Jada Fabrizio Photographic Fairy Tales

Opening at Monmouth Museum

“I love watching how light can create a mood. Photography uses light to create the perfect combination of reality mixed with fantasy,” said Jada Fabrizio, Monmouth Museum’s New Jersey Emerging Artists Series artist presenting Photographic Fairy Tales from August 18th through September 17th, 2017. Her art work will be featured in the Nilson Gallery at the Museum, located at 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ.The Opening Reception, August 18th, will be held from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PMFabrizio’s Gallery Talk will be held on September 13th from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, both the Opening Reception and the Gallery Talk are free and open to the public.

In this new body of photographic work Fabrizio is able to capture a single moment, and use that moment to invoke an entire story. She said, “I believe that art should make you feel something, it should touch you, make you think, laugh, cry. I consider myself an

alternative reality photographer. I sculpt my own characters, build dioramas, and light the scene to create surreal visual fables or freshly minted fairy tales for adults.”

Using aspects of iconic imagery each photograph is packed with details that lead the viewer somewhere in their memory. Working with fictional scenes desensitizes the narrative and creates a haven for viewer sympathies. In safety, viewers are more likely to project their own experiences and narrative onto the piece. Each image is purposely unresolved. They are, in essence, stories in need of an ending.

Jada Fabrizio The March HareJada Fabrizio is an American Photographer who lives and works in Hudson County, New Jersey. She studied creative writing at SUNY New Paltz and photography at the School of Visual Arts andICP (International Center of Photography) in New York City. She received the 2016 Art Scene Today first place award for “It’s a mad mad world.”

The New Jersey Emerging Artists Series, now in its eleventh season at the Monmouth Museum, features six annual solo exhibitions in the Nilson Gallery which provide a unique and exciting opportunity for New Jersey artists to showcase their work. The artists selected for this series represent the diversity of new talent in the State, and demonstrate their creativity in a wide variety of media. Gallery talks scheduled during the exhibitions offer the New Jersey Emerging Artists the opportunity to share insights on their work. Opening July 14th is Lisa Lackey: Just a Moment, textile paintings; and on September 22ndPeter Meadowsong: A Movable Feast, Watercolors.

Fabrizio Working class hero

The Monmouth Museum, founded in 1963 as a Museum of Ideas, presents changing art, history and science exhibitions to educate and entertain while providing a destination for creative expression and life-long learning to the diverse community it serves. Imaginative and informative changing exhibitions in the Main Ga

 

llery and Nilson Gallery present a wide variety of art in all media.

The Monmouth Museum, an independent, non-profit organization, is located at 765 Newman Springs Road, in Lincroft, NJ. For hours and more information about the Monmouth Museum exhibits and programs visit the website at: www.monmouthmuseum.org or call 732-747-2266. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Advertisements

Travel to Havana from the Comforts of Home with a Classic Mojito and PBS Special “Weekend in Havana”

With the premiere of WEEKEND IN HAVANA on PBS coming up July 18th, we’re cooling off your summer with this delicious WEEKEND IN HAVANA Classic Mojito recipe provided by wttw.com/weekendinhavana!

Mojito_brian.jpg

The Classic Mojito

The cleanest, most refreshing Cuban cooler is, hands down, the mojito. During Hemingway’s time in Havana, he reportedly enjoyed his at La Bodeguita del Medio, where cantineros are said to have been the first to muddle mint into the cocktail. Some Havana restaurants, including Dona Eutimia’s, off Plaza Catedral, serve a frappé version, another delicious way to beat the Havana heat.

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Juice of one half of a lime
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 shot white rum
  • 2 shots sparkling water

Mix the sugar and lime juice, then muddle the mint into the mixture. Mix in the rum. Add ice and sparkling water.

Journey to the heart of Cuba’s magical city during a WEEKEND IN HAVANA

Premieres Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm Eton PBS as part of the “PBS Summer of Adventure”

(CHICAGO) June 8, 2017 — Travel with host Geoffrey Baer to explore the heart of Cuba’s magical capital city, now open to American tourists after more than 50 years. Three young locals — architect and restorationist Daniel de la Regata; Irene Rodriguez, one of Cuba’s top flamenco dancers; and Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca — serve as enthusiastic guides, allowing viewers to experience this vibrant and historic place through the eyes of those who love and call it home. Produced by WTTW Chicago, directed by Leo Eaton, co-written by Eaton and Geoffrey Baer, and produced by Donn Rogosin, Dan Soles and Hugo Perez, WEEKEND IN HAVANA WITH GEOFFREY BAER premieres Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 8:00-9:00 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS. Also available for viewing on wttw.com/weekendinhavana, the documentary is part of the “PBS Summer of Adventure,” a lineup of programs designed to take families on exciting adventures around the world.

Geoffrey, host of the 10 That Changed America series about game-changing buildings, homes, parks and towns as well as more than 20 specials on Chicago history and architecture, takes to the streets of Havana with his guides and new fast friends, Daniel, Irene, and Roberto. After meeting up at a café in Cathedral Plaza in Old Havana, he is given a whirlwind tour of Cuba’s fascinating and colorful history, a hands-on introduction to Afro-Cuban music and dance, a primer on Havana’s varied architecture and efforts being made to restore many of the city’s ruins, and an inside look at how everyday Cubans live in this “old city trying to find its place in the modern world,” a land off-limits to Americans for decades.

The immersive website for WEEKEND IN HAVANA WITH GEOFFREY BAER will take visitors on a weekend tour in text, sound, images, video and VR/360 around Havana. The mobile tour explores the culture, sights, and Cuban rhythms of this unique and mysterious place. Also featured will be side trips to visit Hemingway’s Cuba, see how Cuban cigars are made, learn how to make the perfect mojito, explore baseball in Cuba, and a timeline of US/Cuba relations. Geoffrey Baer’s travel journal will feature his favorite photos and memories from the trip.

Guided by his new friends, Geoffrey witnesses the nightly firing of the cannon at the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana; visits Plaza de Armas, the city’s first public square; rides in a 1950s-era red Chevrolet on a journey through Havana’s breathtaking but sometimes crumbling architecture; and meets an auto mechanic charged with keeping many of Havana’s vintage automobiles in running order. He also takes a wild ride in a “coco taxi,” a small yellow vehicle sans seatbelts that looks like a coconut, and gets an overview of the vivid local arts scene, which includes street musicians along El Malecón’s crowded sea wall. He dines in one of the city’s many paladars (intimate family restaurants in what were once private homes), and hobnobs with the fashionable young crowd at La Fabrica, a series of art galleries, bars and performance spaces located in an old factory.

Geoffrey also visits a ruined sugar plantation where African slaves once toiled and takes part in a present-day Santeria ritual in a private home. From Roberto and his band, Geoffrey gets a quick tutorial on Afro-Cuban percussion at the famous Studio Areito, one of the oldest surviving recording studios in the world. After a visit to the U.S. Embassy, Geoffrey watches young athletes taking part in America’s and Cuba’s joint national pastime, baseball, unearths some reminders of the turbulent Cuban Revolution era, and is granted rare access to one of Havana’s most important restoration projects: El Capitolio, Cuba’s Capitol building, modeled after the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. He also imbibes at one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering holes and boats out to the small fishing village of Cojimar, the setting for The Old Man and the Sea, where he tours Hemingway’s house with co-producer Hugo Perez.

Geoffrey checks out the glitzy floorshow at the Tropicana nightclub, and ends his journey at La Guarida’s rooftop piano bar, perched atop a crumbling mansion. With Roberto’s band playing in the background, he reflects on the new understanding he has gained of Havana. “This production was unlike any other,” said Geoffrey, “a journey I will never forget. I really feel that I left a piece of my heart in Havana, along with the wonderful friends I made and the magical experiences they gave me. I hope audiences enjoy this trip as much as I did!”

“For me, this is a show about the spirit of the people of Havana,” said director/writer Leo Eaton. “Their warmth and hospitality — especially from our guides — made this film possible, and it was a real pleasure to tell their story.”

For Executive Producer Dan Soles, Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer at WTTW in Chicago, this project was a dream come true. “As a second generation Cuban-American, traveling to Havana meant so much. It was a thrill to see this amazing place with my own eyes and meet some of the remarkable people leading Cuba into the future.”

WEEKEND IN HAVANA WITH GEOFFREY BAER is directed by Leo Eaton, hosted by Geoffrey Baer, co-written by Leo Eaton and Geoffrey Baer, and produced by Donn Rogosin and Hugo Perez. The Executive Producer is Dan Soles.

WEEKEND IN HAVANA WITH GEOFFREY BAER is made possible, in part, by The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation.

A full press release is here:
Weekend in Havana Press Release

Contact: CaraMar, Inc.

Mary Lugo, 770-623-8190; lugo@negia.net

Cara White, 843-881-1480; cara.white@mac.com

Weekend in HavanaGeoffrey Baer and Daniel de la Regata restoration architect.jpeg

Weekend in Havana – Geoffrey Baer and Daniel de la Regata restoration architect (Photo courtesy of WTTW and Brian Canelles)

 

Weekend in HavanaDaniel de la Regata restoration architect with Geoffrey Baer at Plaza de la CatedralPhoto WTTW and Brian Canelles.jpeg

Weekend in Havana – Daniel de la Regata restoration architect with Geoffrey Baer at Plaza de la Catedral (Photo courtesy of WTTW and Brian Canelles)

Weekend in HavanaRoberto Fonseca musician with Geoffrey BaerPhoto WTTW and Hugo Perez.jpg

Weekend in Havana – Roberto Fonseca musician with Geoffrey Baer (Photo courtesy of WTTW and Hugo Perez)

Weekend in Havana_Geoffrey Baer high above Havana Harbor_Photo WTTW and Brian Canelles.jpg

Weekend in Havana – Geoffrey Baer high above Havana Harbor (Photo courtesy of WTTW and Brian Canelles)

How To Run A Business While Traveling

by Jamie Perkins, welovecostarica.com

Traveling and managing your business was a far too difficult journey in the past, but the development of technology and wide use of the Internet have opened doors to this opportunity. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with any challenges, because it does. However, there are ways on how you can effectively manage your business while maximizing your travel experience.

One of the many concerns that you might face with this set up is with your personal relationship, especially if you have a partner or a family of your own. You’ll need time to be together. So, unless you are traveling with them, a good thing to do is to travel six months and spend the next six months at home. This will not only let you spend the quality time you need with your loved ones, but it will also prevent you from feeling burnout from traveling.

The Internet plays a major role when traveling and managing your business at the same time, as you can communicate and connect with your employees, suppliers, clients, and other people you need to contact wherever you are in the world. Determine the tools that you can use for communication, including Trello, Skype, Slack, and more, and make good use of them.

To help you make the most out of your travel, while ensuring that your business is well taken care of, browse the infographics below. It contains helpful tips on how you can effectively manage your business while traveling.

How To Run A Business While Traveling (PbS)

7 Countries that Said ‘Adios’ to Fossil Fuels & Run 100% on Clean Energy

By Jamie Perkins, welovecostarica.com

A few days ago, Colombia has suffered from a massive landslide that left over 200 people dead. A few weeks before that, Indonesia has also suffered from the same problem, although there were fewer casualties.

According to the witnesses, the landslides were caused by violent rains and heavy flooding. They have been in the area for a long time, but they have never witnessed such kind of natural disaster. In short, we are now living in an era where the effects of global warming have become worse.

Our dependence on dirty energy like fossil fuel has become one of the biggest reasons why global warming is taking place. If we don’t do something about it, we might suffer from bigger natural disasters. The good thing is that there were smaller countries that have taken the lead in fighting global warming.

They have shown that if they can do it, other countries have no reason for not following. Smaller countries have fewer financial resources, but they have managed to make the necessary changes. They have also relied on alternative energy for years – a strong rebuke to critics who have said they would still go back to fossil fuels in the future.

Our world has tremendously suffered because of global warming and we can’t afford to make it even worse.

Check out the infographic below for more information about the countries that have taken the bold move. Bigger countries should also follow their footsteps. Those who have polluted more should do more.

7 Countries that Said 'Adios' to Fossil Fuels & Run 100% on Clean Energy

Brittany Buddha: Spring Break Travel with Danielle Dougan, Public Relations, Student Universe

WanderLust Mag presents Brittany Buddha’s Travel Podcast.

Brittany discusses spring break travel with Danielle Dougan, Public Relations, Student Universe.

Featured songs:
Sppank – Thing
Deejaytrademark – Through-the-storm-alesso-x-tritonal-x-bastille-x-mako
www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/relaxing

Links:
www.wanderlust-mag.com
www.brittanybuddha.wordpress.com
www.studentuniverse.com

One short day in Amsterdam

AMS
May 16, 2016

Currently sitting in Amsterdam Airport Shiphol. My flight to Cairo is in a little under three hours. I had a wonderful day in Amsterdam and I’ve been meeting really nice people. I met an old couple at JFK who borrowed my cellphone, then watched my bags for me when I went to the bathroom and Jamba Juice. They didn’t really speak English well but they were still very sweet. We sat in the same row but opposite sides on the flight and waved to each other as if we had known each other for years. I got the window seat and sat next to a cool German girl who was visiting New York for work. She was a geologist of some sort, and also didn’t speak much English but we got along well regardless. Delta fed us so much on the flight which was great because I unfortunately didn’t sleep much. What better way to pass the time than to eat?

My uber driver on the way to JFK also didn’t speak much English but was very kind. He was originally from Pakistan but lived in Dubai and had friends in Dubai whom he told me would show me around if I decided to visit. He also showed me pictures of his family. He definitely foreshadowed the language barriers I continued to encounter throughout the trip.

When I got to Amsterdam, hardly anyone spoke English but eventually I found a transportation worker who told me where to go.

I did, however, meet a women from Chicago while waiting for our TSA check in Amsterdam. She had gone to Egypt in 2010 and was in Amsterdam to give a tour for her job. She told me all good things about her trip to Egypt and said Abu Simbel was her favorite place.

I didn’t really meet many people walking through the city, but I kind of expected that. It was kind of nice being alone and just doing my own thing on my own time, wandering freely and not feeling responsible for anyone else. The only times I ever felt just a little lonely was when I struggled to finish smoking the joints I bought or when I wanted a picture of myself in front of the I amsterdam landmark (Of course I forgot to pack my selfie stick).

I caught the train to Amsterdam Centraal and as soon as I stepped off the train I fell in love with this quaint little village with canals all over and well-dressed city-dwellers. I went into the first coffeeshop I found and bought five pre-rolled joints because I knew I had no time (or money) to waste experimenting, but I was fascinated by the dozens of strains and magic mushies sold indiscreetly.

I smoked one J while walking around and felt on top of the world. Literally, I felt like I was floating. I chatted with one of the salesmen at a souvenir shop for a bit. He straight away knew I was American which I thought was pretty funny. He was a cool guy and I wanted to go back there but couldn’t remember where it was. #TooHighGuy.

DSCN2604

I walked to the Rijksmuseum and explored a bit. Coat checking my backpack was a struggle because again, #2HG. I enjoyed the Still Life exhibits because I’m fascinated by the way the lighting and the shadows can bring a piece to life. I also chilled by the I amsterdam letters for quite a bit and just relaxed, taking in my surroundings, appreciating where I was at that exact moment in time. My heart was happy to be here. I felt like I belonged.

DSCN2676

Next I went to Sarah’s Pancakes and holy sh*t it was an orgasm in my mouth (Thank you Katie for the recommendation)! I had strawberry banana pancakes with whipped cream and a chocolate milk. I think I found some chairs and tables and smoked joint number two. Surprisingly I found that while walking and smoking, I got some funny looks. Maybe because it still wasn’t even noon and I was already high as a kite. Maybe I was just paranoid. I mean, it’s Amsterdam, right? But regardless, I decided to be a little classier about it.

Next I walked past the Anne Frank House, but the line was really long so I didn’t bother going in. I went to Abraxas coffeeshop and smoked another joint outside. I forget if it was Abraxas or another coffeeshop before it but they wouldn’t let me smoke inside unless I was going to buy something. And I still had to finish the rest of my joints before my flight so I just kept to myself outside.

Then I walked through the Red Light District which was interesting to say the least. I saw one too many tits and decided not to stay much longer. I went back to Amsterdam Centraal but realized I still had some time to wander before I needed to head back to the airport. I decided to go back to the first coffeeshop I started at and there was a guy sitting on a bench outside so I sat next to him. I asked him if I could smoke there and he handed me a lighter, which I took as a yes. (And another language barrier perhaps.) He was really chill but again, barely spoke English. I shared my last two joints with him because he seemed like a genuine, kind person. He gave off a nice vibe, and he had shared his rolling papers with some strangers in need. We didn’t really talk much because of the whole language barrier thing but we enjoyed each other’s company. I could tell he really appreciated the joints and I appreciated having someone to share them with. I had to leave to get to get back to the airport because my paranoid self was worried I’d get lost or something, but I made it back in fairly decent time. I only wish I had longer to roam around this lovely city.

DSCN2631

Everything was so precious and romantic. At one point a biker stopped to let me cross the street, he smiled and said “After you, Madam.” My heart melted. The city was very quiet otherwise, which came as a surprise to me. I felt very touristy with my camera around my neck and I got a little lost at times, but that was all part of the adventure. I stumbled upon some graffiti on a wall that read “Love Me” and I admired it for probably longer than necessary but what felt like the perfect amount of time. I got to see everything I needed to see. Next time I’m here, I want to try magic mushrooms and take a canal cruise tour. Those are my only two Amsterdam bucket list things I didn’t get to check off yet. I’d also like to visit and spend more time at the museums and shopping. I bought two beanies and four lighters. I finally heard from Mike that he and Jo are in Germany. I’ll be seeing them soon. Next destination — Cairo.

Pubs and Hipsters: Ireland

By Brittany Tedesco

The first time I ever left America was my Freshman year at Arcadia University.  One of the reasons Arcadia is ranked the number one school for study abroad is due to its Spring Preview experience.  Freshmen and transfer students all have the chance to apply for this week long excursion that takes place during spring break for a very small yet all-inclusive fee, as long as they take a two-credit course during the spring semester based on the country they are traveling to.  I can still distinctly remember sitting in my dorm with my group of new best friends (who I now consider family) and discussing the places we wanted to see.  We were allowed to pick our top 3 choices and write a paragraph on why we wanted to go there, and in a few weeks we would find out where we were going.  We didn’t all pick the same choices, but a few of us picked Ireland as our top choice, and lucky for Alyssa, Matt, and I— we all got it!

I remember being so nervous about the flight because I hadn’t been on a plane since I was four years old, and I had only gone to Florida.  Now I was about to travel to another country for the first time, and when we got our seats, I was nowhere near my two best friends who both got to sit next to each other.  Luckily, I was next to a few of our Professors/Advisors and as soon as we were in the air and it was safe to take our seatbelt off, Alyssa found me to make sure I was doing alright, and I was! I left my nerves on the ground and was entirely full of excitement.

Day 1.

When we arrived in Dublin, the jet lag hit us hard.  The first thing we did was get lunch as a class with our advisors at Gallagher’s Boxty House, and we could barely keep our eyes open (just our mouths) through our meal.  I had some delicious seafood chowder and a veggie enchilada, and cheesecake for dessert.  But even more importantly, I had my first legal drink.  What better way to celebrate being in Ireland than with a Murphy’s Irish Stout.

After lunch, we stopped at the ATM to take out euros and went off to explore the city of Dublin! Alyssa and I got our first tattoos together.  This was becoming a great experience of firsts.  First time out of the country, first legal beer, and first tattoo! Ireland10And it was only the first day.

We spent the rest of the day exploring and shopping, and stopped at Messers McGuire Pub to watch the Ireland vs. Scotland rugby game.  For dinner we ate cheap American food (Papa Johns) for dinner so we could spend our money on more important things like beer, obviously.  Plus it was nice to see familiar places in an unfamiliar place.

Day 2.ireland2

The next morning we had breakfast and our hostel, then Alyssa and I went to a cafe with our hostel roommates.  I ordered a caramel macchiato and it was not at all what I was expecting.  It was so small! All the portion sizes seemed smaller here.  The tables and stuff too. I guess it’s made for leprechauns or something. 

We went to Trinity College later that day with our class to learn and discuss the Irish history and stereotypes more.  We learned some of the lingo like “fags” for cigarettes and “slag” for someone who is a little “loose”. Slag was probably our most used word of the week. 

That night we went to Bachelor’s, a bar next to our hostel, where we got bracelets for half off our food. Ireland3For a total of €5, I got a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with mashed potatoes for dinner.  This ended up becoming our signature spot.  We did some souvenir shopping that night and then headed back to Bachelor’s to spend our money on the more important things I mentioned earlier.  I got a Heineken, and then discovered my new favorite drink— Bulmer’s Irish Cider.  (Was disappointed to find out they don’t sell Bulmer’s in America, but then found out it’s the same as Magner’s so all is well again.)  The bar played a Bon Jovi song and Matt and I high-fived because we’re both from Jersey just like John Bon Jovi and I guess it was just exciting to hear him in another country and all be from the same place. We were also probably just a little tipsy…

Ireland28Ireland11

Later that night I went to a pharmacy to ask for a pack of fags, but the cashier just gave me an irritated look and said “You mean cigarettes? We don’t sell those here.”  I left a little embarrassed and didn’t bother asking for fags anywhere else.  We decided to find some of our friends at Doyle’s Pub, but we got lost even though it ended up being a block away from our hostel.  Alyssa, Matt, Brandon (who became one of our close friends during the trip), and I started singing the Beatles and we magically found Doyle’s.  I drank a Smithwicks and a shot of Malibu.  On our journey back to the hostel we met some Irish kid who played Hurling and we all got delicious ice cream. 

Ireland5Day 3.

Woke up and had breakfast at the hostel again. Our class then went on a guided walking tour of Dublin.  We got to learn a lot and see the sights.
We had lunch at Luigi Malones, where I had a BBQ Chicken Pizza and a Toblerone cheesecake. I don’t know why I was always ordering cheesecake to be honest but it was delicious. We continued on our tour, and one of my favorite parts was the Writer’s Museum. 

Ireland30When we finished our class tour and got some free time, Matt, Alyssa, Brandon and I all took the Dart (bus) to Howth, a port village outside of Dublin, where we got some beautiful photographs of the bay. We returned to Bachelor’s for dinner again, a toasted cheese sandwich and mashed potatoes again, and the waiter made fun of our usual, saying that must be an American thing.  I had a couple of Bulmer’s and then we headed to O’Sullivans where I had one too many “Baby G” (Baby Guinness) shots.
Coffee liqueur and Ireland7Bailey’s Irish cream is dangerously good.  The bartended joked that he would cut me off unless I could walk in a straight line, so I got my shit together and nailed it.  Another Baby G shot and a Bulmer’s please. 

Day 4. Ireland16

Another hostel breakfast before my favorite day of the whole trip.  We went on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour so we could get on and off this bus pretty much whenever and wherever we wanted.  We went to St. Stephen’s Green  (so pretty), St. Pat’s Cathedral, and the Guinness Factory.
We got a free pint at the end of it but I ended u giving mine to Matt because I discovered dark beer wasn’t really my thing.  We also went to some prison but I don’t remember the name of it.  I was too hungry at this point so I went to the cafe with one of my other classmates while the rest of our group explored the jail’s museum.  I had a quiche with a surprisingly really good side salad, some coleslaw and this delicious apple and celery thing.

Ireland12Ireland13

After our bus tour was over I treated my friend Brandon to the leprechaun museum for his birthday.ireland1  I also wanted someone to come with me and no one besides Brandon had even the slightest interest (their loss).  Brandon and I had done a little shopping beforehand and my camera died from taking pictures of all the Euro hipsters so I bought a disposable camera to take photos at the Leprechaun Museum which ended up being really fun.  We basically got the experience of being leprechauns and learned about the history of these mythological creatures.

That night, our class saw ‘Da’ at the Gate Theatre, and we ended our night at the pubs yet again.

Day 5.Ireland21

Today was a long day spent getting on and off a bus with our class.  First we stopped at Bayne Valley.  Then Battle of the Boyne.  Brandon got me a hot chocolate there because it was so cold.  We stopped for lunch at a little place in Trim before going to see Trim Castle which was absolutely stunning.  Then we visited Hill of Tara which was so fun and pretty, and then we headed back to Dublin for another night at our favorite pubs O’Sullivans and Doyle’s where I continued to quench my obsession of Baby G shots and Bulmer’s.  I also added some Bahama Mama’s to the mix tonight.

Ireland19 Ireland23

Ireland26
Day 6.

Our last full day in Ireland was spent on a long bus ride to Belfast.  Our class had been based on the split between Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland, so our trip wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to the capital of Northern Ireland.  It began with a lecture at Queens College, followed by a bus tour of Belfast with some fascinating political murals and graffiti.  When we returned to Dublin, we spent our last night shopping and buying more souvenirs, and ended at our two favorite pubs one last time.  After some Bulmer’s, Baby G shots, Woo Woos, Bahama Mamas and White Russians I had somehow run out of all my money— €400 well spent!

Day 7.

We left bright and early for our flight home.  I’ll never forget that post-travel depression when I arrived back home and thought to myself how the grass was literally greener in Ireland.  It was the experience of a lifetime.  I left with crazy memories, new experiences, lifelong friendships, and the ever-so-contagious travel bug.

 Ireland31

Ireland20

Hot Date Becomes Hot Mess

It started on Valentine’s Day.

I know. Cliché as fuck, right?

Most single girls on Valentine’s Day eat their weight in chocolate and binge watch rom-com’s like The Notebook. However, that is not my idea of a good time. So let’s flashback to Valentine’s Day 2013.

I was in London, studying abroad for the semester. At this point I’d been in the city a little over a month. I had made friends and knew my way around the city fairly well. So when Valentine’s Day rolled around, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. O’Neill’s. The only way I can describe O’Neill’s is that, at best- it is a shit show. But I had not yet experienced it such as my flat mates had. So my friend Johanna and I, and her friend Lia decided that we were going to make Valentine’s Day our bitch.

Lia had met us at our house in Kilburn Park and greeted us with chocolate and wine. Because really, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? We got ready and my flat mates (and Lia) all ventured out for the evening.

The night did not begin at O’Neills. We went to a place called Strawberry Moon first, which was entirely too boring for us. Essentially we were looking to get wasted and hookup with beautiful British men. At this point in the night, we decided to head to O’Neill’s.

I wish I could tell you how much fun I had or how much money my bar tab was but the truth is… I don’t remember. I went from 0 to drunk real quick. I lost Johanna and Lia at one point. I met a British man named Alex who I then started hooking up with. He also paid for all of my drinks and eventually helped me find my friends. I found Johanna upstairs in a corner attached to an Italian man’s face. Lia was dancing with everyone because she is beautiful and everyone wanted to dance with her. We had all found “our guy.” Eventually it was time to go home. Alex came back with me, but Johanna and Lia exchanged numbers with their guys.

Alex left my flat VERY early the next morning, and that next day we laughed and tried to recall drunken memories from the previous night. Now, you may think this is where this story ends. However you are very much wrong.

Not thinking anything of it, Johanna’s guy had texted her later in the week and also found her on Facebook. He wanted nothing more than to see her again. Crazy right? Who would ever expect a hookup at a club abroad to turn into another date? Then again, if you knew Johanna, she IS a beautiful, blonde, bombshell from SoCal. So if I were an Italian man, I’d want to date her too. She wanted to see him again, but also did not want to put herself in a bad situation, after all she hardly knew this guy. So, because I am such a great friend (and because Antonio- her guy- had hot friends) I agreed to go on a date with them. The only requirement was that Antonio had to bring a hot friend for me as well. We made plans to go to a local pub on a Thursday night.

I sat through my dreaded three hour marketing class that Thursday night until 10pm. I quickly got changed at school and then met up with Johanna. We texted Antonio (Johanna’s guy) to try and find them. After some miscommunication, we eventually found them in the tube station. But Antonio didn’t just bring one friend…he brought three. Now again you’re probably thinking “Four beautiful Italian men, how lucky are these girls?” Again, WRONG. Four of them, and two of us. That’s a lot of fucking testosterone. Additionally we went to greet them and quickly discovered the three friends he brought BARELY spoke English!!! All I could think was “What the fuck did I just get myself into…”

We headed to the pub and got drinks. I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there, but that would be the understatement of the year. It was like trying to communicate with brick walls. We all barely understood each other. I used Google Translator half of the “date” (PS shout out to that pub for having free Wi-Fi so that I could even use Google Translator.) On top of the language barrier we realized we barely had anything in common with them. I also found out one of them had a girlfriend back in Italy. It was just a mess. A hot mess. Literally a hot mess, after all they were easy on the eyes. Eventually we finished our drinks and headed home. We cracked up about how weird the date wbrewskisas the whole way home. Johanna and I must have sounded like little school girls giggling on the bus ride home.

From this date though I did learn a few VERY valuable lessons.

1) You will never fall in love in a bar.
2) You CAN in fact hookup with someone in a bar and be very unaware they barely speak English.
3) When all else fails, there is nothing a good drink can’t fix.