I’m Alive, I Swear

It’s been so long my dear friends! Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the excuses. Instead, just humor me and pretend to care as I give a brief life update.

Adulthood: I officially graduated from university (miracles happen). I’m a real adult these days. I pay bills and file taxes and even spent hours pouring over different healthcare plans today. I mean, I also spent a few hours watching Buzzfeed videos, but we won’t talk about that.

Location: Straight after graduation, I packed my bags, left the farm (kidding), and ventured out to the big city. Los Angeles, that is. I moved here for all the usual reasons, becoming an artist and changing the world and all that. What better time to be naive then my twenties?

Projects: So my “ticket” to Los Angeles was an internship at NBC, and a “plan” to become a screenwriter. To be honest I haven’t done that much screenwriting, but I have dedicated time to a few other artistic pursuits. I’m working on another novel, working title In Time. I started a food blog called eatsleepreheat which you all should check out. AND I got my first real guitar! I’m in love. With the guitar that is. #foreveralone. Anywho, this brings me to another major project: music. I started a Youtube channel that I intend to dedicate to it, as a means of forcing myself to practice. I’m hoping posting this will mean I’ll be too ashamed to stop posting, even when I’d rather watch Buzzfeed videos.

I hope you all check out my channel. It will consist of songs I’ve written as well as a few food related videos as a complement to eatsleepreheat. I’ll add a videos section to this blog so you can can see what I’m posting on there. I’m sure you’re just dying to see what sort of Oscar worthy gold I’ll be posting, so I’m giving you a sneak peak below. Fingers crossed to me doing a better job with the channel than I have with this blog 🙂

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Spring Break Adventure Series: Round 2

Oh, Budapest*. It’s forever cemented its place in my heart as one of my favorite places in the world. The fascinating thing about Budapest is that it doesn’t often make the travel lists of your average American teenager, yet everyone I know that has gone cites it as one of their favorites. Think of it as something like a hidden gem, part of its beauty lying in the fact that it is considerably less touristy then the more typical European destinations. And, the best part if you’re traveling on a budget is that it’s incredibly cheap even if your native currency is the American dollar (bad joke)!!!!!!! When I went $1 was about 224 Hungarian forints (warning, this currency can be slightly confusing for foreigners, but just take out $60 and you’ll be greeted with more zeros than you ever thought could manifest out of your bank account unless you finally took your crazy uncle’s suggestion to rob that Seven Eleven across the street) and a nice Hungarian meal (yes, food is my currency, don’t judge me) is around 1000 hfu or $5 USD. The portions are huge, and the locals’ tagline seems to be “the most delicious and unhealthiest cuisine in Europe.” Fine with me 🙂

I thought the food in Budapest was delicious. It was simple, which I like, and filling, which is not a word that I can relate to very often. I recommend goulash, it’s a soup/ stew (depends on who you ask) with beef and vegetables. A little tip, if you’re looking for authentic goulash in Budapest, the kind that Hungarians eat look for restaurants were the word is spelled with a ‘y’ as in gouyash because the other stuff is what tourists eat. It’s what I ate, but hey I was a tourist, anyway I loved it, my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to taste the difference between an ‘l’ and a ‘y’. Ha ha…I’m sorry for my jokes.

Let’s talk about the Turkish baths. They are another cultural element left behind by one of the many groups that was at some point in charge of Hungary. This-sidenote- is one of my favorite things about Budapest, all of these different cultural influences have remained, I personally think they took the best things from every group that conquered them. If case you’ve never heard of Turkish baths, they are kind of like a giant spa, yet not so exclusive because entrance into the one I went to (one of the most expensive) was 18 USD.  We picked this one because it had both an outdoor and indoor area. The heated outdoor pool, I had decided, was going to be perfect for watching the sunset. We switched our whole itinerary in Budapest to carter to this one desire of mine, and guess what? I fell asleep in a sauna. In my defense, I had just followed the advice of a group of French woman who recommended that my friend and I enter one of the saunas in the facility, one that I recommend entering if you want a glimpse at what the fires of hell feel like. Afterwards, we were to enter this really cold pool, where we reenacted the Titanic scene. I can’t really say what this whole process is supposed to do for you, and if it’s supposed to be good, but personally I’m thinking never again. It is after this exhausting experience that we went into a sauna and fell asleep. So there’s my excuse, will you take it?

I am realizing (don’t you love how I walk you through my thoughts, it’s like you’re in my mind) that this post is going to get very long if I include everything I have to say about Budapest in here, I suppose I am feeling quite chatty today. So, I will just make this about food and Turkish baths, and I will include a part two about other things to see in Budapest.

On the next edition of the Spring Break Adventures (Budapest Part 2) you can look forward to secret boxes, mosque-church hybrids, the 3rd largest Parliament, and ruin bars. Stay tuned 🙂

*I know this song has nothing to do with Budapest, but it plays a lot on Italian MTV so I get to see it every day sometimes twice a day at the dinner table. One of the girls I live with is pretty obsessed with it too, so it’s pretty much drilled in my brain and every time I hear the word Budapest I can’t help but think of the song, and I wanted to condition that into your brains too because misery loves company. So you’re welcome 🙂

Potato pancake with cheese and garlic sour cream, listed on the menu as a "snack." Pest snack ever

Potato pancake with cheese and garlic sour cream, listed on the menu as a “snack.” Best snack ever

One of those love chain thingies, as our tour guide pointed out some of them have number combinations, in case someone changes their mind

One of those love chain thingies, as our tour guide pointed out some of them have number combinations, in case someone changes their mind

Chicken Paprika and Hungarian Dumplins

Chicken Paprika and Hungarian Dumplings

Heroes' Square

Heroes’ Square

Goulash

Goulash

 

Spring Break Adventure Series: Vienna

 

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

I would apologize for my prolonged absence but I’ve just come back from 10 days gallivanting through Europe, and I can’t say I’m sorry. With that said, I’m very excited to share my adventures with all of you. I’ll start off with Vienna because it is the first place I went so I want to write about it before I forget (technically I am 19 but with consideration to my memory you can switch the two numbers).

Vienna in three words: elegant, green, and efficient (bare with me if the last doesn’t completely make sense). I spent two days there, but I managed to fit a lot into these meager 48 hours. My favorite place was Danube Island, a manmade island and amusement park. I didn’t actually ride anything, as it was catastrophically cold and rainy when I went, but I can tell the place would have been really fun!

But before I get into more of what I did, let’s talk about what I ate, because let’s be honest, what’s more important in life than food? went to the Café Central my first night and had apple strudel! It looked beautiful, and it was to die for. The restaurant itself is a work of art, but since I know nothing about architecture and interior design, I will just post a picture instead of trying to describe it to you.  I went to Vienna with no real itinerary, but the one thing I wanted to do was go to a concert café, which is exactly what it sounds like. When we went to Café Central, our meal was accompanied by live piano, and I understand that not everyone gets as excited as I do about this, but how many places can you still find this? Correction, at how many moderately priced restaurants that your average college student can afford can you still find this? Please enlighten me if there are more! (seriously)

My second night, I went to a restaurant called Siebensternbrau where I had the best wiener schnitzel the world has ever known. In case you’re wondering, I haven’t actually had much wiener schnitzel in my life, but I still stand by my previous statement.  This chicken had the same consistency as butter, but you know, it didn’t taste like it. Cause who wants to eat a stick of butter for dinner? Anywho… this is a good place to try if you’re interesting in some authentic Austrian cuisine!

For those of you that care about things besides food…we have nothing in common. I kid! For you here are my other reccomendations: the Schonbrunn palace and gardens. You could spend a whole day here, the garden is beautiful and it leads to the Vienna Zoo which, fun fact, is the oldest zoo in the world. Note: don’t be like me, please check the weather before you go.

Suggestion #2: You can also go to Kahlenberg Hill (personally I think it’s a little too tall to be classified as a hill but let’s save that conversation for another day). It provides really nice views of the city and there are cute little shops, a nice church etc. My favorite part however is before you get to the hill, – the historic town of Grinzing,  which is small and interesting and not technically in Vienna but close enough that its worth the trip! There are small stores, multiple little restaurants, and absolutely beautiful houses! It’s a good place to just walk through, take pictures if you please, have lunch, knock on someone’s door and ask if you can take a tour of their house, or you know, be a normal person…

My one regret during my trip to Vienna was not getting a chance to show off my Viennese waltzing skills which was really too bad because I feel I could have really impressed a lot of people. So if anyone ever has a ticket to one of those balls that they want to give away…

Ceiling of the Central Cafe

Ceiling of the Central Cafe

Being silly at Danube Island

Being silly at Danube Island

Wiener Schnitzel! So good the world stops

Wiener Schnitzel! So good the world stops

Schonbrunn Garden

Schonbrunn Garden

Disco ball

Disco ball

Another garden in Vienna whose name I don't remember

Another garden in Vienna whose name I don’t remember

 

I See the Mediterranean Sea

Bonjour from Italy! I went to France last weekend, and because I speak both French and Italian (but neither fluently) this was the sort of confusion that summarizes my attempts to communicate with people. Yeah me! So I went to the French Riviera (squeal) to Cannes, Nice, and Eze. I had one of the best weekends of my life, the water is unrealistically blue and everything looks so different and beautiful. Let’s not forget the incredible number of designers that have shops right across from the building where the Cannes Film Festival takes place. Now, I’m not one to normally get excited about designer brands as I measure currency based on the amount of food you could buy with it and a $1,000 purse to me is just sacrificing about 2 years of Nutella, but even I was impressed! I took pictures of very much everything, but neglected the stairs that the red carpet is placed on for the film festival, because to be honest that part was rather anticlimactic…A friend and I tried to catch a free ride on a carousel (this failed) but over the course of the weekend, I spotted about five. I suppose the French are more fond of carousels than I ever realized.

Anywho, Cannes seems to me a very lavish and luxurious place. It’s a great place for a vacation (just sell an arm and you’ll be able to afford it) but I think staying there for too long would be like having a really good dream last forever and who would want that? …right not sure where I was going with that but.

Nice seemed more family friendly, not cheap but less expensive. Lovely parks, beautiful outdoor cafes, flower markets, etc. Lots of pizza and gelato but also escargot (if you’re into that), so an interesting mix of French and Italian cuisine for those who can’t pick. The beach is lovely, but don’t go there at night, or be careful if you do because it tends to get a little sketchy as I learned J

Eze was scary. Beautiful, but scary. Not a good place for people who have a fear of heights, like me. It’s all cliffs and just when you think you can’t get any higher you do and those barricades may as well be homemade with sheets of loose leaf paper and glue when you’re traveling on a giant bus…BUT there’s an awesome perfume factory that also sells cosmetic products and everything looks really lovely and you can take a tour of the place. You can also go on a century long hike, going into all the little shops and walkways that will just lead you higher, and higher…

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Cannes

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Nice Sunset (see what I did there?????)

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Eze

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On the Carousel

Carnival in Venice

So about two weeks ago now (I now, I really have to get on top of this blogging thing…) I went to Venice with my host family. In case you don’t know anything about Venezian history (then we have a lot in common, but bear with me here) there is a month long Carnival  whose’s origins are tied to a military victory, and pre-Lent festivities.

Anyway most people dress up and you see these absurdly elaborate costumes that I think must have cost a fortune, and you get to roam the streets of Venice and take pictures of cute gondola-driving men (I don’t know what they’re actually called. Also, can anyone explain the lack of gondola-driving woman? I’m actually, genuinely curious about this…). So at noon on the first Sunday of Carnival, which is when we were there,  an “angel” (young woman) dressed in a really colorful Carnival costume that “flies” (ziplines?) from the Bell Tower to Saint Mark’s square. Everyone gathered to watch it, in the square so there were thousands of people there watching her fly above us. Thanks to the awesome zoom on my camera you’ll actually get to see what she looks like!

I had such a wonderful day at Carnival, and Venice is now officially my favorite Italian city (though I’ve only been to three). Walking through the streets of Venice feels like stepping into a secret or being in the midst of an epic treasure hunt. Even with thousands of other people there, roaming the streets with you it can still feel like home. So I highly recommend going it you can and (unless you have way more money than me go with a group if you want to ride the gondole because they are quite pricey). Comment below tell me about your time in Venice if you’ve ever been! Wishing you all a lovely day 🙂

"Flight of the Angel"

“Flight of the Angel”

Guess Who Loves Purple?

Guess Who Loves Purple?

Gondole !

Gondole !

My Host Parents (as Ice Queen and Casanova)

My Host Parents (as Ice Queen and Casanova)

Munich Music

Ciao! So this post will offer those who cares more insight about why I was in Munich for 24 hours (read my last post titled “Munich in a Day”). This story actually starts about ten years ago, on a warm summer day…don’t worry I’ll give you the short version.

I went to Munich for a concert, including three artists, Ron Pope, Alexz Johnson, and Wakey Wakey. Now I think Ron Pope is incredibly talented and Wakey Wakey is charismatic and just amazing. He was only “the guy on One Tree Hill” to me, and I just love all things One Tree Hill related. With that said, I went for Alexz. A lot of people, I have discovered, don’t recognize her name but are familiar with her work.

She was Annie on that Disney Show So Weird which I actually didn’t watch. If you’re like me, you know as Jude Harrison from that show on The N (the same channel Degrassi played on) called Instant Star. Instant Star was and still is my favorite show on the planet! When the show ended I was so devastated that Alexz wouldn’t be on my tv screen every Friday night. I began listening to her music which funny enough I didn’t like at first, it seemed so different from her music on the show and what I listened to. Now I don’t think I could live without it, she introduced me to a genre of music I didn’t even know existed. Her music overtime, has crossed many genres with her lastest EP, Heart being very bluesy thought her music is normally in the  folk, indieish category. 

Anyway, her lyrics are beautiful her voice is incredible and if you ever see her live, you’ll discover she also has incredible stage presence. And I can attest that she is also really nice and smells great, if you care about that stuff…Here’s some footage from the concert I went to (not mine), and some of my faves of hers.

Subscribe if you’d like and feel free to comment, I’d love to know what you guys think of her  🙂

ImageA signed pick from Alexz, now my most prized possession

Munich in a Day

Last weekend I spent a day in Munich! It was cold and rainy, but beautiful nevertheless! I met lots of very nice people, all of whom I was very grateful for since I don’t speak any German and was travelling alone. I visited Marienplatz (central square), Schloss Nymphenburg (palace) as well as the unbelievable huge garden attached to it, and Viktualienmarkt, and the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum.

I tried to pack in as much “German” food as I could into one day. The first thing I picked, “Weiner Schnitzel” because I thought it sounded the most German of everything on the menu turned out to be a chicken sandwich! I did try again, and had some delicious pretzels (I think I could live off of buttered pretzels…). Now scroll down for some random pictures!

P.S. If you do get a chance to visit Munich be sure to take it! I’m no expert on the city (I did learn a lot in my 26 hours there…) but it seems like a great like for the artistically inclined, like me! Also lots of bakeries! That alone should be enough to convince anyone to go…

P.S. S.  Check out my next post if you would like to know why I was only in Munich for 24 hours!

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Swans at Schloss (I’m nicknaming it cause it takes too long to write). It was my first time seeing one, exciting times!

 

ImageCool Fountain

 

ImageHangin’ out with Captain Jack

 

ImageSchloss, or part of it cause its freaking HUGE !

 

ImageReaching for an apple…