Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The End of Semi Swiss

Well it has been over a month since I left Switzerland and I figured it was time to put Semi Swiss to rest. 

I decided to switch to a new website for my next blog (thank you to everyone for the positive reinforcement about my blogging skills--because of you all I decided to keep going in Turkey!) because BlogSpot became too confusing for my limited computer capabilities. I hope you will all follow to my new blog on Tumblr (thanks to Luke for suggesting it!) and that it isn't too inconvenient a move.

The new blog is called, "Travels of an Overpacker" but the address is   


I think one of my first posts will be about my weekend in D.C.--which is a shameless ploy to get you Neil (thanks again for reading) to head over to my new blog!

Click HERE to go there! (I'll just attach lots of links so it is easy to find!)

Thanks to everyone who read this, and to the people who felt obligated to read this. You are, by the way, now obligated to read my new blog.

Lots of Semi Swiss love,

Childlike Travels Part 8

The last of the European Diary:

Day 18
Aug 7
8:23 P.M.

Today we went to the sisteen chapell, where Leanardo Davinch had painted the cealling this was so cool. but it's hard to look ["oo"s made into a face] up all the time we had little head setts to use.

Day 19
Aug 8
9:17 P.M.

Today we drove to Pisa (Leaning Tower) [Leaning Tower of Pisa drawn] for half an hour. Then we drove to Mr. Crones house. [Side note: Mr. Crone was our architect who had recently redone our home in Maryland. He had a house in Italy on the border of France that he so generously let us stay at.] We are going to stay in it for two 2 weeks. We are spending 3 weeks in Itaily. I got a shirt in frienze. It to awhile to get to Mr. Crones house. and there were lots of tunnels through Itaily. Lots and Lots of Mts are here. [Picture of mountains.] It's hard to belive!! In Itaily

Day 20
Aug 9
8:59 P.M.

Today we got to Mr. Crones house no it did not take us 1 one night to get here last nigh we staued in Frienze. We went exploring (Jack and me) We got as far as some steps, and then Jack said [and I still remember this moment in time] "Jill you stepped on a dead Mouse!!" [Exclamation face is an attempt at a dead mouse.] Jack began to run to the house I followed. (Because I wanted to get off that MOUSE!!

Day 21
Aug 10
9:46 P.M.

Today we went swimming in a river that was very cold!! We went back to have lunch. Then we came back to the river

That officially ends my journal. I guess the joys of Fanghetto (the town in Italy) were too great to continue my entries. I did try to add another entry when I was older but it isn't the same (I mostly talk about this annoying Dutch kid that we met and how Jack and I really didn't like him--hey you wouldn't like a kid that only sang "We are the champions" and "If you're happy and you know it click your tongue!!").

So that concludes my Childlike travels. Semi Swiss will be ending soon but the good news is I have a new blog! To be revealed later this week.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Childlike Travels Part 7

Day 15
Aug 4
8:32 P.M.

Today we explored Roma we walked on the spanish Boring!! steps [with a drawing of steps over the word]. Why are they the spanish steps in Roma. Here in Roma. Here in Rome people say it's Roma. So when in Roma do as the Roman's right?

Day 16
Aug 5
9:19 P.M.

We are spending 4 days in Roma. Today we walked to the Vadigin Museum. I was in two cities at once. [Drawing of me in two cities at once--me in a circle of Roma encircling Vatican city.] The Vadigin is the biggest church int he WORLD. ["O" in world is a drawing of the earth.] bELVE ME there are alot of churches in the world. Theres a statuw made out of brones and people have worn one of his feet down from petting it for good luck!! [Smiley faces in the good and !! with a drawing of a foot.] So did I! After that we had sandwiches for lunch after that I got a balloon with dow and it broked popped and you couldn't mold his face into anything. I was doing and inprression of a old man with wrinkles and powder cam out not all of it. [Drawing of my stress ball/balloon toy.] We went into cassttel saint Angelo. And we took a taxi to dinner we didn't want to drive. They drive fast without seatbelts.

Day 17
Aug 6
10:10 P.M.

Today we went to Pompeii today on a train well two trains. I made a friend from Canada her name is Sarah Carpenter, she is 1 or, 2 years old then me. She was on the first train. When we got out to change the train a con-arrtist tried to get us!! He didn't, he said "Chillout I work here." We didn't belive him. We went to a McDonalds for lunch [inset my mother's disapproval here]. I know we also have a McDolands on the day in Roma and Paris. [in Paris it was with my parents' friends--my mother was horrified every time we had fast food, all three times!]

Grade 4 Jill

 Found a "yearbook" signed by my fourth grade classmates. We all had to write letters to one another and I found this one to be pretty hysterical:

Dear Jill,
Because you are my arch enemy (as all other girls under the age of thirty) and I can't write anything bad about you I'll have to write strong and annoying compliments. I very much enjoy the way you and your friends attempt to annoy me. It gives me something to do when I'm bored.
From, D

This one came from the boy my best friend and I had a crush on:

Dear Jill,
Hi! It's me John. You are good at sports and have good sportsmanship. You are good at type-to-learn, and know a lot of things. You have good handwriting. But you do make weird a's. Well all in all its been a great year,
John S.

The most recurring themes were my good sportsmanship (especially after I lost the Vice Presidential election  for student council for the following year--to a kid with horrid teeth!), my athletic prowess, my nice handwriting and that I can give good speeches. I loved 4th grade.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Post Secret-ish

I am currently in the process of cleaning out my room at home in Minnesota. My room is pretty much like it was when I left for college, most of my pictures are the same as are the decorations. Since I only live here a marginal percentage of the time it is only appropriate that my room be turned into an actual guest bedroom rather than a shrine to a teenaged girl. 

I found this jar, the "Jar of Smiles", that we made and decorated in middle school with compliments from different girls in my class  (I went to an all girls school so these types of things weren't as weird as they sound I assure you). There was a larger note inside with my name on it signed by a lot of my friends with inside jokes (none of which I really remember) peppered all over it. As I was reading it I found an unsigned comment, since it was anonymous it felt rather "Post-Secret-y." 

Since I took the picture of it on my computer it is all backwards, but the top left corner says:

"You are so cool. You always know what to say & how to say it. I wish I did."

I have absolutely no idea who wrote it but it is that sort of sad/sweet thing you see on Post Secret. (And no, I did not write that about myself, my handwriting was much neater--I did however, draw my name. See above photo.) I hope that girl found her confidence.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Childlike Travels Part 7

Today's journal entry has so many drawings I thought it best to just photograph it and let you all read it straight from the source:

The next day--clearly my dates were all getting messed up. Sorry! Never been good with numbers.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remember the Time I Went to Crete?

Remember the time I was going to post about my week(ish) in Crete? Well, that time has come. Only a month and a half late!

So I hopped on the one am ferry for Crete and got there around 5:15, just in time for my hangover to kick in. Ugh. I lugged my stuff to the bus station missing my first of two buses to Rethymno by literally three minutes. After purchasing the next ticket for a 6:30 bus I did what I did best in Greece and fell asleep at the bus station. I awoke around 6:15 and headed outside in case my bus was early. There were a lot of people waiting outside so I did what I did second best and struck up a conversation with strangers.

With a little bit of my usual luck the two girls I talked to happened to be heading to my small town of Plakias (we had to take a bus from Heraklion to Rethymno and then to Plakias). At first I wasn't sure if they liked me but I think the early morning bus schedules and my bright pink bag were deterrents to these world traveling Australians. By the time we got to Plakias we were great friends and by that afternoon everyone was asking how long the three of us had been traveling together.
Our youth hostel was described, in every bo
ok and on every website, as a great place to meet people (hence why I traveled there alone). The hostel was in a great location, totally beautiful just a little less "youth-y" than I had imagined. The manager gave us a little speech which was pretty entertaining, especially since he gives it to all the people staying at the hostel--word for word. A lot of people, the manager said, end up staying in Plakias for weeks, months and even years and I can see why. It is totally gorgeous. There are beaches and mountains, lazy activities and hiking trails. We took a waterfall hike (literally hiking up and through waterfalls) one morning and spent the afternoon lounging on the beach--pretty much like paradise.

Two things that I did in Crete that I had never done before:
1. Went to a nude beach. These Australian girls were from a town on the coast and they were a lot more comfortable with nudity than this American girl. But the beach, called "Pig Beach" due to the overabundance of Germans and their pink flesh-
-ick, was too beautiful to pass up. Plus, I figured, why not? None of these people know me! And, you know what? None of the people on the beach gave me a second look, they didn't care what I was wearing and that made me a whole lot more comfortable. I'm not saying I'm going to make it a habit (hello sunburn!) but it was slightly empowering. (Sorry if that is TMI dad/uncles.)

2. I hitchhiked!! I remember my dad telling me stories of hitchhiking around Europe (and I remember him hitchhiking in Providence, RI once whic
h was pretty funny) and again I thought, why not? My friend Kate and I were stuck coming back from the beach and so we decided we might as well try to hitchhike. After 15 minutes of walking with my thumb out (it was a 45 minute walk or a 6 minute car ride) a kindly Italian couple stopped and picked us up. Success!! (And we felt safe the entire time!) I'm glad I did it, at least once (with another person in broad daylight).