Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ROME. By all means, Rome.

after not showering for the better part of 5 days because we didn't have enough swiss francs,
after 14 trains, 4 countries, 3 buses, 4 languages and 1 dialect, and 2 gondola rides in those 5 days (not to mention the shady train we had to sleep on on monday night),
and after the last two travel days not really going what i would call "smoothly",

we arrive in rome.

or roma, which is so much a more beautiful way to say it.

we find our hostel, scratch that: bed and breakfast.  if i didn't know that joe bradley's apartment is on via margutta (51), then i would think this is the very place princess anna spent her "so happy" sleep.

our room has wooden shutters that open out on the street and long white lace drapes,

&freeinternet&freeshowers&freepainauchocolat every morning,

and those big white towels that go down to your knees and wrap twice around you.
(plus, the toilet seat is a collage of penguins in the arctic, which, let's be honest, adds a new level of elegance to any bathroom.)

so with a fresh heart and a smile, i bounced down to the laundrette to do some laundry,
and then of course slid down an entire flight of marble stairs.
(thanks for that rome.)

but today i had four gelatos, one of which was nutella variegato (7 parts nutella, 1 part gelato).  it almost made me cry.  and then we walked into the piazza spagna where the spanish steps are and there were four opera singers giving a free concert for hundreds of people on the steps, and they were singing my favorite opera song, and that really did make me cry.  i'm learning what it means to enjoy life.  i am learning what is most important to me.  i am learning more about who i am.  and eating rome out of their gelato in the meantime.  it's been a lovely day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

but paris will always be my hometown

here i q, in pqris; going to cqfes; eqting too nqny crepes zith too ,uch nutellq qnd otherzise enjoying every ,inute of this lovely lovely city:

oh, you couldn't read that, you say?  maybe that's because the keyboards here in the city of lights are all crazy!

what to say in the few minutes left--
paris has truly beautiful nutella crepes.
they melt a part of your soul.

the eiffel tower really is as magical as you think it would be
especially because its flanked on all sides by carousels and ice cream trucks,
which just happen to be two of my favorite things.
(were you built for me, sweet paris?)

and sitting in front of notre dame every evening
in the sweet parisian air
and boys playing guitar and singing in french

ooo la la.  enchante, sweet paris.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"i feel terrible. i'm going to go back to bed." {europe day 1}

a short list of highlights:
1)  today i am sick.  sick sick sick.  (see faye in that thing you do to get a picture of the kind of sick i am.  speaking of which, thanks for showing the world how to be a classy sick lady, faye!)  so i've gone through one small box of kleenex and 4 dayquils and one hot chocolate mmmmmmmmm.
2)  when we checked into our hostel in cork this afternoon, guess what song was playing.  careless whisper by george michael.  that's right.  this bodes well for our journey, as that song has been following me around everywhere else i go.  nate showed me the sexy sax man video at the end of april (youtube it.  sexy sax man.), then we watched it again and again one night in the flat in london, then we used it as entry music in our skit in class, then the saxophone man ont he bridge played it when we were out by big ben.  and now the hostel.  i'm telling you.  it is a sign from the heavens.
3)  today i wore a bright blue sweatshirt with "FLORIDA" in bright orange letters across the front of it with yellow pants.  i looked like a freakin billboard for the stereotypical american tourist.  i wanted to apologize to people for my outfit.  but then i decided, you know what, i'm SICK.  i'm taking a sick day, world.  thank you.
4)  i found some really comfy tennies at the shoe store yesterday (that makes the third time i went there to find shoes.  embarrassing), and all day it was as if they were whispering sweet nothings to my feet.  i love you lil tennies.
5)  went to blarney castle and kissed the blarney stone, which was awesome but not as awesome as the fairy-enchanted forest behind the castle!  people!  go to blarney!  i not only got the gift of eloquence (via the blarney stone), but it is also the stone of destiny AND i got to make a wishing whilst walking up and down the blarney witch's wishing steps backwards!  (the blarney witch steals wood from the forest every night, and in return, must grant all their visitors their wish when you think about it nonstop while walking up and down the stairs backwards.  it's going to come true in a year.  the nice man in the sweater and cap told me we can count on it!) 
6)  speaking of nice men, the man who lowered us over the edge to kiss the blarney stone whistled irish tunes while sitting perched atop the castle.  delight.
7)  did i already mention the exteremly good hot chocolate that kept my hands and innards warm all the long walk home back to our hostel?  because it was extremely good.
8)  the frames played a concert tonight in the same little city i'm staying!  i found out about it too late, but just knowing we're close is a sweet thought.  if you don't know the frames, look up "falling slowly" by glen hansard.
9)  and best of all, we got through the airlines without any problems.  our bags were deffffinitely oversized, but thanks to some very strategic planning, we were able to keep our frontsides to the security guards the whole time so they couldn't see just how big our packs were.  (which, for the record, i fit everything i need for the next X amount of weeks in a school backpack.  i win!)

pictures later.  maybe.  i have no way of uploading them at present.  but you better believe i'm taking them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

goodnight, sweet london. or, in other words, this is not the end.

somehow the last words always take so long to write.
so while i process this beautiful experience i've had
and learn what words i want to say,
here is our last night at big ben.
big ben with best friends.

and this morning it rained and rained.  yes, she is sad we are leaving her too.

don't cry, pretty city.  i'll be back real soon.

right as soon as i've met the rest of europe.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

another night, another reason to go to big ben

why is it that lately all i care about is how often i can get myself next to this clock?

want to see something cool i just noticed?  if you look careful amidst the two wraps of my scarf, you can see one little bird.  that is sweet.  sweet in the tender way, not the surfer way.

tonight we told secrets.
i will share mine
because they are mine
to share.

1.  until last summer i did not know how to cartwheel.
2.  i have never been able to rollerblade.  not actually sure if i've ever tried.
3.  aaaaand i've never been skiing.

round two:
4.  i have world-class stalking skillz.  not in the sense that i stalk people on the streets, but in the CIA sense.  give me two facts about a person and i can find them for you.  (welcome to the interconnected world we live in huh.)  but seriously.  once i found a boy on facebook knowing only that he served a mission in thailand.  not even his name.  found it though.  that was kind of awesome.

when ben struck 11
(this was before the secret-
i told
preston & amberly
(but mostly preston because he wouldn't stop
to shhhhh
so we could hear all 11
bangarangs of that big ben.

we stood close
because the wind off the river
was cold
(this was before the secret-
(but after the

and then i imagined myself
thousands of miles away
at utah-home
remembering london
and coming back
coming back to this
perfect moment }
beneath big ben
above the whispering thames
holding the night in my imagination
printing and printing big ben's green lights and spikes
into my mind

and the way the stone is yellow against the navy night

the way it carries me away

so i can feel it then
thousands of miles away
when this clock
i love so much
has become only a wispy

Monday, June 6, 2011

to the irony of songs in your head

song [in the head] of the day:  "lost in my mind" by the head and the heart.  give it a listen.

today was rather productive.  "rather" because i'm in england and they use words like such as, and "productive" because i shopped myself ready for the adventure that is soon to ensue.

originally i planned to backpack without makeup, without a care to my hair (braid everyday), and with a few plain white v-neck tees.  if i'm going to do this thing with one school-sized backpack, i'm going to have to cut back.

and then i found CUP OF JO's pages on cute and low-maintenance hairstyles.

PAUSE: i was listening to noah and the whale, and then someone in the room put on different music louder and suddenly i can't concentrate.  huh.  maybe my writing-self knows what music it needs.......until then, i shall write like a windup monkey doll.

anyways, CUP OF JO has lovely hairstyles.  and thus i decided that my hair might as well be cute whilst backpacking.

and that's how it started.

"it" being the sudden succession of thoughts relating to the fact that i am going to be at the eiffel tower and at cafes in rome and watching bullfights, and for goodness sake, if a girl's going to do europe, she probably know, wear skirts and red lipstick everyday.

so we have that to look forward to for the next few weeks.  (smile of ladylike satisfaction)

plus, skirts are way more comfy than shorts.

so, back to today being rather productive:  i found myself some red lipstick and wore it all day and count it the best purchase i've made here.  (i also bought a flash drive & bandaids & earplugs & walking shoes & socks & a bar of soap today.)

now the real story: riding the tube back from said productive-day, i was so busy singing "lost in my mind" in my head and thinking about all the ways i shall do my hair and wear my red lipstick while walking through the tuileries that i missed my tube stop.  completely and totally missed it, i was so lost in my mind singing "lost in my mind" in my mind.  yes.  moments like this happen to me.  i laughed a lot.  then walked away quickly because there was a strange man with an umbrella who i thought might be following me.  (he wasn't, but sometimes a little imagined danger is good for getting a mind drifting to things parisian to stick to the task at hand: namely, getting off the tube in the right places.)

in other news, tonight i went to "pygmalion" at garrick theatre with the program.  starring rupert everett.

the best part of the production were these words, which i feel are rather apropos to aforementioned red lipstick:  
I should never have known how ladies and gentlemen really behaved, if it hadn't been for Colonel Pickering. He always showed what he thought and felt about me as if I were something better than a common flower girl. You see, Mrs. Higgins, apart from the things one can pick up, the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a common flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me like a common flower girl, and always will. But I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering, because he always treats me like a lady, and always will.  (Eliza Doolittle) 

and while we're on the topic of words of the day, here are a few more:

paraphrase of the day:
"dating isn't as much fun and games as it used to be cause we are playing for keeps.  i used to be playing for fun and hoping it would turn into keeps.  now I play for keeps and hope it gets fun."  
(name withheld to protect the lives of the innocent)

song title of the day:
"every teardrop is a waterfall" 
(coldplay's new single!)
leave it to coldplay to write a title like that.

lord of the rings quote of the day:
Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries? 
sam to frodo.  this is what home feels like to me.  lucky, i know.

and then tonight i went to westminster bridge again, to listen to the river.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

birthday videotape

waking up to balloons and birthday banners from my room to the hall to the bathroom and a breakfast of omelets (current fav), strawberries, chocolate muffins and orange juice, all brought about by andrea.  

in a special breakfast nook.

there couldn't have been a more lovely way to start the day.

birthday suit

and then a trip to portobello 

where i met bella.
bella who sells buttons
--1930's buttons--

followed by tea at the orangery...


and feeding the swans at kensington gardens.

peonies from amber

dinner at nandos (mango lime chicken and grilled corn on the cob?  yes please.)

and an evening stroll through hyde park

followed by pizookie

today has been the most perfect day i've ever seen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

birthday wishes

tonight, on this the eve before my 25th, i wish for

rainbows.  obviously.
an orchard
a field of poppies
a carousel
a room of colorful birds
cuddling in blankets and watching lord of the rings and pillsbury cinnamon rolls
someone to let me drive their ice cream truck for a day or two
a bed & breakfast to run for a few years
marcus mumford to fall in love with me
a mustache mug
that wearing fake mustaches could be an acceptable accessory some days

and already, before it's even technically my birthday, three happy things have happened:

1) a package from home covered in stickers that say things like "way to go!" and "super kid!"  thanks for loving me, family.  (no, i haven't opened it yet.)
2) having someone tell me that they like my photo-graphees because "even the pictures without people in them feel like they have people in them."  (thank you, for making my night, sweet friend.)
3) chelsea, liz, camille, andrea, holly, amberly, and cami bursting into the kitchen upon whose counter i was sitting and prancing around the island singing disney's happy birthday to me...  for three minutes.  i haven't laughed that hard in months.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

for mom and dad and all those nights we spent watching star trek when i was a child

this is me and patrick stewart, after his performance in "merchant of venice" in stratford-upon-avon tonight.

he had a hard time signing my playbill because i didn't have anything hard behind it.  he apologized that the signature "isn't very good."

i said thank you.  he said you're welcome.

and look at that classy hat he's wearing.  and oh, is that a smile under that hat?  i think it is.

thanks jean-luc.