Wednesday, April 8, 2009


So March was just a crazy busy month for me. We closed on our new house to start the month - which meant getting everything moved from the old place into the new house, and get almost the entire upstairs painted all in the same weekend. Thanks to loads of help from our family and friends, we were able to get basically moved in AND get all of our painting done. I can't say enough how lucky we are to have such great friends and family.

On top of all that (moving, painting, cleaning, working, etc.), I left for Europe on March 14th and returned on March 27th. I could have a very long post about the trip, but I want to tell you about the basics, and I wanted to update this blog to try and keep my followers happy (all 3 of you, thanks!). I was able to get all of my pictures uploaded via Picasa. Click the link at the end of this post for my pictures.

After a total of about 11 hours in the air (kudos to Swiss Air, best airline I've been on) - Our trip started in Madrid, Spain - then traveled to Barcelona, stopping in Zaragoza on the way. In Barcelona, we encounted 2 different protests. One was a small, but loud protest outside of a clothing store called Zara. If you wanted to go into that store, you needed to get past the grim reaper first. The second protest was a very large demonstration against the University there. Thousands and thousands of students and adults filled the streets of Barcelona and made their way to a central square. This protest included many police and even a helicopter.

From Spain, we traveled on a cruise ship for about 21 hours to Italy. We did Rome in a day, which was amazing. On our way to Sorrento, we visited the island of Capri which was one of the best places of our entire trip. We also went to Pompeii and toured all of the ruins of that city, which were caused by a volcano eruption. After Italy, we took a ferry/cruise overnight to Greece and stayed in Tolo. From there we went to Olympia to see the original Olympic site. After 2 short visits of Epidaurus and Mycenae, we were on our way to Athens. My things to see in Athens, including the Acropolis and Parthenon, the Olympic site and the downtown shopping district. But probably the most memorable was the firefighters protest in which the police had on their riot gear, gas masks and were unleashing tear gas and rubber bullets. Needless to say, on my way back to our group's meeting place, I stopped to watch the protest and ended up with tear gas in my nose.

We left our hotel at 3 a.m. on the 27th, had a 3 hour flight to Zurich and then a 10 hour flight to Chicago, landing around 5:10 pm. After waiting for the other half of our group (on a different flight) we hopped on the bus and got back home at 12:20 am. I slept a total of 6 hours from the time I woke up on Thursday the 26th.

Now it's back to working on the house, especially yard work and getting the other 2 bedrooms upstairs painted. Four day weekend for Easter, then Trivia next weekend!



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