Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Horseback riding Mt. Vesuvius

Yesterday, my little brother and I went horseback riding on Mt. Vesuvius. We did it with the company, horse riding Naples. They picked us up and dropped us off from the base near the airport which was nice. There was just two other travelers on our ride and they were two girls from Canada about my age. Both my little brother and I have ridden horses before but never up a mountain and it's been a while. Berry and Roberto were the riders from the company that went with us and they were super awesome.
We started up Mt. Vesuvius and we got to a neat lookout point where we took a break and got off the horses. We got to explore some of the lava rock from the 1944 eruption which was the last Vesuvius eruption. On the way down the mountain we went different way, over lots of lava rock. It was an interesting activity and something fun and different to do while my brother was in town. I will admit I was a little nervous at points cause the trail was a little steep and narrow and my whole life was basically in the horses hands (hooves lol.) But my horse, Lady, was amazing and did perfect during the ride. She kept wanting to stop and eat and I totally wanted to just let her but we had to keep going.
When we got back to the stables, Roberto offered us some of this homemade wine which was really good and very nice of him. Then we got dropped off back at the airport. I would totally recommend this company if you want to do horseback riding in Naples. They were professional and the horses were awesome. I would probably not do it in the summer as it was pretty hot so many the spring or fall if that is an option for you.
love, Carlee

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Question of the Felonious Friend: E.J. Copperman / Jeff Cohen

Latest read. Loved this book. This is the third book in the Asperger Mystery series written by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen. The first book in the series was brand new at the library in North Carolina when we were living there and I picked it up because I liked the cover. Ever since then I have been reading the books. 

The books are pretty simple. They are mystery novels. This one started off with the question "Is Richard really my friend." See the main character in the cook Samuel has Asperger Syndrome and he makes a living answer questions for people because he is really good at researching and pays attention to details. He answered the question but that lead to much more. A shooting, death, robbery, so then Samuel spends the rest of the book trying to figure out what really happened and answers more complicated questions. 

I really like these novels because while they are easy reads, they aren't predictable. The authors do a great job of keeping you on your toes and I never know how it's really gonna end until I see the words there on paper. 

Once I was finished with the book, I googled the series and guess what! They are writing a 4th novel in the series to come out in October!!! I am very excited.
love, Carlee 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Castello di Montesarchio

The other weekend we drove out of this castle and it was just a fun quick little drive. It's actually I think only 20 miles away but it just takes you so long to get places here because you go through little towns and little back roads and the speed limit is a lot slower. Once we arrived at the castle there wasn't very many people there it's a small castle but we got to go inside and there were two Italian people working and they have you sign the guestbook and it was totally free and they showed around they were a little shaken that we didn't speak much Italian but the lady who showed us around spoke a little bit of English so we got by. She showed us the jail and sad news articles from the London paper about the castle and also the cool video about this vase that's house and that archaeological museum just across the way.
We got to go around the backside of the castle as well. There is a big cross overlooking the town and you have this cross and it's a very good view from up there. There is also any wild flowers and bushes growing all over the countryside right now because of spring time and it's so gorgeous. We walked around the grounds a little bit more and snap some photos. Like I said there wasn't much there in the castle. It wasn't very big but it was really cool that we got to go inside and that there were people maintaining it and showing people around totally free of charge. It is not something you find every day while going to a historical site.
On the way back we came across his other castle and I was totally trying to figure how to get up to the ruins but we cannot figure it out I did some research when we got home and I think we might have to make a plan to drive there again and then you have to going to walk up to it you can't drive to it. It'll be a good day trip. 
love, Carlee
Nike Shoes: Marshalls
Dress: Target
Bag: JCPennys

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sparta & Mystras Greece

One of the things Clark has always wanted to do is go see Sparta, Greece. He thinks that he might've been King Leonidas in a previous life haha. So I actually booked a tour through and I looked up a few other places that did the day trip to Sparta from Athens and this was one of the companies and had really good reviews and I just liked what you got included in the tour and so I went with them.  And I'm really happy we did. The first stop on our trip was the Corinth canal which is this canal that was drilled out to make way for trade ships to get from the Aegean Sea to the body of water within Grace and they don't use it for trade anymore now private ships go through it kind of as a novelty. And you can even bungee jump off the bridge which we obviously declined to do. It was really cool to stop in the city of Corinth though because that is the city that the Corinthian's are from which you will recognize the name if you're familiarr with the Bible.
The trip was about 2 1/2 hours from Athens to Sparta. The first thing we did when we got to Sparta was go to Mystras it is a little medieval village that was built on the side of a cliff with the castle on the top. It was truly amazing our driver dropped us off on the top and then we walked from there up to the castle which was a little bit farther up and then all the way from the castle down to the bottom through the churches and the villages and the palace it's very very pretty you get to see the whole country side. You even get to see ancient Sparta from the top of the mountain. It probably took us like two or two and a half hours to go through the whole thing and get down back to the entrance where our driver was waiting for us. After that we went to the Tomb of King Leonidas which is really funny because it's just in the middle of this residential area 20 feet away from apartment buildings and restaurants and this is the Tome of Kind Leonidas which is crazy. They have a fence up now because they're trying to preserve it better. There was some graffiti on the tomb which is really sad I think that if you get outside of Athens more of the history sites are not preserved as well. It's just harder because there are not as many tourist that pay money to see the sights. So there is less money to upkeep and keep the sites preserved well.
Then we had lunch, we had an amazing lunch I had a really good pork chops Clark a really good pork tenderloin. Then we got to go see ancient Sparta which is just mainly rocks it was honestly just a stones in the ground in different shapes it's not much to see and you don't need to spend long there. Then we got to see the statue of King Leonidas which stands outside of the soccer stadium really near ancient Sparta. Our tour guide said it was really cool and he explain some stuff to us like why they did what they did. While the 2 1/2 hour drive to get there seemed like a little bit of a long time it was really cool because it was just Clark and I in the van we had a really private tour with him and we got to ask him I'll sorts of questions about Greece in general and then Sparta he was super knowledgeable so we got a learn stuff that we wouldn't have learned if we haven't done this. So I loved it,  he told us about modern-day economics in Greece and tourism and how is dad said that if he didn't learn English he would grow up to be a garbage man haha. Probably not literally but it was a funny story. Then our driver dropped us off right in front of our Airbnb! It was a great day and I am so glad that we got to explore a little bit of the Greek country side. 
love, Carlee
Shirt: Forever 21
Shorts: American Eagle
Hat: Boston Redsox Team Store
Nike Shoes: Famous Footwear

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Athens Greece

Our time in Athens Greece was very awesome and special. We had a really amazing time. We arrived in Athens in the evening after flying from Santorini. We took the metro from the Athens airport to downtown where our Airbnb was. Just a little trip, make sure to get your metro ticket validated because if not and the police stop you and ask you for your ticket then it's like 60x the price you paid for you ticket up to 400 euro so that is a lot. So yeah, get it validated. This is the Airbnb we stayed at. Highly recommend, everything we needed, comfortable and on the roof you can even catch a glimpse of the acropolis.
Once we got settled into the apartment we did a quick search for good food and found that there was tons of options within just a few blocks from the apartment so we stroll down the street and found a really fun Mexican street food place called Grexico like Greece and Mexico combined. We kept walking and came across this really really pretty Greek Orthodox Church. When we got back to the apartment we noticed that our street was totally buzzing and happy with music and people it seemed like a really fun neighborhood but since we knew we were going to get up really early to get to that acropolis first thing in the morning we decided to get to bed early.
We took the metro which was just a few blocks from the apartment a couple of stops to the Acropolis metro. Then we walk to the entrance of the Acropolis and we got there about five minutes before opening time which was 8 o'clock. We got our tickets and got right in. There were no lines just a couple other people buying tickets. We used the south entrance I think we didn't come in the front entrance. We hiked up the hill and it is a little bit of a walk but we got to top and we read some of the signs along the way about the different areas. On the top of the Acropolis after you enter through the temple the main site you see is the Parthenon and it is amazing although it's continually been in restoration progress for years and years now. So I don't ever think you can catch it without scaffolding. But I'm really glad we went early before the crowds because there was just like 20 other people on the whole Acropolis. When we were there we had tons of room to ourselves we got to take a bunch of pictures almost without anyone in the background or just a few and it was really nice to just be able to sit and relax without feeling like you were being pushed because another tour groups coming in. By the time we were making our way down from the Acropolis there were a bunch of people coming up with the headsets and the tour group flags so we were definitely glad we went early and got there soon as possible.
After the Acropolis we decided to go find some breakfast and luckly there was this really fun yogurt place just a few blocks from the Acropolis on our way to the Temple of Zeus and the arch of Hadrian.  It was called Fresko Yogurt Bar and was very yummy. I got a smoothie and Clark got breakfast yogurt and we got a tradition Greek pastry called --///.  Then we were on our way to the Temple of Zeus the Acropolis tickets that we bought included the Temple of Zeus so we got into that and it was really nice because there was hardly anybody else on the grounds maybe a total of 10 people. We were trying to do all the major sites that we want to see earlier in the morning as to skip the afternoon crowds of the cruise ships. Then we headed to the Panathenaic Stadium which is home to the first modern Olympic Games. You do have to buy a different ticket for that but it was just five euro and was totally worth it. We got to stand on the podium and got a hike all the way up the marble bleachers the whole stadium is marble it's insane. And then we went back into this museum area and there was like a montage of the best and big moments of the Olympics and I actually teared up. It was so sweet.
We then headed over to the Greek parliament area which was pretty close to our apartment and we got there at the top of the hour and watched the changing of the guard. It was pretty chaotic actually at first everyone was lined up really neatly and nicely and then there was a bunch people sitting down on the ground and then the guy came out and told everyone to move. The ceremony was really cool though and their official uniforms and it's a very prestigious honor to get to do the changing of the guard and to guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier which is what this is in front of the Greek Parliment.
Later in the day we headed over to the ancient Agora which is also included in the ticket we purchased. We explored the area and we wanted to see one of the best preserved Greek temples. It's still fully standing and has almost all of its original pillars unlike the Temple of Zeus and the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis. We were actually really excited because we saw three turtles around this temple and it was so funny there's all this Greek history and then everyone is just so excited to see turtles like 2 feet away from them in the grass. We then headed to Monastiraki square. The square was really beautiful and colorful and has a lot of amazing shops and an awesome view of the Acropolis but I will say there were a lot of paddlers and hustlers in this part of Athens kind of similar to Naples, Italy but maybe even more so. I also got really amazing gelato I'm not sure what the place was called but I think it's my mission to find the best ice cream in the world so I like to try them out in every city I go. Haha.
I just noticed how much I've already written for this post it's actually insane so much to do in Athens and we came across this really cool street, we actually came across it by accident we were trying to find the ancient Agoura and I don't know what the street name is I know is that it's near a restaurant called Little Kook. It was so colorful there was colorful buildings and ribbons lining the street and there was this big Humpty Dumpty a and carriage and girls dressed in tea party outfits. Seriously go find this place or just even walked on the street it's incredible.
The last day we were in Athens we got to catch the sunset as we eat louloumades, basically mini donuts. And then on our last day before we got our flight back to Naples we got McDonald's and in Athens and they have onion rings at the McDonald's in Athens and I was so stoked they were so good as well I think that my life would be complete if there were onion rings at the McDonald's in all the cities I've lived in lol. I'll keep dreaming.
love, Carlee
Dress: Thrifted
Nike Shoes:  Famous Footwear
Bag: JCPennys
Sunglasses: Target