Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cinque Terre, take 2

I did not plan to go to Cinque Terre this time around in Italy. I figured with only five days in the country that I commonly refer to as the love of my life, I should focus on exploring new places and eating as much of my favorite pizza and pasta as possible in Florence. But, I was traveling with a friend who had never visited Cinque Terre, so I made a last minute decision to go with her. I am so glad I turns out, visiting one of the most gorgeous spots on earth twice is not such a bad thing. We walked Via dell'Amore, found one of my favorite focaccia places from last year, took a dip in the Mediterranean, hiked up the 200some steps to Corniglia, and generally tried to figure out how to never leave (we did have to leave. But the giant piece of focaccia that I took to go and devoured on the train softened the blow). 

Millions of pictures to follow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Originally, I had planned to write about each country in one post, but we just did too much in Italy to confine it to a post any reasonable person would want to read (you still don't want to scroll through an inordinate amount of pictures in separate posts, you say? Nonsense). Since I spent a lot of time exploring different parts of Italy while studying abroad last fall, going to Chianti wine country this time around was one of my favorites as I never made it last year. The day included what should have been an easy hike that was made excessively demanding by the ruthless heat, unbelievably beautiful views, a tour of a 13th century winery in a family villa, and a roughly 3-hour long family style meal complete with wine and olive oil tasting. So basically an Italophile wino's dream day. You know, if you know any of those (me. That's me). 

Monday, August 27, 2012

On my mind

Hi, friends.

Job hunting, interviews, a new internship at Pasadena Magazine (you may see a post or two on their blog by me!), and generally working on getting my life in order have kept me pretty busy lately.

So, here are a few things occupying my free minutes and brainspace. Is that a word? It should be.

1. Letters of Note. I may have blogged this one before. I can't remember, but in any case, it deserves another look. Sweet, silly, sincere, sometimes startling and even a bit sharp, you can take a peek at the correspondences of such famous names as E. B. White and Lorne Michaels. This is one of my all-time favorites, and this.

2. Marcel the Shell. Around for years, my roommate and I recently rediscovered the video and have been spending roughly 60% of our time imitating the voice and quoting the video, to the delight of our other roommates. We also may have gotten a stuffed dog and named him Alan. We're a lot of fun to live with. (Check out this adorable interview with Marcel's creator, too!)

3. T-Swift. A love I have yet to outgrow, I can't pretend to see a lot of musical value in her newest single, but it is absurdly, ridiculously, out-of-this-world catchy. An anthem for our times. Or, maybe the times of vaguely angsty but mostly upbeat high school freshman girls. Either way, really.

I'll be back later with some pictures from my time in Italy this summer; I hope everyone is having a lovely Monday!

Monday, August 20, 2012


It's time for the Prague blog! This city took my heart from the moment we stepped off the bus from Berlin (which we made only by sprinting to the bus station from the metro wearing our giant backpacks. A dog may have tried to chase me at one point. I don't want to talk about it). The whole city is small enough to walk, there's a beautiful river running through it (although I guess that goes for most European cities), and the architecture is unbelievable. You'll find all types of construction, from rococo to Slavic to cubist, and the combination is stunning. 

Prague also hosts the oldest medieval castle, fried cheese as a traditional dish (that alone sold me on the place), a John Lennon wall where protesters of the communist regime wrote Beatles lyrics, a lovely astrological clock, a bar called The Beer Museum with endless types of Czech beers, and any number of surprising, offbeat, charming statues, monuments, and other structures. 

Far too many pictures follow, if you'd like to take a look!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Germany is a country I fell in love with while at Oktoberfest last year, and Berlin cemented that love affair. Although completely different from Munich, it is (almost) equally enjoyable. Berlin exchanges Munich's Bavarian cheerfulness and love of giant beers for a cutting-edge, industrial big city vibe and layers upon layers of history. I was fascinated by Hitler's bunker, the Holocaust memorial and museum, German National History Museum, and the Berlin Wall -- we saw two of the three still standing sections, and I was totally overwhelmed by how beautiful and affecting the murals are on the Berliner Mauer section. 

Of course, we also made time to visit a beer garden, a lovely little riverside bar on a makeshift beach, a pretty, flowery garden around Potsdam, nightclubs that confirmed Berlin's reputation for insane nightlife, and eavesdropped on a beautiful concert outside a historic building by lingering over drinks at a nearby cafe. 

Here's just a quick sampling of pictures :)