This was one of my favorite photos from the entire trip. My family all agrees that we would not be able to climb a mountain, let alone take a picture on the top of one. I love this photo because it shows the height and depth of the climbers and where they are, as well as how far they still have to go.
"The Death Mobile" -My dad
My brother watched as the cable car slowly made its way up the mountain. You can see in the photo a small portion of the town of Chamonix in the valley below.
My sister and I spent the next day skiing in Chamonix. I may or may not have fallen off the mini-ski lift three times and skied down the hill on my face, but we don't have to talk about that. My sister and I enjoyed skiing, but in the words of my mom, "sliding down a mountain on two poles doesn't sound like my idea of a great time.....who wants to go get some cider instead?"
We drove from Chamonix down to Milan and stayed overnight. Also, we may or may not have ordered pizza from room service at midnight. Oops. We went to the train station in the morning to catch our train to Florence.
Doesn't every family play blackjack with gummy candies?
Welcome to Florence! I left my coat in a Taxi and we chased it for a few blocks and we got locked out of our rental apartment for two hours, because these things happen on vacation. We then decided to go to the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze to see Michelangelo's David.
"Can we get one of these for our house?" -My sister
My dad took art history in college and told us so many fascinating things about each of these sculptures. He taught us about the invention of three-dimensional sculptures and how the sculptor made the sculptures look the real from all sides, instead of just the point of focus.
"Hey! This statue is naked too! I'm only ten, I don't need to see all that!" -My brother
This sculpture was my and my mom's favorite. We loved how David's rocks and the slingshot (which can only be seen from behind) were made significantly less prominent in the sculpture, signifying that David beat the giant Goliath on the basis of wit and intelligence as opposed to killing him only because he had stones and a slingshot with him (facts provided by my dad). I also noticed the "tree branch" looking thing behind David's leg, which is to help keep the integrity of the statue upright. The arms are secured by the slingshot and rocks and the legs are secured by the "tree branch" (facts provided by my dad and museum tour guide who overheard my question).
My sister loves museums, in small doses. There is only so much she can watch and observe at a time, because she needs time to look at the little things. She has to move through museums at her own pace, and if people are moving too fast or too slow, she gets annoyed.
Life's too short to get the single scoop.
Nothing like a good old Hazelnut gelato when the temperature is below freezing!
This is a Jewish Temple in Florence. We stopped outside of it, because our family is Jewish and our heritage is important to us. We wanted to see if it was open, but it wasn't, as it was Saturday (Shabbat). As my brother so aptly put it, "Jews really like to sleep on Saturdays. I am Jewish and I love sleeping on Saturdays. Maybe the tour guides are sleeping? I bet the tour guides are sleeping........"
Theme/Deeper message in the photo above: I took this photo through the iron gate that was closed around it. I noticed a gap in the fence with two sharp, pointed shapes aimed towards the temple. I took this photo incorporating those shapes on purpose, as I wanted to show that this temple is closed off. I wanted to show that many temples, mosques and churches in the world are closed off because they are afraid. I wanted to convey that in this image.
This is one side of Il Duomo, one of the world's biggest cathedrals in the world. The cathedral stretches for blocks, and this photo just captures a small fraction of how large this cathedral is. In the words of my dad, "This cathedral makes the national cathedral look like a speck of dust on an ant"
This was in the Piazza that we were staying in. A man was blowing bubbles and young children were chasing after them. I captured this moment, which was when this young child popped the biggest bubble. Immediately after this photo was taken, the child shrieked and laughed. The child's parents were standing a few meters away and I went over to them and showed them the picture. We didn't have a common language between us, as they only spoke Chinese and didn't understand when I tried a few different languages. I showed them the picture, which was their way of saying thank you.
This guy must have made a fortune out of his bubble blowing business. Children were dragging their parents into the Piazza to pop bubbles all afternoon.
New Year's Eve in Florence! This also may be the only picture of my mom that exists where her eyes are open. We call it her "camera blink reflex," where every time she sees a camera, she automatically blinks.
Florence city skyline at night, just seconds before the New Year
Everyone in Florence did this on New Year's. Everyone released lanterns into the air as the New Year began, and suddenly the sky was full of orange balls of light. It was gorgeous.
Happy 2017!!!! I snapped this picture at the exact second that the New Year begun, in the short break between "ONE!" and "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!"
They released the lantern into the sky just after the new year begun, and soon this lantern joined the thousands already in the sky.
As per the request of my mother, who is Catholic, we attended a mass at El Duomo. It was so fascinating, and the service was entirely in Italian. Unfortunately, I encountered one hurdle that had affected me in other places along the trip- No Photography Allowed Inside (unless you book a tourist ticket)
The security guard did allow me to snap a quick photo of the ceiling before I left.
Doesn't every teen follow their parents around with a camera and capture them being adorable? After all, my parents are pretty cute together *cue sounds of the three Abel children making gagging sounds*
I do not have a Gelato addiction. I do not have a Gelato addiction. I do not have a Gelato addiction.
This was actually one of Michelangelo's earlier paintings, and my mother liked this one so much that she asked me to take a photograph of it.
My dad told me that this sculpture reminded me of him, and I asked him why. He said "because when you're tired or annoyed, you make that same dramatic statue pose."
Yes, I did ask my dad if we could order every single pizza on the menu. He asked my mom. She said no.
We took a taxi home from the airport. My brother got horrible motion sickness/food poisoning on the flight home and had to be escorted through passport control and customs quickly so we could get him home. After I took this picture, I flipped the "off" switch on my camera, and zipped it back up in my bag for the last time on this trip. I leaned my head against the window, and watched the raindrops pressed up against the window. I looked out the window at the nearly empty roads into Washington DC, out over the monument and the capitol and the Potomac. I was home, and coming home was bittersweet. Soon my camera would be returned to school and so would I.
This quote is one of my mother's favorite quotes of all time. She uses it all the time. She always tells us to value and give experiences over material possessions, because they matter more to people. We use it to describe our trip, and how much time we spent together as a family, and how many stories we now have to come and tell our friends.
"Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show." -Anonymous