This weekend a few guys and myself hopped on a train (first class) and headed north to The Efteling! Imagine Disney meets Holland plus fairytales and some questionable characters, and bam, Efteling. It was a lot of fun, but most if not all things were in Dutch (duh) so it was hard to follow some of the things. Most were very simple fairytales such as sleeping beauty or Hanzel and Gretel, but some were things I had not heard of. All in all it was a fantastic day! (not magical like Disney though)
I will be posting pictures of the park soon, and I also recorded one of the rollercoaster rides from the front! May need to censor some of that, but it was exciting!
Last night we got back from Amsterdam and needless to say it was a crazy good time! Friday we left Maastricht bright and early (which is much brighter here might I add) and headed towards Amsterdam. Once we got there we were scheduled for a canal tour, then Ann Frank tour, and lastly going in to the Van Gogh Museum. The canal tour was cool to be able to ride through the entire city and just see all of the buildings and history so easily. Plus we had a tour guide driving so we got the low down as we moved along. Most of my pictures came out blurry thanks to the movement, but Joe (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jl4nd) had his very nice camera to make up for anything I missed. The Ann Frank house was eerie and sad, but also extremely interesting. I literally walked through the bookcase door and into the secrete home that Ann Frank and her sister Margot (along with the other 5 or so Jews) hid in from the Nazis. After walking through the tour we moved on to the Van Gogh Museum which was extremely cool. Like the Ann Frank house however, we weren’t allowed cameras so I cant help with images. It was very interesting, to me at least, all of the Van Gogh paintings that are done on top of other paintings that either didn’t sell or weren’t “good” for the artist. Sometimes he would simply scrape it off and start over, while others he would just paint on top.
After the Museum we were on our own in the city and things got exciting. We took the opportunity to walk through the city and see as much as we could on our way to checking into the hotel. Again my camera wasn’t grabbing the best pictures (but I will have some up soon) so I will suggest checking out Joe’s (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jl4nd). After missing the timing for the bar crawl, which turned out to be a blessing, we decided to simply make up our own. We knew where we wanted to be, because you’re only in Amsterdam once, so we bar hopped here to there throughout the downtown area on our own. The bartenders were actually very helpful with directions, shots, and generally good conversation so we were on our way to enjoying Amsterdam. Of course we ended our night with a walk through the iconic red lights, but only a walk THROUGH. No need to worry mother.
Saturday was basically all about Heineken. We made our way to the birth place of the beir and started to walk through. It was a self guided tour that was estimated to take around an hour and a half. I think we spent four hours there just wondering around from thing to thing. It was very interesting to learn more about how the beir was made and how it is still made in a very similar way. The free beir didn’t hurt either!
Traversing the trains to get home was a bit of a hassle as the Amsterdam ticket guy was clearly having a poor day and must not have been too excited for more American young people. Luckily the woman in the next station was far more helpful and friendly! We made it back correctly, and missed no trains (that we realize) and were safe and sound in our own beds last night.
Today is a special ceremony that only happens once in every seven year. The Heiligdomsvaart is a procession through the town of Maastricht with the golden relics of the Catholic Church. Being in the south of Holland we are experiencing the Catholic side while in Amsterdam we were seeing the Protestant side. This kind of thing is going to be awesome to see and I will be putting up photos and video as soon as I can tonight or tomorrow.
I can’t believe it’s already been a week in Europe, but also I keep reminding myself, “this was just the FIRST week!”
Finally in Europe! and this place is awesome! Today we finally started some of our program with a scavenger hunt and a quick intro to the program by the director. There are a ton of photos of us walking around the city on Joe’s flickr account so check those out! (http://t.co/ebowmQ1)
My only pictures so far were of the flight in. There have been so many people with so many cameras so I have been letting them take the bulk of the pictures for now. Plus Joe’s camera is very nice so why even compete? The trip in was a lot of fun and we are getting acclimated with the area very quickly so I am excited for this trip to continue!
I am going to try to give some updates as I go so just keep checking in if you are interested!
After the game and dinner, it was off to the road again. We hopped onto the highway to go next door, to the state. From ATL to Trafford, Alabama. Thats right, Trafford. Did I just hear people asking where that is? Basically it’s a traffic light north of Birmingham and south of Huntsville. As soon as we arrived it was off to have fun.
We were surprising my Grandma, which is always a slippery slope. You want her to be excited and you want to show up, but at the same time you want her to stay alive (and have clean pants). So we pull in the drive and Grandaddy opened the door, and my brother and I came up behind her. I grabbed a chair and put it beside her wheel chair and said “What’re we watchin’ Granma?”. I thought she was going to get the police called on us the way she started screaming. It was hilarious! Good news is she is still alive (and definitely didn’t need new pants).
The next day and a half was basically a parade for my Grandaddy to show all of his friends two of his “boys”. Of course, either my brother or I (Usually both) were wearing something Alabama and every time he had to remind us that he is an Auburn fan. He is always been an Auburn fan, but when I mentioned that I might look at some Graduate work in Tuscaloosa, he suddenly didn’t care where it was as long as I could be close. Who knows, maybe I will be!
The trip to Alabama was a whole lot of fun and was a great opportunity to see the Grandparents and some cousins! The next stop on the trip was Blue Ridge, Georgia to see the other set of Grandparents. Exciting trip and it’s only continuing!
So I am still working on the timely portion of the whole blog thing, but I will get on top of it! Anyways, first trip down and had a whole lot of fun. We drove from Northern Virginia all the way down to Atlanta, Georgia and it was a pretty smooth ride. Once down in the big ATL we got ready for the Braves game, and we got pretty sick seats if you ask me! Check out our view:
The game was awesome. It was a great time to just sit with the family, in a familiar setting, and enjoy the company. Speaking of the company, the game was the annual Civil Rights Game for the MLB and there was a quick awards ceremony prior to the game. The people being given awards were instrumental in the fight for civil rights. The three men being honored were Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks, Carlos Santana, and Morgan Freeman. It was amazing to be able to simply say that I was in the same place as them! The Braves pulled it together in the bottom of the 8th with a go ahead Homerun from Dan Uggla, who happened to be every run that the Braves had! It was a great game to watch, and a great way to start our trip. As soon as the game was over it was off to dinner at The Varsity and then back on road and off to Alabama for the first family visiting! That’s where the next blog comes in, soon!
This last year was an exciting one for me. The best part of the semester was most definitely applying for all the crazy things that I some how thought would be a good idea. I may be a little crazy but I think that my next semester, and hopefully year, will be a fun and exciting time. Of the things that I applied for I believe I got all of them. So not only will my summer be packed, but I have also packed my year!
The latest acceptance is as a Ferguson Fellow. I don’t want to brag, and I’m not one think I’m all that great, but I am excited for this opportunity. I will be working with a website, and doing some social media marketing, which I would like to think I am getting pretty good at.
I decided to blog about this new opportunity because it will add to my summer fun! Now I will be traveling and studying and WORKING. So this will be more updates on here!
Still thinking up a closing of course.. So stay tuned for that..
So apparently tumblr is all the rage this week! I have never really updated this as a blog, but I guess I should start now that so many of my Brothers are joining in. This Summer is going to be riddled with fun for me, and of course I will keep this thing as updated as I can in order to keep everyone posted on how I am doing!
Let’s break down what I will be doing this Summer first off:
- Trip to Atlanta with my family. We should be seeing a Braves game, as well taking the opportunity to run around and see the Grandparents in the area.
- UIFI in Indianapolis. I will be flying out to Indiana for a Greek leadership conference as the CNU IFC President. I am excited to meet all the different reps from across the Nation that will bring so many good ideas to light for CNU.
- Possible trip to New York City. Another family trip, but fun none the less. My Dad offered to show one of our cousins around NYC, so of course we are going to try to tag along for some big city fun!
- My big trip for the Summer is a study abroad in Maastricht, Netherlands! From July 4 till August 12, there should be some great updates on this thing!
This is going to be a very exciting and adventurous summer! Please let me know if there are things that I should be checking out in any of those locations, because I want to make the best out of each trip!
I will come up with a sign off eventually, no worries!