Walking through the front door of our house with tears in our eyes after a coach unfairly cut us from a sports team or a teacher treated us badly, my mom would always threaten that she was going to write him or her, a strongly worded…
Christmas is in the AIR! Everywhere I go the music is playing, the decorations are up and the people are out. People are shopping and enjoying the cool air. What I can’t believe is that Christmas is 20 days away and I haven’t done a single ounce of shopping. Not an ounce. So, to get me through the holiday season this year, to the time when I get to forget about work and spend time with my family, I am going to be playing this song on repeat and working on lots of partially finished design projects. I’ll also be enjoying sugar free cappuccinos with raw sugar on top on a regular basis.
um, im glad your life is great. are you going to be in LA for the holidays? i would love to see you. buy flowers or something.
yes please! I am going home on the 22nd or 23rd for about a week, when are you heading down here?? we should try to go to one of those super fancy flower markets. I want to hear all about your life baybay.
"MAAAL-TOE! MAAAL-TOE! MAAAL-TOE!" is what the crowd cheered repeatedly as the famous skateboarding competition, Street League, came to an end Saturday, September 11th in Ontario, CA. The skate comp was filled with pro skaters showing off their best tricks to win a grand $150,000 prize. I’ve been to my fair share of skate comps, but never have I been to one so professional and inspiring. Street League was hosted by Rob Dyrdek-known for the MTV shows Fantasy Factory and Rob & Big. The venue was transformed into an indoor skatepark filled with ledges, rails and stairs. Shane Malto and Chaz Ortiz skated neck and neck both with almost 100% consistency. In the end, Ortiz would be down by two points-only needing to land a trick that would hand him the win. He went for it and fell—a rush of friends and family fled Malto as it was made clear he had won the Ontario event. The next Street League will be held in Las Vegas on September 25th.
Skateboarding is an incredible sport that takes agility, strength and endurance. I was seriously impressed at the level of sportsmanship and professionalism that filled the Ontario Arena. All the skaters seemed to be friends but also knew that they were fighting for their paycheck-an amount that some of the wealthiest people make in a year of work was given to a single individual within a few hours. Here are some pictures from the event:
There are a couple good things about not having a job when you move to a new place—the main one being you get to explore. After an afternoon of sending out resumes I decided to jump in my car and head down to Santa Monica. Specifically the popular 3rd Street Promenade. I was in the mood for people watching and window shopping. My dad, being the artist that he is, always talks about “this amazing bookstore full of architecture and design books.” Being that I am interested in art and design and trust my father’s advice, I headed to Hennessey & Ingalls to check out the famous bookstore. Let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to go to this bookstore, it is a MUST. Hennessey & Ingalls has every art, photography, architecture, design book that you could ever want. And to my lovely surprise they even had a section designated to exhibition and space design. Which is rare because most bookstores don’t carry a lot of information on this specific subject merely because it’s not of the utmost popular demand. I even took a few pictures:
All of these books have something to do with art & design. I could spend hours in this store browsing through the rows and rows of information. It really is worth it to stop by Hennessey & Ingalls and shop around.
After writing a blog post almost every other day for the past two months, I can’t help but want to continue blogging. However, I won’t be traveling, instead I have moved down to LA, I am house sitting, job hunting, and discovering a new city—a new HUGE city. As a recent college grad, in a not-so-good economy, job hunting/finding is going to be tough. But, with new business cards and printed resumes, I’m headed in the right direction. I never intended to have a blog about my everyday encounters (just while traveling for the folks back home) so I am hoping to direct this blog to a more art, design, culture focus and post the things I am learning about in LA LA Land. For example, do not get in your car between the hours of 7:30-9:30 in the morning and 4-7 at night—the traffic is unbelievable (and that’s an understatement). Here we go! A new chapter full of opportunity.
After spending 12 days in Greece, island hoping from place to place, checking out ancient ruins, and eating some of the most delectable food while sinking our feet into the sand and healing with the deep turquoise ocean, our trip is sadly and excitingly coming to an end. We had an amazing time celebrating with my mom and aunt and indulging in the Greek culture. We took an old wooden sailboat to the volcanos and the hot springs that rest in the middle of the ocean. We hiked, swam, and dove off the boat—one of the highlights of the entire trip. It was incredibly cleansing and fun.
These past weeks have been so full of events, culture, people and memories that will be forever unforgettable. Molly and I learned how to travel with one another, found out each others ticks and tacks and have both discovered things about ourselves that would have never been uncovered without traveling half way across the world.
Traveling gives you a sense of what is in the world, how big yet at the same time how small the earth is, and it makes you realize what you can take from other cultures to improve your own life. From food to the way the toilets flush, traveling has given us a new perspective on life and helped us realize what is important, what’s worth stressing over and what you simply have to let go.
We arrived back in the US yesterday, our backpacks a little more full, our feet a little rough, and our minds full of hope with room for more adventures and more growth. We’re anticipating what it’s going to be like when we’re not spending every second together, getting each others advice on how much money we should carry with us today, or whether the wedged or flat sandals go better with a certain outfit—possible separation anxiety?
Either way, Molly and I have traveled for almost two months with each other-side by side, asking for directions, getting lost, staying in rundown hostels, being robbed…and on and on…either way we’ve made it, we did it, and most importantly we now have the confidence to know we can do it and will do it again.
Cinque terre is the greatest, most inspirational part of Italy that I’ve been to yet. It’s five cities/towns located on the coast of Italy that tell you so much by their appearance and the friendliness of the people that you can’t help but sink into the warm sand of the Mediterranean ocean and drink the white house wine. Molly and I hiked the five towns today, after a massive thunder and lightening storm yesterday, to find gelato, foccacia, and wine to cleanse our souls. The air here is utterly clean and joyful. The people are even more so.
Tonight we ate dinner, drank wine and stuck our feet in the water to rinse our bodies and turn the pages to a new chapter. This chapter, we agreed, will be full of new faces, renewed friendships, and lessons that are both hard and easy to learn and understand.
But, both of us are ready to take on this challenge. Tomorrow we leave for lucca to meet mollys parents and celebrate her 22nd birthday!
Montichiari is a little town south east of Milan. It’s located close to a beautiful lake, but more importantly is home to Molly’s cousin Galen and his girlfriend Ana. We arrived at the Desanzano station ready to take a break from the city life and enjoy a few days of completely different scenery. Galen and Ana showed us around the town and the surrounding areas. We were in the land of castles. Seriously every town has it’s own castle and it’s own church—even if they’re only five minutes apart. On the first day we saw frescos painted on the wall of a church that was built on top of an old roman ruin. It’s amazing to think about how long these structures have been around and even more interesting to think about the people who walked the halls, prayed and worshiped hundreds of years ago in the same exact spot where we were standing. That same night Galen and Ana took us, with their friend Gemello (which is his nickname, his real name is daniele), to a bar that overlooked the lake where we drank pierlo (a popular Italian drink that I have no idea how to spell) and after went out to a typical pizza dinner.
The following days we went to the lake, swam and sunbathed, and went to a sagra—which is similar to a county fair, but with much different italian food. We also took the train to Verona, a romantic little town full of shops and famous for Juliette’s, of Romeo and Juliette, house.
The best thing about staying with Galen was getting to know all of their friends and some how getting past the language barrier to communicate successfully. On our last night, Galen and Ana hosted a dinner, they made salmon, chicken curry, Greek salad, and tons of appetizers including hummus. The friends that came over had never tried hummus—but loved it so much, by the end of the night they were literally scooping it into their mouths by the spoonful. They called hummus, “salsa de chi chi,” which translates to something along the lines of chickpea salsa (or dip). We drank lots of wine and ate lots of delicious food. As we were getting ready to hit the hay, gemello asked in his broken English, “what’s your favorite thing about Italy?” I responded, “my favorite thing about Italy is the people…the people and the food.” he smiled and said, “perfect.”
Today, we are on the train to cinque terre, one of the places I’ve been dying to visit. It seems like just a few days ago we were getting onto a plane and cinque terre was soo far away. But here we are ready to enjoy the homemade pesto, famous wine, and hike the five cities that line the coast.
We were greeted by Michelle and gonzalo at the airport when we arrived in Barcelona. It is a modern airport, surrounded with glass and clean edges-a few steps up from the orly airport in Paris. They hugged and kissed our cheeks (once on each side, as the spanish tradition goes) and threw our bags in the back of the car to head towards the hostel that we splurged on. We were so excited to be in Barcelona. The air is hot, the sky blue and we were in a car for the first time in three weeks. For some reason that feeling was extremely comfortable. Michelle and gon took us to the place we were staying, when we got there it was in the epicenter of tourist hell-plus our room had no windows. We ate dinner, got dressed, and waited for Michelle to come back because the three of us wanted to catch up and get drinks. Michelle took us to the greatest little bar, where her and the bartender conversed about Argentina and we drank rum and lemons. After a great night of laughs and smiles we left to hit the hay and catch some z’s. On our way home a boy ran behind us and snatched michelle’s purse right out of her hands. It happened in slow-motion. But in seconds everything was gone. Her purse, id, credit cards and worst of all car keys. The next day Molly and I walked around Barcelona clutching our purses. It was horrible!
The following day we were invited to the costa brava with Michelle, one of her friends, Roman, has a beautiful house there. We arrived, made food and went out on the ocean in his boat. This was the first time I’ve ever been in the Mediterranean ocean. A deep crystal blue sea of water, it was so refreshing and relaxing. We stayed two nights there and on the first night stayed up until eight in the morning because that’s the usual time to go to bed. By the end of our stay we’d adapted to the late dinners, but continued to wake up early because there was so much we wanted to see.
Roman offered to let us stay at his house for this first two nights, and then when we told him we had a hotel booked for the rest of our stay, he said that was ridiculous and we should just stay with him and his family. And so we did. It was great! His parents were incredibly generous and the whole family sincerely wanted us to get a taste of the “Barecelonian” culture. One night roman took Molly and me to his favorite tapas restaurant in sarria, a little neighborhood, he ordered up a storm and we thoroughly indulged. Molly particularly liked one dish—she describes it as a mini rice hamburger. When we asked Michelle the name of it she had no idea what we were talking about. So, we went out to drinks with her friends and they had heard we had tapas and told us we ate mortilla. Michelle’s eyes widen and she began laughing hysterically. We had been tricked into basically eating fried blood. It was delicious at the time, especially according to Molly, but I don’t think we will be bringing that dish back to the states.
We saw lots of Gaudi, swam in the ocean, made great new friends—who even cooked us dinner last night and made us bracelets—and really got a taste of Barcelona. It’s a amazing city with so much to see and so much to do.
Now, we’ve just arrived at a little b&b in milan and are getting ready to go explore the streets of fashion.
As the journey unfolds we have learned so much about other lifestyles, cultures and about ourselves. It gets better and better everyday.