Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 21st. Last day. How I love Prague!

Our last day in Prague! Depressing. I have come to adore this city and can only hope to return in the future. We were allowed to wander and enjoy our last day. After packing, Amelia, Mary, and myself dressed up and shared crazy, crazy laughter. A dinner cruise was a grand finale for all to enjoy. Delicious food, entertaining company, and millions of camera flashes made up most of those hours. Afterwards a group of us went to John Lennon’s Wall, which was tagged and written all over. I wrote my own little piece. The wall was bright, colorful, and shared lots of individual’s revelations, many of which contradicted with others on the wall. Our group strolled late into the evening striving to soak in every moment. I didn’t want to go to sleep because the following morning I would be at the airport –which I had to leave for at 4am. I was scheduled for a different flight because my ticket was booked separately from the group. Individual goodbyes were really sweet and I was nervous to be away from everyone who I had been with day & night for the past 6 weeks. After preparing for my early morning and full day and a half of flights I fell asleep around 1 for a few hours.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 20th. Praha!

Today we went on a tour with our guide Freddy. We started on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the city. We went inside a church/library that was really really old. There were a lot of hand written books. Many about religion, which is odd that the people of Praha are currently mostly Atheist. It started to rain, but we went on our way and cowered under a overhang. Then it started to pour cats and dogs, but we had to keep going. After about 5 minutes we were all soaked through and Underwood and the guide allowed us to get on the train-sorta-thing that goes throughout the whole city and we reached our hotel so that we could change before we went to lunch. It had cleared up by the time we got outside but it was still chilly. Lunch was good, but heavy! O boy, I had all my soup, but only a tiny bit of the main dish and then all of the delicious dessert. We were allowed to go our own way after so I headed off with Mary, Terrell, and Amelia. We walked a long ways to a mall with over 200 stores. It was a huge mall. We wandered and window-shopped for a long time; I was able to get coffee at Starbucks. After a few hours we headed back to the hotel so that Mary could email her Czech friends that she was going to meet up with. After a time on the internet Dr Underwood invited Mary and myself to join her for coffee down the street at a fabulous café. We talked and shared desserts; it was a lot of fun. We came back around 6:30 and a group headed out for dinner, but I was not in the least bit hungry so I stayed behind. Around 9 they hadn’t gotten back so I wandered to see who was here. Dave, Tyler Martin, Zach, and Emily were and planned on going out. So I joined them, I wanted to get out of the hotel! We went to the Hilton sky 9 café and bar. It was so much fun, after taking a mirror elevator way high we danced through a long hallway with mirrors, lights, and music and then sat on plush couches. We also were able to sit outside a while; it was a great time. Afterwards we met up with Jon, Amelia, Grant, Ana, Amber, and her sister Tiffany. We stayed out late, danced, and laughed a lot. It was a great second to last night. I’m sad that it will soon be coming to a close. Most everyone is ready though.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19. "Auf wiedersehen" to Austria and "den dobry" to Praha!

Today we left early to begin on our way to Prague on a bus driven by Czechs, who do not speak English. I slept the first few hours. We stopped around 11:00 at a gas station. We then stopped at 1ish for lunch, which was definitely in Czech and not my most favorite meal. Ick, I wish we hadn’t even stopped. We made it to Praha (Prague) around 5:30 and got ready for dinner. I am rooming with Amelia & Mary, which I love! My family minus Terrell :] lol, inside joke. After getting out of our bus clothes we walked to dinner around 7ish. It was a cute restaurant and the group had it’s own room, which is the best way to go with my group. We are loud and noisy Americans to be sure. Soup, delicious. Mushroom turkey with rice, reminded me of a dish my momma makes :] and banana with chocolate rum sauce, love fruit for dessert! Love fruit all the time. After dinner I wandered Praha with Mary, Terrell, and Amelia, ahhh family. Mouer caught up with us somehow, drat :] kidding. We had a wonderful time exploring & Mary has been here a few times so she knew where things were, which was really nice. Delicious ice cream sundaes and a beautiful firework display :] I have really enjoyed myself immensely in Prague so far!

June 17th. Sleep & Weinersnetzel

We were given the option to sleep in, which I took full advantage of. I was exhausted from Italy and the trip as a whole. I loved every second of it, its just go-go-go with the same group of people. I’ll miss it a lot when it’s over, sad to think about, but I know my summer month at home will be wonderful; it’ll be so weird to be away from this group though, to be by myself. Last summer when I came back from my mission work in Australia and split up from the group I was with it was devastating, moments of distress and depression and I was still able to see those people. The one’s on this trip do not live near me, but they will be there next year at APU. Anyways, I spent most of the day resting, working on a puzzle, and doing homework. I did take a trip into town with Underwood making stops at the bank, post office, and grocery store – it was nice to get out for a little while, felt like I accomplished something, lol. At 5 a group of us learned how to make weinersnetzel from Hans, the cook at the Schloss. It was fun, not difficult, similar to chicken my mom makes. Dinner was delicious. We watched a movie, which I fell asleep to :]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18th. Swarovski & Bon Fire

We left early in the morning to go to a corporate visit at Swarovski. Before arriving we dropped off Chris Brown at the airport, he had to leave early, sad. We toured the house of Marie Swarovski, which showed the history of its crystal industry, their great success, and the different ways they use crystals; pretty awesome. We then went to a museum and a gift shop. The museum was extremely weird, making you greatly question the state of mind those who put it together were in. After an enjoyable morning we traveled to the city of Hall and had a delectable lunch. Tasty soup and trout with vegetables, finally a healthy American style meal :] I then wandered the city with Mary, it was a charming historic town. After an hour or so we gathered onto the bus and drove back to the castle. It was a long drive back, but we arrived in time for dinner. At 8pm we had a sizeable bonfire outside. We threw around the football, frisbee, played games, and had a blissful time. After s’mores and lots of pictures Mary, Amelia, and I played on a swing set and stared off into the amazing views about us. Afterwards I worked to finish a puzzle before we left, Tyler Mouer helped and we were shockingly able to finish, yes! I then showered, packed, and fell asleep late.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 15, 2009. Venice, hello dream -beautiful boys included.

Breakfast was at 8, and we left the hotel by 8:30. We drove to an area near Venice and arrived at our hotel, which was in view of the Mediterranean! I was with Kristen again, YES, hilarious times. We had lunch right away, which was like 3 courses, Italians eat A LOT it seems, majority of which are carbs. Carbs are everywhere in Europe, yet Europeans, particularly Italians are SKINNY, how is this? Anyways, after lunch we took a boat taxi to an island I forget the name of and learned about glass blowing. It was a lot of fun; a master made a glass horse just a few feet from my face, amazing! A little bit later we water taxied it on over to Venice and wandered all over the place. I heard and saw Americans everywhere, it was too touristy for me, but a check off my lifetime list of places to see :] At the beginning I was with Travis, Ana, and Kasuandra, an ideal group in my eyes and we enjoyed ourselves. By the way, the entire time I was in Italy I was ecstatic and in the best mood possible, constantly smiling with joyous laughter in my eyes. Anyways, the shops began to look the same, everyone sold the same pieces made of glass and masks, like opera masks, and all the same touristy items, kinda annoying. We then met up with a larger group and separated off, girls & boys. I had another girl’s dinner, this time with Kasaundra, Ana, Kristen, Alyssa, all my favorite girls in their own way. They all make me feel loved. Dinner lasted hours and it was the perfect time. We walked the city center, I forget the name of it, but it’s famous I guess :] lol. Travis, Zach, Chris, Alyssa, Ana, Kasaundra, and myself –once again, another great group- looked at more shops and found famous Italian spots and then stopped by a bar to sit. Men’s soccer was on, USA vs Italy, that was fun, lol. But, o my goodness, the toilets in Italy, WT? How in the world? I have no idea. A couple I came across were holes in the ground, Great…. And others were low and didn’t include toilet seats, great. IDK, I simply didn’t know what to do. Lol. After a full afternoon/evening in Venice we took the water taxi back to the hotel around 10pm. Travis was my buddy, we did a funny video together that I’ll try putting up once I get back to the states. Once back I headed straight to the beach, fabulous, I had to. Jon, Travis, Zach, Lisa, and Mckenzie joined me for a night swim in the Mediterranean! I cannot believe I just said that and actually did it. It was one of my most fun life experiences. I laughed and splashed and played the entire time, I couldn’t get enough, I was in a state of complete bliss. And that was my day, perfect and long. I slept great that night!

June 14, 2009. Ciao Bella

6:30 was breakfast and then we all got on the bus to go to Verona & Venice. It was a smaller bus then the other 2 we have used. I ended up in the back with Mary, Mouer, and Jon. How that happened, I really have no idea. However, the back of the bus is huge with lots of leg room and a table, therefore it was more comfortable for sure than everyone else’s seating arrangements. I was able to cuddle up on 2 seats (only 3 empty on the whole bus!), turn on my tunes, and fall asleep. We stopped for coffee, then gas. Work laws are weird here; people work a lot less than in America. At the gas stop Dr Underwood picked us all up some sandwiches, not the greatest meal in Europe, lol, but that’s okay. After a long drive, and Grant joining us in the back we made it to Verona, Italy around 1:00ish and checked into our hotel. I roomed with Kristen, who is a doll, I love her. We then were given somewhat of a city tour; we saw something similar to the coliseum with a full on Roman man dressed for the occasion and the terrace where Juliet called the Romeo or something like that. :] I then went shopping and wandering with Mary and Amber. It was fabulous, relaxing, and I completely enjoyed my day. We made a few purchases and had a delicious dinner, which included pizza of course and gelato. Mmmmm, yum. I went to bed at 9:30, AMAZING, lovely day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16th. Began on the beaches of Italy and ended in the snowy Alps of Austria.

We were given the option of sleeping in and I took advantage of it! I made my way down to breakfast at 9:30 and Kristen and I fell back asleep after getting ready for the beach and packing our stuff. We dumped our stuff in the bus at 11 and headed to the beach. Hot, perfect day with a breeze. 4 boys (Tyler Martin, Chris, Grant, Jon) and 4 girls (myself, Kristen, Alyssa, McKenzie) rented paddleboats and enjoyed our hour for $10 immensely. After laying out, pictures, and lots of fun we ate lunch at a spot by the beach. I have had enough pizza to last the rest of the year for sure. That goes for ice cream too. Lot of ice tea as well. At 2 we said peace out to Venice and headed north back to Austria. We stopped at Edelweiss for dinner, more pizza, and it started raining which was fun. We went from perfect beach to perfect mountain weather. After reaching the Schloss I showered and relaxed.

June 13, 2009. Case Study & Gardens

Today was a “free day.” I skipped out on breakfast and was able to sleep in a bit. I started my morning writing a case study for International Business, which is writing intensive. I wrote on Disneyland Resort Paris, which was 2 billion in debt as of 2007. It was really interesting and I had just done a report on Disney as a whole last semester in my finance course. I worked really hard all morning and afternoon taking a break only for lunch, which was delicious. Most of the other students in the group had gone to town or sailing so I knew lunch would be good, that’s how it always works, right? :] I was finished on my case study in time for dinner. Afterwards, Mary and I played in the garden and told each other stories; it was a fabulous time. The castle is the perfect spot for engagement/wedding photos. The garden is amazing; I love it. We then worked on a puzzle and explored the castle with Terrell when it got dark. Outside was a beautiful starry night. Late into the night I started packing for Italy!! It was a good day, I wish that I had left the Schloss grounds, but it’s okay. I’m excited the next part of our trip :]

June 12, 2009

Today we had breakfast at 6:30 and left for the airport in Munich 10 till 7am. It was a long drive and I was able to finish a large homework assignment tracking all my purchases during the first 3 weeks while in Europe. Therefore, I started of the day on a very positive foot. At the airport we dropped of Ilja, Grandma, my prof Carl Armerding and his wife Betsey, We then continued to our visit to the American Consulate in Germany. We had to go through heavy security and climb several flights of stairs, but the meeting was fabulous. They were so excited to have us and informed us of amazing job and internship opportunities that I am going to look in to working for the U.S. state government in foreign affairs. I cannot wait to check out the website. Many of the other students with me felt the same way. The presenters took pictures of us all together, it was precious. A bit surprising was that the two portraits hanging right when you walk in were President Obama (not unexpected) and Senator Hilary Clinton, really? Really? Okay, these are the people we have representing our country? We’ll see how it goes. Anyways, it was a great visit and I am glad that we drove all the way back to Munich to experience it. Afterwards, we grabbed lunch and starbucks. After an hour we drove to another city that is famous for skiing or something, lol. I hung out with Mary and enjoyed her company. We left for the Shloss at 5 to make it home for dinner.

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 11, 2009

Today was the last day of I&II Samuel. It certainly went fast, but we have a huge take home final. After class was lunch and I then worked on homework. I was invited to join a group watching a Bourne movie, Matt Damon? Yes please :] lol. They had set up the fireplace room all cute and cozy with a projector screen and lots of snacks. People had brought it a lot of snuggly blankets and we had a wonderful afternoon. Afterwards we put on 10 Things I Hate About You, one of my favorites & Heath Ledger? Yes please :] lol. –once again- Lots of laughs and love was passed around. Dinner was after, leftovers… again. I then worked on my homework for a couple hours. I joined Mary, Lisa, Amelia, and Terrell working on a horrible puzzle once again. I was able to make it to bed at a reasonable time, especially since we had to get up early for a trip to Munich.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 10th Wednesday 5th Full day at Schloss

Class 8:45-12:00. Lunch 12:00-12:45. Wrote an essay on 2 Samuel 22, David’s psalm that parallels the books of 1st&2nd Samuel. Around 2:00, I walked down to town with Mary, Lisa, McKenzie, Amber, Jon, and Terrell. It is a steep stroll down the mountain and it was misty/rainy, therefore it was slippery! Lots of falls, brown knees and dirty palms :] lol, but no serious injury so it was fun. On the way to the market we saw Travis and Zach outside chillin. They joined us and after the best ice cream I have ever had we split once again, but I went with the two boys. We went fishing :] and told stories; it was a lot of fun. Both Zach and Travis will grow into very successful people, they are very smart, hardworking, and understand how people work better than most of the other students with us –the straight A students-. I enjoyed great conversation and hearing their perspectives was enlightening. After a couple hours and meeting a few Austrians that didn’t speak much English we headed back up the Alp to our castle. It was steeper than I remember. I got a very good leg workout in! :] I showered when I got back to my room, worked more on my essay, and went to dinner at 6. After dinner we had a short devo and prayer.

Dr Underwood then proceeded to discuss with us what may happen to our luggage for the couple days we are in Italy and we leave some of our stuff here. She explained different options and then left the room open for discussion. It was absolutely absurd. We could leave our stuff in our room and be charged for the rooms, move everything into one room and be charged for only that room, or move everything to a storage room and be charged for that. Those who like to talk and speak their minds went on very unorderly shouting their thoughts. I could not believe what I was watching or hearing. No conclusions were being formed, we were wasting time, and everyone was growing more annoying by the second. After 20 minutes or so I stood up, explained we were getting nowhere, and said we would do whatever is cheaper based upon the figures Dr Underwood received from the hotel. I said this in less than 20 seconds and we were done and I was able to go get tea and finish my essay.

My evening was enjoyable. I was able to talk to my baby sister and brother, which was lovely. I talked to Mr Prior online and that was much needed and fabulous. I talked with Ana, worked on a puzzle –which is ridiculous and won’t even end up looking cool-, listened to Grant tell stories, and enjoyed the company of many different individuals. Travis is hilarious, telling us stories of when he was young and girls would pick on him or his father would blow up on another father in a protective fashion. Girls were working on their life time lines (what we think the rest of our lives will look like) and crying (I already did mine and freaked out in Amsterdam about it) because some didn’t want to be “old moms” or have to wait for a long time to be married or have to wait till their 65 to retire or think about when they’d die. I have no idea why we have to do this for Consumer Behavior, I think it was eye-opening and such, but I don’t know what it really had to do with the class and ended up freaking us out a bit. Anyways, it was a great night and fun day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 9th. I found God a lot today :]

Once again class from 8:45-12:00. Earlier that afternoon groups of students drove over to a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful area in the Alps with waterfalls, a lake, and cows. The last group –the Samuel students- left at 12:15 to meet up with everyone. I think 12 of us piled in a little van; it was bonding time :] lol The area took my breath away. It had the most spectacular natural beauty I have ever seen. I believe Austria may be one of the top most stunning countries in the world. I wandered around the area with Mary and McKenzie, later Ana, Kasaundra, and Amber joined us. We played with cows, danced, sang, and stood in awe of the land about us. After an hour or so we joined the larger group for a picnic and picture taking. Groups of people started driving back, I was in the last group and we were able to fit 14 people in the van. Little unsure of it though, because the van stalled on the way there and it was windy, up&down hills. Upon arriving back to the Mittersill Schloss I began my critical essay on David’s life. Dinner was at 6 and then we had a corporate meeting with a man from Siemens. I thought it was very interesting, I was able to stay focused, and it was relaxed. I felt that he was truly trying to help us and gave us advice. We then had fabulous desserts, apple strudel & raspberry ice cream. I finished my paper, checked emails, and watched The Notebook with Ana, Kasaundra, Travis, and Grant. I fell asleep to it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8th.

Class was from 8:45-12:00. We then had lunch, fish and veggies! After lunch I went straight to writing my essay on Paul’s life in I Samuel in the tea room. Briefly I went up stairs where people were hanging out and there were several people who didn’t have class and were bored and that was a bit irritating because of what they were saying. I was able to finish in time for dinner, which was a mess of leftovers. After dinner we had a little bit of down time where I laid down to escape from most everyone else. At 7:30 we all met up again for presentations, devos, and smores. I enjoyed meeting as a group (Kristin, Ana, Zach, Terrell, myself) with Dr. Underwood. Are team is a bit all-starish, therefore we are easy going and have a great time together…. And laugh at other teams struggles, like having 2 hour long meetings to work out what’s going on. I laughed a lot today, but I also felt disheartened a lot as well. I need a break, but I am in Austria, which is amazing & beautiful & I love. I am so thankful for the room I am in though: Kasaundra & Ana are fabulous, very different than the rest of the group and it is nice to just sit and talk with them. After meeting with Underwood I relaxed in the fireplace room with a great group of people. I really enjoy the company of Kristen, Tyler Martin, Terrell, Mary, and Zach. I was able to go to sleep a little earlier than normal, which was fabulous.

June 7. Saltzburg

We began our travels to Saltzburg at 7am; I have no idea why we left that early. We toured a salts mine, which was pretty cool. It included a little trainish type ride, slides, boat rides, and movies all under ground. It was a lot of fun. We were given special clothes to wear and we all looked funny.

Following the tour we visited an area where part of the Sound of Music was filmed. It was beautiful, but it was not as cool as the hype that had been built up surrounding it. We were only there for a half hour, I view this adventure as a bit of a waste of time. Mary & I did climb a steep mountain very quickly (as in running) so that we weren’t late to the bus. It was a beautiful view from the top and an excellent work out.

Afterwards we wandered the city of Saltzburg, which was absolutely fabulous. Jon recommended a restaurant, therefore Mary, Terrell, Jon, Tyler Martin, David, Zach, and myself headed off. Well, it ended up being a very long walk to find the restaurant closed. We ended up hiking another humungous mountain and finding a 5 star hotel, which was spectacular. We then split up and Mary, Terrell, Jon, and I found a cute café. I had the best burger of my life and the owner was very friendly. We then continued walking about, window-shopping, buying ice cream, and looking out over the river that runs through the center of the city. It was a fabulous afternoon and I loved it. I bought some painting and a couple other things.

We left to make sure we made it back to the Schloss in time for dinner. We ended up being early so I took a shower and continued reading a book for an assignment I had due. The book was about hearing God’s voice –which I am very interested in; therefore, it was an easy read. I accidentally missed dinner time, but showed up an hour late to find there was still food sitting out, so that was a pleasant surprise. After dinner I got to work writing my paper on Listening to God and relating this to God speaking to Samuel in I Samuel 3. Bedtime at 12:30, late!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6. First full day at the Schloss.

Today was the first full day at the Mittersill Schloss. I had I & II Samuel class in the morning with Carl Armerding. I would title him a sage; he is full of wisdom. He has worked on translations of the Bible, his name appears in Mary’s Bible. He has worked all over the world teaching, writing books, and building relationships with many prestigious scholars. After class was delicious lunch. It was a rainy day and many of us relaxed upstairs on our laptops. After dinner we watched the Sound of Music, which we all sang along to –even the boys-. It was a fabulous relaxing evening. I cannot begin to say how beautiful Austria is. I love it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Castles and the Alps

We left Munich early this morning and drove by bus to Sleeping Beauty's Castle, which was amazing to see. The city and the land around in breath taking. We had a lot of fun exploring an area around the castle that overlooked it. When it came to the castle tour itself the tour guide flipped out on us and kicked us out almost immediately. We were unaware of any way we may have offended her. I do understand that our group is loud and many are not aware of the way they present themselves, especially in Europe. I was embarrassed but we were able to talk her into a second chance. The tour had beautiful paintings everywhere of stories such as Tristan & Isolde. Afterwards we were able to wander down the side of the castle. I walked and chatted with Ilja, an APU student that met up with us who lives in Germany when he is not at school.

After the castle we continued on our long drive. We stopped at McDonalds -the nicest one I have ever seen- and arrived at the Schloss in Mittersill around 6:00. It's a beautiful beautiful castle with lots of rich history. It's 1,000+ years old. I am staying in a room with Kasaundra and Ana. It's very comfortable here and we do not feel the least bit judged like we have everywhere else we have been. We will be here for the next 2 weeks and I am very excited about that. After putting our suitcases in our room we had dinner all together which was delicious! Fabulous, I love this place. We hung out in the auditorium in the evening and had bonding time. There are other people staying here, some family groups, some writing books, and it's great to have friendly people around, many from the states.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4. JDPower

This morning we had to wake up for breakfast at 8 which frustrated several because we did not have anything until 2:45. After breakfast we had group presentations and such. We then had free time until we had to leave for JD Power. They have a small office here in Munich, therefore we took a tour of the University of Munich and then met in one of their classrooms. The presenters were very monotone but they were beautiful men so we were able to keep our eyes open :] lol

Afterwards, we went to dinner that evening. Real German food which is not my favorite to say the least and then I got into a state of homesickness, therefore Mary and I went shopping and got ice cream. lol.

That was pretty much our day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Allianz, Siemens, and a Beer garden & hall minus the beer please.

June 3, 2009 Wednesday
2nd day in Munich
7:15 breakfast and left to get Iliah from the airport. He is a freshman at APU who is from Europe, speaks German, plays tennis, and wants to be our tour guide :]. Cute. We had a 9:30am appointment at the Allianz Arena, European football, American soccer. The walk through and explanation was a lot of fun and I greatly enjoyed our tour. We were able to see every level, the infrastructure was amazing. We saw the VIP areas, locker room, the players entrance to the stadium and to the field. The group took a lot of photos and ate lunch there: yummy hot dogs and cola. The stadium holds 70,000 people. The base pay per player is 1.5 million and they get an Audi upon signing. After lunch we headed to a corporate visit at Siemens.

We had to wear our suits and it was the first time we felt correctly dressed. At Coty and other places we felt very overdressed in our suits, but it fit perfectly at Siemens. The visit lasted 2.5 hours. We learned about the history, the current issues, the future actions, financial situation, and given advice about entering the work place. Once again multi-lingual was the first suggestion, or rather must. I sat next to Mary and Grant. Most people were having a hard time keeping there eyes open, embarrassing, I kept taping people. At 4:00 we returned to the hostel to change for dinner which was at a beer garden. Minus the beer for our group but the dinner was delish! Half a chicken, some of the best chicken I’ve ever had :] David was my dinner date, cute, lol.

The group then headed to explore the city and I had a great night out with everyone, particularly Mary & Kasaundra. Ice cream for a dollar! Yes please.

Mary & I are now back at the hostel chillaxin.

Munich day 1 Hello Fabulous

June 2, 2009, Tuesday
1st day in Munich

I knew and told myself that today would be a great day. The train stopped in Munich at 7:30 am. Starbucks was the first shop we saw in the station. We had mapped Amsterdam to find not a single one. There had been one in Paris and now there was one to welcome us to Germany. Our new bus driver Harry picked us up from the airport. His English is okay, but his character overshadows it all. He has been kind and great so far. Friendlier than our last driver, that is for sure. We have all associated busses with sleep at this point. We drove to a corporate visit with Audi, which was sick. The layout and design of the whole property was spectacular to the eye. We toured the process of production. We saw the creation of a car from beginning to end; it is amazing. There were lots of robots as well as a lot of people and it was incredibly high tech –at least to me-. We toured the museum and ate lunch at their fabulous restaurant. I now was an Audi.

Afterwards we headed to Dachau, a WWII concentration camp, one of the first. I was expecting it to be super emotional, heart breaking, devastating. It wasn’t at all what I prepared myself for. We were allowed to wander by ourselves, which I did. Signs were sad to read and pictures took your breath away, however I found the Holocaust Museum in New York to be more devastating. I did almost get sick to my stomach when I saw the cremation buildings. It was so disturbing. I was struck by how beautiful the land around the area was, beautiful property and there were churches built after liberation out skirting the property, which I was very surprised about. There were pictures from the time if liberation –by the U.S. which makes me incredibly proud to be an American- that were wonderful to see. Something I found shocking was that they had special cells for ‘religious prisoners’ where they were allowed to pray and par take in certain customs. How the Nazis would allow God while practicing such brutality and torture makes next to no sense to me.

Following that we went to dinner. The majority had sausage sorta things which they did not enjoy but were recommended by our driver. I had pasta, which was bomb –lots of people on this trip say this, it cracks me up-. Terrell and the instructors were the only others to order something besides the sausages, except for a group who skipped out for McDonalds. Our bread was pretzelish and was yummy for sure.

We then drove to the hostel, which we will be staying for the duration of our time in Munich. I am rooming with the same group as I did on the train. To me the hostel is sketch and I haven’t been one to share such thoughts on the trip so far. A group: Jon, Terrell, Grant, Tyler, Mary, Lisa, McKenzie, and myself took the metro took the city center and explored. Germany has been a lot of fun, however the people I have come across aren’t smiley friendly, but it’s okay. We got back to the hostel around 11:30 and I showered & slept.

Peace out Amsterdam

June 1, 2009, Monday
Last day in Amsterdam & night train to Munich

7:30. I woke up early to be fully awake for our Org & Admin test at 9:00am. I washed my laundry and ate breakfast. It was a pleasant morning for the most part. The exam was estimated to take an hour, but it took a large majority and myself 3 hours, fabulous :] The questions were not impossible, they just took 30 minutes + to answer. Following the exam I packed a little bit, hung out, painted my nails, watched the hills, it was an easygoing day. We did make an outing to an ATM and a group of girls –Kristen, Alyssa, McKenzie and myself- had a delicious lunch. The ice tea here is sparkling and it’s fabulous, I hope I can find it back in the states. We left for the train station around 4:30. Mile & a half walk with our luggage, but the sites were pretty. A couple of the girls had difficulty because their bags are broken; mines still staying together thank goodness! Our train wasn’t scheduled to leave until after 8. I understand arriving an hour early for a train, but not 3 hours. The times on this trip have been kinda ridiculous, but at least we’re never late. The train station was pretty dirty but it was a really great experience and I am more confident using trains in the future. Mary, Terrell, and I decided to wander around the city a bit, grab dinner, and just enjoy the last couple hours in Amsterdam outside. Time filled with laughter and godliness when I am with those two.

The train was super squished. I was expecting small, but not this small. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed being a sardine for a bit. At least everyone in the compartment was someone I knew. After lots of conversation I was exhausted and dropping hints that I wanted sleep, but I don’t think many others cared. I thought about just announcing that I was going to change into PJs in hopes that the boys would leave, but I withheld that comment. I acted annoyed, didn’t really do much considering people find it entertaining to see me irritated or frustrated. I went to get water and after a half hour excursion I came back to find them gone :] Prayer time with the girls and crazy moments before sleep. Like adjusting my blankets when Amelia dropped her passport resulting in it flying against the opposite wall and me trying to retrieve it without glasses, screaming, and boys coming to the rescue because of my yell. It was precious of them and very funny. Each car at 6 bunks: Mary, then Amelia, then me & Alyssa, then Chris, then Emily. I slept like a rock and woke up very happy. The sites from the train were beautiful and Germany is the greenest place I have ever been/seen.