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.

Aye, we’re a wee bit piratey!

In case you thought otherwise, Scottish people are pirates. While visiting Jillian’s family in Kilmarnock, Scotland, I happened to notice the fabulous presence of the word, “aye,” in everyday speech. You don’t get much more piratey than that unless your pillaging. So I suppose they aren’t actually pirates, but they sure sound like them sometimes. Perhaps it was a regional thing, now that I think about it. I don’t recall hearing “aye” while in Edinburgh. Hmm.

Speaking of Edinburgh, it is a gorgeous city! A beautifully layered city in between the sea and untouched mountains. It was a truly amazing sight. Edinburgh is supposedly one of the most haunted cities in the world, and the most haunted city in Europe. I can’t say that I came across any ghosts while there, but I can definitely see why it would be considered so haunted. There are narrow passageways, called closes, all over the city that are lovely, but also somewhat chilling. I can easily imagine murders happening there, completely concealed from the general population. Not to mention the dungeons and streets where plague victims were sealed in, and consequently died, in an effort to stop the disease from spreading. Anyway, here are some photos:

Lovely little mountain/hill thing.

An example of the layers.

One of the closes.

Edinburgh Castle, one of the most haunted places in the world.

Another really cool thing about Edinburgh, is that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter there. More specifically, she wrote the series at The Elephant House, a tea and coffee shop wonderfully decorated with elephant art and chairs. As I’m sure you can imagine, like the rest of the world, I’m obsessed with Harry Potter. If I wouldn’t regret it later in life, I’d be a dumbass like Justin Timberlake in Friends with Benefits and get a lightening bolt tattooed on my hip. But I’m not an idiot (okay, so that’s up for debate…), so I’ll settle for owning all the books and films. Check out The Elephant House here: http://www.elephanthouse.biz

Self-explanatory.

How freaking cute is this??

Tea with J.K. Rowling. I wish.

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!

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.

Packity, packity, pack.

I hate packing. Mostly because its boring. But also because you think you’re going to get it all done in 5 minutes and it actually takes you hours. I’ve been packing slowly over the course of the past few days and I’m pretty much sick of it. Buuuuuuut I’m almost done so that is definitely good. I just need to do laundry and stick in the last minute essentials. But that can wait until tomorrow. Now, I’m doing all of this because I am leaving Amuuurica and going to Germany for the next 6 months or more. Like, tomorrow. Crazy? Maybe a little. Worth it? Absolutely. I’m gaining a few kids, some new pseudo-parents and hopefully some new friends 🙂 I do like kiddos and friends! I dunno about liking pseudo-parents so much, but I they seem pretty lovely so I’m sure they will be great too!

Anyway, I’m kicking this bitchin’ adventure off in one of my favorite European cities! I will be joining the lovely Jillian in Amsterdam, where she is doing some psychology intern stuff. I’m pretty excited about this because I have another friend, Alex, who lives there and will hopefully be able to hang out. And I’m excited because it’s effing awesome. Seriously, if you haven’t been, you need to go. Cuz its the shiz! For real-reals, this is what awaits me–

Gorgeous, eh? Perhaps, some of this too…like last time I was there…

Yep. Ridiculous. Wellll…back to packing. Talk to you in Amsterdam!