arielarena: (Default)
Hung out in London with [ profile] nibbes and [ profile] klo_the_hobbit (at least when Klo wasn't working) and had a blast! Nicole and I saw HBP and wandered around the city. V. fun! Also got to see my Auntie and Uncle before heading to Canada to stay at their house (while they went off to Spain).

Got picked up at the Toronto airport by other Auntie and Gramma. We stopped by to get cousin Joanne and the four of us went to get food. Later Jo and I went to see The Proposal and hung out. Twas very nice. Next day the grandkids (so Jo, Daniel, Ricky and me--Kev was at a wedding) went to lunch with Gramma. After that I called up [ profile] melisus and we met up. We proceeded to walk all around Toronto, passed something being filmed and eventually made it to the Hard Rock Cafe. We talked about all things nerdy and awesome and came up with a brilliant bakery idea. I had a wonderful tome, Melis! We will definitely do it again (and if in NYC I will take you to my favorite food places because that's the kind of tour guide I am :D ). Got back and had tea with Jo and played with the doggies before bed (love the doggies!).

Today Gramma got me for the airport and I sat next to a nice guy who teaches history in Philly. Was going to wait for the parents to arrive but their plane was delayed so I got myself a cab and am now finally home, showered and relaxing.

Only thing that could make this perfect is if there were some freakin' food in this house. SHOPPING!

Overall I had a good time these six months. It's had it's ups and downs, of course, mainly when it came to NABA but it was worth it. I met great people (whom I hope to keep in touch with) and I'm pretty sure I got more outgoing. Did things I probably would not usually do (like going clubbing until 5 AM) so yay! So, worth it!
arielarena: (Default)
I think I'm going to save my stories from Family Vacation™ for multiple photo-posts. That way you can SEE what the hell I'm on about instead of just reading it...

Yesterday I arrived in London and promptly made my way to Cambridge where I met up with Aurore. Aurore and I became friends through Fallen, whom I met at the Scuola Leonardo in Milan. I met her when she visited Fallen (they were friends from Australia and have known each other for ages) and we got along famously. Aurore briefly stayed on my floor before heading to London to get a job. She currently lives outside of Cambridge with a family friend and seems to be having a wonderful time.

On the train to Cambridge I met a wonderful girl whom I believe is named Lara. We found that we had Italy in common--she had lived there at one time and while we both enjoyed the country we could not stay there forever. As she put it, the disorganization would drive her insane. That and the misogyny. She's from Ireland but also lived in England so her accent was kind of a mix of these three countries (Italy, Ireland and England). We talked about almost everything during the train ride, sadly cut off when a man sat next to her and we both had a mutual understanding that it would be rude to speak over him. She had lived in Cambridge when studying and was heading back to visit a friend. It was sort of like a homecoming to her. I hope to she emails me. I put her address in my bag somewhere but I'm not quite sure where right now...Anyway, one thing I'm really enjoying about traveling is meeting so many different people and getting potential pen pals and connections.

Lovely person that she is, Aurore met me at Cambridge so I wouldn't have to guess how to get to her place and most likely get horribly lost. We were going to hit up a pub for dinner but Helen, her roomie, put on some food instead and we went out to pick up some more alcohol. Helen has done everything. This woman has led an extremely interesting and entertaining life and is still exploring different things to do. I love it! She told us stories from her days working in film and that time she dated some famous guy's body double, the hiijinks they got into on set (also gossip--totally called the bj thing, by the way), explained very generally astrology to me and the Hindu calendar. Seriously, she, Matt (her friend), Aurore and I chatted for hours. When Matt left we put "Galaxy Quest" in because Aurore had not seen it. Love that movie. Helen headed up to bed and Aurore and I kept chatting for a bit, opting to sleep in late the next day and see how the flow took us.

Today we headed out to Cambridge and generally explored. She showed me the canal, the punters, a man singing in a rubbish bin (I have some video and photos) and introduced me to the brilliant creation that is the cookie-cupcake. I had never actually seen one but had heard of them. Pretty much the best thing ever. We walked through a fair that Cambridge has every year mostly to help parents keep their kids occupied during the summer. Wanna know what we saw there??? THE TARDIS! And Daleks!! And an Ood. K9 was there, too! MANY photos were taken.

We went through this tent thing and saw a woman selling cupcakes. She mentioned having issues with designing her site so I told her I knew how to do web design and she asked for my email. I have her card so Aurore and I can send her photos we took of her cupcakes, as well. Very nice woman. Apparently the US has much more in terms of cake decoration and for much less money than England. She and I fangirled over the blog Cupcakes Take The Cake and I told her about one of my favorite blogs, Bakerella. I do believe I've made a new friend.

I headed to London in the early evening and Kevin, the cousin I'm staying with, is awesome and picked me up at a tube station. I have since met his girlfriend, Jo, who is very nice and sweet, and gone to dinner. Now I'm enjoying some wifi.

Tomorrow I will hopefully meet up with [ profile] klothehobbit and [ profile] nibbes! OMG EXCITEMENT! And then I get to hang with [ profile] melisus in Toronto? SO COOL! I love our SBMB community.
arielarena: (Default)
Day after I last posted, met up with Nonee again. Ran into her friend on way back to flat and proceeded to chill with them until they headed back to Sienna.

Currently in Rome. Been here about three days (if you include arrival date). Flat is great except for lack of wifi, hence crappy internet cafe update. They don't even let you use your own laptops here.

Anyway, yesterday we did a walking tour of the city, today we did a walking tour of the Forum, Colloseum and brief stint at the Palpatine hills. Then lunch break and then tour of the Vatican. Very good guides. More detailed updates later.

Tomorrow: shopping.
arielarena: (Default)
This won't be nearly as exciting for non highschool friends.


And then we hugged and I joined her and her friends until 3, when we had reserved tickets to see the Uffizi. She leaves tomorrow to go back to her dig near Sienna but it was amazingly fantastic to see her!! She gave me a brief summary of what's been going on back home and we are definitely hanging out once she's back.

arielarena: (Default)
In Florence but spent most of day in car, then a bit in Faenza, then back in car in order to return to Florence. Family vacations...what can I say. Cannot wait to get home, almost six months away is too long (when in a country you aren't in love with, anyway).

Rome on the 6th, Venice the 10th and London the 11th (YAY! Hopefully cousin will let me crash on his couch gratis, hostel is more than I anticipated but it is wonderful). People in London, email me your numbers so I can contact you--internet is not consistent at the moment (since every place that SAYS they have wifi here doesn't actually HAVE wifi...they have the router and the modem but there is always some technical difficulty that means we have to use internet cafes rather than just chill in the otherwise sweet place we are staying at whilst using said wifi). Canada on 18th, home on the 20th. Oh, I cannot wait to be home.

We're thinking of doing a sort of 'Adri is finally home and it's about damn time too' party.
arielarena: (Default)
Had sudden urge to clean up LJ tags when I should probably be sleeping (it's 4:30 AM here). Tomorrow I ought to begin packing but I may just go for a walk instead. Having the entire apartment to myself might be kind of liberating but it's also strangely disconcerting. Not that I haven't been home alone before, I do it all the time...I'm just used to having roommates. Bright side, if I were so inclined, I could totally walk around the place nekkid. Sadly, I'm no exhibitionist. I'll settle for playing my music loudly and singing along without the fear that I'll be overheard. Except by the neighbors because these walls are quite thin. Let's not dwell on that tiny detail.

Oh, I didn't exactly mention the whole "I'm back in Milan" thing. The family arrives on the 25th and I've had a long talk with Dad about how he thinks Italy is crazy expensive (it is) and how he needs to still watch his weight while on vacation (hopefully not to the point where he makes me feel like a fatty for enjoying my goddamned pasta). I wonder what it's like living with him now that he's on this health kick. While I want him to be healthy, he'd better still be slightly squishy because I don't know if I can cope with a non-squishy dad. It would be like calling a muffin a cupcake when it is clearly a muffin (and vice-versa. Dear Scotland, When I ask for a cupcake, do not reply "a muffin?" because that just confuses my poor US born brain. Love, Adri). I don't care if that analogy doesn't make sense to you, it's almost 5 AM here so I don't have to make sense.

Currently unsure of what to do with myself. For the next few days I have absolutely no commitments. No school, no traveling, nada. I know that I should begin the whole packing/cleaning thing but that isn't something I plan to do all day-every day. Hoping to see some friends. Other than that...who knows? It's kind of liberating. Maybe I should go to the park, slowly burn because despite sunscreen I burn easily, like an Irishman.

And now it's time for...
Germany had the least smelly inhabitants. Paris stank like no other (the metro was hell) and Milan is somewhere between the two. I mean, Berlin is built on a freakin' swamp so obviously the city has its own scent but its people were pretty good when it came to actually using deodorant. Paris and Milan...not so much.
arielarena: (3D Glasses by frontyardninja)
That's right folks, I am in Paris. It's my...third? Yeah, third day here. I mean, if you count the day I arrived (which was actually in the evening). I have so far done two walking tours, the free one and the Montmatre one, checked out the Louvre (very big, hard to figure out how to get around and apparently you need to PROVE your age when buying a student ticket...I would have gotten in for FREE...or they would have still charged me because despite having an EU student ID my passport is most definitely USA and only EU students are free), the Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame (gotta say, all churches look pretty much the same from the inside), been up to the top of the Eiffel Tower (AT NIGHT), gone to Versailles and went on a tour of the palace, hung out for hours in the gardens and briefly strolled around in the town. And I still have one full day left.
Cut because I'm considerate like that )
Now I'm in the apartment. Got me some take away Chinese that was le suck. Cannot wait to get to London to get some good Chinese take away. I've been craving it for too long. The family is out and it sounds like a club outside. Unless the son is home and I don't realize that music is def. coming from outside. Anyway, no idea what I'll be up to tomorrow but I will be back in Milan on the 20th of June and the family comes on the 25th. Then July 11th I fly into London and stay there until the 18th. Then Canadialand and finally home on July 20th. Honestly, cannot wait. Travel is fun but I really miss my friends...and my bed...and Wawa. Never separate a tri-state area girl from her Wawa hoagies. It is not pretty.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful summer. Tell me, what have you been up to?
arielarena: (Default)
Last few days filled with apartment drama. Sandra seem to always be there when I'm going through some kind of bullshit like that (see: wallet stolen, also initial apartment hunt crap) and is always fabulous and helpful. Allowing me to use her internet and phone to call home was exactly what needed to happen and her family is wonderful for letting me do so. I think I may be going there for dinner tonight and want to bring a gift.

Sandra picked me up at 12 and we drove around Hamburg, her pointing stuff out along the way. We took a boat tour around the harbor, which ended up being in German so she translated briefly. Then we headed to this pig themed restaurant (sadly I don't think I took photos but picture a TGI Fridays and instead of the random stuff they pepper on the walls, picture only pig related stuff). She showed me Reeperbahn during the day and we went back later that night. I have now seen prostitutes, for real. And not just ladies but transvestites, too. And damn do they have good legs. So not fair. Before our night excursions, we went to her friend's house and hung out for a few hours. These guys were really nice and it made me miss my guy friends. There used to be so many around and now they're busy with girlfriends or have moved to New Jersey. I miss my lady friends, obviously, too. :-)

So, back to Reeperbahn. This area is where the clubs are. Not just clubs with drinking and dancing but also sex clubs and sexy dancin' clubs. And everything was so out in the open. The sex shops had all types of toys in the windows as well as photos that I doubt Playboy would show. Families walk by this place but it's so normal to them they don't notice. After being in the Puritanical US I will completely admit surprise when walking by these places and then seeing who else was around. In the US, places like this are hidden behind euphemism and often the most racy thing in the window is lingerie. Cultural differences, eh?

Sandra showed me the main streets before we entered this Irish pub/club. I love this place. There are three floors indoors and two or three different outdoors areas. Mainfloor does live music (the woman who sang last night was quite good), the level below is more party music. The bottom level is mainstream music. We mostly hung out on the main floor at a table near the bar. Lots of singing along and drinking took place. Good times. Her friends were great and talked to me in their limited English (which sounded pretty damn good, actually) and their grasp on the language did tend to slip a bit as they continued drinking.

Today I don't know what we're doing but I hope it doesn't rain. Really should have checked the weather before packing, did not bring the right type of clothing.
arielarena: (Default)
In Berlin, my last full day here. And I was going to do a walking tour of the awesome street art but it's raining like whoa so I opted to go back to the hostel (after spending a few hours walking in the rain anyway, just not on a tour) and change. Am waiting for the only warm sweater/jacket combo I have to dry a bit before round 2. Window shopping it is!

Yesterday was a free walking tour around the city with a very entertaining and informative guide, Natasha, from Scotland (called it as soon as she spoke!). I met a few cool people, a few girls who are here for the same amount of time as me but they are all together. I ended up kind of forcing my company upon a group of people who had met up the previous day but were all traveling alone (Andy, Jen and Ines). It was kind of awkward and I felt sort of bad about ruining their group dynamic. Oh well, it worked out. They left today anyway. And Jen has worked as a PA on pretty much every show I have ever watched. I was picking her brain about the entertainment business because I think I might want to do something in that. But, yknow, sort of related to my major. Or, PR, whichever...let's not think about this now.

We went to what is supposedly the best curry-wurst place in Berlin. It was damn good. Ines had been wanting curry-wurst for maybe two years so this was a realization of that dream. From there we decided to head to the best cake place in Berlin, detouring to the Jewish Museum on the way. Our detour ended up lasting 3 hours but that museum is HUGE and made so you have to go through it a specific way. Then there was cake.

Cake was pretty damn good, though I have had better. Despite our feet being dead from the 3.5 hour walking tour then our own trek to various places, we walked back to the hostel. I was hoping to meet up in the WomBar (Wombat Hostel + Bar = WomBar) but they weren't there when I went up and I was tired so sleep won over socializing.

And now I have opted to chill on the computers briefly (using overpriced internet) so those coats can dry and then more rain walking. In the only long sleeve shirt I brought with so hopefully that will be better.

Tomorrow I head to Hamburg and meet up with Sandra. On the 15th I'm off to Paris and will be staying with Mum's friend and his family. Then back to Milan. When I get back to Italy, it will be only one month until I am finally back home.

P.S. Canadian friends! It's official, I'm heading home via Toronto. [ profile] melisus, Star Trek, y/y?
arielarena: (3D Glasses by frontyardninja)
Last day of school. Made out with mostly three Bs (two of these grades came from teachers who barely looked at my work, which annoys me greatly), two As (photo and lettering) and one E. That last one is in art history where I completely failed the test. Let's keep in mind that I was taking it in a different language and hadn't studied the right material because I couldn't find the books (it is my fault that I didn't try the library but I'm pretty sure you can't actually take books OUT of it, just look at them on campus). I did study. I wrote a seven pages of notes and images. I just didn't look at the right stuff. Of course, the test was not what I was expecting either so I guess it's a mix of me not understanding when he told me what the test would be like and not going over the right information. But it's done and I need to stop dwelling. That, however, is hard because an E is essentially failing but with effort. So I tried but still did a shit job. If we had had a paper, I would have fucking aced that class (or at least gotten a B and I would have written it in English). So yeah, that whole dwelling thing...gotta get on not doing that.

In happy news, I am going to Madde's place tonight and we are going to play mini golf! It should be fun. I haven't played mini golf in ages. Mini golf and friends! Best way to end a school year.

More happy news, I leave for Berlin on Tuesday! Three days later, I head to Hamburg and on the 15th I go to Paris where I'm staying with a family friend. Then back to Milan to begin cleaning my apartment and packing before the family comes/I move out.

July 12th I'm going to London before heading home. Haven't booked a ticket home yet because I'm not sure if I want to go home on the 20th or a few days earlier. Thing is, in London I have friends and family and I adore the city. I could very well spend 8 days there and be happy. But I also want to get back Stateside soon. I'll figure that stuff out when I'm back from my trip.

Now, to eat lunch. I skipped dinner last night (unintentionally) because I was working on lettering. Almost finished season 10 of SG-1 whilst doing so (let's keep in mind I started watching middle of season 8 when I began working on this hardcore a few weeks ago).

And how are you all doing? I want stories!
arielarena: (Default)
Israel was fantastic. More )
Various Adventures )
Sleepover Part II )
And a big 'fuck you' to AlItalia )
Epilogue )
arielarena: (Default)
Photo post! So today I felt sick and after discussing it briefly with my roommate (Katarina) I opted to stay home today instead of going to class because I need to justify this sort of thing before I do it. Messaged one girl in my class to let her know I'd be MIA so it's all good. Feeling better now and I've decided to p--and here's where I rushed to the oven because I totally forgot about putting those mini-pizzas in the oven and I smelled burning, they're still edible

Anyway, back to what I was typing. I decided to post some Venice photos (and by some, I probably mean many) and, as usual, they're unedited.

Venice, a city slowly sinking into the ocean )

Pretty much, I love Venice. There were times when it smelled a bit but I don't care because I loved it anyway. I've decided to go back with my parents when they come to Italy. I was going to split from the family vacation and get to my own travels...not so much anymore. I will but two days later than originally planned. So yeah.

Tomorrow I head to Israel for Pesach. My roommate Annette and I may head over to the airport together since she also is going somewhere for the holidays. I plan to meet up with the Carols (and hopefully check out the nightlife in Tel Aviv with Lauren) and maybe even see Liora, one of Mum's friends (they've been friends FOREVER). I want to see Jerusalem and pick up some more Israeli chocolate spread (that shit is GOOD). Maybe get some other foods I can't find in Italy.

Tonight I'm headed to Fallen's for a very un-Passover-y dinner. As much as I like Freida and her family (the Chabad peeps in Italy) I still don't feel very comfortable in an Orthodox environment. I will, however, join them for Shabbat dinner again sometime soon.

Side note: I hate my neighbor's ridiculously loud alarm clock. Stop waking me up before I have to get up! And stop putting it on snooze, you douche.
arielarena: (Default)
-Nicole visited, it was awesome.
-Sadly it rained a lot when she was here.
-As soon as she left, I headed off to Venice.
-Venice is also awesome!
-We rented a REALLY GOOD apartment for the night that was only 20 euro per person so YAY!
-IchiP? You are going to LOVE me. Well, more so than you do already. No, I'm not telling why so wallow in suspense (that doesn't make sense but I'm going with it anyway) until I get back kthx!
-Got back a few minutes ago and made sammiches.
-Yay sammiches!

The End

Elaboration on events (such as Nicole Visit and Venice Trip) and pictures to come.
arielarena: (Default)
Only I would run into a co-worker (from the cricket club) in Florence at a museum looking at Michelangelo's David. Like Brian said, I am a magnet.


PHOTOS! Oh, so image heavy! )
arielarena: (Default)
In Florence hanging out with Bonnie. We are going to go get gelato soon and tomorrow there's a chocolate festival! Things are definitely looking up.
arielarena: (Default)
Brooklyn Trip Roundup: )

Quick question to the FList. Many people start separate journals when they go traveling and I'm a week away from being in Milan. Should I start a new journal (I'd either get a new LJ like Laura K did or a blogspot) or just continue on this one? I'm leaning towards getting a separate LJ account but I also like keeping things in one place...advice is appreciated.

Also, if any of you have traveled abroad for long periods of time, what did you bring with you and what do you wish you'd brought?
arielarena: (Brushes by nil-nyx)
Went with Mum to DC for this Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the Capitol. It was rather dull. Fun parts included some comments random politicians made. One compared his caucus (which wasn't but is?) to being like Prince as they keep changing their identity. Another guy talked about when he went on the Colbert Report and was super funny but they cut it out. The best was Charlie Rangel. He's Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee and is pretty damn hilarious! Wanted to give that guy a hug. Apart from those few moments, it was mostly a bunch of people in a room milling around and talking to each other about things I didn't know about.

In the beginning Mum and I were sitting on the side and this guy she had met recently came over. He's a young lawyer...and is rather attractive. Anyway, they were talking over me (I was sitting in between them) and I noticed the women across from us checking out Hot Lawyer. One said she wanted to talk to the "cute guy." Obviously, as soon as he and Mum were done talking, I told him that those chicks were TOTALLY checking him out. He was amused. Didn't see him again after we left that conversation to see who else was out and about. Still, Hot Lawyer is hot.

Went to food with Mum's friend who is a non-profits lobbyist. He gave me a brief history of Capitol Hill and promised to take me around should I make my way to DC again. Might take him up on it. Wanna come [ profile] jdcohen? We could have super amounts of fun!!!

Chill time now.
arielarena: (Colbert by lidi)
Our trip actually started (and ended) in Johannesburg. We stayed there for one night at a casino hotel that was fabulous. We started the vacation with a beer bucket and buffet dinner. A few hours in and I was literally falling asleep at the table. Jeff and Bri went off to play the slots (and lost R25- which is about $3.00) for a bit and I went to bed. The next day we had an amazing breakfast and things were looking good. Then we got the airport...

A Not-So-Good Start )
The Fun Begins )
Muizenberg )
Penguins, Cape Point and Hangouts )
Table Mountain, Caulk Bay and that scenic drive )
Adventures with Mum )
More, more, more )
arielarena: (Default)
We're back from SA now. The last week was kind of miserable weather-wise. Lots of rain, especially in Jo-burg. I lost any tan I may have gained in Cape Town once we got to the rainy bits. Another thing to make a poor end to my vacation, I misplaced my 2 GB photocard. It was full. I am lucky enough to have put the pictures on my father's laptop before it was lost so I still have the pictures but I'm so pissed at myself for losing a 2 GB card. At least I have the photos. And I think I may know where the card is. We had this driver/tour guide, Henry, for our Jo-burg part of the trip and I think it may be in his car still. He was awesome.

So right now I'm exhausted and not wanting to go into detail about the trip. I'm going to be uploading pictures onto facebook soon, too, and want to do storytime with photos. Overall, it was great. Mum and Dad intended this to be our last family trip to SA but after going we're now thinking we have to go back. I'm hoping for another trip in a few years.
arielarena: (Default)
In SA now. There was a bit of drama when we missed our flight to Cape Town but got the next one. Then we went to get our key to the most amazing place to stay ever, only to find out that there were two Lion's Head apartments and we'd accidentally booked for the other, crappier one. It's not awful. Just not nearly as posh and amazing. So we're here for eight days and then off on the Garden Route. It shall be nice. At least we have a place to stay, and it's clean and has everything we need. So we're good. Sadly, we don't have wifi so I'm in the bar near the apartment paying for this by the hour. Sweet. There may be more updates but very few and far between. Am keeping a sort of journal so I'll update more later.


arielarena: (Default)

December 2012

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