Saturday, August 28, 2010


The time has come: I'm off to Greece for a ten-day seminar and will arrive in Italy on the seventh of September! Please continue to follow along here throughout the fall and - if you feel so inclined - to write to me in Florence! I promise notes in return. ;]

C/O Syracuse University in Florence
Piazza Savonarola, 15
50132 Firenze

Oh boy! Guys, I am nervous, but I'm also very excited about this opportunity! Check back here for updates in about two weeks. Til then, take care! ♥

Friday, August 27, 2010

Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part seven.

Remember how I mentioned being spoiled over the past week? Apparently Mother Nature is aware of the fact I'm leaving and brought upon a massive heatwave, which was welcome after an uncharacteristically cool California summer. And while I'm a bit bitter that my body chose to fall victim to a cold a few days ago, I've also been spoiled in that I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with the people I love!

After our Jelly Belly experience on Monday morning, E and I enjoyed a Shut the Box and swimming excursion with my dear friends Matt and Anna that night. I have to comment that Anna and I were the victors of Shut the Box, much to the boys' chagrin. ;]

Tuesday was Dad Day. Way back in June, I purchased two tickets to the Giants versus Reds baseball game and presented them to my dad for Father's Day! We decided to make it into an all-day affair, so he took me up to the city for a late lunch and then we headed to the park to watch the players take Batting Practice while we chatted. The other perk? I wore a tanktop the entire duration of the game and never once reached for my sweater. In fact, when we left the park at eleven pm, it was still nearly eighty degrees - over twenty degrees warmer than usual. It was INSANELY amazing. Also amazing was the fact that the Giants won. Sixteen to five. No big deal. ;]

My dad and I before heading up to the city.

Sitting down to eat at Hillstone in San Francisco's Embarcadero neighborhood near North Beach.

The Hawaiian Ribeye with French fries. Too good!

Salmon and couscous.

Before the game!

A shot of the left field bleachers with the full moon in the skyyy.

My dad requested a photo of him saying "This is the best game ever!" Here are the results.

Around the time this was taken, it was probably thirteen to five. This is what happy fans look like!

Catching the last of the eighth inning from the center field line!

Wednesday was an equally awesome day: Mom Day! We got up and got mani-pedis, headed out to a delicious deli for lunch, and then caught "The Switch" at the movie theatre, which was all really fun because my mom's kind of amazing. That evening, the power went out, so we huddled around some candles and Ethan taught us to play Texas Hold 'Em. I rocked it, FYI. we played until PG&E said "Let there be light" again. Oh boy, I can't even begin to describe how much I will miss my family. AH!

Last night, Ethan took me out on a date to bid me adieu. We recreated our first date before heading out to watch "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," which was actually really entertaining. It was such a fun night!

I might have found my new favorite photo.

Ethan will be probably slay me for saying this, but he ended the night by performing a little song he wrote for me... Oh man. Let the sudden onslaught of tears begin, people! I'm leaving tomorrow!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part six.

On Monday, Audrey, Ethan and I spent some time in the happiest place on earth: the Jelly Belly Factory. Okay, so it's no Disneyland, but it's still a pretty happy place. Then again, what comprised of ninety percent corn syrup isn't?

The Jelly Belly headquarters are in the lovely and very random town of Fairfield, just over an hour and a half north of where we live. I don't even really enjoy jellybeans that much, but two words: free tours. They gave us an offer we couldn't refuse.

Pilot and co-pilot.

Our trusted backseat driver.

Somewhere on the interstate.

Fairfield, here we come!

We were greeted by this fantastically large replica of what we have since learned is called "Mr. Jelly Belly."

We made it!

Can you sense our glee?

Scenes of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" kept flashing through our heads.

Perks of the tour: free hats.

Lookin' good.

Of course, I couldn't leave without purchasing this over-priced miniature California filled with jellybeans. Please note the little heart sticker I added to mark my hometown. :P

You may remember that Ethan and I are Chick-Fil-A lovers. There are none where we live, but there is one located in Fairfield, of all places. When we heard Audrey had never tasted the wonder of Chick-Fil-A, we said, "That simply cannot be!" and rushed her over. I'll admit we talked it up a bit, but Audrey was a good sport and enjoyed it nonetheless. ;]

Edit: Just came across this gem on the Jelly Belly website...


Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part five.

I learned something useful recently: all you have to do is decide to go to another country for four months and people will suddenly spoil you. At least, that's how it's been for me. :P

Last Friday, my family sweetly took me out to a going away dinner. The food was wonderful, of course, but the company was better. We took some family photos before heading out...

Two men and a dog.

I think this was supposed to be a manly men photo. I don't know why Ethan looks like the Buddha cradling an invisible child.



Sibs and their sig-o's.

Again: what? :P

My loving mom and dad.

The best family ever.

With my grandmas!

The whole gang!

Since then, life has been filled with fun activities and festivities! I've been having a blast, but the days seem to be going so quickly - how on earth can it be true that I will be in Newark, New Jersey in two short days awaiting my flight to Rome? INSANITY!

On another note: this little blog has already received a lot of views, which hopefully indicates some new readers! I'm so pleased that you all will be following along as I embark on this crazy journey and hope you'll have some thoughts or suggestions to share in the future. ♥

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part four.

The night after our Giants excursion, Michelle, Dean, Ethan and I headed out to a nice dinner at this delicious little Mediterranean restaurant called Thea. Well, apparently Saturday night is belly dancer night because we were soon greeted by a little lady shaking her bodacious bod all around the dining room. How could she resist the chance to take on an equally bodacious dancer partner - by that, I mean Ethan. :P Please excuse these racy photos! ;]

It all started out innocently enough.

But then the lesson began.

Not sure how I feel about this...

The bow.

Should I be jealous? ;]

Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part three.

Triple date nights are kind of my family's speciality. My parents, Ethan and I, and Michelle and her boyfriend Dean all headed up to San Francisco to watch the Giants take on the Mets (and win, naturally). Anyway, it was all a surprise for Dean, made better by the fact that it just happened to be fireworks night at the park. :]

My bestie and me.
Dean, Mich, me and E.
A day in the life.
A dad and his daughters. :P
What better way to end the night than with an insanely awesome fireworks montage set off to music? Sort of kind of just a little amazing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Highlights of my summer in numerous parts: part two.

If you know me, you know I love The Beatles. There is seriously a Beatles song for every occasion and mood, so it's always easy listening. Lennon's great, but I love me some Paul McCartney. That's why attending the McCartney concert in San Francisco with my family this July was so bomb! Plus, the massive stage was set up inside the Giants' home stadium, AT&T Park, so I felt right at home. ;] I took copious amounts of photos, but here are a few of my faves.

We sat along the left field line, which looks far away, but was aided by those gigantic screens on either side of the stage. ;]

My mom, my brother and me.


After an hour and a half of waiting, we begin!


"Give Peace a Chance."

An insanely awesome rendition of "Live and Let Die" set to pyrotechnics and fireworks.

"Let it Be."

"Hey Jude."

An amazing performance + family bonding time + staying at a hotel within walking distance that enabled us to skip out on crazy parking lot traffic = perfect night.