Wednesday, July 9, 2014

INTERRAIL

 photo 9c5e2874-b55d-425b-b90a-942b66ab5c30_zpsaeba7fde.jpg 22 days, 9 cities, 2 flights, many trains, one backpack. being in barcelona these past three days was intense, exhausting but worth all of the hours. this trip might kill my back, my feet, my brains and my all, but i cannot wait. im not bringing my computer with me, but i prescheduled a few posts, so don't leave. see you soon babes, g.

Monday, June 30, 2014

MILANO AND CINQUE TERRE AND PISA AND FLORENCE AND RIMINI AND ROME

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Last summer I went to Menorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean, with a group of nine childhood friends. (here is a video - and some photos one, two, three, four). We've known each other since we were three and we have studied, travelled and vacationed together many many times. We have gotten so used to each other and we have established some sort of vacation chemistry. We cook our own homemade dinners, clean up after ourselves, plan bus and train and ferry and plane tickets, manage the group budget..
This summer after my visit to Amsterdam and Berlin, I will be meeting them all in the Milan airport, I haven't seen them in a whole year, and together, we will tour Italy by train.
I love them so much and there is no one I would rather go on an expedition like this with. They are up for cheap sketchy youth hostels, 5am train rides, cold nights at the beach, grocery store meals - yet they are all like family and keep me safe and comfortable and happy.
And to make it all better, we are going to Italy. Italy my home. Italy my people. Italy my language. Italy my fresh burrata, my 500 minis, my afternoon gelato, my childhood books, my family's traditions.
I cannot contain my excitement.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A BEDROOM

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I knew exactly what I wanted my room to look like when we moved. I wanted white walls, white bed sheets, a big bed, very little visible clutter, a ridiculous amount of natural light and tiny splashes of color. I am so happy to say this tiny room of mine did just this. I refuse to put anything up on the walls because the two huge windows already look like two huge green paintings. Many people have commented on how white and empty it looks at first, but after a few seconds you get used to the peace, calm and zen it brings. In the morning, the light comes in through all sides and reflects on everything, making it one of the brightest, nicest rooms to wake up in.
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The bed is from my parent's old room and the drawers are from IKEA (it took me a whole day to build it, but it was worth it). The swimmers' painting is a gift from the Spanish side of the family, the lights I have had for ages, and the frames on the floor came from Barcelona (and should probably be updated). I keep my camera lens with the books and journals. The scented candle was sent to me by my friend from England. The blue rock is actually a piece of painted tile I found in a lake in Italy. The three little prints are postcards from the Joan Miró museum.
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what does your room look like?

ps. a bedroom part i.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

RIGHT NOW

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i was inspired by the beautiful of trees and hues to write this post.

Writing / on my big, white bed in my clean, white room.
Drinking / a vanilla chai drink we got at whole foods that i've become obsessed with.
Listening / a lot of radio and friends' cds in the car. this album at this exact moment.
Dreaming / about day trips, camping, rivers, lakes and the outdoors.
Inspired / by this amazing, mind blowing, incredible video.
Planning / these next two last weeks in dc. i love and will miss this city.
Practicing / yoga sculpt every day. i signed up at a gym for the entire month.
Mastering / the art of grilled panini making and healthy quick lunches.
Learning / ballroom dancing. i went to a class yesterday afternoon and learned to waltz.
Loving / my friends so much.
Reading / a hundred years of solitude by gabriel garcía márquez.
Reminiscing / so many random high school memories on late night drives.
Working / on being more productive.
Excited / to leave for barcelona, amsterdam, berlin, milan, florence, rimini, rome and the alps. and new orleans for college right after. ahhh!

What are you currently doing at this very moment in time?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

18

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i turned 18 yesterday.
i don't feel any different from how i felt last week, to be honest. but i have started to realize that now i am more and more in charge of my choices. from trips to parties to summers to friends. and i choose the small things too, such as what i eat, how often i do my laundry, when i go to sleep or to the gym. i've always been able to choose these, more or less, but now, more than ever, the responsibility to make good, healthy, ethical choices is mine and mine only.
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Friday, June 13, 2014

NYC

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I went to New York for a few days last weekend. I prepared and scheduled posts, but they didn't quite work out, whoops. So here is a post about the trip! I arrived there on thursday morning and left sunday night. I stayed at my aunt's in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. I visited a bunch of friends all over, but I also did a lot of reading books, drinking iced coffee and sitting in parks and walking my cousin Maia, the loveliest of all babies, around the neighborhood.
I visited the MOMA museum and explored Little Italy, Chinatown and Soho with Laura and Emily. I met up with a girl who will be going to my college next year for dinner and we got Shake Shack milkshakes. I made good progress in "A Hundred Years of Solitude" in various Brooklyn cafes and parks. We ordered Middle Eastern take out and watched "Les Intouchables". I met up with Noa and her friend and we discovered natural slush, great pad thai and authentic Italian gelato. I went to a brunch that Tulane University had organized in an incredible Tribeca apartment for us students to meet and mingle. It was a lovely, refreshing, productive trip!
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I love NYC, I love the people and friends and family I have there, I love the food, the vibes, the subway and the fast paced city life. I love brunch, Soho, the smell of foodtrucks and the crowds. As I sat in Washington Sq park, it felt extremely strange to think that I had the opportunity to go to NYU and decided on New Orleans instead. I know it was the right choice, but I also know I want to come back to this city at some point. I'll be more than a cheap bus ride away, but I will visit often, promise. For the high quality people watching, for hipster chocolates and for cousins Sam and Maia. photo nyc7_zpsb443f313.jpg photo nyc5_zps371346d4.jpg
What's your standpoint on NYC? Hate it? Love it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SKYPE

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A few weeks ago, my friend Belen had to have surgery. We used to be in the same synchronized swimming team when we were little, we volunteered at the Swimming World Championships together this summer and we go on many fro yo dates any time I am in barcelona. A bunch of girls from the world championships organized a surprise hospital visit and asked me to skype in.
I skipped health class and went into an apartment building across from school. I sat on the floor in the lobby and skyped in from my phone. Thinking that I was able to spend time with her, see her hospital room's gorgeous views of barcelona, say hello to her mom, and laugh with these girls from miiiiiles away basically brought me to tears.
So many will complain about technology, they will say it's making us loose human connections and turning us into less compassionate people. But you all, this Skype call was priceless.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

PROM

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It has already been a month since prom, the senior student dance at the end of high school that all Americans seem to obsess over. As much as I loved the dress hunt, the getting pretty, the "promposals", the drama, the logistics and talking about it nonstop for literally months, deep deep down, I always considered it pretty ridiculous. It was really fun and the whole thing definitely helped bring the senior class together, but it is not worth the stress everyone around me seemed to be putting into it.
I got my nails, hair and make up done with a bunch of different friend groups and then we all met up at someone's house to take the famous pictures with our guy dates and eat cheese and crackers (and other non-staining food items). Parents took pictures and made us stand and smile until our entire bodies hurt and our fancy heels sunk into the ground. I wore this mango dress (If anyone wants to invite me to a wedding/other fancy event, please do! I want to wear it again) and some really cheap heels, which I took off almost instantly.
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As any good DC city teen, we had our limo-party bus take us to the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial before going to the dance. We walked around barefoot, greeted tourists, danced on the steps of the memorial and hugged tons and tons of people from other groups who were also downtown before the dance. Oh DC, how I love you!
The prom itself, the dance at the hotel, was unexpectedly the most fun part, as you saw and interacted with everyone. Then we went to the after parties, splitting off into different groups, getting lost and eventually reconvening all together for a couple hours of sleep and breakfast.
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Did you go to prom? (Do you even have prom wherever you live?) How was it?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

AMSTERDAM AND BERLIN

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Remember how I wanted to do a trip around Europe with friends this summer? Well it was a little complex to figure out, but in the end I will be spending a few days in Amsterdam and a few days in Berlin with two friends at the beginning of July (and then Italy with eight of my insane friends from Barcelona).
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I've never been to Berlin and I've only been to Amsterdam once when I was nine, so I've been reading blogs and travel guides to find all the insider tips before we go. Emily, Katherine and I want to see art, parks, outdoor movies or concerts, cafes and beer gardens. We want to find out about bike rentals and small, local bookstores and try coffee everywhere! photo berlinamsterdam_zps9c19f1fe.jpg
Have you ever been? Any musts?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF OUR LIVES

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today is the first day of the rest of our lives. these past few weeks have had many many days that have felt like this. a lot of day trips and people and star gazing on the knoll and hikes that left my legs all scratched up and hours in our new home. and today's commencement celebration was especially emotional in that way. i just want to eat, sleep and hug people.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WEST VIRGINIA

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my friends bridget, anna and i went camping.
sunday night we met up at bridget's, grocery shopped and packed our bags. and then we watched frozen and ate the coconut cream pie we had just bought on our late night safeway store trip. we slept in her basement and then on monday we woke up at 4.30am, got bagels for breakfast and drove down to west virginia.
my friend's neighbors own this huge property in the middle of nowhere. this huge piece of land with woods, hills, fields, ponds and a river. it's huge huge huge and there is so much to explore. they share it with five other families but it's all vacation homes so we basically had it all to ourselves for free. 
they have a little house in the woods but it didnt have running water and we didn't want to have to use their rooms and bedsheets, etc so we set a tent on the knoll, this hill in the middle of the property. from this high field you can see all the mountains and woods around you, but no matter how far into the horizon you look there are no signs of human beings. the few roads and other houses in the area are all hidden by trees and hills. 
by 9am on monday we had set up camp and we were entranced by this place. we felt so free and relaxed and in contact with the world. there was no one to judge anything we did. it was the most liberating and relaxing trip i've ever taken.
we hiked around in our bikinis until we found the river. we crossed it, we swam in it, we sat by it. we went back up and had lunch, sun bathed and did yoga completely topless. we went back to the river and covered ourselves in riverbed mud and napped. we went back up to the knoll and took another nap, snacked and read. 
that evening we made a fire to roast our dinner. it was more complicated than expected because there were no matches in the house and we had to use a lighter, but thanks to anna's vast knowledge of survival skills, she remembered that feces work very well as fuel. so yea, we basically picked up some horse shit from the fields and lit it up under the firewood. and then roasted tofu hotdogs and marshmallows.
we sat around the fire eating watermelon until the fire died out, we watched the stars and talked about how dirty we were, covered in a thin layer of river mud and with dirt in our hands, feet and face.
this morning we lazily got up, cleaned up, packed, drove down the road into the tiny old-fashioned towns and had breakfast at a diner. it's so so strange how rural west virginia seems like a different country to us dc girls, but i think we handled it badassly well.

do you camp? are you an outdoorsy person? it's funny because i'm not, i'm such a metro-food truck-art exhibit kind of city person. but things like this make me feel so competent, happy and free.

Friday, May 23, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA

 photo nola2_zpsd69e30e9.jpgRight before spring break I went down to New Orleans, Louisiana with my mom to visit Tulane (which I ended up loving and committing to). All I had heard about NOLA was that the food was decadently unhealthy and that the parties were amazing. And that Mardi Gras and crawfests were a thing. But there was so much more! It is so different from the big Northeastern cities. It's beautiful and I am so excited that I'll get to spend four years there (it still has to sink in...)
The trees are huge and their branches and leaves cover the streets entirely, making the prettiest light. And many do have mardi gras beads all over them, it's not a myth. The houses are gorgeous and there are flowers e v e r y w h e r e. photo nola6_zps0fd26f3b.jpg photo nola1_zps1ae1aca3.jpg
Because it was just my mother and I we could do whatever we wanted, so we mostly spent our time eating, of course. We discovered District just by chance, and their donuts were basically from heaven. We walked down Magazine street for hours and walked into every shop and every cafe. I spent a night at Tulane with a host student and her and all of her friends basically convinced me to commit when they took me out for crêpes at 1am on a Sunday night. I belong there, right?
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That night we went down to the French Quarter and it was very touristy and disappointing at first. But then our precious lonely planet guide took us down a really sketchy alleyway and led us to this beautiful little street. We had dinner at the Green Goddess, this tiny hole in the wall where we had the best meal of our lives. The place is so small they made us sit in a table out in the tiny hallway, but everyone was so nice it was 100% worth it. The waiter recommended we visit Frenchman street for music and an art market afterwards. And we stopped for beignets at Café du Monde because it was almost a requirement, like an initiation ritual to the city.
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There is also a lot of poverty and many areas are not safe. Riding the bus through certain streets was extremely impacting. But one of the reasons I chose the university was because of its focus on community service and social outreach. In order to graduate everyone is required to fulfill certain volunteer requirements in and outside of class. New Orleans is very different from everywhere I've ever lived before in that way, and I cannot wait to see what it teaches me.