Friday, March 19, 2010

Wait, it's mid-March already?

Pardon the self indulgent blog, but I am starting to go into full on panic mode. I can't believe I only have 6 weeks left here! I feel like I have done absolutely nothing on my London bucket list, and though my many facebook albums beg to differ, I need to start getting my tourist on to the max (please say in the Target lady voice) if I am going to see everything I want before I have to return stateside.

Coming Attractions include:
Visits from Megan(s), Marissa, Kaylee, and Grace
Trips to Amsterdam, Germany, Vienna, and Nice
Madame Tussauds--they have a Zac Efron wax figure. How could I possibly pass that up.
Hampton Court--Elizabeth I is one of my top five historical figures, it is essential to make it to her household before I depart.
Abbey Road--I will get this picture and very possibly get hit by a car attempting it.
Finding someone from Harry Potter. From the lack of luck I've had so far, I think I might have to make a stop at Brown to see anyone connected to the film
Go see The Scottish Play at Shakespeare's Globe Theater
Portabello Road
Countless museums including the Tate Modern

And Lord knows what else. Tomorrow Anna, Mom and I are going to have high tea at Harrods, then spend the afternoon enjoying Knightsbridge and South Kensington. Then tomorrow night we have tickets to see Private Lives starring Kim Cattrall! I've had a great time having them here, I can't believe how quickly the week flew by; we even managed to fit in a day trip to Paris!

I am ready to conquer these next 6 weeks. I refuse to go back to the states with any unfulfilled wishes if I have the power to make it happen. Until then,


P.S. Just for good measure, here is my family standing in front of a monument. The journalist in me won't let this space be filled with gray!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not Real Life


Sorry to have taken so long to update this after returning from spring break, but to be completely honest, I didn't feel up to the task at hand. A description of a nine day trip to Greece and Italy is daunting for a writer, especially for an amateur such as myself. After several failed attempts to produce a comprehensive description of my holiday, I have come to the conclusion it is impossible. However, in the style of David Letterman, I offer you my Top 10 Best/Memorable Moments of Spring Break.

10.Almost getting kicked out of the Sistine Chapel. Turns out that when they say no pictures, they really mean no pictures. Though everyone in the chapel was sneaking pictures, Hillary and I were targeted and man handled. Hillary escaped, and I was forced to delete my pictures. However, I managed to also get some on my iPhone, so I'd like to send a big "sucks to suck" to the Sistine Chapel Guards. However, you would be proud of me, as I resisted the urge to yell, "IS THIS BECAUSE I AM PROTESTANT!!" and throw a fit. Instead, I meekly deleted my pictures and got the heck out of there.

9. Seeing ruins from the top of the Acropolis and proclaiming them, "some sort of ancient football field." That football field? Turns out it was all that remained of the Temple of Zeus. I'm surprised I wasn't struck down by lightening.

8. Almost not making it to the airport to catch our flight back to Athens from Mykonos. With all the taxis in Greece on strike, the manager of our hotel (big shout out to the Hotel Carbonaki, greatest hotel on Mykonos) said he would drive us to the airport the next day. However, in a classic mix up, he thought we meant 7:30 pm rather than 7:30 am. Luckily, a sign on the hotel door directed me to the house of the owner of the hotel, who of course, speaks no English. Le me now, if you will allow me, to quote myself, "I have been faithfully practicing my Greek, and can now speak with the proficiency of, oh let's say, a toddler. Which, I think will cause absolutely no problems." Needless to say, I was seconds away from complete freak out trying to communicate with him when I miraculously remembered the words for drive, car and airport. He understood, and we made our flight with 10 minutes to spare.

7. As previously mentioned, the taxis were on strike, so we had to get creative if we were going to get to the beach on Mykonos. Our solution? Rent ATVs. Though I was terrified, Lisa and I couldn't help but feel we were in a movie speeding around the streets of Mykonos yelling Opa! Add in a strange Greek boy who took us on a scenic drive to his villa overlooking the entire island and you have the plot for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3.

6. Ancient Ruins. Both Rome and Athens were incredible to behold, with the Acropolis and the Colosseum topping my list of architectural marvels. While I love US History, it is prepubescent compared to the marvels that the Greeks and Italians can claim for their own. My other favorite ruin is the Mouth of Truth, that you may remember from the Audrey Hepburn classic for which she won best actress at the Oscars, Roman Holiday.

5. Greek food. Lamb, lamb, and more lamb. Baklava. Spanikopita. Galakteboureko. Loukoumades. Saganaki. Pita. Tzatziki. Feta. Did I mention lamb? I have never eaten so much or so well in my entire life.

4. Dantes. By far the best meal we had in Italy. It may have been the six free bottles of wine, but I don't think I have ever eaten anything so exquisite as my spinach and ricotta tortellini with white truffle cream sauce. Pair great food with great conversation and you have a Bella Notte.

3. The David. Ok, I have officially turned into an art nerd. Seeing Michelangelo's David was one of the most breathtaking art viewing experiences I have ever had the privilege to take part in. It is displayed in an almost other worldly way, and overwhelms even the most jaded viewer. You weren't allowed to take pictures here either, but I had to get back on the horse after my Sistine Chapel ordeal.

2. Sitting on the steps of the Piazza del Michelangelo in Florence. As the six of us sat there, watching the sunset over the beautiful city, we all felt and thought the same thing. How lucky we were and how there is no way it was real life.

1. Greece. Ok, I realize this is sort of a cop out, but I enjoyed every moment in Greece 100%. Wandering around Mykonos never failed to thrill me, and the beauty was never ending. Speaking Greek also held a thrill for me, and as I said before, the food is to die for. Basically, I love Greece. I love the people, I love the food, I love the landscape. It is quite possibly the greatest country in the world.

So that's that. My Spring Break blog. It was an incredible nine days, and I can't do it justice. Anna and Mom arrive tomorrow, with MAM in tow two weeks later! I can't wait to show them around my city!!