Location: Austrial Alps, Austria
Greetings from Austria!
So I just quickly read where I last left off, and there is so much to update you all on! I don't even know where to begin. We move at warp speed on this tour!
After Florence we have done Rome, Venice, Munich, Vienna, and now currently in the Austrian Alps. I would love to give you a full and detailed description of each place but my internet time is about to expire. :( But in short, Rome was absolutely incredible, I felt like we had stepped back in ancient Roman times. In Munich we went to an authentic Bavarian beer hall and had an absolute blast. Today we did a mountain bike tour through the Austrian Alps, which was absolutely gorgeous and the scenary just blew me away.
Europe is incredible...Les and I have loved every place we have been and only wish we could spend longer in each place. We only have one week left and can't believe it's almost over!
I hope all is well back at home! xoxo
Location: Italy, Europe
Greetings from Italy!
Since Les last wrote we have have been VERY busy...this tour is absolutely non stop, and every day is flat out. But we are seeing SO MUCH, and loving it all!
Since Les last wrote we have done Barcelona, the French Riviera, and we crossed the border yesterday into Italy and are currently in Florence. Barcelona was a blast, and our night out was pretty crazy...we didnt get home until 6am! The bars and clubs dont get started until like 2am there, definitely not what we are used to! But we had a blast, lots of dancing and we even learned how to do some salsa and the ramba, so that was fun! Then on only 2 hours of sleep for the next day we toured the entire city. We even went to Easter Mass (forgot to mention that is where we were for Easter) in the massive and historic Barcelona Cathedral. It was so cool to experience. Our favorite part was the gothic quarter, full of really old buildings and awesome architecture. Then that evening we saw an authentic Flamingo show, which was really fun!
The French Riviera was more than amazing...we visited the incredible town of Nice and spent the afternoon walking along beautiful turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and taking in the sunshine in the historic part of town...filled with tiny little side streets that had so much charm. We did a small hike up a mountain and were able to see the entire city and beachfront...amazing! That night we went to Monaco...we got to see the exact raceway that they drive for the Grand Prix! We also saw the famous casino of Monte Carlo...talk about seeing some sweet ass cars! For all you car fans, you would have been in heaven.
So far Italy has been great...Florence is beautiful and again, the history that you see every which way you look is just mind blowing. It is like stepping back into time. Today we did a bunch of sight seeing, taking in all the Renassaince charm. This evening we are going to indulge in a full out Italian dinner, where we paid one set price and get as much wine, limoncello, and food that we want...YUM!!!
I hope all is well back home...we miss you and think of you lots!
Location: London, Paris, Lyon, Europe
hello from europe!! sorry we haven't updated this in a week but it's been INSANELY busy for us and internet availability for some reason is limited here. Anyways after 36 hours of travelling from our paradise island in Thailand we arrived in London late Friday morning! Whit's dad and uncle met us and it was so much fun to tour around the city with them, go to a few different pubs everyday (whit's dad loves his beer!!) and see familiar faces :) We had beautiful weather in london which was a treat and saw all the sights; Big Ben, Parliament, South Bank, changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Soho, Notting Hill; you name it!! We were very impressed with London and appreciated the Western food and the fact that we could drink tap water! We met up with our MASSIVE tour group of 48! We have quite the group and everyone is really fun and looking to have a good time. I think half of our tour group is from Australia so you know how much they love to party! We went to Paris the 2nd day and LOVED it. lets talk about the most beautiful city i've ever seen. Truly breathtaking and Whit and I ate our way though the day snacking on chocolate crossiants and each carrying our own loaf of bread and cheese around. Best bread ever! Notre Dame catherdral was my fave, well other than the Eiffle Tour at night. It was so beautiful and definitely a place to go back to.
We made our way from Paris to the Beaujouis Wine Region in Lyon and stayed in the middle of a small French village in our very own Chateau!! It was so so beautiful and we were given picnic lunches of wine, cheese, bread and chocolate and hiked our way to "The top of the world" and ate our food and lay in the grassy hills. We had perfect weather as well and it was warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts. Really got the experience of being in a remote french village! Today we arrived in Barcelona and will tour around the city tomorrow on Easter.... Tonight we are all going out to a club that apparently doesn't really open until 2 am!! Should be an interesting night :) Hope spring is in bloom at home as much as it is here! Everything is so green and all the flowers are in full bloom so it's great!!
Love and miss you all, will write again in a few days. ADIOS!
Location: PHI PHI ISLANDS, Thailand
Greetings from paradise! legit, that is where we are and i wish we could post some pics of this place but anyone who wants to get an idea go to this website........ http://www.ppisland.com/
yup pretty hard to take!
it has been amazing just being here relaxing in the sun after our 5 weeks of crazy non-stop traveling. not a cloud in the sky everyday and in the 90s with a bar in the pool and the most amazing views i've ever seen. yesterday we had a long tail boat take Whit and I around all the islands for snorkeling, swimming and just pure amazing sights. we went to Maya bay (that's where the movie THE BEACH was filmed with Leo DiCaprio). We took loads of pics from here so you only have to wait another month to see what we have seen! Tomorrow we leave for London (will take us 24 hours to get there with all the traveling we have to do) but our next post will be from Europe! Asia was nothing short of amazing and I hope you all feel inspired to take a trip in Southeast Asia at one point in your life b/c i never imagined it to be as wonderful and SAFE and BEAUTIFUL as it was. Whit and I 100% want to come back here again........... love to you all, thanks for all the great messages and we'll be blogging next from London! xo
Greetings from Cambodia!!!
A couple of days ago we crossed the border from Vietnam into Cambodia (and this time it was a flawless boarder crossing experience!) and are currently in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is extremely HOT here, like so hot that you have to take several breaks throughout the day to escape the scorching heat. This morning we went to the Royal Palace, which is an amazing compound filled with temples and pagoda's where the emperor of Cambodia once lived. Everything was so well kept, and the grounds were absolutely beautiful. It's crazy to see the actual structures where kings once lived and ruled an entire country.
This afternoon was a hard one - we visited what is called S21 and the Killing Fields. S21 was once a school, and then in 1975 was turned into a prison when the trecherous Khemer Rouge took control of the country. It was where they kept, held, and brutally tortured prisoners from 1975-1979 under their regime. The killing fields are the actual fields where they took these prisoners to kill them, and we saw the actual burial sites, and even worse, bones still mixed in with dirt. It was horrible. This was one of the largest mass genocides to ever exist, and we were seeing everything first hand. I can't even explain to you the emotions that overcame us. And not to mention, our tour guide actually lived through this time period and gave us first hand descriptions of all that happened during this time. I encourage you to do some research on this - it's something we didn't really learn about in the states and really should have. Les and I both agreed it's something that should be encorporated into our educated systems along with all the other wars we learn all about.
All the bloodshed and hardships only ended a little over 30 years ago, so the country is only just recovering...which is very evident. It is one of the poorest countries in the entire world, 50% of the population is under the age of 18, the literacy rate is only 35%, and there is a massive sex and drug trade prevelant here. However, most of the people are more than nice, with big smiles on their faces and love interacting with us! And there has already been a lot of progress made in advancing the country and making life better for the people. So much of Cambodia is amazing and beautiful, and I am know the upward climb will only continue! :)
We had a great dinner tonight at a place called Friends the Restaurant, which takes children in need off the streets, trains them in the restaurant business and gets them on their feet on the way to a better life. All of the funds go into their foundation and not only was this a great cause, but the food was AMAZING!!!!! All tapas and wonderful drinks. We loved it so much that we went back the 2nd night too ;) For a good cause, right :)
Les and I are both doing very well, happy and healthy! We miss you all tons, and love getting all your posts and emails...keep em a coming!
Location: Hue & Hoi An, Vietnam
hello! hope everyone had a fun st paddy's day! we have been busy busy since our last update... Vietnam is absolutely beautiful; everything is so green and lush and the people are lovely. We left the crazy city of Hanoi and boarded a horrible over night train. Legit we felt like we were in a jail cell, because they closed the doors to our sleeping quarters and well it was awful. No one slept a wink b/c the train kept stopping and jolting and when i woke up the next morning to get off the train i got so sick. details to be spared but thank god Whit had a plastic shopping bag on hand (yucky i know). So that was the worst of it thank god. We arrived in the town of Hue and all of us had our own motorbike drivers (who were pretty much half our size)! We jumped on the back of the bikes and zipped around to many little spots. We drove through rice paddy fields which are amazing, went into a few local people's homes and saw how rice is processed and how those point straw hats are made. We went to a Buddist monastery and they prepared us a feast of vegetarian food. I dont know how Whit and I ever thought that we would NOT be eating on this trip! We are eating allllllll the time and both trying local foods which are fab and super cheap at the markets. Anyways, our motorbike tour went from 10am-5pm so that was a full day, and after our horrible sleeping experience the night before, we were both passed out before 9!
The next day we headed to the beautiful town of Hoi An; AKA OUR HAPPY PLACE!!! This was one of our favorite places hands down because it was a small, quiet beach town where we can walk in the streets without the fear of getting hit by cars. The highlight of this place however, is this is where you get CLOTHES MADE! jackets, suits, pants, boots, dresses, you name it. We had a blast flipping through catalogs in shops and having them tailor fit anything we want for super cheap. A lot of shops have dresses and coats displayed on maniquens (sp??) so if you like something you see, they can make it for you exact. We had a field day to say the least and i think our bags weigh 15 kilos more now ;) You walk down the street and little women say to you "I make great dress for you. Super cheap, come in my shop please." Hoi An also had amazingggggg food and bakeries and overall just a lovely place that i would go back to in a heartbeat! We have noticed a LOT of families too in all these places, i guess i never considered taking young kids on family vacations to Vietnam, but after going here, i absolutely would bring my children here someday!
Oh lets talk about our St. Paddys day. GREAT SUCCESS. we were not expecting a whole lot, but we did a little bar crawl with our leader and all of the Westerners were all decked out in their green clothing with irish flags on their faces; so much fun to see! Whit and I got every DJ to download and play Dropkick Murphys "Shipping up to Boston" so that made our night. We did the irish jig, found a bar called King Kongs (think of Hong Kongs in Boston because you can't be sober when you go) which served FREE rum and cokes from 10-11 and then every 30 min or so the bar tender would call the entire bar over for a shot of something green. Overall a great night and well needed since we have only gone out a few times this whole trip.
We flew to the capital this morning; Saigon but also referred to as Ho Chi Minh City. We are taking a cyclo tour in 15 min (imagine a man riding a bike and you sit in front of him in a covered seat). And we are going to see a lot of memorials and museums from the Vietnam War (or the American War as they call it here).
have a great weekend everyone, talk to you all soon!
Sin chow! (thats hello in vietnam). We are currently in the crazy capital of Hanoi and it's definitely a huge change from quiet Laos.
Since our last post we have finished up our adventures in Laos, and now onto the hussle and bustle in Vietnam. Before hitting the boarder we did a homestay in a local Lao village...you would not believe where we stayed. We legit were thrown into the village life, from eating with them, to playing with the children, to sleeping on mats on the floor with a mosquito net, we did it all. Talk about an experience. It was definitely the most I have ever been outside of my comfort zone, but for sure an experience I'm glad I had and will forever remember.
After our homestay we crossed the border, all went great except for one glitch...my departure card didn't get stamped and I had all these Vietnamese soldiers yelling things I couldn't understand. Of course out of everyone it had to be me. But all went okay in the end, so that's good! But that was definitely a time I was so thankful to have a tour guide with me.
So the first impression of Vietnam is that it's absolutely CRAZY!!! You would not believe how wacko they drive over here. Ready for this stat - more people die in one year on the roads than they did in the ENTIRE Vietnam War. How INSANE is that? So that should give you an idea of how crazy and scary the roads are!!! Les and I legit spent the first day yelling every time we crossed a road or a motor bike sped towards us.
2 days ago we boarded a beautiful boat and set out to Halong Bay which is one of the new voted 7 natural wonders of the world. Amazingly beautiful and we went into these massive limestone caves. We slept on the boat which was actually really nice and the crew cooked us up a storm of local seafood :) We arrived in Hanoi yesterday afternoon and just have been bopping around the area seeing the sights. Today we saw the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh in the masoleum, his residence estate and a literature school that was built in like 1026. So cool. The weater is perfect here today so we will enjoy some more outdoor activities this evening :) Tomorrow we board an overnight train to Hue so that should be interesting. We are having the best time, staying safe and both healthy (except we both have a little cold, but not too bad). Sorry we can't post pics, but we aren't allowed to download pics on the computers so you will all just have to wait until May!!
Ok so I have to ask - beantown sports updates?????