Theresa Nguyen

Thyroid Storm

Theresa Nguyen

Looking back on the past 3 weeks has made me feel like I've been on a trial run of The Amazing Race, but without the stress. We went to 11 cities (Paris, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Milan, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Pompeii) and 2 countries (France, Italy), covering quite a distance! While the trains and metros were easy to navigate, we still had to stay on the ball in terms of making sure that we got through each city without a hitch. Thank goodness for my wonderful compass and nifty highligher! In terms of food, I still think that what we can get in the United States is at least comparable or even better. I can no longer look at baguettes, paninis, crepes, pizza, or pasta the same way. And Im swearing off carbs for the ... read more
More Gelato
Flavors Galore

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris April 16th 2008

Our last day of the trip is officially here and it's kind of bittersweet. With everything that has been going on in the past few days, I'm more than ready to head home. I can't wait to take a nice hot shower, relax in my own bed, and wash all of the dirty smelly clothes that are sitting in my suitcase. We wake up at 9:00am and are ready to catch the shuttle back to the airport. Fortunately, we were able to check in and get through security without a hitch. Charles de Gaulle Airport is looking pretty nice right about now. We had a little over an hour left before our flight was going to start boarding, so we needed to find some breakfast. We were hungry and thirsty. Unfortunately, the airport was sooo nice ... read more
So close to being home
Philadelphia on the map
Last terminal!

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 15th 2008

This was our last full day in Europe since tomorrow would strictly be a travel day. It was kind of sad but I was ready to go home and sleep in my own bed and have a whole wardrobe to choose from. We got up around 9:30, packed up our bags for the final time, and stashed them in the kitchen since we had to check out. We all had a few last minute items that we wanted to buy, so most of the day was spent picking up some souvenirs and walking around some areas of Rome that we hadn't gotten a chance to see. We found the Mamartine prison where Saints Peter and Paul were imprisoned. I think I would have gone crazy staying in a prison cell like that with only a small ... read more
Passed out

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei April 14th 2008

Our last few days of vacation were coming to an end, and it was starting to get a little sad. With 2 full days left on our trip, we took a 2 1/2 hour train ride down to Naples and then boarded the Circumvesuviana train down to Pompei. I was pretty excited about seeing the ruins even before I got there, but I wasn't fully prepared for how amazing it would be. When we arrived to Pompei, there were acres and acres of excavated ruins, you could spend up to 8 hours or even more in here! It was getting hot and I have a limited attention span as is, but we ended up spending about 4 hours there. And we even hit most of the 70 highlighted spots. After all of the walking around in ... read more
Plaster casts
Mt Vesuvius
Pretty amazing

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 13th 2008

Since we had been taking Rome by storm over the past few days, we decided that it would be good to just take a day to relax and enjoy ourselves without having to rush through any sights. This would also be beneficial because we would have a long trip to Pompeii tomorrow. So we ended up sleeping in until almost noon, did our usual routine of breakfast and then internet, and headed off to do some more shopping and return to Piazza Navona. Not too much to report today, we did end up going inside the Pantheon, which is now turned into a Catholic church...kind of ironic considering that the Pantheon was originally built as a temple to honor the gods. We saw were Raphael was buried, returned to Blue Ice for gelato round 2, and ... read more
Wearing our USA outfits
Corner shot

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 12th 2008

The alarm went off at 6:00am, and we were still pretty tired. We forced ourselves to get up though b/c not having to wait in line to see the Vatican would be worth it. Out the door by 6:45, grabbed our usual breakfast at Bar Fondi, and then caught the metro to St. Peter's Square. It was so incredible to be standing in St. Peter's Square and staring at St. Peter's Basilia. It was unfortunate that the pope had left for the states as we were coming here. But I could still picture him in the square saying mass and having the whole area lined with crowds of people. It was pretty early in the morning, so not a whole lot of sunlight adding to our pictures. I spent quite a bit of time in the ... read more
The Square
Just in case there was any question

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 11th 2008

Today was going to be a super exciting day! We woke up to rainy skies and were feeling a little chilly, but we were hoping that the weather would soon let up and we could still go to Ancient Rome as planned. We went to Bar Fondi to get our free breakfast of croissant and a capuccino. I got a strawberry filled croissant that was so delicious since it was still warm and crispy. We stopped at the internet cafe for a little bit to give the weather some more time to settle. By the time we had finished all this, the sun was starting to pop through the clouds. We walked down to Ancient Rome, which was only about 15 minutes south of where we were staying. It was so amazing to see the Coliseum ... read more
Arch of Constantine

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 10th 2008

We were out the door by 8:30am with our very very heavy luggage. By this point I was lugging around all of the glass that I had bought in Venice (gondolas, jewelry, wine stoppers, etc) and three bottles of lemoncielo. I was going to have my work cut out for me to get to the train station. It was a pretty strenuous journey trying to navigate the construction and gravel roads, and it even started to rain as we got closer to the train station. I actually welcomed the rain because I was having severe hot flashes and appreciated being able to cool off. While waiting for the train to Rome, I rewarded myself with McD breakfast...sausage egg and cheese muffin, hashbrown, and real American coffee! Now I was feeling happy and got my second wind ... read more
Trevi Fountain
Make a wish!

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence April 9th 2008

After a restful night, we were ready to spend another exciting day in Florence. We were out the door by 10:00am and didn't have very far to go to our destination...the Galleria de Academia right across the street. We were finally going to see the statue of David, sculpted by Michelangelo that depicts his victory over Goliath. We waited in line for almost 45 minutes and then it was time to see David in all of his glory and wonder. I have two words: big hands. Ok maybe three words: very big hands. David was pretty damn beautiful and the statue was also a lot bigger than I had picture it to be. Unfortunately, we werent able to take any pictures in the galleria but Gajal was able to sneak a quick shot. When we got ... read more
Michelangelo's grave
Dante's tomb
Galileo RIP

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pisa April 8th 2008

We woke up at around 9:00am, picked up a few things from the supermarket, and then caught the train to Pisa. It was about a one hour train ride and then another 20 minute walk to the city center. I guess we kind of expected the leaning tower to be right there once we got off the train station, but we ended up having to walk a ways to get to it. Finally we were staring at the Leaning was pretty leany alright. It was part of a larger complex that included another duomo, baptistry, and museums. The weather was very temperamental, rain alternating with sun. We walked around the square for a little bit and did some souvenir shopping before deciding whether or not to pay the 15 euros to hike up the tower. ... read more
Another duomo
View from the top
Lean with it

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