Thursday, May 7, 2009

The journey continues...

I am not yet sure if I will keep this blog up to date this time, but I think I will leave it as an option. Itinerary is as follows:
Traveling with a buddy of mine, Michael Moore, yep THE Michael Moore, should be pretty excellent!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Home safe and sound

This post will be short for the moment. However I have PICTURES up! Please check em out, and let me know whacha think. This is my summary of pictures due to the fact that I am not sharing all 300 or so of them :-) Also, captions will be put up soon.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The journey winds down

So the last post was in Prague... quite the time has ellapsed since then, we can blame the time lapse on a city called Valtice, and its small population and therein lack of internet cafes. So where were we... ah yes pretty much the wedding. Well Pat and I successfully explored Prague, a solid city, went back to Vienna to meet up with the family, which we found eventually. A note to that is don't rely on text messages going through, especially internationally. So Pat flew out the next day, sad times we had to end our time here, but it was tons of fun. So yeah then spent the next while with the family... which was.... interesting? Personalities are an interesting thing to mix given enough unknowns + big wedding plans... nuff said there. Anyways onto the fun stuff.

The WEDDING. It was pretty amazing. We were staying in a city called Valtice in the Czech Republic, where my brother Brian stayed when he lived there teaching and coincidentally met Betka who lives in Lednice (a city about 7 km apart, which can in fact be walked at midnight, and yes we did test this). Thus the wedding was in the city of Lednice in a beautiful and quite touristy chataue. We arrived for the nooner wedding at about nooner on the dot, my brother was sorta frazzled as most grooms get day of when there has been no wedding rehersal. We arrived to find the entire church all packed and ready to go, with Betka arriving pretty much at the same time so I had to heard my brother through a swarm of tourists to a church whilest ensuring he did not catch a glimpse of his bride to be (and yes this stage might have consisted of telling him to turn around and stand still while I ran over and had Betka hide behind a door so we could walk Brian up to the church) but hey, it was eventful. Then my mom and the rest of my family was still coming (this was due to us having a huge 9 passenger van, which does not really fit in Czech streets and its a beast to park / drive around) so I had to leave Brian for abit and go run to get my mom so this could start (which was all done in a very very white tux I might add). We tried to hold the wedding until my whole family arrived (parents, g'parents, aunt) but they had to start so, the music started and off we went.

The service itself was beautiful, they read stuff in Czech and English, so for once I knew what was going on! I sort of stood up there awkwardly for abit, and sat down once I figured I should. (I was the best man / witness, don't think I just stood up there for no reason :-) ) But yeah, the church was quite beautiful, my brother was just all smiles, Betka looked beautiful, the flowers, the family, everything was quite perfect. One onlooker even claimed that it looked very well rehearsed so, go us! The reception after the wedding was fun too, lots of food (Betka's dad apparently owned a cow, and had it slaughtered for the wedding, so we got to eat some of Charlie...) and it was fun to get to talk to everyone, often in broken english. The Czech side did very very well though with the english overall, it was quite impressive. I talked a long time to Betka's younger brother Jan (said yahn), hes an incredibly smart and cool kid. His english was pretty amazing, he wants to go into Math and Biology so we had lots to talk about (aka hes a nerd much like myself). My little brother (Matthew) and I then stayed and hung out with some of the kids who were at the wedding, Jan, Marika, Yvetta, and wandered around the grounds of another Chataeu in the area until dark, and then after spending an hour or two leasurely walking, we decided to walk home (~8km or 1.25 hrs) arriving home around 1230, perhaps the most terrifying walk I have ever had, just so dark and creepy.... and creepy. We sang some rediculous songs though so it passed the time / kept us from getting creeped out.

So yeah we then decided to come to Budapest (me and Matthew) so here we are. This city is pretty awesome, the buildings across the Danube river are all built up on this large mountain ridge, predominately the Buda Castle which encompasses the Mattias Church, soooo many stairs! But so architecturally impressive! (Side note, I promise when I get back to the states I will make a huge photo album of everything with stories attached for all of you) This city feels much like Prague, since both are built with a larger river in the middle, but the buildings are more impressive here, and the hilly side of the river is much more hilly (getting all technical, I appoligize).

We return to Wein (Vienna) on wednesday, then fly back to the states early thursday morning (early = I wake up at 4 am). I am so pumped to get back home. Europe has been a great time but, I want to see my friends at home / start preparing for cali. All sorts of big things ahead, such fun :-) Well, that is all for now, people reading this, leave a comment! Do it now... íim curious who is reading this. Oh and please put your name in there too, otherwise I have nooo idea who you are :-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Aaaaand we are in Prague

Or perhaps Praha, depending on your language primarily. Beautiful city though, once you get away from the Eastern block-esque train station (east block = shady stuff) but yeah, the downtown is quite impressive, definitely earns the title the Paris of the east. A city that is stylish, lively, and just has a good overall feel. Beautiful architecture, good history, just an enjoyable city overall. Theres lots more I could write, but Im kind of feeling out of it now so Ill come back and change this one, no worries.

We are leaving soon to meet up with Betka for my tux sizing, then back to Vienna where the family is, exciting times. While I am very much enjoying Europe all the changes constantly are kind of overwhelming at times, at least for me here. I will enjoy getting out to Redondo Beach this next year and spending some time in the same location for awhile, works out better for me I think. I still love traveling dont get me wrong, its just a lot this time. Still an amazing experience however.

Ah ha I finally figured out how to edit this page whilest in German, wooie. Yeah so we are back in Vienna after Prague, my family (parents, gparents, aunt, both my brothers) are somewheres in this town having dinner and here we are at an internet cafe, ballin. My brother tried to give me directions to where thez are at, but hey guess what, once I get past about 4 names such as strategruenfratengausstrasse, the memory is pretty full up, so we decided not to go get lost and hang out here. We went and got my tux sized, swung by a small city right on the border between Austria and Czech, which is apparently the shopping center. The tux is going to be... interesting? I shall explain this more later after I make sure my brother is cool with everything thats going down. Alas it should be a fun time, at least my brother and myself will be wearing all white since its going to be real hot outside, should make it more comfortable for us. Okie perhaps more updating later :)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Great success!

Well, the bachelor party was a great time had by all. Many liters of beer, and an overall good time. We also met up with a friend from school, Adam, and his buddies too. Had a group of 12 guys, all just celebrating with my brother and his friends in Munich. The hostel let us have a whole room to ourselves which was awesome. I guess Brian (my brother) and his friends took a slight wrong turn on the way here, ended up going like 2 hrs the wrong way, and still randomly drove right by our hostel window literally at the exact minute they said they would arrive, and we saw them, it was absolutely crazy. Then John soooort of hit a bus... but once we talked to the cops etc, not too big of a deal, he barely knicked it, and the driver was really not upset at all so, it seemed the best situation possible given the fact that he hit a bus.

The drive back from Munich to Vienna was absolutely gorgeous, wandering around the Alps in a van for an afternoon, good stuff. Beautiful huge mountains, glacier lakes, one of which we stopped at and skipped some rocks for awhile. We also stopped at another one of those metalic bobsled like places (the first one was at the castle) but yeah, this one wasnt quite as stable, and I totally wiped out and burned off some elbow skin. They call it an Alpine slide, can get going really fast, and that metal can hurt... but its all good, I still almost caught up to Pat towards the end with a wipe out mixed in.

So pat here next to me is making a huge post full of pictures etc, I realize mine is lacking color buuuut, go to his for the pictures :) Its not that Im lazy or anything, just usually the computers die if you try to do anything tricky here so, I just keep with the text :)

Family is arriving tomorrow, and Pat and I are bolting to Prague.... well not so much bolting it just happens we are leaving then, definitely want to visit there before he has to leave on thursday. Wedding is this weekend, and that will be lots of fun Im sure! Alrite well, Im incredibly tired so, Im going to get some sleep to make yet another early train to another city, I really am loving roaming around Europe but I really am not sleeping too much :) Always time for that later though! Alrite, that is all for now!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Muchen, the third day

So I will start with a brief recap of yesterday since it was pretty much amazing.

The castle, Neuschwanstein, it was absolutely amazing. Perhaps the single most impressive structure I have ever seen. Created by a crazy, arguably gay, king who had no concept of money and therefore created an entirely grandeous structure with no restraints. Quite a hike up to the castle but once there, its just sickly impressive. It is the castle which the Disneyland castle was modeled off of, quite fairy-tale-esque but really just a house for the king of Bavaria.

To subtley switch gears... Today we went to the concentration camp in Daschau, a city close to Munich here. This experience was perhaps the single most disturbing thing I have ever experienced. This concentration camp was the first camp, since the Nazi's came to power in Munich, and set the standard for all other camps, mainly the slogan ... Work will set you free. This idealized lie was meant to portray the camp in the minds of the citizens as a type of mind changing work camp for those not loyal to the Reich, or considered undesirable. The attrocities carried out here, the sheer hate, is frankly overwhelming. Spending time roaming around an area so undeniably evil, learning about the reasons behind the political movement, the collecting, the sorting, the ... rediculously brutal treatment all in the name of some sort of misguided ideal, its just disturbing the human race sunk so so low, and so recently in history too. Not sure what else is to be said here, but if you are ever in Munich, definitely go see this camp. I dont think Ive ever had the feeling before that I was going to cry and vomit simultaneously, but I think thats about the best way I can explain how it made me feel. Absolutely horrible.

Anyways... I guess theres a hope in remembering, and never forgetting what was done there.

Well, no intent to leave on such a sour note but, the brother and the fellas are arriving soon for what should be a lovely night of drinking large liter beers so, should probably take off so they can find us. Hope all is well with everyone, and I'm sorry about being so frank with my reactions to Daschu but, such is life, the amazing, and the ugly.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


So we are in Munich now, definitely a great city, and enjoying it immensely. Last night we went to the Hofbrohaus, an amazingly huge beer house, this city absolutely loves its beer. This place serves beer in the liters, and it is delish. I would estimate it seats around 1000 people? Crazy stuff. Also yesterday before that Pat and I went out to dinner, hands down the most romantic moment we have thus far had.... *coughawkwardturtlecough* But yeah, they played a whole new world, yes the one from Aladin, in German. It was pretty amazing. But yeah the Hofbbrohaus was quite fun, one of the ladies we were with broke her mas (the liter large super thick glasses there) by cheersing too intensely (or to be correct, by "prost"ing too intensely) and that was pretty funny stuff.
Then we did the Mikes bike tour where Pat was deemed the ass man, which means he held up the rear of the tour, and since we were hanging together we got the title "Team Ass"..... definitely one of the least becoming nicknames I have had. The tour was tons of fun though, the tour guide was so charasmatic and the city is very beautiful, we biked through a garden (called the English garden) that is three times the size of central park, pretty impressive. Half way through we stopped at the worlds second largest beer garden (a beer garden is outside, the haus is inside a house... ya) But it holds 8000 people, the largest, still in Munich, holds 9500... crazy again I know. But yeah we signed up for a tour of the castle which the disneyland castle (Neuschwanstein, thanks Pat for that spelling) was modeled from and from pictures it looks BEAUTIFUL so, that should be tons of fun. It also involves swimming in the mountain lakes there (its right up on the Alps) so Im pumped for that since my summers generally involve quite abit of swimming. So Munich is definitely a fun city, beautiful, with great history too (the oldest building was built over 1000 years ago) and great and abundant beer. Good times. I am also uber excited to see my soon to be hitched brother soon, if he was to meet us anywhere, im glad it is here as this is a sweet city, with a fun hostel too (which includes a free welcome beer, lol go munich!) Alas... that is all for now :)