Monday, March 31, 2014


Ljubljana street
Ljubljana dragon
Ljubljana castle
I feel as if I owe myself and the entire world an apology for not visiting Ljubljana earlier. It seems like a slight somehow -- and perhaps even more so now that I've been there, but only for half a day. We took a day trip to Ljubljana from Trieste, spending the morning on a tour, eating lunch at an international school (and performing for them), and then wandering around the city in the hour or so that remained before we had to head back.

Ljubljana felt like home to me. It's like a smaller, more cheerful version of Vienna. The colors here seem slightly brighter and spring has already sprung with confidence. Their mascot is a dragon. I didn't want to leave!

We didn't really stay or eat in Ljubljana, so I can't recommend anything but the city itself, and say that I look forward to returning soon and spending much more time in Slovenia. We didn't make it up the hill to that castle, for starters, and I have heard too much about Bled to rest easy until I've seen it.

Friday, March 28, 2014


It has been ten years since I last visited Italy, and twelve year old Geneva did not come away with a very favorable impression. In the decade since, I never felt the urge to go back. And in truth, I wasn't all that excited about this trip when I found out that rather than Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, it would just be Italy, with a day trip to Slovenia.

Fortunately, we put Trieste on the itinerary, easily the Italian city I was most interested in visiting. I also soon realized that this trip would allow me to visit my favorite lingerie store. That's when I really got excited.

Anyway. Trieste is gorgeous. We took a tour that began with the Roman ruins, high up on the hill, and the old church, and proceeded down to the narrow roads around the center of town. There are some beautiful canals and wide open squares in Trieste -- apparently some of the biggest in the country -- and of course it is right on the water.

Trieste is less of a tourist attraction than a lot of towns, which makes it a nicer getaway (less expensive than others, too), but also means there is less for us visitors to do. It's an interesting blend of Austrian and Italian, and a good place to wander around and sample food. I would imagine that after two or three days here you might run out of things to occupy your time, however. I can personally recommend the Hotel Victoria Trieste. Unfortunately I don't remember the names of any restaurants, but it's hard to go wrong with food in Italy!

Look out for a post on Ljubljana next week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


1:The English Channel glowing as we left Gatwick. 2:The Swiss Alps (I miss them terribly). 3:Sunset over the Adriatic, taken through a bus window.

So I realize it's been almost two weeks since I last posted. I blame the first week of that on midterms and the second week on my trip to Italy!

This is just a teaser post, really. I have a lot of work and sleep to catch up on after being away for a week, and I'm not quite finished with it yet. I just thought I'd start the series off right with some of the photos I took with my iPhone on the journey from Boston to Heathrow, Heathrow to Gatwick, Gatwick to Venice, and Venice to Trieste, where we finally landed for the night. It was a beautiful, if exhausting day of travel.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

College Bucket List

College is hard in ways I never expected. I miss the days when I was so excited about being here, when my room felt like home, when I didn't itch to leave campus every weekend. Some of that isn't going to change, I will admit -- I know what it's like to live alone now, to have a full time job and a paycheck, to cook for myself -- but I know I will regret it if I don't live these last few months to the fullest extent possible.

So, I promise myself that I will go to the Book Mill again. I will get Herrell's a few more times. I will study out on the lawn as soon as possible. I will stop making excuses not to do things because I think it would be more fun to sit at home and watch Netflix. I will spend more time with my friends, because soon we will be spread all over the world.

One way or another, I know that what feels a little like purgatory today will seem more like paradise in a few months. And I never want to look back on my life with regrets.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Smith College Bulb Show

Every year, Smith College Botanic Garden holds two flower shows: one in the fall, dedicated to all things mum, and one in the spring, for those flowers that emerge from bulbs. They've been part of college tradition for years, and although I've seen the attendees parked all along Paradise Dr. for years, it was only during the spring of my senior year that I managed to make it myself. James was visiting for the weekend, so we dropped by on Sunday to see what the fuss was about.

Pictures don't do it justice -- the place was filled to the rafters. It was an explosion of color and beauty and smell. I've never been confined with thousands of blooming flowers in an enclosed space before, and there's no way to describe quite how lovely it is.

It's so hard to pick a favorite, although I was quite enamored with the little ones at the bottom here, that came in all shades of blue. I also loved the six-pointed white ones a little farther up -- so simple and delicate! James liked the bright yellow one, because it reminded him of "a jet engine burning out", which is typical of him, and therefore oddly endearing. I am awful with names, so I have no idea what any of them are called. If you do, please let me know in the comments!

I don't know if I will ever have the patience to cultivate a garden even a fraction as interesting as this one was, but I do know that I need more plants in my life. Eve the Ivy died mysteriously while I lived in Austria, and talk of replacing her with a bonsai tree never came to fruition. My new plan is to start an herb garden, and I hope to need one soon.

The Bulb Show runs through this Saturday with a suggested donation of $2 per person, and the Botanic Gardens are always worth a visit, flower show or otherwise.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tea for Two

Our foray through the historic district of New Paltz left us a little hungry, so we headed to the Village Tearoom for an afternoon snack. James grew up doing afternoon tea, and while I never really got into bitter beverages, tea or otherwise, I always appreciate pastries. We ordered Tea for Two and settled in. He selected the tea, and I made sure we got some clotted cream on the side.

We arrived a little late to get scones, so they served us a corn muffin and a few cinnamon sugar doughnut holes instead, both delicious enough for me to never feel the loss, especially since we still got the clotted cream. I must admit I kind of expected to get it mostly to myself (James and I may have once gotten into a fight at the grocery store over whether or not we should buy reduced fat cheese), but it turns out it has an unexpectedly strong pull on him, and I had to share. Don't interpret that as a complaint, however, because he's the one with permanent access to a kitchen at the moment, and this means that I will have homemade clotted cream sooner than anticipated!

For those poor people all over the world who have never experienced the miracle, I can only say that I am sorry, and it is nowhere near as disgusting as it sounds.

After a delicious and filling teatime, we wandered back through the town and rail trail at sunset, to drive back across the Hudson and return to reality. We loved New Paltz, though, and hope to spend at least one more day there before our time in the area is finished.