Friday, July 14, 2006


where my thoughts escaping, my music playing, my love waiting silently for me.

my cell number is the same. give me a call.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


happy independence day, internet blog site that is doubtlessly hosted by a server in my native land.

tonight i had a deliciously ironic fourth of july dinner at McDonald's here in barcelona. i went with a couple friends here from the states that both appreciated and joined in the false sincerity of the night. i ordered the most american thing i could think of: a giant size big mac meal with COCA-COLA. mmmm...tasted good going down and felt even better after we blessed our meal with the most appropriate 'prayer' we could think of: singing the star spangled banner. it really was as funny as it sounds. none of us made it all the way through without laughing. but we bowed heads the whole way and made it through.

for anyone that doesn't understand: i'm not really trying to be completely irreverent here. i really do love my country, and because of that i can "play 4th of july" while i'm in spain with a sense of humor. i would have done the same thing in the states probably. maybe make a cardboard cut-out of osama and shoot roman candles at it. just for fun.

this sense of pseudo-patriotism may still all stem from last 4th of july's service-opening prayer at faith bible, including the quote:
"thank you that we live in the greatest nation the world has ever known."

i can't say for sure. i can say that it's more fun to jump on the band wagon and cheer with the masses than to be all vigilant and somber. and i'm ALL ABOUT FUN!

this post has so many levels of sarcasm. i can't even sift through it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


i've been in barcelona for 2.5 days now after leaving switzerland on saturday and taking a few trains to get down to spain again. i'm ready for a relaxing last two weeks here in the euro capital of chill. today i went to the beach for a couple hours. read a book, listened to some music, and basically enjoyed not doing much. no site-seeing, no travelling, no hostel booking. just sun 'n' sand.

switzerland was one of the better pure 'places' that i went to. i've been to a lot of cool places, but the people i meet tend to either make it super fun or mediocre. in switzerland i didn't need to meet anybody. i had the mountains to occupy me. and the did for the two full days i spent there. i went hiking the Schynige Platte hike on the southern boarder of the range on my first day and absolutely loved it. here's some photos:

i'm getting psyched for my upcoming hike checking out the view.

interlaken (where i stayed) is down there below the clouds somewhere. you can see the trail leading off in front of me along the ridge.

the peaks in this photo are all part of the hike i was on.

post lunch, and i'm still doing fine as my thumb tells you. being above the clouds is cool.

unfortunately the rest of the hike was below them. which still provided coolness, just not the old kind of coolness.

my camera timer is a gem and the only way i take pictures of myself.

all in all i had a wonderful time in the alps. from the spanish bar and friends i met there in zürich, to watching the swiss win their world cup group and the madness that poured out onto the streets. the country may be more expensive than others in europe, but i'm not complaining. i got my $ worth.

two weeks til i see most of you again!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

people and places

i'm in switzerland now. interlaken, switzerland to be exact. today i did some hiking and had a wonderful time in the alps. they are very different than the rockies and i am really glad i came here. it's been kinda foggy since i got here yesterday afternoon, but just knowing there are giant looming mountains behind me is cool enough - even if i can't always see them.

i left jonas and germany yesterday. it was sad. i'm über glad that i got to meet his friends and family because now i know him better. his friends were really fun and we had a great time playing beach volleyball, watching football, skinny dipping in the public pool at 4 am... huh? jonas and i had our own adventures too. we hitch-hiked 350 km from his home to a central city and back in a couple days. i will surely cherish the time that i spent with him as it will likely be a few years before we can hang out again. the same goes for his friends too. they welcomed me and made me one of them. it was hard to leave but more lies ahead. for those of you that don't know, jonas was a foreign exchange intern with campus life this last year and that's how i know him.

jonas and i are really tough in wine cellars. step off.

this was the first stop on our hitch-hiking journey. just a little outside his town. we waited here for a couple hours before getting a ride out to the highway.

we waited at this gas station for maybe 45 minutes before finding a man that was going exactly where we were. he took us.

we spent night time under an awning of this business. we slept well, just like the hobos do.

here we are trying to get home after jonas visited a potential school that he decided against. it was kind of rainy which was unfortunate for us standing where there is no cover.

here jonas is talking to bernard our rather unfortunate friend that forgot to pay for his gas and ended up spending an hour explaining things to the police before we could get back on the road in his slowest-ever van. jonas was explaining him the gospel in this photo.

success! we toast to a completed trip. unfortunately, drinking germans are not very steady camera holders.

i regret that i didn't take more photos of his friends, but this is one of them: sam. he was funny.

i don't really know how to book-end this post. there is really no way that i will have that experience with jonas again. next time i see him he will likely be in school in a different city, will have less free time, will not have all his friends around, etc. i guess i should just be glad for the experience itself instead of continually looking toward the next one. tonight i'm watching football. the usa dissappointed today. just beat ghana. sad. disheartening. thank you ref. thank you landon. A+

Saturday, June 10, 2006

an evening of football

the world cup started yesterday. and seeing as i'm in germany and the cup is also in germany i see little reason why i should not take advantage of this fact and join in the festivities. yesterday a group of us from the hostel i'm at in berlin went down to the Tiergarten park here in berlin where there were multiple big screens (think 30-foot screens) set up for free viewing to the people of berlin. there was an estimated 200,000 people there in the park. it was cahraazee fun.

your looking at the view at the screen in front of us and those behind at the other screens.

and here we are pre-game and mid-match. we were me and another USA girl, one irish guy, an aussie guy, two mexican girls, and two canadian girls.

self absorbed? maybe. but that's a photo i found on the internet of me at the flaming lips concert last week. i'm here in berlin until the 14th and then i'm heading south to stuttgart where my friend jonas is waiting to hang out with me and watch lots of football. as if i haven't watched enough. three games today. basically here's my days in berlin:
get up at 11 or so.
get some pastry from the bakery down the street.
eat that pastry.
watch the first match at 3.
eat a kebap at any one of the million kebap spots.
watch the match at 6 and take a nap.
watch the match at 9.
hang out and maybe get some food.
go to bed.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


i've tried to call you several times with no avail. rest assured, i will make it work. i just don't know when yet. i hope you and the fam are well.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

too much to cover

the last few days have gone by pretty fast, but i'll try to bring you up to speed. i left belgium two days ago, seems like a lot longer than that. but it's not. my time in berlin has been nice so far. last night i had some great indian cuisine, and today i had a couple bratwursts (which were not-surprisingly amazing). here's some photos of the flaming lips concert and my friends Dan and Jane that i met in Gent.

that's all from belgium. on to germany where i found this crazy mural drawn on the side of a building:

i also went to checkpoint charlie today and the museum there. it was very interesting. there are parts of the old wall scattered around berlin. sometimes you just stumble accross them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

belgium times

so i've been in belgium since monday and i've particularly enjoyed my time in Gent (Ghent). the town is, well it's an overused travel word, but: enchanting. the sleepy medieval atmosphere and the town lore is deeply intrenched on every street. i love walking down the streets and hanging out in the plazas. today i did almost nothing with a couple friends i've made, but we had a great day. here's some photos of the city:

the last photo there is foreshadowing of the show tonight. in about two hours it starts. so so so so so so excited and i can't wait to see the Flips again. long live the midwest! i'm off to berlin tomorrow. the world cup waits in silent anticipation.

Monday, May 29, 2006

tennis. or in french: tenis

i saw me some tennis yesterday. i dont have much to say mostly because this french keyboard is difficult to type on and i need to go to sleep so my hosts will as well.

i did, however see parts of these matches: tommy robredo (spanish), maria sharapova (russian AND HOW), tim henman (england`s man), david nalbandian (argentine), carlos moya (spanish). so the spanish flag i bought came in handy as i waved it and basically made everyone ask themselves if i was in fact spanish.

two more days of paris sites and then its off to brussels in a place they call belgium.

au revoir!

Friday, May 26, 2006


i've been in madrid a few times and seen most of the highlights there...or so i thought. i went outside of the city proper yesterday to a place called El Escorial where there's a giant monastery and the royal tombs since the 1600s. El Escorial was very cool, and i enjoyed it. but the site on the mountain to the north was the real deal as far as sites go. el Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) is a monument for two important things in spain's history. one, it's a monument to the fallen soldiers of the spanish civil war (1936-39). two, it's the final resting place of the late "dictator" francisco franco who died in 1975 and ruled from the end of the civil war until his death.

lets start with the monastery San Lorenzo to be chronological.

these are all royal tombs. the first photo being in the kings and queens room that was a round and very dark room with lots of gold. the second photo contains tombs of family members.

next is the basilica of the monastery which was surprisingly interesting architecturally. whereas most churches will have columns or pilars supporting the weight, this one had only 4 massive pilars that were at least 30 feet thick.

the library of the monastery was close to the coolest part. there were lots of old astrological/astronomical globes and several old globes of the world that were probably made a few decades after exploring the new world.

ok, on to the other place. it probably helps that Valle de los Caídos is certainly not the first basilica that i've seen or else it wouldn't have been so impressive. but the fact that i've seen cathedrals and basilicas and all kinds of religious buildings before helped me see how amazingly unique this basilica is. the monument itself is impressive enough from the outside, i had no idea what lay beneath the exterior.

we opted for the 7k hike up to the monument instead of the more expensive bus that takes you there, so we got some extra views of the monument on the way.

the monument is really cool to look at. it's out in the middle of the mountains northwest of madrid and basically in the middle of nowhere except a few dotted towns around it in the hills. when you walk into the basilica, you are confronted with these awesome-looking guardian angels that seem to ward off irreverence.

the basilica is just a long vaulted tunnel, but much deeper than any basilica i know of. the atmosphere here is not anything less than creepy, scary, or even evil. with decorative rugs hanging on each wall depicting scenes from the apocalypse, and dark robed sculptures with no faces gazing down from the ceiling, the basilica commands attention like none other.

the center piece of the basilica is one lone decoration. jesus hanging from a ragged tree trunk, with one stream of light falling down to illuminate only him. it was pretty spectacular.

this is looking back down the basilica from behind the center piece. franco's tomb lies in the foreground.

that isn't all though. the coolness continued with the tram that took us up to the cross.

this is the back side of the monument that you wouldn't even know existed from the front side.

the cross was so big from up there. everything was so big. the scultures were SO big. i don't know how to describe them.

see what i mean?? that big toe you see is as big as my entire body. these scultures hung over the edge of the cross' base and seemed to be falling on top of me as i walked under them.

holy cow that place was cool.