Friday, July 24, 2009

Roma, and The End

Sorry it's taken so long to get this post up! Our Hotel in Rome had no wi fi so I had to go bum it off some neighborhood house to even get one tweet out. Anyways, I wanted to share with everyone how Kona's and my time in Rome was!

Rome is huge, and in more ways then one. If the size isn't daunting enough, Rome's history made me feel like an ant in the grand scheme of life. The first day we arrived there from Assisi we saw two major sites: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum. I'm not sure what I expected the Colosseum to be like, but it was ENORMOUS! We totally loved seeing the very area where legends and even movies have come from. Very surreal.
After the Colosseum we saw the Roman Forum, or rather the ruins. Seeing the birthplace of the first true Republic made me think of America. How are we similar to the Romans? Very interesting.

Rome day 2 consisted of waking up early so we could visit the 5th country on our adventure: The Vatican. Although our tour guide was dominent and probably hung over, it was fascinating to walk in the center of Catholocism and to see such great works. Kona and I were blown away by the Cistine Chapel! Michaelangelo was incredible! So many pictures were taken, it's hard to adequatly express everything with words.
After The Vatican we split into 5 different groups and competed in a scavenger hunt around Rome! We had to navigate a map, and ask people directions to places like the Piazza di Espania and the Trevi Fountain! It was awesome to feel that wind in the face, that feeling of independance. Awesome times with friends!
We ended Rome day 2 with a group get together back at the hotel. Not only was this the end of Rome, but the end of Italy, and therefor our trip as well. In the morning, we would be taken to the airport to go home.

Kona's felt like this trip has flown by. Looking back, it seems like our homestay and time in Spain was a long time ago, but at the same time it seems like just yesterday we were pleading with people to donate money to our Summer Europe Trip. We've both put in so much time, sweat, and tears into this campaign, it's hard to believe it must come to an end. $7,000 well spent, undoubtedly. So many new relationships and great experiences. Smiles, frowns, laughs, blisters, songs, and friends.
And all this for what? An experience? No. Try this: a chance to get out of our comfort zones, take a step, and try on a new pair of shades.

Be keepin you updated about our airport extravaganzas!

Colin & Kona

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Full On!

Today was our Full On day! Basically, it was a day to conquer fears and get some tools of how to live life to the fullest. It reminded both Kona and I of Teen Focus (for those of you who know what that is.) except it was only one day. We did team building exercises to learn more about ourselves and we also got to repell down an old castle tower! It was so cool and so fun! Kona zoomed down the wall in no time flat, and I had a fun time racing Creed and Alex down!

There's Kona second from left!

Like a pro

Colin being oh so manly (far right)

Just about to win the race!

This is the tent/room we danced, had fun, and learned in

Today is our last day near Assisi. Tomorrow, we head to Rome! We get to see the Coloseum tomorrow, and I am so very psyched!! In two days we get to visit the Vatican, which i'm excited for also!!

Both Kona and I miss our families and can't wait to see them, and yet this trip is so fun and it's hard to accept that it is coming to an end. Looking back, we really have put our blood sweat and tears into this. I'm so glad it's been worth it, and so excited for these last few days!

Colin and Kona

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kona found an Italian boyfriend... And Colin beat him up ;)

Today has been such a fun day. We started out the day with a bus ride to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We got to spend a lot of time walking around, shopping, and touring a cathedral. Colin and I had fun taking pictures at the tower. We both thought that it was very cool and very touristy. We were able to walk right up to the tower which was really cool.

We toured Asisi this afternoon. We got a history lesson from a nun. She spoke very good English. Oh yeah... She was from New Jersey. She told us some very interesting stories about St. Frances and then we got to walk around.
After that, we spent some time in Asisi itself and got to hang out. Gelato and staying out of the sun were the order for the's been hot!

It turns out we get to do the repelling tomorrow, not today. Tomorrow is called our "full on day" and I guess repelling is only one of the things we're doing! Totally can't wait!

Pray that these last days of our journey prove to be the best. We can't wait to see what God has in store!

Kona and Colin

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Colin is in jail for taking pictures of David

We got to spend today in Florence! We started out the day with a tour. We got to see a lot of beautiful statues. We got to take pictures of a replica of the statue of David and at the end of our tour, we got to see the real statue of David. The real statue is located in the 'Academia' along with other beautiful unfinished statues. Colin cheated and took pictures of the real David (below).

We had a great lunch at a restaurant close by. We had some delicious chicken, pasta, and ice cream. After lunch we had some free time to walk around.

We got a tour of a leather factory where we learned how to tell the diference between fake and real leather. We had some time to shop but again, everything was super expensive.

Right now we are on our way to a pizza place where some of us will get to help make dinner. After that we will head back to the hotel for some swimming and packing.

Last night we had a talent show. A group of girls dressed up as the guys, made fun if them, and did a skit. Colin and Creed also did a skit where they each played multiple characters. It was halarious! Dee Dee got a video of the whole thing.

A few nights ago, a guy on the team was having a hard night. He was feeling homesick and he was dealing with some fears of singing in front of everybody at the talent show. Colin, Creed, and I and a few others were able to talk to him and encourage him. We even ended up singing with him while we were standing around a fountain in France. Last night at the talent show, this guy got up and thanked us for helping him deal with his homesickness and he invited us to come and sing with him. It was such a sweet moment.

Colin and I were talking about how fast the time has been going. Each day doesn't seem to fly by but when we look back at the past two weeks we can't believe that we are already one week away from seeing our families. We definitely miss them but we are really enjoying our time here.

Please pray for health and realness for our team. Also pray that we will really be able
to enjoy our last week in Italy.

More pics are below. Enjoy!

Kona and Colin

The David replica

The real David!

This was good to know for Kona and I. Let's just say our sense of direction is sub par.

Ten kids in a phone booth!

A flan heart that Colin presented to our waiter while the rest of us laughed.

More later!

Plans for tomorrow: visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, meet a priest in Asisi, and repel off of an old cathedral.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The last of France and the beginning of Italy

Sorry for not blogging for a long time. the Wi Fi was dumb in our last hotel. We have done a lot since our last post. We visited an American cemetery on French soil, we got a tour of a perfume factory, and we had two days to explore Nice. Finally, we visited Monaco today.

The American cemetery was very American, white, and had two mosaics. The history lesson was a little boring and Colin had a hard time because cemeteries are hard for him to be in right now. None the less, it was educational and provided time for self-reflection.

The perfume factory was fun. Kona actually smelled good for once... ;-) We talked about how perfume is made and then took a quiz which we both missed one on. Then we had time to shop but the perfume was way too expensive :(

Nice was nice...
We got to tour the city and even go bowling as a team!

This morning we went to Monacco. It is one of the richest countries in the world but also the second smallest. We had free time to shop but most of our time was spent taking pictures of the beautiful houses and the sweet cars.

The days are flying by. Our time in France is now done. We just arrived in Italy. So far, Italy and France look a lot alike. Most of today is going to be spent in the coach. Hopefully none if us will get carsick. The road is very windy.

As our trip moves foreward we are maintaining the 'be here now' mentality. Please pray that homesickness and normal sickness don't get in the way of this.

Enjoy the below pics!
Colin and Kona

Kona likes her some green beans!

Awesome perfume factory

Overlooking Nice


Sweet bowling many yachts

Don't worry, Creed and I split the costs 50/50

A bakery in Monaco

Hmmm...I was a little sketchy when Kona bought 4 bars as souveniers...

First glimpses of Italy!