Saturday, January 15, 2005

Catch Up On Stuff

Okay, wow, I haven't had much time or opportunity to blog in quite awhile. Time to play a little catch-up.

Because of the loss of six hours and having almost no sleep, I'm just combining this into one 42-hour mega-day. :P Dragged myself out of bed around 7ish and was very, very tired. But had lots to do. Put some final touches on my program in the morning, then my mom made Liz and I a fantastic breafast which was awesome. :) Then around 10:30, we went over to Carderock and got there about 11. I had to do a security form and then I spent some time going around and talking with some of my old co-workers. It was really fun to see them and say what may end up being my "final goodbyes" since I won't be back there this summer. So, I enjoyed that much and we left around 12:30. Headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute stuff for the trip, went out to lunch with Tim at Burger King at 1:30, which was quite fun, then came back to my house. Liz and I hurridely finished packing and stressing and her parents made it down around 3:30. Then we all left for the airport and got there just about 4:30. Spent lots and lots of time at Dulles checking bags and waiting in lines for stuff, then said our last goodbyes and were off on the great adventure to Europe. The plane left on time at 6:40ish and we embarked on the 6 1/2 hour ride over to London. Liz was able to switch seats so we could sit together which was grand. The flight went really well and we had some nice chats. :) Barely got any decent sleep; it was really hard to sleep on that flight for some reason. Got into London on time; I think it was like 8am their time or something. Just in time to see a beautiful sunrise pop up. :) In the airport, Liz's roomate Stevie realized that she had lost her passport. It was really stressful and very, very bad and she was about to get left behind. Liz and I prayed a bunch and the plain got delayed for awhile and they found her pass at the last second and raced it across the airport. It was a true miracle. God is good! :D It ended up that the plane actually got delayed for a very long while; just about 2 hours to be exact. So, that was good for Stevie, but kind of dragged on and was painful for the rest of us. But, we finally got off the ground at about 10:45 and flew down to Milan, Italy for about 2 hours. The flight went nicely and we got to see the most incredible view of the Alps as we flew over them. I took like 100 pictures, lol. :P It was great! Got into Italy and got our bags and stuff, then jumped on a bus to drive up to Riva, Switzerland. The bus ride was about an hour and went really well. It was really cool to see new things and new cultures. :) Coming into Riva was awesome. It's just surrounded by these incredibly massive Alp mountains. They are so tall and just amazing to look at! (unfortunatley, as I have now learned, they keep the sun out too, so it's only like light from around 9:30-4 or so) The town of Riva is pretty cool. It's actually kinda connected with some other towns, so it looks a lot bigger than I thought it would, but that's okay. So, we got into town around 4 and then chilled for a bit, had some snacks. Then we went up to our rooms. Me and Bryan live in the Pabiana, which is way up on a hill and quite a good hike. I'll be in great shape once this trip is over, though! :P The room is quaint, but nice and Bryan is a cool roomate to have. :) So, we spent some time unpacking and stuff; I was the first person to blow a fuse, which really sucked, and put me in a bad mood. I think I was on edge too because of no sleep. :( Then, had dinner at 7 which was excellent. We have this cook that cooks us 2 big meals a day with like 3 courses each and always have a buffet breakfast. It's soooo good and just ridiculous. Gotta make sure not to eat too much!! Dinner was decent, then I noticed Dr. Taylor having troule with his laptop, so I offered to help him fix his wireless. Bad, bad idea. I ended up working from about 8-12 trying to fix the stupid wireless stuff in the Casa Maderni. I ended up screwing it up by accident and it just really pissed me off. I was in such a terrible mood. :-/ Finally gave up and came back to bed and slept like an absolute rock.

Today was a lot better day. I woke up a bit after 7 and felt much better rested. Got a nice shower for the first time in two days! :):) Went down with Liz and Bryan and had an enjoyable breakfast about 8:30. Then decided to try and play with the wireless stuff some more. It just wouldn't budge and it made me angry again. :( We had an orientation class from 9:30-10:30 that was rather boring, but useful I guess. Then went on a tour of Riva with everyone and that was very nice. Came back and worked on the wireless stuff some more, to no avail. :-/ Had a great lunch at 12, then spent some more time on the wireless stuff. The program director came over and checked it out and pointed out that I had plugged the incoming lan cable into the wrong plug. So, somehow, in my tired stupor last night, I messed up the cable. No wonder it was so screwed up!! I felt like an idiot. Something so simple had caused me like 3 hours of stress! :-( Oh well, once I figured that out, I got the wireless up and working and that felt GREAT! What a relief, wow! :) Just in time too, because at 2, we left as a group to tour Lugano, Switzerland. Took a train over there. It's about 15-20 minutes away. It was just awesome. We were set free to do as we wished and tour until 5. We started out with a group of people, which was okay, but they were walking at breakneck speed and Liz and I like to stop and enjoy stuff and discuss it and take pictures and whatnot. So, finally, we said enough of this and went off on our own. It was a ton of fun. :) It was so cool just observing things and just taking in life in the Lugano culture. It's almost all Italian, which was really cool. :) I loved the pretty buildings and the people and stuff. We went in this big store called MMM which was 6 floors of shopping and had everything from clothes, to groceries, to electronics, to furniture. It was very cool and very culturally adapting trying to navigate our way through there and interact with people. Quite fun! :) So, we all caught the train back to Riva at 5, then had a great dinner at 7. After dinner, a big group of us went out to a nice club to watch a little jazz trio play at 8:30. They were really pretty good and I had a great time watching them. I wish I still played in a jazz band! :) We were getting tired, so Liz and I left there around 10 and came back here. Since then, I've just spent a ton of time writing this incredibly long blog! Hope you enjoy it and I'm off to bed in a bit!

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