Thursday, January 9, 2014

Update 9 Italy!

Before I get into Italy I wanted to share how the last few weeks before break went.

In the end of November we had Thanksgiving for our friends. We made all the traditional foods like stuffing, cranberry, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, turkey (we really just made chicken legs and thighs), mashed potatoes, and we asked our friends to bring a tradition dish from where they were from. It went really well and the food was delicious. Thanksgiving is a silly holiday but it was really nice to be able to spend it with friends and be thankful for the life that I have. As far as volleyball goes we are on a winning streak coming off of break and we beat our cross town rivals to end on a win before the holiday. We are getting better and better with every game and I am really excited for the last half of season. 

Well Marvin got here Dec 17 and we started our vacation. We spent some days in Innsbruck while I finished up practice before the vacation. We explore Innsbruck and headed up to the Olympic ski lift. It was really cool to see the city from that high up. Dec 20 rolled around and that night we were off on an overnight train to Venice. It was very rainy and foggy in Venice but that didn't stop us. We dropped our luggage off and went exploring the city. We went and saw St. Marks, the clock tower and St. Mark's square. We also walked to the Academia and saw many bridges which had the padlocks on them. Apparently it is to give good luck for love. Italy is having a problem with people putting them on the bridges and claim that it is worse than graffiti. Venice was a very cute town and I loved all the canals that run through the town. We had dinner next to the Rialto bridge, which is right on a canal. The next day we were on a train again heading for Milan. Milan was my favorite city (all the cities were amazing and so different in their own way, but Milan reminded me of all the cities in America that I absolutely loved, like Boston and New York.) Our hotel was right next t the Santa Maria delle Grazie which has the Last Supper painting. Milan's Duomo is absolutely breathtaking. It stands out in the busy city and you just pass by it when you are on the trolly. It is all marble and is craved out in the most amazing way. The inside is also breathtaking and has so many stained glass windows and paintings. That evening we headed to the San Siro stadium to watch the derby game against Inter Milan and AC Milan. It was so cool to see a European soccer match! The crowd was so loud and the atmosphere was crazy.  The next day we just walked around the city and took in the sights. The christmas market was still going on. The next day it was off to Rome. When we got to Rome we discovered that because of Christmas a lot of the museums and sights were closed. On christmas eve we saw the Vatican, the Trevi fountain (which we did throw pennies into), the Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon. That night we headed to St. Peters square to see mass. On Christmas day we headed back to St. Peter's square to see the pope give the Christmas message. He looked so tiny up against the red back drop. We headed to the Colosseum before hand and saw the Roman forum. We found a restaurant there that we really liked and ate there three times! The next day it was off to Florence.  Florence was amazing as well. We didn't get tickets to see the statue of David but went by and peaked our heads through the window to see. We also saw the Duomo there and it to was spectacular. For the most part we just walked around the city because lots of the museums costed money. The next day we headed up to Palazzo Vecchio and walked up the clock tower. The clock tower made it possible to see the whole city. It was so stunning. We also saw Ponte Vecchio and walked past the Uffizi. The next day we headed to Cinque Terra. Our hotel was at the highest point on the mountain and of course we had to walked up 200 steps just to get to the hotel. The town was small but still so pretty. That night we ate dinner and just walked around. The next day we headed to Vernazza and Manrola. They all were so different but yet so similar. We watched the sunset and had dinner on the water. The food was so delicious there. The next day we headed to Rimini. Rimini reminded me a lot of Santa Barbara and I felt a little at home there. I ended up getting really sick and laid in bed the whole new years eve. Luckily our room had a balcony so I was able to see some fireworks. On New Years day it was a train ride back to Innsbruck. The food in Italy was amazing, I did eat lots of pizza, pasta, and gelato which was delicious.We ended up not being able to go to Prague because I had a scrimmage against other American girls who came on a tour like I did in August. The last few days with Marvin were great and we went up the mountain to an Igloo bar which overlooked all of Innsbruck, talk about an amazing view. 

Well we are getting ready for a game against Klagenfurt this Saturday and looking for a win. 
I posted pictures on Facebook from all the travel.

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