Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009


So I guess the new year hasn't started, considering I haven't done ANY of the things I listed below. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

should old acquaintance be forgot?

Kristin inspired me to make a list of my New Year's resolutions... so here they are:

(1) Get a job-- ughh this takes waaay to much effort, but it must be done! But it scares me, because WTF AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!

(2) Lose my Italia weight, plus a few more pounds. Which would require me to:
(a) Go to the gym regularly-- 2 times a week is realistic, but 3-4 is ideal.
(b) Eat more healthfully-- so, stop eating a wedge of brie every three days. 

(3) Get in shape-- some may think this is the same as losing weight, but it is soooo not.  I want to be able to make it through kickboxing classes without wanting to commit suicide, aaaand to hike Half Dome with the girls in the summer!

(4) Drink more water-- if I can't do the first three resolutions, at least this one is fairly easy. 

(5) Cook more often (at least once a week)-- it'll give my mom a break and I will spend less money... especially because she'll be buying! It will also help me eat more healthfully. 

(6) Drink less alcohol-- I mean, I haven't been drinking a lot, per se, but I definitely drink when I don't need to be drinking, especially beer, which has far too many calories. I should save my alcohol calories for having a glass or 2 of wine with dinner once in a while and special celebrations with friends..... or at least drink light beer. ;)

(7) Get a credit card-- this is kind of random, and it's weird that I don't already have one, but once I get a job, I need to start building my credit so that one day, I can move the f*ck out of Belmont!

(8) Oil paint with Kristin!

Does anyone have more good ideas?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My blog needs one... but I am:

(a) technologically unsavvy.
(b) boring.
(c) lazy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

in transit....

So it's my last night in Florence... I'm sad to be leaving, but excited to spend the day in Rome and VERY excited to go home....

Here's some Michael to set the mood...

"Another summer day
Is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another airplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home."

Oh Michael, you know how to sing the sountrack of my life.

Monday, December 1, 2008

j'taime paris!

I am skipping some things, but since Paris is fresh in my mind, I will post about my Thanksgiving trip!

BLOGGER IS BEING A COMPLETE BITCH AND WON'T LET ME POST ANY PICTURES EXCEPT ONE. My blog is kind of lame without pictures, but I will keep trying. Plus, you can just look at them on Facebook! Anyway, I made notes where I will be placing pictures once blogger stops being an azz-hole. 

My friends Carlota and YuanQing were visiting Europe for two weeks, and in addition to going to Barcelona, we decided to go to Paris as well. And of course Val joined us, and so did my Florence roommate Gigi. We left Thursday night, which was Thanksgiving... and it actually kind of sucked spending Thanksgiving in the ghetto Pisa airport eating dried-out pizza, but then Paris definitely made up for it!

After our Thursday night of a flight delay, a mumbling/weird French taxi driver, no towels at our hostel, we had a great Friday in Paris. We started out the day walking around waiting for Val to fly in from Rome and we happened upon a gorgeous park.

Random pretty park and surrounding buildings.

Once Val arrived, we walked around the beautiful Marais district, which was where our hostel was in search for our first French meal. We ended up at this sort of pricey restaurant, but it was SOOO worth it. Unlike Italy, France gives you free bread and tap water... and the bread at this restaurant was amazing! It was from the bakery across the street and it was still warm when we got it! I ordered the French onion soup, which was the best one I have ever had in my life... on the top was crispy and perfectly-charred pieces of baguette smothered in gooey cheese, but it wasn't too rich or gummy. The broth inside was delicious and the onions were cooked to perfection. I was in heaven...

The waiter forgot that Val and I ordered a cheese plate, so we ordered creme brulee instead and I think that was a good choice because it was the only good creme brulee I had in Paris. I got it one other time and sampled another, and both of those creme brulees did not have the correct brulee top that you should be able to crack with the tap of your spoon. These not-so-good ones still had sugar granules on top. Unacceptable! Anyway, this first meal was the best one we had in Paris! 

After lunch, we made our way to Champs d'Elysees, which is a long street leading from the Arc de Triomphe to the huge ferris wheel. When we got off from the metro, we emerged into Christmas! Every tree lining the Champs d'Elysees was lit up with these beautiful light blue lights. I was so happy because they have been being assholes in Florence and not turning on the Christmas lights that they already strung along buildings.  

Arc de Triomphe

Later, we went to the Louvre because it is free for people under the age of 26 on Fridays after 6pm. It was really overwhelming, but I saw a lot of famous paintings and paintings I have studied in art history classes, so it was absolutely amazing to see them all.

(Photo of the Mona Lisa)

I kept thinking about The Da Vinci Code and how the "Holy Grail" (a.k.a. Mary Magdalene) is supposed to be there. It made me really want to read the book again!

(Photo of the Louvre)

After the art-gasm at the Louvre, we went to dinner by the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is all lit up at night, but I think it looks rather gaudy and I thought about how in the Sex and the City movie, The Russian's French daughter says something about how it is an eyesore, and I have to say that I kind of agree.

(Photo of the Eiffel Tower)

I think it would look better with white lights instead of blue, and maybe not so intense. 

On Saturday morning, we visited Notre Dame, but didn't have time to go inside because we were going to spend the day in Versailles. 

(Photo of Notre Dame)

After cafe-au-laits and croissants, we took the 45-minute train to Versailles. It was a 10-minute walk from the train station, and once we turned the corner, we saw the enormous palace. The golden gates were beautiful!

(Photo of Versailles)

We decided to pay a bit extra and get an audio tour and it was totally worth it because it gave you information about the history of the rooms and some of the objects and paintings in the rooms. We toured through the dauphin and dauphine's apartments and then on to the King and Queen's rooms. It was crazy to think that so much history has happened on this estate. In the Queen's bedroom (which was gorgeous and I want to live there), 17 royal children have been born! We also saw the door from which Marie Antoinette escaped. So crazy. 

(Photos of rooms at Versailles)

Then we walked around the vast estate grounds. Seriously, it was HUGE! We made it to the Grand Trianon, which was basically an extra huge estate for the Kings. Because it was getting dark and even more cold, we didn't make it to Petit Trianon, which was where Marie Antoinette lived most of the time, but we did get to see a lot of the grounds. 

(Photos of grounds)

Sunday, we woke up a bit early and checked out of our hostel and then made our way to the Musee d'Orsay, which has a vast collection of Impressionist paintings. I absolutely LOVED this museum... it had SO MANY paintings that I have studied in my previous art history classes by Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Serat, Millet, Courbet, and more! It was much smaller and less overwhelming than the Louvre, so we were able to get it done in the late morning. The only thing that really SUCKED is that one of the most famous Manet paintings that I really like was on loan to another museum. Needless to say, I was pissed. 

After the museum, we grabbed a quick bite to eat before making our way to the Eiffel Tower. I finally had quiche, and even though it was just from a takeaway place, it was delicious! The crust was flakey and buttery and there was ham in it that was super good. 

We got to the Eiffel Tower, and there was a bit of a line, but the guy said that it would only take 30 minutes to get to the top... LIE. It was more like 45 just to get to the top, and then it took like 25 minutes to get down, because you have to wait in lines for the elevator at 2 different levels. Anyway, poor Val is way too afraid of heights, so she did not join us... I must say that it was sort of anti-climactic. Once we got to the top, the views were pretty cool, but we didn't really know what we were looking at. Plus, it felt like we were in a cloud because it was so cold and misty. 

(Photo of Eiffel and view)

After the Eiffel, we had to make our way back to the hostel and then to the airport because we sadly had to leave! I would have loved to spend a couple days more days in Paris not doing sight-seeing, but rather just walking around the little cute non-touristy districts and going into cafes and eating pastries. But, all in all, it was one of my favorite weekend trips, especially because I got to be with my friends! 


Monday, November 24, 2008

bohemia praha!

Finally, I am able to upload more than 2 pictures per post! Now for more, catch-up...

There's a tour group in Italy called Bus2Alps, which is geared towards students studying abroad in Florence and Rome. My roommate and I went to Greece with them and liked it, so along with a few of our neighbors, we decided to do the Prague trip. The bus ride was overnight, but I was actually able to sleep a little bit! After a little less than 12 hours on a bus, we arrived in Prague. I literally had no idea what to expect, but I was blown away! I fell in love with it the minute I walked into the city center. 

The word I have been using to describe Prague is enchanting. The architecture is absolutely gorgeous and the foggy weather along the river made it a quintessential Eastern European city. It also made me think a lot about Christmas!

We basically walked around all day and looked at the beautiful architecture and the gorgeous squares around town. 

The Tyn Cathedral in Old Town Square

The Astronomical Clock

The clock was pretty cool... it had a bunch of hands and it reminded me of the watch that Dumbledore has in the Harry Potter books. Every hour, the clock would chime and little doors would open to reveal puppet-like figures that seemed to be saints or some other religious figures. 

Horse-drawn carriages in Old Town Square.

We also went to STARBUCKS! I was so excited, even though I had it in Athens a week prior, but since it was cold in Prague it was perfect to stop in the warm cafe and rest with a hot latte or walk around with it warm in your hands. 

Enjoying my first Starbucks latte in Prague.

The tour group took us on a tour to the Prague castle, which was basically a big area with all sorts of buildings on top of a hill. 

View of Prague castle from the King Charles Bridge

View of Mala Strana from Prague castle.

After our tour through the cathedral at Prague castle, we broke away from the tour group and roamed about Mala Strana, which was a cute little area. We got some lunch, which of course included hot soup, since it was so cold! Then, once again... we went to Starbucks! To be fair, it was a different one.... and it had two floors!

In the cute streets of Mala Strana on a cold day.

Overall, I absolutely loved Prague! It has been my favorite non-Italian city that I have visited. It just has so much charm and everyone was nice there. We did a few American things like a bit of shopping in New Town Square and we also made several trips to Bohemia Bagel which had mostly American food, including an egg-bacon-cheddar cheese-bagel sandwich that was delicious! I wish they had a Bohemia Bagel in Firenze!