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I AMsterdam

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I LOVE AMsterdam!

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Friends and Family Come to Visit!

March 5th-8th

Monday was probably the most stressful workday I have had abroad so far. In my Gender and Sexuality class, we didn't have anything major due, but we had to provide an outline to our teacher on our final paper topic, which was extremely difficult to narrow a topic down for a 25-page paper. On top of that we had this extremely long and tedious writing assignment due for our Dutch Identity class. It consisted of three parts, with each part fairly extensive. I definitely should have started this WAY before Sunday night and Monday because it was extremely stressful to finish it on time. I was up until about 4 am on Monday working on it, and then immediately after my first class I went to my new favorite café Zappos worked for about 4 hours in between classes in order to finish it. It needed to be submitted by 5pm and I did the impossible and even submitted it a tad bit early, and was able to go and relax for an hour or so before the long three-hour class. After class on Monday night, I quickly rushed to meet Jillian and her dad and brother for dinner down in Leidsplein! They were eating a late dinner and luckily I was able to meet up with them. It is so nice to have friends and family in town - to see familiar faces.

Tuesday we had was our Dutch Art class and all I had to do was a little reading. In class today we were going to visit the Rijksmuseum, which is probably one of the most famous in Amsterdam. It is so nice that we have museum cards that our program provided for us, we get in free to almost every museum in Amsterdam! Jill's dad and brother actually met us at the museum and went along with us as our teacher gave us a simple tour. After class we went back and got ready to go out to dinner. Our good friends from Penn State also arrived in Amsterdam today, Kevin and Jimmy from KDR so I was extremely excited to see them as well. We all met down in Leidsplein for dinner and drinks. We ended up going to this Argentinean restaurant - most of us got the fajitas and the boys got steaks.

Tuesday nights are very quiet in Amsterdam, so we were pretty much the only people in the bar, but even though it was just us we always have a good time no matter what! After awhile of being there we all decided it was time to go home and get rest for tomorrow and tomorrow night!

On Wednesday I decided to be the tour guide for the boys!! I set up a whole plan for them for Wednesday, what to see, what to do, where to eat, and everything. They went to the Anne Frank House early, and since I had already done that with my dad I ended up just meeting them outside after. I biked down, which was huge mistake because the weather was TERRIBLE it started to rain and was just a miserable day. After they came out of Anne Frank I took them just down the road to the famous pancake bakery, I had been there also but it's so good I wanted to go back. When we got there, the sign on the door said it didn't open till 12 and it was 11:15 at this point, so we had some time to kill in between. The boys were so excited to get some good old fashion pancakes, they all study abroad in Italy where no such thing exists. We all got savory and sweet pancakes, and the meal was so good I could go back and eat there a million times. After brunch we decided to go to the Heineken Museum. I had already done this as well, but I decided to go in with them because I think this might be the only museum I actually enjoy. It is so interesting because you always see someone you know randomly in there. The boys ran into some girls from Florence, and I actually ran into some girls that go to Boulder that I knew from mutual friends. It's so interesting to hear people's reactions when they find out that I am studying abroad here. A lot of people are like, "wow I didn't even know you could study here." The general consensus I get from people, is how much they love the city of Amsterdam, which I completely agree, it is so amazing! After we were done I went back to our apartment to get ready for dinner with Jill's family, it had been a long day. I rushed quickly down to Leidsplein to meet them for dinner at a very nice seafood place.  We all went down to Rembrandtsplein to our favorite Wednesday nightspot Coco's!

 

Off to Paris!

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February 16th-19th

And we are off to PARIS!

Thursday

After a long week of work, the anxiously awaited trip to Paris was finally ready to begin!!! We had booked our train tickets yesterday on Wednesday, but since we did it so late we had to pay 40 euro for each way to reserve our seat so it was a little more expensive then we had thought. It was a little hectic Thursday morning preparing to leave. We had to get our student resident permits, we were hungry so we ate lunch, and did a little last minute shopping. We got back at about 12:30 and we needed to leave by 1:30.  I still had to pack, shower, and get ready, which was a very difficult task to complete if anyone knows me well. I ended up packing first, and I definitely knew I way over packed, but since it was Paris I felt I could do that. I quickly showered, I didn't have time to put make up or dry my hair or anything, so I was hoping there was no cute boys on the train that I had to impress! We rushed out of our apartments to central station where our train was to take off from. We didn't know exactly how to go, so we kind of looked around for a bit until we saw the direction of gate 15a and we rushed over towards it. We arrived about 5 minutes before our train arrived, so we were a little to close for comfort. When we first got on the train we didn't realize that there were different car numbers and seat numbers in each car, so we sat down in what we thought were our seats to later find out that ours were actually about two cars away. That was a hastle, having to get up and move all our stuff again to another train car. Finally we got to our correct seats and we were on our way to Paris. Earlier in the week we had found out by coincidence that three of my Gamma Phi sister's studying abroad in Florence were coming, Anna, Courtney, and Molly. Also two of our Gamma Phi sister's studying abroad in Rome, Amy, and Alexis were coming as well! We ended up booking the same hotel as them in order to be close to them all weekend! We were sad that our friend Alex who is actually studying abroad in Paris was going to Nice for the weekend for carnival, but she gave us a huge list of where to go, what to do, and even how to get there on the underground metro!

We were on the high-speed train to it was difficult to take pictures of the scenery but we saw a lot of the countryside of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. We only slept for about 30 min near the end, but the train ride was only about 3 hrs long so it was pretty fast! We got to stop in Brussels, which we will be going to in about 3 weeks and then from there it was straight shot to Paris! When we arrived in Paris, we scrambled a bit when we first got out because we had NO IDEA where to go what to do (we probably should have looked it up earlier) and to add to the fact nothing is in English. We ended up buying metro tickets and found our way to the metro we needed and got off on what we thought was the right stop, Montparnasse. When we got above ground, we had no idea where to go from there, so I quickly turned on my data on my Iphone to help guide us to Hotel Innova. From where we were it was about a 2 mile walk, and we could have taken another Metro to get there but we had no idea since it was just our first couple moments in Paris. We were trekking the streets of Paris, with our roller suitcases and backpacks on our back, and all of a sudden the Eiffel Tower pops up!! It was all lit up and was just beautiful, and was such an amazing feeling to see such a monument right away, at that point I felt like I was in Paris. We found our hotel, checked in, and went up to our room where we relaxed for about an hour and then decided to get ready and go eat dinner before the other girls got in because they were getting in very late. We walked around a bit and then found this very cute restaurant to eat at; it was 24 euro for an appetizer, a meal, and a desert! Jillian and I both got salads for our appetizer, and steak for our meal. It was so funny because with the steak it came with French fries which we thought was odd, until we realized that French fries literally have the word French in them so it all made sense for us. We had a glass or two of wine and dessert at the end. It was so, so good and this is where we realized how amazing the food in Paris was going to be. After dinner we headed back to our hotel hoping that the other girls had gotten in, as we were walking up to our hotel Amy and Alexis (ROME) were walking up too! It was so exciting to finally be with them and see them. They put there stuff down in there room and we walked around to see if we could find something quick for them to eat, this is when we had our first crepe experience which was foreshadowing for the rest of the weekend. We went back to the hotel and just hung out in the room exchanging abroad stories until the Florence girls arrived. We heard a knock on the door about 30 min later and finally Anna, Courtney, and Molly had arrived. Once again it was so exciting to be reunited with all our friends from Penn State. We tried to stay up a little later and talk, but we knew we had all weekend and had to get up early so we went to bed and planned to wake up at 9:30 the next morning.

Friday

Friday morning we got up early, well early for us, at 9:30 and were to be ready by 10:30. We decided we would go find a crepe place for breakfast and plan out the rest of our day there! While getting ready we decided to try and look extra cute, because come on were in Paris, and we were going to be taking a million pictures. Both Jillian and I decided to wear our Burberry jackets, which was nice because they were perfect for the weather since it wasn't too cold out. We met the girls downstairs, headed for the metro to take to where we wanted to eat breakfast at, which was near the Louvre. We found a cute, quaint little place to eat at. All the girls got cappuccinos (I don't like coffee so I didn't get one) but I guess that is the thing to do here. We then ordered, Jillian and I split an omelet and a nutella and banana crepe. It was so, so good, I can't even explain how good it was. The crepes in Paris are truly amazing. We decided to do the Louvre after breakfast and from their walk down the Champs Elysees to end up at the Arc de Triomphe, and from their try and go to the Eiffel tower. We headed off from breakfast towards the Louvre and we realized we were behind it and needed to get to the front so we had to walk all the way around to the front. As you walk up to the Louvre it truly is unbelievable. It is so huge, it would take a good 3 weeks to explore everything inside of it. Outside of the Louvre was a perfect photo op which we took advantage of.

Kristen in Paris at Louvre.jpg

We were outside taking pictures for about 30 minute and finally decided to head in. Once inside we picked out a few art pieces that were most important to see, such as the Mona Lisa. I am bad with remembering names of the famous pieces, but I have pictures of them so hopefully other people can tell me what they are called! We walked around the Louvre for about an hour to two hours and then by the end we were all kind of bored at looking at the paintings in the museum. I feel like that's how it always is in museums its interesting for about an hour and then your just get tired of walking around and want to leave. When we left the Louvre we walked a little to another photo op in front of an arc but not the big famous Arc de Triomphe. It started to drizzle a little while walking toward the Champs Elysees, which is one of the most famous streets in Paris with all the big shops on it! As we got to that area we decided we wanted to get lunch as well. We stopped into a little restaurant, which again was very cute. Most of us ordered the ham and cheese toasted sandwiches and we decided to order escargot for an appetizer! There were 6 of them so we were able to each have one. Surprisingly they tasted really good, even though they looked terrible. After lunch we continued down the road, and the sight was magic to my eyes, there were so many amazing stores, I was in heaven. We stopped into a cute store Zara, where I got a shirt I ended up wearing that night and a very cute scarf. We walked down and spotted the biggest Sephora I have ever seen. Inside we all decided to buy red lipsticks, because we thought that was a Paris thing to do! Walking out of the store we all looked liked divas with our red lipstick on.

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From there we spotted the huge Louis Vutton store, it was like five stories high! We went in for a little, and then left because we got too depressed that we couldn't afford anything in there. We then were close to the Arc de Triomphe; at this point in time it started to rain. We quickly took pictures at the Arc because we were all getting wet (our hair frizzing up) and just wanted to be inside.

We decided against going to the Eiffel tower at this point because we wanted to have really good pictures when we went, and the weather was not looking good at this point. We just decided to head back to our hotel and get showered and relax before we went back out for the night! We got back to our hotel and it was so nice to be out of the rain, showered, and lying in bed. Too bad the only station that was in English was BBC world news, something different from our normal Gossip Girl, Revenge, etc. We were dreading going out, but your only in Paris once so we forced ourselves to dress up and get ready. I wore my black flowy pants with a lacey top that I had got early in the day with HEELS, yes I wore heels out and I loved it! We went down to the Latin District and ate a small place where we could get an appetizer, meal, and dessert for only 15 euro, which was an extremely good price! A bunch of us got the kabob, which was chicken pieces on a skewer and it was so good, it had an amazing sauce accompanied to it as well. We also got 2 jugs of wine, one red and one white (I personally cannot stand the taste of red wine). After we were done with dinner we already were in a cool area to begin with so we decided to just wander around down there and find somewhere to go. We went into a few places, none of which we packed but we enjoyed ourselves just sitting and talking amongst each other. At some points we would stand up and dance crazy, but then we quickly remembered we weren't at a frat party in America. We were there until the bars were closing and then decided to go back to our hotel by taking a taxi. At the end of the night my feet hurt and I was so tired, and dreading having to wake up early the next morning. The hardest part about traveling is doing so much during the day, going out at night, and then having to do it all over again.

Saturday

Saturday morning we sent our alarms a tad bit later, for 10 and we were to be ready by 11. Once again we tried to dress up cute, because the first stop we were making was the Eiffel Tower!! We headed on the metro to the Eiffel Tower and when we got above ground we stopped at a little crepe to go place to eat breakfast. I got a ham, cheese, and egg crepe, which again was so delicious. After this we were about five minutes from the Eiffel Tower. Walking up to the Eiffel Tower it was spectacular; it is just so big and exquisitely beautiful. We wanted to go up to the second level or even high but the line was just to extremely long and we just didn't have the time to do it. So we went to the front grass where everyone goes to take pictures and we tried to take a ton! Some of the girls in Florence are doing this very cute thing with pictures that I am now starting to do as well, but it is a SECRET, and you guys will all see what we have done at the end of our adventures! I think my favorite picture in front of the Eiffel Tower was when we all did the Gamma Phi sign in front of our faces; we hoping it make the Crescent Magazine.

Kristen and GPhi in Paris Eiffel Tower.jpg

The pictures turned out amazing; the Eiffel Tower is truly a beautiful background. After we looked up on our Iphone's where the closest Starbucks was to us, yes embarrassing that all we wanted was Starbucks but we were craving it. This also gave us time to plan our quick trip to the Palace of Versailles. Once we were done sipping our coffee we had to figure out our train tickets, which wasn't too hard, a nice French man helped us and guided us in the right direction on where to go. The train to the Palace was a two level train, which was cool; we also had bought baguettes and cheese to bring on the train to eat. We felt very French. The train only took about 30-45 min to get there and once we arrived there it automatically was just so beautiful. The palace itself was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The Palace of Versailles is where Marie Antoinette lived for sometime, so it was very interesting to be in the exact place she had been a long time ago. We first went around back to the beautiful gardens, and ponds, and lakes, it was a spectacular view. We obviously took a ton of pictures out there as well.

We then went inside the Palace that had such beautiful paintings, and furniture and decorations. I could not even imagine living there it was just so big. It took about an hour to get through the whole thing, and every little detail was just exquisite. We definitely felt that the trip to the Palace was well worth it, and recommend it to everyone that goes to Paris. We then took the train back to Paris, and decided to get an early meal before our big night out on the town! We went to a restaurant by our hotel, partly because we were tired and sick of walking. We all ordered the cheeseburger and French fries, which was funny; it ended up being so good. I feel like everything made in Paris is just better than the rest of the world. After dinner we went back to our hotels to relax and get ready. We decided that since we were in Paris we had to do it big for one of the nights, so we all got super dressed up. I wore my flowy pants again and the pink dress I have as a shirt (if anyone knows about the pink dress, it looks very bad as a dress so I made it work as a shirt). We pregammed in our rooms a bit, and then we all headed for the metro. It was so interesting to see how many people stared at us down in the metro with us being all dressed up and stuff, I would hope they thought we were famous models...in my dreams. We arrived at the club, I cant quite remember the name of the club but I tried to look it up online, it might have been the Palais Maillot. But as we were walking up to the club, we got past the first security where they check you ID's, I think to make sure you are over 18, and then all of a sudden I felt a tap on my should and a guy telling me to go this way...Little did I know that Me, along with 4 of the other girls, got to go through this special gate where we got in for FREE! We just walked in and were so confused as to why we could just walk right in and not wait in the long line, and then later to find out the cover was 20 Euros which is VERY expensive for a club, so we felt pretty special to get in for free. About 30 min later anther guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to go into the VIP section, all these things were happening to us and it just made us feel so cool.  We danced the night away, and had an absolutely amazing time. I think at one point I was up in the DJ booth controlling what songs were playing in the entire club! This was a very late night for us, I think we actually ended up leaving the club at like 5 am and I still thought I could of stayed out longer, I was just having the most amazing time in there. I felt like a celebrity.

Sunday

This morning I had trouble getting up, but I forced myself to do it. We still had to see the beautiful Notre Dam. We woke up around 10:30 and were out the door by 11, I may say that I did not look my best. We messed up on the underground a few times and finally got to the Notre Dam. It was a Sunday so while we were there a service was going on, there were many people inside and the service was just beautiful. The Notre Dam was one of my favorite things that I saw this weekend, I just thought it was so beautiful. After we found this small little café that was so cute, canals and people playing music outside surrounded it and people walking their dogs it was just a very Paris like atmosphere. We ate in there and chatted awhile until the Florence girls had to leave for the airport for their flight back. We got crepes before they had to go, and a few little touristy items such as I got a key chain of the Eiffel tower! It was so sad saying goodbye to the first group of girls, because we have such an amazing weekend together. After they left Me, Jillian, Amy, and Alexis were the only ones left, we sat in the park for a little and just people watched which I love doing. The time went fast, and we had to go back to our hotel to get our things and head off to the train station to go back to Amsterdam. We even got back to the train station early, and had some time to spare. It was hard because Penn State's Thon was going on for the last 4 hours, and our wifi on the train wouldn't work. So when we got into Amsterdam we sprinted to our apartment and were able to catch the last hour and a half of THON. I haven't been homesick one time abroad, until watching Thon on the Internet. It is such an unbelievable thing us kids at Penn State do, and it was hard not to be there and not be apart of it. Gamma Phi and Acacia came in 3rd place this year with over 180,000$ which is such an unbelievable accomplishment, and then overall Penn State made over 10 million dollars and that in itself is just spectacular. When they revealed the final total, we started jumping and screaming in our room and shaking, it was just a feeling of complete happiness. It was very hard not to be there, but that will just make next year so special. The saying is really true; you don't know how much something means to you until it's gone. That is how I felt about Thon; I could hardly bare the fact that I wasn't at Penn State at that moment in time. After this long weekend, I was ready to go to bed; we had a long day of classes on Monday and Tuesday that I needed to get some good sleep for.

Summary:

PARIS IS AMAZING. Overall I thought Paris was just so beautiful, it just felt so elegant, all the building had those iron gates on it and it just had the feeling that you were in some high class, beautiful place. If I didn't study in Amsterdam, I definitely think the only other place I could have studied abroad would be Paris. It was just such an amazing weekend and I loved every part about it. I was so grateful to be able to spend the weekend with my sorority sisters from home as well. It's so nice to be around people that know you so well and you can just experience these moments with each other that you will share for the rest of your life. Now that we got our first traveling trip conquered I feel like I am ready to just travel around, it is so amazing how you can get everyone in Europe so easily. I think were going to stay in Amsterdam for the next two weekends and then head off to London!!

 

Dad comes to visit me in Amsterdam!

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Dad Came to VISIT!!!!!!!

February 9-12th

Thursday

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my dad, I caught up on some work on Thursday when classes were over.

Later on in the evening my dad flew in from London, and we had planned to meet up later in the evening for dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, my dad's hotel was very close to us (only about 2 stops down on the tram) so me and Jillian headed out of Funenpark and went to walk to the tram to meet him at his hotel and then find a restaurant from there. After waiting for about 20 min at tram 10 we finally realized that there was something wrong with tram 10 so we had to call a taxi to get to my dad's hotel. The taxi came and picked us up and there was an easy drive to his hotel where dad was standing outside waiting for us! We went to this little Italian place that ended up being very good. Jillian and I both got pizzas and my dad got lasagna.

After dinner we walked back to his hotel where I had to get the bag of goodies that my mom had packed for us for our apartment. We took another taxi home and when we got back to Funenpark we got ready to go out for the night. A group of us went out (the rest of the group biked, we took a taxi) down to Chupitos, which is a small shot bar. It was a very fun place, and they would even light the shots on fire for us! While being there our friend Michael Rosenberg was flying in from Barcelona that evening, so he ended up meeting us at Chupitos and when he got there we left to go back to our apartment. On our way back we saw kids on the frozen canals and we decided to go out on them for the first time!

It was so fun and exciting, we took a taxi home and went to sleep to wake up for a long day of touring.

Friday

Early in the morning I had a meeting with my advisor, to tell her about how classes and my experience was going. It was very early at 10:15. After I was done with the meeting I called my dad to meet me in Dam Square - he had overslept a bit and we ended up meeting an hour later in the middle of Dam Square. While I was waiting for him I casually shopped around until he got there. Once we met up, we walked around Dam Square until we found a little "American Breakfast" place, we sat down in the restaurant, and it was nice to get out of the cold. We both got omelets and shared a pancake. The breakfast was very good. After breakfast we ended up heading to the Anne Frank Museum, which ended up being right by the hotel that Jillian and me had stayed at in the beginning of our trip. The line was surprisingly not that long so we ended up waiting in like for only about 15 min and were able to get right in. Walking through the Anne Frank Museum it was very interesting. The though of being in this place where these people hid for years was such an amazing experience. The only part, which was hard, was all the furniture was taken when they were found and captured and the Anne Frank's dad did not want furniture to be put back in, so it was hard to really get a grasp of how they lived. While walking throughout it, I wish I had read the book again because I had forgot a lot about the story. When the tour ended we sat at the café, waiting for Jillian Rosenberg, and Cody to meet us because they had entered just about 10 minutes after we had. After the museum my dad and I went back to our apartment, while the others explored the city a little. My dad inspired me to clean my side of the apartment, which actually was very helpful. I hung up all my clothes, cleaned off my desk, and put the blankets and pillows on my bed, which was so exciting. We then decided to go down the road to the grocery store and shopping area, where we got food for the week, some plates and forks and knives and a brand new TOASTER OVEN!!!! We brought all this stuff back and finally I felt like our apartment was complete and felt a little more like a home than just a weird apartment. My dad went back to his hotel, while me and Jill showered and got ready. We met my dad later on at the Windmill Restaurant/Brewery, which is our favorite hang out place. We all got the freshly brewed beer, and ordered a good meal. Jill and I split the fajitas, which were AMAZING, and my dad and Rosey both got burgers. I forgot, we also ordered an appetizer called cheese fingers, which we thought were going to be mozzarella sticks but they were more like sticks with cheese wiz in them. After dinner we headed back to our apartment to get ready for the night. We went down to our friend Ben's room, which is the party room, and found about 30 people in there hanging out. We were in there for a bit then headed down to the bar area. Surprisingly the bars were not busy where we went, and ended up getting tired and just went back to our apartments early because we knew we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow!

Kristen in Amsterdam with Dad.jpg

Saturday

Kristen in Amsterdam at Pancake Factory.jpg

 

Saturday morning we woke up a little later and met my dad again down in Dam Square. We wanted to go to breakfast or lunch at this time at the famous pancake bakery. The line was so long, but we decided to wait. It was interesting because as we were standing in line we saw about 10 Penn State kids studying abroad not in Amsterdam all in this area. After the long anticipated wait we finally got to sit down. The Dutch are known for their pancakes and this was the spot to be at. Half of us got sweet pancakes while the other half got savory pancakes. I personally got the savory pancake, which had chicken, mushrooms, pesto, tomatoes, etc. It was so delicious. My dad got an omelet and shared a banana and chocolate and whipped cream pancake with Rosey. We all ended up taking bites of each other's pancakes, it was all so good! After our delicious breakfast we walked on the ice a bit, every chance we got to do this we did, because this was a once and a lifetime thing to do. We then decided to go to the famous Heineken Experience, we went to the Hotel Pulitzer to get our tickets and print them out because then we wouldn't have to wait in the long line when we got there. We arrived at the Experience and this place was huge. We got two green bracelets at the beginning, which meant we would get two beers at the end of the tour. It was very cool to see how the beer was made and all the history about it, but my favorite part was when they would brew you into beer! It felt like we were all the beer getting brewed, they would spray water and move us. It was very interesting. We finally got to the last part, where we got two free beers. Once again we saw many recognizable faces in this part, we even saw Rosey's roommate from Barcelona. After the Heineken Experience we were going to try and go see the famous I Amsterdam letters and then go see this huge skating race on the ice. Our advisors had emailed us earlier in the day about this Ice Skating Race that they said was a must see. The canals had not frozen over like they had in about 15 years, so it was a huge deal for the people of Amsterdam. In order to remember it, they organized this ice skating competition that took place on one of the famous canals! We absolutely did not want to miss the race so we ended up skipping the letters and headed straight towards the canal. As we approached the canal there were already a ton of people around. We stood in the front row along the canal closer to the starting line, anticipating the beginning of the race. People were all so happy around us, drinking beer, singing songs, and chatting with everyone. It was a really cool event to be at. When it came 6 o'clock the event started and the races began. We thought the race was going to be everyone going at once, but we were wrong. First the under 14 girl's were up and they went 2 by 2 against each other.

Kristen in Amsterdam Frozen Canal.jpg

Now it was very cold at this time, and our feet were freezing, we didn't know how long we could last. We ended up staying till the end of the little girl's races, and then we just got to cold and went to go find somewhere to eat. We were walking around, just looking for the first place to go in. We went into this one restaurant, and we walked up the stairs and then ended up having to leave because we didn't know we needed reservations to go in there (it was a tad embarrassing). We continued down and again found a small Italian restaurant, we didn't care how good or bad it was, we were just SO COLD and wanted to sit down. We all ended up getting meatballs and another dish. I got the pork, Jillian got some pasta, and dad got some sort of pasta too. It was way better than we thought it was going to be! After this we were so exhausted and just ended up going back to our apartments. I had to say goodbye to my dad at Central Station, because he was leaving so early in the morning I wasn't going to be able to see him on Sunday. It is always hard for me to say goodbye to my dad, ever since I was a little girl whenever he would go to Australia I would cry my eyes out. It has gotten easier over time, but always is so hard for me, but I knew I would see him shortly in April when both my mom and dad were going to be coming out!! Later that evening we were very tired and just went down and explored a little and came home later in the evening to go to sleep.

Sunday

We got up early Sunday because Rosey had to take a flight home later that day as well. We went down to the Museum District where the famous letters were. We got breakfast around there and then headed to find the letters. We took pictures at the letters; it started to rain out though so we tried to do them quick! I thought the letters were going to be WAY bigger, but they were still cool. We then just walked around town and then dropped Rosenberg off at central station where he had to go on a train to the airport and then fly back to Barcelona. We went back to our apartments, completely exhausted and were ready for some time to relax. With our swollen feet, and tired bodies, we lied in our beds watching all the shows we had missed and catching up on some work for the upcoming week!

It was SO amazing to have my dad in town for this weekend; I was just wishing that the rest of my family could have been there as well to experience it all together! But thankfully my parents will be coming back in April to see the Tulips, and then we will also be going to Austria!!! My sister hopefully will be coming out in the beginning of June and we will hope to travel everywhere. On another note, it was very amazing to be here when the canals were frozen, it was a once and a lifetime thing to be apart of. This city is so amazing, and I am so blessed to be here. We are making our first trip next week to Paris, to reunite with our sorority girls from Penn State! Can't wait, not I just have to get through this workweek and ill be free!

 

 

The Final Days before Amsterdam!

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In one week, on January 28th I will be departing for Amsterdam to study abroad, in hope to begin a journey of a lifetime. I cannot wait to step outside of my comfort zone and fully emerge myself into another country's culture. I thought living on the west coast and going to school on the east coast was a huge step for me, now this is even bigger! Amsterdam is a beautiful city, with a fun atmosphere, and great history. I hope to travel to other countries while in Amsterdam and experience the "magic" that Europe has to offer. Alongside me will be my best friend Jill who is a sorority sister of mine at Penn State! We are so excited to be able to share this experience together. This next week I have a feeling it will feel like 5 years...before I finally depart for Amsterdam. Packing, packing, and more packing!

Amsterdam - Getting Ready!

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Hi!  I am Kristen Miller, a junior at Penn State University, pursuing a major in Advertising/Public Relations in the College of Communications along with minors in Business and International Relations.  I will be studying at Universiteit van Amsterdam in Spring 2012 and am working through my study plan this week!  I can't believe that I leave for Europe in less than two months and am a bit nervous on how I'm going to pack EVERYTHING I need!  I will be traveling and attending the IES Program in Amsterday with Jill Rosen, one of my best friends and sorority sisters (Gamm Phi Beta). 

I am from Colorado and below is a picture of me and Jill in Vail, CO from last summer!  We are both excited for our upcoming trip!

 

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