Monday, April 26, 2010


Munich was definitely the best place I have visited. I'm not sure if it's because I was so excited to be there, since it's technically 'my home', or I just had that great of a time, but it was seriously so much fun. We got in Friday morning, went to a little restaurant for lunch - where I had awesome Jaegerschnizel and Beer. We went to the BMW Welt and museum and the Olympic Park, both of which were awesome! Two very cool Architectural pieces as well.

After a very long day, we headed over to the fairgrounds. Springfest is sort of like Octoberfest, except a lot smaller. It only uses a very small portion of the fairgrounds. It was still a blast, so I can only imagine what Octoberfest is like. I don't know how they do it, but Germans make the best beer in the world. I have tried a lot of different foods and alcohol over here and none of the beer tops theirs - or brats for that matter.

The next day we just walked the streets in Old Munich, going into cathedrals and such. The girls and I found some pretty epic outfits that we had to get for Springfest. Of course, for dinner time we went back to the fairgrounds, and I indulged in some more great food and beer.

It was really great to get out of Italy for a weekend. Every time I leave this country, I start to dislike it more and more. I think Italy is a great place for visiting, but honestly not to live. I think I've said it before, but it's just so backwards, not letting anything modern or new in. It's like they are stuck in Ancient Rome - or in Florence, stuck in Disney World. I definitely give them all the credit in the world for keeping all the cathedrals and such up and clean, but for goodness sakes classical buildings are not the best things in the world. It's time to branch out!

The next couple weeks I have a lot of school work to do. Next week, I have my Italian Art Final, my Sketching and Drawing portfolio is due, and also my Reading Cities sketchbook is due. The following week I have my final review for studio. Then, I'll be in London, Dublin, and Paris for a week - then home. This semester has gone wayyy too fast! For a little bit I was homesick, now I don't want to go home! If my friends and family could just come over here that would be awesome!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Perspective.

Milan gave me a completely different perspective of Italy. Finally modern buildings and modern design! Something I've appreciated so much in every other country but could never find it here. I know where it's hiding now. This trip was with my school. They take us there at this time of the year because it's when Milan hosts it's annual Design/Furniture Expo--freaking awesome. Probably the coolest thing that I've been too, and the coolest thing that Kent has suggested to us - which isn't really that hard to beat, we've been to some really stupid things.

The Expo is in a sweet building, first off. Secondly, it is a mile and a half long! There were 26 different show rooms - most dedicated to a specific area: kitchen, bathroom, furniture, even technology for the kitchen. We were able to get to all of these and the satellite area, where young designers have a showcase where they can do whatever they please with. There was definitely a lot that we didn't get to - we only had one day of about 6 hours to wander around. Because of this expo, there were a lot of people there and a lot of other things going on in the city. Apparently there was a music festival, but I never found it unfortunately.

The Milan Cathedral is absolutely amazing. So decorative, tall, and Gothic! There isn't another "Gothic" cathedral in Italy, because they didn't like the style - only "Italian Gothic" which is pretty much just pointed arches on a Renaissance building. It was cool to finally see one - it's one of my favorite styles of Architecture, so interesting. I plan on seeing the Notre Dame in Paris and some other Gothic cathedrals when I go after the semester is over. Unfortunately, though, I did not get to climb the cathedral. It was suggested to me, and I really wanted to, but lovely Kent did not give us time when it was open to get up there. Instead, they gave us free time on some back alley road where we couldn't find anything to do - can you tell I've been frustrated with this class? Good thing it was our last trip.

Other than the Design Expo and the Cathedral, we really didn't see much. The fortress and some other churches that you can see anywhere else in this country - as you can tell it gets old to see all of them over and over again...

I'm so pumped about this weekend. Tomorrow [in only a few hours at 3:30 am], I am headed to Munich, Germany for Springfest! You have no idea how much I've wanted to get to Germany. I have had this trip planned since the first week we got here. It is so late in the semester because this is when Springfest - a mini Octoberfest - is held there. I'm quite excited to drink some good German beer and eat some Weiner Schnizel and of course a Brat or too! We are planning on seeing the Olympic Park, and possibly the BMW Museum and Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The only thing that can hold me back now is the stupid volcano. All of the airports have been closed until yesterday because of the ash in the air. However, the started to fly again and nothing - that I have heard of - has crashed, so we should be okay. I've been joking with some friends about us getting stranded there, but in reality I kind of hope I do - I would not mind at all if I got stuck in Germany! But, I just hope that our plane doesn't go down - please say a few prayers for us! Oh, and by the way - since when did it get to be April 22nd?! Where are these days going! Before you know it I'm going to be home wishing I was back here - but definitely happy to be home at the same time. I'll keep you updated when I get back - if I do ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Well I'm supposed to be in Aachen, Germany this weekend - a trip that I was looking forward to so much, but instead I decided to stay in Florence, get a couple more days with my family, and catch up on school work and sleep. Lately, I've been very stressed out and slightly homesick. It is without a doubt that I miss my own bed - where outside there are no loud people walking the streets, no loud street cleaners in the middle of the night, and no tourists! I miss the convenience of home, and I am really starting to miss everyone - friends and family. My family definitely came at the right time in the semester. Of course at this point in the semester, I really have to focus on school work too. Getting ready to start final production for our final reviews. Stressful.

However, don't get me wrong because I really do love Florence - Italy - Europe. I just want to be home for a week or two. I know that the next 6/7 weeks are going to fly by, so I don't want to wish myself home. Especially because I'm definitely looking forward to my upcoming trips: next weekend in Milan [for school] and the following weekend in Munich [for Springfest]. Also, I'm staying an extra week in Europe after classes end to travel - I'm planning on going to Dublin, London, and Paris during this week.

Not really much to report other than that. Haven't done too much since the epic spring break. Just quality time with the family. I ended up going back to Pisa and Venice with them, along with a winery in Chianti - nothing like Chianti from the town of Chianti. Well, I'll keep everyone up-to-date after Milan, until then I'll dream I'm home.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three Cities, Three Continents, One Amazing Spring Break

Egypt was purely amazing. I absolutely loved every little bit of it. First, we went to Cairo where we saw the pyramids, of course, the sphinx, the Egyptian museum, and the old market. I am definitely so glad we went with a travel agent for this trip. After first arriving in Cairo I realized there was no way we would have been able to do it ourselves. The streets were absolutely crazy! No traffic laws really, everyone would drive whatever speed and wherever they wanted. There were lanes but no one really seemed to care or even notice they were there. Also, they had traffic lights but again no one seemed to care. I also saw a camel on the street - there's a first time for everything!

The pyramids were so cool to see in person. I have been wanting to see them for a really long time, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go. They were a lot wider than I expected, and also smaller in height. Still crazy! Our guide took us to a point where we could get a panorama of the pyramids [where the picture was taken] and from there we rode camels to the second pyramid - the Pyramid of Khafre. There we went inside to where the tomb was located. Pretty neat experience, a 3 x 3 - yes, feet - hallway, you pretty much had to crawl. The center was sooo hot! And very stale air - I couldn't breathe very well.

The Egyptian Museum was cool. Not a ton of stuff - everything was pretty repetitive. The mummy room and all of King Tut's treasures were cool though. The Old Market was definitely an experience. Everyone trying to get you to buy something.

Next was Sharm el Sheikh, soooooo relaxing! We did climb Mount Sinai - left our hotel at 11:00 pm to drive 3 hours into the desert to get to the base at St. Katherine's Monastery. From there we hiked the mountain - wasn't too high about 6,000 ft. There were so many people climbing it was crazy! I wish we could have taken our own time and went our own pace, but our guide kept stopping us to make sure we were all together. We summited at about 5 am just in time for sunrise. It was so beautiful! Totally worth staying up all night. After the sun rose we went back down, grabbed breakfast, and went inside St. Katherine's, where we got to see the infamous burning bush.

The next few days I just spent my time down by the beach. I went to Ras Mohammed - an Egyptian National Park - to go snorkeling, and also rented snorkeling gear at the hotel since there was a huge reef right off of our beach. The fish were so pretty and colorful. I saw about 5 large tuna fish, a barracuda, and a sting ray - along with a ton of other little fish.

Ending my trip in Egypt, I came back to Rome and met up with my family. We went to mass at the Vatican for Easter. It was kind of weird - they had the mass in the Piazza, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Of course, it rained the entire time mass was going on, which made it so cold and miserable. However, it was such an awesome experience! We were about ten rows back from the start of the stairs - which on top of the stairs was Pope Benedict XVI himself - pretty cool. To say the least, I think I was definitely holy that week, climbing the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments, seeing the first monastery, seeing the burning bush, and being in the Vatican listening to the Pope for Easter Mass.

Definitely a trip that I will never forget, and by far the best spring break ever! [Oh and by the way if you're still wondering why I have three cities, three continents, apparently the Sinai is in Asia, so I hit three continents in a week, pretty insane!]

This weekend I was supposed to be going to Aachen, Germany, but due to amount of studio work and being ridiculously stressed this week, I've decided I'm not going to go. It was a trip I was really looking forward to, but is probably not the best idea to go unfortunately. Thankfully by not going, I get to spend more time with my family though.