakfast. It was awesome. She had grown all of the fruit she cut up and she had fresh grapefruit juice that she had just gotten the grapefruit from her garden. We had the typical Costa Rican breakfast. Fruit, eggs, rice and beans. They have rice and beans with EVERYTHING. That and some fruit and some type of meat. We ate in Waleska's house and she had an amazing view of the ocean. After we ate we said our goodbyes and then packed the car. We went down to the beach again to get some more seashells because I decided I was going to attempt to make a wind chime when we got back because Waleska had one and it was so cute! Once we left, we drove 3 hours to Nauyaca Waterfalls entrance. Jeff ran inside and paid while I FaceTimed my mom and asked about Sophie. Once Jeff paid, we drove 2K down a winding gravel road and then we parked and started the hike. It was 4K in to the waterfall. It was super muddy and it rained the whole time but it was beautiful and so much fun! When we got to the waterfall we were soaked the second we stepped in sight of it because of the rain and mist. We went to the lower falls first and decided that swimming wasn't the greatest idea since the river current was so strong. So then we went to the upper falls and hung out and then headed back. We only saw one other couple for like two seconds the entire time. So we basically had it all to ourselves and it was awesome! Once we got back to the car we headed to San Jose which was about 3 hours away. It started POURING like the second we drove off and it got dark pretty quickly after we left as well. The traffic was AWFUL. I got accustomed to driving in Costa Rica so I was passing people constantly. When you pass, you put your blinker on and then your brights on. The lines honestly don't mean a thing. The drive was long and tiring but we finally got to San Jose and before heading to our hotel we stopped by Taco Bell and grabbed some food. Then we headed to the hotel and our GPS led us to this super sketchy spot in San Jose and it didn't make sense because we couldn't see our hotel so I kept on missing the turn and we'd have to circle around again. We did this three times. And each time we had to drive down this really sketchy road full of homeless people and drug dealers. Seriously. It was so scary. We turned down the road that Google maps was telling us to and it was a dead end and there were no ways to turn around except this tiny driveway so I had to maneuver into the driveway and turn around and all the while, these homeless people are standing right outside our doors watching. I was nervous but I was also pissed because we weren't finding the hotel. So I went to my email and clicked on the location in the email and it started directing us to another spot so we were hopeful. But then we got there and we were in the center of downtown and there was no hotel to be seen! They had stop signs at every intersection as well as lights so I had no idea which one I should follow and there were a bunch of one way roads. We were so lost. We called the hotel and the girl hardly spoke English so she was useless. Finally I just pulled over and zoomed out on maps and found the street that the hotel was supposed to be on according to the address and just drove to it and the hotel was there. I was pissed at maps. Why couldn't it find the hotel?!?! Ugh. But we made it and the parking was a gated lot with security so I immediately felt safer. Once we got checked in, we went to our room and I showered immediately. I instantly felt better. Then I heated my Taco Bell up in the microwave and ate while watching a soccer game. Then we went to bed. 

Saturday, September 9

We had to meet down in the lobby at 5:50am for our river rafting tour so we packed up and headed down a little early to see if we could leave our car parked at the hotel while we were gone. The night before we asked but they said we had to ask the next morning and they said we would probably have to pay but the people the next morning were so nice and they let us do it for free. The people in Costa Rica don't have much of a sense of humor but they are definitely nice. Anyway, our tour guide came and picked us up and his name was Rey. He was awesome! We were in a bus with 13 other people and we had to drive an hour and 45 minutes to the tour company restaurant and they fed us breakfast (rice, beans, fruit, omelet, toast) and then we drove 20 minutes to the river. On the drive, Rey asked who had been rafting before and jeff and I were the only ones in our van. When we got to the river, Rey came up to us and said that we were going to be in his raft. He was very strategic about who he put in his raft. Apparently we looked like professional rafters because all of the other guides thought that we were guides as well haha they said it was because we looked the part. We had chacos, a dry bag, and I had my hiking shorts on ha that's it. We grabbed helmets, paddles, and life jackets and then put sunscreen on and Rey led us to his raft. He had chosen two couples from Costa Rica and a lesbian couple from Canada for his raft. Our raft was so great! Everyone was so friendly and fun. We got in and Rey put Jeff and I at the front as the leaders. We had to follow his orders on when to paddle and we had to be in sync so the rest of the raft could follow. Lots of pressure ha then we started down the river. It was so much fun!! Rey was hilarious and he was a very talented rafter so we were able to experience a lot in the rapids! We surfed the rapids multiple times, go under waterfalls, get out and swim, we hit class 1-4 rapids. It was so much fun. After the run, we got in the van and they took us back to the restaurant and fed us lunch. It was really good! Chicken, rice, beans, spaghetti, salad, fried plantains, and this little coconut ball for dessert. We went in with the rest of our raft to buy the pictures that the company took so they were really cheap! Then we tipped Rey 10,000 colones and we got confused about with conversion so we accidentally tipped him way too much ha but he deserved it. It's 570 colones = $1 :) after lunch they drove us back to our hotel and we walked to a nearby souvenir shop and got all of our souvenirs quickly before the sun went down because we hated San Jose at night ha right when we got in our car to head to the Airbnb, it started pouring ha great timing! The Airbnb was about 50 minutes out of San Jose in Alajuela. We got there and this little Costa Rican lady greeted us and apparently she was the neighbor of our host but he wasn't there at the moment. She didn't speak any English at all. She had her umbrella with her and she went to Jeff's door first and he had his rain jacket on so he kept trying to tell her to come shield me from the rain but she kept pulling him out of the car so I just told him to go and then I got out of the car (my rain jacket was packed away) and the lady came running to me and started pushing me up the stairs haha she was tiny so I had to weirdly bend backwards in order to fit hahaha it was hilarious. Once she got us inside she gave Jeff a towel to dry off and then we said gracias and she walked away saying con mucho gusto over and over again ha I loved her. She was so adorable. Our Airbnb was super nice! Except we could not figure out the shower! Jeff ran and got pizza and while he did that I tried to shower. I couldn't figure out how to turn the water on so I ended up taking a sink/cup shower. I washed my hair and shaved my legs in the sink and then I stood in the shower and poured cups of water from the sink on myself as I washed my body ha it was rough. Ha right when I finished Jeff was back with pizza! And we turned on the TV and Miss Congeniality was on! So we ate pizza and watched the movie :) and listened to the rain outside. It was lovely. Then we went to bed. 

Sunday, September 10

We woke up at 6:30am and packed the car. Our host, William, lived below where we stayed and he was outside. We chatted for a bit and petted his adorable border collie and then we headed out. We filled up the car and then dropped it off and they shuttled us to the airport. We got through security super quickly and then jeff bought a shirt. We got to our gate right when they were boarding so it was perfect :) we were in Delta Comfort which was super nice. First on the upgrade list but no seats in first class available ha I've become such a travel snob because of Color Vibe. Ha on the flight, I watched Gifted. And a couple other movies. Jelly and Brian picked us up from the airport and took us to my moms house to get Sophie. It was such a fun trip! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Spain 2017

Saturday, May 20

After my event in Burlington, Vermont my boss Mike Schaefer had to rush me to the airport. I had to change in the truck on the way there ha once I got there, I was flying Jet Blue and so I had to find their check in and get my bag checked. I made it to the gate about ten minutes before we started boarding haha close call. It was only like an hour and a half flight to JFK and I passed out. I sat next to this guy that when I told him I was in the window seat, he stood up and didn't sit down until I was all situated and then he said, you good? I was like yep. Haha when I woke up after we had landed, he was talking to himself. Weird guy. Once we landed in JFK I had to go get my baggage and then go re-check in on Delta. JFK is going through a lot of construction right now and it is a MESS to get through. I finally found the terminal that Delta was in and was able to check my bag in and then I had like 4 hours until I took off so I went to the Sky club. My mom was already in Barcelona with her coworker Blaine and Blaine's wife Robin was in JFK so I texted her (she was going to be my travel buddy while my mom worked) and she came to the Sky club with me. We sat in this "serenity" room with lounging chairs and calming images on the televisions ha Robin ended up not being able to get on my flight so she had to get on a flight to Madrid and then take a train so she left and then after a little while, some of my coworkers showed up (Aniko, Anda, Nick, Garrett, Taylor) and Jeff! He had worked the Danbury, Connecticut event and they were flying out of JFK. So I was happy I got to see him before I left :) and he brought me Panda! We had to sneak it in to the Sky club. Haha we hung out for a bit and then I had to go board. We said our goodbyes and I got on the plane. I fell asleep almost immediately. And stayed asleep until they served food (ravioli) and after I ate, I passed back out again until we landed haha 6 hour and 52 minute flight done like THAT. Haha it was great. 

Sunday, May 21 

I landed in Barcelona at 9:15am. The customs line took FOREVER. I didn't get out of the airport until 10:45am. It was insane! Then I had to find the Aerobus. Once I found it, I boarded and my hotel was at the first stop. Nuskin put us up in a four star hotel called Catalonia Hotel Barcelona Plaza. My mom wasn't responding to my texts or calls so I said her name to the front desk and they gave me a key. I just chilled in the room until she got back around 11:45am and then we went to La Sagrada Familia with Blaine. Robin wasn't there yet. We took the metro and when we came out of the tunnel, La Sagrada Familia was towering behind us. It was awesome! It's both old and new architecture mixed! So weird. It was Gaudi's most famous architecture and he wasn't able to finish it so other architects have been creating everything the way that he wanted it. They are supposed to be done in 2026. We walked around the pond in front of it because we were early and the pond had disgusting water. Ha then we went inside for our audio tour. It was pretty insane. Old mixed with new and everything was symbolic. The inside was huge! Each column symbolized a tree and was made from different material. The stain glass windows were beautiful! After our tour, we walked to Casa Mìla aka La Pedrera and got a Sprite along the way. This was another Gaudi creation. He was hired out to create an apartment complex. It was a pretty nice place! After we did the audio tour there we took the metro to the Picasso museum. We were late for our time slot but they still let us in. Tickets were free on sundays but you still had to reserve a ticket. Robin met us there and we wandered around looking at all of the art pieces. We kinda rushed through because none of us super appreciate art ha after the museum, we split from Robin and Blaine and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the FC Barcelona game. I bought a jersey on our way back to the hotel ha Messi #10! We took the metro to the game and followed the masses to the Camp Nou stadium. Once we got there, I tried to pull my ticket up on my phone and it kept on saying that there was an internal error on their website so I went to the entrance and they sent me to the ticket incident window. So I went there and gave them my confirmation number and order number and my name and seat AND everything and they took about 25 minutes looking at stuff (the girl helping me was an idiot, she needed help the entire time) and eventually she tells me that my ticket has been canceled! I was in shock. I bought mine and my moms tickets at the same time and hers worked just fine! So she wouldn't give me an explanation so she sent me to customer service. They told me that it was impossible for my ticket to get canceled so they sent me to the ticket office and told me to show them my order number and they could print it off. So I went there and they spent 20 minutes looking at it and then they come and tell me my ticket had been canceled 30 minutes after I purchased it. WHAAAAAT?!? So stupid!!! And by this time, they had closed the ticket office because there was only like 30 minutes left in the game! So my mom told me to take her ticket and go in and at least watch some of the game while she sat outside so I ran in and we had AMAZING seats (too bad we couldn't sit in them long!). When I got in there we were down 1-0 and then they scored again so we were down 2-0. And then Messi came alive and assisted 2 goals and scored a PK. It was incredible and I was able to see it all! I left with about 5 minutes left in the game and my mom and I headed back to the hotel. We ended up winning 4-2. Good game but sucky circumstances for me and my mom. Then we PASSED OUT. I was absolutely dead. 

Monday, May 22

I met Robin at 8:15am and we walked to the train station. Our plan was to take a train to Carcassone, France and come back later than night. When we got to the train station, we found out that with the train schedule, we would only be in Carcassone for like 4 hours so we decided to not go. Instead we took the metro to Park Güell and walked around. Once we got to the city, we tried to buy tickets to go inside but they weren't selling anymore tickets until later than night so we walked around the outside of it and eventually happened upon the group entrance. We saw a group of Indian teenagers go in and we saw that they didn't count how many were in the group and they weren't scanning tickets. So we decided that we were going to try and sneak in with a group. There was a group of Asians but we couldn't get in with them because we stood out too much. And then when we had almost given up, a Dutch group walked up and we melted right in and got in extremely easily! So awesome! Ha we went to the overlook and took in the sight of the city and then we went down and looked at the columns and decorations that Gaudi had done (he was all over the place!). We took a tour of the museum and learned all about the park. After we were done, we walked out and they asked us for our tickets and we said we were with a group but had lost them so they said we couldn't come back in and we said that was totally fine haha on our walk back we walked all of the guys who were selling stuff illegally clean up every time a policeman was walking by. It was hilarious and looked like so much work for not making that much money. They had everything they were selling laid out on a sheet and the sheet had ropes attached to each corner and if a cop was coming, they'd grab the rope and the sheet corners would come together and they'd just wander off. Once the cop was gone, they would lay everything out again. So much work. Ha we hopped on the metro and went back to the hotel to meet up with my mom and Blaine. They hadn't arrived yet so we walked to the Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya just to look around. Apparently that was where the Nuskin gala was for all of their partners (my mom and Blaine weren't a part of this) so we watched as all of these Asians walked in DECKED OUT in fancy attire. We saw this couple who most definitely had their outfits custom made. They were made from the same yellow material. It was incredible. Haha we made our way back to the hotel and met up with my mom and Blaine and we went to La Rambla street. It was a cute street full of illegal street vendors and shops and food. We walked the street just looking around and then made our way to the Gothic Quarter to find some food. The Gothic Quarter was beautiful! We found a place to eat and we ordered sooooo many tapas. So tapas aren't a food, they are a type of servings of food. Smaller portions. So you basically just order a ton of tapas to get a taste of everything. We ordered so many. We ordered a ravioli plate, goat cheese and crackers, beef and mashed potatoes, some seafood, you get the picture. We were so full after! They were so good! While we were eating, Jeff was at home ripping the house apart for my scuba certification card. Luckily he found it! I really needed it for the next day's adventures! After we ate, we walked around the Gothic Quarter a bit more and then we made our way back to La Rambla and got some gelato. After gelato, we were headed to the metro but there was a metro strike so it wasn't running until 10:30pm and it was only 9:45pm so we just hung out on La Rambla and watched the illegal street vendors constantly clean up and set up again and again and again. The cops caught a few and followed them around for a while, which was super entertaining haha but they never actually did anything about it. It looked just like more of a threat than anything. Finally the metro started running again and we headed back to the hotel and went to bed. 

Tuesday, May 23

Robin and I had to meet downstairs at 7:15am because we were going scuba diving! Jeff had sent me a picture of my scuba certification card so I was able to go! The company picked us up and we picked another guy named Vincent up and then we made the hour drive to Costa Brava. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the drive. It was one of those limbo sleeps haha when we got there, we were a little early so our driver took us to a lookout point of Costa Brava and it was beautiful! We took some pictures and then headed to the scuba shop. Robin is a scuba instructor so she knew what she was doing. I, on the other hand, hadn't been for about 3 years so I couldn't remember a thing! I needed help with everything. Remembering how to hook my gear up properly, remembering what gear was necessary, etc. I was a mess. Luckily Robin helped me a ton. And my memory slowly started to work ha Robin and our guide were drysuit certified and I wasn't so I had to wear a wetsuit. Once we got all of our gear, we drove down to the beach. We parked and got all of our gear on and walked the final stretch to the shore. Vincent was becoming an instructor so it was just me and Robin going with our guide so it was awesome! The water temperature was perfect! I didn't need a drysuit at all. The wetsuit worked perfectly. We got in and I had a rough time figuring out my buoyancy. So I either kept rising in the water or sinking right to the ground and kicking up sand. But eventually I figured it out (on the second dive but still). After the first dive I kept on rising up towards the surface because I was getting low on air so I couldn't control my buoyancy anymore so the guide gave me a really heavy rock to hold ha so we got out and took a break and then prepped for our second dive. We did two different routes and it was so much fun! On the second dive, I killed it with buoyancy! We saw so many different types of animals! Octopus, starfish, eels. It was a blast! And the weather and water were perfect for diving! Such good visibility. After diving, we went back to the shop, showered and changed, and then headed back to Barcelona. I passed out on the drive again ha when we got back, we went and took naps. It was amazing. I woke up to my mom coming back from working and we had a mother/daughter bonding night. We went shopping and then we ate on top of the shopping complex next to our hotel (it was an old bull fighting complex turned into a shopping complex when they outlawed bullfighting). I had a super good burger. After our meal, while we were waiting for our check, our waiter brought a surprise drink out for us. He said it would help our digestion. So we drank it and it was awful but we drank it all so we weren't rude and when he came back he said it was coffee liquor. Whoops. We died laughing. Hahaha after we paid, we went to the top of our hotel and looked at the pool and the view of the plaza we were at (we were at a great spot of Barcelona). Then we went to bed! 

Wednesday, May 24

Wednesday was beach day. My mom and Blaine had to work in the morning but they would be done by noon so Robin and I slept in and then met at the pool. We just relaxed until they got back and then we got ready and headed to the beach! We had to take the metro and then walk a little ways but it was a beautiful walk! Once we got to the beach, we realized we were at the topless portion. The beach had different sections we could go to and we ended up at that one ha I felt awkward because Blaine was with us haha so we found a spot in the midst of SO MANY people and we set up camp. My mom and I got in the ocean to cool off and then we laid out for a while. The only sunscreen we had was face sunscreen so we put that on everywhere and then just relaxed. It was super fun to people watch. It wasn't as relaxing of a beach as you would think. There were people walking around selling stuff, offering massages and braiding your hair. My mom and I did a crossword puzzle. After laying there for like 3 hours we got up and just started walking. We had no place in mind, we were just walking! We ended up grabbing sandwiches at a cafe and walking to Parc de la Ciutadella and eating next to a fountain. It was dreamy. A bird nearly pooped on me but missed so I say I was feeling pretty lucky. After eating, we walked through the park. We happened upon this crazy cool statue/fountain thing and it was awesome! Gold statues on top, mermaids, greenery, it was seriously magical. Then we walked to the Arc de Triomfph. After that we headed back to the hotel to change and then my mom and I went to La Rambla to buy souvenirs and then we went to H&M which happened to be right there and I bought a jean overall dress and then we went back to the hotel and packed our bags. I received an email telling me that my flight was delayed so I called Delta and was actually able to switch my flight to Atlanta instead of JFK so I was on the same flight as my mom! We didn't sit by each other but it was nice leaving at the same time haha 

Thursday, May 25

We got a cab and headed to the airport. My mom was randomly selected to be patted down so that was hilarious and then I stood in a line at a coffee shop for two water bottles for 25 minutes. No joke. Finally we boarded and Robin was actually on my old flight to JFK so we said bye to her. She ended up getting delayed and missing her connecting flight so she didn't get back to SLC until about 3am. I was glad I switched flights because I would have missed my flight to Akron for work and that would not have gone over well. Blessed! It was a very long day of travel. I went from Barcelona to Atlanta to Detroit to Akron and I passed out so hard when I finally got to Akron. The trip wasn't over though because from the Akron Color Vibe event we went directly to the Tri Cities TN event. So from event to Spain to event to event. I was absolutely dead when I got home finally. Luckily I was on top of my sleeping pattern so jet lag never hit me and I was super grateful for that!