Germany

Age 1
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.

Top

Germany

Age 11
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.

Top

South Korea

Age 15
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 trip.

Top

Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Finland

Age 16
I spent a month as a Student Ambassador to Russia and the Baltic Republics. We flew to Stockholm, Sweden, then spent 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.

Finland

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.

Top

Sweden

I only spent three hours in Stockholm. I bought a copy of "Calvin and Hobbes" in Swedish.

Top

Russia

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.


St. Petersburg
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 Museum.

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
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.

Top

Latvia

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.

Top

Lithuania

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.

Top

Denmark

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.

Top

Italy

Age 17
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

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.

Rome

We only spent 3 days in Rome, and most of it from the windows of a tour bus.

Vatican City

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.

Venice

We only spent one day in Venice. We fed the pigeons in St. Mark's Square and visited the Doge's Palace.

Top

My Internship

Age 21
I spent my last summer in college as a Technology Intern for Continental Airlines. I went to Rome, Milan, Mexico City, Peru, and Honduras.

Mexico City

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 hotel except once, when the armed escort took us to an office in the city. We didn't do much siteseeing.

Lima, Peru

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.

Rome

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.

Milan

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 shopping center. Top