Archive for November, 2009

Not Venice.

check it out.
i made things and i’d like to sell them.

music for today:
this was our ‘wake up’ song on tour.


Read Full Post »

Mk so maybe the promise of regular updates was a bit optimistic. BUT I barely have regular readers, so I really don’t feel that bad. Or bad at all.

I miss Europe. I miss travel life.
That’s my update for today.

Over the weekend got to see Ratatat in Austin. Incredible. Here, love them:

Read Full Post »

One day this will be the song of my life.
Not today, but one day. And many days after that.
Monsters of Folk, Right Place

Today I’m back with an old favorite though.
Modest Mouse, World At Large.

Still to come: Bologna and Venice.

Read Full Post »

Soggy Roman Town

Now, I’m really not one to complain. Sure, I like to throw in a little drama to spice up an anecdote or get a little sympathy, but there are very few things that genuinely upset me. Banana eating noises, people chewing on towels and zero tolerance tardy rules jump to mind. I was trying hard not to let myself add long bus rides and sleeping on the ground with no pillow to the list when a bigger problem arose. Or fell really. From the sky. Onto the ground and into my tent.

Arriving in Rome we were all fairly well rested thanks to a late breakfast a quickish ride from Florence. Headed into the city to see the sights in the evening and dinner near Piazza Navono. Back at the campsite Contiki organized a cross dressing party. This was a great reminder of why girls are the ones who wear the skirts, as guys just can’t control themselves from taking advantage of how easily they can flash unsuspecting others. I was standing back, slightly creeped out and confused, when my tentmate came rushing in soaking wet and sputtering the bad news: tent flood. Another girl from our tour had just slipped on the dance floor, which was covered in beer and rain and general party muck. Thinking about the rule of threes, I was fairly sure that I would be mauled by a wild rhino while walking back to check out the damage. Knowing there was really nothing I could do and unwilling to risk a rhino attack, a friend and I headed to the roof terrace to wait out the rain. When I finally did return to my soaked abode I found my camera swimming in the corner and one square foot of dry sleeping bag. Goodnight cruel world!

Magically my camera survived, I guess the Swiss Army really knows how to make camera cases. Used it extensively the next day as we explored Rome and the Vatican Museums. That night a few of us tried to go back into Rome for a pub crawl, but ended up drinking by some dumpsters a bit away from the campsite. Heaps more fun than it sounds, it was the best pub crawl that wasn’t. Walking to the bus station, we saw the rain coming lightpost by lightpost, which is one of my favorite things to see. Less enjoyable when I remember I left my sleeping bag hanging out to dry. Ah, well. Onward. Upon returning to camp and finding my sleeping bag was even wetter than it was previously, I made the executive decision I was not sleeping in my tent. At the campsite there are also cabins for rent, so I creeped around found an empty unlocked one and enjoyed a night in a bed in a shelter that was not dry and didn’t smell like rainboots after Bonnaroo.

Leaving Rome I almost forgot my sleeping bag and had to stop the bus and run back to grab it. Still soaking wet, I stuffed it in a trash bag and threw it under the bus. That’s a problem for Venice. Of more immediate concern was surviving the bus ride and not being the one camper who would be left behind in Bologna. To Venezia!

rome roof terrace

Roof terrace. One of my favorite places and pics from the tour.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps.

sleeping in rome

Taking a nap outside the Colloseum. Life is hard after your house floods.

Shhhhhhhh. No Photo. ..... Repeat.

columns in st peters

View of St. Peter's Square columns when not standing on the magical alignment disc.

Video of columns all in alignment.

Annnd in case this blog, my blog links, and whatever other sites you enjoy perusing on the interwebs don’t take up enough of your time, here’s a terrible game that you shouldn’t try if you have anything productive to do today. My sister introduced me to it and I am terrible. However, the trance like music keeps me going, chasing the dream that I can surpass my high score of 116 and someday reach and beat her alleged score of 1200. Hmph. At least I have tetris.

And my musical shares of the day: Passion Pit – just mentioning Bonnaroo makes me want to listen to the whole cd on repeat. Figured this one goes along with the sleepless theme of the post? Also check out Little Secrets, The Reeling and every other song by them.

Pretty Lights. Perfect music for.. anything. And extra cool because if you’re into it you can dl the whole album for free. Also, Pretty Lights will be in Austin November 11th, so that’s awesome.

Read Full Post »

Florence, take two.

After Nice it was back into Italy. Florence is probably one of my favorite cities, and I was excited to return. This time I got to experience Italian views on swimming, partying and the proper way to take care of a dog.

The first night there was a disco party at a local club that seemed to be exclusively for tourists. Granted, it was a Sunday night, but bus loads of Contiki kids were pretty much the only patrons. Us and the semi-creepy local men who knew that this was the place to witness drunken antics of 18-35s from around the world. Party on! Our group was getting into the spirit of things with a dance party on the way to the club. Somehow a wild dance move resulted in an unexpected mole removal from one of the guys on the bus. But he rocked a bandaid in a style that would make Nelly proud and after our free drinks it was all forgotten. Who has time to worry about such things when you need all your concentration for creating and perfecting dance moves that will be imitated and propagated across the country.

The next morning the big dance move was the zombie walk as we stumbled to breakfast and scarfed down hotdogs, a decision that later caused great confusion and regret. After that it was into town, where a sudden and intense rainstorm had us running for shelter and being chased by pancho salesmen. Got to eat at my favorite pizza place for the first of two times that day and passed time reading creative and mundane markings that covered the walls. Wandered through the markets, drooled over footware and leather things that I couldn’t afford, and lost track of time and the meeting place. We ended up running barefoot through the streets and jumped on the bus just in time.

Back into town later for a Tuscan dinner. Some man of some royal something came in to pick up food for his DOG. When they were leaving, he opened up his umbrella and used it to shelter the pampered pooch from a light mist that had started to fall. Just another day in the warped life of someone with too much money.

Those of us living in tents came back to wet everything as the rain had soaked the campground as well. Perhaps I laughed a little too hard at those whose tents and suitcases got wet because karma would quite forcibly even things out in soggy roman town.


Our campsite had a pool - cool. To swim you had to wear a swimcap - super cool. Another cool thing, the water. Freezing cool.

bus party

Just some typical night bus shenanigans. Although not every night included mole removal, dancing and general mayhem were a given.

florence disco

You don't need to speak Italian to understand free drink coupons and techno music.

piazza mich

View from Piazza Michaelangelo.

tuscan dinner

Tuscan dinner. Not pictured: Dog who also enjoys this establishment, but prefers take away so he doesn't have to eat with the riff raff who patronize it.

And an appropriate music choice: Florence and the Machine. Love it.

Read Full Post »