Monday, July 9, 2007


We went to Italy for eight days. My mom had gone there for a year in college, and it was her dream to go back again. She still remembers Italian quite well, after 20 years. When we meet someone and ask them a question, my mom always asks and she usually strikes up a conversation. But anyway, we left on a Tuesday afternoon. We went to an airport called Gatwick. That wasn’t the same as the one we came to England in. That one is called Heathrow. Anyway, our airline was Easyjet, and they seemed to be really proud of having their own airline. Everything was orange and white, the airline’s colors. The plane flight was pretty short, only about an hour and 20 minutes.

When we got all our luggage we had to take a half-hour train ride on a train called the Malpensa Express. Oh yeah, the airport we were at was called Milan-Malpensa, and Milan was the city in Italy we were going to first. The train was double decker, and we sat on the second floor. The train ride actually felt pretty short, like the plane ride. After the train ride we went on an Italian subway. They called it the metroline. We took it to the nearest station to our hotel. The hotel was pretty nice. It had high ceilings and comfy beds.

The next morning we went out for a walk. There were motorcycles everywhere. Also there were streetcars, and Anthony simply had to go on one. The first thing we did, however, was go visit the college my mom went to when she was in Italy 20 years ago. We didn’t get to see any of the inside, so it was pretty boring. I can’t really explain the outside either.

After the college we went to my mom’s favorite pizzeria for lunch. We couldn’t believe that it was still running after 20 years. It was pretty easy to believe, however, that it was her favorite. The pizza was like no other I’ve ever tasted. It was better than Pat and Oscar’s, my used-to-be favorite pizza place. After pizza we went to a dessert place that had some really good candy. Then we went to see a castle, but we didn’t get past the first room. It was really boring.

After the castle we took a walk to a streetcar station (Anthony’s dream come true!) and took it to a huge church called the Duomo. We got to go inside, and it was huge. It was the third largest church in Italy, and no wonder. The ceiling was probably 70 feet high, and the length was about 150 feet. I still thought it was pretty boring though.

When we got out we got some gelato (Italian ice cream) and then walked to an Italian dinner restaurant. It was even better than my mom’s favorite pizzeria. When we were done we took another streetcar to a metro station and took the metroline to our hotel. Then we went to sleep.

The next day we went to the Leonardo da Vinci science museum. It had a bunch of old ideas from the past, like waterwheels and seacruiser motors and dams. Also there was a railway transport building, a water transport building, and a building with a bunch of models of Leonardo da Vinci’s invention ideas. I thought it was really interesting.

Then we took the metroline to a train station to Venice. It was a two hour train ride, but I didn’t get tired of it. When we got out of the train station we had to take a water taxi (a boat, of course) to the water taxi station nearest to our apartment, which was pretty far. An Italian woman walked us there, and I didn’t like it that much. It was drafty, dark, and creepy. The kitchen was tiny, and none of the appliances worked except the faucet. As soon as we got settled in we looked for a place to eat. We found a pizzeria and ate there, then went back to our apartment and went to bed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Finally: The London Eye

We went to London again on a Saturday. We took a train to Paddington again. When we got there we had lunch, then took an underground train (you remember what the underground is, right? Right. Good.) to the tower of London again. Luckily, we arrived at a much closer station than before, so it was actually in sight when you got out. It was very rainy that day, we almost considered not going. This time we really were going to go into it, and we were surprised by how much was outdoors. The first thing we did was go into the white tower, which was the center tower that had the four onion shaped things on the top.

In there we saw a whole bunch of rooms, which included the armoury room, which had TONS of rifles stored inside. Actually, this room was the small armoury room, so, since the larger one was gone, I was glad that it was, because that would probably have had WAY more rifles. Other rooms included the chapel, the Spanish armoury room, and a room with 36 barrels of gunpowder and a bunch of medieval pistols and swords and different kinds of armor. After that we left and went to the crown jewels building. I was amazed at where people could find all the diamonds and jewels and rubies that were stuck on the crowns. Then we went to the gift shop. We bought a few things and then left the tower. Then we went back to the underground and took it to Westminster. As you probably remember, this is where Big Ben and the London Eye are. I was very excited. I haven’t mentioned this yet, so I will now. Today, finally, for the first time ever I was going to go on the London Eye. It was a really long wait, but I think it was worth it.

You could see for miles and miles. I could even see, quite clearly in the distance, a huge object shaped just like the Eiffel Tower on the Horizon. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Eiffel Tower. Paris was too far away. In fact, I could just barely see another one even farther away. When we came down and got off my dad’s cousin, Chris, was waiting for us. Oh, I forgot, my dad and Cindy were going on the London Eye with me. Anthony kept changing his mind about whether or not he wanted to go on the London Eye, but when he saw it up close he quickly told us he would not be going.

Anyway, after meeting Chris we walked back to the Westminster station and got back on the underground to Paddington. Then we walked to a steakhouse restaurant to eat, and the food was really good. After that we walked back to Paddington, and, while we waited to get on our train we went to a bar and got some hot chocolate there. Then we got on our train. When we finally got to Reading (our train had stopped at like a million stations that we never stopped at before) we realized we had made a huge mistake. We had taken a train that was slow to get to Reading, because of stopping at so many stations. Because of that we had missed the last train to Hungerford. We could have taken a faster train that didn’t stop at all those stations, but we took the slow train instead. Because of the flop, we had to take a taxi all the way back to our house, but I was so tired I fell asleep and the ride felt like five minutes. Thankfully the taxi stopped right outside our house, so I didn’t have to walk far. I fell asleep as soon as I got into bed.