Cinque Terre… heaven on earth

Photo One: Monterosso, one of the five cities that makes up Cinque Terre, was hit hard by a flood a couple of months ago and was reinforced with lots of sandbags everywhere. It had a ghost town vibe too.

 

Photo Two: Manarola has the most beautiful view. I mean is this real life?

 

Photo Three: Sisterly love <3

 

Photo Four: Parents enjoying the amazing view.

 

Photo Five: This was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Simply gorgeous.

 

Photo Six: This is Manarola post sunset. Jealous yet?

 

Photo Seven: There was a love lock bridge on the path between Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Roma…pope rings, collect them all in a happy meal

Photo One: This was our first train ride of many in Italy. We took it from the airport to Roma Termini, the city center.

 

Photo Two: Here is the Arc de Constantine.

 

Photo Three: The traditional jumping picture by anything important, in this case the Colosseum.

 

Photo Four: Here is the Trevi Fountain. Hopefully we will come back to Rome and our wishes will come true.

 

Photo Five: Here is St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

Photo Six: Here is the most delicious gelato we found. Nutella was the best.

 

Photo Seven: Here are pretty Italian street Christmas lights.

 

Observations: 

It is nearly impossible to get on the Rome Metro system and it is only 2 lines.

No stops are clearly labeled or announced on any public transportation.

The vendors are no where near as pushy as in Istanbul or Egypt.

Less people speak english than we anticipated… but it is fun to watch mom try and have a friendly conversation anyways.

There are very few stray animals.

I hate how I always look like this. one boot up. one boot down.

Photo One: We explored Gamla Stan (Old Town) and explored and took pictures. But it was very chilly and got very snowy.

 

Photo Two: A nice overlook of Ostermalm on our way to the Vasa Museum.

 

Photo Three: We were goofing around in the Diving Bell of the Vasa Museum. It is a museum about a ship that sunk in the Stockholm Harbor after sailing for only 20 minutes.

 

Photo Four: The Stockholm Public Library is my FAVORITE library in the world (and that is saying a lot). It is in a circular shape and is very Belle-esque.

 

Photo Five: The end of our Stockholm family adventure. This is our apartment in Gamla Stan.

 

Photo Six: This was the best nap ever. So comfortable!

 

Observations: I already miss Stockholm and my host family bunches. It still doesn’t feel real yet.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these aren’t the best but in true Smith-Dewey fashion we always have several cameras snapping and it is proving difficult to unite them all on my computer.

 

Word: hiss (elevator)

Oh my god one of my eyes is forward

Photo One of the Day: My real family and my host family unite for a nice swedish dinner. Best of both worlds. I already miss my host family though 🙁

 

Photo Two of the Day: Fika or Siesta? No one will ever know.

 

Photo Three of the Day: We ate lunch at my favorite cafe.

 

Photo Four of the Day: Right at home in the original Ikea. Mom was SO happy.

 

Observation of the Day: There are special Christmas mailboxes placed throughout the city. Direct line to Santa?

 

Word of the Day: lax (salmon)

i don’t want my pillow sat on

Picture of the Day: MY FAMILY IS IN STOCKHOLM!!! We explored Gamla Stan and the JulMarknad today but it was VERY snowy and wet and cold. So glad to have my family here though! (Notice Bailey’s snowflake nose and bright purple sweatpants)

 

Observation of the Day: Most Swedes think Americans wear their shoes inside all the time.

 

Word of the Day: notera (note)

Precis (exactly)

 

scary indiana

Photo of the Day: Me and my host family at the Christmas/Farewell dinner for my program! I can’t believe how fast the semester flew by!

 

Observation of the Day: Swedes don’t send Christmas cards with a letter or even family picture but rather just a greeting card that they sign.

 

Word of the Day: gott nytt år (happy new year)

the dark side

Photo of the Day: Today was Santa Lucia day. I went to Elliot’s play school and saw their Santa Lucia procession. It was adorable. He was dressed as a gingerbread man.

 

Observation of the Day: Saint Lucia is the saint of light and the Santa Lucia celebration is to celebrate the coming of the light because it is the darkest day of the year. Each city has their own elected Santa Lucia. There is a procession and singing with the Santa Lucia, star boys, gingerbread men, and santa clauses. People also eat delicious saffron rolls.

 

Word of the Day: stjärna (star)

just wait and see in ten years

Photo of the Day: We had a farewell fika today with the whole family. First we went and saw William’s school’s Santa Lucia celebration and then we had a lovely dinner. I am going to miss my second family so much when I head back to the states.

 

Observation of the Day: You can’t take pictures of events at William’s school because there are students that have a protected identity and they are afraid of them being found if there are pictures that end up online.

Word of the Day: badbyxor (swim shorts)

straight out of gossip girl

Photo of the Day: Ann, Audrey, and I worked the Nobel Nightcap. It is the after party for the Nobel Prize dinner and was held at Stockholm University this year. We ended up being stuck in the kitchen washing dishes most of the night and it was very stressful. But it was fun being part of such a cool event and rubbing elbows with some important people when we got out of the kitchen.

 

Observation of the Day: A tank of gas in Sweden costs over $100.

 

Word of the Day: smink (makeup)

Hurghada… it’s all about the pomegranates

Photo One: This is the view from my hotel room. Yeah I got to stay in this beautiful location nbd.

 

Photo Two: We spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool or hanging out at the beach. It was very relaxing. However it was interesting traveling with young kids that always need to be entertained.

 

Photo Three: We went to a marketplace. Everyone and their brother was selling souvenirs and spices. One merchant offered Annie 6,000 camels for my hand in marriage. Luckily she didn’t accept the offer.

 

Photo Four: We took a day trip to Luxor and saw the Kartak Temple. It was really cool and covered in hieroglyphics and huge Egyptian statues. It embodied what you think of as stereotypical Egyptian architecture.

 

Photo Five: This is one part of the Karnak Temple.

 

Photo Six: We went to a local “factory” where they make things out of alabaster. All of those pots and things are handmade.

 

Photo Seven: Here is my host family by the Red Sea with the sand castle and pyramids that we built. Elliot was also “burying” kings all around because we had seen the Valley of the Kings the day before.

 

Photo Eight: William and I went on a desert safari. We got to take a short camel ride. Unfortunately I started mine off by falling off the camel. Yes it is quite scary when you are not completely on a cable and it starts to get up anyways. That kind of put a damper on the whole experience, but it still cool to say I have ridden a camel.

 

Photo Nine: Here are some of the bedouin people that let us ride their camels. They are headed home for the night.

 

Photo Ten: Our flight home was delayed 36 hours. We spent all of Tuesday waiting in the Hurghada airport and trying to stay entertained. Let me tell you I don’t recommend finishing all of your books before having to spend all day in the Hurghada airport…

 

Observations:

*Egyptian men don’t take no for an answer and keep pestering you. They always ask why you don’t want to buy from them.

*There are no magazines or books sold in the Hurghada airport and the area around Grand Resort.

*The French stole the recipe for perfume from the Egyptians.

*There are MANY different businesses called Aladdin.

 

Words:

granatäpplen (pomegranates)

semester (vacation)

trasiga planet (broken plane)