Friday, August 8, 2008

The long wait...

6 hour layover in LAX... after a 12 hour flight... Supposedly I should be back in Reno around 8pm tonight. I guess this blog is now From Reno to Torino to Reno.

Customs was a breeze, they really make it easy for American citizens to get back into the country.

A funny coincidence, the couple next to me on this flight from Europe was an Italian couple! They were on their way to their honeymoon in Tahiti. I helped them out with their emigration form because they had a hard time understanding it because it was in English. Although I couldn't translate a lot of it, between their jumbled English and my sparse Italian, we managed to get the form filled out. They were really nice and very appreciative for the help, they were trying to figure it out with a little pocket dictionary, since I had been in their shoes for the last three months I was really happy that I could help them, even if only a little.

Other than that it was a very uneventful flight, I can't seem to sleep on planes, only trains and buses...weird.

One weird thing about the whole process of entering the country that I think is new since I went to Australia, is they actually have boarder security at the end of the gate (actually standing outside of where you get out of the plane, on that little bridge between the plane and the airport terminal) where they check your passport. I think it is to make sure that you have a passport and didn't slip aboard or something, because if you step foot on American soil (which I think the airport constitutes, but not the plane) you can ask for asylum and other protection... Not sure but that's my theory.

While waiting for my plane to Reno, which I'm still doing, I went to Burger King...actually it was a combo Burger King/Starbucks, only in America :-), and had my first burger back in the states...yummy. I also got the large drink, which I think if an Italian saw, would scare them...

My big duffel bag had a little surprise for me when I pulled it off the machine in LAX, a ticket that warned the baggage handlers that it was a "heavy bag" lol, I guess I really packed that thing tight! I didn't see any liquids dripping out of it so I hope that means my two bottles of wine, and very good italian olive oil are still intact.

Still waiting for my plane, about 30-40 minutes probably. But after that I will be back in Nevada....back in Reno...and back with my friends and family. I'll be sure to do some kind of reflection blog about the whole trip, but I'll save that until I've had a couple days to digest everything.

Luckily this was NOT my flight. :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tour de France

Here are some pictures of the Tour de France!!!

Tour de France

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rest of the time here...

Wednesday 7/30 - Free Day / No Class
Thursday 7/31 - Give Presentation on the EU Institutions for my class / Class all day
Friday 8/1 - Class from 9am - 12pm / Review for Final
Saturday 8/2 - Leave and Arrive in London
Sunday 8/3 - London
Monday 8/4 London
Tuesday 8/5 - Leave London in the Morning / Final Exam for class 1pm - 4pm
Wednesday 8/6 - Free Day
Thursday 8/7 - Free Day / Most of the other students leave in the morning
Friday 8/8 - Leave Torino, Italy after 3 months abroad... Arrive in Reno, Nevada around 7:25 PM PST

Trip to Paris

This last weekend, me and two other USAC students took a trip to Paris for the cool is that to say?

While in Paris we roughly did the following:
  • Went on a great bike tour around the city to the main attractions. It was with a company called Fat Tire Bike Tours, which was recommended by a friend that just got back. We are going to do it in London also.
  • Saw Notre Dame and the Pantheon
  • Went to the Louvre and saw things like the Mona Lisa and other great works of art.
  • Ate bread and drank some wine on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower one night and watched it light up a bright blue and then sparkle on the hour.
  • Checked out Napoleon's Tomb, it's funny because the way that it's designed you have to "bow" to the tomb to check it out.
  • Ran across traffic to get to the Arch de Triumpf, can you say "frogger"?
  • Had a few creaps, two quieshes and other French food.
  • Saw a mini statue of liberty on the river.
  • And a bunch of other things that are in the pictures below!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I bought an Italian car!

Check it out!!!

We took a tour of the FIAT factory, its the only Italian made car. FIAT stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin). It was pretty cool, I couldn't take any pictures within the factory but it was interesting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lake Maggiore

Last weekend we took a "field trip" to Lake Maggiore. It's the 2nd largest lake in Italy.

Lake Maggiore