Thursday, December 16, 2010

Montreux Christmas Market, A Little Christmas blog

I find that spending Christmas without my family has been far more difficult than I had imagined back in May when I first came to Europe. I remember thinking that everyone needs to spend at least one Christmas away from their family, to build character. Now, I’m not so sure that still rings true. I doubt it has anything to do with character to be away from one’s family. It just goes to show how much family or friends truly mean to you once you can’t see them at Christmas.

I imagine that it would be much more trying without todays latest communication breakthroughs such as Skype or Facebook. Yet even with them I still long to be home more than I have before. I guess that there comes a time in many young adults lives when the shift from friend importance moves back to family importance. Taking place after those tired years where we depended on the advice and thoughts of our friends more than our family. Now I find that I’m looking more and more to my parents for advice, and actually taking it. Now that I’m starting to grow closer to my family it makes being away from home all the more upsetting.

This could also be a personality test. I’m sure there are many people who have no problem being away from home at Christmas. It allows them the freedom to avoid all the family drama, awkward presents, Aunt Claire’s overwhelming perfume, ect. For some, Christmas might not be much more than opening presents Christmas morning and a fancy dinner, both of which can be done anywhere. For me though I have started to find new importance in Christmas. It’s a time to recognize God’s glory through his sending of Jesus Christ to Earth. The most amazing thing in history happened and Christmas is the time of year to celebrate how much God loves us, how much Jesus sacrificed and how connected we all really are! This connection can only make me think of family and wanting to be near them.

I know that this time next year I will be celebrating at home surrounded by crowds at the mall, traffic, decorations but most of all my closest family and friends, near to me once more. I just have to try and have a merry little Christmas, even while my family is far away.Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight

Once again as in olden days
happy golden days of your
faithful friends who are dear to us,
will be near to us once more

Someday soon we all will be together
until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow

So have yourself a merry little christmas now

- B

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Sometimes I still can't believe that I've been to some of the places that I've traveled to. Rome is certainly one of those places. I traveled to and from solo but while in Rome I was with my good friend Rebecca from college! I haven't seen her since graduation day so I had been looking forward to this trip since I found out she was living in Naples. We met at the train station and went to our small hostel. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of it but it was similar to my Milan hostel, on one floor of a residential building. It was almost like an apartment that they converted into a hostel; very strange. Actually, Italy itself is a little strange. It's not really like the rest of Europe. They're aren't any Sandleman's Free Tours, Starbucks or Chain Hostels. Some people might like that it's resisted globalization in this way but it makes me a bit wary to travel there. Alas, Rome was much better than my first trip to Milan.
As soon as we dropped our things off at the hostel we walked to see the most known of all Roman tourist attractions, the colosseum. We were too late to go inside but got some really beautiful pictures! Next we decided to track down some of the places from Angels and Demons! I had recently finished the book and re-watched the movie so I was a bit of a Dan Brown buff for this trip, much to the baffled amusement of Rebecca who hasn't read the book or seen the movie.
We were able to go to 3 of the 5 places from the book. The Piazza di Navona, The Castle Sant'Angelo and Saint Peter's Square. Everything from the book and movie was described exactly how it is! I was more or less amazed! Seriously, I think I must have said "This is awesome" at least 10 times (Also, I'm sure American's are the only English speaking country who uses the word awesome as frequently as we do). Then we went on a walk next to the river to see the Island in the middle of the river. Then we got there, took some pictures and proceeded to go on a search for food. Unfortunately, I was very unimpressed with the food we had. I had lasagna one night and pizza the next and both were disappointing. I'm sure there's good food in Rome, obviously, but not where we went. The cappuccino on the other hand was awesome, hah. Seriously though, I have never had such a delicious cappuccino in all my life. So frothy, creamy, delicious... I would go back just for cappuccino...
The next day we went to St. Peter's Basilica where we were escorted past the line and given a sweet tour by our very knowledgeable tour guide. I really find the history of Christianity to be fascinating and loved adding to my weak knowledge of Catholicism. After the Basilica we went to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. I even sneaked in a couple pictures (Bottom left) the Sistine Chapel is truly amazing and full of life and detail. I wish I would have had more time to read about it and look at it.
The next day we went to the Roman Forum which is basically just ruins from Ancient Rome. Pretty neat and very impressive to see what was possible in that time. Then I departed back to Geneva and the start of a weeklong snow storm. This was a fantastic trip and one I would certainly recommend!

Next up: Paris and London Part Deux with my Sister!!!

- B

P.S. Sorry this post is so lame, my motivation for anything today is pretty weak.