Monday, October 23, 2017

Milan

L'Elephant Bar - Happy Hour
Sorry, this took so long to post. It was actually supposed to go up last week, but my original post got deleted. Technically, Venice was my first stop in Italy, but I didn't stay long enough to see anything. I hopped off the plane and headed straight to the train station to take the train to Milan.

Milan was very pretty, but too me it was too much city for me. I've never really been into going to the city. I don't even like visiting San Francisco that much. So, if you want to know the best metropolitan city to visit i won't be able to tell you. I can tell you that Milan had less historical sights then every where else I went on my trip. I unfortunately missed the painting of the last summer. You had to book at least two weeks in advance. I can tell you the outside of the building was pretty. I did get to see the Castello Sforzesco and the main Cathedral in Milan.

Castello Sforzesco
My first night in Milan I went to dinner at L'Elephant Bar where my airbnb host told me they have a happy hour where you buy one drink and get your meal for free. I didn't get to pick my meal, but the food I did get, 3 tea sandwiches (ham and cheese I think), wings, focaccia, and cheese pizza were all delicious. I unfortunately don't remember what kind of cocktail I got. It was something I hadn't tried before and half the ingredients were in Italian.

After dinner, I went for a walk around Milan. The architecture was the most beautiful thing in the light of the moon and street lights. I remember being enamored with it all and I ended the night seeing the Cathedral in the beautiful night.

The next day I toured the Castello Sforzesco which has I think 5 museums: The Antique Furniture and Wooden sculpture museum, Applied Arts Collection, Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Art, Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Picture Gallery. I got to see the last painting Michelangelo worked on. The moat is the home of cats and there is also a garden that was turned into the park. The Castle was very pretty, but the different museums were a little hard to find. I think I only saw 3 of the museums.

Jeunesse Bar
I saw the Cathedral which also incorporated the museum of the Cathedral for an additional fee. The museum included the history of the Cathedral and many statues and pictures. The Cathedral was absolutely beautiful and one of the biggest churches I'd ever seen and the cathedral had countless caskets, but I'd soon learn the size of the church was pretty normal in the major cities and that caskets are very common in churches.

That night I went out for some drinks at the bar right near my airbnb called Jeunesse. I absolutely loved the bar. It was a neighborhood bar everyone I met there went to this bar all the time. The bartenders were so nice and the drinks were delicious. I never ordered a specific drink. I told him to surprise me and he asked what kind of alcohol I like and if I liked blackberries. Maurice (the bartender) made me two different kind of drinks and they were both amazing. Lastly, Bars in Milan can be open until 4. i was out all night and it was so fun, but not a good idea before a train ride.

All in All Milan was the best way to start my trip. It felt familiar like, a normal city, but was also hard in the fact that I was still getting used to seeing Italy every where and remembering which words meant what.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My Trip to Italy

I recently took a three week vacation to Italy. Well, mostly Italy. I spent two days (a day and a half?) in Germany for Oktoberfest. This trip included many firsts for me; my first time out of the country (The Canadian side of Niagara Falls doesn't count right?); my first solo trip; and my first long vacation, but I loved it. Like any experience, there were good and bad moments, but most of them were very good.

Duomo in Milan
I can't wait to share with you the places I visited; Milan, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Sorrento, Rome, Munich, and last but not least Venice. They were all beautiful, wonderful and amazing in their own right. I didn't see nearly everything, but i saw as much as I could have hoped for. My goals for the trip changed more times than I could count before and during the vacation.

I've learned so much on from my first big trip. I had sooo much to say, it was bursting out of my in Italy. Now, my whole body just wants to relax and I've already been back a week.

Just a quick list of things I notice about Italy:

      • The stereotypically roundabouts and the many crazy drivers is mostly true.
      • Almost everything can be served on/or with bread. If you're me and you love bread it's amazing. 
      • The type of cars we have in the U.S. are more common than I thought they would be. It's about 50/50 our style cars, and the Vespas and little Italian cars shown on TV.
      • Most Cafes have sandwiches, coffee, and a full bar.
      • Unlike Amtrak, the train prices in Italy fluctuate overtime.
      • Every major historical sight and transport station will also have Italian police/military there with semi-automatic rifles slung across their chest. The only time I've seen that in the U.S. was at the 9/11 museum. In Italy, I saw them everyday at almost every attraction. It took about a week to get used to. 

I'll be back soon with all my wonderful stories from my trip and what I thought of all the wonderful places I saw. For now, enjoy my first picture from Italy, that I took myself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Skydiving Adventures

So, you would think a skydiving adventure would involve exactly that, skydiving. However, it did the exact opposite. It involved driving to a skydiving location and then preceding to not go skydiving, it definitely was not for a lack of trying though.

As you may remember, my friend and I bought our Groupon coupons months ago because we planned on going during the summer and I planned on it being my graduation present to myself. Well.... it took forever to get ahold of the company meaning we weren't able to literally get ahold of them. So, we contacted Groupon and they had the company contact us.

We scheduled our appointment and then we went on to go skydiving. We even confirmed our appointment before driving up there. We were on the schedule and everything. I was beyond excited and I could not wait to go skydiving. However, we got there and we weren't on the schedule. We were beyond confused. At least, I was. So, we call the number where we got our reservation from and it was a different sky diving company. (I take zero blame because I never talked to the company before this).

The company Groupon had call us was 4 hours away from where we were. So, even if we wanted to sky dive that day it would of been impossible. But, it ended up being that we just hung out all day and had a really fun time. We stopped for some food and drinks and Chevy's which I realized I love. Like, its basically, just a better Chili's. (side note:My friends love Chili's if they loved Chevy's I would probably be so down.)

We started with a grande bulldog which was amazing. I got strawberry, it was delicious. I definitely recommend it. We also got like 3 bar bites for only $12. We got a quesadilla, boneless wings, and chili fries. The chili fries were to die for. I would get them again in a second. The wings were good, but I prefer bone in and the quesadilla was as amazing as all quesadillas are. Then we got large jack and cokes. Those were also really good.

Between all the food and drinks I was on the phone arguing with Groupon about the fact that they screwed up and were refusing to give us any compensation for it. All, they original said they could give us was our money back. When I finally got to talk to the manager which was after like 3 attempts of trying to talk to her. The best she could dow as give us our money back and a $15 credit. Which is still like nothing, but I guess at least we got something. Basically, I'm really not happy with Groupon right now, but by then I was less annoyed because we had food and drinks.

Then we started our hour long drive to my house. We did have to stop like halfway home because I really needed to pee. So, if you're my size and drink that much I definitely recommend not having to drive that far. I even went before I left. Before getting home we stopped at Lazy Dog. I had a sweet tea lemonade which I thought was gonna be like a long island and taste nothing like tea. No, it tasted everything like tea and it was not good. I definitely do not recommend it. Well... if you like tea it was probably good, but for people who hate tea definitely not for you.

And that was the end of my day, but I did go out later and have a really fun time in the city. And I didn't even go to the club. Despite the drama of that day it was definitely a success. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Saturday Night: Auction

Saturday night I really wanted to go to the city, but it ended up not paying out which actually worked out for the best because I had such a good time with my family at my nephews school auction. Plus, I got an unlimited drinks wristband. So, it was an open bar, well.... at least for me.

I started the night with wine (Chardonnay) and I switched to beer later. I love wine, but it gives me a horrible hangover the next day, but more on that later. I will tell you that I had enough drinks that for a normal bar would be over $15, but since they were only $2 each here, I definitely didn't spend all my money, but its ok because it was for a good cause.

I honestly, was a little worried it was going to be a little boring, but it definitely wasn't. There was some pretty cool stuff you could bid on too. I ended up winning? buying? A wine tasting for 6 in Livermore. I'm a little worried it might only be red wine, but it will still be super fun to do with my sisters when Amanda is home for Thanksgiving. I can't wait.

The auction had a buffet of a bunch of food in Concord, none of it was really memorable. They had lots of games you could play with tickets. My cousin ended up winning like all her money back in gift cards and prizes, it was kinda crazy.

They even had an adorable photo booth that was an actual camera. So, the pictures were crazy good. We could even get the single shots if we wanted. This one, I'm really happy about. Its also really nice that it was the biggest one on the page. 

All in all the auction was a nice fun night out with my sister and my cousin Kelly. I wish I could put it into words how much fun I had that night. It was just a really nice change of pace i think. Plus, I didn't even notice that I was probably the youngest person there. So, I definitely had a fun time.