Euro trip through the eyes of a 17 year old, pt 4: Venice, boys, self-image (photo essay)

The special travel mini series “Euro trip through the eyes of a 17 year old” is back! A compilation of posts & photos from my 2005 travel journal, when I was only a recent graduate from a Puerto Rican high school, still learning English. This was my first major trip outside the island (if you don’t count my Disney World trip in 2nd grade and living in the Dominican Republic with my aunt for a month after elementary school graduation). Hope you enjoy the retrospective!

Want to start from the beginning? 
Euro trip photo essay, PART 1: Germany (countryside)
Euro trip photo essay, PART 2: Germany (city)
Euro trip photo essay, PART 3: Austria

Note: Grammar, writing style have not been edited: That’s the whole point! 😉

Posted on 06/22/05, 3:55 AM on (cont.)

Euro trip 2005


Weeee, Italy. I loved the guys, the buildings, the climate, everything, until we checked-in @ the hotel. First off, we got here @ like 8:3OPM last night so the hotel we were going to stay at (Hotel Vionello) didn’t let us in ‘cause ‘it’s not permitted after 8PM’, so we ended up staying in hotel Kennedy. Lol, some rooms, like Manuel’s, didn’t even have a real shower! I mean, there was just a hole in the flor of the bathroom, a shower head in the ceiling, and that was it! lmao. I WILL show ya the pic Myriam took when she send it my way! Also, in the morning we had cereal and a bagel for breakfast. That was it. The thing as that after we finished, we entered again to look for something, and guess freakin’ WHAT!? The other uests of the hotel were having bacon, eggs, ham, cheese, many bread options, and cereals!!! I mean WTF!? Are we fucking HATED!? Italy def. lost some points by that. But still, Fefi, Laurie, Yari, and I have decided to move to Italy *nods*. Btw, the buildings and sp houses are SOOOO purdy, and some of them just *gorge*. Right now we are on our way to take the Aqua Taxi to go to Venize (we were @ Lido Di Jiolo)

my Euro trip, road trip to Italy

From which Shell gas station will u have this kind of view? *only* in Italy (during our road trip Austria-Italy)

Whoa! Venize was *awesome*! Soooo many great things, soooo many HOTTIES! I mean arn, I was perturbated, in pure AWE! Lol. Oh and, here was the *climax* of my self-esteem boost *nods*. All those hotties looked @ me and let me tell ya, it felt sooo nice lol. We 1st went on a lil’ trip in *gondola* through the city for like half an hour. Darn, it was raining, so the day turned all crappy and REEALY cold! It was odd! Butt, @ the end of my lovely trip in gondola, this one guy, a “gondolero” (guy of a gondola), brought his hand to me to help me get out of the gondola, like one of those romantic moments of corny movies, lol. And his hand was sooo comfy, and he gave me this sexy, but totally sweet and respectful look…*melts*. Not only that, but also I got a pic of us! *nods again* aaaand he grabbed me by my waist REEEALLY tight and very close to him (quickly I didn’t even really touch him I just standed there at his side for the pic and then all of sudden he just grabbed my waist and brought me reeeally close to him! I didn’t even had time to actually have the thought myself [:p]) soooo…we also went to this palace called *Palazzo Ducale*, which was really gorge as well. There was also Plaza San Marco I believe and close to it we also went to a Murano glass demonstration @ the original store of Murano. That was outstanding, I mean the maker is *so* talented; now I know why Murano glass is SO expensive, and with REASON! After that we had some awesome lunch (I had a HUGE platter filled to TOP of paste penne in a tomato sauce and a generous slice of lasagna by the side, all topped with a lot of melted cheese AND parmesan cheese :D). THEEEN we went around the city for like 3-4 hours, all by ourselves 😀 I was with Laura, Yarielis, Fefi, and Myriam. It was soo funny, ‘cause darn, all of these hot guys, and all of them turned back to look at me, and even one of them told me “hooola, bon apetit” in a very sexy voice, since I was licking a nice coffee gelato. Lol. Myriam and Laurie wanted to buy a bag to put it in my head they said. Lmao

Venize hilights, facts

I had a MAJOR self-esteem boost here due to all of those hotties looking at me sexy and melting me + the cashiers/workers @ the Murano Glass place were talking about how amazingly beautiful I was (LM over-heard them and told everyone at the bus loud: “María has caused sensation in Europe” then N went sooo mad and replied “”she that actually BELIEVES it?”” and then LM replied quickly saying ““ay, but it’s soo true not only ‘cause of all the guys that has been looking at her, but ‘cause the ppl @ Murano were talking about her beauty and how they have never seen someone as gorgeous”.” She went WHITE *Lmao*). SOOO, CALL ME CONCEITED, but darn I mean, u would feel *really* good if all those European and Italian guys were looking @ ya from head to toes and if like 1O persons were talking about how they find your natural beauty outstanding (while u were actually wearing no freakin’ make-up AT ALL!)! I honestly didn’t know how to react; I have NEVER ever gotten so many BIG compliments like those in my entire life! :I

Venize is NOT flooding; the SEA LEVEL is rising. Did u know? 🙂

Ppl are overly VERY nice and polite, but that ol’ lady @ our hostile hotel Kennedy pissed me off with the whole breakfast thing and how we couldn’t even GO OUT of the hotel if we weren’t wit our parents. None of us seniors were. WTF?! Plus, in Italy u are an adult @ 16, darn it

-THE BSB WERE FREAKIN’ THERE!!! They sang some songs at a festival in a place I actually VISITED THAT SAME DAY! Darn, I couldn’t see them, ‘cause I found out they were here when I was switching channels checking out Italian programming

-Gelatos are YUMMY

my Euro trip in Italy, Venice arrival

Venice arrival!

my trip to Europe, Venice arrival 2

yay yay Venice!

Pics that could be taken at the Palazzo Ducale (only out of the windows or in stairs, since cameras inside were not permitted)

my European holiday, Venice Palazzo Duccale balcony

Palazzo Duccale balcony

euro tour in Italy, inside Venice Palazzo Ducale

Quick secret snap! Shaky tho =(

my trip to Venice, Palazzo Duccale statue


Venice trip to Europe, Palazzo Duccale plaza

Palazzo Duccale plaza?

Me during and after our lil’ trip in gondola through Venice. I know, MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE CRAP. I mean it caught a lot of humidity and rain, then dried just like that. Eh.

Euro trip, Venice gondolas

me and Venice gondolas!

Euro trip, Venice gondolas 2

me with Venice gondolas again!

Euro trip, Venice gondola ride

Venice gondola ride!

Euro trip, Venice gondola ride 2

so happy!

Euro trip, Venice and Italian cutie

Me and the gondolero I told ya about. Ignore me please I looked like crap. But look at him. And what it’s even more unbelievable is that he actually looks even better in person. Oi, and watch closely how he is holding me (watch my WAIST) 😉 haha =P

Euro trip, Venice Plaza San Marco

Me @ Plaza San Marco! Gorgeous, eh?

Euro trip, rainy Venice

Me right before going back to the Aqua Taxi. See how crappy the weather was? 🙁 too bad

My thoughts after reading this travel journal entry, 7 years later: I can tell how damaged my self-esteem was back then. You can see how I have to reiterate, to remind myself constantly on my own journal about how the Italians found me pretty. I used to be the hated nerd in high school for being different. I also attended a private school my mom could barely pay for just so I could have a better education…which meant I was “the poor one.” My school years were quite tough and spent, mostly, in solitude. It wasn’t until my last year or two that I had — wait for it — three friends. But now, looking back, I know all the struggles truly made me stronger and gave me the drive and determination I currently have. They allow me to continue with my crazy plans, and actually succeed, no matter what others say. If you are bullied or ever feel less than what you’re worth, remember: The sun will shine brighter soon! 🙂 **Never give up**

Euro trip, Venice Doges Palace

Euro trip: Venice Doges Palace (Photo: Andrew Balet)

Did you ever take an Euro trip during your youth? What did you learn?

Europe: Through the eyes of a 17 year old (photo essay, pt 2)

For Travel Tuesday this week I decided to resume the mini series of journal entries/photo essays I published back in 2005 on from my first Europe trip travel journal. Back when I was a newbie 17-year-old blogger with no real English training or travel experience. Back when I went outside Puerto Rico and the U.S. for the first time! Hope you find the photo essay cute and humorous =P Below, part two!

[for PART ONE of this photo essay, click here]

Please note, I have not edited the grammar nor writing style: That’s the whole point of the post! Yeah? 😉 🙂

Oh and don’t forget: Click on any image to enlarge! 🙂

Posted on 06/20/05, 4:38 PM on

Europe trip 2005

After around 4 hours, we are out of the castle! We took lunch first, then we had to *walk* to the castle for like what, 45 mins.!? And YES, a super-huge hill all the way. But, all that heavy walk (or hiking) was REALLY worth it! The castle was just *gorgeous*, and the views all over simply *breath-taking*. Oi! And I finally got the name right! Schloss *Neuschwanstein* 😀 Schloss is castle in German, btw. And “Neuschwanstein” means New Swan Stone. The king was obsessed with swans or something; they were *all over* the castle’s furniture, paintings, etc. I also bought some lil’ souvenirs, like postcards and patches (1 of Germany and another 1 of Austria), which I’’ll now start collecting of every country I visit. Btw, that’s all I could basically buy during the entire trip! All of my money went mostly in food (which was DAMN expensive) and the most rest to excursions/museums :/ it sucked, I wanted to buy soo many things, and sp a better thingy for my bff Clody! 🙁 oh wells.

Europe Trip, German hotel

Laurie and me in front of our hotel back in Rothenburg, the morning we were off to the castle

Europe Trip, Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle! Oh and, did u know this the the actual castle in which is inspired Disney’s?

Europe Trip, Neuschwanstein 2

Neuschwanstein castle, different angle

Europe Trip, Neuschwanstein entrance

entering Neuschwanstein! =D

Europe Trip, Neuschwanstein window views

Just an example of the spectacular views from the castle’s windows

Europe Trip, Neuschwanstein window views

more spectacular views from the castle’s windows

Europe Trip, German yellow castle

Some other yellow castle that could be seen from down there

Euro Trip, German yellow castle closeup

closeup of yellow castle

Taking supper now @ Ausburg. Oh and @ this Italian ristorante, I *finally* found someone nice! Germans were starting to piss me off, sp when they looked Laura oddly (ya know ‘cause of her dark skin). Anymoo! It was a super-cute Italian waiter, *so* freakin’ nice and sweet. We would talk in Spanish and he would reply in Italian, and we could understand each other really well! Btw, we saw a dangerously-HOT German (about 19-2O-ish) there: …DAMN! The funny thing is that he was with his *fiancée* having a family dinner for her rents approval, or so it seemed. And still, we checked him out BADLY. We are bad girls [:p] It was sooo funny, her rents looked us *quite* hostile, haha! :p about the food, it was awesome and quite yummy; the ristorante persé was *really* purdy as well. For dessert, we got ice-cream around the corner. I got a latte-something flavor: that was outstanding! I FINALLY tasted *real*, yummy coffee like back home: very rich and sweet, an super charged of flavor, just like an actual coffee should be, not all watery and flavorless like American or German ‘coffee’ (no offense!). Then, we finally hit our hotel. Btw, the only thing I liked was a chair and curtain @ the end of the hallways of every floor; my room was just *extremely* small (I had to put my luggage in the closet ‘cause there was no space to walk! So u can imagine), and the had a lot of stupid rules and we couldn’t even go walk outside. I disliked it VERY much. Rothenburg’s was WAY better, and it wasn’t in the city! So yeah, I like Germany’s countryside much better, or at least for now. It’s 1O:3OPM so I’m going to sleep now; we are off to Munich tomorrow.


Just took breakfast, now we are on our way to Munich. Btw, I just met an American hottie named Mike (lol), from Indiana. Oi, he IS good looking. He’s on another different EF tour, but staying another night just like we are so I’ll prolly see him again tonight (we were looking at each other non-stop during the *whole* breakfast, until my group left. I then stayed, walked up to him and said “where are u from?” he told me then I answered back and he loved the fact I‘m from Puerto Rico :p then we asked each other’s room #’s and that was it :p).
Soooo then the bus was off to Munich. Omg, that was SUPER! I felt like if I was in London! The whole buildings and stuff, everything was gorge. Now my view of countryside Germany and the city are pretty similar :p we went to some palace (where I froze my booty off; that must have been the coldest time while in Europe!) before going to the BMW museum and Dachu Nazi concentration camp. Couldnt see much because the movie the showed us was so graphic and Laurie felt sick it affected her too much, so I wanted to be a good friend and accompanied her outside until the tour was over. We walked through the gas chambers and everything. very very emotional…
Later on, we went shopping and to the Hard rock café and HB, were most of my classmates (and even TEACHERS!) nearly get drunk drinking strong German beer [:p] about me well, I had a yummy German sausage for lunch! *nods* oh and, finally, I bought a li’ something for myself: a pink Heartbreaker top @ Hard Rock which also has a big 71 in burgundy in the back and also says Munich. Then, when we arrived to the hotel @ like 9PM, I met Mike again and we went to the Eia (?) Tutti Frutti café around the corner and ate some ice-cream together and talked some more, then same thing back @ the hotel’s lobby. Guess what!? He’s a CHRISTIAN! I mean he is even in a *Christian* METAL band called Bloody Sunday, and he is the vocalist.

Euro Trip, Munich palace

Me in front of the palace

Euro Trip, Munich palace 2

another view of the German palace

Euro Trip, Munich palace garden

by the palace balcony and garden. Oi, that garden and palace are sooo big it’s GORGE

Euro Trip, Munich square

MUNICH! Who took the pic cut off the nice big clock tho! =(

Euro Trip, Munich surroundings

around Muncih

Euro Trip, Munich surroundings 2

what's that? I dont remember...(Munich)

Euro Trip, Mike

Mike and me, that day. Turned out like crap *shrugs* he’s much hotter in person, btw

Euro Trip, Munich surroundings 3

bye bye, Germany! Next stop Austria and ITALY!!!!! =D

Europe adventure to be continued on a different Travel Tuesday! ;)

Europe: Through the eyes of a 17 year old (photo essay)

Happy Travel Tuesday everyone! As I went through my travel memories vault today, I blew some dust off my 2005 travel journal: The first time I traveled outside of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Mom, knowing her daughter so well, gave me the gift of a lifetime: My very first trip to Europe! I was not savvy or knew much about how to travel the world on a budget back then, so I simply went on a 10-day graduation trip through EF Educational Tours, which was organized by my high school. We went though Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy–and I was an ecstatic 17 (soon-to-be-18) year old!

Not only was this trip challenging because I had never had an actual conversation in English with a native speaker in person, but also because I had never been outside of Puerto Rico for more than a week (even though I had already been to Disney as a child, NYC and Chicago through my local theatre company). Surprisingly though, I was not nervous or scared, but rather excited and could not wait to practice my conversational English skills! This innate, uninhibited drive I have always had reminds me each day that traveling and languages are such deep parts of me; that I must make a career out of them.

So! I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring some pages of this old travel journal on Travel Tuesday! It will be a mini series of journal entries/photo essays I published back in 2005 on Back when I was a newbie 17-year-old blogger with no real English training or travel experience. Hope you find them cute and humorous! =P Below, part one! Please note, I have not edited the grammar nor writing style: That’s the whole point of the post! Yeah? 😉 =)

Oh and don’t forget: Click on any image to enlarge! =)

Posted on 06/20/05, 3:58 AM on

Europe trip 2005

NOW! =D the TRIP! That’’s all u are waiting for. So, the format might seem a bit weird, changing between present and past, but the thing is that I‘m typing all this directly from my EF *travel journal*, which means I was writing about everything *during* the trip, so I wouldn’t miss a thing. I won’t post everything @ once, since I warn ya it’s pretty lengthy, but I’ll split it up in few days during this week, and the same with the pictures since I took a *LOT* (about 2OO aprox, without including the ones left taken with other cams when I ran out of memory). So, here are my European trip ramblings! Hope u find them descriptive enough, and enjoy the pictures below that! =D

Europe 2005, airport shot

Group picture before leaving to Europe from Puerto Rico airport (me on the far right, white polo)


So, on my connecting flight to Newark right now. I already laughed a lot by the silly doings of my classmates (yeah, the fun already started!). Right now I’’ll see yet another mag, this time from the actual airline, which has some pics of Italy! *Quick note* – Continental Airlines meals + in-flight mags are much better and entertaining than American Airlines’.

Europe 2005, Frankfurt flight

We are in Europe! Frankfurt from the air


Europe trip, Rothenburg streets

Streets of Rothenburg!

In Frankfurt, we just saw the airport and highway. Note: I only got 7O-ish euros for 1OO American bucks; THAT *SUCKS*. From there to Rothenburg were *3 hours*. Me no likey the highway’s view for now; didn’t feel in Germany, since all I saw were just TREES. And even more trees. Then, we went on tour through Rothenburg; yes, with all of our luggage still in the bus. So, this lil’ medieval town was very nice and cute, and some *cute* pics were taken. We went to a “Kriminal Museum” and then just around town looking and shopping. I bought most souvenirs (which were very few, since everything was DAMN expensive and so the food, so I had to save MADLY) and something called “Snowflake balls” in nut chocolate flavor, sprinkled with hazelnuts as well; that was YUMMY. After that we went to take supper @ a pasta restaurant; we had lasagna. It was different, but still good. Theeeen, around 9PM, we *finally* checked in @ our hotel (it was 3AM PR’s time). By then, we had all been *31 hours* without a bath; don’t worry, we still didn’t stink, by miracle *lol*.

Europe 2005, Rothenburg plaza

Cool building at a plaza in Rothenburg!

Europe 2005, Rothenburg buildings

These kind of houses are the trademark of this medieval town I believe. Or at least one of them. (Note photo-bomber on the far left. Ha)

Europe 2005, Rothenburg sweets

yummy ‘snowflake balls, made of soft wafer strips, then covered with chocolate or other toppings”. They were *everywhere*

Europe 2005, Rothenburg bears

I just found this big teddy bear too freakin’ cute! I think these kind of bears are another trademark of Rothenburg


Europe 2005, Kriminal Museum

Me (left) and Fefi (Stephanie) @ the entrance of the Kriminal Museum, in some “cortacabezas”. I look freaky. Really freaky.

Europe 2005, chastity belts

Chastity belts. I found them interesting. They should be used nowadays. They are DESPERATELY needed for girls ages 12 and up. Today’s world is just too tough.

Europe 2005, outside Kriminal Museum

Me in front and beside weird cages used in ol’ times. They are scary.

Europe 2005, gasthof hotel

Me in front of our 1st hotel in Germany. It was around 9PM by then

Europe 2005, inside Gasthof

Me trying to take a pic of myself in my room with my retarded camera, which always takes about 3 secs. to actually take a picture. Don’t know why.


So, the guys in the back are now testing a German condom they bought @ one of the restrooms out of curiosity, which seems to be more thick in size than Americans’. Oh! Yarielis just tested it with her nails and it’ still intact. Wow, those seem to be better than Durex, the girls over there just said. Anymoo, right now we are just arriving to the castle. As for what I see from here, it’s gorge! Right now I’m trying to get a good pic of the Alps, which are pretty much seen from here.

Europe 2005, Alps

Best pic I could take of the Alps alone, in the bus

For part two of this photo essay, click here

Vatican City walls – Travel Photos

Vatican City walls? For those of you who still don’t know, Vatican City happens to be the smallest independent country in the world. Below, I pictured the massive Vatican city walls that enclose the tiny state, which even has a “mini border” of sorts. Another interesting fact? In order to be part of the Swiss Army (protects the Pope), you must be a male virgin – or so my tour guide told me. I believe him (although believing the guards who say they are all virgins is a different story)

Vatican City walls

Massive Vatican City walls

Vatican City walls

Me in front of Vatican City wall and "border"

Have you seen the Vatican City walls up close and personal?

Colosseum Rome video and photo-bomb! (My solo adventures in Italy)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my solo adventures in Italy! Not only did I Couchsurf in a beautiful suburb (and had my own bed!), But I got terribly lost before finally being able to record this Colosseum Rome video and photo-bomb 😀

Colosseum Rome video: a QUICKIE!

Now, onto the most epic photo bomb ever…

Photobomber on the left, sporting brilliant silver hair and bright red jacket. Maria aka latinabroad on the right, with black attire:

Colosseum Rome video and photo

Colosseum Rome match results: Photobomber – 1. Maria – 0

My cute smile could not rival his mustache. Bummer.

Have you been to the Colosseum, Rome? Post the link of your best shot!