Posts Tagged ‘italy’

Zantastic

May 7th, 2009

What an odd and interesting day  Let me take you back a few weeks though.  

I have been losing weight for the past few months because:

  1. since my knee injury, exercise is very limited.  I went from exercising 6 days a week down to zero.
  2. the last time Juan visited, we did some heavy eating and drinking.
  3. I wanted to create room for pasta and pizza and wine while I was in Italy.

I dropped around 20 pounds back to the weight I should be.  Sometimes I used good ad healthy methods for these results, and sometimes I used poor methods- like cramming for a test and pulling all nighters–you may get results, but you may suffer for it.

The last part of this week I have been increasing my food intake to prepare my body for heavier loads and the last few meals, my body would get a little sick to my stomach.

After I ate Monday night, my stomach started having problems and feeling very nauseous.  Come Wednesday I almost called in sick to work, and suffered through the day.  I was hoping it was just stress from the trip.

Today, Thursday, I woke up at 4:15 am for my trip.  Before Robbie even arrived to pick me up, I had already knelt at the toilet in anticipation of vomit.  Fortunately it never came.  But it got really bad.  A few ties I had to run upstairs.  I was nervous that they wouldn’t let me o the flight or worse, that I would be throwing up on the plane.

I had Robbie make na emergency stop at CVS where I picked up a sprite, some zantac and CVS brand antacid.

Just in the nick of time the zantac kicked in.  I was partially hoping Robbie would drive slower as I wasn’t ready to be at the airport feeling this way.  

I could feel the drug kicking in just before I got there an shortly after I did arrive, I felt a lot better.

But it wasn’t gone.  It went through waves all day.  Some moments it felt like the ed of the world and at other times I felt great.  

I went thru the maximum allowed for a 24 hour period.  I’m hoping I survive this flight I am on at the moment.  

My flight this morning from San Diego to New Yor, I was in seat B.  I had booked each flight to have the aisle seat as I sometimes get a little claustrophobic in tight spaces.

So I get on this flight and to my surprise I am in the middle seat.  Fantastic.  But this turned out to be one of the couple of good surprises of the day.  It happened to be the exit row and the leg room was massive for a coach seat.  i sat there, stretched my legs, happy.

I was kept company by a few Cd’s I bought on itunes last night.  A couple by the one-man band Coconut Records; the solo live album by Noel Gallagher of Oasis; some Sia; and a little Jason Mraz

I arrived in New York and although I had a very short layover, I went and hung out in the American Airlines Admiral Club.  That club is so worth it.  You enter the room and it has abn aura ofpeace and calm,m not like the chaos and fear of the terminal.  

I got myself a ginger ale and took another zantac.  I was feeling nauseous and was hoping for calm to envelop y insides (sadly as I sit on the plane and write this, that hasn’t happened).

(another thing, as I sit here, the lady in front of mejust let the stewardess have it).

I board my flight to Milan and I’m disgusted at first by my row.  There was chip debris everywhere.  It was like I was i my living room.  As wegot closer to take off though, I began to love my seat and row.  5 minutes before take off, and the seat next to me was still vacant.

We pulled away from the gate and I was happy.  Despite having and up and down sick day, I’m on an international flight with a full row to myself, drinking some sprite and watching “Yes Man.”

Only about 9 more hours to go and I’ll be in beautiful Lake Como.  

Ciao Bello

Earth To Italy

April 27th, 2009

So I have been planning a trip to Italy to travel around as well as to visit my parents.  Finding hotels has not been an easy process.  For instance, during my time in Rome, there will be a sporting event that could equate to our Super Bowl. Google Earth has this great feature where you can turn on icons to represent lodging.  But even with that great tool, almost every place I searched for in Rome ended up being unavailable.  Eventually I found a place through http://www.vrbo.com.  

I figured out general locations where I wanted to be situated in each city.  Then, when looking for a room, often the hotel would claim that they are near that location.  But Google Earth has been a great tool in this.  I would merely punch in the address of the hotel, and it would show me exactly where it was in relation to where I wanted to be.  You would be surprised at how many hotels claimed to be near the Duomo in Florence, only to be not so close.

At this point I have everywhere booked, except for 3 nights – 2 of those nights are in the Cinque Terre.  Here are the screenshots from Google Earth and websites where appropriate.

 
Here is my itinerary:

  • May 7th leave San Diego
  • 8th land in Milan
  • 8-9 Lake Como
  • 10th Milan (I am hoping to  get tickets to the soccer game or the opera as a fallback)
  • 11-12 Venice
  • 13-14 Cinque Terre
  • 15, 16, 17, 18 Florence
  • 19, 20, 21, 22 Montalcino
  • 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Rome
  • May 28th Fly home

 

Lake Como
La Pergola

La Pergola, Hotel and Restaurant, drawn from a sixteenth century-building, lies by the lake, in a most typical fishermen’s hamlet called Pescallo, right on a shore of the promontory of Bellagio, turning south-east and facing the Lecco branch of Lake Como. The House was drawn from a building dating back to 1500, and assigned to a convent in the past centuries. The centre of Bellagio is but 10 minutes’ walk, among the luxuriant olive trees and mediterranean vegetation spread out on the Spartivento Point.

La Pergola

 

Milan
Best Western Cristoforo Colombo
About a 15 minute walk from the train station and about a 15 minute walk from the Duomo.  Im desperately hoping to get tickets to the Juve v. Milan soccer game, but am considering the opera as a backup plan.

milanhotel

Venice
Hotel Ai Do Mori
They have a crappy website.  They need Gorirra.  But it is only about 10 meters from St. Mark’s Square.  

Venice Hotel

 

Cinque Terre
Vernazza
Ivo Camere
The apartment which is also in the center of the town is accessible via a characteristic “carugio” (small side street) and is steps away from the piazza and the sea. 

vernazzahotel

 

Florence
Brunelleschi Hotel 
Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the middle, pedestrian area of the historical center of Florence, just steps away from the Cathedral and the Signoria Square, from a part overlooking the Via Calzaiuoli.

Florence Hotel

 

Montalcino
With My Parents
Next time I get the address from my parents, I’ll take a Google Earth pic.

montalcino

 

Rome
Private Apartment
its perfect location. From there the most important sights of the City can be reached with a short walk. You are just in the heart of the centre. 200 metres from Piazza Navona and Pantheon, 300 metres from Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain and, in the opposite direction, just crossing the Tiber, you can reach Sant’Angelo Castel and St.Peter Cathedral (400 metres).

Rome Apartment

Standing By The Light Of The World

April 27th, 2009

I added new songs to my home page under “Songs On Repeat.”  I’ve been really digging these songs lately, and continuously hitting back on my ipod or car or itunes (too bad you can’t hit repeat on Pandora).  I hope you enjoy them too.

u2_nolineonthehorizon3×5
Room For Squares
John Mayer
Its not a secret that I am not a huge fan of John Mayer.  However, I think they guy is unbelievably talented.  Not only is he an outstanding guitar player, but he has a great sense of humor.  If you haven’t seen them already, you should check out the videos I previously posted.  He jokingly says in one of those videos, “If I can’t get the girl, why don’t I just tell her I’m John Mayer?”  He is also often witty and clever.  

I have been a proponent of living with your eyes open.  What I mean by that, is that often whether it be vacationing, or in real every day life,  we live behind a camera.  We forget to realize that we are there, in the middle.  Whether it be birthday parties, concerts, or vacations, I am consciously trying to take “mental” pictures.  To take in and capture the moment, so that years from now, I might remember the scent in the air, the color in the sky, the hug of a friend–the many different moments of a moment that a photograph cannot capture.  Not that I am against pictures, as I think pictures are great tools to spark the memory.  But it is our mental image, our mental picture of the memory that will bring joy for many years.

John Mayer talks about that in this song.  And as I have been preparing to travel to Italy, it is a reminder to live through your minds lens, rather than your camera lens.


Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche
And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life

killers_dayandageA Dustland Fairytale
Day & Age
The Killers
This is the second time in a row, a song from this Killers album has made it into my Songs On Repeat section.  This is surprising to me.  Although I love the Killers, this album as too many weaker songs.  Though, as told from the last 2 S.O.R, it has some catchy tunes as well.  If you haven’t seen it on these pages already, you definitely have to check out my snide of their cool light show performance of “Human” at the MTV European Video Awards.  Every time I go to Vegas now, I always think of the time I saw the Killers live there at the Hard Rock, as well as the time the lead singer came on stage and sang with U2 “In a Little While.”  Bono called the Killers “the swankiest band in Las Vegas.”

Dustland Fairytale is a great story told through song.  There is speculation that the song was written by the Killers lead singer, Brandon Flowers, about his Mom and Dad and how they met at age 15 in a trailer park.  Either way, its a catchy tune that brings back childhood memories of fairytales.  I recently wrote a pensée snide with the following lyric:

And the decades disappear like sinking ships
But we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear we don’t know
The mind is poison

thevioletburning_lipstickanddynamitewonderCrush
Lipstick and Dynamite Wonder
The Violet Burning
This one is probably the heaviest musically that I have put up here yet.  For a long time (and I’m not necessarily kicking it off yet), this album has been in my “fantasy five” (5 cds that you would want to have if you were stranded forever on a desert island).  Part of that might because I was once stranded with this cd only.  It was May of 1997 and when I reached the hotel in Greece, my case of cd’s was missing (I do not know to this day if I left them on the train, if someone stole them, or the running joke on the trip – if Ben Morookian had merely taken them.  All that was left was this one cd that I had had in my cd player at the time.  This cd kept me company through long bus and train rides, and it carried on for the other cds, the faithful departed.  Anyway, this has always been one of my all time favorite bands.  And this cd has been released twice, once as a self-titled and once as the above title.   However, both cds are identical.

We are finding where we want to go
We are trying to regain control
Let the streams of light pour down on me
Let the love that heals me set me free
Come on, crush me

In Search Of Ravenna

April 5th, 2009

In Search Of Ravenna
    -1997

I left in search of Ravenna
not knowing when i’d return
or what I would find

I left in search of Ravenna
          but I found you
                     instead

Don’t You Dare Mess With My God

April 5th, 2009

DavidAs I have been thinking and preparing for my upcoming jaunt to Italy, I have been looking through old art and personal journals from previous travels.  I’d like to share what I wrote on June 1st, 1997.

Michelangelo’s David is spectacular.  The veins in the hand, the muscles, the proportions from foot, to hand, to face, the contrapossto – or weight shift were all signs of its marvel. 

Michelangelo didin’t often sculpt the iris of his subjects, but he did here and it emphasizes the determination of the young boy.  Andrew mentioned something to me, and I agreed to disagree with what the board said about the figure.  The board said the statue was done after the battle.  But the figure, I believe, has a look of determination.  I personally think that it is representing before the battle with this thought on his mind:  “Don’t you dare mess with my God.”

A correre e cagare ci si immerda i garretti

February 28th, 2009

duomoYes, I know what that phrase means, do you?  The other night I went downtown to little Italy for a lecture on florence art and architecture at the ICC.  The lecture was done by Miti Aiello, Architecture and Art Professor at Newschool of Architecture and Design and was titled Under the Shadow of the Duomo: Architecture of the Renaissance in Florence.  It was an enjoyable lecture, seeing pictures from florence, and learning different things about certain aspects of the history of florence.

After the lecture, I walked around little Italy, and decided to stop for a bite and got a table curbside at Buon Appetito.  I had a lovely evening, on the street sipping a glass of wine, enjoying good food, and soaking in the culture.  I ordered a caprese salad, a glass of restaurant_outside_smRubico Lacryma di Moro d’ Alba ~ Marchevv, and a plate of Penne Pasticciate.  Everything was very delicious other than the wine.  Although I enjoyed it, I probably won’t order it again.  It had too much of a strong fruity taste.  The menu describes it as “Medium body with notes of dried rose petals with raspberry overtones. A hidden treasure! Like no other wine!”  I agree that it was like no other wine, but not in a good way.  However the caprese and the pasta were to die for.  The pasta was a penne bolognese, basically.  However, they put a dallop of mascarpone cheese on the top.  Mascarpone cheese is relatable to cream cheese.  So imagine a cold dollup of cream cheese on top of hot steamy pasta with meat sauce.  Odd, no?  I mixed the cheese into the sauce and it was heaven on a fork.  Yum.  I want to go back.

I like being immersed in culture.  I found it fascinating to just sit on the street patio, people watching.  Couples walking by speaking italian, customers at their tables jabbing about their flights back to the east coast, and waiters flirting with pretty girls.  I didn’t feel like I was in a different country, but I felt like I was not in my own neighborhood.  Part of me wishes that I was more cultural.  I am always fascinated when I am in a new place or am with people different than I am used to.  I love soaking in history, culture, and different people.

from my cell

from my cell

I feel completely blessed.  Part of me thinks that I could die today, and that I would feel like I have lived a lucky and blessed life.  I have experienced so much more than most people in the world.  I have traveld– been to about 10 different countires and about 35 different US states.  I have loved and I have been loved.  I have spent time at college.  I have developed deep friendships.  I have been employed.  I could die today and feel that there was very little my life lacked.  But despite that, I still wish there was more.  I am always in longing.  There is never enough time in life, enough hours, days, weeks,  months to fully do all that I want, or be all that I wish.

I wish there was someone in my life, that was more of a “forger.”  That fits themselves into any situation and holds total confidence.  I am a follower at heart.  I lack confidence.  I wish there was someone close to me that I could latch on to and find myself feeling at home in random situations and scenarios.  There is so much culture out there that I wish I could invert myself into.  Whether that means clubs downtown, bars, countries, art galleries…I want all that life can offer.  My shy un-confident side often keeps me out of these situations, or at least limits them.  There is so much more of life I want to soak up.  There is nothing I want to miss out on.  I want all that life has to offer.  I want to live the life.

This Week I'm Thinking About: Kelly Le