Friday, October 21, 2011

And We're Off!

Today's the day... Africa, I hope you're wearing your big girl panties, because here we come!

As promised, a Halloween inspired post before we head out to the airport, over and then out of the country (I'm so giddy and pumped full of caffeine that I can barely even type this).

I've always loved a good game of dress up.

I'm pretty certain we thought we were uber-glamourous.
Costumes, makeup, accents, theme parties... the whole nine. I love it, I love it, I love it! Thus, when it comes to Halloween and getting dolled up, I'm always down. Furthermore, I'm a UCSB alum and if you know anything about my alma mater, it's that we know how to do All Hallow's Eve the right way. En serio.

Photos you won't be seeing: my costumes from sophomore and junior year. The first was Tom Cruise from Risky Business, which of course means all business on top and no pants on the bottom.

Junior year's was rather inspired and the way it came together was almost serendipitous. My friend Matt and I were trolling State Street in Santa Barbara when we decided to go into Salvation Army. There I found a great Red Cross volunteer coat that reached to just upper thigh level. I paired it with knee high black leather boots, black booty shorts and a garter belt.

When my grandmother saw the pictures a month later, she said, "Well, you looked cute honey, but I think you forgot your pants."

Halloween 2002: Viking towel guy, German girl, Austin Powers
Halloween 2005: Abraham Lincoln and 80's girl (?)
Halloween 2005: Me as my roommate and German boy
Halloween 2005 (I dressed up 5 nights in a row that year): A whole lot is going on here.
Halloween 2005: As pizza girls, we carried jello shots in the boxes. Matt plays Bob Barker (scarily well, might I add).
Halloween 2008: Flapper and a little cat.
This pumpkin looks like Chevy Chase, am I right?
Halloween 2009: Sherlock Homie and Amelia Earhart (with Dog as her Co-Pilot)
Halloween 2009: Some amazing costumes to be admired.
Halloween 2010: Sherlock Homie (eye roll... AGAIN?), Miss Piggy and Grumpy Bear.
A zombie leg created fun whilst waiting in line.
I actually found a Kermit on the street! I have no clue who this guy is.
The whole gang, Halloween 2010.
Thanksgiving 2010... Yeah... I really meant it when I said I love to dress up.

Needless to say, I don't have the balls to go pantless anymore.

Another thing we'll be missing this year is the annual pumpkin carving party we throw. It would have been our third annual, but I'm kind of ok with, you know, us leaving for Africa in a couple hours.

Did I mention how excited I am already? Yes? 

I'm excited.

2010's clear cut winner. It turns out Matt is not only an amazing lawyer, but a talented artist as well.
"Ladies Fingers" soft pretzels I make each year (with marinara blood, naturally).
Our Halloween tree and some delicious banana cupcakes!
The spread. One of my faves? The "Don't Drink & Fly" napkins.

Trick or Treat, everyone, and see you on the flip side...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

T-Minus One Day

Yup. One day. Dying over here.

Luckily, I have a fancy pants autumn cocktail party to attend tonight (and the perfect Obakki LBD and DVF heels will be in full effect, you can be assured). It's at Aris in Laguna and I seriously cannot wait (I'm also appreciative of the fact that it's making time go by faster for me)!

Today's travels take us to Prague and London. I've only made the Eastern Europe rounds once in my life (and that might be all for that region, folks), but I never tire of London. If Kyle would be up for it, I'd move across the pond in a heartbeat (oh, and a few of you have pointed out that I'm using his actual name. I got some flack from my friends for my cheesy nicknames, so I'm going to use actual first names unless asked not to from here on out, FYI).

Finally, I promised yesterday to put together a list of places I've visited around the world. I had a difficult time figuring out how to do it (states? Countries? How do I decipher what counts? Does a stay at an airport mean I've been there?), so I thought I'd include everything. After this trip, I'll be able to include South Africa, Botswana and Zambia (with the slightest chance of Zimbabwe).

My travels (thus far) around the ever-spinning globe:
  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Washington
  • Washington DC
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Utah
  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • France
  • Italy
  • Hungary
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Costa Rica

Prague in autumn = spectacular.
Me on the Charles Bridge (if you can't tell by now, I loved that fuzzy vest).
Whenever we're in Europe, we always manage to catch some changing of some guards.
I think this is Tyn Church?
Looking at this photo, I can almost smell the air.
You really feel like you're experiencing history looking at this.
Don't you just love stained glass windows?
Oh you crazy Eastern European masochists... You know, kids' stuff!
I lost a mitten while taking this photo.
Imagine there's a wall...
... dedicated solely to the celebration of John Lennon and his life.
We were really cold at this point.
Because if there's anything I want to eat, it's a baby pig with a smile on it's face!
A statue just for me.
I think this is one of the tower bridge points?
Old Town Prague
Every home needs at least one giant chair, am I right?
"Isn't there nothing better than having tea together on this freezing cold day?!"
It was good luck to simultaneously touch both parts of this statue. Couldn't tell you why.
Beautiful little garden in fall.
Loved the street art in Prague. Ben Harper? How'd you get here?!
Big Ben at night is quite pretty.
Loitering on the Millenium Bridge.
I love autumn. Love it.

"Traveling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station."  --  Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting Wednesday

If you've assumed this week has gone by tortuously slow for us, you're correct. I've realized that life changing vacations, trips, whatever you'd prefer to call them, have a dramatic effect on not only the weeks you're gone, but the week leading up to departure and the week upon one's return as well. 

I'm pretty sure the word is... unproductive?

Either way, on to past adventures. Originally, I was going to talk about Budapest and Vienna on two separate days, but I changed my mind. Why? Because, one, my photos of Budapest are a tad lame and two, because I've decided to make Friday about Halloween loves past... and thank god digital cameras weren't prevalent for the first half of college.

Scandalous costumes happened during that time. Oh, to be young and twenty again, donning a jacket, no pants and having no problem walking down the street with a smile on my face.
How times have changed.

Budapest was one of those cities that I had high hopes for, but in actuality was a total letdown. For Kyle, it was the same, but his reaction had to do more with his expectations based on this scene from 2004's Euro Trip (you'll have to get to the last minute and a half to understand his grossly inaccurate forecast for Hungarian currency and the American dollar).

In comparison, Vienna, for me, was one of the best cities I've ever visited in Europe. This may have had to do with the fact that we were with our wonderful friends (one of whom was a grad student at the University of Vienna at the time), thus got a bit more of the local experience. However, I think there was something about the city itself and the people that resonated with me (it also helped that I was reading a book about Marie Antoinette's early life at the time... hello, Austrian history!). 

Tomorrow, we visit Prague and good old Londontown, and I'll be attempting to list all the places I've visited around the world in my life (a good checks and balances for future jaunts). 

Yeah... I was a little worried when we saw the outside of our hostel for the first time.
"Sooo... what should we do today?"
"I dunno... wanna go to the Terror Museum?"

Budapest in autumn.
Not a Churchill fan then?
You gotta get your jollies where you can, am I right?
Buda Castle.
One of my favorite photos from the entire trip.
Is anyone else disturbed by the fact his legs are rubbed raw?
Oh hey... it's them again! Enjoying some wine, cheese and bread in Vienna.
I think J captured the essence of the statue better than I did.
"Let's compete and see who can take the most romantic photo..."
"... and I'm pretty sure we lost."
Viennese gorgeousness.
Quick everyone... like a tiger!
I love this girl. And the tree path behind us.
Schonbrunn... my favorite spot in Vienna.
Freezing cold, but still amazing sunset.
Last night in Vienna... who wants a cheese filled sausage?
Fun little bit behind J's apartment.

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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