Monday, June 29, 2009

Good Things #1: Garden Plants, Taste of Tacoma, Vicci Martinez

So in the last few days I've experienced some very very good things here in the wonderful northwest.

Good Thing: Garden Plants! Even though I got back to late to start my own I was able to go to a local market and get some vegetables for my new place. I have three types of cabbage, 7 tomato plants, green onions, cauliflower, rosemary, mint, basil, sage, parsely and then Sydney brought down her Kale plants and Tomatillos. What was once a boring tar garage roof is now a jungle of life! I guess this means a harvest party in the fall?

Good Thing: The TASTE OF TACOMA! I forgot how much fun it is to go to Point Defiance for this annual shindig. 45 food vendors and a bunch of homemade crafts mixed with the middle class diversity of Tacoma and amazing coverbands (excuse me tribute bands) to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Neil Diamond and more. Sitting with the fam on Friday and then again cruising with Sydney on Saturday I really got to enjoy the Taste of Tacoma. Put it on your calendar next year!

Good Thing: Vicci Martinez! This tiny rocker kicked so much ass at the Taste. She has come a long way in the last year and her band is fantastic, her stage presence is infectious and her positive quirky attitude is fun and very enjoyable. She just put out her newest and most professional album yet and I think you all would enjoy this Tacoma born and bred gem of a talent.

More good things to come, Northwest sunshine, fourth of july, and dare I say it...its almost festival time!!!!

What good things you all got going on out there?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Good Things

So I don't have a lot of time to really dive deep into the end of the trip. Sardegna (Sardinia) was very relaxed and the beaches were beautiful.

Barcelona was a highlight of the trip. Anca from Romania met us there and we absolutely had a blast being tourists around the city. The Ramblas was incredible, the Gaudi architecture mind boggling and inspiring and the, the gothic/barceloneta vast and intense with every step. I loved Barcelona.

Then a night in the airport, a day flight back, and in a couple short hours I was back in the airport with flowers waiting for Sydney to get back from hawaii. I got to meet her family briefly and spend time with her mom and grandma over lunch today. We spent all afternoon lying in the sun and just finally being together after all the time apart and waiting.

I am so happy right now I can't even describe it!

Tomorrow I'm going to take all my belongings to our new house (me and my brother hal). There we will work on making a new home. I really can't wait just to just spend time building a little Tacoma nest, doing chores, running errands and being a normal person for a while, no backpacks, no international cell phones, just a little life enjoying the good things

And that is what I'm going to call this blog from now on. I know its a big change, and I don't want you to be scared, but its time for a change and change is good.

This blog will be dedicated to sharing the good things in life, like long kisses, and live music, and places to visit and things to do and people who make it all worth while.

People like you.

So I'm back. And that is a good thing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sicily Is Magical

Just a short check in, After a frustrating and hard camping-car coastal excursion we finally made it somewhere that ruled so hard! Sicily baby, what a place, the people are extremely hospitable the beaches and towns are incredibly beautiful, and the food, oh the food! Pasta with seafood, mussels, clams, shrimp, squid I was in heaven.

On top of that we met some of the greatest souls and people along the way and decided to keep the FAMILY together. Jordan, Allison and Harmony. We laughed so hard, had so much fun, and really made friendships that will last a lifetime.

So in the end, after some time being pretty frustrated and unimpressed with Italy, Sicily changed everything. I am so glad we were flexible enough to change our trip to come here. Sardinia next after a 10 hour long ferry ride tonight.

8 days till home.

AND thank you SOOOOOO MUCH to all my students for continuing to read the blog and stay in touch, I wont ever forget you the rest of my life and when I get back to America I will get back in touch much better!

Alright, gotta go.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh Italy...

As not to offend, I am an ignorant non italian speaking american so my opinions are not really important.

Here are some things I have noticed about italy.

Restaurant equals pizzeria, they are interchangable
Italian road signs are place at the spot of the turn with no warning whatsoever
Italians drive in both lanes as if they were there own
Bar means that they simply serve beer not that you could go in or do anything but that they just serve alcohol
Pinstripes and pastels, big sunglasses and hair gel...and velco all seem to be the standard issue wear
Italians apparently do not use the internet because finding an internet stop is impossible and when we do its run by Indian people.
Yay bicycling teams on dangerous roads
There are police everywhere all over the place but they actually do not do anything at all ever.
Mopeds can carry two fat men with groceries and a baby if needed.
You can wear sunglasses indoors and at night in italy
the term Supermarket and Minimarket are more a general opinion of the owner and not really reflective of the amount of goods they may sell
But they are never open, the italian work days starts at 10 goes till 1pm then everything closes till 8 when it opens again till whenever.
Graffiti is freaking bad here, really bad.
Its okay to litter in italy, everyone does...
And when you say that you have CAMPING available that really means you will sell us a 10 by 10 plot of barren rock-dirt-shit for 20 euros, cold showers and not toilet paper.

But alas! there is Sicily. After 4 days slumming it in the tent eating nutella sandwiches and food from the supermarket we are living it up in Catania on the island in a 100 a night hotel with a jacuzzi. Major improvement. Its our last splurge before we go back to backpacks and tent slumming.

Thoughts of home always, italy is growing on me, palermo next, then sardinia. good times are being had by all.

Miss you red hot fire mama.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Romania and Roma yee ha

Ah Romania Motsu Mesc for the Suica, Gogosh, Piazzas and mamaleega! Where do I start? I cant really, its a mysterious newly post communist nation full of conflicting and emerging identity deeply rooted in history. The young people we met spoke great English, the food we ate was incredible and bus rides we took put the fear of death into us.

Romania was a hard week. Many trains, planes, buses, maxi taxis, hitchhiking, and cabs. It took a great host in Brett to show us around Vama Veche, Sibiu and Abrud. Brett continues to amaze me as a great friend and wonderful life long learner. I hope he knows that despite the bad weather in Sibiu which wasnt that bad our trip couldnt have been any more incredible. Never in my life did I think I would experience something like that and probably never will again.

Also thank you to the hosting ladies of the trip. Maria put us up for multiple days and shared her boyfriend Brett with us. She was sweet and smart and very patient. Also thank you to Anca and Catalina for the Monday nightfood and place to stay, mamaleega mama cook so good! We are forever in debt to all our hosts for the hospitality. More on this later.

(one day later) We did Rome efficiently today. Saw almost all the sights except the Sistene Chapel. I was blown away by how many different ruling societies had destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed again, and rebuilt again different monuments and buildings and churches in town. A down and out South African illegal tourguide gave us a cheap personal and amazing tour of some free unknown places including a underground excavation of a pre christ burial place under a church, he showed us the most amazing fruit roll pastery thing in the Jewish Ghetto, and got us super cheap coffee all the while giving some heartfelt and knowledgable history on the city.

Tomorrow we go to Pompeii where we might camp for next to no euros. The day after that we travel to Salerno to rent our midget mobile and drive the Amalfi Coast safely as possible and avoiding the feared city of Naples which everyone has told us not to drive through.

My opinion of Rome changed from annoyance and disgust for the garbage and graffiti which is unbelievably sad for a city with such a rich history, to an opinion of respect and understanding for a city that has been in constant change for over 2000 years. Tonight hopefully some good food and some nightlife and then a travel day tomorrow with a little pompeii thrown in.

I just cant wait to get to the coast, open road with my brother, and some italian opera blasting the speakers.

Hope all is well back home, miss you mom and dad, miss you randy and suzye and all the homies, and mostly I miss you my sydney baby!

Next update might be from ???????

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