Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just your typical day in Venice

*** It's worth noting beforehand that I awoke at 4:30 am with no chance of falling back to sleep. With a dead phone and no company, I ended up sitting in the hostel lobby reading and then had to continue with the rest of this fine day on 4 hours of sleep ***

This was a fabulous Venetian day. We started the day with a trip to the beach. Heading to Lido was such a different experience than that of the main island of Venice. We saw cars and grass; both of which have no use in inner Venice. Most importantly, we got to the beach on a sweltering hot day. We sunbathed and took a dip in water much warmer than what we're used to in Lake Michigan. 

After a fine day of relaxing horizontally and socially (a delicacy not experienced in hostel shared rooms), we got back to the hostel and I took my daily nap. 

That evening, we searched the water for a decently priced gondola ride. When we heard that the trip would cost €100 split between Jamie, Aussie Nicole, and myself, we were discouraged. Just when we were about to give up, we found three more people looking to split a ride. They were fabulous and we finally got to see Venice as it's meant to be seen. 

The three of us ended the night with dinner and a walk through the square before calling it a night and making our way back to our island. 

Nicole taught us how to make an egg with oil and vinegar. Our new tradition. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Arrived! Day 1

After 15 hours of traveling to Venice, and accidentally taking the "scenic route" alone to the hostel... I MADE IT! I was thrilled to see Jamie's familiar face and finally get some rest. Unfortunately, it was 11am local time. I pushed myself for as long as I could, but ultimately was forced to lie down for a few hours and make up for my lack of sleep. I awoke ready to take on what was left of the day and we took to the main island to wander and eat dinner. I had one of the best meals of my entire flipping existence -- fresh caprese and four cheese gnocchi. Wowza. I highly recommend Ostaria al Garanghelo in Venezia. Just don't let them charge you for the bread you didn't ask for!! Then we had the most delicious mint gelato and made our way back to the hostel. Currently, we're making plans for our next destination and fighting off the food coma. 


This is ACTUALLY the view from our hostel. 

Layover: Philly

Delicious food at reading terminal market. Best layover of all time. Xoxo

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ciao, Chicago!

At the airport and ready to go! I was lucky to see my brother off to his bachelor party before I left. 

After a night of feverishly packing and re-packing and a very long angry phone call to Verizon, I'm now here and ready to go!!

Can't wait. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

sulla mia strada

Thanks, Google Translate!

In 12 hours, I'll be on my way to Italia! First stop: Philly for a 5 hour layover and lunch with babe (Alex).

On our last night in London

Then straight to Venice to meet Ja'mie.

Destination Goals:

  1. Venice 
  2. The Dolomites
  3. Tuscany
  4. Abruzzo 
  5. Orvieto
  6. Tivoli
  7. Rome
Reach Destination: Amalfi Coast

I'll try and update as often as I can while away. But if I don't, this is Jamie's blog. Actually, check it out either way. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 40: What will I miss about London?

Not much really happened today... I went to Camden with Jamilla but have no news about it or pictures to share. So instead, I'll write a post that I have been waiting to do for a fews now.

Here are a few things that I will miss about London:
Wow... most of this is going to be food related.

  • This Cereal -- Not only is the brand environmentally friendly and supportive of local farming, but IT'S THE MOST DELICIOUS CEREAL OF ALL TIME. 

  • The Tube -- Need to get anywhere? Take the tube! With a weekly pass to zones 1 & 2, it was a breeze exploring London. It is easy to use and stress free. ** I won't miss the fact that it is always swelteringly hot in the stations during the summer. It was hot to the point of repetitive announcements advising those feeling ill to wait until the train stops to seek help. ** 

  • Londonisms -- What is the London backdrop? Red telephone booths, white townhouses, top-up stations, underground maps, Eat., weird teeth, men in short-shorts, women with total disregard for covering up underwear lines and bra straps, Big Ben, and so much more. It is a tone. It is a way of life. 


  • Krispy Kreme Availability -- Every grocery store sells Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It was really important to me. 


  • Well-Dressed Men -- The women's fashion in London was disappointing at best. I was impressed by a few posh women but it ended up looking more like an episode of "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" on some nights. The men, however, were spiffy. On any given night at any of the bars we went to, almost half of the men would be wearing suits if not nice jeans and oxfords. I wasn't upset about it.

  • Fresh Mango To-Go-Go -- Who knew that the place to go for fresh mango would be take-away food shops in London? My favorite was Pret A Manger. Mango in the states just isn't worth it. I would stay in London just to have delicious mango.

  • Healthy(er) Food -- With a lack of high fructose corn syrup and a demand for natural food, London has a wide selection of healthy food options. The fastest fast food is takeaway sandwiches from Eat., Pret, and every grocery store (one or more on every block). Companies take pride in their natural ingredients and the drinks are more refreshing because of it. This juice is a great example:

  • Marked and Widely Available Vegetarian Food -- Because of the diverse population in London, the city has done a lot to accommodate for the eating habits of different cultures. This has led to a demand for marked vegetarian food and vegetarian options in all establishments. For someone like me, that is a rare sight. I passed by vegetarian restaurants, ate indian food, and most importantly knew what was in my food. Gotta love seeing "Suitable for Veggies" written on my food!

  • My Friends -- Can't say more than that right now. I don't really feel like sobbing for hours.

I'll update this list later. I'm getting tired. But for now, I guess I will miss London's food. Who woulda' thought?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fresh fish and a cheap cuppa? That'd be lovely!

We finally got around to an afternoon tea. Quite the tradition! People's stories of their teas were getting frustrating and we just had to go. How lovely it was! We went to the Hilton Hyde Park for a affordable tea experience. We were greeted by eclairs, scones, yogurt shots, finger sandwiches, fruit tarts, strawberries, creme, and loads of tea. All I can say is YUM. I never knew a tea party could be so filling but by the end we were slumped back in our chairs no longer looking like the ladies we were pretending to be. It was a blast to dress up and play the part of polite and socially appropriate women. This was our training:

And the cast:

We had planned early on to follow-up our tea with a trip to Camden to get fish pedicures but it was too late. By pure chance, our tea was next door to a spa that offered fish pedicures for a great price! It was the weirdest feeling. But totally worth it.