i'm home.
i don't think i have ever been happier.


so this is my last entry from this seven-week excursion.
last night was full of craziness. nathan and i only have one key to our apartment so we made plans to meet at a coffee shop near our place at 4 pm. by 5:30 he still hadn't shown up and i felt like an idiot so i just sat outside of the coffee shop until 6. (there is nothing worse than being in the red light district in a peach sundress..) i was terrified that something had had happened to him or that he had lost the key and i'd never be able to get home. at about 6 he comes running up. he had managed to lock himself in the apartment for four hours and had to throw pennies at bums below to come unlock him. how did i survive this?
as for yesterday, it was a wonderful last day in amsterdam. i woke up early, considering i have been going to bed way too early to be in amsterdam, and had a bagel covered in jam and a big glass of real oj then went to the van gogh museum and waded around in a reflecting pool in vondelpark and bought more presents for people and got lost a lot and got mistaken for being dutch a lot. i have about six hours left in amsterdam then it's off to massive headache of train rides, connecting flights and on-flight food. the last few weeks have been a complete ball of chaos, but i think i'm seeing things in a way i wasn't able to before and i already have a long list of more places i need to see. it's actually quite calming to see how very very small and insignificant you are to the world, as we tend to see ourselves as the center of the universe. i'm just thankful i've got what i've got and love what i love because it's what makes me tick.

through travel i first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that i found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. eudora welty


before i left london my horoscope in "the guardian" advised me not to travel until after the 15th of august because i would run into problem and problem. after spending eighteen hours in an airport in treviso, italy i see why.
venice was beautiful. i often took my journal and my headphones down to a bridge over a canal and just watched and wrote and enjoyed BUT it was also a complete tourist trap and we quickly tired of paying double for everything. the prices reminded me of being in london. we decided that after two days we would try and fly standby so we took a bus to the treviso airport only to find that it was not an option. we decided not to waste our money on a hotel and save it for amsterdam so we slept on my towel on the floor.
craziness. here's an excerpt from my journal: " it is six a.m. it is my sixteenth hour in the goddamn treviso airport without a book, or even a phone call. i'm not sure how i survived this. almost an entire day in the smallest airport i have ever seen eating only kit kats and fococcia."
next up.
arrived in brussels to find that the train station was on a strike which was going to be our way to amsterdam that day. like magic, they went off of their strike and we were on our way.
arrived in amsterdam around three o'clock to find that there were NO hostels or hotels available because it was gay pride weekend and everything was booked to the max. i am now staying in an apartment in the red light district that actually came equipped with a bong. it's a really nice apartment in a notsonice place, but don't worry mom and dad, i'm not leaving my apartment at night without nathan and there are like four hundred locks on the door. this morning i woke up early and walked to the stedelijk museum of modern art to see some chagall. i wandered into a little coffee shop on one of the canals and met the most adorable dutch woman who told me all about her life in amsterdam and made me a big cappuccino and fed me dutch cheese that was delicious. i left, wandered around and fell head over heels with amsterdam. i swear my eyes have been as big as saucers since i arrived - if not because of the complete debauchery going on around me then because of the beauty of the side streets and the slow pace of the locals.
a few things that make me smile.. flower boxes along the canals/dutch cheese/girls on bikes with fake flowers tied to there wheels/nathan calling amsterdam a carnival and us actually walking into the center of a carnival no less than five minutes later/the gay pride festival/deep fat fried waffles with powdered sugar/tulip bulbs sold everywhere/the hat i bought for grandma (don't tell her mom)/the cutest dresses ever that i bought at h&m/everyone on bikes/the cooler weather/how people start speaking in dutch but can switch to english as soon as they find out you can't speak dutch ...... everything is slow here. people are nice. it's such a breath of fresh air after the grind of traveling. i keep remembering being here when i was twelve or thirteen or however old i was and how excited i was by the city. i was kind of scared that i wouldn't feel the same way anymore as i tend to bring too high of expectations to some experiences, but this is meeting every single one. i'm home in three days. all in all, i have been extremely fortunate that this trip has gone as smoothly as it has considering we have had no reservations or plans.

i still find each day too short for all the thoughts i want to think, all the walks i want to take, all the books i want to read, and all the friends i want to see. john burroughs


venice is as gorgeous as i have heard it described. i am paying four euros for an hour on internet time which is absolutely ridiculous so i will have to write more about it later.
love to all.


i'm leaving rome for venice in about an hour. we are taking a train from termini station to a station in venice and once again crossing our fingers and hoping we find a decent hotel or hostel. wish us luck. i had a croissant and espresso in a sidewalk cafe this morning and met some boys from germany who were backpacking. the lady at their hostel was clearly trying to screw them out of their money, which was clear as day even in italian. i gave them the name of our hostel. yesterday nathan and i fearlessly.. okay so not fearlessly, i was almost in tears.. navigated rome's underground system which is terribly confusing and sweaty and smelly to get to ostia, a beautiful beach on the mediterranean. we drank fruity cocktails and ate fresh coconut and sunbathed all day and swam in the sea. it was what i needed. now i'm back to my brown-ness which i oh-so missed in london. sunday nathan and i saw all of the "sights" including the vatican. apparently there's a dress code at the vatican which my halter-top skirt ensemble clearly didn't pass but i had a cardigan in my bag from earlier that morning and the security guard said "just go go, i no looky!" i thought nathan was going to pee his pants. rome really is beautiful but it's too crowded with tourists and smells like stinky people.

p.s. i LOVE gelato.


i slept on the floor of standsted airport friday night and hopped a flight to rome at six in the morning. i felt pretty sick all day yesterday since i had no sleep and its incredibly hot here but after a night of good rest i'm ready to see more. rome is absolutely beautiful.. its so cliche since i have heard it so many times, but it really is just breathtaking. will write more soon.