Friday, July 20, 2007

Going away again

That's right, folks. I'm outta here tomorrow. I'm going to Utah again for a couple of weeks. Even I, the master trip planner, don't know what all I will be doing on this vacation. It's a fly by the seat of my pants kind of trip.

Hopefully, I will come back with some interesting tales to share.

I most likely won't have internet access for the two weeks, so I'll be MIA until I get back. So please everyone, leave me some love here so that I will feel missed while I'm away. I'm counting on you all! I expect to find a record breaking number of concerned and loving comments here when I come home. (So that will be about what? 20 comments or so to break the record for me?)

Take care everyone.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Friday the 13th Camping...

I went camping this weekend with my family on Friday the 13th. There was no Jason and all of us came out of the trip alive. I was, however, a little worried that it might have turned a little scary...camping with the family, that is. Spending time with family members--especially the parents--in tents in the middle of the forest (with very few witnesses around) could turn far scarier than anything Jason or Freddy could hash out!

It turned out to not be very scary after all and we had fun. (I did, of course, set up my own tent not to be shared with those other crazy people.) I went hiking, biking, and fishing the whole weekend. I discovered a new favorite cliff-side fishing hole that I enjoyed because I felt that being so high up made me invisible to the fishes. Well, that and there was a small waterfall next to it that I could play in once I became bored.

This was nothing like the primitive camping that Best Friend and I are used to. I mean there was actually an established CAMPGROUND and you could see other PEOPLE! Still the beauty along the Tallulah River and the gorge is awesome and you must travel down a long, winding dirt road deep into the Chattahoochee National Forest to get there. Traveling only a few miles down the dirt past our campsite will lead you into North Carolina, but not before traveling through impressive Tate City with only about 6 houses and a whopping population of 32 (give or take)! Tate City cracked me up and we all had a good, long laugh about it.
If you can imagine what it would be like to run across a "city" in the forest, then imagine what it would be like to be sitting in your campsite in the forest and then hear what sounds like carnival music growing louder. I was wondering if Tate City had set up a fairground for it's 30 residents until I realized that it was not a fair, but an ice cream truck pulling into the campground! At first I was taken back by my wilderness experience being tarnished by such a civilized act as ice cream delivery. But that only lasted a moment. This was ICE CREAM, my kryptonite, my diet spoiler, after all!!! HELL YEAH!!! It seemed that I would not have to suffer through two whole days without ice cream after all! Now if only Grand Teton and Yosemite National Parks would just get on board with this program, I might just consider taking a longer backpacking trip next time.
Here's your grand tour of Tate City! Welcome! If you want, you can just move in to one of the 6 houses and become a resident. Our sign allows for an additional person to move in (or die).

There's grand sites to see like this barn. Anyone who lived in the Southeast along Interstate 75 and Interstate 24 about 20 years ago can appreciate (and find humor in) this knock off of the famous "See Rock City" barns. Those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, give me a sympathy chuckle and move right along...

There's fine shopping at Tate City. Click on this photo to check out the mall! The Pots To Piss In Outlet store is to die for!

And there are also incredible day trips to North Carolina available! This unfortunately concludes the tour of Tate City.


Self portrait time! It was a difficult task to set my camera on self timer, jump off that boulder, and wade my way across the river before the 10 seconds were up on the timer.

My aunt and dad fishing along the Tallulah River.

My other aunt and my mom weren't into fishing, though.

On one of my hikes I found this really cool snail...

and these pretty cool mushrooms.

Back at camp, we were cold so dad started this roaring fire. It was no where near the quality nor as long-lasting as my excellent fire building skills produce. And I don't cheat by using lighter fluid. Bad Daddy!

And last but certainly not least in my opinion, the ice cream truck! Yay for wilderness ice cream!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Talk to your cat about catnip

(See the post below to fully understand the importance of catnip education.)

My cat Lucy is real weirdo. One minute she's sleeping in my bed and the next, she's trying to jump through my closed window to get to a chipmunk outside. She takes out all of her kitty toys from her basket and litters my floor with her mess. When I try to clean it up, she will slap my hand and give me that protective, "Don't be touching my pink mouse" look. So I throw the mouse to her, encouraging her to play and she gives me that "whatever, you stupid human!" look and walks away to her kitty condo by the window and falls aleep. I just thought she was a freak...Until I saw this informative video posted above. I am such a bad parent for not noticing the signs. And an even worse parent for condoning this substance abuse by picking up her a pack whenever I'm at Pet Smart. I mean, really, would you bring home a six pack of beer to an alcoholic?
I had no idea she was an addict. I wish I had been more informed on this subject.

I also have the sneaky suspicion that Lucy could be sharing the nip with my roommates' cats. This would explain their new gansta look and rebellious aggession. You can almost see the anger in their eyes.

Or maybe it's just the fact that we knit really gay hats and dress them up.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The last days of my European vacation

Here are some pictures from my last two days in Europe. The last post of this trip ended with Harburg Castle. After a stop at the castle, we continued up the Romantic Road to the midieval city of Rothenburg. Rothenburg is said to be one of the best preserved from its time, complete with a wall still intact around the city.

You can see Rothenburg and its surrounding wall behind me in this pic.

Best Friend and I figured that we would share a romantic embrace under a heart in celebration of the Romantic Road. (Best Friend, how much do you think those losers we met in Savannah who tried to pay us to kiss would give us for this shot? Silly, stupid boys!)

A view within the city.

Was this in a James Bond movie or something? It seemed so familiar to me!

We took a little hike outside of the city walls and down a narrow little road. We passed a super creepy church on our way down. And then we made it to this very old bridge built in the 14th Century and resembling a Roman viaduct. It spans the Tauber River.

Once we climbed the steep, winding road back through the gates of Rothenburg, we visited one of my favorite places--the Midieval Criminal Museum! They had it all from comfy furniture like this to...

sexy underwear to...

to cool Halloween costumes...that is, if you want to be an authentic executioner for Halloween and wear this mask worn by executioners in the Dark Ages. (Just a note: they also had all the accessories you would need to pull of such a great costume such as the robe, sword, and axe!)

Seriously, isn't this the scariest looking thing?

Later that evening, back in home-sweet-Munich, we discovered yet another fountain to take pictures of. I think I have an obsession with fountains and cathedrals as they make up about 50% of all the photos I took on this trip!

We also were obsessed with the Hofbrauhaus! We dined there once again with our roomates and new friends. M. from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is seated next to me and S. from Vienna, Austria is next to Best Friend.

(M. and S., I miss you girls!)


Our final day...
Welcome to Salzburg, Austria! It's the city of music, birthplace of Mozart, and where "the hills are alive with the sound of music"! I am standing on the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Salz River and joins the new town to the old town. The old city of Salzburg is behind me. The white castle-like fortress above the city is called the Fortress of Salzburg.

This was taken looking up in the dome of my favorite of all the cathedrals I visited, Dom zu Salzburg. It was so beautiful to me that I emptied the last of my Euro coins from my wallet to give for its restoration.

Part of a cemetery below the Fortress. Mausoleums lined the wall by mountain on the left and graves were scattered along the walkways by chapels.

Since I can't speak or read German very fluently (or at all), I have no idea what this beautiful building is. I am thinking that by the looks of it, that it must have something to do with the famous Austrian Horses. But weren't those horses all white?

One of the narrow streets in Salzburg's busy shopping district. We never ran into large crowds of people anywhere, except here in Salzburg. It was still a very pleasant experience and I loved this city very much.

Finally, we fought the crowds to the most crowded place in town, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! I was really looking forward to seeing it, but counting how many times someone stepped on me or bumped into me, it seems so was everyone else. Where there are large crowds, I don't tarry long!

So we moved right along to the beautiful grounds and gardens of Mirabell Palace. This was my favorite view of Salzburg across the gardens. You can see the domes of the cathedrals all the way up to the fortress.

After leaving Salzburg, we traveled further into the Austrian Alps. This is Lake St. Wolfgang. We came into the town of St. Wolfgang where we took a nice boat ride across the lake to another little town.

On board the boat. Goodbye, St. Wolfgang!

On the other side of the lake. It was then time to say goodbye to Austria and then the following day goodbye to Germany, too.

I'm not too sad since I know I will be coming back...well right after I visit Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Switzerland!