Europe Memories

Did you know that Allison is living it up in Ireland right now? I can't wait to hear all about her adventures. This time last year, Adam and I escaped Pittsburgh winter and studied abroad in Southern France. Oh boy, do I miss it. Especially the pastries. Today, I am feeling inspired to jot down our funny memories before they're forgotten.

{Note: this list probably won't make sense to anyone but the mister.}


- The pillows in our apartments. Mine, that was literally only 1/4 inch thick. And Adam's, which was stuffed with maybe twenty cotton balls.

- The time Adam caught be sneaking out of Paul {the bakery in Aix} and made me share my secret tarte citron with him.

- The pilgrimage we signed up for with the Catholic student group in Aix, which ended up involving climbing not one, but two mountains.

- The terrible hostel we stayed at in Paris. Our room {with two twin beds, I might add} had a bathroom. But the bathroom didn't have a door. And the shower didn't have a shower curtain. And we weren't married. Things got a little awkward.

- The little British kids walking up the steps of the Eiffel Tower in front of us. And the four-year-old boy starting to crawl and declaring "I'm gonna die!"

- Going to the chocolate festival in Marseille and just being in heaven trying all the free samples. And randomly getting to ride in a vintage Jaguar along the Mediterranean coast.

- The Albanian guy that wouldn't stop talking to us on the train to Rome and how I was paranoid that he would try to kidnap us.

- That fight we got into in the Vatican museum when I told Adam he would have to write postcards to his whole family in Rome AND Venice {in his defense, that's quite a lot of postcards.}

Trevi Fountain

- How we thought the mile walk from the train station to our hotel in Assisi would be no big deal. But then our hotel was on the very tip-top of the hill and there were no street signs anywhere.

- We spent Ash Wednesday in Assisi and fasted the whole day, so we were pretty excited for a good Italian dinner. I ordered plain spaghetti with marinara sauce, but the sauce came chock full of little tiny pieces of mushroom. I absolutely, positively can't stand mushrooms, so I didn't eat much of the spaghetti. I guess the waiter felt bad, because he brought us a few slices of pizza. But they were also covered in mushrooms!

- The canals flooding in Venice. They set up card table type things for everyone to walk on. Restaurants were getting flooded and waiters were wearing waders, haha. Our shoes weren't dry the entire time.

- Watching a soccer game in Marseille and getting really confused when the game ended in a tie and everyone just left, not knowing that they don't have overtime in soccer.

- Going to the park in Aix and people watching. Well, more like adorable-French-toddler watching.

- How the train to Switzerland was so ridiculously crowded, like a subway car at rush hour. Except everyone had luggage with them. And how we almost missed the notice that the front cars were disconnecting to go to Geneva.

- Falling off my horse while riding through a swamp in the Camargue. And my horrible allergic reaction to hay that made my eyes puffy for literally the whole weekend.

- Going to Confession in French. Coming all prepared with all of our sins and the Act of Contrition written out. Then having to try to discern what the priest was giving as penance!

- When we climbed Monte Sainte Victoire and I complained the entire time. And then we saw the real-life version of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast literally running up the entire mountain.

- How scary our grammar teacher sounded when she spoke English. Ahh!

Cliffs of Moher

- The super strict signs we saw in Dublin. Like the ones on the trashcans that menacingly read,
"Litter is disgusting. So are those who do it."

- How the tour guide on our trip to the Cliffs of Moher spent an inordinate amount of time discussing bathrooms - how many stops we should make, the quality of the bathrooms at each stop, etc. But then we caught him peeing outside at a gas station!

- The guy in our hostel in London who snored SO loud. We got a really, really early start to sightseeing on our first morning there. Then we bought industrial-strength ear plugs.

- When I tried to go up the down escalator at the movies in London. Adam saw what I was trying to do, but didn't stop me. He just watched and laughed!

- How during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the band played "Mamma Mia!" and "All that Jazz." What?!?

- Leaving the Victoria & Albert Museum to fly back to Marseille and being disappointed that I wouldn't get to see the exhibit about Grace Kelly. We saw some signs in the tube about airport delays and Adam joked that we might just be able to see the exhibit. Turns out a Icelandic volcano had erupted and shut down European air travel!

- We were stuck in London for another three days, so we went back to the V&A to see the Grace Kelly exhibit. But the guy at the ticket counter said they were all sold out. I guess I looked really, really upset, because he decided that they had "just one space left". What a nice guy!

- The crazy number of umbrellas we lost or broke in three months.

- The terrible washer and dryer in Adam's apartment building, which made laundry day the worst day of the week.

- How Barcelona smelled amazing in some parts of the city, like honeysuckle. But the rest of the city smelled like pee.


What an adventure!