My family was transferred to
Ramstein, Germany. We lived in a nearby town called Kaiserslautern. I attended
Einsiedlerhof Montesorri School. We moved back
to the states when I was 5.
I am still looking for pictures of the town,
but I have found some links to local
schools, the Area Defense
Counsel, and general information.
We visited Germany to
see some family friends and to see the hospital
where my sister, Melanie, was born. We spent the week visiting castles, runis, and
the places that we lived when I was
little. We also spent a day taking a cruise down the Rhine, stopping at
castles and towns as we went. The best place we visited was Mainz. The
Mainz Cathedral is in the picture to the right.
My father took the
family to spend a week in Seoul, South Korea to see
where he had spent a year in the military. He was stationed at Camp
Humphries, not far from the city. The trip involved a 3 hour
layover in Tokyo, Japan, and a few trips to bases in Korea. We stayed at the
Dragon Hill Lodge in the Yongsan
Garrison in Seoul.
We visited a palace and a museum in the city. Local
students asked to talk to us for a project they were
doing at the University. They showed us around the area and explained different
traditions and legends. They were the most memorable part of the entire
I spent a month as a Student Ambassador to
and the Baltic
Republics. We flew to Stockholm, Sweden,
the night in Helsinki, Finland,
then we rode a bus to St. Petersburg.
From there we took an overnight train to
Vilnius, Lithuania. After a week we
took a bus to Jurmala, Latvia. We
took another overnight train to Moscow. We
flew from Moscow to Copenhagen, Denmark, and spent
the night there before heading back to America.
Helsinki was expensive, but fun.
We were there in the summer so it didn't get dark. The picture to the right was
taken at midnight.
I only spent three hours in Stockholm. I bought a copy of "Calvin and
Hobbes" in Swedish.
Russia was the most exciting place I have
ever been. I saw the most incredible churches. I
had to cover my hair to get in.
Of all the places I've
been, St. Petersburg was my
favorite (followed closely by Florence). The
streets and canals are lined with sculptures and every building is a work
of art. Pictured at right is the Winter Palace of Pete-r the Great. It
houses part of the Hermitage
Most of the pre-communist history and culture is centered in St.
Petersburg and much of it survived the political changes. The city is
filled with museums and palaces. Statues of Peter the Great can be seen
everywhere. St. Petersburg is often compared to Venice for it's color and
beauty. It was also a military center during communist times. You
can travel to the military posts located just north of the city and
tour the areas. We spent some time exploring a Soviet Ice Breaker and meeting sailors in a town about 30 minutes north
of St. Petersburg.
Moscow was like being in a spy
novel. I got to see Lenin's tomb before they buried him. To the right is a
picture of the dome's of St. Basil's Cathedral in the Kremlin.
We saw a circus inGorky Park. We ate at the McDonalds in Moscow. After a few weeks of cabbage soup
and grilled potatoes, I was pretty hungry for some french fries and a
chocolate shake. My group toured a few schools to meet students and talk
with them. We met a group of students at a school.
They put on a show for my group. It was the most
memorable part of my trip to Moscow.
Latvia is one of the more economically stable of the former Soviet
republics. We spent a few days in the capital, Riga, and a few more in a
small resort town on the Baltic Sea, Jurmala. Riga was a nice city, more
like Copenhagen or Helsinki than Moscow or St. Petersburg. In Riga you
can find CD stores, supermarkets, and fancy hotels. Our hotel room in
Jurmala had a private bathroom with a shower and only cost $12 a night. It was
right on the beach. In Jurmala we visited an
agricultural college and wandered through
a strawberry field and a cherry orchard.
Lithuania didn't handle the
revolution quite as well as Latvia did. We spent our time in the
capital, Vilnius. Pictured at right is a view of the city from the top of
an old castle on a hill. We visited a high school in Vilnius and took a
bus tour around the city. A few of the students took me on a little tour
of their neighborhood and we bought ice cream at the local market.
We also visited a TV tower where a massacre
during the Soviet takeover occured. It contained a museum and a
lookout level at the top.
The last leg of our trip took us to Copenhagen, Denmark. We spent the
night in a hotel that was right next door to a Ripley's Believe It or Not
and Wax Museum. I wasn't up for much exploring after the
flight from Moscow, so I didn't really get to see the city.
We left the next morning for home.
I was invited to participate in a Leadership Seminar in Castiglion Fiorentino.
We stayed in an old monestary called Santa Chiara. We had
lectures in the mornings about what we were going to see then we made day
trips to different cities. We visited Florence, Assisi,
Rome, and Venice. I
even attended Mass at St. Peter's Basillica in The Vatican.
Florence was my favorite
city of all. Everything was beautiful. We visited the Uffizi
Gallery. It has a huge collection of paintings by famous artists,
particularly from the Italian Renaissance. The picture to the right is of the
Cathedral and Baptistry. This is a view of the
citry from above.
We only spent 3 days in Rome, and most of it from the windows of a tour
The Vatican was my favorite
part of the trip to Rome. The Vatican
Museums alone would take days to explore. Vatican City
is filled with gardens, palaces, and sculptures. It centers on St.
Peter's Basillica, pictured at right. Services are held throughout the
day and tourists may participate. I attended mass with a few other students. I
went up to take communion with the group and I guess I held my hands the wrong
way. The priest yelled at me in Italian and told me to leave. I went and cried
in a corner in the Vatican museum for about an hour. The guide said that
tourists sometimes take the wafer and keep it as a souvenir so the priests are
really suspicious of tourists.
We only spent one day in Venice. We fed the pigeons in St. Mark's Square and visited the
I spent my last summer in college as a Technology Intern for Continental Airlines. I went to Rome,
Milan, Mexico City, Peru, and Honduras.
We spent five days in Mexico City,
Mexico. I had my gallbladder removed the week before, so I skipped the trip to
the pyramids. I went shopping in the city instead.
We had dinner one night in
the Hard Rock Cafe.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
We spent three days in Honduras. We didn't leave the
except once, when the armed escort took us to an office in the city. We didn't
do much siteseeing.
We spend four days in Lima. Our hotel was in a modern, industrial part of
the city, but we visited a few tourist areas, like the main
square and a cathedral. The cathedral had a wonderful garden. There were some scary catacombs beneath the
cathedral. There were huge piles of bones.
I spent five days in Rome this time. And we had a map instead of a tour
bus. We saw the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican, and other
places that I didn't get to see the first time around. It's much nicer to
travel in a group of two instead of thirty. My partner, Megan, and I had a
great time seeing museums and ruins and eating.
We spent three days in Milan.
Our hotel was pretty far from the center of
the city, so we didn't get to see much. One thing we did see was the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which is a huge, expensive