A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about massive

Time Flies

rain 45 °F

IMG_2839.jpg

IMG_2811.jpg

With so much to talk about, I really don't even know where to begin to write this post, but I guess the title says it all. Time flies by so much faster than you ever think it will. I remember when I moved to Vail at the beginning of June this summer thinking, man, I have 3 months ahead of me of living in one of the most beautiful and most desireable places to live on Earth! This is going to be amazing! And then at the end of August, I began to realize how quickly that time had passed. Here I am now, with only 12 days left of my study abroad experience, and 4 of those will be spent in Agadir, Morocco, and one of those is the travel day home. So really, I only have one week left here in Dijon. I am absolutely positively ready to come home, but that's not without a bittersweet feeling of everything here that I'll miss. The people I've met here have been amazing, and the friendships I've made are incredible. I'm going to miss the moments and memories I've shared with every single person here, especially the wild travel adventures. All of that said, here's what I've been up to for the last couple weeks as well as everything that's on the horizon.

Paris

IMG_2798.jpg

After I wrote my last entry, I headed off to Paris for a few days to join my family. I can't believe they flew all the way across the world to spend a week here with me. It was great to see them, spend time with them, and have them on this side of the great pond for a bit. In Paris we spent time seeing most of the major attractions, the Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs d'Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Mont Parnasse Tower, Musée d'Orsay, as well as a few other highlights. I had a few interesting observations too. First of all, the Notre Dame in Paris is no doubt impressive, but I've seen plenty of Cathedrals in Europe now ("oh god, we're going to see another cathedral in <insert city name here> tomorrow?") because that's just the way Europe is and it is by no means the most impressive cathedral in Europe. My travel advice would be to see the cathedral in Strasbourg instead, which is much more impressive and equally as ancient... or old, rather. The Louvre was pretty impressive too, and the amount of famous artworks in there is phenomenal. The Mona Lisa? Not as phenomenal as everyone thinks. It's small, has a room dedicated to it, is dark, you can't get close, is behind bulletproof glass, and is surrounded by a horde of people. It was cool to see the world's most famous painting, don't get me wrong, and the thing is invaluable, but it's not nearly as impressive as I thought it would be. The artwork at the Vatican Museum in Rome or the Uffizi Museum in Florence is much more impressive to me. Everything really is better in Italy.

IMG_2814.jpg

The Eiffel Tower was pretty cool to visit, and it's cool that I can now say I've been up to the top of it. We were pretty lucky to have such a great day for weather when we visited it too since almost every other day was foggy or gray. The disappointing thing with the Eiffel Tower to me was the sheer number of Asian tourists that were there. It's not really the Paris or France experience I was looking for. I'm really glad my brother can say he's been to the Eiffel Tower now though since he's always talked about it like it existed in some far off place. The Champs d'Elysées and Arc de Triomphe were also pretty cool, though we didn't go up inside the Arc. The Mont Parnasse tower was cool too but we had terrible weather so the view from the landing pad on top wasn't very impressive (and cold!). The Musée d'Orsay was probably one of my favorite things we did actually. The artwork in there from van Gogh, Renoir, and other famous painters was cool to finally get to see, and I got some awesome pictures from inside there too.

IMG_2776.jpg

Dijon

IMG_2829.jpg

After visiting Paris for a few days, my family and I took a TGV to Dijon, which was their first real train experience. It's kind of a weird thought to me since I've traveled all over Europe on nothing but trains, so the train station drill is normal too me. My dad has also never taken the Denver lightrail, so it was his first actual train experience too. I explained to my parents how gates are announced just 15 minutes before departure most of the time and is pretty normal in France, which is a totally foreign idea to us Americans who are used to getting to the airport hours before a flight and knowing exactly which gate to go to. We spent the next few days in Dijon, which was nice. It was actually kind of funny when my parents asked me what there is to do in Dijon and I felt kind of clueless because I've been traveling Europe so much this semester. I'm really only in Dijon when I have class or on weekends when I feel the need to stay here to get classwork done (which has only occurred in November). But it was nice, we did part of the owl tour around the town, visited a few cathedrals, yes, more cathedrals, and just kind of explored Dijon. We also rented a car, which was quite the experience... With all of the tram construction going on in Dijon right now, the entire city is screwed up for traffic purposes, so driving is far from ideal. We took the car out to the Burgundy wine region though, which was fun for the day, even if there were moments where I thought we were going to die. We drove part of the Rue des Grands Crus, and actually had a really sunny day for it, which was great. After a few days in Dijon, my parents boarded their TGV train back to Paris to fly out the next day. All in all it was a fun few days in Dijon and great to spend time with my family again.

IMG_2783.jpg

What's Next?

IMG_2825.jpg

I've spend the last few days since they left wrapping up school papers and projects and random ends trying to get ready for the end of the semester. I've said it already but I'll say it again, time flies and I can't believe I only have one week left here. I finished my last paper last night which leaves just a French language exam this week and a French Culture exam this week. After that, it's off to beautiful Agadir in Morocco for a few days with my American friends to send off the semester the same way it began and then a quick turn around in Dijon to Paris and a flight home. I have a few odds and ends things left to take care of here in Dijon like the OFII forms (that I was supposed to do months ago), close up my French bank account, and hopefully finally resolve things at the residence, but then it's time to go home. I'm going to miss this here, no question about that, but it will be nice to go home and return to a life and culture that I fully understand, and hopefully I can make use of everything I've learned here back home and in future adventures.

That's all I've got for now, and this may be one of my last real entries, but make sure to stay tuned for my blog that sums up 6 months into one word, which I'm planning to start working on today. I'm really pouring my heart into it in the hopes that others will be able to get as much out of it as I have writing and living it. Looking forward to seeing everyone back home soon!

Au revoir!

6298090_253..57110_n.jpg

Pictures
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2755652452477.2148433.1292672395&type=1&l=a3693937bc

360s
http://360.io/EhT3vt Burgundy wine region
http://360.io/CkKFkE Dijon mustard store
http://360.io/jUZmMv Paris old military courtyard
http://360.io/2RzAn8 Near Napoleon's tomb
http://360.io/4vHKdv Standing under the Eiffel Tower
http://360.io/kaXxQ5 Standing inside the Louvre pyramid (my favorite!)
http://360.io/hHXhpx Standing outside the Paris Notre Dame

Posted by la vita bella 03:06 Archived in France Tagged landscapes mountains beaches bridges churches skylines people animals snow trains castles cathedrals paris france travel hotel colorado train trekking austria italy pisa backpack city aspen ski museum friends philippines florence garden cathedral family africa castle hostel rome photos language french morocco europe painting camels vatican pantheon denver international housing college dijon united eye swiss student abroad alps michelangelo american panoramic experiences residence catholic cultures notre dame architechture marrakesh renaissance relationship massive law jardin study iphone agadir learning strasbourg euros 360 emerson scouting nigeria beaune esc dieu camera+ francophone uffizi Comments (0)

Man am I behind...

...but there are big things ahead!

65 °F

I've been meaning to write a blog for the last couple days and haven't really gotten around to it because I've been so busy, so here's a new one with some updates on the life of Scott...

Let's start with work I guess. The whole concierge thing went really well, but I've kind of disconnected from that and moved on to other things. Still doing data entry here and there, but trying to move away from that...because it's boring. It's really important to the growth of the company, and I understand that, but it needs to be shared, not beared by one person. The two things I've been spending the bulk of my time on at work now have been an international tour operator project for Tommy, our CEO, which is focused around the new magazine we're putting out next month, and rebuilding the social media outlets for this company. My hope is to wrap up this tour operator project quickly and move on to social media full time, but we'll see what happens. Nothing in this company is predictable anymore. So far, two weeks into social media, the google analytics and facebook insights results look really awesome, and I'm hoping to keep that up. If you haven't checked things out yet, visit our twitter @lodgingdeals and go like our facebook page Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals and let me know what you think. What I can do better with, what needs more/less attention, etc. All feedback is welcome and valued!

France Update!
Things are taking shape and settling down, finally. I have a Visa appointment in less than two weeks, which is really the final step. Everything else is lined up, flight, studio, classes, etc. I bought an all access train pass for my entire trip this weekend too! Can't wait to put that thing to good use. Departure is less than seven weeks away, so close yet so far. Some days I can't believe it's really happening. It's going to be one hell of an awesome, terrifying, and life changing event, no question. Can't wait!

Hiking.
I took last weekend off from hiking in the hopes that I'll be able to hike this weekend. It was nice to be able to go home, help celebrate my birthday with my mom, play some drums (and probably annoy everyone in the house) and make some videos for my best friend Zach, and just relax. The game plan is hopefully to try something easy. I haven't put too much thought into what I want to climb this weekend, but I'm think Huron might be a good option. Barely a 14er (shortest in CO) and barely 6.5 miles round trip should be a nice test for my knee, and then I can decide if I want to hike the next day or not. If I can't hike I may just go crazy at this point since I'm so close to all these peaks that are just begging to be climbed! My goal is still to be able to hike some Elk 14ers by Aspen in August and push my limits, but time will tell where I end up next. Stay tuned for what's next, and make sure you guys continue to follow this (those of you who still do...?) while I'm studying abroad as I'm sure I'll be writing more, more interesting adventures, and things from the other side of the world!

That's it for now, short and sweet!

Posted by la vita bella 18:46 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains hiking france aspen ski bells dijon vista massive buena vail 14ers tabaguache princeton buena_vista maroon elbert fairplay rmvr scouting elks acl Comments (0)

Life Continues.

The Fallout.

First blog since the last one which recounted the story of how I saved a man's life. It's been a pretty crazy week since then, with updates on almost everything, so I'm going to try to cover all of those and keep it short and sweet. Here goes...

Life Saved
There's been a lot of activity this last week surrounding that story. It's been more attention than I ever wanted or expected, but I guess you could say it's deserved. I didn't think much of it besides being lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but the people at the office went nuts. As a result, I made the cover of the Salida newspaper Tuesday morning (http://themountainmail.com/ftp/frontpage.jpg), and have two copies of that to keep for myself and family. I got a full page spread on the back of the front page of the Vail Daily newspaper yesterday morning also, and have copious copies of that one thanks to my friends at the office. I also received a call this week from the Sheriff in Chaffee County and they're going to honor me at their annual banquet in August with an Award for Distinguished Service for my actions. Pretty cool all in all, but definitely more recognition than I ever expected to get. The man who I rescued is doing well last I checked as well and resting at his home in Nathrop, right off the road to the Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton trailheads. I'm flattered and honored to receive all this press and attention, but it's definitely a story for the ages and one to learn from. I've also earned the nickname "hero" from pretty much everyone at work and the other people at the intern house, which is cool, but I hope it doesn't stick. I'm too humble for a nickname like that.

Work
The internship has been going really well so far. I did some work this week on international marketing research for the company, which was really interesting and finally a project that coincides with my major. I've also done a lot of work with data entry regarding Vail Resorts for the upcoming winter, which is boring but cool to know you're working for a super small company already partnered with such a giant gorilla in the business. Also, starting this week, I'm taking over concierge services for the company while our concierge guy is out of the country for the next 2.5 weeks. This should be fun because I enjoy the customer service side of things, and learned a lot from working at the Ritchie Center. I'm nervous being so new to the company and taking this on, but I'm sure I'll learn a lot. This may consume weekends for that time period too, not quite sure yet, but we'll see. We spent an afternoon at Camp Hale this week this week for Local's Day with NOVA Guides and got to ride ATVs and Jeep Tours for free. Play time is awesome at this company. I went to a breakfast networking event at the Cordillera Lodge (http://www.cordilleralodge.com/) this week also, aka where the Kobe Bryant scandal went down, and won a two free nights stay up there. Gorgeous place, and I'm not sure when or what I'll be using those two nights for, but either way it'll be a good time and it's cool to have won those. Those business card drawings really do work sometimes!

France
CampusFrance has finally received my payment, and once I get the confirmation from them on other stuff, the Visa process will begin. For now, I'm making a tentative Visa appointment in LA for the first Monday in August. The housing ordeal is almost complete. They have confirmed a studio for me, which is remarkable considering they wouldn't for a while, and now I'm just waiting for them to confirm the money I sent over there. The way I see it, they wouldn't confirm my studio if they didn't have my money, but regardless I have to wait for that confirmation. Then I can be reimbursed that money and the study abroad predeparture reqs will be almost completely wrapped up.

Hiking
I'm still aggressively pursuing 14ers, and climbed my 21st yesterday on Mt. Princeton. Beautiful view from the summit at 7am, and gorgeous views of Mt. Antero from just across the valley. The two summits are about 5 miles apart as the crow flies, but the valley between sinks to about 7,000 feet, so the view at sunrise and from the summit is stunning. Check out the pictures on Facebook and let me know what you think if you haven't already. While optimistic about hiking next weekend over the holiday, it looks like I won't be now. I'm lying in bed as I type this with my right knee iced due to what it appears is a torn ligament (2-6 week recovery period). Thankfully, not an MCL or ACL tear, but still pretty painful. I had plans to hike Mt. Yale with a friend today, but had to bail yesterday. From experience, I know I've benched pressed 250+ pounds through a torn rotator cuff in each shoulder, so, I'm optimistic this thing will heal up fast and I'll be back out hiking soon. How soon is hard to say, but I can say it's going to be hard to get in the way of the passion I have for hiking 14ers and climbing the beautiful peaks around me, so we'll just have to see. I'm optimistic it'll be as close to that 2 week period as possible if not sooner, but it's impossible to know.

Upcoming
Who knows. I want to climb every 14er in the Sawatch range this summer and maybe a few in the Elks out by Aspen, especially those Maroon Bells. I want to learn as much as I can from the concierge spot these next few weeks for the future. I want to spend a night or two at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs soon too, just to relax, either after a day of more 14er hiking or just to escape for a bit. 14er hiking will continue soon enough I'm sure, but it's impossible to know the future. You never know when you'll have to save a life out there, or when you'll end up hurt yourself. Until next time, take care of yourselves out there, and always remember... Be Prepared.

Posted by la vita bella 15:42 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains snow hiking france aspen bells hike eagle mtn vista atv massive scout beaver vail 14ers princeton buena_vista maroon antero elbert rmvr scouting scouts elks acl mcl Comments (0)

Solo No More

sunny 60 °F

I know I just wrote an entry the other night, but I wanted to write again because of the events that transpired yesterday. First, I am all moved in up here in beautiful Eagle Vail Colorado. I am biking distance from Beaver Creek and this area is just beyond gorgeous. Wow. I'm heading out today to explore the villages of Vail and the Teva Mountain Games and perhaps try a new restaurant or two, and after a few more weeks like this hopefully I'll soon feel like a local here in Vail. PS, I'm learning that there are discounts for "locals" all over the place up here, especially in Avon. Definitely good to know!

Now, for yesterday. I won't post any pictures here because I think most of you awesome subscribers are friends on facebook as well and can see them all there. Yesterday was the first, and probably last for at least a while, time that I attempted a 14er solo. I thought with my level of experience I'd be ok going solo. I know when to bail, weather, rules of early starts, and so on, and I now have a PLB in the event of something catastrophic. I got up and was on the trail by 4am to try to get out early and make good time, and I knew doing two in a day I would need the time. I reached the base of the Angel of Shavano at 6:15am, climbed the snowfield (with no crampons or microspikes, I was proud), and summitted Shavano at 8:45 including breaks along the way. So, trailhead to summit was about 4 hours of solid hiking. I was feeling great. Took the necessary pictures, enjoyed the views, refueled and rehydrated, and pushed on for Tabaguache. I made it to the summit of Tab in just over an hour, which I was again pleased with given the snowfield I went up and the time I was making. It was barely ten, so now all I had to do was re-summit Shav and head back down. Easy, right?

I glisaded back down to the saddle and I gained the summit again up Shav, and decided to take the summer trail down because I figured it would be faster, easier to follow, and somebody on 14ers.com claimed it was ready for summer. False, false, false. Somewhere around 12,500ft or so, it turns into a mush of snow, sinking to your waist regularly. At this point, I lost total track of where the summer trail was, but not to worry, I went down the gully to the base of the Angel of Shavano with the intent to follow that out. The trail out of there is hard to follow and at times there are many, and so I continued down hoping I'd find my trail from the morning. No luck. Eventually, about 1pm, I realized I was definitely lost. Out came the GPS. Stay calm. I marked the location of the car that morning knowing if something happened I'd still make it out ok. But, my GPS batteries were fading fast, and it doesn't pick up signal well in dense trees. No matter, it must work at this point.

Sure enough, I'm 1.5 miles away from my car. I set it to go to car, and away I go, bushwacking through everything in my path. I get .9 miles form the car, and the GPS batteries die. Dear lord, no, I refuse. I get it to come back on again for another bit or so, reach .5 miles from the car, and it dies again. At this point I have a much better sense of where the trail is in relation to me, but still I try to turn it on again. Luckily, it works, and at .2 miles I reach a dirt road that goes to overnight camping sites and overflow trailhead parking. I'm almost there. Batteries die again, so I head down the road in the direction that makes sense, turn the GPS back on again, and find my way back to the car. Exhausted, beaten up from bushwacking through everything to get out in one piece, my rain paints now have two solid rips in them from bushwacking, I twisted my ankle three times, and a few scrapes and bruises, but at least I know I can head home now. There is no way I was hiking the next day as originally planned, and I made my way back here to Vail. I learned a lot about myself and composure yesterday when some people would have panicked feeling lost, helpless, and alone. So now, back in sunny Vail, I am heading out over the next few days to check out the Teva Mountain Games and maybe get some skiing in.

Some people say you never learn not to play with fire until you get burned, and I guess you could say I learned my lesson.

Posted by la vita bella 09:48 Archived in USA Tagged france vista sherman massive buena vail shavano tabaguache princeton antero elbert fairplay Comments (1)

It's Time!

sunny 80 °F

Well, it's that time. For months I've been telling all my friends that I'm moving to Vail for the summer for an internship. That day is tomorrow. It's amazing how time flies, and I couldn't be more excited! I finished finals this morning, packed up, moved out, and am now at home with family for a few hours before hitting the road for Vail in morning. And get this, the house all the interns are staying in is located right on the Eagle Vail Golf Course, just down the street from Beaver Creek, Avon, and West Vail. Hard to beat if you ask me. Can't wait to actually see this place tomorrow, even if only for a bit before I leave for hiking. And my roomate situation got changed slightly so I am no longer rooming with the gay guy from Boulder. (I have nothing against gays, but that could get interesting to say the least knowing nothing about the guy going in.)

HIKING!!! I could not have asked for a better weather forecast. Sunny, highs of 75 every day, and only two days with a 30% chance of rain out of five days total, meaning an early start should beat that rain. That said, I'll be heading to Buena Vista tomorrow afternoon following moving in in Vail. Below is my agenda and goal for those wondering, curious, and perhaps worried about my safety. All friends I have invited on this trip have had to bail or not gotten back to me, so it'll be a solo trip all the way. Pray for safety, adventure, and some of the best moments of my life, after all, sometimes you just have to live life on the edge to keep things interesting and continue to learn and grow, and who knows where you'll end up?

Agenda:
6/3: Angel of Shavano and Tabaguache.
6/4: Princeton
6/5: Antero
6/6: Yale
6/7: Who knows. Sherman maybe? Oxford and Belford? Elbert? La Plata? R&R day? A Basin? We'll see. Princeton Hot Springs for the night for sure.

What happens on day 5 will be dictated by weather, melting snow conditions, fatigue, and what peaks look like form other summits. We'll see. Regardless, I'm excited! And hopefully, my mom isn't too upset when I get back and she finds out I did all this solo, because I just told her I'm still doing it all with Zach. Oops...

France? Still no room confirmation, no class confirmation although I'm sure I've registered, still working on that damned visa. Still work to be done.

That's it for now. Next post will hopefully have lots of pictures or links to pictures from this hiking trip and the beautiful Sawatch Range 14ers of Colorado!

Posted by la vita bella 20:29 Archived in USA Tagged france vista sherman massive buena vail shavano tabaguache princeton antero elbert fairplay Comments (1)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 » Next