Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The past couple of days....

okay okay - I know what you are thinking...that we are sooo caught up in engaged bliss that we forgot all about you guys at home......
ha...I wish...well...I mean not that we arent in engaged bliss...but that we had internet access....the last place we stayed was okay as far as amenities...and thank goodness for A/C (its in the upper 90s here in italy) - but it was about $10 for 45 minutes of sorry yall - we had no intentions of updating you! :)

anyway! Im going to let Nate fill you in on the past couple of days - hes a little better at being brief than I am - and hopefully you will get the jist :) so! here he is!

oh yes - one thing I forgot to say about Germany - we went on the autobahn - something I think mom and i would be very much at home on ....on a daily basis - it really is as completely insane as you would imagine - and the 100 min for the fast lane speaks for itself! :) that is all - here is nathan - my fiiiiiaaaannnnnnccccceeeee!! :)

Italy... well.. it is HOTTT!!!! And that says a lot with me living in Florida for the past 3 years....

Anyway... We left Germany and rode in a train... not just any train but a train like Harry Potter rode in on his journeys to Hogwarts... it was a compartment train. It had 6 seats 3 facing the other 3. This made the trip a little easier to play cards because we were all facing each other. We played cards for about 4 hours of the 6 hour trip. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! After playing cards... we found out the chairs recline and dont just recline like a normal chair would but like turn into a bed.... Yeah.. we did.... we reclined all 6 of the chairs and made 1 HUGE bed... haha all 6 of us laid down and slept... Now... Let me just fill you in on my family... I am 5 11 and my dad is 6 3... my brother is almost 6 5 and both my mom and sister are around 5 8.... And then there is Carrie bringing up the rear at a whopping 5 2ish.... if you ask her... she is 5 3. Anyway... it wasnt the most comfortable slumber, but it worked.

When we arrived to Italy, we walk out of the train station to what Venice is known for: the water highways. It truly is incredible how precise these boat captains are with these boats... and no, there arent just Gondolas here... they have motorboats as well..

We get to our hotel and we have to walk up to what we would call the 3rd floor but its there 2nd. Anyway... after this trip... Stairs are the DEVIL!!

The first day in Venice all we did was get REAL italian food. Carrie had some lasagna that tasted to me a lot like Chef Boyardee... But she liked it. My mom, my dad, and I had Penne with a cream sauce and sausage... INCREDIBLE and Manda and Brandon had Spaghetti.

That night is when we really became great friends with Gelato... AWESOME!!

On Monday we had a walking tour of what was supposed to be Venice but it was just of San Marco Square. The most interesting part of the tour was the getting there and getting back to the hotel. Anyway, the part of the tour that we all enjoyed was we got to take a boat to see Glass Blowing. If you have never seen a real glass blowing demonstration, youre missing out. It is soo cool how they just heat up a ball of glass and then make these amazing figurines and vases and all sorts of different shapes. The guy first made a flower vase in about 4 mins. Then he made a horse in about 2. It was soo incredible just to see all the different things they make on a daily basis with this glass.

Ok, the travels getting to and from the tour. If you have ever seen a garden maze... that is what Venice is. No cars just water taxis and foot travel. Their streets are allies... Some as big as a a 2 lane road and others that were only one person wide. There werent any street signs just like landmark arrows that pointed you in a generalized direction. So... we went home a totally different way we went there.. ha.

After a day of walking Venice we all went back to the Hotel and rested. My mom, Carrie, and I left after a while in search for a Laundry mat. Yeah, we definitely needed to find one... :)

On our search we found one... ALL THE MACHINES WERE BROKEN!!! GEEZ!! Anyway... we went back to the hotel and talked to the receptionist who spoke some of the most broken english and found another one. Off we went.

We found the second and washed our clothes. When they were done, we put the clothes all in the same dryer, 3 loads. After 30 mins of drying... the clothes were ice cold and wet. So us, being the brain surgeons we are.. kept the same clothes in the SAME dryer and put it in for another 30 mins. THE DRYER DIDNT HAVE ANY HEAT!!! So we took wet cold clothes back to the hotel and hung all them up on the balcony. So that was an experience that I could have done with out but it was cool cause Carrie and I just sat and talked with my mom (Mama Dukes) for the whole time just cracking up by the conversations we had.

On Tuesday we headed to Florence. This time it was only a 2 hour train trip and it was on a FAST TRAIN. When we arrived... we were immediately put into a tizzy because we only had an hour to meet up at the meet point for our afternoon tour. An hour may seem like a long time... but the way that our Hotel searches have been going... we were ALL freaking out. My dad mapped everything out the day prior to leaving so that we would have an IDEA of where we were headed. We got to the hotel checked in, and headed out to the meet point. While all of this was happening... I had to be very patient because everyone knows how Carrie is when she gets overwhelmed.... Enough said right... ;)

Anyway we got our meet point with about 15 mins to spare which we should have called Guiness because that was record timing!!

Anyway... with nothing to eat since about 730ish... we left for a tour that said it was about 5 hours long. We started the tour at about 230. We were all tired and HUNGRY!!! Carrie got a migraine and we took a trip off our incredibly FUN (cough cough) tour to get something for Carrie to munch on to carry her over til we could get something to eat.

After we went back to find the group... we got back just in time to find out that the tour was over. THANK GOD!!! Also... we learned that the tour ended and we had to find our OWN way back home... NICE. When we looked at a map, we were about 3 to 4 miles away from our hotel. And that may seem like a long while... when you look at the map... IT WAS.. even regardless... we had to walk it... at least they have streets here and not just ally ways.

Before we began our half across Florence trek, we stopped and had food. We ate Spaghetti calzones and lasagna. IT WAS GOOD!!!! Real Italian. Real GOOD!!

Then we got home at about 830ish and just hung out. Manda, Carrie and I watched a movie and then went to sleep around midnightish. We GOT TO SLEEP IN FOR THE FIRST DAY THIS ENTIRE TRIP. It was much needed. All the attitudes were great this morning and there wasnt any stress.

Today we went on ANOTHER TOUR. ha. This time we went to the famous leaning tower of Pisa. And yes, we took pictures just like all the other 546541689746549846 people making it look like they were holding it up. :)

We traveled home and ate at this Gyro place. This was by far one of MY favorite dinners with the exception of the Bratwarsts!! It was wrapped up in a tortilla with shredded LAMB and lettuce with some other stuff and garlic sauce. AWESOME!!! I can still taste it when I burp!! (That is for you Harpers!! Just like the Cavenders!!)

Tonight we are going to hang out somemore and get some more Gelato!! We are heading to Rome tomorrow where we have heard that it is EVEN HOTTER!! Hooray!!


We will keep you guys posted IF we have Internet!!

We love you all!!


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