Friday, June 24, 2011


WE MADE IT! We finally arrived in Houston yesterday! We basically stayed up and left the hotel in Nafplio at 2:30 am to ride, by bus, to Athens. At the Athens airport we said goodbye to Carolyn and David and then we flew out of Athens at 7:05.

We arrived in Paris at 9:30 and literally RAN to get to our connecting flight which left at 10:35. We got there in time but the flight was delayed until 11:05. They let us board and while we were standing in line we saw Hakeem Olajuwon there! He let us take a picture with him too, since we are a photography class and all! :) Turns out he was on our flight!

Anyway we boarded, finally. This flight felt SO LONG! Nine hours and 47 minutes of sitting there and doing nothing. I really couldn't go to sleep and so I listened to my ipod and played a few "video games". We touched down in Houston an hour late at 2:30 and went straight to Customs and Baggage Claim. After that we went through the exit doors and my mom and Cordelia were waiting for me!

I am so glad to be home! I loved Italy and Greece but it feels wonderful to be back home!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Last Night!

Today we slept in until nine, got up and had breakfast. Then we worked for a little bit on our projects and chilled. Then we went to the Farmer's Market and shot photos there and then we went to lunch while Carolyn and David went to get the T-Shirts that Claire designed printed/ordered.

We finished lunch and went shopping for a little bit. Then most of the girls went to the beach with David while Carolyn, Demeris, Dena, Claire, Carly, and I went to a cafe that had free wi-fi so we could chill and work on our projects there. I had a Mochaccino which is basically a Mocha Frappuccino with tons of whipped cream and chocolate syrup on it! It was SO good!

After the cafe we went back to the hotel and looked at everyone's Top 10 photos of the trip! All of them were SO great and wonderful! We then grabbed our Tripods and went to dinner at the first restaurant of Greece which we discovered was true because it was founded 100 years ago and the Ottoman Empire fell in 1923 which was approximately 100 years ago! It was really interesting!

After dinner we went to this empty dark street, set up our tripods and cameras and used flashlights and glow-sticks to write things and draw things and capturing it on film using a slow shutter speed. The pictures turned out REALLY awesome!

We leave the hotel at 2:30 this morning! We take a bus to Athens and then a flight to Paris and from there we sprint to our connecting flight to take us home!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Today we travelled to the little island called Idra-Hydra for those english speaking people out there...which would be everyone...because this blog is written in english...ANYWAY, this little island is SO cute! They do not allow cars there, the only motor vehicles are the garbage trucks! The locals use bicycles, their own two feet, and DONKEYS!!!! Tourists can get a 10 minute donkey ride for 10 euro. Not really worth it though, they take you in a circle around the town.

We went around the town taking pictures of portraits for a National Geographic "On Assignment" project thing. I also took some pictures of the town! After that we ate lunch and then we went to this rocky (rocky as in there are small cliffs there) ledges and platforms over the water from which you can jump out into the water. I didn't go swimming. I sat and read my book, listened to music, and took awesome photos! After that we took the last fairy back to the mainland and the bus back to Nafplio. All in all, a pretty great, chill day! One more day left then back to Houston!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Well, we survived the hike! It was ALOT of steps! We all needed the exercise however and we all had a great time when we got to the castle on top of the hill! It was so amazing and had awesome views of the town and the mountains and the ocean!

After we climbed down we went to lunch and then shopping for a little bit! I didn't spend THAT much money this time! :) Then, after everyone had changed, we went to the beach! The beach here is a little, rocky, public beach but the water is perfectly clear (YOU CAN SEE YOUR FEET!!) and a beautiful turquoise color! I didn't actually go in the water like most of the other girls but I lay out in the sun for a little bit and then under an umbrella for a little bit drinking a coke. Greece is amazing!

Right now we are about to start designing a t-shirt for our final project and then we are going to dinner and then we are having a "night lesson". We will learn how to take good quality pictures in the dark. I will post again tomorrow for sure because we are going to Idra (also known as Hydra) where we can cliff jump and see/ride donkeys and go to the beach again! More Later!

OH! I got a letter today that my dad sent me! I needed some help reading it...but other than that it was SO funny! It almost didn't sound like he wrote it! I hope he had a great Father's Day even though I know that the letter was written way before yesterday!


Yesterday we arrived in Nafplio and worked on our blogs and pictures for a while. Then we went to lunch and were allowed, afterwards, to split up into small groups and explore the town. It is not quite so quaint as Delphi but is really nice and is right on the water. After shopping (yes, I bought MORE souvenirs), we came back to the hotel and had more down time. We went to dinner in small groups and then met back up with everyone else and walked to a "show". I put show in quotation marks because it is really more of a religious ritual that they let people come to watch. It is a small sect of Islam and they were "chanting" (might not be the right word) and spinning. It was pretty interesting actually. We came back to the hotel and did our Critique #2 and watched the videos from Caroline's Birthday Scavenger Hunt. Everyone was SO tired. So we went to bed.

Today we got up and had breakfast and we are about to go out now and climb to the castle on the hill. It is 999 steps. I guess it makes up for all the bread we have been eating. I have to go now! More Later!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Athens- Part 2!

Yesterday morning we got up and had a VERY good breakfast and then we walked to the Archeology Museum in Athens. Apparently it is the most famous archeology museum in the WORLD! It was really awesome! They had statues, busts, heads, tombstones, pieces of a chariot, and old arrowheads and spears all from Ancient Greece!

After the Museum we walked to Lunch and after that we went to another Museum: The Benaki Museum. In this museum there were pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, books, coins, and other artifacts that described and told the history of Greece. It was really awesome! There were these earrings and necklaces that were shaped like "men-of-war" sailing on the ocean and were made of gold!

After this museum we went to the Parliament Building, passing the French and Italian Embassies on the way. We stood outside the entrance and watched the guards do a little performance which must have been totally humiliating. They were dressed in the traditional greek guard clothing and were standing in the sun...not only were they certainly humiliated but they were also sweating bullets!

Next we went to the hotel and relaxed for about two hours and worked on our blogs/pictures/folders. After that we went out and shopped for about and hour or 45 minutes. Then we went to dinner where, thankfully, they had spaghetti so I didn't have ANOTHER Greek Salad. During dinner we celebrated Caroline's 16th Birthday! The waiters lit a candle and we sang to her. The guy at the next table had bought roses for the girls at his table and he gave one to Caroline! It was SO cute!

When we finished dinner we went and did another "scavenger hunt". We split into two groups and went around asking people if they would say "Happy Birthday, Caroline!" while being videotaped. We got extra points if they said it in a different language! It was so much fun!

This morning we woke up, ate breakfast and loaded the bus. It is AMAZING how different Athens is on a sunday. Much quieter, especially with the market being closed on sunday. We drove to Nafplio and checked into our hotel. We then went to lunch and walked around the town to take pictures and, unfortunately for my budget, bought some more souvenirs. On the plus side I got a present for Sophia! Right now we are back at the hotel and are again working on our final projects. This is good because then it means the less we have to do when we get home! More later!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Delphi and Athens

The second day we were in Delphi we had breakfast and then we were allowed to walk around and explore the town! I bought many things although I had to restrain myself from buying 50 pairs of shoes. I only have to buy my dad a present now, oh yeah, and Sophia. Anyway we split up for lunch. I went with the larger group because I did not want to spend anymore money, I wanted to save it for Athens and Nafplio. After lunch we walked to the Archeological Museum of Delphi and we took a tour with a very informative tour guide. We learned the myth of how Delphi was founded. We also learned that the temple in Delphi was to Apollo and how the Pythia (the pythia is the person and the Oracle is the place) made "predictions". After the tour we walked around the ruins which included the bases of statues, remains of the temple, a theater (seating for 5000), a stadium (seating for 7500), and an approximately 2600 year old wall with inscriptions in ancient greek. After exploring the ruins of Delphi we went to dinner and then back to our hotel. We then celebrated Abby's Birthday on the roof and watched Mama Mia! A fun ending to a great day!

The next morning we got up early and drove to Athens. To be honest Athens is dirty, graffitied, smelly, and CROWDED! Interestingly enough I have found that I hate large cities. You might be skeptical and ask me how I can hate large cities when I live in one? Houston is very large but it is spread out. I love that because each little section is like its own little town! But in places like Athens, New York, Rome, and Los Angeles everyone is piled on top of each other and it is dirty and disgusting.

ANYWAY…we had lunch as soon as we got here and then we split into two groups and we went to explore the city and take pictures. After this we walked up to the Acropolis. It was a long walk but we made it before closing and we stayed there for about an hour. It was awesome! It probably would have been much better except there was a giant crane in the way and scaffolding. I suppose they need it to hold the building up but still…it takes something away from the history of they place. After we got kicked out of the acropolis when it closed at 630, we went to dinner at this really nice place near the acropolis after shopping for a while of course! There was a band playing and some locals performed some traditional greek dances. We all had a really amazing time! Then we went home and went to bed after saying goodbye to Ms. Hartman who had to leave today due to family emergency. We are really going to miss her!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Three HUGE days, little bitty sleeping time.

I haven't quite been keeping up with this blog because I decided that and hour more to sleep would be more useful than blogging at the time. So let me back track to Day 3 of our Italy and Greece trip.

Day 3- On Monday we took a day trip to Rome! We woke up at about four and took the train at about five-ish. When we got to Rome and grabbed a quick breakfast we went directly to the Colosseum. We were able to jump the line a get straight in through the tour group line! We spent about an hour wandering around! It was amazing!! After the Colosseum we continued onto the Roman Forum which was sooooo cool!! After the Forum walked to the Trevi Fountain and we all threw coins into it! Next we went shopping for a little bit in a small market where I bought a bracelet! Next we went to the Pantheon and took pictures there for a while and lastly we went to the Spanish Steps where I got some very good framing shots. after the Spanish Steps we walked to the train station and returned to Florence.

Day 4- Isn't it funny how we used to think that waking up at 6:40 was early? Well, we were all very excited that we only had to wake up at 6:15 on Tuesday morning. We took a private bus from Florence to a small town on the Italian coast (the west coast, that is) and from there we took a short train ride to another small town. This town is part of what is known as Cinque Terre. Once we got to the town which was really, really, really cute we hiked to one of the other towns in Cinque Terre. In total it was approximately a 2.4 mile hike and took a couple hours to complete. It was really pretty but the beginning part of the hike was strenuous as it was up a very steep hill and with a countless number of steps. After we finished our hike Carolyn and David gave everyone money and sent us off in the second quaint little town that we had hiked to, to get lunch. After lunch we went to the beach and hung out there for about an hour. THen we took the train ride and bus back to Florence. Although not many pictures were taken during this excursion (only 106) the landscape was incredible and beautiful! I will never forget it!

Day 5- Today! Today we got up at 4:00 and loaded our luggage into a coach bus. We then took a three hour bus ride to the airport in Rome. From there we caught a flight on Aegean Airlines and we flew into Athens. We took another Coach-like bus to Delphi which is in one of the prettiest places on earth! We r going to eat now! More later!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Florence-Day 1

Today we spent the whole day in Florence! Right now my feet are KILLING me!! We walked all over!

First, we had breakfast which consisted of bread and butter and croissants. Next, we left the hotel and walked to Il Duomo. We then proceeded to split into groups and do a scavenger hunt. We were to take photos of things such as: a silhouette shot, an interesting person on a bicycle, a moving Vespa, and a human pyramid in front of a famous building.

After we finished the scavenger hunt we walked to a restaurant called Pizzeria Nuti. I had the Spaghetti al Pomodoro which was amazing!! Then we went to see Michelangelo's David. We spent about an hour in the museum that accompanies the statue and the we headed off to our cooking class!

We took a class at the Giglio Cooking School in Florence. We made our own pasta dough and cut it into Ravioli and stuffed it with spinach and cheese. We also made chicken with red wine and tomato sauce. And to finish this amazing meal we made Tiramisu for dessert!

After dinner we made the long trek back to our hotel and downloaded our pictures from the day. Tomorrow we are switching hotels and traveling to an Olive Orchard and a place where they make Olive Oil!

Friday, June 10, 2011



After a nine hour plane ride across the atlantic, a five hour lay over, a two and a half hour flight from Paris to Rome, and a two and a half hour train ride to florence, we finally made it! Italy is gorgeous out in the country. Rome was slightly disappointing from what I saw from the train. There is a surprising amount of graffiti over everything here. Paris was awful! The airport was so crowded and I didn't understand a word of what anyone was saying. Italian is easier because it is closer to spanish.

After we got to the hotel we went out for Gelato. I got the ice cream equivalent of mint chocolate chip. It was very good! Well after more than 24 hours traveling I am going to call it a night and go to bed! Tomorrow we tour Florence!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Class Day 2

Today was the second day of class before my Italy and Greece Trip. We started the day at City Center and split into five groups. In each group we learned and practiced different techniques that would improve our photography.We revisited what we learned yesterday about light and the different ways to adjust the amount of light allowed into the shot.

Today we also learned about the depth of field, the rule of thirds, taking pictures with moving objects, setting up and using tripods, and differences in taking pictures in the sun and in the shadows. We ate lunch at Ruggles Green and then we headed back to the school to upload our photos and edit them in photoshop. The following photos are the top three pictures that I took today:

That is a VERY brief summary of everything that we learned and did today! We have one more day of classes tomorrow and then Thursday we leave for Italy!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

1st Day of Class For My Photography Trip!

This sumer I am traveling with my school and National Geographic Student Exhibitions to Italy and Greece! This trip is really cool because we get to travel for two weeks with two national geographic photographers and we get to learn how to improve our photography skills. All this while traveling "under the tuscan sun".

We are spending one week in Italy and one in Greece, experiencing and photographing the culture and history of these two countries. Before we leave on this trip, however, we must have some classroom hours because being a photographer is so much more than "pointing and shooting".

Today was our first day of class and we learned some VERY important things about light and how to adjust the camera so more or less light can be let into the shot. There are three ways to do that: the ISO, F-stop, and the shutter speed. After learning about and becoming more familiar with the professional qualities of our cameras, we crossed the street and went to EL GALLO for lunch. It was pretty good and we are certainly going to miss Mexican food on our trip!

Well that's all for now!