Monday, February 28, 2011

Wingin' It Berlin Style!

You know what's fun? Doing something random. Like deciding to go to a foreign country after about five minutes of thought.

God I love Europe.

So I was supposed to go to Hungary last Thursday
with two people from my trip but they both got super sick so it ended up not happening. I was soooo disappointed because my great-grandfather is from Budapest, Hungary and I would have been the first person to return there since he traveled to the United States in 1914. How EPIC would that have been?!

But alas, it did not happen...

But it's ok because I got to go to Berlin.


Awesome. :D

My friend Paul suggested a day trip since I was so disappointed about Hungary. I was so totally in!

We left Friday night and took a night train. We arrived a little before eight a.m. on Saturday morning and the awesome commenced.

It was freezing cold and we were tired, but it was totally worth it. The first things we saw were the Reichstag (the government building) and the Brandenburgher Tor (the Gate to the city). They were beautiful!!

[I don't know why these are so far apart so I'm just going to write here so as to fill space...lalalalala!!!]

After that bit o' gorgeous, we got some breakfast. Now, let me just say that had the rest of the entirely SUCKED it would have been a-ok after the struessel that I ate. Oh. My. God. YUM! My mouth is watering thinking about it...and making me hungrier for food that I DON'T have because these trips are killing me on the money front...AHHH!!! After that we walked around looking for the Berlin Wall. Well, we found the ghetto-tastic East Berlin instead. Which, honestly was ok because, hey, how else will you get the feel for a city other than wandering aimlessly around the sewage smelling parts of the city?? Right?!

For lunch we each got a different German sausage (it's not dirty...) and some beer. Mmm beer... Mine came with a pretzel! Woot! I love pretzels! How did you k
now Berlin?!

We also saw the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe.

No joke. This is what it's called. I swear. If you think I'm lying I'll wait for you to look it up. :P


Ok, now that you've proven yourself to be a silly ninny for not believing me we can proceed with my awesome adventure.

So then we decided to try to find the Wall again. Like the good little tourist that we are we went to the information center and asked for directions. They dude only gave us directions for the tram and when we asked if we could walk there he laughed at us...Meanie butt...

We took off walking anyway because we are cheap-os and plus we wanted to see if we could see some more coolness that is Berlin. And aren't we glad we did...

Pretty, right?

Anyway, we got lost. Again. Because of Paul's super awesome navigational skills...Why haven't I leaned my lesson?! After getting back on track we found it and it was wicked awesome. There is a TON of artwork on it, all pertaining to the need for peace and different dates that were important in the history of the Berlin Wall. The part of the wall that is left is about 1300 meters (or just under one mile) long and we walked about half of it. Our feet were DYING ok?!

We then rounded the day off with another authentic German meal which ended with this little ditty...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Italia!! Mucho Bella! (Is that even right?!)

Oh, Italia! You are the peanut butter to my jelly...or should I say the gelatto to my cone, or the sauce to my pasta??

Those last two sound dirty...especially the sauce one.

Florence is a beautiful city! There is so much to see, but I love the fact that you can just walk the entire city and not die.

Everywhere you look there is some sort of beautiful art work just sittin' there, waiting for you to take a picture of it. I saw so many statue butts this past weekend I don't know what to do...

We went to Florence for Anya's and Eden's birthdays and it was a blast!

On Friday, we arrived around 2 and we headed for our hostel. Which was awesome by the way. If you ever go to Florence, stay at Plus Florence Hostel. After we got there we went and got a sandwich and of course some delicious gelatto and then we headed into the city. We started with some major sites that we nearby, like Il Duomo and some other churches, like San Lorenzo Cathedral. I think almost every church in Italy is some sort of Cathedral. These Italian Catholics don't fool around, let me tell you.

On Saturday we walked around. The ENTIRE city. I seriously don't think my feet will EVER be the same. We saw some breath-taking sights. Like....THIS ONE!

Don't ask me why my hand is on my hip. I know I look dumb. Just look at the prettiness behing my dumbness.

A cool thing that we saw was a protest that was going through the city. We were going to see the only bridge that survived World War II and on our way there, they were crossing one of the bridges. We couldn't figure out what it was about until later when we saw them again, lounging outside of a church, and we saw their signs...

Yes, that says Italy is not a brothel, and yes, I was dying laughing. :D

Anywho...on Sunday I went to mass with Paul(ey) where, even though I'm Catholic and ALL masses are the SAME, I couldn't figure anything out and I forgot the prayers in English that I've been saying since I was born and yes, I could talk coming out of the womb. jealous? I thought so. We went to Santa Maria Novella and it was GORGEOUS. Actually, I think that may be an understatement to about the nth degree. I'm sorry. I can't explain it. And I couldn't get a good enough picture before the angry Italian man started yelling at me and Paul, saying, "Excuse! Excuse! No, photo! Excuse, no photo!!"

Pretty church though.

All in all, a fantastic weekend. I'm pretty sure that I ate my weight in gelatto, but it was TOTALLY worth it. I would live off gellatto I think. Gelatto and potatoes. NOM.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love for one another

One thing that I love about my job is that every week the entire staff gets together for an hour of devotions. It's just an hour to be together, connect, see what everyone is up to and how everyone is doing. We talk, we laugh, we pray. It's very...I guess the word would be comforting.

I don't know these people well at all, but they are all open and they are all interested. I've never been in a working group that opened up this quickly and that is so interested in everything that everyone is doing. They all care. It's nice. Refreshing.

Today we just sat around and talked. We got into an interesting conversation about how the world views terrorism and how it is defined. Just so you know, there is no actual definition to terrorism. It's an idea, not an entity. It's something that is personally defined, not internationally-one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. We went around the table, told each other what we were working on and offered something personal that we wanted to pray for. They have all known about my aunt because I pray for her every week. They all ask how she is and pray for her too. I can't tell you how much this means to me.

My aunt. She's my godmother and someone that I love. She drives me absolutely insane about 75% of the time, but I know she does it because she loves me and expects a lot out of me. Her nagging is her way of showing love. lol!

She helped my mom out a lot when I was growing up. She always had fun things for my cousins and me to do. We drove her nuts and she would yell, but we knew that she loved us. She has put up with every one else's crap and has helped every one that she could. She is stubborn and likes to do everything without anyone else's help (even though she complains when no one will help her). She is strong and is a fighter. She's a lot like my grandpa-which she knows, and I'm pretty sure loves about herself. My grandpa was kind of awesome...-so we all know that she won't ever give up. Losing is not an option and she won't ever let it be.

I kind of love that about her.

I know that she doesn't read this blog, but I do hope that she knows, that even though I'm not close by, I'm always here for her-no matter how much she drives me up a wall....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hello Roses! It's nice to smell you

Ya know, wake up calls are nice. Sometimes you get an enlightened, "HELLO, STOP BEING AN IDIOT!" Or, sometimes you're thinking over and over and over again and then you get fed up with listening to YOURSELF.


That's a low point.

But it's also good. Because by the time that you get fed up with yourself you KNOW that others are totally fed up with you. Even when you keep things to yourself...

Anyway, I'm done just thinking and thinking about the same old crap. Life goes on and is WAYY too short to just keep thinking about things that don't matter.

So here's to the experiences of life and waking up and smelling the roses.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This week was Valentine's Day and all I have to say is THANK GOD I'm in Europe. It doesn't seem to be such a huge thing here. Yes, people were buying candy and flowers, but it I feel like it isn't thrown in your face here like back home. Then again, I haven't been watching tv, so no annoying jewelery commercials for me! YAY!

But I did have that whole, Oh-I'm-single-I-miss-buttface moment. But it's ok. It lasted for only a little bit. ON MONDAY. Since then I've been thinking a lot about him. I'm a masochist. What can I say?! So I've been trying really hard not to think about him. Again. BLAH!

Funny story about Monday: I was sitting in class, waiting for my professor to come in, and I was dating my paper for notes. For the life of me I could not remember the date so I asked Alexis. She just looked at me like I was an idiot and then I was like, "Oh,...damn me." Bahahah. Ok, not so funny. Continue!

Instead on Monday I spent the afternoon at one of the most pointless meetings of my life in which I heard about what happened at the General Assembly meeting for the United Nations back in January. Sounds exciting, right? Nope. Not one bit. All that happened at that meeting was a discussion of how no one pays their dues. Well guess what?! I don't blame them! The UN is such a mess and nothing EVER gets done. They can't enforce anything and no one really truly cares about what they have to say.

Ok, I'm done being political. I'm sorry.

Yesterday was hilarious. I have no other words for it. After the longest day at work I had my economics class. We had a quiz and then our professor took us to the bar. Bahaha! I love that! It was a grand ol' time with our Kenyan born, Spanish national professor. We all came back and had drunk food together at which point he told me that buttface was a complete idiot for dumping me. LOVE IT!

Europe, you continue to amaze me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ok, Awesome

For real I need to light a fire under my American tookas and get a crack-a-lackin'. I have so much work to get done between my internship and class and I really don't care. At all.

Problem? Probably. Do I care? Not really. Bigger Problem? Yes.

Travelling is SO much more fun! I see things that sitting in a classroom just could not give me. Ever. Like this weekend for example. Went to Locarno, Switzerland and Milan, Italy. How awesome is that?!

And I decided to go on Thursday. Crazy!!!

My friend Elliot rented a car and Alyssa and I jumped on in and we headed off to Italian Switzerland. We took the scenic route-and by scenic route, I mean SCENIC ROUTE.


It's sad that my little camera can't capture how flipping gorgeous it all is! But it did it's best!

After a deathly terrifying ride through the narrowest roads I have ever been on, for real, picture the width of a full size bed and that's the width of this TWO LANE ROAD winding around the side of the mountain with jagged rock sticking out at you on one side and a cliff plunging you to your death on the other. Fun right? we made it to Locarno. What a gorgeous city! But a little warning to you: if you go there and want to go out at night, go out by nine or ten because the whole city closes down at one. It's such an odd time...Ho
wever we did find this super awesome bar that had a live band. It was soooo awesome. They were rocking and the people there were having so much fun! Plus there was a cutie at the bar. Love those Italians!!

Note: Italian Swiss people are much nicer than French Swiss. Just sayin'.

On Saturday we walked the city. Saw the castle that was around the corner from out hotel. It was from the 800s! Soo crazy! I'm sorry for my over use of the word 'crazy,' but I don't know how else to describe this epic wonderfulness. We also climbed the side of a mountain. A flipping mountain?! Really?! My feet still hurt. Worth it. At the top of said mountain was this beautiful sanctuary.

After sitting by the most gorgeous lake on the most perfect day, we left for Milan.

Side note: This was the way we decided to go to Milan. On the way to Locarno on Friday, Elliot asks: "What do you guys want to do tomorrow? There a lots of places that aren't too far like, Logano, or we could go into Italy. Milan isn't that far away." Alyssa and I say: "We'll think about it." -30 seconds later, look at each other, smile, nod- "We'll go to Milan."

Milan. Gorgeous. So cool. Ahhh!!

We wanted gelatto. Like, real bad. So first things first: gelatto. NOM. Most delicious thing of my life. *swoon for gelatto, swoon* We had to find some money first, so on our quest for the ATM, we stumbled upon an open air market. I love random finds like that! The street was just lined with produce vendors and clothing vendors. And the clothes weren't just crap you find at American flea markets. First of all, they are called flea markets. Those clothes are probably filled with fleas. Ick. These were all designer items. Elliot was having a field day. He got a really awesome pair of jeans. Brand you may ask? Sex Jeans. It's hilarious. We couldn't stop laughing! So now when he wears them I yell out, "There goes Sex walking!" Bahahah! I'm funnier in my own head. It's ok. I know that white padded room is waiting for me. We also went to the fashion district where he was also soo excited! It's funnier because he's a guy, who is straight, and loves shopping and clothes whereas I'm a girl and the thought of shopping exhausts me and makes me cranky. There were some awesome shops there though. Obviously all super high end. Going into them made me and Alyssa have panic attacks while Elliot tried on 2,000 euro (as in the money) coats.

We wandered the city a little bit too. Guess what we found?! The largest Gothic Cathedral (second largest Cathedral) in the world! Just sittin' there on the piazza. I couldn't fit the whole thing in a picture that's how huge it was. Unfortunately we couldn't figure out how to get in said Cathedral, but the outside was pretty awe-inducing.

Right?! And let me just say, it NEVER fails that there is an Asian tourist in any of my photos when I'm travelling. It's ridiculous. Like when I went to Disney when I was eleven and this one Asian boy is in about fifty of my pictures. lol!

The ride home was not that exciting, except the 10,000 castles we saw along the way. We got lost several times because the Navigation on our car was confusing us. We also ended up paying more in tolls, which we honestly didn't care about because we were all so tired and we just wanted to get home. Elliot can now say that he has speeding tickets in THREE countries and I can say that I have an Italian Police officer friend.

All in all a fabulously fantastic weekend that was rounded off by a delicious cookout in the park with a bunch of my house mates.

Ohh what a life....

P.S.- I forgot to show you our car. Her name was Beth. Beth the BMW.

Note: the BMW was the CHEAPEST car that we could rent.

I think that my favorite part, you know, besides it being a BMW, was when Beth would give us a direction somewhere and Elliot would say, "Thanks, babe."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

-Insert title in French here-

I need to learn French. It sooo would have helped me this weekend when I was LOST in France.

Well. Not really lost. More like I had no flipping clue as to where I was going. Sri gave me a little phrase book for my birthday, which was awesome. But you know what I figured out? If you don't know French/any other language when using said phrase book, how are you supposed to understand what the person is saying to you?! Problem.

So I went to Lille, France to visit my awesome friend Meghan. J
ust so you know, Lille is in the Northeast cornerish of France, near the Belgian border. I took at train from Geneva, where the happiest Swiss person I've ever met stamped my Eurail pass for me. He literally kept saying, "You need a stamp-a!" in a sing-song voice. It was cracking me up. Thank you Swiss man, for making my day.

After a quick four hour train ride I was in Lille. The train station along was gorgeous! But Meghan was no where to be found. EEP! So I was like, "Ehh...she's just running late. No biggie!" Thirty minutes later... "Ok, I totally told her when I was a
rriving!" Begins wandering train station looking for someone who speaks English...can't find one...finds map....kinds a place on said map that said 'Librarie,' SCORE! I start heading out to the library but saw a sign for the tourism office and got excited. I mean, tourism offices SHOULD have people that speak English...wandered. First encountered a tourism office-went in. The guy spoke "A little bit" of English. Anyone that I asked if they spoke English replied with "A little bit." Ugh...I asked where the library was because HEL
LO FREE INTERNET! He was like, "What do you need a library for? Internet cafe." Bit me French dude. I don't want to pay for the Internet when I could get it for free at the library where all the pretty book are. Books calm me down.

I find the internet cafe. I send Meghan a facebook message. I go to pay. THEY DON'T TAKE CREDIT CARDS. So I go to an ATM and get some money and go back and pay. I then return to the train station. By now a little over an hour has passed. I just sat down and waited. I figured if she didn't find me by like 7 I would just go home. So I sat and read. All of a sudden I heard a voice I recognized. I looked up and there she was. NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IN MY LIFE.

We hugged. We cried. We freaked the heck out.

Apparently there are TWO train stations in Lille. Who knew?!

The rest of the weekend was just awesome! We went to dinner and talked and went to the bar (go figure) and I met her new friends. Who are now my friends and I can for real say that I have a British friend which is just about the coolest thing to ever happen to me in my life. We also went to an art museum, which was glorious! (I love my nerdy-ness)

Then travelling home Monday morning. Sunday night I noticed that my second train departed from a DIFFERENT train station in Paris. WHY?! Unfortunately for me the internet at Meghan's dorm was down so I couldn't look up directions. So I figured I would just ask at the station because, I mean, it's Paris. They would speak English in a major tourist spot like Paris, right?


I think I asked about twelve people if they spoke English. They all said no. When I finally learned where I was going, I got on the metro the wrong direction so I had to get off the train and get on another one. So I missed my train.


At least there was another train. That's all I'm happy about. I made it home. PHEW!

The rest of this week has been pretty good. I got to hang out with my new friend Olivia (the bartender) yesterday and it was awesome. She's such a sweetheart! She totally invited me to her house for dinner tomorrow. AHHH!!!! :D

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wave that rainbow flag!

I feel like I'm slacking at life right now. I don't do anything. I mean, I go to work and I go to class, but other than that I don't know what I do with my life. Thank the Lord I'm getting out of here this weekend, otherwise I would want to run away screaming like I was on fire. UGH.

By the way. I feel like 'UGH' is an excellent form of expression. I don't know why, it just is.

So instead of doing yet another lame post about absolutely nothing, I'm just going to contiune with this 30 Days of Truth thing that I should have had done, like, last October. I'm so lazy...

Views of Gay Marriage:

I say, let the people do what they want! Who the hell am I or anyone else for that matter to tell someone that they can or cannot get married?! I think that it's wrong that men and women of the gay persuasion aren't allowed to have the same marital status as the heteros of this world.

This is what I think about being gay:

No one would choose to be gay. Trust me. I've asked my friends that are gay. Why would anyone choose to have that hard of a life?? It would be like stabbing yourself in the hand every day of your life. That's just plain dumb. Life is honestly easier as a straight person. You aren't judged (as much) when you're straight. When you're gay you get weird looks and judgmental thoughts...people suck.

So, being gay is NOT a choice. Understand it. Love it. Own it.

Also. I believe in God and the whole he's perfect idea. I'm Catholic. Go with it. If God really is perfect, he wouldn't make people gay. That's why I think it's so wrong that religions condemn people for being gay. God made them. Are you saying God is wrong?! *GASP!* You terrible, terrible person...

I think that God wants people to be happy too. He wouldn't want them to be miserable for the way he made them and the fact that people judge and make them feel terrible for the way they are makes them that much worse. (I have no idea if that just made sense...I've reread it and I can't contemplate anything, so I'm sorry if I just killed my argument.)

Gay marriage=good. Support it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm a book worm!!

Reading and I are besties. I mean, I love books. They make my life. Like, for real.

Since I was a little tot one could find me snuggled up with some kind of book. Especially Berinstien Bears and the Boxcar children. LOVE!

But those didn't really have the impact on me as some other books that I've read. I know this post said A BOOK, but how can I choose JUST ONE?! It's just not I vote for many. Too bad if you don't like it. I'm a rebel.

1) The Harry Potter Series

For those of you that know me, I know you're shocked. Me? Like Harry Potter?? NO. WAY.

Seriously though, I love it. It renewed my love of reading when I hit those teenage years of, "Why should I read?!" Dear young self, reading is awesome. Don't be an idiot. Love, your twenty year old self. They are young adult novels for sure, but they are full of adventure and humor and hot! Plus that small dash of romance at the right age. Ahhh...J.K. Rowling, how I love thee...

2) The Zahir by Paulo Cohello

This is just.... I don't know how to describe it. It was just the right book at the right time. I think it's one of those that has to be read at a certain point in your life, otherwise it just won't have the same impact.

I had just gone through that massive shit-tastic breakup and it just made a lot of sense to me. The narrator of the story was suddenly and without warning left by his wife and it's his journey of self-discovery and understanding. It just helped me get through all the crap I was going through. It gave me a little ray of hope and told me that I too would get through how I was feeling and that I would find love again one day. *fingers crossed*

3) Give a Boy a Gun

This is a book I read when I think I was about twelve. It's about two boys who had been bullied so much they took to shooting many of their classmates at school out of pure anger. It was just a small little story, but it had a huge impact on me. No matter what, I'll always remember this story. How they boys felt. What they went through. How they terrorized, for just a few hours, those who had terrorized them for years...Thinking about it makes me want to a)read it again and b)gives me goosebumps. I love books that do that.

4) A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy-Soldier

Ok, I'm a nerd. I love autobiographies. This one reads like a fiction story though. Why you may ask? Because no one can possibly go through all the monumental crap that this kid did and come out on the other side as normal as he did. He's amazing and he inspired me to pursue my dream of helping those less fortunate turn out just like he did.

No one deserves to be forced into the military. In our country, people protest when they don't like what is happening. They protest when the government tries to force them to do something they don't like and they don't have to fear that they will be killed or tortured if they do that. That is not the case for this young boy from Sierra Leone. He is kidnapped and put into the army and begins to kill so he won't be killed. He is brainwashed and drugged. Somehow, he got out. He was rescued.

All I have to say is: Read this book if you know what's good for you.