Jay and Kelly's Honeymoon: August 21, 2005 - September 10, 2005

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Date: Wednesday, September, 07, 2005 - 10:09 AM
Location: Internet Cafe by Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hola amigos,

We arrived successfully in Barcelona Monday evening, after 12 hours of train rides and waits. We were dumb and took the wrong bus which took 4 hours instead of 2.5, and then we missed a train because we didnt know we needed to have actual tickets, in the past our Eurail passes were sufficient. We made it to our hotel by about 10pm, instead of the 4pm that we should have made it by. Oh well, all is good now! Monday night, we ordered a late dinner to our room -- Pizza Hut -- it was very good!

We have spent most of the past two days sight seeing. We visited Las Ramblas yesterday and then again today because our digital camera ran out of batteries yesterday and we wanted to take some photos of the crazy people pretending to be statues until you give them money. My favorite was this devil guy who collapses into a small box until you give him money and then he pops up and poses for photos, and then collapses back into the box. He was hilarious.

We have also visited the Picasso museum which was pretty interesting, even though it was very HOT! Kelly really liked seeing Picasso´s sketches. Last night, we went and saw La Sagrada Familia, which is so very impressive. Hopefully they complete it someday. The building has never been completely constructed, because the architect Gaudi died during construction, and there has been all kinds of politics and conflicts about getting it finished. We also went to Caixe Forum last night, which is an art museum. It was cool because there was the opening for an Art Noveau exhibition. We also went to check out the Font Magik, which is some light and music show with a big fountain, but it only happens on Friday and Saturday nights. For some reason, the fountain was on last night so we got to see some of the stuff lit up, it was very neat.

Today, we have walked along Las Ramblas again and have been walking along all of the old city streets. They are very very skinny and are lined with beautiful architecture. It has been drizzling off and on but is now raining pretty solidly, which is why we are here on the Internet! No complaints, because this is really the only bad weather day that we have had. Tonights plans are up in the air depending on the weather, hopefully it clears up.

See you all soon, everything is going by so fast. We cant believe it is almost over. We are having a wonderful, wonderful time.

Date: Sunday, September, 04, 2005 - 1:09 PM
Location: Another Internet Cafe in Altea, Spain

Another Lazy Day by the Pool (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hi everyone,

Just dropping a quick post because we stopped by to check on train times. We leave tomorrow for Barcelona.

Not too much new to report. We spent the day today being lazy and laying by the pool and ocean. It is wonderful here. I dont think weve seen a cloud in the sky in days.

We are on our way to eat at Pizza 4 U, where their pizzas are more homemade than we are used to. And it is on a strip of restaurants by the ocean, the same strip we discussed yesterday.

Miss you all, Jay and Kelly.

Date: Saturday, September, 03, 2005 - 3:09 PM
Location: Internet Cafe in Altea, Spain

Palm Trees and the Rocky Beach (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hola! We are here in Altea in an Internet cafe. It is pretty funny because it is also a bar, and there is a football (aka soccer) match on on a big screen projector directly behind us and about 30 spaniards are all watching it and getting excited all the time.

But anyhow, last time we left off was just after the tomatina festival. We are all (hopefully) rid of the tomato smell, and the only after effect of it was that Kelly had a rash where wet clothes were. No hurting or itching but she doesn´t think it was a pretty sight. Luckily, it is now going away.

We made it safe and sound to our hotel just oustide of Altea Thursday afternoon. We´ve been feasting on the Pizza Margaritas at the bar, because we were silly and didnt actually find Altea until this afternoon (and it was only a 10 minute walk away). Our hotel is along a strip of road somewhat by itself. Thursday night, we went for a walk exploring for somewhere to eat, but we apparently explored the wrong direction. We walked the other way today, and found a really neat boardwalk/oceanfront walkway with lots of little restaurants and shops. It is very nice!

Yesterday we visited Benidorm, the largest nearby city (20 min bus ride), it is basically a myrtle beach touristy place, so that we could make sure that Kelly was okay. Of course, she was. We also ate lunch at a Subway restaurant in Benidorm, which was pretty good! Though they were even skimpier with their slices of meat here, only two slices of turkey and three of cheese (instead of the usual four that I get).

We erally really like our hotel here, we have been relaxing a lot, and catching up on some sleep. Our hotel is right on the beach, and has a big pool and lots of palm trees and lots of space for beach chairs to lie out on and a big poolside bar. The beach itself surprised us because it was all rocky, no sand, but instead lots of small rounded pebbles. We dont mind it too much because it makes the ocean waves hitting the beach much louder and we can hear it even from our hotel room. Its very nice to fall asleep to. Our balcony at our hotel overlooks the pretty ocean, which is really the Mediterranean Sea. The ocean looks gorgeous, with an aqua blue color out really far and then a deep royal blue color. It looks very pretty.

At night, there is always a band playing by the pool, and most of the hotel guests come down to watch and have a drink. It is funny because even the little kids are out -- they play music until after midnight.

We are having a great time here, it has been very nice and relaxing. Please continue sending your emails to keep us updated on how you are doing, we love reading them!

p.s. something Kelly has been wanting to let you know is that when we were at the Louvre in Paris, I (Jay) set off an alarm, trying to go out an emergency exit. It was quite funny, but we just quickly walked away unnoticed.

Date: Wednesday, August, 31, 2005 - 1:08 PM
Location: Internet Cafe in Downtown Valencia, Spain

CAC and Tomato Mess (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hi everyone again,

It is Wednesday evening here (7pm) and we just got done eating dinner at our first sit-down american restaurant. MMmmm it was good!

Lets start off where we left off yesterday morning. Yesterday we went to the City of Arts and Sciences (CAC in Espanol). We went in the Science Museum, Aquarium, and their Imax theater. Everything was really cool. The aquarium is the largest in Europe, and it is laid out so impressively, Kelly liked the dolphin show a lot (and she also loved the sea lions which she tried so hard to photograph, but didnt have the greatest success). Our favorite part of the science museum was the Science of Sports --- we got to play basketball, test our high jump ability, and kick a soccer ball at a net. We saw Mysteries of the Nile at the Imax, which was pretty awesome. Luckily, they had headsets for each person, where you could listen to the show in the language of your choice. Its awesome how these countries cater to multiple languages and nationalities. Our favorite part of the CAC was the architecture (you should go to their web site to see for yourself http://www.cac.es), we took lots of photos and even bought some postcards.

And then today, we went to Bunol, Spain for TOMATINA!! It was just a crazy, crazy, crazy time. For those that have been in a mosh pit or at OU for halloween --- try combining the two together and then adding a wet tomato mess. Before the fight actually starts, while everyone is gathering in the streets, the locals on their balconies above the street provide entertainment by throwing buckets of water down at us. This causes everyone to jump up and down, sing, and chant that european soccer chant. It was hilarious. Six dump trucks dropped off 100 tons of tomatoes down one stretch of one street, and the insaneness ensued for an hour. We wish we could better describe the experience, but we cant. We should have photos of some, but we ran out of film midway through. Hopefully we have some good shots -- will be debatable, because our camera (disposable one) was covered in tomato chunks and goo. Of course, so were we. I threw away both my shirt and shorts (the shorts when I got back) because they were completely ruined. The white tee-shirt that I was wearing was stained completely pink.

After the tomato fight concluded, everyone needed to get cleaned off. Many of the residents of the town get out their hoses and spray us all off. There is also a stream/creek down a big hill at the end of town, which is where hundreds or thousands of the people go to get cleaned up - thats where we went. It was pretty funny to see everyone trying to get rid of the tomatoes in the creek. It was amazing to experience such a unique, wild, and crazy event. (for more info about tomatina, search for tomatina at news.google.com)

Thats all for now, we will update you all again later.

Date: Tuesday, August, 30, 2005 - 8:08 AM
Location: Our Hotel Room in Valencia, Spain

We Made it to Spain (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hello to everyone in the United States. We havent written in awhile, for various reasons (the community pc in murren mysteriously breaking among others --- we think that the lady running our hotel there just didnt want people using it), so we will pick up where we left off.

On our second full day in Murren (Saturday), we spent the day on another beautiful hike. We were smart this time, and took a cable car up 1500 feet, which was the top-point of the hike, and then took the trail back down around the mountain. This was the brightest move we have made all trip, we kept passing people going up the hill that we were going down, and they all looked miserable. They must have hiked straight uphill for 3-4 hours at least. It took us over 2 hours just to get down the hill (and another two hours to make it back to our town). But wow, there are such breathtaking views everywhere we go.

Another cool thing about our hike this day was the fact that we kept running into cows. Apparently these trails go right through farms, and the cows would be sitting right on the path. We would walk by or around 15-30 of them sometimes---pretty funny. The neatest thing about these cows though was the bells that they were wearing. When you have thirty cows down in a valley moving around, and you are at the top of the hill, the cows almost make music --- it sounds like a jack in the box!

We decided to postpone going up to the Shilthorn until Sunday morning before we left, because it closes at 4pm, and our hike took too long. Unfortunately, we didn't make it up there because we woke up on Sunday morning and the mountain tops were all cloudy - it was snowing in the mountains. Oh well. We ended up leaving Murren,and insted spent a couple hours in Interloken,and then four hours in Zurich. In Zurich, we found this really cool street festival (kind of like a mini Taste of Cincinnati), which was really fun. We ate at an Italian restaurant there, where we had our best meal of the trip so far. Kelly had Pizza Marghereta (cheese pizza), and I had ravioli -- very good. Speaking of food, we have done pretty well since we left Paris. We werent too impressed with the food there, but oh well.

We made it to Valencia, Spain on Monday aftrnoon at 3pm -- after leaving Murren at 10am the day before. Abut 24 hours of that time was spent on trains, and of course we missed on train, and another train broke down, leaving us scrambling to try to continue our journey, but we arrived safe and sound.

Here in Valencia, we have been pleasantly surprised to find that things dont cost as much. Food is cheaper, and our hotel is the nicest yet, and also the cheapest of our trip. The prices are comparible to the US, but Paris and Switzerland were very epensive. For example, at the train station in Zurich, we had to pay apprx. 2 dollars (2 CHF) to use the toilet. Lucky us.

As I was saying, our hotel is very very nice, and we even have the internet here (as you could tell from the heading of the entry). The Internet is a litle shady, because I apparently type too fast for the wireless keyboard to catch up. If you see missed words or spaces, I'm sorry - it's this internet.

Last night, after getting settled in our hotel, watching CNN about Hurricane Katrina, and going to the grocery for snacks and breakfast food, we went out to find dinner. Unfortunatly, we went out at 7:30 pm, and the restartant that we wanted to eat didnt open until 900pm. The Spainards are night owls and dont eat dinner until around 10pm. The restaurant was open from 2pm-4pm, and then again from 9pm-12midnight. So we nded up walking around their inner-city a little bit, and finding fun churches and plazas with lots of people - and pigeons - around.

Today, we are getting a late start, because we slept in late and washed all of our clothes. We are going to do some sight seeing today, going to the CAC (www.cac.es). This is their City of Arts and Sciences (a collection of museums, imax theater, aquarium, concert theater, etc), but we are going mainly to see the awesome modern contemporary architecture - the buildings have all been built since 2000 or so. And of course, tomorrow is Tomatina!! That should be interesting, to say th least!

On a side note, while we were in Murren, we happened to be watching MTV-Europe one evening. Have you all heard of the show Pimp my Ride? Well, if not, basically the host (Xzibit the rapper) takes a bad, beat-up old klunker car from a kid, and with the help of an autoshop transforms the car into a new-looking loaded awesome car. Anyway, MTV Europe has their own version of the show. Instead of Pimp My Ride, it is Pim My Fahrrad. For those of you that dont know German, that's Pimp My Bicycle. That's right, a whole show about 'pimping out' a bicycle. It was very very funny to say the least, even though nothing was in English --- it didn't need to be. We still arent sure if it was meant to be a joke or if it is a serious show. Whatever the case, it is entertainment!

Thats all for now, we are going to go enjoy the day!! Thanks for all of your emails, we love the updates from home -- keep them coming!

Date: Saturday, August, 27, 2005 - 8:08 AM
Location: Somewhere hidden deep on the west side

Where are the photos? (posted by Hacker Friend)

You Internet geek! Can't you figure out how to post a photo to your web site from the other side of the world? Everyone is anxious to see photos of your trip!

-Very disappointed

Date: Saturday, August, 27, 2005 - 5:08 AM
Location: Lobby in our Hotel Edelweiss

Hiking in Murren (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hi everyone,

Thank goodness, we finally have free Internet. This will have to be a quick blog though because we have spent a long time reading email (which we love to get) and have to get outside and enjoy the beautiful day!

Yesterday we went hiking all afternoon. Man, it is not easy to climb up a mountain (not really but you get the idea). We hiked for almost 4 hours, during which we climbed up over 1000 feet. Everywhere we turn all we see is amazing picturesque views -- don't worry, we have lots and lots of photos to share!

One thing we didnt mention last time was something we discovered about our adventure in getting to Murren. It took us six hours to get from Zurich to here, instead of the three that it is supposed to take. We took three or four busses when we thought we could take trains all the way here, and it confused us a lot. And in one of the cities, Interlaken, there were lots of fire hoses pumping water everywhere. You all probably know, but we didn't, that there was disastrous flooding in Switzerland, Germany and Austria earlier this week -- a couple days before we arrived Interlaken was under water.

While we were hiking, we came across this bridge across a creek that looked like it had been flooded away. There were men repairing it. While we stopped for lunch at a bench nearby, suddenly this helicopter appeared from the valley below flying very low, heading right for us! It turns out that it was delivering the boards to rebuild the bridge -- man it was cool to see, the board was hanging from the helicopter and they dropped it for the men below!

That's all for now. We plan to write more later, we are on our way up to the Shilthorn peak today (via a gondola - a suspended cable car), which is one of the peaks in the Swiss alps. Hope all is well!

Date: Thursday, August, 25, 2005 - 12:08 PM
Location: lobby of the Eiger Gesthaus in Murren

Paris and Murren (posted by Jay and Kelly)

Hi everyone!!

We are having a wonderful wonderful trip, let us recap some:

Paris was great, and extremely busy. After our last post on Monday night, we walked up to a big church at the top of a big hill <(we think it is called St. Crouer but arent sure). It was beautiful inside and out, we have several photos. It was funny because there were dozens of steps going down from the church entrance and it was like the hangout place for the French teens --- all hanging out, playing music and drinking wine. Strange to see in front of a church. Nearby, we also walked around a neat little square, this was a fun and surprising find. There were artists drawing portraits of people, fun restaurants and cute little artist shops. It was a nice contrast to busy Paris streets. Oh yeah, we were over in the region to see Moulin Rouge, which is in the middle of the Paris Red Light District, which was disappointing. It was just lots and lots and lots of sex shops with ridiculous, loud, distasteful signage (I think some of my friends would be amused by it).

On Tuesday, we went to Versailles and got poured on early in the day --- we bought an umbrella for 6 euros because we didnt have one and it was half-broken 5 minutes later. Oh well, it kept some of the rain off of our head, anyway. Our favorite part of Versailles, which if you donät know is an old French palace, was the gardens. The weather had cleared up for the afternoon, and it was a beautiful day. The gardens are HUGE, you can walk for many miles in them. In the gardens there are lots of hidden fountains and sculptures and other miscellaneous buildings. Our favorite spot was the Queens Hamlet, which looked like a scen just from a fairy tale. There were five or six little gingerbread looking houses scattererd around a lake with swans and lilypads (and kellys favorite - the ugly fish).

We hung out in a park in front of the Eiffel Tower Tuesday evening while waiting for it to get dark, Kelly and I took a small nap, which was very fun! We saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up and sparkling on Tuesday night -- very cool. We werent too impressed with it until then, but after that we liked it! It is very beautiful at nights with all of its lights on.

Yesterday was museum day. We went to Rodin, the Pompidou, and the Louvre all in one day! They all had their cool features, and were very different from each other. It is amazing how much artwork is stored at the Louvre. It takes days if you want to see each piece of work. Kellys favorite was the Rodin museum, because many of his famous sculptures were outside in a park, it was a neat atmosphere to look at artwork. The architecture of the Pompidou is very very cool, I was impressed! Of course, we saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, that was pretty funny to see all the hubbub around it.

We left Paris at 1042pm on Wednesday night, took about five trains/buses, and didnt make it to our hotel in Murren until 12noon today. Oh man though was it worth it. The view from here is just plain amazing. Our hotel has a direct view of the mountain, with a big balcony that goes around the corner of our room! It is impossible to describe in words just how awesome it is to look out and see what we see. We will have to take lots of photos to help describe! The place here is so quiet and peaceful, which is such a great difference from Paris, where we were go-go-go. Apparently, it is extra quiet, because there has been lots of rain and flooding in Switzerland,Austria, and Germany, which we had no idea about. Many guests were helicoptered to other places. The town we are in was out of electricity for three days but just came back today, lucky for us. There is no flooding here because we are a mile in the sky...all the rain goes down into the valleys below. In Interlaken, where we had a train stop, we were told that it was under water yesterday, but today it had cleared out some, we didnt see anything under water. There were hoses pumping out water everywhere, which confused us at the time, but now we understand why.

We are having a great trip and hope it continues this way!! Probably the biggest downside is having to pay tourist prices for everything...it isnt much fun to pay 5 euros for a 20oz water and a cold, small cheese sandwich. Oh well. Other than that, no complaints at all!

Hope everything is well with everyone at home. Thanks again to you all for helping make our wedding so special!

Love, Jay and Kelly

Date: Monday, August, 22, 2005 - 3:08 PM
Location: Internet Cafe in Paris, France

We made it safe! (posted by Kelly and Jay)

Hi everyone!

We made it safe and sound in paris, and have rode the subway without incident! Our flight arrived at 6:15 am, and we made it to our hotel by 9am. We touristed around the morning/afternoon and are again this evening (it is 9pm paris time right now), and we've seen the Hotel de Invalidades (where Napolean's remains are buried), the Arc de Triumph, and we walked along the Champs de Elysses and also saw Moulin Rouge!

That's all we've got for now because it costs 1.50 euros for 10 minutes! Talk to you all again later, we miss you (not really yet)!

Jay and Kelly Larbes

Date: Thursday, August, 18, 2005 - 11:08 PM
Location: Jay's Parents' Basement

Welcome to our Blog! (posted by Jay)

Hi everyone!

Kelly and I will be providing updates of our honeymoon through this site. Please come back often to check it out.

***All times are Cincinnati, OH time, even though we are in Europe (it was easier to code that way)***

***All Posts Now Display In Reverse Chronological Order Due To Updates to Jay's Unacceptable Coding (He's a slacker) - Mr. X ***