Rex (rapp81) wrote,
Rex
rapp81

It's about fucking time!


EDIT: This post is a day-by-day chronicle of what happened on my trip. The surrounding posts on the Eurotrip Journal page are random happenings before, during, and after the trip!

A week later, here's my trip journal entry, detailed day-by-day!:

Saturday

 

Landed in London sometime around 7:30a local time, which was extremely early than scheduled.  Because of that, we had to wait while another plane at the gate finished boarding and left for take off.  We didn’t reach the gate till a little after 8.  Then the fun stuff.  It took almost an hour to go through the passport check!  After the passport check, I went down the escalator and instantly saw my suitcase go through the carousel.

 

There was this American I met on the plane who now considered England home.  Cool guy… ended up following him around (coincidentally) around the airport.

 

I followed the directions given to me to get to my hotel… Kinda crazy, but I eventually made it.  It took about three hours from the time I touched down in London till I made it to Russell Square, where my hotel was.  I went down to the Contiki basement, thinking I was too early to check in, only to find out that I could check into my hotel which was a block away.

 

Trying to locate my hotel on a street corner, a nice chap tried to help me out.  Now here’s a thing about the Brits.  They are so eager to offer assistance, especially directions, but in most cases, they don’t really help you out!  They mean so well though… seriously!

 

I checked in, and immediately went upstairs, and started the shower.  While I was taking my shower, my roommate arrived.

 

Hotels in Europe has this thing where there’s only one key and you must return the key whenever you leave the hotel.  If you have a roommate and you have the key, they call your room to see if you’re there.  Apparently, they tried calling me while I was in the shower.

 

My roommate was Dan, from Toronto.  Cool guy, also thrilled about his trip.

 

Later on, I hopped on the Tube to head over to Buckingham Palace.  Walked around, then lounged in one of the lawn chairs at St. James’s Park.  A really cute French boy came up for me for payment (It’s 2.50 pounds to use the chair for two hours or so…)  There was an orchestra set up nearby, so I ended up taking a small nap in the park.

 

I ventured into Picadilly Circus, walked into a sports shop, and bought a football shirt.

 

Then off the Tube again, then to the Contiki pre-tour meeting to meet my fellow tourmates.  Little did we all know that several Contiki groups were meeting.  My roommate was going on another tour!  As I was walking over to the meeting, I bumped into Eric , whom I met online beforehand.

 

At the meeting, I met hella people from SoCal!  And a few from the Bay Area, So Cal, Bay Area, and the East Coast were where most of the Americans were from.  As we waited for the meeting, we were all plotting what to do for the night.

 

The meeting was just as expected.  Afterwards, we got refreshed at our hotels then ventured out for a night out in London.

 

We first hit London Pub, and had dinner and a couple of beers.  Since I only had airline food that wasn’t filling, I was drunk after two beers.  The food wasn’t so grand, but the beer made up for it !

 

After that, we tried hitting a hostel, but they were doing guest checks at the door… lame.  So we went to this random ass bar and had some shots there.  We all knew that this group was going to have a kick ass time!

 

All of us filtered out eventually then called it a night

 

 

Sunday

 

Got up at an ungodly hour, weighed our luggage, met some more people from our tour, loaded the coach, hopped on, and ventured off.

 

Took a ferry out of the UK into France and played Bull Shit for a bit.  Then back on the coach to Amsterdam.  Oh holy fuck...

 

We checked into our hotel, had an uneventful and bland tasting dinner, went into the center of Amsterdam.  A select few of us opted out of the beer cruise, simply because we wanted to spend more time exploring Amsterdam.  So I was the only guy with a bunch of girls.  What a typical queer scenario! Lol

 

We walked around, toured the skanks in the red light district.  I wasn’t impressed at all with any of the girls there…Not because I’m gay, but because they were not stand outs.

 

After walking around the red light district, we went into the Sex Museum.  That was interesting, to say the least.  We only spent a short time there, as we had to meet back up with the rest of the group. 

 

Our tour guide, Calvin, gave a tour of the red light district, then afterwards most of us stayed in the city for a few more hours.

 

We went into The Grasshopper, had a few rinks and smoke a few hits.  We then hit another bar, where there were a few internet terminals, so I logged on and checked in.  I sent random ass drunken/stoned IMs to random people… some of which I haven’t talked to for several months.  Yeah, I’m that retarded!

 

Soon it was down to just Troy (the Kiwi (New Zelander) and Saminh (from LA), and myself remaining, so we decided to try to hit the tram back to the airport to catch our hotel shuttle.  That task was harder than expected.  We meet up with Joel, Jackie, Donna, and Rick at the tram station.  After having an ordeal trying to buy the right ticket, we kept being told two different terminals to catch our train: 8A or 2A… It ended up being 2A.

 

Then on the train, we couldn’t figure out where we were, so Donna asked some locals.  When she figured they didn’t speak English, she goes Habla Ingles?  WTF???  We all started cracking up.

 

Earlier, we find out that Joel, Jackie, Donna, and Rick went to go see a sex show.  Well, the woman in the show was extra special to Joel and wrote “The End’ on his stomach, using a marker being held by her mouth.

 

We eventually get to the airport station, hop off, then try to find the hotel shuttle stop using the directions our tour manager gave us.  Well, we thought we were looking for a Terminal, but in fact it was a hotel shuttle stop number.  We get to the stop, only to realize that the last shuttle left 20 minutes prior.  So we use the phone to call the hotel and we were basically SOL.

 

We flagged a taxi van to drive us back to the hotel.  We found some of the South African guys in the café, drinking beers, so we bull shitted with them for a while.  There was this crazy French guy talking back to the South African guys so there was this retarded exchange going back and forth.  It was hilarious!

 

Soon after, I called it a night and slept.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I’m apparently having a single room for the trip, even though I signed up and payed for a double.  How kick ass is that?

 

Monday

 

Checked out then went back to Central Amsterdam to tour around some more.  A bunch in our mini group needed to exchange their traveler’s checks so we had that done first.  Then we tried to hit the Ann Frank House, but the line was way too long.  We decided to hit the Sex Museum and have lunch at some Italian place.  Everyone took my lead in ordering the pizza lunch special, which the pizza was huge! 

 

After Amsterdam we headed over to St. Goar.  Stayed in a quaint, German countryside hotel.  Dinner was bland.  Had a wine tasting, hiked up a hill to see a castle, and that was pretty much it.  Not too eventful, but a great and needed break.

 

Tuesday

 

Checked out of our hotel and immediately went on a tour of a beer.  Then we took the trek over to Munich.  Checked in to a fucking awesome Holiday Inn, then went into town for the night.  We first went around town, climbed a couple of hundred of steps up a tower and had a fantastic view of the city.  Joel, one of the guys on the tour, is afraid of heights so he was struggling when we finally went outside at the top.  However, he did manage to survive and joined in on a few photos.

 

After some sightseeing around town, we met up with the entire group and went to a beer hall.  Now, I’m not an avid beer drinker, but holy shit bro, I can pound that shit down!  I ended up guzzling down 2 and a half liters of beer.  Considering I didn’t really eat during the day, I was pretty much drunk off my ass… off beer, nonetheless!  At one point, one of the other Contiki tour managers stopped by our table as our tour manager was there was well.  After the other tour manager left, I said to the girls across from me, damn Scott’s hot!  They all agreed and we started giggling like little school girls!

 

The rest of the night was a blur… I remember stumbling out of the beer hall with the assistance of Beryl, James, and Joe.  Next thing, we’re on a train back to the hotel.  Then Beryl’s walking with me.  Then Sumin helps me to my room.  I lay on my bed and I pass out for the night.

 

Wednesday

I wake up sometime around 4, with a massive headache, so I pop in two advil and guzzle down a lot of tap water.  I felt fine after an hour and watched some interesting German TV.  There was this one news piece where a cow was dead in someone’s living room and they had the authorities pull the thing out.  What was a cow doing in the house in the first place?  Then there was the topless German women telling viewers to call them for phone sex.  And of course there are the American shows dubbed in German, such as Boy Meets World and Alf.

 

After breakfast, we all loaded the bus.  Everyone kept asking me if I was alright, because of last night.  LOL.  Then we all find out that Troy, the Kiwi, had to fly back home due to a family emergency.  For the few days that I knew Troy, I found him to be an awesome guy.  He was one of many who was truly bringing life to the group.

 

We got into Austria and went straight to white water rafting.  When we got off the bus, there were a ton of hot Austrian guys just standing out there, just wearing board shorts.  Can you say wet dream come true?!?  LOL

 

Rafting was fucking awesome.  Never been before and it was a great experience.  At one point, our raft got stuck on a rock and our leader said that has never happened to him before!  Rriighht…

 

After rafting, we stopped by Innsbruck and went around town for a few hours.  A bunch of us went to shop for Mozart’s Balls, and boy were his balls yummy!

 

After Innsbruck, we checked into our hotel, to find two hot Austrian brothers, one of which was a model.  We had a nice dinner and afterwards, saw our Calvin do some magic tricks.  Then James, Robin, Berrylle, and I walked for a bit.

 

Back at the hotel, a white party was going on at the bar, so drinking and dancing ensued.  A bunch of us started singing the refrain to Summer of ’69 when the song came up.

 

As the party died down, I was upstairs in the common area, typing up a day entry.  Saminh sat next to me and showed me the pictures she took so far.  During our conversation, I told her that the hot Austrian model’s room was on my floor.  So she made me take some crazy photos of her trying to get to him in his room.

 

At around midnight I called it a night.

 

Oh yeah, because Troy left the tour early, I lost my single room :(   My double, with my new roommate Dean, from Colorado, was like the servant’s quarters.  Just a room and a sink, and had to share a shower with the room next door.

 

Thursday

 

Venice  Wow, what an amazing city!  We drove straight in to town (well, actually hopped on a boat and our sailors were fucking hot!)  and ventured around… sightseeing and fattening ourselves with gelato.  We caught a gondola ride and brought on board some sort of peach champagne.  When James tried to pop open the first bottle, the cork almost hit Berrylle in the eye!  There’s a pic of all of our expressions when that happened.

 

Afterwards, some people ended up going to the “convenience dinner” and a few of us ventured to find some place for cheap.  We ended up finding this quaint restaurant that was owned and operated by Chinese women.  So odd to go to Italy and have the native food prepared by non-native people.

 

After dinner, we did some more walking around… It’s really easy to just get lost in Venice and that’s all so fun… no really, it is!

 

Then we caught up with the rest of the group and I, along with some, missed the engagement happening behind us.  A couple from South Africa got engaged that night… Totally awesome

 

We checked into our hotel and as soon as I got to my room, I hopped into the shower.  It’s freaking humid in Venice!  Then off we walked down the street to this country-style bar called the Dakota (not like the Dakota in Santa Cruz).  We were warned that it was a country bar, but we walked in and found a DJ playing house and a ton of normal people.  The servers were pissed at us because we kept blocking their way.  Oh well!  Lol

 

 

Friday

 

On the coach ride over to Rome, we played a game to guess TV theme songs.  With the help of Sugen and myself, our group won the game, guessing the most TV theme songs!

 

We got into Rome, toured around town, had dinner and met some of the crazies (and I mean crazies) from the other Contiki tour in town.  Then I got harassed by the Roman Police, only because I’m white!  They asked if I was a national, then asked for my passport.  So fucking lame!  An Indian guy, who happens to be from SJ, who was on our trip was also stopped by the police.

 

After the retarded police ordeal, we headed back to our hotel.  At the hotel bar, a couple of guys from the other tour came over and chatted, despite the fact that they were completely retarded.  There was this one guy who wore an Aussie hat and claimed he went to school by kangaroo.  WTF?

 

As Joel and Calvin were talking about movies, I had a side joke conversation with Howie (our coach driver) about how dumb their conversation topic was.  Then James walks in with Robin and takes a survey.  He was asking everyone if it was alright to wash his clothes in the bidet.  Three said yes (though some were totally coaxed into saying yes).  The revelation that James did his laundry in the bidet made a trip highlight with everyone.  There’s also video of the laundry in the bidet.

 

Most of us chatted with each other for most of the night, then headed off to bed

 

 

Saturday

 

Headed on a few trains to the Vatican.  As we were waiting for the Vatican to open, I made a call to Chris (&ltlj-user=”crhale”&gt) and said hello to some of the gang back home, where it was midnight.  They were partying somewhere in Downtown San Jose.

 

When the line started to file in, a couple tried to cut in front of us, but Calvin told them no.  When the couple continued to try to cut in, Matt stood in front of them, with his arms out, blocking them to the back of our group.  It was fucking funny!  Also funny, I discovered a bag full of things the Vatican would probably disapprove when scanned through xray.  Bringing in contraceptives into the Vatican is a bad thing!  lol

 

The tourgide was extremely boring, but despite that, the Vatican was great. 

 

After the guided tour, we attempted to see Pope John Paul II’s tomb.   Somehow we lost Joel, so it was James, Berryll, and me.  After the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basillica, we went around Rome, the Coliseum, gelato eating, lunch, and shopping.  When I tried to enter the metro train at one point, these two ugly, eight-year-old gypsy girls tried to pickpocket me, but I just shoved them away J  Move bitch, get out the way!  LOL

 

When we were at some café, I realized I lost my transit day pass.  Freaking-a!  Luckily, I found it when I got outside, trampled on the ground!  Talk about luck.  However that luck faded quite quickly.  We were walking in the metro station, and the last thing I heard was “do you want to go to McDonald’s?” “no”.  The next thing I know, I turn around and Joel and Berrylle were gone!  I walk back and try to find them.  No luck.  Then I turn back into the station.  Still no sighting.  So I hopped on the train to make it back on my own.  I managed to transfer to the wrong line and ended up having to ask a cop in a deserted metro station where to go.  Thankfully, I had my hotel list on me with the address.  I make it back to last train station transfer before my final destination and missed the train that I needed to take.  I had to wait for twenty minutes for the next one, and as I waited, I was glad to see Rick, Dean (my roommate), and the others coming back!  We all headed back together to the hotel, where Saminh told me that Berrylle was looking for me.  Then I saw James and he told me what happened.  Apparently, I missed them saying that they were going to get some more gelato!  OMG!

 

After an exhausting day, I checked my emails, met up with my roommate while I was in London (as he was with his group in town), then chatted in Berryll and Robin’s room with James and Joel.  After that, I went back to the hotel bar, and briefly chatted with Dan (London roommate) and a New Zealander I met also in London.

 

 

Sunday

 

We headed off to Florence.  ‘twas hot and humid and at this point all of Italy looked the same.  We first did this leather store tour then ventured off for a bit before taking a guided walking tour.  The tour guide was once again boring and I was actually falling asleep.  A bunch of us decided to just ditch the thing and went around town by ourselves.  I followed Berryll around as she bought a purse, then we met up with Saminh, Milan, and the UF crew: Jeff, Kyle, Brittney, and Dara (who all met three months ago in London where they studied abroad for the summer).

 

Afterwards, we ventured to the hotel and freshened up for our Tuscan dinner and night at a disco.  Dinner was fucking awesome.  Tons of food, wine, and fun!  There was an opera singer who was fantastic.  Then afterwards, some of us went to a club.  Three long islands (one of which was free) and a tanq and tonic.  I was going to go up to some one and pull a “Cingular Guy” thing, but he went back to the hotel early.  So I asked someone else in our group a few questions.

 

Soon, everyone left like flies, and it was just James, Robin, Rick, and me.  We were the last ones to take a cab back to our hotel.  I chatted around for a bit then headed off to bed.  Joel and I were supposed to have a karaoke show off at the club, but that never happened L

 

 

Monday

 

Everyone either was hungover or got very little sleep the night before, so everyone was asleep for most of the coach ride into Lucerne.  When we got into Lucerne, it was raining like a mofo, so we had to cancel our gondola ride up to Mt. Stanserhorn.  Instead, we spent more time in Lucerne, running around in the cold and pouring rain.  A bunch of us got Swiss Army knives, watches, and chocolates.  After some shopping, a bunch of us had a cup of hot chocolate at this place that was about to close for the day.  Then James, Kathy, and I joined Joel, Scott, and Jenn for another cup of hot chocolate at another restaurant.

 

While waiting for the bus, we stood by a ice cream stand where one of the workers asked us to move away so the customers can come through.  Grant started to flirt with the worker and it got to the point where the worker bribed us with free chocolate to move out of the way.  When Grant tried to approach her, she started to scurry away.  It really had to be one of those “you had to be there” scenes.

 

After that, we went back to the hotel.  The hotel looked quite quaint, but the rooms were awesome.  Our shower was perfect!  Not wrapped in packing tape or falling apart!

 

 

Tuesday

 

It was our long ride into Paris  We played another game to guess movie theme songs.  My team didn’t win, but it was a war between James’s and Joel’s team.  James’s team ended up winning and Joel was quite jealous!  Lol

 

We got into Paris in the late afternoon.  We checked into our hotel, had dinner, and went on a driving city tour of Paris.  Afterwards, we went up the Eiffel Tower and took some shots.  Oh yeah, there was this one hot French soldier down below :P  Joel didn’t stay too long on the outer perimeter as he has a huge fear of heights.

 

Our trek down the tower was a total ordeal.  Joel thought it would have been faster to go down the stairs.  We might was well have waited for the elevator because we couldn’t find the continuation of the stairs.  Joel managed to beat us down somehow and the rest of us were running late.  There was a thing in place that if someone was late in getting on the coach, they had to sing a karaoke song.  I told everyone I was with to let me be last and they had to choose a song I wanted to sing.  Well, apparently we weren’t the last ones on the coach, so I didn’t get a chance to bring the house down!

 

I did, however, get up and make an announcement on the bus.  I basically told them that I was going to set up a site for all of us to share our trip photos.  (Thanks, btw to Kelly [&lttrolan&gt] for setting up the server space!).  After I made the announcement, the group gave me a round of applause.  Awe… heh.

 

We got back to the hotel and chilled at the hotel bar for a bit.  Some of us had a short conversation with Howie, our coach driver.  We barely have an opportunity to have a convo with him during the trip, so every conversation we have with him is a pleasant one.

 

Berrylle didn’t want to drink any alcohol that night, so we tried to order her a Shirley Temple.  The bartender had no idea what it was, so I made the quick decision as to what I thought was in it.  So I said grenadine and tonic.  I guess I was wrong, as it should have been 7up.  Oh well… this is why I’m not a bartender!

 

 

Wednesday

 

We spent ten hours in Paris!  We started the day at the Louvre.  James thought he lost his day museum pass so he didn’t join us at first.  Then he found the damn thing in his backpack!  Lol.  Berrylle, James, and I went to the Picasso Museum while Joel and Robin went to the Jewish Museum.  The thee of us waited for Joel and Robin for a while and basically gave up on them.  Then when we were walking up the street, we bump into Joel and Robin.  We headed back to the Picasso Museum so the two can check it out.  It’s pretty small and you ca go through it in about 20 minutes.  While they were inside, the three of us were outside trying to stay awake.  Heh

 

We walked some more, bought sandwiches and ate at a bench near Notre Dame.  Then Joel ditched us for Kathy and the rest of them at Notre Dame.  So Robin, Berrylle, James, and I went around Paris to shop.  Now during the trip, Berrylle was the shopaholic.  I held out until the last day.  So I got some clothes at Celio, Lacosse, and Galleries Lafayette.  

 

Originally, we were going to take the metro back from shopping, but we were running short on time, so we took a cab back.

 

A few of us decided to go for the dinner optional (since the things in Switzerland were cancelled).  The coach was pretty empty and it was weird that way.  We took the tram up the hill and ate at this nice restaurant, where we were entertained by two male lovers.  One of which had shaggy gray hair and apparently had an eye for Joel.  I, along with many in our group, had the escargot.  The whole meal was great, especially the bottomless wine :P  Dude, I was chugging that stuff by the end of the meal!  After the meal, Joel played a few tunes on the Piano.

 

So I’m stumbling out of the restaurant, drunk off wine, determined to tell someone something.  In the process of walking over to a bar to meet up with the rest of our group, I somehow run into a waist high pole.  I still have the bruise today!

 

At the bar, we all have a couple of drinks or so.  I was waiting for a good moment to approach someone and tell them something on my mind, but the next thing I knew, he was leaving.  Crap!  So I tell James to grab him for me as I was way to fucking drunk, but he was being so uncooperative.  I ended up leaving the bar with the group this person was with.

 

We get back to the hotel and after people cleared out, I flat out said, “I’m pretty drunk right now, so don’t get offended, but I have to tell you, you’re the hottest guy in our group.  I’m going to go to my room now.”  He said ok and that was the end of it.

 

Yes, I’m fucking retarded.  And if this person so happens to be stumbling upon this, I really hope I didn’t freak you out or anything.  Confirming the question that Joel emailed me as a quote from this trip: I always fall for straight guys.

 

After my little revelation,  I went back to my room, told Dean, my roommate what I just did, then proceeded to write one-sentence notes for both James & Joel and Robin & Berrylle’s rooms as to what I have just done.  After slipping the notes through, I see the four walk down the hall and yell out, “read what I slipped under your doors!”  Robin invites all of us in her room and I explained what happened.  Then I decided to make a drunken phone call to Geno, telling him what happened.

 

OMG, this was a fucked up night for me!

 

Soon, Robin kicked us all out and I attempted to go to bed.

 

 

Thursday


I got up early to pack my shit, as I was in no condition the night before to do so.  Then I went down to eat breakfast, and loaded the coach afterwards.

 

We gathered by the coach as we waited for everyone who was going to go on it to arrive.  I videotaped some “last words” from people.  Then I realized that someone was not hopping on the coach with us.  At the time, I couldn’t figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing.  Regardless, I was still kicking myself in the ass for being retarded the night before.

 

Soon, we hopped on the coach and headed off to Charles de Galle Airport.  Only a few of us were dropped off there.  The rest went back to London.

 

Now I’m being lazy and reposting what I wrote in a message board:

 

Ok, everyone I have talked to since the tour ended had some sort of horrid post-tour airport / flight story to tell... myself included!

Let's start at CDG Paris. After realizing that I needed to be at another terminal, I hopped on a shuttle. However the shuttle couldn't move due to some weird situation up ahead, so I was crammed in for the longest time. Then, I realize that Delta shares the terminal with their affiliate, Air France. After going through several terminals, I find the right one. This one happened to be less crowded than all the rest. Go figure!

At the gate, I find out that my flight's delayed first due to electrical problems then due to people coming in late from their connecting flights.

Then the immigrations/customs mess in Cinncinati. First bonehead move, misunderstainding the immigrations officer. I thought he asked me for my full name. So I replied with my long ass name of Rene Alexander Punu Poblete II. Then he says, I asked what food do you have, not your full name. Dude, I've been on a long-ass fight with minimal interaction. I'm practically brain dead at this point!

After that, I awaited for my luggage to come out so I can go through customs. But they were understaffed and nobody was grabbing their luggage fast enough, so they kept stopping the carousel several times.

Then... I had a dick of a customs agent interrogate me like I was lying. And it had nothing to do with what I declared! He asked what I did in California. I told him that I just graduated from college and looking for a job. He then asks how can someone who's unemployed afford to go to Europe for vacation, in the most condesending way. I replied, it was a graduation present from my parents. He then said ok and let me go. What a fucking bastard!

To make matters worse, I only had 20 minutes to run across the concourse to reach my connecting flight to San Francisco. I was able to catch my flight.

 

I made it to SFO in one piece J  My brother picks me up and we walk over to this yellow Mustang.  I was like, WTF?  He told me it was my sister’s graduation present.  WHAT?  No, it’s the rental (from my Walnut Creek accident where some dumbass hit the side of my mom’s car).  Apparently Hertz ran out of equivalent cars so we got a free upgrade.

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