|with my doodle @ the Louvre|
|notre dame with jess|
|team extreme in montemarte|
|THE crew of europa 2006|
|amsterdam river cruise|
|nice/monaco. so chic.|
|right before the SCARIEST day of my life. canyoning- don't do it|
Luckily, I have the best husband ever who has also caught the travel bug. And over the weekend we booked ourselves a little Eurotrip adventure come August. My favorite cities + my favorite person in the world- I mean excitement doesn't even begin to describe. Just for fun, let's recap a couple of things re: past Europe trips. I apologize for the long post, but hopefully this is distracting you from all your important work e-mails.
First of all: canyoning. Definition: Rappel, slide, and jump down rocks and waterfalls into the white water filled canyon. NEVER again.
I agreed to go on this adventure because most of my friends were going skydiving & obviously that wasn't happening for me-- so I thought I at least needed to be a "little" extreme in Interlaken. Which by the way is a fun, little backpackers town in Switzerland known for extreme sports. Now there were various levels of canyoning to choose from: beginners, intermediate, advanced, half day, full day. I was told we were going on A) the beginners course and B) the half day which is around 3 hours. Not so bad. I can do this. Slide down a waterfall? How hard could it be, right?
WRONG. The hostel actually booked us on the full day. FULL DAY. Which is 7 hours. Which is only for and I quote "confident athletic people." Which if you know me, know that I am the LEAST athletic person you will meet. I have no shame. And did I mention my biggest fear is heights???? So needless to say I'm freaking out on the hour bus ride up the freaking canyon. I won't elaborate on all the deets, but let me just say this. In order to get to the first jump of the canyon, we had to hike up the mountain. I CRIED just on the hike which consisted of small ledges and rocky paths. CRIED. To the point where in front of everyone, our guide Stan called me out and said "Sweetie, you need to turn around right now. I don't think you'll be able to make it if you can't even handle the hike."
OH NO HE DIDN'T. That made me so mad and determined to canyon that damn mountain that I idiotically insisted we move on. The long agonizing seven hour trip consisted of "jump with your hand on your head, other hand on your left leg, to the right of the rock, if you jump to the left you'll either break your leg or die." I'm not kidding. They'd be like "Ryann, did you get all that?"...NO I DIDN'T. Are you freaking serious? I can't do that. Can you repeat and then repeat 10 more times?
This seriously was the longest, most trying day of my life. I'm talking about walking on a ledge of a mountain and trying not to fall off to my death. Everyone else was so supportive & even the guides agreed to let me repel down most of the hard jumps since I was obviously a mess.
I can't even explain the joy I felt when my feet touched the grass, rocks, and water of the river which was our sign that it was the end of the 7 hour trip. I cried. I grabbed the complimentary tall boy and chugged as fast as I could. I cried again. Then I stole Cabell's complimentary tall boy and chugged it even faster.
When we got back to the hostel, I called my mom & dad crying and tried to explain to them that I had almost died, and they should be thankful their only daughter was living. Not kidding.
Then a pretty cool moment happened. Stan, the same man who had called me out, came up to me at the bar that night, took me aside, and said "I'm really proud of you. You proved me wrong today."
|Stan in middle w/ Jess & other guide|
All I had to say to that was HELL NO & HELL NO. And that my friends, is the night that the Suze was born.
|the suze & her infamous side ponytail|
All that aside----> I'm a pro on hostels & the perf backpacker itinerary, but does anyone have advice for some good hotels in Paris, Rome, and/or cities along the way? Please send them on over if you doooo. I'll love you foreva. Eva, eva. Eva, eva?