The Gypsies Stole My iPhone

I actually have nothing against gypsies. In fact, I don’t really know what a gypsy is. (I did hear a joke that they were A LOT of bracelets.) But my iPhone got stolen in Paris on my way to Versailles, and everyone says it must have been a gypsy. Therefore, I have no internet access and no way to update my blog.

I’ll miss you all. Talk to you when I return – just in time for ‘Merica’s birthday.

p.s. If you would like to sell me your old Verizon iPhone, please email me!

Quando a Roma

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The Eternal City. Boy, has this place restored my faith in this trip. I have to admit that I’d been pretty homesick, but Rome is incredible. There’s an energy here that I don’t think you can understand until you’re gazing at the Coliseum, wandering through the Sistine Chapel, or throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

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While their culture does seem slightly “behind” ours, it’s a lot more charming than it has been in other places. They have the conveniences of big cities in America, but you still get that historical vibe. It probably also helps that I’m picturing myself as Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.Gregory Peck, where are you?

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We squeezed in every cheesy, touristy thing we could do and still had plenty of time for lots of gelato I think I’ve gained 50 pounds from Nutella-flavored ice cream and exploring all the small side streets, which was a nice break from the too-rushed pace we’ve had up until Rome. We head out this morning, and we’re flying into…wait for it…Paris! I couldn’t be more thrilled. For those of you who have been: do you have any recommendations? Other than Laduree, of course!

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Venice and Capri

Next on our journey were Venice, Naples, and Capri. I’m going to skip Naples, because I think it’s the worst place on Earth. Both Venice and Capri were honestly like something out of a dream. You picture Venice in your head as this terribly romantic, classic little city in Italy, and that’s just what it was. The canals were beautiful, and the gondola rides (even though I went with Melly. Super romantic, right) are just the right dose of cheesy. After about a day and a half in Venice (please skip Naples and give yourself more time here. Seriously), we headed to Capri. The first day we were kinda lazy and just tanned by the unbelievably rocky/painful shore. The next day, however, we did a fun little tour of the island by boat, which I highly recommend. Unfortunately, the tides were too high, so we couldn’t get into the Blue Grotto, but it was still remarkable. We both just adored Venice and Capri and would absolutely go back in a heartbeat!

Venice

Venice

Venice

Gondola Ride

Capri

Capri

Capri

With Melly

Davis

Florence


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Next on our schedule was beautiful, artsy Florence. I won’t lie; I had some crazy high expectations for Florence. A friend of mine studied abroad here and just raved about it.

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Did it live up to my expectations? Yes and no. At first – not at all. While the Ufizi had incredible works of art and David left me in awe, it wasn’t until sunset at the Piazalle Michelangelo that I fell in love with Florence, too! Florence also has this incredible blackmarket with amazing leather, so it is a great place to get gifts for all of your friends and family.

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(Plus, I did love all the fleur de lys. It’s like Kappa heaven!)

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P.S. Mama Bear, if you’re reading this, Happy Birthday!

Northern Italy

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Good morning, lovely preps!

I apologize for the lack of posts last week. I suppose I should have known we’d be on the move from 7:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night, but I thought I’d have more access to wifi to keep you updated! If you are interested in seeing more pictures, I’m going to include a link to my personal Facebook page so that you can see more! (And we can be friends. Who doesn’t love new friends?)

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Our trip to Italy began in Milan, where my friend currently has an internship at an international law firm. The Duomo was absolutely incredible, though everyone I was with thought it to be too much. What do they know anyway?

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Next, we took a quick train up to Como. Rudely enough, George Clooney forgot to pick me up at the train station. It was beautiful. I swear everyone there models/modeled at some point in his or her life. It was like something out of a movie.

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We also ventured up to Lugano, Switzerland, as it was pouring in the wee hours in Como. We stopped by the lake for a few pictures, then headed to the FoxTown Factory Stores. While they had Burberry, Valentino, Gant, Hackett, and Lacoste, I much preferred the chocolate at Lindt over the beautiful clothing. Judge me all you want.

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After Happy Hour in Como, we headed over to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. The rest of the pictures here are all of our attempts (bloopers included!) at being pro photographers. Melly was clearly better than I was. Sorry, Mel!
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Athens

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Monday was our last day in Greece. While I’m sad to leave it behind, I’m beyond excited to head to Italy. I’ve had an obsession with Italian culture for as long as I can remember, in part because there’s a lot of Italian blood in my family. So please explain to me why I’m so pale. Seriously.

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Anyway, Greece certainly tried her darnedest to keep us. As you may have guessed, directions aren’t really my thing, but somehow we managed to navigate Athens all day with just a map a random tour guide gave us because she felt bad. To say this was a miracle is an understatement. (I can only hope we have such luck everywhere else!)

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We walked through the prettiest square before hitting the Main Street to Stygnalia, the center of Athens. The streets were lined with vendors selling off vintage goods, and I couldn’t help but hope people hadn’t sold them off in an attempt to keep their families afloat. (Walking through the streets and seeing all of the homeless people and animals was a harsh reminder of the times Greece is facing, in spite of all of its beauty.) However, just 500 meters (I can say that now since I’m over here, and mainly because that’s how everyone describes it, and I don’t know the calculation to miles or feet haha) away, is a huge shopping square. There, in the middle of the graffiti-ridden city, were three Zaras, two H&Ms, Brooks Brothers, Tod’s…and the list goes on. It was like the riots never took place in that little materialistic oasis.

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After my new favorite shopping district, we got out to the more traditional area. I’m talking cobblestone roads, luscious flowers, the aroma of scrumptious foods – basically, the whole nine yards. There were street performers balancing balls on their heads while they took off shirts, women having dance-offs, and a man strumming the guitar playing the saddest song I’ve ever heard, even if I couldn’t understand it. It was really all so beautiful.

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We spent most of the rest of the day in the National Archaeological Museum, which was really something. While all the museums we visited had various statues and other findings, the bulk of what’s left is in this museum, so it was neat to make the connections to what we had already seen. It truly was a fantastic museum. We finished off the day with a quick stop at Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus, then headed back to the room to prepare for Italy.

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All in all, I just adored Greece. I can’t wait to see Italy, but I’m thinking an island villa for winter vacations will definitely be necessary. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Greece

Greece has been such a whirlwind! We decided to go here instead of Spain at the last minute, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m somewhat of a history nerd, so having the opportunity to see all the ancient sites I’ve spent countless hours reading about has been incredible. I’m sure I’ll say this about every place I visit, but, if given the chance, you absolutely must go to Greece.

Athens
Athens was incredible. Everywhere you go, you have a view of the Acropolis, which is breathtaking. While the history runs deep, this is very much a modern city. And, if I’m being completely honest, you can still see a lot of the remnants of the riots. However, I don’t think any of that takes away from the beauty and the energy of the city.
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Corinth Canal
We just did a brief photo stop at the canal, but it was beautiful. The color of the water was perfection. Plus, if you’re a lot braver than I am, you could even go bungee jumping!

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Mycenae
As a history nerd, I loved stopping to see the Grave of Agamemnon and the incredible views.

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Olympia
Olympia was amazing. There’s something about standing on the ground where so many men competed to win glory and respect for their city states. And I had to laugh at the world’s most embarrassing walk of shame, where each city had to make a statue of Zeus and write below the name of the cheater, his family, where they lived, and how he cheated. And you thought that walk from Sigma Chi was bad.

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Nafpaktos
Nafpaktos has stolen my heart. It was devastatingly beautiful. I’m a sucker for the ocean, and this picturesque village was beyond perfect. And they had the best coffee of my life to boot! I hope with all of my heart that I get to come back here one day. (Anyone want to go in on a beach house in Greece with me?)

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Delphi
Apollo was always my favorite god, so, of course, I was excited about Delphi. The museum had so many structures depicting scenes from famous myths, which had me swooning. Plus, the remaining ruins where absolutely stunning.

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Thermopylae
Thermopylae was another quick stop just so we could get a photo of the King Leonidas monument. Under his statue, it translates to the equivalent of, “Bring it,” which is what he said when the Persians came to attack. What a badass.

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Kalambaka
We spent the night here before heading to Meteora, and it was truly a lovely mountain village. The people were incredibly helpful (I passed on my sinus infection to Melly, and one of the luggage guys drove us to a pharmacy to get her medicine!), and it was the exact picture I had in my head of a Grecian town.

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Meteora
I won’t lie. I wasn’t super pumped about going to Meteora, especially after I heard that some other people on our trip were doing a day cruise of some islands. However, Meteora was truly magnificent. (Quick side note: Parts of For Your Eyes Only, a Bond film, was taped here!) The rock formations were amazing, as you can see from the pictures, and the monasteries were beautiful in their own quaint way. I’m not super religious, but it was very sweet the way people came in, in tears, and kissed the icons. Did it beat an island cruise? Maybe not, but it really did leave us in awe.

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We have one more day in Athens, which we’ll spend at the National Archaeological Museum and Sounion, which is where Poseidon’s Temple is. It’s supposed to be beautiful at sunset, so don’t worry, many pictures will come.

Also, I just noticed that everything I packed is striped. Oops!