Sunday, June 13, 2010


So, im back in New Jersey, and I've been trying to find ways to keep myself entertained. My major summer goals include writing (just in general), going for walks/getting in shape (this is the one i'm least excited about so it might not happen), reteaching myself piano (which might be the most ambitious one, wish me luck), cooking new dishes (every friday night, Jamie and I will be getting together to cook, and if you, my hypothetical reader, live nearby, please do come join us!), and brushing up on my poor spanish skills (version 3 of rosetta stone seems like a much more successful program than version 2), and maybe some crafts thrown in. Also I'm trying to catch up on a lot of books and movies. Camp orientation is next weekend, and then camp itself starts at the end of the month. Also if you (hypothetical reader) know anyone who needs a babysitter, I'm available nights and weekends. :-D

Monday, May 31, 2010


Will update soon about the rest of my trip. For now though, just know that it was amazing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Long overdue post......

Cinque Terre
Yesterday, the weather was crappy, and we were in transit for half the day. Leaving Rome was strange. I felt like I was just going away for the weekend...and not for an entire month. (Its only starting to hit me now) When we got to Cinque Terre, we took the leisurely path by the sea, and it was gorgeous even though the weather was not very nice. We ended up by these weird abandoned houses, along the path, with a rusty old swingset. Also, there was a strange cat who kept following us, and that was when we decided to call it a night...We took a train back to La Spezia, and these two canadian boys who had been staring at us on the trail were on our train, and they offered us these amaretto cookies, and then we never saw them again. We then spent two hours or so walking around La Spezia, trying to find a hostel, to no avail. So, we checked into the hotel mary, which was expensive, and small...but gave us a great breakfast. We got really delicious dinners at Ristorante Gattafin. Laura had these raviolis in a truffle sauce, and I got this delicious vegetable covered, freshly made pasta. This morning, we woke up early, to make sure we could find a hostel. Laura had written down google maps directions, and we took the train to Manarola (one of the five island towns), and the directions told us to basically scale a mountain (I have a backpack, my computer bag, and a duffle bag on me at this point), which was beautiful, but as we found out later, slightly unnecesarry. Later in the day, we figured out that our hostel was right up the street from the Manarola train station...So, we drop our stuff off at the hostel, and start wandering in the direction of the mountains. It only took us two hours to make our way to the top of a very steep mountain, following a very rocky path. It was gorgeous. At the top, we found a much less intense dirt path that took us along a couple of mountains, and into a quaint little town tucked into the side of the mountain. Somehow we wandered into a party in someone's backyard and got some really delicious fried polenta (?), enormous fava beans, cheeses, and bread. Then, we made our way back to Manarola, where we figured out that it was the Primavera (spring) Festival, and got to experience the song I'm a italian. There was this group of small children who were congo-line dancing to terrible american pop songs and it was adorable. Eventually, we made our way back to our hostel.

Our train to Venice stopped for a hot minute in Pisa. It would have been nice to stop and look around a bit, but of all places, Pisa isn't really too high on my to do list. So, we had another transfer in Florence, and then made our way to Venice. After leaving the train station, I almost immediately felt like I had been transported out of real life and into a book or some stereotypical movie. There were men in traditional costumes manning gondolas, and accordians being played outside of fancy restauraunts (which yes happens in rome, and I am used to it...but it is a little different when the streets are all waterways and not roads). Venice was pretty much exactly as I pictured it, other than the public transportation. There are just boats that go everywhere. I wish that all public transportation was boats...

Right now, I am sitting on my very first night train. I still have at least 40 minutes before we leave the station. I am very excited. My seat is really comfortable...Hopefully I will still feel that way when it is time to go to sleep…. Laura and I have been traveling together for five days now, in Italy, and this has been really the perfect introduction to my solo trip, in the rest of Europe. I am so ready for Wien and new friends!! By the time I post this, I will have already met the Bauers, but at this moment, I am excited to meet them!

So, back to Venice...I'm glad that we stayed at a campground outside of the city. It just added a whole new dimension to that leg of our trip. We stayed in this little bungalow, a half an hour bus ride from the city. We mostly just walked around the canals and such in Venice, but we went to two art museums and a jewish museum. And one day, we ate lunch at this really fantastic restauraunt near the academia (art museum).

So, I've been traveling for over a week now. I'm on a train to Budapest at the moment. Wien was one of the coolest places I've ever been. It wasn't a novelty city (For example, I'd say that Rome is, because of all of the ancient ruins, and Venice is, because the city is made entirely up of canals). I mean, Wien had a ton of museums, and statues, and palaces, and parks, but what I mean is that it felt like a real city where people live and work. (While people do live there, Rome and Venice feel like they are mostly just catering to tourists). I went to the jewish museum, the freud museum, the music museum, an art museum (and one day, treated myself to some really delicious vegetarian food at a restauraunt in the middle of the city). The best part of Wien though was my first real couchsurfing experience. I stayed with the Bauers at their apartment on the outskirts of the city. They were amazingly hospitable. They fed me delicious traditional german food, showed me palace gardens, and around Prater (Austria's amusement park). The kids were adorable (and I was very impressed as to how well Tamuna speaks english! When I was six, I could barely speak one language...) and Marcus was a great tour guide around the city. I really hope that they do visit when they come to the states. Also, they loaned me a bike one day, and I was able to explore the city by bike, making my way to the Danube for a really nice ride, which was awesome. We also went to an anti-fascist rally, which was interesting. This morning we went to the May day festivities, and now I'm on the train to Budapest.

People keep asking me for directions in Hungarian. Do I look Hungarian?

On the train again! I'm heading back to Wien where I am going to transfer and make my way to Praha. Budapest was gorgeous. When i got in on saturday, Richard met me at the station and showed me how to get to his house. I made my way to the central part of the city, got some falafel and sat near the second largest synagogue in the world (which looks very much like a giant church). Then I stumbled across a wine festival, and I made my way inside. I made friends with two women who are lawyers from India, and we sat on the grass and enjoyed some music. Then, I made my way to the large park, and met Edit and Richard at a bar for drinks and to enjoy some gipsy music. The next day, I took a tour of the aforementioned synagogue, did a nice long walk around the city, and walked around the terror museum.

Then I made my way to the Baths in the park. It was an interesting experience....I couldn't believe that they had saunas that were 100 degrees C. I walked in, and almost immediately walked out. This morning I pretty much just woke up and hopped on the train. 9:30AM->5:25PPM. Lonnnnnng train trip. At this point, im on my second train. On the first train, I had a nice long conversation with Mohammed, who runs a tea company from Sri Lanka.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yesterday, we visited Danielle in the hospital. While we were at the Amalfi Coast, she lost her footing and fell 30 feet from a ledge. She was insanely lucky. I'm not going to get into real details on this public blog because its not really anyone's business, but we saw her yesterday and she is doing much better. She could reach up enough to give us hugs! My apartment is so lonely without her.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

/Junior year

So, the student show is tonight, and pretty much all of my work for the semester is finished. But, instead of being able to enjoy it, my head is congested and I can't really think. On the plus side, my trip planning is coming along....slowly but surely. I'm 100% done with printmaking and sketchbook. I'm glad that I took printmaking but it was just so much work, and the work wasn't even spread out evenly throughout the semester. I would have weeks where I spent 14 hours in the print studio, and the weeks where I didn't go into the studio to do work, at all. Photo has proven to be my favorite class.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've been too busy to write! My family came for a week (pictures to come at some point!) It was really nice to see them. I was starting to get homesick, but they fixed that! I hope they had fun.

I've spent all week in the art cave working on my final projects, because they are all due next week. But, I'm treating myself to a well deserved break, because this weekend, I am going to the amalfi coast with danielle and jill! Pictures and updates to follow!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This week was kind of crazy, because it involved signing up for classes for next semester. And because next semester is my last semester of classes, I had to get into very specific classes, so that was a little nerve wrecking, but in the end it all worked out. I'm going to take glassblowing, ceramics, women in literature, my art capstone (writing intensive/art intensive), and an art education class. I can't believe that I only have one year left at Temple. Crazy...

This morning, I went to the modern art museum with my photo class. I'm not so big on modern art, but some of the photography in the museum was pretty cool. I took a nice long walk today too. The weather has been gorgeous.

I'm going to the reggae circus tomorrow night, and then my family is coming to visit on sunday!
More updates soon!