Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stop 3: Venice, Burano and Murano

Next stop: Venice! Jared and I flew off to Venice for the last 3 days of the trip before returning to Paris for a relaxing (aka cramming in the library) weekend before school started again. We really lucked out and got a cute little apartment on one of the canals for crazy cheap! No hostels on this spring break! Venice is such a small city, and I had no pre conceived notions about which was absolutely fantastic! We spent most of our time sitting on the canal drinking wine and laughing about god knows what over bottles of wine. Tres chic. Chantal met up with us the second day and I was so excited to see her! We also ran in to 2 girls from AUP that we spent a bit of the trip with. We all took a day trip out to Burano (Island of the colorful houses) and Murano (where they make glass) which was so great to see! Sadly we arrived a little late so didn't get to take a tour of the glass factory, but I bought a great little wine stopper and beautiful necklace. Not to mention Jared broke a pair of glass earrings which are ghastly, but now mine nonetheless. And so it goes:

St. Marco square



St. Marco's

Last minute carb cramming before returning to Paris!

Hi mom!

Stracciatella! My all time favorite

Jared, Chantal and I in Burano

St. Marco's 

Beautiful in Burano

Little canal near our apartment


Ciao Venezia!

Cheesy at St Marco

Murano sunset



Venezia canals!

Burano play time



St. Marco's

He thought we were soul mates. I didn't hate it.

So I'd have to say Venice was my favorite because we got a great feel for the city in such a short amount of time. Minor set backs included maps flying into the canal when we were 100% lost and starving, room being about 85 degrees with no control at all, Hard Rock Cafe as the only option for nightlife, and vomit encrusted on the window of our 2 hour boat ride to the islands. But only MINOR set backs to this fabulous weekend! The weather was perfect and the company was even better. We didn't do any museums or anything of that sort because A we're broke and B the whole city is beautiful enough to get lost in without needing to be bombarded by tourists and queues. 
Spring break was so different than my last one because we got to take our time in each city without feeling rushed or spending an absurd amount of money. Even though I've already been to 2 of the 3 places, I didn't feel like it was a waste because this experience was 100% different than my last. I feel so lucky to have been able to cross even more things off of my bucket list and to do it with people that I enjoy at the same time. 
This week my best friend Tiffany is in Madrid, but will be visiting Amsterdam for the weekend, so of course I couldn't resist and bought a ticket to go visit her!! I am so excited to see her and can't wait to go back to such a great city. Call it ridiculous because I was just there, but I know I'd kick myself later if I didn't make the effort to see her! It's gonna be a quick trip and I won't be missing any school, so it really works out great! 
PS I've been designated photographer for Jared's fashion blog since we've been here so check it out! 
He's quite flamboyant but I love him to pieces and would be so homesick without him! Not to mention he's the best mirror to my horribly repetitive outfit choices I have every day. 

Until next time!!!


Barcelona was next. Again it was Jared and I, as well as a friend from OC/AUP. We stayed with one of their friends, who is also from OC strangely enough. We sort of did our own thing because my friend from AUP had a lung infection, so was in bed the whole time, and the girl we were staying with stayed home with her. Thank god I didn't catch it! The second we got off the plane we were so excited to be in warm weather, a beach city and to hear NO ONE speaking German! Barcelona consisted of running in to old friends at night clubs, beach days, Gaudi admiring, and hidden bars. We met up with even more of Jared's study abroad friends, of whom I actually hit it off with extremely well, and spent most of our trip being taken around by them. Again, being my second time in Barcelona, I definitely had things on my list, but was in no hurry to cross them off. 
Margaritas at a mexican restaurant. Definitely not spanish but got the job done!

Park Guell! Gaudi is my hero

Park Guell

Las Ramblas

Montjuic Castle

Montjuic Castle

Drinking on the beach! So happy to be in the sand

Montjuic Castle thirst quencher


Park Guell

La Boqueria market

Casa Batllo. My favorite place in all of Barcelona!

Park Guell

La Sagrada Familia. Awe-some!

Montjuic castle

La Sagrada Familia

Up to Montjuic!

Castle at Montjuic

Park Guell

Gaudi's home! Such a genius

Montjuic Castle

We went to so many fabulous places in Barcelona and I was so excited to have the sun shine on my face again. I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids to hangout with and had such a blast finding new spots, including the Sherlock Holmes bar (password and magnifying glass required), delicious gelato shops, and the strangest Spanish roommates you could imagine. It came and went so quickly, but I could not wait to get to Venice to meet Chantal and sleep in a real bed rather than someones floor, as thankful as I am to not have had to pay for a hotel!
Venice, Burano and Murano next!


The week before spring break, Chantal, Jared and I trained it to Amsterdam to stay with a friend of Chantal's. I loved Amsterdam and was so excited to get back and have my first trip of the semester! The weekend was pretty laid back, and since the city is so small, we just walked around the whole time with no real agenda. Lots of food, lots of good shopping, and a freak hail storm are what made up this trip. 
Ice skating at the I AMsterdam sign. Did I mention Chantal's a professional ice skate and I, well I'm not?

Mini pancakes! Yum

Ice skating

Heineken factory tour 

Ice skating!

Peeing our pants on the walk home.  A lot of this happened that weekend...

Infront of the palace

Dancing in the Heineken factory.

Amstel river

I AMsterdam!

Snowball fights at Museumplein

Bike riding throughout the city with a native. A must!

Gorgeous city!



Cows on the ceiling

At the Heineken bar

Haagen Dazs! Necessary

At a friend of Chantal's house. His dad is an interior designer and designed this lamp for Sebastian's room. Soo cool!!!

We had such a great weekend and really got along wonderfully (which I was a bit nervous about since it was our first trip together. And I'm a bitch). We went inside Anne Frank's house, which was my first time, and it was so eery yet so interesting. Definitely recommended to anyone who goes! Also got stuck in a baseball-sized-hail storm on the way to ice skating! I wish I had better pictures of it, but you can't really tell with the photos I took. We took cover in a nearby bar and by the time we had finished a beer, it was completely over! It was so great to just wander around with good company and explore new streets that I had never seen before. 
Spring Break posts to follow!