Europe 2016: Vatican & Rome, Italy

Having been raised in faith, visiting the Vatican was definitely a dream come true. I still cannot describe the feeling that came over me as soon as we stepped within its boundaries. We spent the entire morning inside Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was so beautiful and everything was a masterpiece. There were portions blocked off especially for those who wish to pray, which was the case in all of the churches we visited. I preferred to go inside the chapels to offer my prayers. I found them more serene and solemn, and there were nuns who prayed with you. After we left the Vatican, we ate lunch before setting out to see more of Rome.

We visited plenty of churches, all of which were old, gorgeous, and a blessing to see. I wish I had more coins, so I could light more candles to go with my prayers. I must have prayed a million times. Once I get my pictures organized, I’d be able to tell you the names of the churches we visited. As of now, I cannot… sorry! Of course we visited historical landmarks such as the Pantheon and Colosseo, made a wish at the Trevi Fountain, and stopped by and shopped near Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps).

We walked a lot while we were in Rome. It was probably the most walking we did the entire trip, but if you are able to, I recommend walking and taking public transportation. We were able to see and stop by more places, take side streets, and talk to locals. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear, though, because the road can be rough. Because we were there in the middle of July, it was extremely hot! I had to buy a hat early in the morning because the sun was already piercing through my skin. Make sure to apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day and keep hydrated. My take on Rome? Though I wish the upkeep of its streets were given more attention, it was an overwhelming feeling to be in a city that is so rich in history. There was so much to see and take in, it’s too bad we were limited on time. It was amazing to see buildings and architectures built centuries ago in person – places I used to only read about and see in movies.

Wandering around on our first night… hungry!
Inside St. Peter’s Basilica
After I made my wish at Trevi Fountain. I’m blurry.
The Colosseum / Colosseo!

Read about my trip to Hamburg here!

Europe 2016: Hamburg, Germany

Guess who’s back from her first trip to Europe? Me! I might sound a little excited, but only because I’ve missed my dogs so much and I don’t go back to work until tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to my travel journal, so everything will be according to memory. It was only two weeks, but it was jam-packed with different adventures every single day. I wish it was longer. I will share and talk about my vacation over a few different posts. Please bare with me and I hope you enjoy! 🙂

First up: Hamburg, Germany

Since my sister-in-law and niece left a week earlier, it was only me and my brother traveling the morning of July 9th. our flight took us from SFO to Charlotte, NC. We had a two-hour layover before we continued our journey to Frankfurt. A couple of days before our trip, we learned that we will be taking a domestic flight to Bremen from Frankfurt. That was probably the most stressful part of that trip. Within one hour, we had to go through customs, pick up our baggages, find our way to the domestic terminals, re-check in our baggages, and then find our gate. It didn’t help that our gate was at the very end (aka the very last gate) of the terminal. We made it just in time. Whew!

My SIL’s sister and her husband picked us up from the Bremen, which was one hour away from their apartment in Hamburg. By the time we got to their apartment, we had enough time to talk about our trip, eat lunch, and then get ready for church. I felt my body wanting to shut down during mass, but I somehow managed to stay awake. After mass, we stayed a little longer for their bake sale, and then had dinner at Jim Block for our first official non-home-cooked meal dinner of the trip.

The following day, we spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the city center of Hamburg. We took the train there, and I was so impressed by their city hall. It was elaborately designed and was so beautiful to look at. We also walked and ate lunch along the pier, went on a  city cruise, and then made our way back to the apartment.

Hi, it’s me! Presh from the (Jim) Block!
Hamburg Rathaus
Backside of the Rathaus
Map of Hamburg
Mmm. Chocolates!

That’s it for now everyone!

Hey Friday!

In less than 18 hours, I will be aboard an AA flight en route to Germany! To say that  I am excited is every bit of an understatement. I have never been to Germany before, let alone Europe, so when my brother and his family invited me to join them on their summer vacation, I just had to accept. As my sister-in-law puts it, my “last shenanigan as a single woman.” If you’d like to see my adventure, you can follow me on Snapchat: napschut. I’m not very interesting on there, but my team insists I get one. Hah!

By the way, is there a robot I can buy that will fold my clothes and pack my bags for me? It’s my least favorite thing to do when going on trips: packing and unpacking. Ugh. I would rather do all the research, bookings, and put together an itinerary. On that note though, does anyone out there have any tips when it comes to packing for and touring Europe? I’ll take any suggestions. I’ll be there for two weeks.

Because we’re leaving early tomorrow, Mike (hello, fiancé) and I decided to have breakfast out today. My food was delicious. His was equally good, just three times bigger! The fried rice? Yum!

Mine: Linguica, Mushrooms, Onions, Bell Peppers
His: The Kitchen Sink

Oh. I ordered a pair of shoes from I wanted to take these shoes with me on my trip, so I paid for express shipping. My order was fulfilled and sent on time, but it seems as though FedEx either lost my package or wrongfully marked it as delivered. Either way, no package was delivered at 9:21AM on 7/07/16, per the tracking notification. I called Nike to let them know, and the representative I spoke with (Mark)  was extremely nice that I felt bad for having been so irritated. Hey FedEx, where are my shoes and socks?

So much to do between now and “bedtime!”

Update: My package has arrived! It was delivered to the wrong house yesterday. I’m glad  that this has been settled. I’m also happy to know that I have honest neighbors. 😊

My First Post

A brand new blog! Like a brand new journal, it feels so refreshing to start on a blank slate. So here I am. No structured entries or anything, just life. I do hope to keep this one for a long while, so I don’t have to write anymore awkward first posts. Heh! Stay around, hang out, check back every once in a while if you’d like! I hope you do.


The “Paws” Everyone!