Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Well, I know I've been remiss when it comes to blogging my wacky (and not so wacky) adventures. For that I apologize. But anyway, here's some stuff about me. I've been living in Vienna (as anyone who's read my blog no-doubt knows) for the last 15 months or so. I'm currently in my third semester of German, and starting to get fluent. I'm also editing English papers and tutoring students in English to make a little bit of money every know and then. Life in Vienna is nice, it's starting to get cold (averaging around 35 during the day), but it never rains too hard, and I have a nice jacket. So I can't complain.

This past September I managed to make it back to the states, including a quick trip to Austin and some quality time with my family in Dallas.

Here's me with my sister.

And here are my dear friends Aaron and Jessica.

I promise to maybe try to keep this blog updated. But, I hope to hear from each and every one of you, whether I know you personally or not. Please send me a comment or an e-mail.

Innsbruck & Klagenfurt

In August, Lea and I decided to make a trip in Austria. We spent the first few days camping in Innsbruck, in the state of Tirol, high in the Alps, and then we spent a few days on a lake near Klagenfurt, the capital city of Corinthia.

Innsbruck is a truly beautiful city. Here's a spot right near our campground.

And here's Lea.

And this is what the center of Innsbruck looks like. Innsbruck is a very wealthy town, and lots of people come here for SHOPPING! Not me though.

And this is the River Inn.

And this is Lea with some mountain goats. Those things are crazy.

And this is me.

And this was Lea's breakfast one morning. She felt compelled to take a picture of it, so I feel compelled to post it on my blog.

Then we went to Klagenfurt (about 5 hours by train from Innsbruck) to go swimming.
I decided to engage in a challenging game of Sudoku.

And then I went swimming.

Tel Aviv

Well, it's been a long time since my last post, but I haven't been traveling so much. This summer, however, I got to make another trip to Israel. We spent most of the time in Tel Aviv, the cosmopolitan center of Israel. The food is good, the weather is hot, and the people are beautiful. We also traveled to Jerusalem, but this post is all about Tel Aviv.

As you can see, Tel Aviv is the business center of Israel. It's located on the beach, and it's a really nice city. The people are friendly, you can get around easily on foot, and people are up all night long. It really never sleeps.

We were fortunate to get to stay in an apartment right by the beach for free. You can see the sun setting (from our balcony) here.

We were incidentally staying right by the American Embassy (the building on the right), which for some strange reason is right on the beach, even though I understand that American officials in Israel aren't allowed to go anywhere fun (like clubs).

Here's a picture of me on the beach. This was July, so it was pretty warm.

Below you can see the city of Jaffa, which is on the southern end of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is a relatively new city, but Jaffa is thousands of years old, and has a long history as an important port city on this part of the Mediterranean.

Here's Lea and I, in Jaffa, with Tel Aviv behind us.

That day was really hot.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


OK, so last month Lea and I went to Budapest. However, I have been extremely slow in putting up now pictures. I'm sorry.

Budapest used to be two cities, Buda and Pest. People still refer to them by those names. Here I am looking across the Danube. I'm standing in Buda and looking at Pest (that's surprisingly fun to say).

In the picture above you can see one the most famous of Budapest's Danube Bridges, the so-called Chain Bridge. It's very pretty, and at night it lights up.

Umm, we really didn't take very many pictures. But Budapest is a beautiful city, and there's lots of Turkish influence. The language is actually related to Turkish. Also, there's lots of Turkish architecture and Turkish baths around. The Turkish baths are fun, and very relaxing.

This here is a picture of the Magyar palace. They were part of the Hungarian ruling elite for centuries, and the Hapsburg Empire became the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the mid 1800s, granting the Magyars a high level of autonomy (although there was little in the way of Democracy in Hungary at that time).

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well, the last several posts are all about some of the trips I've taken since I arrived in Europe. I recommend reading the oldest first, and working your way up. Please leave friendly comments, and if you're a person I haven't talked to in a while, send me an e-mail!


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In late October, Lea and I went to Israel for a wedding. We spent most of the time in Jerusalem, but also managed to make a trip to Haifa. Jerusalem is kind of an intense city at times. The people there are really remarkably good at living life even with the regular threats to civilians in Israel (something the U.S. could learn a thing or two about).

This picture was taken inside the old city.

And here you can see both the Dome of the Rock and the Western Well (and even some very small people praying at the wall).

And this is Haifa Bay. On a clear day, you might be able to see Lebanon in the background.


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In October, Lea and I went to visit two friends of ours that we met in Texas, Chloƫ, who is French, and Vince, who comes from El Paso. After riding an overnight train with a stop in Geneva, we arrived.

This is Chloƫ.

And this is Vince. He's the strange one of the two.

And this is Grenoble.

Grenoble is nestled in the Alps in Southeast France, near Geneva, Switzerland. The landscape is truly stunning, and Grenoble itself is a vibrant college town.

It seems like there's a mountain at the end of every road (and there really might be).

The very vague white mountain in the background is Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe.

In France, they don't think the customer is always right. At this cafe, the waiter started tapping his foot in annoyance because we took too long to order. Silly Frenchies.

Up next...


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The next big trip we took was a 2-week trip to Italy. Italy is a fun, exciting country. There's lots to do, and the people are really interesting. A lot of the stereotypes are true. For example, at a restaurant in Rome that Lea and I were eating at, the waiter looked up from taking our order and yelled "Mama Mia!" at a woman passing by. Seriously.


We spent a few hours in Florence one morning before catching our next train to Umbria (in central Italy).

Here's a second picture of a really incredible cathedral in Florence.

And these 10 engravings are really famous (I know because I saw one in my art history book).

And this statue is awesome.


We arrived in Umbria, which is the only region in Italy that doesn't touch a sea. It's a beautiful region of rolling hills and the biggest scorpions and bees I've ever seen in my life.

We stayed for over a week in a 500 year old stone cabin in the valley you see above. The land is owned by a Countess, who showed us around the valley. At the spot you can see (where it looks like open fields) Roman troops defeated Hannibal's troops and elephants.

This is the sun setting in a pretty village at a lake nearby.


The next city we visited was Rome, which is a cool place. It's dirty and busy and crowded, and people will steal your stuff if you're not careful.

That being said, it's a big place, and there's so much to do and so many amazing things to see.

This is the fountain made famous in La Dolce Vita.

And this is the Roman Forum! There's so many structures still intact or partially intact from the age of the Roman Empire. The forum here was the center of the city, where deals were made and trade was conducted. It was also the political center of the Roman Empire.

This is the door to some ancient temple near the Roman Forum.

And that's the Colosseum.

And that's where the Pope lives! I was hoping he would stick his head out the window while I was there, but he didn't.

La Cinque Terra

La Cinque Terra is actually five villages on the west side of Italy on the Ligurian Sea, Northwest of Rome. We went there the last few days of our trip, and spent most of the time on the beach. This is what the village we stayed in looked like.

And that's what the sea looked like. It really is a beautiful region.

I have to say, I really enjoyed the two weeks I spent in Italy. I want to go again.

Up next...
Grenoble, France!

Austrian Countryside

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A few days after arriving in Vienna, Lea and I took a trip to the little town of Neuberg in the Austrian state of Steiermark. There's not much to say about the trip, but the landscape is stunning.

Up next...