Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day TwO (June 10)

We got off the plane from Houston to France at 1:05 (Houston Time) and had to go through security again! The security lines were set up differently, here in Paris. The conveyer belt was in the front of the line, but the person checking the baggage was on the other side of the room looking at a computer screen of that specific belt. It is very interesting how things differ from one country to the next. 

This is a picture of the Paris, France airport's roof. 

As we passed through security, some of the girls had to use the restroom, including me. Ms. Cannon took me, Rachel Owens, Ellie Hopper and Stephanie Skolnik with her and we went to use the facilities. Not only did we have to take an escalator up, but we had to fit into a tiny elevator (about the size of a tiny walk-in pantry) to take us down to the restroom area. You never know what you have to do be able to use the restroom. 

In the Paris airport, we had a five hour layover before our next flight to Rome. I got hungry, I was in the mood for some French food, and that's exactly what I did. Caroline Leggett, Callie Phillips, Abby Waring and I all went to a small little airport restaurant named EXK and got some sandwiches. I ordered a tomato, basil, mozzarella and olive spread sandwich on sourdough bread. It was delicious! I love French food!

This is a picture of the small restaurant that we ate at in the airport. Yum!

After a good snack, I went off and took a 4 hour nap on the airport floor. That was really helpful considering I did not get any rest on the long eight hour flight on the way there. 

We boarded the plane again and I had a seat next to Ms. Hartman and Ms. Cannon. This was a quick 1 hour and 40 minute flight to Rome. It went by really fast! 

As soon as we landed, we went directly to baggage claim with our backpacks on our fronts to keep away from the pick-pocketers. We arrived at the baggage carousel and everyone of us sat directly on the cold, tile floor because the plane ride was quite warm. All fifteen of us together gathered our bags and met David and Carolyn outside the baggage claim doors. 

David and Carolyn are our National Geographic Photographers that are going to help us as we visit Italy and Greece. They both work for National Geographic in helping take photos for the magazine, website, and other things as well. They led us to the train station which was going to take us to the main part of Rome. We arrived at the airport that was on the outskirts of Rome, so we needed to use some sort of transportation to get to the area where we would be staying. 

Our group got on the train with all of our baggage and got off 25 minutes later. This train ride was a quick one, as for the next one, not so much. We got off this train and had a little snack break. I ordered a spinach panini with cheese, and it was SO GOOD! I love Italian food already, and it has only been one day! We waited for the next train to arrive and finished up our delicious snacks. 

This is a picture of some postcards that were outside of the little store where we sat and waited for our train to arrive. 

The train arrived about thirty minutes later, and we made our way down to the train cart number 10. I sat at a table with Callie Phillips, Caroline Leggett and Ellie Hopper, and across from us was a table with Holly Hepper, Erin Kreindler, Ariel Wilkes, and Demeris Burritt. We were on this train for two hours which actually went by really fast. I was watching Eat Pray Love, and everyone else was either sleeping or making bracelets.

As we got off the train, many of us had to use the bathroom. So we got a group together and made a quick bathroom run, without any money on us. In order to use the bathrooms, you had to pay one Euro for every person that had to use the bathroom. Well, we did not follow that policy exactly. Thankfully I had a Euro on me so as I went in, Madeline Stewart followed right behind me before the gate closed, so we got two people in for one price. 

This is a picture of what the train station looked like, kind of. 

We arrived at our hotel and went straight to go and get fresh gelato. The gelato was amazing! I ordered Mint Chocolate Chip and a Cookie flavor. I love Italy!

This is a picture of the place where I had my first REAL Italian gelato!


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