Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3 weeks...

And so the countdown continues... 3 weeks from today, I will be packing up and moving down to Riverside, CA. I officially started packing last night, and let me tell you - my room is a mess (and will be a mess until I leave). I just can't believe it's actually happening. I've been trying to go to CBU for 4 years now... how did this happen?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pictures from Europe and Mammoth...

Hi friends,
In case you didn't notice, I posted pictures to go along with all of my Europe and Mammoth entries... check em out :-)!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I love Mammoth...

Seriously, I love being here. It's so relaxing and I love getting to see my family - especially my cousins that I only see a few times a year. What a funny group - lots of laughs and crazy stories. Plus... drum roll please...

I got a new COACH purse today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I am so happy.

Since no one seems to remember when I'm coming home... I will be back this Saturday (July 19th) and will be in and out until I move down to Riverside August 21st... So make some time and give me a call so we can have coffee! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back in the states...

Hi all!
Tiff and I made it back safely last night. It was a long day of traveling... in total, I think it was 22 hours of travel time - phew! We flew out of Rome at 10am (9 1/2 hour flight) and had a 3 hour lay over in NY. Going through customs wasn't too bad, and then back on a plane for 6 hours. We got into LAX by 8:30pm where our parents picked us up and we stayed the night at my uncle and aunt's house. So it's 8:30am but it really feels like 5:30pm for me. It was a long travel day but I'm glad to be back. In about a half an hour, our family will meet the rest of the Shibatas in Mammoth. Woo hoo!

Til next time,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Almost home...

So our trip is finally coming to a close. It's gone by so fast, yet Paris seems like ages ago. I am happy to be going home and seeing everyone again... now reality will start to set in. The anticipation of coming back hit me last night while I was trying to sleep - just thinking about all that we've seen, the people we've met, the cultures experienced. God has blessed us with this amazing experience and I'll treasure it for years to come.

I can't wait to see my family in Mammoth, though. For those of you who don't know, the whole Shibata family gets together for one week each summer to relax, fish, and just catch up. I'm looking forward to seeing my little cousins and taking a breath before I go back to the rush of SLO life :) Once I get home, things are going to get crazy. I'll only have a month back in SLO/AG before moving down to Riverside. The list of things to do before then seem endless... yet I'm still looking forward to it.

Tiff and I start our long journey home tomorrow morning, so please be praying that we get back safely...

Love to all,

PS Brooke - check your facebook RIGHT NOW haha.

Roman ruins...

Walking around the Roman ruins yesterday, I couldn't help but stand in awe of their beauty. It's really the history behind them that make them so amazing. These walls have been through so much and now all that's left are pieces. Pieces of countless stories and events...

Who knew that something "ruined" could be so beautiful.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When in Rome...

So we made it to Rome. Pretty tired, but in one piece :) Yesterday, we wandered around the city and saw the Trevi Fountain (gorgeous!) and the Pantheon... both amazing. Today we spent the day in Vatican city... no we didn't see the pope. I had my heart set on a good pope story, but alas he is at his summer house. We spent the day in the Vatican Museum (The Sistine Chapel - oh man, you have no idea) and also in St. Peter's Church... that one pretty much topped all of the churches we've seen so far. I can't wait to share all of my pics with you! Tomorrow we will see the Colosseum and ruins - really excited about that one. Then we have one day to relax before our 18 hour travel day back to the states. We'll then go to Mammoth for a week with our fam... please keep praying for us as we finish our trip and travel back home!

I hope all is well with everyone. I feel so cut off from the world when I'm in a different country - weird. Well, more cut off from my friends :) I can't wait to see you all and swap some stories. If you've never traveled Europe... be careful! The travel bug will get ya bad!

Brooke (before I forget) - will you PLEASE save me a chile rilleno (sp?) since I'm missing that meal?? I will love you forever if you do... and also if you don't hehe. You're such a good cousin. And don't forget pics to update me on your life.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Hi friends,
We've made it safely to Italy once again. Venice is much better than Milan - the canals and city are beautiful. You just can't take a bad picture! Yesterday we spent our time wandering around the city and getting lost... lots of good shopping here (be excited dad).

Being here is wonderful, but reminding me to appreciate the small things like:

using the restroom for free
having clean clothes
using the telephone
doing our hair
grid maps from America
free internet

There are some good things about traveling, though... other than seeing great new places. We've been making some good friends. Room 206 forever! :) We have found making friends with other travelers to be fun. We met a couple from England, two cousins from Kansas City, Martin from France, a family from Ireland, and girls from Chicago.

Tomorrow morning we will fly to Rome and enjoy 4 relaxing days there... then home again! We miss you all!! I'm eating enough Gelato for all of you :)


Sunday, July 6, 2008


I'm finding Vienna to be quite refreshing. The weather is more pleasant and the city is just nicer. Since I've been here before, I get to take Tiffany to all of my favorite places. Today, we had breakfast in a cute little cafe (you haven't had apple strudel until you've had it in Vienna). We started at Schönbrunn Castle, where Marie Antoinette used to live. It's pretty amazing. We walked around the garden, to a beautiful fountain, and took a tour of the castle. We then went into the main city to see the Stephansdom Cathedral and the Vienna Opera House. Tomorrow, we'll go to see Mozart's house...

sorry these notes are so short... I ended my last blog so quickly because I had 20 seconds left on my internet time before the comp shut me out! I miss you all and hope everyone is doing well. Hugs from Austria :)
Hey look! Even Mozart drinks Starbucks!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I have finally made it back to one of my favorite cities: Vienna, Austria :)

This trip has been quite the roller coaster so far. Amazing and exhausting emotionally and physically. Thursday in Paris was a bad day... lots happened, but let's just say I ended up walking around Notre Dame by myself. We'll just leave it at that - things have been better since. Tiff and I have been finding our way around the city pretty well... haven't gotten on the wrong bus, metro, or plane yet!

Since I last posted something, we left Paris and flew to Milan, Italy... not my favorite place in the world. To be perfectly honest, it was dirty, confusing, and smelled like sweat and cigarette smoke. I am much happier to be in Vienna again. We did see an amazing cathedral in the middle of the city, though. And the shopping was pretty good - a lot of designers, too expensive for me, but still fun. Oh and a really nice looking Italian boy asked me to marry him yesterday... he came up to me with birds seeds in his hand, transferred them to my hand, whistled and half a dozen dirty birds came to perch on my hands. After finding out that I was not married, he popped the question... very romantic (please sense the sarcasm).

OH and I purchased my first pair of Italian shoes... don't worry, I didn't trade Tiff's plane ticket for them :) To my surprise, it was difficult to find heels in Milan so I bought some cute white flats. But to anyone who's been to Europe, you know flats are a must. Until next time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bonjour from Paris!

Tiffany and I made it here safely. The plane ride was smooth - long but smooth. (sorry for any typos - the keyboards here are weird!) We made it to our hotel by bus, metro and some helpful people along the way. A nice boy at the airport gave us a map, directions, and rode with us on the bus downtown. And when we were looking for our hotel, we met a nice family from Ireland who were staying at our hotel and offered to walk us there... We arrived at the hotel by 10pm, so took showers and went to bed. The next day (Tues) we got up early and rode the metro into town. We walked to the Arc de Triomphe, which was amazing - surprisingly the first place we spotted any other tourists! For once I didn't feel out of place snapping a picture. Then we went to the Museè Marmottan, which had the whole bottom floor dedicated to Monet :) We then moved on to the Eiffel Tower... a lot bigger than I had imagined! We hiked up the first two floors (took a break on the first floor to have some lunch) then took the elevator to the top. I haven't had my glass of wine yet, but did have a glass of champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower :-)

Today (Wed) we went to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa and sculptures by Michelangelo. (Mom - we bought your present there... be excited). Tonight we will be going on a night bus tour to see the city of lights. And tomorrow we will take a walk around Notre Dame and the cathedrals around there - AND shop!

Til next time... sending love and hugs to those reading!

P.S. Maggie - Did you know that Gerard's family hosts a restaurant in the London Heathrow airport? :-)