29 May 2009

She said

I'm a lazy blogger, I admit it. But:

The plans for France are moving slowly forward.

I say slowly because, for the first time, I have to "co-plan" a trip and the roommate works and does ...other things. Like school. She, however, gave me a list of about three things she wants to see in France, and the rest of the two weeks will be mine to drag her wherever I please. This may or may not include a vineyard for "ambience."

(Imagine that if I were reading this aloud, I would pause before each word enclosed in quotation marks and waggle my eyebrows or something. It makes reading more fun, I promise. The same also applies to children's stories.)

Less than three weeks before I embark upon my Second French Adventure, and I haven't yet finished blogging about the last one. Hmmm. Maybe I'll just post all the cool pictures and caption them, for my own benefit.

Because all posts are better with pictures, here's a pretty Frenchman laying cobblestones outside the catacombs.


15 May 2009

I need your help!

This is for all friends/followers/lurkers/blog-stumble-upon-ers who see this:

Please help. Aidez-moi.

In six short weeks, the roommate and I will




Part of the trip is planned. Part of the trip is not. This is where you come in. We have 16 delicious days to explore as much of the country as we can.

We need ideas!

If you have ever been to, or dream of going to France, let me know! We'll be starting and ending in Paris, and while there is a Loire Valley wedding to attend, we also intend to pay a visit to Provence and Côte d'Azur. France is a big country and while two Eurail passes may get us around it, we definitely want to experience the best it has to offer.

Outdo Elle. You know you want to.

P.S. We will be in PARIS for FASHION WEEK 2009 (haute couture fall/winter 2009/10)

Oui. We shall be vogue. Commentaire, s'il vous plaît.


12 May 2009

Destination: Boston, part deux

In March, I flew across the country for spring break. The highlights:

Well, this, obviously.

Ok, ok. Arrived in Boston on St. Patty's Day. I drank some Guinness. It seemed like the thing to do.

St. Patty's Day carnage

Met up with my good friend Mel for some good old-fashioned fun for a week. In Boston, we rely on the trusty MBTA to get us around, affectionately known as the T. When I first moved to Boston, my dad got a huge kick of singing the old Kingston Trio song "Charlie on the M.T.A." to me. Something about being "lost under the streets of Boston" and how I'd "never return." Not to be outdone, the Dropkick Murphys remixed/updated the song and came up with "Skinhead on the MBTA." Don't think my dad knows that version.

The next red line train is now arriving. Please stand clear of the doors...

Mel and her man took me to Davis Square (red line stop of the same name), which is really the convergence of six streets in downtown Somerville, so the term "square" is misleading and the area can be confusing. We hit up J.P. Licks for some delicious seasonal ice cream (apparently March is the month for flavoring everything like alcohol (stout, Irish coffee, Bailey's)... who knew?), then it was on to Magpie, an awesome quirky little store chock-full of offbeat stuff.

Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Only a little further down the street was possibly the coolest store in the existence of the world, Kickass Cupcakes (Mom, I didn't name the store, I'm just telling it like it is). Novelty cupcakes in flavors like Mojito and Cinnamon Chai Pecan Sticky are the kinds of food that we'll probably find in heaven. Nom.

As if the cupcakes weren't enough, they have awesome signs as well.

Kickass Cupcakes kick ass. Really.

We returned to downtown Boston and wandered through the Common and the Public Gardens, paying a visit to the duck statues. Robert McCloskey's children's books were family favorites as kids (and secretly still some of my mom's favorites), ergo a must-see. Plus the kiddies with accents and corduroy pants playing on them were pretty cute.

Make way for the duckling

The direction we didn't walk in

Mel and I spent an afternoon shopping on Beacon Hill, browsing all the antique stores, quirky little shops and delightful boutiques like the fabulous Koo de Kir to our hearts' content. We wrapped up our day's adventure by tossing bits of our Chinatown purple taro pastry to the ducks in the Charles River and eating Thai food at the King & I restaurant on Charles St.

With Mel on the Charles

Among other highlights from a weekend spent with Melanie were taro boba tea in Chinatown, the Trojan Cow in South Station (really), and a visit to some friends in Marshfield. I don't have pictures from that day, but it was a beautiful drive through hardwood forests with old stone boundary walls, cranberry bogs and harbor towns for a night of Cary Grant, old friends, and J's good cookin'.

Another day was spent with two other friends indulging in sushi and high-end shopping on Newbury Street. I also taught Jia (below) what a consignment store was. Haha.

On Newbury Street

I ♥ Boston.

Part 1

03 May 2009

Destination: Boston

Last month, I went to Boston for spring break. Therefore, we're taking a tiny break from visiting Paris to see Boston. This is a post in two parts: Then and Now.

Background: I went to college on Boston's south shore for a little over a year, before transferring back to my native Northwest. I played DIII soccer for the school (during which I experienced most of greater New England by chartered coach), became acquainted with Nor'easters, and made a trip to Hawaii and New Zealand with the biology department.

I love this city.


When my mom went to Boston with me for the very first time, in January 2006, we spent our free hours drinking in the city. We walked the Freedom Trail (that handy brick path that wends its way to all the important historical sites, like the Old North Church and really old burial grounds), chowed down on seafood, and shopped at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.

After getting familiar with the MBTA (this did not happen to me, obviously haha), it was all about the museums, the sports venues, and the Italian food in the North End.

  • I love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Back Bay. It's a huge house with an enclosed courtyard turned solarium, full of original art and correspondence from celebrities of centuries past.
  • The MFA rocks my world. Free admission for students always does! Besides the immense collection of perennial art, the changing exhibitions are awesome. I went to the Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006. I love clothes. I love style. I love seeing Valentino and Christian Dior and Viktor & Rolf creations up close.
  • Would have loved to spend more time in the Museum of Science. As it was, L (same one I visited in Paris) and I went to see Body Worlds 2. Amazing. Anatomy student heaven.
  • Visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History for a biology class assignment. While strolling through said museum, I noticed a photograph that looked oddly familiar. As it turned out, the subject was a gravel shed from my hometown, 3000+ miles away in Oregon. Small world. There were also a plethora of blown glass botanics and lots of taxidermy. Sweet.
Home at Harvard!

Big bones in the HMNH

  • Bypassing Fenway and TD Banknorth Garden (everyone knows those names) in favor of...
  • New England Revolution soccer! L and I met and bonded over this team. She had extra tickets, and I a quiet desperation to see them play. She drove all the way to my school to pick me up, and we rocked out to the Dropkick Murphys (locals gotta represent!) all the way out to Gillette Stadium and back. Our first game was in cold, pouring rain, but we sang our lungs out with the Midnight Riders and I bought my first MLS gear. Later on, we made banners urging the club to "Free Clint" and now I support his London club, Fulham FC. While I am a self-described equal opportunity footy enthusiast, it's so great having a local team.
Drenched, hypothermic, and exhilarated

Other highlights of my time in Boston include-
  • The Christmas tree lighting in Boston Commons. December 2006 was unseasonably warm... we went downtown in t-shirts and ate ice cream after the fireworks and the crowds dissipated. We met the nutcracker, Clara, and the Mouse King from the Boston Ballet.

I missed the chance to hit him with my shoe.

  • A soccer friend, Brittany, and I made an excursion to the New England Aquarium. The NEAQ is all right, but the one in Oregon is much better. While Boston's is a hot date spot, I can think of much more creative places to go. ;) The NEAQ does have a huge central tank with turtles and sharks and occasional SCUBA divers in it, which is awesome, as well as oversize penguins stalking the entrance.
Brittany and I getting some Pengzilla lovin'

That was three years ago. While I still love all these things about Boston, I've changed so much in my time back home. For example, I'm a big girl now! Tune in next time to see me write about my return trip and all the cool stuff I did this time. :)

Apologies for the lack of pictures. Many of my old Beantown photos were swallowed during the Great Computer Crash of 2007.

Part 2