Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hello Wisconsin!!

All packed up
The day finally came that I had to leave Arnhem and travel back to Wisconsin.  I had only gotten about four hours of sleep the night before I left and had to get up really early at 5:30.  I said good bye to Mike and then met Emily and Tad in the lobby.  We walked with all of our luggage to the Presikhaaf train station. Unfortunately, there is no elevator there so I had to make two trips up the stairs. We had to switch trains that the Arnhem Central station which its such a hassle getting on and off the trains with two heavy suitcases! We finally made it to the airport. Tad came with us to check our bags and then we went and checked his. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to each other before security because we had to go to different securities for each gate.  And then it was just me and Emily left.  The flight left on time around 11:15 and was a really smooth flight. They had okay movies and I watched Beastly and Wall-E and then was bored.  We arrived in Chicago around 12:45pm and had no problems going through customs and getting our bags.  My mom and dad were waiting for me and were so exited to see me. We drove home and for my first meal back I wanted Gemplers pizza with ranch and chocolate milk! It was really good even though it was my second supper of the day because they served us lunch and supper on the plane.  It was a little harder adapting to the time change coming home. The first night back I went to bed at 6:30pm and woke up at 4:30am. The next day I went with my mom to pick up Tanya from Badger Girls State camp.  That night we had a family cook out for fathers day, Nicole's and Ryan's birthday and my homecoming.  It was really nice to see all of my family again.  It took me a few days to completely get over the jet lag. I still have not gotten my car out of storage because my parents seem to have misplaced the keys.  I also still have not unpacked because one I don't really know where to put everything and two once I unpack it will really seem like I am home for the summer and not returning to Arnhem.  But Nicole is getting mad at how messy our room is so I guess I have to start unpacking soon!
Goodbye Holland!

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's not good bye its see you later!

All good things must come to an end.  I can't believe that my time abroad is over.  My final days were just spent relaxing, hanging out with friends and cleaning.  My check out appointment was Wednesday at 2:00.  I didn't start packing or cleaning till Tuesday and even then I didn't do that much. I took things off of the wall and started putting thing in my suitcases.  Since I didn't' get much done on Tuesday, I had a lot to do on Wednesday. I got my room clean, though everything wasn't completely packed up so I just threw everything into the hallway just to get it out of my room. After getting my room done, Emily and I still had to clean the kitchen and toliet.  Luckily I got that all done and also had time for a few people to stop by to say good bye to. There was a guy and girl that come to inspect my room.  I was a little nervous because I spilled wax twice on my carpet so I rearranged my room so that the bed was covering the wax. Luckily they did not see it so I got my full deposit back.  I had to through all the stuff that I had in the hallway in Mike's room who I was sleeping on his couch for the night.  It was really nice that Max is staying for next semester as well so lots of people gave him the things that they didn't want anymore so I gave him a lot of things too.  After me, Emily and Tad were all checked out we went to the Vivare headquarters to get our deposits back.
My room all cleaned and packed up
For my last night I went out to eat at a pizza place in the city center with Emily, Sixtina, Caro, Hanna, and Tanya.  Then we met Elenor, Nolin and Brittany and the theater for ladies night.  We saw Bridesmaids which was supper funny!! They always to raffles prizes before the movie and I actually won, though it was a 25 euro gift certificate for makeup but since I was leaving I gave it to Brittany.   When I got back I had to finalize my packing and made sure my bags were okay weight wise.  There was a small party going on on the 5th floor since me, Emily, Tad, Raquel, Maitane, Coline and Guillaume were all leaving the next day.  It was so sad saying good bye to everyone and of course I was crying!! But hopefully, most of them are not good byes for ever, they are just see you laters.
Elenore, Emily, Noilin, Brittany, Tanya, Hanna, Caro, me and Six

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heaven and Hell

"We were strangers, starting out on a journey. Never dreaming, what we would go through. Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey. We were strangers on a crazy adventure, never dreaming how our dreams would come true." At the beginning, Anastasia

The International Student Association organized an end of the year boat gala for all of the students of ABS. They had said they sold 450 tickets and they were sold out; there were many people who still wanted tickets that did not get them. The theme of the gala was heaven and hell but they had the boat decorated the opposite with heaven on the bottom and hell on top. We had to be at the boat early to pick u Bettina's ticket and the boat departed around 8:30.  The weather was not the nicest as it was kind of rainy and a little cold. When we bored be got our free welcome drink of champagne.  We also had one free coupon for a free cocktail. Bettina and I went to get our drink and they never took our ticket and so after we were done with that we went up again and still they didn't take our ticket. Finally on the third time they asked for it; so we ended up getting a free long island ice tea and two sex on the beaches! There was a DJ so we just danced and talked to everyone. It was a really fun night though sad at the same time because it was the last big thing all together, so there were a few people crying.

Iker, Brent, Bettina, Tanya, Hanna and Pablo
Elenor, Nolin, me and Bettina

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

Lisa, Bettina and I
Two of my really good friends that I have made here, Lisa and Bettina, are from Austria.  They only had one exam so they left early on June 6th.  Since they were already home I was able to go and visit them! I left on Monday afternoon, and took a bus for 13 hours across southern Germany to Linz, Austria.  I arrive about five in the morning and Bettina was there to pick me up.  I wasn't able to get much sleep on the bus because it was really uncomfortable, so we went back to her place and slept for three hours.  Then we got up and ready and took the tram into the the city of Linz. (Bettina lives in a suburb just outside the city while Lisa lives in the city).  We meet Lisa and they showed me around the city.  We were able to take a tram up one of the mountains and got a good view of the city. Then we went and ate at a small restaurant called Walkers which has really good burgers.  We meet up with Bettina's mom and grandma and went to the OK Hohen Rausch.2 which was kind of like a museum thing for water.  They had these cool picture boards which you pulled out and they were of a body of water and then it made the sound of the water. They also had this area where a lot of mist came out and then it was hard to see anything more than two feet away from you. It also had this long walk way above the building which you could walk around and see the city.  After we went and had coffee, went back to Bettina's house and ordered pizza and watched Gossip Girl. 
Linz, Austria
The next day we got up early and drove to Salzburg which was about an hour and fifteen away. The drive there was beautiful; there are mountains everywhere.  Salzburg was a really nice city and did remind me of the Sound of Music.  Apparently there is even a tour that will take to places from the movie.  We got a small lunch from the market, I had some sort of bratwurst with cheese in it that is typical from there and it was pretty good.There was a castle on top of this really big hill that we hiked to the top to get a good view of the city.   We got to the top and then found out you had to pay to go further so we didn't.  We were able to hike around some more of the hills/mountains. We had a really really nice sunny and hot day; it was about 90 degrees.  After all the hiking we had a dessert break and I had chocolate milk with ice cream.  On our way home we stopped and saw this small lake in Mondsee that was surrounded by mountains.  It was so nice to sit with our feet in the water and just enjoy the scenery.  We were all really tired from all the walking around we did that day.  We just went back to Bettina's house; here mom made a greek salad with rolls and it was very good.  Later one of Bettina's friends came over and we just sat outside talking.
my Austrian dish-Käsespätzle
We had originally planned on going to Vienna (Wein in German) on Thursday but we decided not to because to do Vienna properly you really need more time. So instead, we went to Hallstatt which is a small but very scenic town and Bettina's sister goes to school there. We walked all around the town and then had lunch at this cafe right on the water.  I tried a typical Austrian dish, Käsespätzle, that was kind of like macaroni and cheese. But they weren't really noodles,  I don't know how to describe them. It was interesting; it wasn't bad but it wasn't amazing either. Next we went up the mountain.  We had seen pictures of this cave that looked so amazing and we wanted to go see it.  We bought tickets and you had to ride in this little car that took you up the mountain.  It was only 8 degrees Celsius in the cave so they made us wear these heavier jackets and pants. The tour was fun and there was even these slides we went on to get down to the lower parts of the cave. The caves were salt caves which are very important to the area.  Then they told us the tour was over and we were confused because we thought we were going to see these big blocks of salt.  It turns out we were at the wrong tour than we wanted; what we saw pictures of was the ice cave. It was kind of disappointing because the ice cave looked really cool but the salt mine was still fun.  Then we went to the restaurant on the top of the mountain and had dessert and enjoyed the view. I had this really good chocolate cake with I think an apricot jam filling. We finally went back down the mountain, did some souvenir shopping and went back home.  Bettina's dad had made supper on the grill of potatoes, garlic bread and weinersnitchel which was really good. Then we just tried to pack up and get things ready for the next day and watched some Friends.
Hallstatt Lake

View of Hallstatt from the top
      Friday morning we got up bright and early at 5:00am and were on the road about six headed back to Arnhem.  We made a few stops along the way to McDonalds and a gas station. It was hard to stay awake because I was still kind of tried from the long week and getting up early but I had to stay awake for Bettina. Unfortunately I couldn't help her drive because most people here have stick shift cars which I don't know how to drive. After about nine hours of driving we made it back to Arnhem!!
      I think out of all the places that I have visited while I was here, Austria was the prettiest place (Ireland is a close second).  It was just amazing seeing all the mountains everywhere and the lakes.  It was so hard to capture the beauty in my pictures.  I took so many pictures it was really hard to decide which ones to put on here! I hope to go back to Austria to visit them again and to see Vienna.
Hallstatt houses in the mountain
Ready for the salt caves!

A Weekend in Arnhem

      Its weird that I have been here for five months and I hadn't done that many things here around Arnhem.  Arnhem isn't the biggest city ever but does have a few things to do. One weekend Emily and I went to the Open Air Museum and the Zoo.
     The Open Air Museum is kind of like Old World Wisconsin.  It is a park set up like a village from the past.  You can go in all the different buildings and see old tools, furniture, farming equipment, etc.  It was also cool that there were about five windmills there which I always love seeing. We didn't have the best weather this day as it was a little cold and rainy. Because the park is so big, they have a free tram that you can hop on and off that goes around the park. We didn't realize before going how big the park was and how much time you needed there, so we weren't able to really go into a lot of the buildings and look around. After walking around the park, we took a coffee break while we waited for the next showing of the Holland Rama.  The Holland Rama is kind of hard to explain.  Its kind of like a 4-D movie but not really.  You sit on theses benches but they move around showing you a variety of different set ups as a speaker (it was only in Dutch) described the scene. (http://www.openluchtmuseum.nl/en/)
The next day we went to the Burger's Zoo. (http://www.burgerszoo.nl/). We had much better weather this day, it was sunny and warm.  It was a pretty big zoo and it was nice just to be outside, walking around enjoying the the weather and seeing the animals.  Its hard to say what my favorite animal was; I think it would be either the penguins because I love watching them play around in the water or the elephants because they are just so big but yet very peaceful. It was a nice weekend in Arnhem, though we did think it was funny that we did everything in one weekend at the very end of our time here but I am glad that I was able to see them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Study Abroad Play List

"Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."  ~Charlie Parker

Can you imagine the world without music?  I don't think we really realize the effect that music has.  Music has the power to create an emotion within us; it can help pump you up and help you focus for the big game, it can help relieve stress, help relax us, and it sometimes gives us the words that we are looking for to help explain how we are feeling.  A song can create an impression upon us and can help bring back memories of a certain time.  So in order to help better remember the moments of my experience studying abroad, I have created a play list from my time here.  Most of the songs are ones that were very popular and played a lot here and have some meaning to me.  I tried to order the play list to try and create a story of my time here. 

1. I just came to say Hello (Martin Solveig)
2. What's My name (Rihanna)
3. Who's that chick (David Guetta featuring Rihanna)
4. Waka Waka (Shikira)

5. Berlin City Girl (Culcha Candela)
6. Lei-Lei, Lei-lei
7. Vamos a la Playa (Loona)
8. Latino Lover (Loona)
9. Loca (Shikira)
10. I want to Ride my Bicycle (Queen)
11. Black and Yellow (Wiz Khalifa)
12. S&M (Rihanna)
13. Barbra Streisand (Duck Sauce)

14. I know you want me (Pitbull)
15. Tonight (Enrique Iglesias)
16. Alcohol, Alcohol, Alcohol (Los Inhumanos)
17. On the Floor (Jeniffer Lopez featuring Pitbull)
18. Higher (Taio Cruz featuring Travie McCoy)
19. Heyo Captain Jack (Captain Jack)
20. We are your Friends (Justice vs Simon)
21. Wav'n the Flag (K'naan)
22. One Day (Matisyahu)
23. Live your Life (T.I featuring Rhianna)

24. Angles (Robbie Williams)
25. Memories (David Guetta)

26. Summer of 69 (Bryan Adams)
27. Party Rock Anthem (LMAFO)
28. Who Says you can't go Home (Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles)
29. Home (Blake Shelton)

Caro and I

Me, Silvia and Maitane

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Emily, Stephanie and I went on a day trip to Koln, Germany.  Our train was suppose to leave around 9:00am but was delayed a half hour.  We arrive in Koln around 11 and we went to the very large Cathedral there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral).  We walked around the inside before heading up the tower.  We climbed over 500 stairs up this spiral staircase to the top of one of the towers in the Cathedral.  There was a really nice view of the city and the Rhine River from the top and you could see some of the large bells in the Cathedral. Going down was a lot easier though we actually got pretty dizzy and had to stop a few times to try and stop things from spinning! After that we just walked around for a while.  They have many many shops so of course we did a little shopping.  I only got a new belly ring from Six which is an accessory store like Clair's only a little nicer.  I also got a headband from H&M. We took a coffee break at Dunk N Donuts; I have actually never been here in the States.  I just got a French vanilla iced coffee and a doughnut with lemon frosting.  Then we head to the river and walked along it.  We went up on the big bridge that crosses it that has train tracks and a sidewalk.  There is a wire fence on the bridge that over many many years, people have come and put locks on it.  Most of the locks have engravings on them with the couple's wedding date. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_padlocks) Couples come and put their locks on the fence and then throw their keys into the river. After that we went back to the train station where Stephanie had a little more shopping to do.  Our train was suppose to leave around 17:45 but when we looked at the board we saw that it was canceled! We went to the information counter and they told us that the next one left at 19:17 so we had an hour and a half to kill.  We just walked around the train station and got some food at Pizza Hut! I thought the pizza was Hawain, I didn't really look at the sign I just looked at the pizza. When I tried it, it was defiantly not Hawaiin! What I thought was pineapple was actually white asparagus and had some kind of weird sauce.  I was hungry so I ate it but it was interesting. We were so happy when our train finally came and we finally made it back to Arnhem around 9:30.  We later found out why our train was canceled; there was a labor strike in Amsterdam which was the destination of our train. All semester long it seems that there have been train strikes in Germany which makes the train some what unreliable to use and now there are some in Holland. So another place that I can check off of my list!
Love Padlock Fence