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Creative Casey's Blog

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Other Stories from Europe

So in our hotel room in Venice I came across my first bidet. It looks like a seperate toilet/sink. It's quite interesting to try and figure out how it works since they give you soap but no washcloth. Then next to the sink is this weird vacuum hose thing which my roommate and I originally thought was a strange foreign hair dryer but quickly came to the conclusion that it was a bum dryer after you use the bidet! No one else on our tour realized this and kept saying they had hair dryers in their room so we told them what it really was- those of them who had attempted to use it to blow dry their hair that morning held steadfast that it wasn't a bum dryer because the thought that they had used it to dry their hair was to much! :). I used the bidet to wash my feet one day and it worked quit nicely because it was low to the ground.

 Oh, I forgot to mention something very important- my hair LOVES Europe. For once in my life it's been behaving wonderfully. Not sure why but who am I to question the hair Gods. I also can't remember if I mentioned it before but on my tour I met a very nice couple that is from Rochester- Victor to be exact. Isn't it a small world? People on my tour are from all over and yet on my specific tour is a couple from Rochester. Crazy!

This one looked more like a foot washer.

This one was for sure a bidet.

Just wanted to show you how they work. :)

See does that look like a blow dryer to you. No way. It's a bum dryer!

"Madam Please I'm Not a Dog"

You'll find out why I titled this blog like I did if you read the entire blog. :)

 So the last few times I've written I realized I forgot to mention some things- mostly because we are all sleep deprived. We've had really long days, up at 5:30am and to bed around midnight. The hotel accommodations have varied from nice to ewww. This hotel is pretty good. So on to things you should know:
1. If you come to Europe be prepared to pay to use any public toilet whatsoever including gas stations or rest stops. Anywhere from .30-1.50 euros which is about .50-2.00 American. It's ridiculous! oh, and the toilets are gross!
2. Hotels don't have washcloths- you have to supply your own.
3. Hotels don't provide you with Kleenex or conditioner and sometimes you don't get a hair dryer.
4. I was excited for Swiss chocolate in Lucerne the day before last. Out of all of the tons of chocolate choices I thought I picked a milk chocolate bar with peanuts and was extremely disappointed to find out that it was dark chocolate, no peanuts and more of the dry cocoa taste. Again 2nd error caused by language barrier!
5. More new words from my travel buddies from New England, Aussie, England, and Canada: I've got the shits- which means your annoyed and angry, cop a squat which means I've got to take a pee right now, losing my marbles, posh and bloody.
6. Everyone is trying to hook me up with a man because they can't believe I'm single. In London the two ladies I hung out with- one of them wanted to hook me up with her son who is 30 and lives in Michigan. Apparently in Amsterdam a creeping weirdo was following me and I was oblivious so at least Kelly noticed and saved me. Then I got hit on in Lucerne in the hotel elevator by a 50 year old Italian man who called me Bella and wanted to know where I was from. My creeper beeper went off on that one.

There was a big thunderstorm that swept through and shook the hotel early morning bringing rain. However we continue on our lucky streak of sunny and warm weather. I'm getting quite the tan! Today was the eagerly anticipated Gondola ride in the canals of Venice. We were seranaded by an accordion player and a fat Italian opera male singer. What they don't portray correctly in the movies is that in a city built over/in a swamp where does all of the sewer go? We still aren't completely sure but we know some goes into the canal water hence spots strongly smelling of fecal matter. Not quite as romantic as one would expect but still a very cool experience. Plus the movies show hot Gondola drivers when in fact we only saw two out of hundreds that was handsome and it wasn't ours. Hence we come to the story behind the title of this post. Emma and I saw a cute gondola driver steering people around, she whistled at him but had food in her hands so when he looked over I was the one that waved. He then proceeded to holler out to me "Madam please I'm not a dog!" Next time a man whistles at me I'm using that line except inserting "sir".  :)

Following the Gondola ride I spent the day wandering around Venice getting lost because that is apparently what you do in Venice! And yes I got lost but not for long. I also had yet another gelato. It's becoming a daily habit... Tomorrow we head out very early for Assisi and then on to Rome by late evening where we will all be having a dinner and a tour of the treasures of Rome by night which includes the throwing of three coins over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. Stay tuned for more adventures!

Gondola ride in Venice.

Beautiful Assisi!

Famous Trevi fountain. Romantic Comedy "When in Rome" was based off of the Trevi fountain.

One of my wishes.

This photo was taken in a palazzo at night. A lot of these performers can be found all over and this was a really wonderful moment where this little boy couldn't tell if this was a real person or not. He kept inches closing like he wanted to find the courage to touch the man to see if he really was real.

Dinner in Rome. All of the women received roses at the end of dinner.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 7- Venice

So it's been a while since I've had internet. Where did I leave off? After Amsterdam we headed to Heidelberg which was beautiful! I had a chocolate gelato for lunch.  I started reading my tourist book that I purchased as we headed out of town and realized that I ended up purchasing a book in GERMAN! Not helpful!

 We then headed to Lucerne in the Swiss Alps and spent two nights there. The Swiss Alps was amazing and the most clean air and water that I've ever been around. I took an air tram thing in Engelberg up to Mt.Titlis (and yes it's pronounced as it reads) and the trip was breathless. Literally. It was 10,000 ft up into the sky into snow and glaciers and I stood in the snow with sandals on. Yes, I did end up with a bad Raynaud attack by the end of the trip but it was worth it.

In Lucerne the hotel was in the city which was great for walking around, but horrible for sleep. It is like NYC and always car noises and drunk people making a lot of noise. My roommate being one of them. She can be quite annoying - drunk every night, loud,  2 showers a day which makes it hard for me to get ready everyday, snores, and snorts at night and very unwilling to compromise. Feel like I'm in college dealing with immature people. Ive had to work on ignoring her and luckily have many other cool people to hang out with.

 Today we headed to Lugano and then on to Verona, Italy where I visited Juliet's house (the same one from the movie "Letters from Juliette") and I had my picture taken holding the breast of some female statue which is suppose to bring good luck. Then we ended our trip in Venice where we will be for 2 days. I did the Venitian tour and dinner tonight with some of the tour group and it was a blast! Tomorrow back to Venice for a glassblowing tour, Gondola ride and then a free afternoon exploring Venice. So far my favorite place is Venice.

Small town somewhere in Germany.

This small town was founded during the Middle Ages and while I was there it was a holiday similar to our Renaissance Fair.

Heidelberg, Germany- It's said to bring luck if you stand under the bronze monkey.



Lucerne, Switzerland- original city bridge

Standing on the top of Mt. Titlas eating snow.

The freshest cleanest water I've ever seen. It was freezing!!! The bottom of Mt. Titlas in the small village of Engelbert.

Lucerne old city wall border.

Me riding a Disney merry-go-round in Lugano, Switzerland.

Juliet's House- It's said to bring good luck if you touch the statue's right breast.

Love padlocks.

Night out in Venice, Italy.

5 course Venetian dinner. oh so good!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 3-4 Amsterdam to Cologn

The weather continues to be sunny and warm in the 70's. We are really lucky still. Yesterday I took the underground/ underwater tunnel from London to Brussels. There we met everyone on our tour and I met my roommate who is Emma from Aussie. She has 3 months off from work and is traveling all over the world during those 3 months. At first appearance she seems nice but a little ill and snored last night. :(   I actually met a couple from Rochester who are on my tour. How crazy is that! In addition I met quite a few other people including newlyweds from Toronto who are my age and very neat people to hang out with. They met on an online dating service 3 years ago. I opted out of the optional excursion in Amsterdam at night and went with the Canadians on our own. Our hotel is outside of the city so we navigated the train into the city, walked the canals, had dinner on the canal (which they charged me for tap water by making me buy a drink before I could get a glass of water), and then we walked through the Red Light district. On the way back the hotel shuttle left about 10 of us stranded at the station at midnight. None of us were happy about that and had to pay for cabs.

Amsterdam is full of bikes, lots of people, cigarette smoking, drinking, public groping/affection, and the "other" kind of smoking. The architecture is beautiful and the canal system is splendid.

Me in Amsterdam.

Canal view.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes.

Graffiti is big throughout Europe.

This was my dinner. A chocolate pancake the size of a pizza!

Tom and Kelly newlyweds from Toronto.

Me on the train back to hotel after a Saturday night in Amsterdam.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 2: London

I've decided the British accent is lovely and here are a few of the words I'm enjoying. As you read this post be sure to read it with a British accent. :)  Dreadful, brilliant, splendid, loo, lovely and willy nilly.

Last night I went to dinner and then on river cruise on the Thames.  I met two sisters traveling together and a couple from California who have a pet iguana that is 4ft. long courteous of their son who found it in the road.  We all thought we were on the same tour until we realized that we were all on a slightly different tour.  At dinner my only option was a cheese goat and beetroot salad since I don't like fish or beef. was interesting. Goat cheese is quite strong. Let's just say I preferred the dessert which was a chocolate fudge sponge cake! yummy!  I think I paid for testing out the dinner last night. I was sick for about half of today and this allowed me to spend time visiting some different style loos. However it didn't stop me from touring around today.

My morning started at 6:30am with a huge buffet breakfast. They serve beans and cold cuts and cheese with breakfast here. I had a mini Belgian waffle piled with whip cream only to find out when I took my first fork full that it was not whip cream!!! It was a mix of pudding/sour cream! How dreadful!

As I've been told multiple times we have "chosen well" with the dates to come to London. They have experienced quite dreadful weather until just recently. It has been beautiful between 75-80 and sunny with a nice breeze.I took a tour around the city of London today with highlights being St. Paul's Cathedral and watching the changing of the guards. This afternoon we took a splendid drive through the country to Windsor Castle and the Queen was in residence, but no I didn't get a glimpse of her.  I ended the afternoon with a scoop of chocolate gelato. I'm heading to dinner at a pub and then having an early night as tomorrow is sure to be a very busy yet brilliant day. It begins at 5:15am!! That is going to hurt!

Stay tuned...

St. Paul's Cathedral

Changing of the guards. I spotted this little boy standing near the guards. A guard in training???

Windsor Castle. The Queen was in but I didn't get a glimpse of her.

Me heading into the Tardis!!!