We’ve been in Europe for almost an entire month now and have been somewhat “settled” in Tallinn for well over two weeks.
We’ve been a *little* busy touristing, spending time with family, adjusting to a new sleep schedule, trying to find some sort of routine, and learning the ins and outs of living in Estonia. I plan on creating MANY more posts about our travels thus far, but for now I just wanted to give a quick shout out, summarize our crazy adventures in Italy and Switzerland, and post a *glimpse* of the ridiculous number of pictures I’ve taken in the past few weeks.
So without further ado, here are ten things that have happened since we moved to Europe.
1. I Fell Head-Over-Heels for Rome
Maybe it was the history, maybe it was the picture-perfect locations, maybe it was living out my Lizzie McGuire Movie dreams, or maybe it was that everyone was treating us nicely because we were tourists and they wanted our money. Probably all of the above. However, I’m still convinced that I will never love a city as much as I adore Rome, and if I were to ever move to a large city it would HAVE to be Rome. I have so much to say about our time there that I could write a short story. Or an entire blog post. So be on the lookout for that coming soon!
2. I Ate THE Original Pizza in Napoli!
I waited an hour and a half in a loud crowd of people blowing their cigarette smoke everywhere in the hot humid weather just to get inside and sit at a table, but it was WORTH IT. I got the margherita pizza and Garrett got marinara. They were so giant we couldn’t finish them, and they wouldn’t give us a to-go box…I still regret my stomach’s weakness and mourn
3. I Saw Mount Vesuvius, Walked Street of Pompeii, & Wandered the Amalfi Coast
I still feel like this day wasn’t real. Learning about Pompeii was fascinating – they were such an advanced people! There aren’t words for the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, and I’m determined to go back – hopefully to Sorrento or a smaller village that is less touristed. Most of the Amalfi Coast pictures are from our ten minutes on the beach in Positano! Again, look for another post on this one — I’ll get around to it eventually…
4. I Drank Coffee Like an Italian
Caffè (coffee) in Italy is actually espresso, and coffee as we know it is called Caffè Americano. In Italy you order at the bar, stand at the bar in your business clothes and fancy pointy shoes ( I skipped that part), and down your caffeine (within a span of three minutes if you’re truly Italian) before paying in exact coins and continuing on your way to work.
5. I Rode a “Real” Train
Not the trolley, not the subway, not the open-air tourist crap in Colorado, but an accommodating, comfortable, fast moving (like 300 mph fast in the tunnels), cross-country train with outlets and everything. I must say, the Hogwarts Express makes much more sense to me now, and the U.S. is missing out.
6. I Ate Ridiculously Priced Meals near Lake Geneva
Seriously, everything is stupid expensive there. It wasn’t even THAT good and we resorted to McDonald’s one night because it just sounded so familiar and inexpensive. Don’t go. Except do because it’s gorgeous and look at that sunset and that adorable little swan family!
7. I Went to GRINDELWALD & Nerded Out While Walking Around the Swiss Alps
That’s right. Grindelwald is a place, and it’s gorgeous, not evil like that Harry Potter villain. Well, I’d argue that the cable car is pure evil, especially to someone who has a fear of closed spaces, heights, and occasionally suffers from panic attacks. But the wildflowers I got to see, cows I got to pet, and spectacular views kind of made up for it.
8. I Was a Princess at Ariel’s Castle!
…kind of. Chateau de Chillon is the castle that Disney artists used as the model for the castle in the Little Mermaid, and it was absolutely breathtaking. Literally. So. Many. Stairs. It’s also the castle where Francois Bonivard was held prisoner – his writings inspired Lord Byron to write “The Prisoner of Chillon”.
9. I Learned Europe Hates Air Conditioning
I understand that their winters are brutal, and it’s much cooler than it is in Texas, but geez people! It’s stinking humid with all these lakes and seas around and it’s still like 75 degrees even in Estonia! Your sweat stinks just as bad as our sweat, except we do something about it! It’s time you jump on the AC bandwagon Europe, and while you’re at it, more of you should invest in deodorant…
10. I Figured Out How to Hack Any & Every Airport
Are you ready for this?!?… After you go through security and find your gate, keep walking. I know you’re saying “but Lauren, I’m tired, and still carrying my 30 lb backpack that is over the legal carry on weight limit on my back, and I’ve been standing in lines like cattle behind people who don’t wear deodorant and keep shaking their head and whispering “Americano” over and over and I just want to sit down!”. I understand.
However, MOST people will stop at their gate or on the way to their gate, making the crowds bigger the closer you get to the center of the airport. This means the center of the airport will be louder, noisier, have nastier bathrooms, and be more stressful overall.
BUT you don’t have to deal with that, because like the smarty pants you are you read this wonderful blog and you now know that if you just keep forging ahead you will find a semi-abandoned, cooler, quieter space to spend your lovely and relaxing eight hour layover with less crying babies, more available chairs and
A Few More Things…
I’ve also fallen in love with the resilience of Estonians, learned to navigate in a country where I don’t speak more than two words of their language (not from lack of trying!), and seen a ridiculous amount gorgeous architecture here in Estonia – things I’ll expand on in another post because our time in Estonia deserves a post to itself.
Also to those of you who have been waiting for a YouTube channel, I promise I’m not backing out on doing Vlogs, it just takes SO much time to piece together and learn. I’ll get there – pinky promise! In the meantime, if you have a favorite video editing software (preferably free) let us know!
What questions do you have for us? What do you want to see from us on the (upcoming) Vlog?
Comment or shoot us an email and we will do our best to continue to share our adventures with you!
Aitah! (that means thank you in Estonian!)