Gaby's World

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Oct 1

Made it home in one piece :) will have a closing written for this trip soon. Über tired.

Our last day in London and our last full day of our vacation. :(

We started our morning with a walking tour of London. Luckily we walked up the north side of the bank cause we walked up the south side the previous night. Our tour guide was great. He told stories really well and had some funny stories to tell.

Like the tour in France, the tour company has a deal set up at local restaurants for a discounted meal. The second photo is of my bangers and mash.

The next photo is from Piccadilly Circus where they had NFL flags and US flags hanging. I didn’t know they were into American football.

The next photo is from Abbey Road Studios. We were there with all the other Beatles fans. At first we were not going to cross the sidewalk, we were just going to take a photo next to it, then we got caught up in the hoopla and attempted to take a couple of crossing shots. It’s hard to do because there isn’t a light there and you have to stop traffic every time you attempt to cross. The Studios setup a webcam so people can watch all the people attempt to recreate the album cover. Visit www.abbeyroad.com/crossing if you want to catch the fun.

Under the Waterloo train station there is an area where it is legal to spray paint the walls. Chris and I went to check it out. It was weird watching a police officer walk by someone spray painting and not arrest them. Haha. We got some good photos but I couldn’t spend much time in there because it was straying to give me a headache.

After the Waterloo we went to a concert at a cafe that Chis had heard about through one of his friends. I liked it a lot. They were a duo visiting from Japan called Tenniscoats. They were a mellow band and the lead singer reminded me of the cuteness of Bjork when she talked. Some of the songs were in Japanese but still pretty nonetheless.

Yesterday we made it into London (after missing our first train).

Our whole trip we didn’t have to arrive until just before departure. Yesterday we ended up missing our train. We had to go through customs and there were a lot of travelers on a Sunday.

I went through customs last time I was traveling by train from Paris to London but I didn’t remember it taking a long time so I didn’t think anything of it.

The next and last train of the day was full so we had to go on standby. Luckily that still meant that we got on, we just had to be little stowaways on seats in between the train sections.

We met up with our super nice host , again through AirBnB and then set out to see the city.

We started out by Westminster Bridge and made our way up to London Bridge stopping about every five minutes to take a night photo.

We stopped in some upscale community center for dinner that was set up cafeteria style. The food was really good. Also in the center was a lounge area, a tiny exhibition and a movie area.

The fourth photo is a layout of the grounds for Britain’s worlds fair in the early 1950’s.

The movie they were projecting was Moonrise Kingdom. Cute movie. :)

We knocked a lot off our list our second day in Paris as well.

We went to Garnier’s Opera House. (2nd photo) they were planning to have a Fashion Week event here so some of it was blocked off. I think they should have mentioned that when we bought our tickets. I think because of this they had a balcony section open that I didn’t get the privilege of walking on last time I was there.

Then we saw Notre Dame. It is Notre Dame’s 850th anniversary this year and they plan to have a celebration for it. They currently have stands set up in front of the church for when this event takes place.

After that we made it to Pere Lachaise Cemetery where some famously people are buried including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. The graveyard was beautiful with individually designed placings for families and individual. We only had enough time to find Mr Morrison’s grave before we were kicked out because it was closing. The place is massive and hard to find the people we were looking for. I thought Jim Morrison’s grave would stand out and have this big monument of some sort but his grave was modest. If other people weren’t gathered around it or if there wasn’t a bunch of leave behinds, we might have never found it.

1) “Want to be a doors fan?”
1) “Steal a car”

2) “I have a car”

1) “STEAL a car.”

- Kids in the Hall

On our first full day in Paris we went on another free tour. I felt like the tour guide could have given us a better history lesson. He did inform us though, that we were there during one of the two Fashion Weeks. This put a damper on some of our sight seeing adventures. They set up tents at various locations and venues for their events. Tuileries Garden and the main square behind it had their views obstructed by makeshift venues.

After the tour the tour company set up a lunch special for us to either have an appetizer and main course or a main course and dessert for 12 euros. One of the appetizers happened to be snails! Made especially for tourists who seem to be the only people who eat them. Chris got it, I tried one. They are chewy like calamari and tasted like the sauce they put on it. Didn’t really taste much like anything else.

Then we went to Sacre Coeur. There were so many people there that day. I remember a fraction of the people were there the first time I went. Seemed like The new thing for the street sellers to sell there were beers. Have a beer and watch the view.

We had a great evening. We got discounted tickets to do a river cruise and did that in the evening to see Paris lit up at night and took pictures of the Eiffel Tower and walked around.

We ended up stumbling upon a couple of great things that night. On our river tour we saw coupled and groups of Parisians sitting by the river hanging out and sharing wine. They also did this on the grassy areas and had little picnics.

After the tour we went to walk around the other side of the river and came across a man playing common songs and their was a crowd was sitting on some stairs and singing along. At the other part of this area there were a bunch of people tango dancing. Then when we started walking back to the train station we were bombarded by roller bladers. They were part of some event. It was like critical mass but with skaters. There was never a dull moment that night.

Couple of shout outs: happy birthday to my little sister! happy one year anniversary to JP and K!

Going to have to back track a little.
The first photo I took before my trip and I sent it to JP asking, “who would wear a shirt with a bunch of crosses on it?” Our answer is in photo #2 only in Rome. Chris and I explored the coliseum that day and my favorite quote from an American was when she looked in the center and said, “I don’t get it.”

Later that day we were able to get into St Peters Basilica. It was closed the day before because of the popes visit. It was really pretty inside and huge.

We traveled from Rome to Paris that day as well. The Ferrari store pic is for my uncle cause he is a Formula 1 Nut. This store was at the airport.

We were unable to meet our host in Paris but his friends let us in instead. They were really nice. The flat was central in the 6th district. It was really easy to get around and there was a lot going on in the area. The last photo is the view from our room.

I felt back at home in Paris. We had the hardest time connecting to the Internet there. Every place that said they had wifi we had to either register for or pay for. When we registered it wanted to send us a text with a code which isn’t possible because we weren’t using our normal phone numbers. Another option was to input our credit card number to start a free account. :/ we even had issues with Starbucks for some reason too.

Still alive. Have ha the hardest time connecting to the Internet in Paris. We are getting ready to leave for London. Hopefully we will have better luck there.

Still alive. Have ha the hardest time connecting to the Internet in Paris. We are getting ready to leave for London. Hopefully we will have better luck there.

Rome is home of Holypalooza.
I have never seen so many priests and nuns from all over in one place. There was the priest that was on a Vespa, the group of priests hanging out, the priest in a modern uniform of a suit with a white shirt with the tab collar as the collar of his shirt.

We saw a couple of nuns today with luggage. What do they carry in them? Different clothes of the same uniform?

Chris and I got the privilege of seeing the pope yesterday for his Wednesday prayer with 80 thousand other viewers. If you can see a tiny white dot under the awning just above the steps in the second photo , that’s the pope. We actually had pretty close seats and got a couple of good photos of him kissing babies heads when he came around in his jeep.

Yesterday was a long day of waiting. We had to get up at 530am for our appointment with the pope for him to come out at 1030am. He ended up coming out early and finished around 1130-12. They welcomed a bunch of different groups that were present and said a prayer. They went through about six languages so that everyone present could understand.

Since we were in Vatican City we naturally went to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum along with the other 80 thousand people.

It was cool to be there but we were herded like cattle through most of it. We couldn’t take our time to enjoy it. Towards the end of the walk we had a little more room to spread out and take it all in. At the end of the walk was the famous Chapel. Here we were able to hangout a little.

The photo of the sandwich is supposed to be a pizza sandwich. I had a cell second one to way which was basically two pieces of pizza squished together. It’s fast and filling.

After the Vatican we went on a free evening tour of Rome. The photo of the angel statue was of one of the chapels we went into. The last photo is of fountain, this is where the tour ended. I liked this tour because we actually went into locations rather than just seeing the fronts of them.

So much to see in Rome, so little time.

These photos are from yesterday’s journey.

We ended up going over by the Pantheon twice yesterday and the Capitoline Hill as well.

We went by in the morning and got some great night shots at night.

We went to two museums in the Borghese area. The photo of the dirt and trees was our first impression of the gardens. We were wondering why they would have a bunch of land as a tourist attraction and not maintain it. If you walk in a little further you’ll see beautiful gardens with statues and fountains. It is large enough to take a tram to the different areas or rent bikes.

The photo of the statues were from the modern museum in the park. Modern to them was no later than 1950. (Jk - there was one 2002 painting) they had a couple of recognizable names in there.

The statue of the mom and the baby reminds me of my little niece. Too cute. I don’t want to say the mom reminds me of my sister cause on the other side of the statue the woman is exposing her breast.

The photo of the food is of some bacon and egg pasta and an American style ice coffee. I tried not to laugh when they brought it over. I don’t know how they chilled it but they actually brought over a cold coffee in a coffee saucer.