Alright, so I did it again.

I’m what one might call a “moron.” The first time I was in London, I didn’t have a camera, because it broke while I was in Assisi a few weeks beforehand…so obviously, I only have stolen pictures from my travel buddy. This time, I just stupidly forgot my camera when we went into the city the first day. No pictures from that day. The second day (our last day) in London, I brought my camera and was super stoked to get it out. Then we spent hours running around Harrods and by the time we were outside and wandering, it was dark and we had about 2 hours to get dinner and head to the theatre. I did manage to get photos of one thing. The most important thing to see in London.

Big Ben? No.

Westminster Abbey? Definitely not.

Buckingham Palace? Hah. Yeah, right.

That’s right. You got it, smarty pants! The Peter Pan statue. Oh yes. We ventured into Kensington Gardens in the dark because I couldn’t stand to miss it a second time. I had to see it since I was in London again.

In all seriousness, though, it’s pretty cool. Trust.

Such fun detail, I think.

Despite seeing London’s most important statue, the best part of our few days in London was our time spent in the West End. We saw The Lion King, which was great. The costumes were really inventive and visually fabulous. We also saw Les Miserables. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. This was my second time seeing it (the first time was probably 10 years ago) and, I’m telling you, it is AMAZING! Everything about it is engaging. Absolutely worth your time and money. Plus, who doesn’t want to look at this iconic face on a huge scrim before the curtain rises?

I certainly did.

One Giant Italia Post

While I would have loved to consistently post while in Italy, the country is pretty crappy with internet so I’ll have to just write one grande post about my time there. It’ll probs be quite long, so I apologize if you get bored…feel free to not read it and just look at the pretty peektures. (WARNING: I’m probably not going to be very funny, so sorry for my nostalgia.)

Alright, so I arrived in Rome on Oct. 23rd in the late evening. Jillian and I kicked the journey off with dinner at L’insalata Ricca, which, if you don’t know, was my personal Sunday night meal while studying there two years ago. It was perfectly the same and still freaking delicious.

The next couple of days included many visits to Pascucci and the Hotel Tiziano. It was truly wonderful to be remembered by almost everyone and to see their reactions when we turned up unexpectedly. We had dinner with Daniel, one of the night workers at the Tiziano, on Tuesday night. Really sweet 🙂

Jillian and I went to see a lot of the places that we had each enjoyed over the course of our studies..
The bottom of the Spanish Steps, from the middle level of steps.

View of Castel Sant’Angelo from the Trastevere side of the Tiber.

Il Vaticano

The Pantheon! Easily my favorite Piazza.

Fountain at the base of the obelisk in front of the Pantheon.

Fountain in Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
On Thursday, we went to Firenze (Florence). I was pretty irritated that day, unfortunately. For example, this crazy waffle lady made me a dinky waffle with chocolate without me even asking for it and then tried to block me into her store until I paid 8 freaking euros for it. Obviously, I pushed my way out. She was messing with the wrong lady. Moron. However, Florence is lovely.
The duomo

Ghiberti’s Baptistry doors

We saw these art students doing some cool street drawings.

Then after returning to Roma, we did other cool things, such as the Borghese Gallery (which you can’t photograph but I’ll put the gardens/park part of it) and going up to the top of St. Peter’s.
Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Top of St. Peter’s

See the Pantheon right in the center?? Lovely.
We took a night walk around where we were staying and found out that it was a really cool artsy district. There were all sorts of painters, jewelers and abstract artists.

It was great that we were able to photograph them!
On Saturday, we went to the Orange Gardens and saw one of the most magnificent views of Rome! It was truly gorgeous.

The last photo was taken through a keyhole, not far from the Orange Gardens. Possibly one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen. The photo does pretty much no justice.
After that, Jill and I went to our old mythology professors house for drinks, which turned into dinner. It was so wonderful!  He was so great to talk to. Truly a supportive and loving person!
The last night of our trip, we went to the International Film Festival to see the indie film Like Crazy. It was so sad, but really well done. The story was very realistic and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good tear jerker. We finished the night with another round of L’insalata Ricca 🙂 
Ciao, Roma! Ci vediamo!

Rosenheim brothels are the best.

I’ve seen my fair share of brothels (from the outside, obviously..) given my travels, and let me tell you, this one takes the cake. Brothel’s usually have semi-normal names, like Big Sister (creepy) and Bunny Ranch (eww?). Let’s see what this Rosenheim brothel’s name is:

If that wasn’t enough, it’s displayed on the front of the building as well.

Definitely the most creative name, I’ve seen. Hah. I don’t know about you, but if I were looking for a brothel, I’d absolutely pick ❤ ASS as the place I would recklessly spend money and get gonorrhea. I’m not real sure what the name means exactly, but it’s just so inviting. Does it mean “I love ass” or “We have heart shaped asses?” Frankly, if could mean anything…and that’s what makes it so genius and hilarious.

Rome tomorrow–surely, they don’t have ❤ ASS brothels.

Travellers beware! The travel bug will bite.

http://vimeo.com/27246366

Okay, so Blogger won’t let me upload these videos because they aren’t my own/aren’t on youtube…BUT you should totally click on the link and watch them. The video that will come up is called “Move” and the other two (“Learn” and “Eat”) can be found on the right hand side. This little trilogy was created by Rick Mereki, Tim White, and Andrew Lees, while on an excursion to 11 different countries in 44 days.

I came across these videos on StumbleUpon.com yesterday. Usually, I will skip videos when I stumble on them, but I decided to watch “Move” when it popped up. I loved it so much, I watched the other two videos and ended up liking them even more than the first!

Seriously, I wish this could be my life! I mean, who doesn’t want to travel the world and make inspiring short films that document the trip? Simply perfect…not to mention, it just gets me all excited for the next month or so! Rome and the UK 🙂 What could be better? Mmmm nothing. Nothing could be better. Which is why I’m peeing my pants just thinking about it.

Some of the things I’m missing.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it is October 1st. Today came the realization that it is definitely Fall. And that’s when the nostalgia came knocking at my door.

My first sign that Autumn has arrived is always just a feeling. The sensation that all is calm in the world. Leaves are falling, children are playing, and American football is starting. This usually occurs to me on a mid to late September Sunday morning, driving through my neighborhood on a clear, breezy day (except, of course, when I was at school..there it would strike me as I walked to class in a light zip up jacket). When I parked my car in my driveway, I would stand and look up at the sky, thanking the universe for giving me such a pure sense of my surroundings. Walking into my house ensured the constant football games on TV all day, which is always a pleasure, and a true staple of Fall in America. The promise of a big family dinner later on that day was comforting. Now, I’m somewhere completely different, and it just isn’t the same. It is still nice, but I’m longing for that moment when all things fall perfectly into place (haha get it..”fall” into place).

I’m also missing midterms. I know how ridiculous that sounds. Who wants to study for hours on end, just to figure out you’ve studied all the wrong things and then have to pray for the best? Frankly, I do. And not because I love spending time reading the same thing over and over again, but because I love the feeling of knowing that I’m expanding my mind and thinking critically about important things. I also love the occasional study groups, because the discussions are so thought provoking and intelligent. Maybe it’s just because I have brilliant friends, but our conversations during those times never ceased to amaze me.

So I guess I will just have to keep my mind off of those things today, because I need to be happy, not sad, when going onto this fierce bowling competition with the church group tonight. It’s pretty important that I feel up to the task of kicking some ass. I’ve got to talk some serious game, here…because we all know I’m the world’s worst bowler.

Anyway–Here is Autumn in Rosenheim, as I sit on the back porch, reading Portia de Rossi’s Unbearable Lightness:

Oh, to be a laid back American..

Think of American stereotypes…along the lines of always on the go, hardworking, pressure to get things done in a relatively quick fashion…what are we missing that Germans have? Strict, by-the-book, scariness. If there’s one cultural thing I have noticed/been told about a million times, it’s that Germans are very rule oriented. I mean, it’s not like we have no rules in the US and everyone is just running around on crazy drug-induced, murderous rampages…but that’s kind of how we look in comparison to Germans. Seriously, on the metro into Munich the other day, a lady yelled at me because I had put my feet up on the chair next to Liz. I didn’t realize it was a big no-no here, but apparently it was. I’m not even sure of everything she said but I do know she was pretty pissed, and Mirjam ended up telling her that she was an embarrassment to other Germans..bahaha. Oh gosh. That was funny.

When I went to the park today, I noticed that no one was sitting in the grass. Everyone was sitting on a bench. So I sat on a bench too. I don’t need to be reprimanded for disturbing the growth of the grass, you know? But the grass was all that I wanted. I was so scared to sit on it that I waited like, an hour and a half before a couple of teens sat on there to move and sit under a tree. I needed to see Germans do it before I did. That could have been ugly, for all I know. Then, I was able to get some nice photos of this teeny tiny park. Enjoy 🙂