Next Stop – Germany/Italy

“Get your passport ready, because you’re going oversees” is what I told myself. In June of 2020, I will be traveling to Germany to visit the foreign exchange student I became best friends with while she was living here in Wisconsin. Over in Germany, she lives in a town called Herxheim.. how you pronounce that, I have no clue.

I have always wanted to go over to Europe and explore. But the number one place on my bucket list is Italy. I think it is one of the most beautiful places, plus Italian food is my absolute favorite, so I need to try what real Italian food tastes like.

Herxheim to Venice, Italy is only about 5 hours. The plan is when I arrive in Germany, we will spend about 3 days exploring her hometown and neighboring cities. We will then take a train to Italy. One thing I want to do while in Italy is go on a Gondola Ride. What that is, is kind of like a canoe or kayak looking boat and it will take you to the most famous theatre in Venice, La Fenice, to admire its stunning exteriors from the water. Plus I feel like it’s super relaxing and looking at all the historical buildings would be pretty cool to see.

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I’m not really sure what else we will be exploring, but I’m super excited to go to another country and see what it’s all about. I’m not all too excited though to be flying over seas by myself. I’m especially nervous to have a layover flight because I’ve never experienced that and what if I miss my flight or something.

Aside from my worries of flying, June of 2020 can’t come soon enough!

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Washington D.C to New York

When I was in 8th grade, the school put together a trip to Washington D.C and New York, and I of course went. We took a coach bus to the airport in Minneapolis and from there we flew to Washington D.C.

While we were in Washington D.C we explored A LOT. One of my favorite things we did was go to the White House. It was crazy to see how many homeless people live around there and how many people protest. I met a lady who was homeless and lived right outside the gates of the White House for 20+ years. Other things we did while we were there were tour the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theatre, National Air and Space Museum, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, National WWII Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and many more attractions. I got a lot of cool pictures at some of these places but unfortunately they were on a camera, that I don’t have anymore so I can’t show you the real deal, so google images will have to suffice.

We also went to a Medieval Times dinner theater. We were served dinner and got to watch some jousting. One of the guys riding the horse threw me a rose during the show. I got to meet him after the show and take a picture with him. One of my teachers surprised me with a picture frame with the picture of us in it. He had sent this picture frame to the guy and he wrote a little message and signed it! I even still have the rose he gave me.

“Hi Sweetheart, I see you got my flower and I’m really happy you enjoyed the show! Best Wishes”

From Washington D.C we took a coach bus and drove to New York. I was a little nervous because obviously New York is a huge city and I’m not a fan of huge crowds, but it was fine. We did a lot of sight seeing and went to Times Square, which was really cool! We also got to watch the Good Morning America show live one morning. Another thing that I enjoyed was we went to Broadway and watched the Lion King.

As much as I thought I wasn’t going to like New York, I actually really enjoyed it. There are so many cool things to see and so much to do you could never get bored there. The one thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the weather, it was super rainy the entire time we were there so it just made for a wet trip, but we definitely tried to make the most of it.

Traveling with the school is a pretty cool thing because they set everything up and put together all the tours we are going to do, but there is such a time crunch that you can’t really enjoy it as much as you could if you were to go on your own or with your family. I wouldn’t mind visiting these places again. One thing I know for sure is that someday I want to go back to New York on New Years Eve and watch the ball drop.

West Coast

“Having lunch at Panera before headed to the airport”

I had the opportunity to meet one of my very good friends Alexxis Hulburt here at Barron County, playing volleyball. Unfortunately, she had to move back to California. BUT! It just gives me an excuse to go to California when its COLD here and visit her!

Last year in April I flew to California all by myself and let me tell you, I was terrified. I love flying and everything, but traveling alone for the first time is something else and you never know what to expect. But thankfully, everything went smooth. My flight to LAX was about 3 and a half hours and I had a window seat so I got to see all the cool cities and mountains we flew over.

“Minneapolis in April.. the lake looks like a lion”

Once I got off the plane in LAX, I literally had no idea where I was going because the airport was so big and there were so many people. I just followed the crowd to baggage claim and finally found where Alexxis and her mom were waiting for me. Since we were super close to the beach and the only time we would get to spend time there, we went to Huntington Beach and laid on the beach for a few hours, played some sand volleyball, and walked the pier. I had never been to the Ocean before, and it was pretty chilly that day, so I just dipped my toes in the water. Around 1:00, I was getting pretty hangry so we left and went to In-N-Out burger for lunch, which in fact I still have cravings for.. and this why:

“Doesn’t that just make your mouth water?”
“I should have learned how to surf, but I didn’t want to get eaten by a shark”

Alexxis lives in Hesperia, California which is in the high desert so we didn’t get to spend a lot of time on the beach. The drive to the beach was about 2 hours so we found other things to do. We went to a Knott’s Berry Farm, which is like Valleyfair, but bigger. We went for a hike close to the mountains which was super cool and breathtaking because it was so beautiful. The only downfall about being in the high desert is there are barely any trees so it was super windy every single day, but we still spent a lot of our time outside because it was so hot and I was still trying to get a tan before coming back to Wisconsin.

California is a super busy and expensive place, but it is somewhere that I would love to visit again someday. The only thing I would personally like to do more of is spend more time on the beach playing sand volleyball and eat endless amounts of food at In-N-Out.

“Breathtaking view from our hike”

The Sunshine State

Have you ever been to Florida? If not, I highly recommend going at some point in your life. Florida is beautiful! I had the opportunity to travel to there with 3 of my best friends during Spring Break. We packed our bags and drove 20 hours to Santa Rosa Beach. Yes.. straight through and how we managed to not pull each others hair out is shocking, I know.. but once we arrived around 9am, we went to the beach right away because we couldn’t check into our Airbnb until 4pm. We laid on the beach for hours and for sure got burnt.

One of my favorite parts from the trip is we drove to Fort Walton Beach and rented jet skis and rode them around in the Gulf of Mexico for two hours. Honestly, it was one of the most amazing experiences I had. I even had a dolphin swimming next to me! For those of you that don’t know, dolphins are my favorite animal, so to have one literally swimming right next to me was amazing. Another thing about Florida that I loved, was the beauty of the sunsets every single night. We would go to the beach just before sunset and listen to the waves crash and wait for the sun to set.

“Surprised we didn’t get eaten by a shark”

During our last days there, we decided we all wanted to get tattoos. We drove to Destin, ate Chick-Fil-A for lunch and went to the tattoo shop. I got a little airplane on my ankle representing my love for traveling and also symbolizing to always move forward in life.