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Archive for vacation

Greece 2014

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Feeling: Photobucket

I don’t have any excuse. I am a lazy bum.

When did I return from my trip? November 11. What day is it today? Yeah.

Oh oh oh, sort of a small excuse, but I went to New York 2 days after until the 17th? 8D…

*ducks as objects are thrown at me*

I AM ALIVE. But still lazy.

In all honestly, I just don’t know what to type. My trip to Greece was something else. I was in Santorini for 3 days and in Athens for 4.

ARGGGGGGGG SANTORINI.

ARGGGGGGGG BLUENESS.

ARGGGGGGGG NO PHOTOSHOP REQUIRED FOR PHOTOS.

ARGGGGGGGG see this is why I had no motivation to blog, because words have become too foreign to me, too facile, to describe my trip. I guess I could just post 2873823 pictures, and since a picture is worth a thousand words I’d be done 8D! Speaking of pictures, after deleting blurries and doubles, I only took around 1600 pictures. SHAME ON ME. FOR SHAME. The majority of them are blue and white. Santorini is a great place for selfies because pretty much every building acts as a reflector.

Anyway, if a chance ever arises for you to go on vacation, I highly, highly, so highly (but without the drugs), recommend you to visit Santorini. I went when the weather was cool (chilly if there’s wind, and there was wind 90% of the time), and I didn’t get to swim, but I can imagine it would be absolute perfection if the weather was warmer. It did get quite warm during the early afternoon, but I’m not sure if that was from the sun, or if it was from me walking 28736823 flights of stairs and wearing a very Canadian winter jacket.

CAN I PLEASE MENTION (wow, I have ADHD) THAT I STAYED IN THE MOST EPIC HOTEL/RESORT IN SANTORINI?! Okay, that’s it, since I’ve typed so much already I might as well keep typing. Ummmm so my mom originally booked a hotel called…something about volcanoes…but but but when we arrived it was apparently “closed for the season” (why did they allow us to book it online?) and we got a FREE UPGRADE TO A BEAUTIFUL 5 STAR HOTEL/RESORT ARGGGGGGGG! Look it up if you want, it’s called Petit Palace, and TELL ME IT’S NOT AMAZING. I DARE YOU. I was so tired and cranky from flying (as I mentioned in my previous entry, Toronto to Milan, Milan to Athens, and finally Athens to Santorini, not to mention wait times at the airport totalling around 5 hours), and it was dark when we saw our “hotel”, which was a door, and I was so confused like WHERE IS OUR HOTEL and then I stepped through the door and then OH HELL YEAH BABY WELCOME TO PARADISE I think I’ve found it.

Our “room” had 2 floors, WHICH IS LIKE INSANE because IT JUST IS, and we had our own balcony and private pool that was SO SQUEAKY CLEAN IT LOOKED LIKE THERE WAS NEVER ANY WATER INSIDE BECAUSE IT WAS THAT CLEAN OKAY. Unfortunately, like I mentioned before, it was too cool to swim, BUT IT’S STILL COOL TO HAVE A PRIVATE POOL. I’m rhyming AND making puns oh snaaaaaap.

And and and I would also like to mention the taxi drivers (well…the taxi drivers we interacted with) are soooooo nice and friendly. Basically we kept the card of the taxi company that picked us up from the airport and just kept calling them to drive us places every day haha. By the end of the short trip in Santorini, we were all like best friends and I pretty much knew their life stories and stuff. Intense.

So so so OMG THIS ENTRY IS GETTING TOO LONG. I ate so much Italian food in Greece whaaaat.

Time to summarize. Olive oil. And tomatoes. Um. Cats. There are a lot of wild cats and kittens in Santorini.

The first day in Santorini! My parents and I conquered the town of Fira! We first walked there (took us about 35 minutes, and then when we found out the taxi ride would only be 7 Euros for the three of us back to the hotel we never walked there again) and my is it a gorgeous little town! I went trigger happy obviously, and left no path unexplored! Fira is very white and pastel-ish. IT WAS ALSO AT FIRA THAT I DISCOVERED MY FEAR OF RIDING SKINNY SMALL DONKEYS WITH WEAK KNEES DOWN STEEP STAIRS WITH LOOSE ROCKS AND 2 FEET OF WALL TO PROTECT ME SHOULD MY DONKEY SLIP AND I PLUMMET DOWN THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN. I justified fear I think. I was coerced. Never again. I should have just given the man money to take pictures instead. My parents were also terrified.

The second day in Santorini! My parents and I called our friendly taxi driver to drive us to the further town of Oia! It was about a 20 minute drive (I would like to mention here that the roads in Santorini are really narrow, and there were several times where I got nervous and wondered if licensing exams even existed), and wow, Oia is something else. It was like a beautiful maze of adorable stairs and residences that refused to line up properly, and did not follow conventional building guidelines. I poked my head into so many buildings, restaurants, hotels, you name it. If there was a path, I WENT ON IT. And I’m glad I did, because with my curiosity came beautiful, post-card-worthy views. I’m so glad I have 2 batteries for my camera. Quaint little blue domes everywhere. Oh, I learned this from my taxi driver. The little blue domes in Santorini are actually private churches. They are passed down to the eldest son. The son doesn’t get the house. If a family had a son and a daughter, the son would get the small little blue-dome church, and the daughter would get the house. Most interesting.

The third day in Santorini! We called our taxi driver again and he gave us a deal! 50 Euros for him to drive us all around the Eastern parts of Santorini. Best deal ever! Went to Kamari beach (the “sand” is actually small black pebbles!), Akrotiri, he even drove us up a really high mountain so we could see Pyrgos (SCARIEST DRIVE EVER HOLYYYYY THERE ARE SO FENCES TO SAVE YOU AS YOU DRIVE ALONG THE ONE-WAY NARROW AND WINDING ROADS). Unfortunately when we arrived at the top of the mountain, a rain cloud decided it would pay us a visit, and blocked our view grrrrrr!

Oh mannnnn this entry is getting long! I’m missing so many things but maybe I’ll stick some photos in later to make up for it. Maybe.

Let’s fast forward yet again.

BYE BYE SANTORINI YOU WILL BE MISSED. Thank you for giving me 10 years worth of exercise.

I’m on the plane!

Boom, Athens.

Unfortunately, my first day in Athens wasn’t so great. After a very long taxi ride through traffic, we arrived at our hotel (which was considerably smaller than our SUPREMELY DIVINE COME HITHER AND BELIEVE IT hotel in Santorini) and I was plagued with lady pains. I slept the afternoon away. My parents explored the area and nearby streets while I cursed myself for being a girl.

The next day, I was in much better spirits! BUT THE WEATHER DECIDED IT WOULD BE FUNNY TO SPIT SOME RAIN so yeah. Went to the Acropolis, saw several ancient buildings, tried not to slip and die, breathed in way too much second-hand smoke, marvelled at the size of marble columns, stalked cats, hopped on and off various hop-on-hop-off buses, it was nice.

After a somewhat uncomfortable night of sleep (I always hate sleeping with my parents because their combined snoring would put Beethoven’s symphonies to shame), I was woken up by my dad telling me there were many street vendors outside selling old and antique things. EXCITEMENT ENSUED. While impatiently nomming breakfast at our hotel, I spotted a nice vintage camera from the corner of my eye. My dad and I went outside to check it out, and after some bargaining, I SCORED MYSELF A NICE KODAK CAMERA (made in Germany!) AND AN AWESOME TRIPOD AHHHHH! THANKS, DAD ;___; Thank goodness my dad used to be a photographer because I saw 2736823 other vintage cameras that I thought looked cool but after consulting my dad, I found out that they were overpriced. Had some trouble fitting the camera onto the tripod, but after some fiddling my dad managed it. We did more street shopping once my mom finished up her breakfast :) Once that was over, my parents and I decided to give the bustling city a break. We went further south via the hop-on-hop-off bus tour thing and stopped by the small harbour town of Mikrolimano. Ate at a nice restaurant with really yummy food, took some pictures by the harbour like we owned 28376823 yachts, and called it a day.

Our third day in Athens was a shopping day! I was a little disappointed with Golden Hall mall, but I did end the day with a few purchases. AND WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT, THE NEXT DAY WAS OUR LAST DAY IN ATHENS. And we went back on the plane to London, and then went from London back to the good old country of maple syrup.

I can’t believe this entry is done. If I’m not lazy I’ll put up tiny pictures.

Quickie Updatey

Currently listening to: —

Feeling: Photobucket

Ahhhh! I’m catching a cold! D: *blows runny nose into tissue*

This is going to be a short entry! I just got back Tuesday night from my trip to Greece! It was a lovely trip :) I stayed in Santorini for 3 nights and Athens for 4 nights. Omg Santorini <3 More on that next time! But yes, flying was tough. Basically I went from Toronto to Milan, Milan to Athens, Athens to Santorini, then Santorini to Athens, then Athens to London, and London back to Toronto!

And the flying doesn’t stop there! I’m heading to New York in a few hours (should probably pack. Probably 8D) for PERFUME’S CONCERT AHHHHHHHHHHH! I’m super hyped about it! My friends and I will be in their 1mm PV dresses and we’ll be spontaneously dancing while we’re waiting in line! Here’s a little preview: http://rinotou.deviantart.com/art/Perfume-1mm-484961439 ^.^ This time we’ll have the complete outfits! With earrings as well! :D If you spot us, come say hi! :D :D :D! Hopefully it won’t be too cold @.@!

So yes, within these 2 weeks of my vacation I’ll have gone on a plane 8 times >.> Yeesh. Flying is super tiring >< I’ll blog about both adventures separately when I get back 8D!

Hong Kong + Taiwan Vacation

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Feeling: Photobucket

WHAT. I am gone for 2 weeks and WordPress changes on me again!? No, you are not Facebook. Stop.

ANYWAYYYYYYYY I came back last night at around 7pm from my much needed vacation. I say vacation, but the main reason for the trip was to see my grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s now. I still managed to have a great time, even though I was sick for the majority of it, thanks to my mom >.> Don’t think I’ve ever tried so many different medications over such a short period of time haha XD! I’m still coughing and I have a migraine.

I don’t want this to be a long entry, so I shall just use point form notes.

H O N G    K O N G

– Was at the airport on the 6th! Waited an hour in line just to get through security check because Canada’s not efficient when it comes to these things. Dreadful 15 hour flight. Watched Frozen in Korean.
– I’m always amazed with HK’s airport. It’s huge and clean and there are so many shops, and customer service is spectacular. Oh, and wait times are super short. Yay for finger scanning processes!
– Right after arriving in HK, my uncle demands to see us even though we’re super tired haha XD! Had yum cha/dim sum with my grandparents as well. Grandfather didn’t remember my dad, but my grandmother did after much long thought. On the bright side, they are both super healthy with great appetites, and they walk faster than me haha 8D
– HK’s weather wasn’t as hot thank goodness, but the humidity kills me every day. Though the last few days were pretty bad…28 degrees and 90+ humidity index omg.
– I stayed with my grandmother again this year like last time. Very small apartment but it’s cozy. I slept in her extra room on the same floor while my parents stayed a unit above. We live on Cheung Chau island, and pretty much everyone knows everyone.
– Managed to find one Liz Lisa store (where I went broke. I only bought 2 things >.>) and one Ladurée (where I wanted to dine but the waiting time was way too long)
– No tax or tip needed for foods/shopping! Super awesome! 8D!
– Everyone knows about the Octopus card, but ughhhhh it’s like one of the best things about HK, seriously. That, and the super efficient transportation system.

T A I W A N

– SOOOO I’ve never been to Taiwan before, and the weather is totally bipolar as well :D Pretty hot/humid during the day and chilly at night time. Went with my mom, her younger brother, and his wife. My dad stayed in Cheung Chau to visit his parents more in the nursing home.
– The flight was supposed to be about an hour and 20 minutes, but we got there in an hour. Cathay Pacific has huge planes with magical engines I guess.
– Stayed at the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel in Taipei! It’s an older hotel, so the rooms were huge! I shared a balcony room with my mom, and we each had a queen size bed, and a little den area. And omg the bathroom. Big bathroom.
– Oh, so I was an idiot and left my underwear in a bag back on my bed in Cheung Chau…so I had to go to UNIQLO and buy underwear from the kid section because only those were cotton.
– MADDDDDDDDD SHOPPING. I came with an empty luggage and left with 2 luggages (borrowed one from my uncle) and my mom’s 2 large LeSportsac bags >.> Everything’s super cheap, AND you can bargain. I bought so many pretty shirts/skirts for like under $5 ._.
– My uncle has mad patience haha. Not sure how he was able to handle 3 women just shopping and shopping.
– Unfortunately I was ill the 4 days I was here. I caught my mom’s cold :( Took so many different cough/headache/pain medications >.>

B A C K   T O   H O N G   K O N G

– After splurging in Taiwan, I really needed to STOP BUYING STUFF but did I listen? Psh nope.
– Had many, many family dinners. Met so many people I didn’t know I was related to. Apparently I’m the youngest in my generation from my dad’s side and the oldest in my generation on my mom’s. Interesting.
– Had to buy an extra luggage because I had WAY TOO MUCH STUFF.
– I really need to thank my aunt and uncle on my mom’s side for their mad hospitality. They drove us EVERYWHERE whenever we came out to Hong Kong, and treated us to way too many meals >.<
– I also need to thank all my relatives on my dad’s side for their mad hospitality as well!
– And of course, thank you to my grandmother for letting us stay at her place! She likes complaining a lot and worries too much, but she means well. She can’t walk very well but came out with us almost every day ;_;

And now time to unpack and organize and kill my bandwidth by uploading pictures.

Off to Paris!

Currently listening to: —

Feeling: Photobucket

WHEEEEEEE I shall be off to Paris in a few hours. Andrew’s freeloading and we are about to head out for some noms. Hopefully we can cram in an episode of Once Upon A Time before I depart!

BUT YES, MUAHAHAHA it shall be a great trip. I’m going to Paris, then Vienna, then back to Paris, and then back home to Canadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa where we have milk in bags and maple syrup is added to everything and polar bears are the preferred mode of transportation.

Fare thee well~

Off to Japan!

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Feeling: Photobucket

GOING TO JAPAN TOMORROW. AHHHHHHH! EXCITE XD! I just hope mother nature is nice to me once. I believe we are staying at the Sunshine Prince Hotel or something, and then going to some other place for a visit to some hot springs! I’ve never been before wheeeeeee! And I’m totally going to raid all the 100 yen stores MUAHAHAHA!

I’m also excited to return to Canada. I miss the weather there and my bed. And my spacious shower haha. Okie dokes, must head home to pack now (I are stealing my cousin’s laptop)

Off to Hong Kong!

Currently listening to: —

Feeling: Photobucket

I have a tummy ache at the airport T_T! Sigh. It’s currently 8:20am. My flight’s at 10 haha. Hmm, dad just told me I left my corn and veggies in the fridge…woops. Was supposed to eat them at like 3am, but I decided to sleep instead. BAD DECISION. I usually stay awake the night before a flight so I’ll be very tired and can sleep on the plane. It’s super effective for combating jet lag and making the flight less horrible.

No stops for me this time. Full 16 hours. OH YEAHHHHHHHH (I am being sarcastic). Will arrive in Hong Kong at about 1pm HK time. Apparently when my mom booked us the tickets, we couldn’t get 3 seats like usual. We have 2 seats together and one seat somewhere far on the other end of the plane or something. Likely my dad will sit in the forever alone chair haha.

Hmm…I’m wondering why I even bothered to bring my laptop. I forgot that it can’t turn on without being plugged in. I think when I dropped it for the 82638237th time, something disconnected and now it can’t sense the battery D: My plans to Wi-Fi at McDonald’s in HK have been sabotaged. I guess it will come in handy to empty my camera’s memory card every day, like what I did when I went on my cruise. My mom has an adapter, but I wonder if that’s enough for our 3 phones and my laptop.

Wow, this blob is a lot longer than I originally planned. 

Cruise to Europe 2011

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Feeling: Photobucket

GET READY FOR A SUPER AWESOME LONG POST. Or not. Yeah, no one’s going to read all this, but whatever. Haha~ IT’S GOOD TO BE HOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This post will be in black because I’m just going to copy and paste it, since I blogged a bit every day on OpenOffice Word Processor. YAY FOR LINUX!

Day 1 – Departure from Canada to Barcelona

OMG. FREE WIFI AT THE HOTEL. Sadly, my laptop will die in a bit because the plug doesn’t fit the outlets here haha! But yes, what a day. Ugh, I hate flying so badly. Flew for about 7 hours from Canada to London (wow, people in the washrooms at the airport use a CRAPTON of paper when drying their hands. I watched 3 ladies, and they all pressed the paper dispenser thing like friggen 15 times like their hands are the size of a table of something, pissed me off so much, but yes I’m getting off topic). I thought I’d be able to sleep, since it was pretty late, but I wasn’t tired, so I watched some documentaries (yes, I’m such a nerd) on Discovery on the mini monitor in front of my face. They were those documentaries on how things are made. The one I picked had 3 of them in one. I was introduced to one about making ceramic knives (and how they’re quite common now in Japan as they’re great for sushi since they’re harder than steel knives and won’t rust), one about how bricks are made to supply our ever demand as we build houses, and how laboratory diamonds are grown. I also watched another longer documentary called Mega Bridges or something, and it was about that huge bridge in Greece, and I’m gonna feel like a nerd for saying it but it was such an amazing documentary haha! I didn’t know bridges were so cool. Yeah. After that, I went into the movies section and saw that 127 Hours was on the list :O Andrew said it was really good, but of course I was scared of watching it, so I watched like 40 minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 instead, which, might also be just as scary haha! Ok, anyway. Oh yes, I found 1 English penny and 1 English dollar on the plane! (totally not the right term/word/currency but whatever) :D So once the 7 hours were finally over, we had to wait 2 hours in the lineup to check out (which is dumb, because we have to check in again right after whattt) and then shopped around the airport for a few hours to waste time. There was this really cute shop at the airport with really nice accessories. I took a lot of pictures here haha, and also got a necklace. MMMM, and then it was a 2 hour flight from London to Barcelona! The flight was quick because I was super tired, so I slept through most of it. There were 2 girls sitting behind my row and they seriously talked non-stop for the 2 hours (according to my dad who had trouble sleeping because of them). Once we landed and got all our luggage, we nabbed a taxi (who drove really fast to our hotel) and then went to walk around the streets :) It was around 7pm I think. It’s pretty nice here, but my biggest complaint is the air quality. SO MANY PEOPLE SMOKING ARG. After walking for a bit and being very obvious tourists, we stopped at this nice restaurant to eat. My dad got pissed at the waiter or something, but the food was quite good, they were all basically a bunch of appetizers/mini meals/dishes to choose from. When we got change back, it was a 10 dollar bill, a 50 cent coin and a penny, which made my dad really upset, because we didn’t want to tip too much, since it wasn’t cheap. Meh. After that, walked around a bit more. The stores here close at 9 or 9:30 (according to the taxi driver), and now I’m back in the lobby of our hotel because there is FREE WIFI HERE LIKE I STATED BEFORE. Not much battery left, though. Hmm, I think I’m getting sick. It’s quite humid on outside, but the stores and all indoor places have crazy air conditioning, and we all know quick changes in temperature isn’t good for your body. I have the sniffles. I better not get sick on the cruise D: ANNNDDDD I’m back! Took a shower, because I went upstairs when the reception lady said wifi was available throughout the entire hotel, but SHE LIED. But yes, I also asked her for an adapter/converter for my plug so now my laptop’s charged yay! It’s 10 euro charged to my account for the converter, but she said they’d give back the money once I return it. Side note, it’s probably a really bad idea for me to sit in this air conditioned room with a wet head >.> I’m gonna get sick for sure. Why do I do this to myself.

Day 2 – Barcelona, Spain

WOW. WHAT A DAY. Omg. GREAT day today. I’m just chilling in the hotel lobby again, chatting with Andrew. It’s almost midnight now where I am, it’s been a long day. I think I’ll continue typing this when I get back up to my room in a bit. Alright, it’s now 12:16am and here I am typing away. Mmm, so what happened today. I’ll try to keep this brief, not only because I know people don’t like reading huge long entries, but because I don’t like it myself either and I don’t want to read too much to check grammar over. So, I woke up at 8:30ish, looked over at my mom’s bed and she was dead tired, so I kept on sleeping. I think I finally woke up at 10ish, and then got dressed and stuff. My dad also went down to the spa, and found the mini swimming pool, jacuzzi, showers, fitness room, and sauna. It’s pretty cute ^^ We were supposed to go swimming today after our awesome day, but we got back at 11:30, and the spa closed at 11. I’ll go tomorrow morning or something before we check out, since it opens at 8am, and we have to check out before 12. BUT YES,we finally left at around 11am, and I was quite hungry, so we found a nice little restaurant just down the street from our hotel for some breakfast. Had scrambled eggs, bacon and fries. AND OMG I HAD THE MOST DELICIOUS ORANGE JUICE EVER AT THIS PLACE ;_; I WAS ALMOST CRYING. Ok. Um, after that we went to buy tickets for this bus tour my mom wanted to go on. It’s pretty neat, there were 3 tour bus routes, called Red, Blue and Green, and you can get on and off as many times as you want on the stops and stuff. After we bought the tickets, I wasn’t feeling too well, so we headed back to the hotel haha. We went out again half an hour later and got on the Red line for the bus. The bus took us to many sites, and you could also listen through headphones in many languages as a recording described the places and stuff. I didn’t listen haha, until the very end for a bit in Japanese I guess. But yes, we went on all three bus lines! From 1 until 7:30 yep! I took many pictures, but it was difficult because the streets are FULL OF GIANT TREES that blocked almost everything haha! But that’s good, I like trees :D Mmm, we also went past this HUGE unfinished church. Apparently it’s like the only place worth going to in Barcelona according to my dad’s friend. But yes, when I saw it I was like HOLY SCREW IT’S SO BIG AND SO PRETTY. There were like 4 cranes on site, as it’s constantly being built and extended. Very awesome. Mmm, yep, I don’t remember all the sites we visited, but at least I took pictures. Mmm, we stopped by the port (and I spotted our cruise! Liberty of the Sea or something it was called), and had a meal. I tried Black Rice for the first time. It’s basically rice fried with cuttlefish ink. My mom was like dying to eat it, because it’s something you HAVE to try in Spain or something. It was…um…well the ink was tasteless, so it tasted like buttery rice to me, so it wasn’t too bad. But yes, interesting, mixing rice with cuttlefish ink >.> I bet my mouth looked DISGUSTING haha! Mmm, after that, hopped back onto the bus and saw more sites. I have to add that it was VERY SUNNY out in the afternoon and of course, yours truly is afraid of getting burned and acquiring more freckles, but all the times we went on the double decker tour buses, we got the last seats in the last row where there was SHADE because of this small cape thing. So yeah, while everyone in the sun was sweating like crazy, my parents and I were enjoying the shade in the back haha! Though, it did get a bit cold when the sun went away. Mmm, after we finally finished all 3 routes, it was around 7:30pm, so we shopped around instead. The stores here all close at 9pm, and no stores are open on Sunday, which is quite sad, as that’s tomorrow (or rather, today) and I still wanted to shop around. I bought this really cool necklace that’s a thin hourglass (reminded me of Steampunk stuff), and 2 shirts. I wanted to buy sooooo many necklaces while shopping gah! The stores had all the stuff I like for necklaces: Bird cages, keys, ribbons, and Eiffel towers ;_; There was this store that was selling all their bras for 5 euro haha! I caught my dad on camera with his hand feeling a bra HAHAHA, he was helping my mom so I guess I’ll let him slide. It also started to rain at around 8. My dad totally jinxed it. When we were finally done shopping at this one huge store that had I swear 28376286 levels, (this one closed at 10), it was still raining, and we weren’t sure where we were haha! We went to eat at this nice Italian restaurant called Ginos since I was hungry and we wanted to avoid the rain. It had AMAZING pasta, OMG. All three of us ordered different pasta, and we all ended up switching our dishes haha! I took my dad’s, he took my mom’s, and my mom took mine. We finished off dinner with a very awesome tiramisu ahhhhh *O*! The meal wasn’t expensive either, they didn’t charge us tax O_O So it was only $42-ish, which is VERY GOOD since it’s like 60+ anyway in Canada when you have expensive pasta. Oh yeah, they charge you for water here D: It always comes in a nice glass bottle, and they’re around 1.80 per bottle, fr still water, not sparkling, which I think would be more expensive. Surprisingly, I really like the water here O_O It’s like…silky. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ve never drank so much water in my life in 2 days haha! Mmm, silky water, that’s a first. Anyway, after our dinner, we couldn’t find our way back to our hotel, but of course my dad has a very good sense of direction so we made it back at 11:30, and I went to the lobby of our hotel right away to nab Internet, and that’s when I talked with Andrew and started this entry. OK, 12:39 now, stopping ^_^!

Day 3 – Boarding Ship

Arg, I forgot to blog last night because I was very tired and fell asleep at like 10pm >.> So I’m blogging this on day 4 instead. *goes through pictures to remember what happened* Ah yes! So this day was our last day in Barcelona! I woke up early because I wanted to go swimming, since it opens up at 8, but my mom wanted to go to this shopping place/flea market place, so I just went down to take pictures instead. My dad did take a quick dip in the mini pool and jacuzzi, though. After that, we packed quickly and headed out. Also had breakfast at the same place as yesterday haha. We had to come back to our hotel by 11:30 to check out by 12, so we decided the quickest way to this market place thing, which was located at this place called San Antonio or something, was by subway. At the subway we couldn’t figure out how to use the machine, but we asked someone to help us buy 3 one way tickets. Once we arrived at the stop, we found out the market place wasn’t what my mom had in mind. It was all these little shops selling books, sort of like Anime North, and I DID see some manga and stuff haha! There were 371 spots/shops, and they were all around this giant circular place. It’s kinda hard to describe, but the pictures will show it. Lots of neat books here and there, what annoyed me the most was all the smoking. I swear these 3 days I haven’t had a breath of fresh air at all. Mmm, after a quick circle, we headed back to our hotel and checked out. Once done, we took a taxi to our cruise, Voyager of the Seas (not Liberty of the Seas, as I thought), and checked in. It was around 1pm now, and the ship was set to leave port at 5pm, so we had plenty of time to explore the ship. The ship is pretty much the same as the first ship I went on for my cruise 2 years ago, Adventure of the Seas, but I took pictures anyway. I must say I really enjoying stealing my mom’s camera to take panoramas XD! The weather was really nice, too! We’ve been having good luck with weather :) After that, I went back to our state room and fell asleep O_O And then I woke up. And proceeded to take more pictures haha! We were told our ship would be delayed by half an hour to set sail because of late flights coming in. When the ship started to move, I started getting my headache :( I really wasn’t in the mood for eating, but it was time for dinner (each person is assigned a slot for dinner, either 6:30pm or 8:30pm I believe), and we headed to our dining room, which is actually the bottom level of a 3 level huge room. Our level, the lowest level, is called Carmen. The top level I believe is called the Magic Flute, and the middle level is…I forgot the name! But they’re all names of pieces X3 *nerds* Mmm, after dinner, went to see some show thing at the theatre. Only saw like 15 minutes of it, though, since it started at 8:15, and we arrived at 8:45. There was this guy with crazy balancing skills. He was basically dancing and doing hand sit up things on a ladder and standing on the very top of it and stuff haha. Hard to explain, but he was basically an acrobat on a ladder. Once that was over with, I walked around the shopping area on the ship (deck 5) for a bit. Had to sit down because I my headache got much worse. Then I went back to our state room with my dad and tried to sleep it off. My mom gave me GRAVOL later OMG, and I was so happy because I thought it was save me, but it didn’t help. It was around 10pm now, and I fell asleep. On my dad’s bed. My bed is a bed that flips down from the ceiling. Anyway, I woke up at 2am and felt much better, but noticed my dad wasn’t really sleeping well on the bunk, and he couldn’t sleep the night before either, so I switched places with him. I then realized it might be a good idea to take out my contacts, as I was sleeping with them in, so I did and that was my day 3.

Day 4 – Marseille, France

And now, for day 4! My dad’s alarm rang at 6:30, and I got out of bed and went into the shower at around 6:50. Early wake up because we had to meet with our tour guide at 8:30, and I needed to eat as well. I finished showering (showering was kind of painful, the water pressure is really high. Each to their own I guess, my dad likes it) and drying up (gosh our state room is freezing cold) at around 7:30, and went to deck 11 to have breakfast at Windjammer, which is this HUGE buffet style restaurant that I really like. I had some pork sausages, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon with a glass of orange juice ^^ After that, I went to look for my mom, since she had left for breakfast 15 minutes before me because my hair was taking too long to blow dry, but I couldn’t find her. So of course, I went to deck 12 and took pictures of TOULON, FRANCE! That’s where our ship was docked :D I bumped into my dad and took some more pictures. And then he said to go back to our state room and wait for him while he tried to look for my mom. Once we were all together, we headed to the meeting place for our tour. Many people came late, which really made me annoyed. I guess it’s hard for 88 people (yep, that’s how many people are in our tour o.o) to meet up on time. We finally got off the ship at around 8:50, and then boarded a bus to head to Marseille! :D The ride was about an hour long, and we had little delays here and there, but meh. Our first stop was Notre Dame church, and the view was spectacular XD! Definitely abused both my camera and my mom’s. After this stop, we were on the road once again to our next stop (not sure which) but our bus broke down D: And then the tour guide suggested we go on foot to explore on our instead haha! Which we did, and it was really nice :) The roads in Marseille are REALLY narrow and curvy. Our tour bus almost took up both lanes, that’s how small the lanes are haha! So yeah, cars coming the other way…well let’s just say we were lucky we didn’t encounter cars going in the opposite direction XP At around 1pm, we walked to this really nice square, and there were many nice little restaurants with the little umbrellas you could sit under and eat at, the cliche European scenery/view that I had in mind XD We were told we could stop here and chill and eat, and meet back up at 2:45pm. My parents and I and my mom’s friend picked a bad restaurant to eat at. The service was really slow, and of course, none of us knew French, so it took us a while to order haha! I remember I had to write “lait” on a piece of paper to show one of the waiters because my parents wanted more milk for their Latte, which apparently, was an Espresso o.o The food wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t hungry. There was a nice deal of fish broth, a grilled fish, and a choice of dessert or coffee for 15 Euros, so we ordered 3 servings, since I wanted to share with my mom. My biggest complaint, again, is people smoking. I know it’s not against the law to smoke, but I just wish people would take notice of their cigarette and maybe try and not let the ash bits blow into my water and food. Kinda disgusting, really. And they have like 3 cigarettes in 10 minutes >.> The thing is, they only like, OK, I don’t know what it’s called, but they only bring the cigarette to their mouth like twice, and let it burn away, so they’re not really smoking it, but everyone around them is breathing in the second hand smoke grrrrrrr D<! Anyway, no more complaining. Oh wait, yes there’s more. It took forever to get the bill, and I think the waiters and the manager guy was having trouble with all the bills for everyone and they can’t really communicate in the bad English that the people in our tour speak with haha! SO yeah, delayed again. Once we were done eating, we headed back to our bus, since we had no more time, and then I fell asleep on the bus on our way back to our ship. When we got off, my mom wanted to go into this little souvenir place beside the ship, and she bought lots of soap ._. And now I’m back in my state room, looking at the pictures and typing this. It’s 5:53pm, and it’s a formal dinner tonight at 6:30. My mom’s on the bed next to me doing a mask. She looks really funny, with all these circle things on her face. Anyway, I shall be back after dinner~

And I am back. And I am pissed at my dad for being a drunk idiot and spilling his stupid red wine all over my dress. So much for wanting to take nice pictures on the staircase with the giant chandelier and stuff. And he’s mad at me for being mad at him, and he left the room and I don’t care where he is right now.

And I’m back again from watching a broadway show o.o And, gonna try to sleep now haha! It be 10:37pm :D

Day 5 – Florence and Pisa, Italy

OMG WHAT A DAY. It seems I start almost all my day entries like this haha. Mmm, I’m back in my state room after dinner (I’m sooo full T_T!) and just uploading photos to my laptop now! So what happened today? I woke up early again to shower and eat breakfast, and once again met up with the tour at 8:30 to go to Florence! Our ship arrived at the port in Livorno at 7am, and from there boarded a bus for an hour to get to Florence. We set off at 9am, and there was so much traffic D: But yes, in my honest opinion, I thought Florence was way more modern than what I had in mind. Also, people ARE MAD DRUNK DRIVERS. All of them. Even our tour lady said the driving is CRAZY. I saw it first hand, people don’t follow the lanes at all and they don’t signal, they just go wherever they want. Most of them drive in an “s” shape instead of a straight line. Anyway, enough about the traffic. I tried my best to stay awake and listen to the lady talk about Italy’s history and politics, but I fell asleep halfway, as did the rest of the bus. We arrived to this square area called Santa Cloche (Oh, the photo I took of the road sign says S. Croce!) or whatever, I can’t spell Italian, at around 11 (I think?) and basically toured the city. Everyone in our tour (that’s 86 people!) got these like, walkie talkie things to wear around our necks, and it transmitted what the tour lady said when she spoke into this small mike. I didn’t bother listening after 10 minutes, because it was very loud since there was a SEA of people and I was scared of getting lost, so I just took out my earphones. OH YEAH, I SAW PRETTY HORSES TEEHEE XD I wanted to hug it, but the person in the carriage thing looks kinda angry at me for even going near the horse for a picture, so I didn’t :( But yes, I got to see many tourist-y sites, like the replica of the statue of David, more statues, more statues, some famous buildings, this really nice church, and this other insanely detailed and huge church that I never got the name of, because I didn’t listen to the earphones I was given. Seriously I was in AWE of the church. It really is amazing. Like I can’t imagine the time and effort to carved things out of marble and stone. It’s SO DETAILED. And it was built so long ago, too! I swear humanity is getting lazier and lazier with the help of technology. BUT ANYWAY. Yeah, crazy church. And I only got to see the back and side! We didn’t have time to go around because this old Chinese man came up to my dad and said he lost his tour group. We directed him to our tour guide, and she called the police for him, but we really couldn’t help him. I felt bad, but we had to move quickly since that made us behind our schedule by 15 minutes. Mmm, oh yes, I bought 2 scarves X3 OMG ADD. Ok, so after Florence, we boarded the bus again and headed to Pisa! The ride was an hour again, and I fell asleep. Again. Once we got to Pisa, we got off our bus and took a smaller shuttle bus closer to the tower. The we got off and had to walk for about 10 minutes or so to get to this giant wall and archway, and inside, LO AND BEHOLD, this giant field with a Baptistry, a Cathedral and THE LEANING TOWER AHHHHH! It didn’t look very slanty from far away, but it was quite slanty when I got closer XD! Darn, this is the part where I’m supposed to remember all the things the lady told us about regarding the tower and stuff, but I forgot. But yes, we couldn’t stay long here at all since we had to get back to the ship at 6:30. The ship can actually leave us behind, because the tour we’re on is not through Royal Caribbean, so they don’t have to wait for us. Mmm, I bought 2 keychains and a hat, and after people scrambling trying to find everyone on our bus, and cramming 3878236823 people onto the shuttle bus (I felt like I was on a subway in Japan or something), we finally made it back to our ship at 6 because there was no traffic! We were actually getting worried about not making it back to the ship ;_; OK, it’s 8:58pm, since my laptop says 2:58, and there’s an ice show happening at 9:45, and we have to line up, so I’ll stop here for now :D! Oh yeah, I dropped my camera really hard today…>< The capture button sometimes doesn’t work *cries*

And I’m back! The skating was alright, nothing too special. Though, there was this crazy gymnastics girl and she did all these crazy tricks and stretches on ice with a dangling hoolahoop, thought that was different and neat. I wasn’t allowed to take videos, though :( Mmm, okie, it’s 10:48, and I’m gonna prepare for bed. Challenging Rome tomorrow! >:D! Side note, so far, after deleting blurry pictures and doubles, I have 1504 pictures and videos combined >.>

Day 6 – Rome, Italy

And once again, I am back from a wonderful day of touring and visiting places. Right now it’s about 6:07pm (almost dinner time) and this time, I toured Rome! (I don’t know why I keep thinking Rome is in Greece D:!!!) I think so far, our of all the tours I went on, Rome’s tour has been the most successful and we went to the most places. Highlights of the day: Seeing the Colosseum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. I also saw lots of other huge and beautiful sites and monuments, but once again, I decided not to listen to the mini radio thing with the earphone, and just snapped pictures like crazy. I’m going to keep this blog short. Umm, right, so I again woke up early, showered, and boarded the tour bus at around 8:50. It took about an hour to get to the Colosseum, which from the bus looked pretty small to me =/ But once I got off the bus…holy cow. It’s HUGE. The pillars, the rocks, the arches…mind boggling really. It’s too bad we didn’t go inside, I really would have loved to see the inside :( But yes, wow at Colosseum. What seems to cross my mind a lot these past few days is how on earth people from such a long time ago made these things. They’re huge. They’re very detailed. The people seriously must have been pretty bored and had nothing else better to do but pile rocks into beautiful things. Not that it’s a bad thing, that’s just how I see how much time was needed. I don’t know. Anyway, moving on. We also went to the Spanish steps, which wasn’t as amazing as I thought it was, I thought it would be 3 times as big or something, but yeah, still a nice place. The place that wowed me the most today, though, was St. Peter’s Basilica. And yes, that means I went to visit Vatican City! But yes, again, CRAZY HUGELY DETAILED PLACE THAT MADE MY JAW DROP. I was almost scared. I mean, I was already impressed with the outside, it’s sooooo big and…I don’t know, the pillars are huge and there are so many statues, I just…arg I don’t know. Again, I was just in awe. We had to line up for about half an hour to get inside, which was must faster than I had anticipated. Once inside…seriously, this was my face –> ._________________. I was blown away with the sheer size and detail of EVERYTHING SINGLE THING inside. After reading about St. Peter’s Basilica in art books and Wikipedia, wow, it’s nothing compared to the real thing. Inside…it’s…I don’t know, I can’t describe it. It’s the most beautiful “church” I’ve ever seen, and definitely the biggest. Not that I’ve seen many churches. But still. Every corner, every pillar, every arch, every statue, I was completely blown away with the amount of work that was put into the creation of the place. There wasn’t a metre inside that wasn’t decorated/carved/painted/pretty in some way. If I wanted to put it into perspective, hmm, I’d say that it’s more impressive than the Great Wall of China (which I haven’t seen, but really it’s just a long chain of giant rocks that looks the same). But of course, this is my opinion only. I took lots of pictures, but not nearly as much as I wanted, as everyone had to constantly move to let more people in. But yeah…omg. I’m just…wow I’m running out of words here. I’m completely flabbergasted (hahaha, there we go, a new word) that humans can actually make such beautiful things. Apparently it took 125 years to build, a lot faster than what I had in mind. From the amount of detail, I thought it would take at least 600 years. ARG…so pretty. So much eye-candy in there. The ceiling itself, every little square foot was different. The letters written near the ceiling were taller than me. Wow, I don’t know. I think everyone should go visit St. Peter’s Basilica at least once and just be blown away with its awesomeness. Okie dokes, my moms’ rushing me to go for dinner now. OH IT’S 6:26PM. Alright, off to dinner to eat and take more pictures of our food haha.

I be back from dinner~ Time to look at pictures ^_^! Wow. OK, videos + photos = 1927 >.> Goodness.

Alrightey, time to go see another performance in the theatre~

AND back again. Went to see some singing performances. It was very good ^^ The theme was like…really old songs haha, and I knew like 70% of them D: I felt good =w= Was supposed to come back after to sleep because it was like 11, but my mom wanted to go to some other place which was playing old music again and people could dance and stuff. Meh, so I sat around and listened to oldies again. And now it’s 12:18am I believe, so I shall head to bed~

Day 7 – Sicily, Italy

Lalala, back again, this time from Sicily! Today, the ship arrived at Messina at 11, and we met up with our tour at 11:45. But before that, I woke up today at 8 because the captain came on the PA and told us that there was a smoking volcano. And of course, I got excited and I wanted to see lava so I rushed to the top deck and…it was just smoke =/ I was sad haha! But I guess it’s a good thing for the town people that were at the bottom of the volcano @.@! Anyway, went back to shower, then ate, and went up to the deck again and took pictures with my mom and admired the view. The good thing about arriving late is I actually have time to enjoy the view when the ship is sailing into the harbour and stuff. Italy is sooooo pretty. I can’t wait to go to Venice (last day). After enjoying the view, we then met up with the tour people at 11:45. We boarded a bus again for about an hour and arrived in a small place called Taormina. Odd spelling. After following the tour guide for like half an hour, my parents and I decided to ditch the group and just explore ourselves. I took a lot of pictures, I really like narrow streets and the little coffee shops and flowery balconies that this town was full of hehe XD! But yes, did some shopping, walked around, and even had time to eat lunch ^^ The food was really good and it wasn’t expensive at all. Like, in Canada a pasta dish would be around $14-18. The pasta I had today was 8.50 Euro, and it’s like, authentic Italian pasta 8D! My mom also splurged a crapton of money on some Hello Kitty purse *rolls eyes*…but anyway. Didn’t really visit many places, but I didn’t mind, because the scenery and the streets were really beautiful, so yep, that made me happy. At 4:45, we met back up with our tour and then took the bus for 40 minutes back to the ship, and here I am typing away. Going to upload pictures to my laptop now and then get ready for the formal dinner tonight at 6:30~

And back from dinner~ Hmm, it’s 9:10pm…there’s apparently another show thing going on at 10…not sure if I want to go, though. I’ll see, going to go back to looking at pictures X3

Back from the show~ It was pretty neat, recognized a few of the songs. Mmm, apparently there’s something else happening at 11:15…which is…in a minute. So I guess I’ll go check it out with my parents.

And I’m back. It was just a 70s party happening on deck 5 or something. Loud. So I came back up while my parents decided to listen to the songs. I think I’m just gonna entertain myself with my laptop until I fall asleep.

Day 8 – At Sea

Today was a boring day, since it was a day at sea. I slept in until like…11:30? Haha, then I showered, and then after being told to wait for my mom (my parents went out at like 11 to eat) for 2 hours, I finally went up to Windjammer with my dad and found my mom sitting and chatting, completely forgetting her daughter was waiting for her. Meh. After that, just wandered around the ship. Went to deck 14, found the games room, some other cool lounges, and then saw a bit of ice sculpture carving back on the main pool deck. There wasn’t much to do. I did want to go swimming, but EVERYONE was swimming (since we’re stuck on the ship) so I didn’t feel like it. Well actually when I went to look, not many people were in the swimming pools, they were all either tanning on beach chairs or in the jacuzzis. Meh. Mmm, after that my mom wanted to attend this jewellery making event, so I went with her and helped her make a necklace and a pair of earrings. And then…uh…oh yes, we went back to the games room and played some cards. Yeah lazy day. Then we ate a bit at around 4:30, which was a bad idea because dinner’s at 6:30 haha. Mmm, I’m back from dinner now, and there’s a farewell show happening at 9:45 so I’m just gonna chill with my laptop again until then. Tomorrow is when we’re leaving the ship, and arriving in VENICE. I’m SO excited, but I know it’s going to suck, because it’s only going to be half the day, we have to head to the airport at 3 :( And we’re leaving the ship at 7:30, or that’s the time we’re told to leave anyway, and then we have to get our luggage and stuff and do some other random stuff I bet, so I’m estimating it to be around 9:30 before we actually get to tour Venice :( I are very say. Venice was THE place I was looking forward to the most. Oh well. Ok, time to go through pictures~

Alrightey, back from the finale show. Which, wasn’t that great. Just some guy juggling various objects, like knives and chainsaws. Okie, gonna go to bed now. Must wake up early to watch the ship sail into Venice…which is at 4:30am. Goodnight~

Day 9 – Venice, Italy

OMG. OK, so I was lazy and didn’t blog yesterday because I got home at around midnight (darned flight got delayed an hour and a half) so I just jumped right into bed because long flights are horrible. Um. Um. Um. YES. VENICE. OMG VENICEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 Frig, I don’t know where to start. I love it so much *cries* And it was a short day arggggggggggggg! But um…I woke up at 4:30, and went on deck with my parents to see the ship sailing into Venice. It was sort of dark, so I couldn’t make out much, but it was still pretty. I stayed until about 5:30, when it got a bit brighter, and took lots of pictures ^^ Then I went to shower and ate breakfast. Met back up with the tour people for departure off the ship at 7:25am. We got off on time and stuff (some poor people had their scheduled departing time to be at 10am, that’s SO LATE), but had trouble on the port getting organized with our luggage and everything, so it was around 9:30am when we finally went to go take the water taxi, which is actually just a boat. The wait was a bit, too, because we had to split our large group, and one of the ships took a while to come. BUT ANYWAY. Short ride to the other side, which I think is the main part of Venice, and then followed the tour guide to St. Mark’s Square. Again, I was busy snapping pictures of everything so I wasn’t listening to the history and stuff. After that, we went to go watch glass blowing. My parents and I didn’t really want to go, because we’ve seen it before and we wanted to explore, but we went anyway, and then browsed around the glass shop place, which apparently is the oldest of 4 hand made glass places in Venice or something. Not really my interest, though, glass. But I did see very pretty masks. I like masks, but only the ones where they cover your eyes, so the half ones haha. Mmm, yeah after that, just walked around the streets with my parents since it was free time, and we had around 3.5 hours before we had to meet back up at the harbour at 2:30. I was more interested in just wandering the little narrow streets, but it got quite humid, so I poked into a few of the stores as well for air conditioning haha. I bought 2 masks o.o I thought they were pretty T_T But they look kinda scary on me, so I’ll just admire them haha. I also got a nice calligraphy set, and my mom got lots of little glass figurines, because apparently Venice = glass + masks, and if you’re in Venice you HAVE to buy glass or something. Mmm, yeah. OMG. Venice. It’s sooooo pretty. It’s a bit smelly, but I think that’s more from people smoking than from the dirty water (or perchance I am biased). I took many pictures of the watery canals, still not sure what they’re called. Mm, spotted a few gondolas. It’s apparently 80 Euros for 3 kms >.> So yeah, quite expensive. I feel kind of sorry for them, because not many people wanted a ride. ANYWAY. Yeah. Pretty place, I wish I had more time to explore. I just really like bridges and water and narrow streets and Venice had everything in one haha. Mmm, at around 1:30 we got hungry and went in to the first restaurant we saw. Which was a bad idea. Because it was run by Chinese people HAHAHA. Um. Yeah. Chinese people are EVERYWHERE. Not that the food was bad, but it was so typical because of all the oil and MSG and stuff. So yeah, just felt like I was eating spaghetti at a Chinese restaurant =/ When we were done, we walked for like 10 metres and spotted a really nice Italian restaurant *sigh* Oh well~ We were trying to save time, and the food did come really fast. Mmm, after that, explored a bit more and then it was time to leave. So we met up with the rest of the tour, took the water taxi back, and then headed to the airport, was which 20 minutes away~ We checked in faster than 95% of the people because my dad and I RAN (OK, I ran, and my dad pulled our luggage), and it was a good thing too because we were like 6th in line and we still waited like half an hour. Why? Because the security people checking our passports one by one seriously checked EVERY friggen aspect of it. I guess it’s a good thing, but I’ve never had someone take my passport, HOLD IT TO MY FACE, and compare me to my picture, and then TAKE OUT A MAGNIFYING GLASS to read and check to make sure my passport wasn’t fraud. It took a good 3 minutes. It was very awkward, too, I wanted to burst out laughing when he was looking from the passport next to my face back to my real face, but I didn’t in case I might piss him off. But yeah. Once checked in, did a little shopping around the airport. In the last few minutes before boarding, I bought a pair of Hello Kitty sunglasses haha. My current ones were $2.50 from Urban Planet, and they don’t block UV (they’re just for show), so my mom was like you need ones that actually PROTECT your eyes, so yep~ Our flight was sheduled for 7:20, but once we were on and everything, we were in formed at 7:45 that the captain missed the take off time or something, so we had to get the next one at 8:30 -_- Lame. Yeah. The ride was faster than I thought at least. I tried to sleep, but it was hard. I kept waking up and stuff, but the food on the plane was good, surprisingly o.o Or maybe I was just terribly hungry. Once off the plane, once again and my dad and I ran ahead of the crowd despite being exhausted so we wouldn’t have to wait in line for the declaration thingy, and waited about 15 minutes for luggage, and then we were FINALLY HOME AT A BIT PAST MIDNIGHT. And then I hopped into bed without showering ugh, but whatever.

OMG DONE SUPER LONG CRUISE POST. POSTING ON MY BLOG NOW HAHAHA!

Lessons:

  • Earplugs are needed on a plane and I can’t stand flights more than 3 hours. Unless I’m dead tired and sleeping through it.
  • There really is no need to bring clothes (and you’ll save space in your suitcase), because you’ll just buy clothes anyway.
  • My parents snore REALLY loudly. It’s hard to sleep when we have to share a room.
  • Atrium Palace hotel in Barcelona is really awesome ^^ They didn’t charge my mom the fee for an extra bed or the long distance call. Or maybe they forgot.
  • People from centuries ago had the patience and talent of angels.