The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friends in All the Right Places


*Inhale, Exhale* Italy. The cobblestone streets, the wobbly shutters falling out from flower lined windows, clothes lines with undershirts drying in the sun, the canals winking in the morning light. Yes, I went to Italy.

The first part of the trip started with a connecting flight from Copenhagen to Latvia. During my lay over I found that people from this Eastern European country sport bedazzled light wash jeans and painted eyebrows. I enjoyed some tomato zuppe while waiting for the next part of the trip.

After my connecting flight and a train from Milan, I arrived in Florence. As my friend Christine says, "I'm off, like a heard of turtles!" meaning it takes us far too long to get anywhere. 
Waiting for me at the train station (the second train station I got off at- with no phone and no italiano, that sure was fun to find out at 7:00 at night) was my friend, Phoebe. She adapted well to Italian life. The Italian boots she skipped over to me with certainly completed the image. 

And reunited at last. 

We went out on the town the first night- attempted to eat Mexican food at a restaurant, and were off to the club that the entire cast of Jersey Shore partied at the week before. I felt very celeb status. Until we got in. A guy flashed his abs at me and then proceeded to fist pump. Yes, Jersey Shore HAD become all too real of a reality in Florence. The Italian men were quite the contrast from the clean cut danes I was used to sharing metro benches with. These blonde haired, six-foot-something gentlemen read their paper and gave a nice smile. I would assume the social equivalent to this in Italy is an ass grab. No offense, Italians. 

The next day Phoebe and I went to the michelangelo piazza. Pretty huh?

It seems the week was full of michelangelo, girl time and gelato. 

Michel A. and I actually had a little moment. I was running through the Academia Museum looking for a bathroom (if I hadn't drank two water bottles earlier that morning I would be looking at the 'Jesus on a Cross' paintings from the 1300s but my bladder made it a little difficult) and finally after rushing though a corridor, I turn to my right and boom! 

There he was.

I didn't want to move, I just wanted to stare at him all day. It was David. David in perfectly sculpted marble that captured both grace and strength. David, triumphant from slaying Goliath, but humbly accepting the praise of God. David in 17 feet of marble was staring at me. I didn't have to pee anymore. I stared at him in awe. Circling him, again and again. Finding no imperfection, no flaw, just pure, beautiful art. 
To put things in perspective I usually fly through museums. I very tactfully rush to the famous paintings and latch on to elderly tour groups to eavesdrop on some knowledge, but here, I didn't care if he was famous or not, it was just that awesome, in the original sense of the word; I was in awe. 

David and I are engaged to be married next May, by the way, and you're all invited to the wedding. 

Michel A became a regular acquaintance in my time in Florence. I saw the original "Day and Night" and "Dawn and Dusk"statues. Standing in their shadows in their stone church home made me feel small, humble, and so young, so insignificant to their greatness. 

The same goes for "The Birth of Venus" and "The Rape of the Sabine Women". The scenery from the Uffizi main hall didn't hurt either. 

Overall, a beautiful trip, with a beautiful friend in a beautiful place. 

The meat and cheese platter beautifully complementing the palate!

Ciao Italy!

And hello again Copenhagen! But when I returned home, I saw Copenhagen in a new light, because I was seeing it again through the eyes of my friend. The very dear Christine Homan came to visit me. 

As the Americans know, the third Thursday of November is Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a time to be surrounded by family and loved ones. Therefore, I couldn't have been more thankful than to have my best friend be by my side through my first Thanksgiving away from home!

We made gluten free pecan pie (shamelessly snacking on the pecans all the while) and my Dad's famous mashed sweet potatoes (shamelessly eating half the pan) before we packed up and met up with the esteemed hostess Brittany to set up for the dinner. 
Look how domestic we both are! 
That turkey fed 35 people and was freaking delicious. 

The Indians even came to dinner! (they're actually German and Australian, but it was their first time!)
After Thanksgiving was said and done, Christine and I promptly got into the Christmas spirit. We got to hear carolers as they lit up the Christmas tree outside my Tietgen dorm, drank mulled wine at the Christmas markets and generally were cheery the whole weekend. 

We also went to a blues bar called "Mojo" and heard a great live band called "CPH Slim"

We got some gluten free goodies at the BEST gluten free bakery in town, Naturbageriet. The banana and carrot cake, the apple tart and the chocolate brownie ball all to be enjoyed at the "hygge" coffee shop "The Living Room" (if you recall a personal favorite) while it tirelessly misted outside. And get a look at that beautiful friend of mine!

A great weekend, getting in the Christmas spirit and seeing a friend whom is such a part of my family was a wonderful experience. 

I am thankful for my family, for my friends, for my loved ones, in Santa Cruz, Pleasanton, and Copenhagen. I am thankful for my health, but most importantly for this experience. I am also thankful for the heated tiles in my bathroom.

I am leaving to visit my family in Sweden on Thursday night and couldn't be more excited about it. Hope I get to see the northern lights when I'm up there! I wonder how you say "Friggin' pumped" in Swedish? Ostersund- here I come!

Vi ses! (meaning: "See ya!" in Danish)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Disclaimer: This post contains no adventures

Perhaps it might have been overkill trying to squeeze in so many adventures into one long blog post, such as the last one.

So, disclaimer, this blog post will contain no adventures.

I was looking at my return ticket and 6 weeks from today I will be on a plane home to California. So nostalgia set in with the fog this afternoon as I went back on the photos I took for myself over the past three months.

I've stated this before, but I have class one day a week. With my internship twice a week, I have about 4 full days off to do as I please and explore with day trips. There is so much I haven't discovered yet. A few days ago my friend came over to watch a movie on our flat screen and I was JUST taught how to turn it on and connect my computer to the television. The same night I also learned how to properly use the oven (I'll leave it up to your imagination to guess what I've been eating the past three months)

But what's been great about having this free time is the time to take a step back, to take it all in and appreciate it, and to reflect. Oh yes, I certainly have time for reflecting. When it isn't raining I go for runs in the national park just outside my house (apparently Copenhagen's urban planning committee is making sure that in 10 years from now every residence will be within a 15 min walk of a park. Pretty rad) But simply walking around these parks, there must be 50 of them just in the city, while listening to some tunes is the best solution.

Below is a picture of the botanical gardens in Copenhagen's Central University.
Also the best kind of music for garden walking is either The Shins or Simon and Garfunkle. 

But for walking like complete stud I suggest Ratatat 
(I dare you not to have some bounce in your step listening to that)

As I was going for these walks, I found I also had a thing for bridges...

And when going into churches I really can't get over how much I love organs
Above left is from the smaller part of West Minster Abbey in London. 
Above right is from Hamlet's Castle in Helsinor. 
Bottom Left is from the Frederickborg Castle. 
Bottom Right is from St. Fredericks Cathedral in Malmo Sweden. 

Today at the Natural History Museum in Denmark I found my new winter outfit! (The polar bear pants are all the rage with kids these days...)

I also am slowly but surely really digging the Danish food. Which isn't a Danish (har har har) Lots of fresh fish with potatoes, curried sauces, hard boiled eggs and rye bread (which I forgo) and of course the rol polse (the big red sausage sold on street corners) 

Their tea is seriously lacking though. I had my sweet mama send me some Chai and I blew threw two boxes in a little more than a month. I'm chilling with some peppermint but I just can't get groovy with lakrids flavored anything (black licorice- what. To them it's like candy- wait, it IS their candy- but to me and most of my sweet toothed American friends it's poison. My friend Kelley once spat it back out into her hand out of disgust when she was expecting peppermint gum)


Anyway, I told you, no adventure today, just some walks and museums. 

In upcoming news I'll be going to Italy in two weeks time to visit a Phoebe Sherman and I promise to come back with painted nails and some pictures. 

Hej, hej!