Sunday, November 29, 2009


I write to you from the Twilight Zone***. It’s midnight… One minute ago it was November 28th and one minute from now it will also be November 28th. Don’t worry about it…

Anyway, I am dreadfully behind. The Pacific Ocean looms on all sides as we brave its stormy depths en route to Hawaii, our final port. What? No I’m not crying, how dare you. I’ll use the upcoming 3000 nautical miles to catch you up on the last five countries. First stop: Mauritius.

The little island off the coast of Madagascar was a necessary Texaco for the ship, so all of us got two nights to run amuck in the sun after Midterms. Let’s rewind a few weeks… Megan, Jeff, Jade, Bill, The Brothers Garcia (whose real names are Kevin and Brett Wil-something, but this is irrelevant), and I decided to rent a villa. Online we found an awesome mini-mansion by the beach with its own pool and hammock. We were pleased. Enter Jacques - pronounced “jah-KWEESE” for all incorrect intents and purposes. He was the man in charge and he was alllll about us. But after 2 weeks of Jacques emailing Megan at least 4 times daily (almost always finding a way to incorporate the phrase “ooh la la”) and sending us pictures of his family and car along with a detailed description of his most recent vacation and a list of activities we could do with his sons, we all started feeling dimly nauseous. Then he Google Earth-ed Megan’s house. Game over.

So there we were, 15 minutes before our arrival in port, frantically searching for a new villa. Several hours later, across the island in Grand Bay: Ikbal, the new Jacques, arrives at the doorstep of our new villa to let us in and hand over the keys. It’s absolutely gorgeous… except that it has no sheets, has no toilet paper, has pink shimmering metallic mattress coverlets, and is otherwise completely undecorated except for the smallest vase you can possibly imagine adorning the mini fridge. By Day 2 the running water on the second floor decided to back out of the deal. But there was a hose in the front yard…SO WE LOVED IT.

In the coming days and nights we had sooo much fun. Just plain and simple good times with good friends. I can’t even do these days justice with only my meager words. We walked from our house to the beach and ran into the water and played football and climbed trees and swam and laughed and I bought an extravagant ring floatie for 10 bucks. An extravagant rip. Then we made a deal with a guy on the beach who took us on a snorkeling trip for 10 bucks (don’t think I don’t see the irony here). We had a glass bottom boat all to ourselves and we took it way out to sea; the water was so clear you could see zebra fish for miles. We jumped off the boat’s roof and swam underneath it to flip each other off through the glass bottom and took the floatie out into the deep and it was just sooo fun.

It started getting dark so we went to the store to buy groceries and then didn’t buy anything but Top Ramen. We got back home to find that one of The Brothers had bought himself a ‘personal snack’ consisting of Doritos. What’s that about… Anyway, the other Brother and I had a water fight with the hose in the front yard (difficult with only one hose. Tactics were limited: take turns spraying each other in face; “make it rain” so everyone loses) and then found a drawer full of candles and played with them in the driveway. We also filled the bathtub to turn it into your standard “Jacuzzi” and crammed four of us in there for 2 hours just living it up. That night we went dancing at a place on the beach called Banana Bar where a reggae band was playing. In the wee hours of the morning, as the singer with dreads-to-the-floor got awkward cause he ran out of Bob Marley songs, we decided to swim wayyyy out in the harbor to where all the jumbo yachts were docked. It was the greatest achievement of my life… silently parting the pitch black waters of the Indian Ocean, mischief masked by darkness. We climbed their anchor ropes like pirates and lay in the nets watching for shooting stars in the Milky Way. Then we’d back flip off the back of one yacht and swim on to the next. I don’t want to say The Perfect Crime, but…

The next day our friend Kate’s rich cousin flew in from Dubai for the day and paid for all of our friends to spend the entire day sailing around the island on a yacht. It was so awesome; we sat out on the bow taking turns doing the thing from Titanic and then the yacht docked off the coast of a tiny island and we all jumped off the boat and swam out to it. They barbecued on the back deck and we all acted dumb together and the whole thing just reeked of happiness and light.

Spent another carefree night twirling at Banana Bar and another morning on the sand. We had to leave that afternoon and I hated it. I feel like this would be the appropriate time to scream SPRING BREAK 09 and wave my shirt above my head…

Additional Notes:
-I’d like to extend a warm Congratulations to Jeff for facing his fears. He is an unbelievably weak individual and is afraid of almost every thing we saw and did. He went swimming, jumped off something, and looked at fish. Bravo Jeff, we’re proud of you.

-I wore the same dress from the moment I got off the ship to the moment I got back on the ship. I packed a full backpack of Attractive Beach Wear… but if the dress fits, wear it.
P.S. I even wore it in the Jacuzzi.

***I’m not naming names, but The International Date Line wouldn’t be out of the question.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


South Africa was honestly one of the best times of my whole life. That first morning, most of the “shipboard community” rolled out of bed in time to watch the sun rise over Cape Town as a few wise dolphins guided us into the port. Straight off the ship we took a taxi to the foot of Table Mountain and our driver, Ricky, demonstrated his rave hands in time with Beyonce’s “If I Was A Boy” and honked at any car that dared be driven by anyone but him. Life in the fast lane, I said to him. Only 4 of our original group of 12 dared to take on the 3 hour trail to the summit. It was essentially a vertical ascent and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Since band camp. We took a break halfway up by lying in a waterfall (back sweat insurance) and took subsequent breaks every couple minutes. By the end I had moved from my position at the front of the pack, where I had been impressively bounding off out-of-the-way rocks, to a position 20 feet behind the rest, crawling on all fours, muttering “this too shall pass” under my wheeze. We finally made it and the view was so beautiful, made all the better by the fact that I could share it with my still-beating heart. We (my heart and I) rewarded ourselves with an apple spritzer. Took the cable car back down the mountain, in manner of Willy Wonka elevator.

By this time it was early evening, also known as time for a feast. We found a restaurant and sat there for almost 3 hours, just chain eating. We talked about everything and our little group of four friends (Megan Haley Jade me) has since credited that dinner as ‘the moment we knew.’ One order of nachos, a pizza bread, a greek salad, 2 slices of pizza, and 2 chocolate milkshakes later, I accidentally fell asleep. We took that as a cue to gracefully bow out. That night we met up with 3 of our guy friends and went to an Irish pub where a live band was playing Wonderwall seemingly on repeat. That night took many twists and turns and we ended up dancing until the early hours at a discotheque on top of a building with a backdrop of Cape Town in fairy lights.

The next day we went to the aquarium, a marketplace, and Subway (sorry), and just absorbed the feeling that comes from existing at the bottom of Africa. I’m skipping things in favor of keeping this as brief as possible, which still isn’t brief, so onward and upward. The next day we rose early and headed out into the world to find a driver willing to take us to Stellenbosch, which is South Africa’s answer to Napa Valley if Napa was a huge college town. We checked into our hostel, Stumble Inn, ha, and set out for a full day of touring the region’s winelands and vineyards and cellars. We wended our way through the hills to four wineries, cheese tasting and acting sophisticated and lying in fields all the while. We also had a delicious South African lunch at a restaurant with our guide, who openly and deeply disliked me. I was forced to ask the question “Would you ever hit a woman?” He was not pleased. The rolling green vineyards and misty air made for such a magical day and by the end we’d made a hundred friends and a thousand laughs.

We spent that whole night hanging out with the South African college kids at a place called Terrace and it was exactly exactly exactly how I always wanted college to be. I briefly considered transferring there, it’s just SO FUN. The place was packed and they were blasting Blink 182 and screaming the words and everyone was throwing flour and garlic at each other like in the food fights of my dreams. And everyone was dressed like I wanted them to be, not that that’s important.

Next day we were up early for a SAFARI. We all wore the exact same outfit (except for Jeff, who we subtly excluded the rest of the day). Black pants + black ‘The Goat Father’ shirts we had bought at one of the wineries. The Aquila Game Reserve was 2 hours away, but luckily the guy working the front desk ‘knew a guy’ and hooked us up with a driver the night before, so that morning he showed up just half an hour late, and we threw our backpacks in his hatchback and set off into the mountains. Our driver was the striking leather-clad John Johnson, whose only qualification seemed to be has truck with hatchback. A brief ode to JJ: He used to have hair that he could sit on but he cut it off four years ago to start a new chapter of John. I jokingly asked where the hair was now, and he replied “in my cupboard.” The catch: his ex-fiance recently stole it so she could do voodoo on him. The present location is unknown. Also, he says the F word a lot… why? His mother was struck by lightning while he was in the womb. Lastly, he has a dual obsession with Y2K (9 years man…) and the Mega Volcano of 2012, which will destroy all but 3% of the population. Anyway we had the time of our lives with him; he took us to McDonalds, bought us a mini picture book about shacks (which we thought was a gift, but he later reclaimed), and played Trance music the ENTIRE ride, pumping his fist and flipping his hair with the rhythm, except for a brief intermission during which he put on Michael Buble’s Call Me Irresponsible. At the end of the day we found out he wasn’t a tour guide OR a professional driver… he was just the roommate of the guy who did our winelands tour. Nevertheless, I miss him.

So John went off into the wild to wait for us and we set out into the bush in the Comvee (Wild Thornberries reference)… it was SO AWESOME, we saw everything out there: elephants, zebras, rhinos, hippos, springbok, antelope, lions, ostriches, water buffalo, and a lot of wide open Africa. They gave us blankets and sparkling apple juice and we just sat back as they drove the Comvee unbelievably close up to the animals. The land itself was equally incredible though… there’s more sparkle in the water and the clouds are swirlier…everything looks like Lion King. Anyway, after our hugely successful game drive, we retired to the lodge where they fed us the hugest best buffet lunch of all time and where I ate an entire wheel of brie cheese. On the ride back to Cape Town, John told us that bushmen used to live on the reserve and, up until the early 90s, a white man could obtain a license to hunt them. That’s just sick. It seems so far removed now, but in the span of history we were in South Africa right on the tails of apartheid. It’s only been 15 years for Moses’ sake.

Back in Cape Town, we went out to dinner and headed out to Mitchell’s which was packed out for karaoke. Haley and I performed the most moving Don’t Stop Believin that the world has ever seen. There was disco. There was twirling. There were people standing on tables to get a better view. There was a woman in the front row crying. All those flashbulbs and smiling faces… I’ll never forget it. Then we went to a college disco (bizarrely located in a shopping mall) and rocked out to Blink 182 all over again all night.

Our final day was spent around the wharf, trying to go shark diving. We booked 3 different early morning shark diving trips, all of which were cancelled due to rough seas. Rage. We accepted defeat and that night we dolled up and headed out for a fancy girls night out dinner. I ate ostrich and deep fried cheese. It was a beautiful thing. They had animal print blankets on each chair for you to wrap up in since the tables were out by the water, and at the end of our meal Haley and I surreptitiously didn’t surrender them (if sprinting away from the scene with a large blanket under your dress can be surreptitious). We spent the whole night dancing, wearing the blankets as fur stoles. I’ve never had so much fun in my life… until I fell off a table and jacked up my shin. But the show had to go on and at least I had a zebra fur to add some polish to my tarnished dignity. The sun came up and we got back on the ship just in time for breakfast.

That evening we bid Cape Town farewell from the top deck and I solemnly vowed to return. This is the first port where I can seriously see myself coming to live; I love the people and there’s so much to do and I feel like there’s work there that needs doing. As we set sail and waited for the city lights to fade into the ink, I cried a solitary black tear. “This is not Goodbye, South Africa,” I whispered, “it’s merely TTYL.”


Friday, October 2, 2009



Ghana may have been my favorite country yet. I LOVE it and want to live there forever (once I’m done being a gypsy forever). Name me one other country where you can find a Pizza Inn next to a Chicken Inn next to a Creamy Inn, eat at all three in quick succession, walk outside and buy a xylophone, then get hit by a car. But these are the least of Ghana’s charms.

We ported in Tema and took a 45 minute bus into Accra, the capital of Ghana. We spent the whole afternoon and night hanging out with the locals and shopping the marketplace and just generally having fun. The Ghanaian people are hands down the nicest people I’ve ever met; I have a small yet intimate posse of Ghanaian friends now. Shacka, Casey, Brooklyn, Momi, and Blessing are at the top of my list of “Groomsmen that I will force my husband to include”… Those guys…

The next day we rose with the sun and got on a bus to Tafi Atome, a monkey sanctuary in a village 4 hours away. We brought Megan’s little iPod speaker, dubbed “Gohnathan with a G,” so the whole day The Short Bus was popping. The only problem was that the Ghanaian guys were not satisfied with anything short of a constant stream of Akon. And so it passed that we partook in a Traditional Naming Ceremony to the tune of “Smack That.” My Ghanaian name is Esi. Once we arrived at Tafi Atome, our guide Prince led us on a tour of the surrounding jungle, through villages and schools and an orphanage. Everyone seemed so genuinely happy to see us and so eager to rapidly become the best friends. The kids were adorable in their gingham school dresses and shirts, politely soliciting anything and everything attached to our bodies. By the end of the day I had rid myself of 4 hair ties, 1 headband, a bracelet, a pen cap, 18 cedi (about 12 dollars), and a brochure for Soak City. Thank God, too… that stuff was really putting a target on my head pick-pocket-wise. THEN I fed a banana to a monkey with my bare hands and he peeled it with his bare hands (bare feet? bare talons? Not important.)

From there we took the bus to Wli Falls which is my favorite thing in Ghana. We hiked 45 minutes to it (the highest waterfall in all of West Africa), and since it’s Africa (NO RULES!!!) no one stopped us from touching/getting into anything. We swam in the pool at the base of the falls where the falling water hits the still water with so much force that you cannot see 2 feet in front of you. It’s just a huge pit of cloud where the water slaps your skin like a catholic school nun and rainbows play follow the leader with your eyes. And then out of nowhere, thousands of bats went on a mosh pit rampage in the sky above us. IT WAS UNREAL. That night everyone went out dancing in Tema and I met a guy from the Netherlands named Fart. (moment of reverent silence) When I wasn’t subtly trying to impress Fart, Megan and I spent nearly all of our time doing the Single Ladies dance with a 4-pack of Asian midgets. We completely disregarded our entire demographic in favor of this exotic treat. I have no idea what business they had in Ghana (or what business they had existing) but I have never regretted anything less in my life.

The next day we rose at dawn again to embark on the highly anticipated “Castles and Slave Dungeons Tour.” Weeks before this fateful day, I began subtly slipping it into conversation as “Dungeons and Dragons” …at first there was confusion and resistance but by the time we got on the bus, the system infiltration was complete. All involved parties were referencing it without a trace of irony. A private victory. They led us to Cape Coast, complete with postcard beaches and a market spread across boats on the harbor. We toured two castles that were major players in the slave trade and each had a maze of dark dungeons where they stacked the slaves-to-be like meat waiting to be shipped out to the New World; it was so weird standing down in those dungeons picturing all the blood and tears that were spilled on the same stones. But then they fed us 'Lunch' and things got weirder. A sandwich (in order of appearance, top to bottom): bread - chicken salad - bread - hot dog chunks - bread - egg salad - bread. WHYYYYYY… The thing is, I thought it was delicious. I had to eat it surreptitiously, though, because everyone else found it “offensive” and I didn’t want to be the weird kid. That night we went to hang out in Accra and went to a dance club with a live band. We arrive. Fast forward 20 minutes: I am playing the trumpet onstage.

The final day was previously alluded to in Paragraph One of this post, but I’ll elaborate. We took the bus into Accra one last time and ate at the aforementioned 3 restaurants. I then purchased my beloved xylophone as well as a floor length green tie dye mumu which I wore the entire day in order to not look like a tourist… we then got Glamour Shots taken by a talented Ghanaian photographer (who failed to remove his dry cleaning from our backdrop) and then I walked outside and BAM got sideswiped by some punk in a mini van. My shoulder was clicking for a few days but now all has returned to its natural order. Life is good.

I absolutely loved Ghana because, not only is it gorgeous, but the people are so great. They would stop at nothing to help us; I thought my camera got stolen one night and I had 12 Ghanaian guys forming search parties and whipping out cell phones to call their thief friends. Megan ended up finding it in my purse after 2 seconds of looking, but that is irrelevant. And the guys rejoiced with me like it was our mutual prodigal son. I LOVE GHANA and I didn’t do it justice in this post because right now it’s 4:30am and we pull into South Africa in an hour and a half. There’s no time to procrastinate like the present. I must sleep. I’ve got outrageous plans in SA, but I kind of promise to maybe be punctual with my update when I get back. WISH ME LUCK IN THE INFINITE ABYSS.

(glamour shot)


Monday, September 21, 2009


WHERE DO I BEGIN. First off I'll say this: I deleted all of my pictures from Morocco. I can't even blame it on a thief, a technical problem, or a flood. I was just leisurely strolling through my photos and then clicked "delete all" instead of "delete just this one I took of myself from underneath my chin."

But I borrowed some from my friends (see above) and things look more magical from my minds' eye anyway. So I will now give you a glimpse:

We ported in Casablanca and stepped off the ship into the beginnings of a monsoon. Pissed-off-looking storm clouds hung low in the African sky as Megan, Kelly, Jeff, Jeff's brother Jordan (simply "The Brother" for all intents and purposes) and I made our way to the train station with 5 days to kill and high hopes to fill. We accidentally bought 2nd Class tickets to Marrakech; we realized this after a Moroccan girl said "Oh... you are peasants?" After awhile we managed to wrangle some seats but for the first portion we were stuck at the joint between two cars, open air on either side of us, just one unfortunately-placed banana peel away from becoming road kill. We played Go Fish and laughed ourselves into comas.

Four hours later we arrived in Marrakech and were greeted by the absolute 100% most torrential downpour I have ever ever ever witnessed. There was no distinction between raindrops... walking = swimming. We ran/hydroplaned in the apocalyptic manner of the street people in King Kong, and we finally made it to a taxi soaked to our bones. The streets were rivers and we couldn't see 2 feet in front of the car. After floating into the medina (the old walled city), we found our way to the riad/hostel where I stayed last time I was in Marrakech...walking through the streets and tunnels all lit up in the rain was among my favorite moments of my life.

We were in Morocco during Ramadan, meaning the entire Muslim population (aka the whole city... there is no separation of church and state. It's all one thing... "Chate") fasts from sun up to sun down. Everyone eats huge feasts after sunset and people of all ages are out in Jmaa el Fna, the big square with all the snake charmers and story tellers and pickpockets, until the early hours of the morning. So we jumped right in and did the same... Best chicken kebab I've ever had, even though we watched the cook lick his fingers and then individually manhandle each piece.

The next morning the five of us set out for the nicest hammam in town. This is a traditional bath house where huge half naked Moroccan women scrub you, throw buckets of water at your face, gossip about your lack of muscle definition in Arabic, bring you mint tea, and have you sit in a beautifully tiled steam room. Then you get a massage (set to a soundtrack of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You played on traditional Moroccan instruments... I'm not kidding) and they run Moroccan oils through your hair. It's so cool and I emerged cleaner than I’ve ever been in my life. We wandered into the souks (markets) with every intention of getting lost and then spent four hours walking through the maze of treasures, turning corners on a whim and amassing collections of leather purses, antique bangles, "magic boxes", and love potions. I bought a tambourine from the man who sold Led Zeppelin their exotic instruments; he had pictures with Robert Plant to prove it. We started playing the instruments and it transformed into a massive jam session... people gathered to watch and photograph us.

That night we went out to a restaurant on a rooftop with a bunch of SAS people we ran into, and the night culminated with the five of us playing Monkey In The Middle with 10 Moroccan hipsters and their soccer ball. The next morning we had crepes and orange juice on our hostel’s rooftop then we instantly and irrationally decided to go to Essaouira, a beach town 4 hours away that you could only get to on the one bus per day they had out of town. We RAN to the bus station and barely made it. Essaouira’s medina walls drop right into the ocean and its colorful maze of alleys and markets are charmingly illogical. For example, there is multicolored string that hangs in the air lengthwise down the alleys, and everyone has to duck to get around it, but no one could explain to me why it’s there. In the 70s the city was a major stop on the hippie trail and Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, etc. would come and stay for weeks on end wallowing in the sun and the cheap drugs. Speaking of addictions, I ate a sick number of street pastries. The marketplace was seemingly untouched by time or tourism and looked straight out of the year 17; I could easily picture teenage Jesus on any given corner, eating a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles (these were inexplicably everywhere and cost about 5 cents) and negotiating a renegade sprinkle out of his beard. We sunbathed down by the seaside, "chilled" with fellow travelers on the mural-covered candlelit roof of our hippie hostel (the #2 hostel in Africa!!!), hung out at the water’s edge at night, and saw the most beautiful sunset ever while standing on the city wall. We also discovered this one secret cafe up a spiral staircase where we found the owner painting amidst a collection of guitars and pillows. We were the only ones in there so he let me play his guitar and I wrote a song while we waited for our food. The unfortunate thing is that the song ended up being "Closing Time" by Semisonic. We sang it like we owned it and Mohammad will never know the difference.

We were having such a great time we forgot to figure out how to get home and ended up having to take a desperate midnight bus back to Casablanca, arriving with the sun at 6am in time to catch the boat. While waiting for midnight, we ate a 5 course dinner at the 5 star Hotel Des Iles where Jimi always stayed and where he wrote a lot of music. Then after a series of ridiculous mishaps (including the three of us girls chasing the bus down the street screaming), I ended up crammed into the window seat with one old toothless Moroccan man dead asleep on my shoulder and another sitting at my feet with his elbow propped up on my knee. But I turned on the music in my ears and watched the Milky Way float above my window, so all was well with my soul. Got on the ship and slept for 12 hours.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009


PARENTAL ADVISORY: This will be obscenely long. I'm not sorry.

Let me set the scene…

I’m sitting in a wooden treehouse. A suspicious black cat comes slinking out of a shadowy hole (presumably a den of thieves) in the adjoining red tile rooftop. The echoes of the gypsies’ tambourines come drifting down the alleyway. Nearby, someone is whistling “Everybody Dance Now”…

Welcome to Spain.

But let me rewind. I awoke that first morning to someone running down the corridor screaming “LAND!” in a British accent. We ran up to the top deck as the sun was coming up and saw birds circling for the first time in over a week. We watched the ship pull into Cadiz, Spain, and a good friend turned to me and said in all seriousness “I’m so happy right now.” Going against all my natural instincts, I didn’t mock her.

We had no plans except a vague (burning) desire to attend Cascamorras, which is a festival near Granada where everyone throws paint at each other and runs through the streets. So we hopped on a bus to Granada and 5 hours later we turned up at an abandoned wooden door that turned out to lead to the best hostel I’ve ever been to. The treehouse is only the tip of the iceberg… a huge courtyard and bean bags and floor pillows and hammocks galore. Basically what I’m saying is this place is the Seating Capital of Spain. We met so many unruffled (I just used Thesaurus to get a synonym for “cool”) people hanging out there and that night Fernando, a Spanish guy who worked at the hostel, took a few of us out on the town with him to the haunts where the locals go. We went salsa dancing and there wasn’t an English speaker in sight. I twirled with the best of them and by the end of it all I was hoisted above the crowd into the DJ booth and was spotted spinning with DJuan Antonio. Back at the hostel we ditched our bunks to sleep in the hammocks under the Spanish sky.

The next day we walked through the winding alley maze of the Albaizin, down the narrow Moroccan markets (there’s a huge North African influence in Granada), and climbed the hill in the middle of town to tour Alhambra, which is amazingly beautiful/huge and reminds me of the following SAT problem… Hogwarts:Alhambra::Harry Potter:Jarrí Póter. A huge portion of the day was devoted to sitting in various tapas bars across the city eating plate after plate of little food and talking about life, love, and the infinite abyss with our new friend collection. That evening at 4pm, this British guy Ed was supposed to pick us up in his rent-a-car to take us to Guadix, the town where Cascamorras was held. HE NEVER SHOWED. “The Most Vivid Hatred Ever Felt” is a good way to describe the general Ed-related feelings that night. I gathered the troops and made a valiant effort to get us there by autobus but by the time we got there the festival would be over. (Epilogue: I later found out they were actually throwing motor oil at each other… I’m speechless. That’s just sketchy is all.)

Later that night my Australian friend Eliza and I went to get ice cream at this lookout where you could see Alhambra all lit up. On our way back we heard music in the distance and followed it through the streets until we stumbled upon a walled park where gypsies were playing music in a circle. They invited us to join them and were so welcoming, aka they didn’t touch my purse. The music wasn’t like anything I’ve heard before, and they all wear cool clothes and smile and dance and sing and all I want to do is be a gypsy for the rest of my life. We hung out with them in the park clapping and dancing for awhile longer and then got kebabs in the street and called it a night. ‘Sleepover In The Hammocks II,’ if you want to get specific about what kind of a night we called it.

Next day we took the train to Sevilla with 3 of the people we had met. Checked into another great hostel after a 3 hour long hunt in the heat. The boys hunted and we girls actually just ate gelato in various air conditioned buildings. Beds were scarce so I ended up in a 4 person room with The Trifecta, as I affectionately christened them: Three 60+ year old men from “Holland” who never wore shirts, were tanned to a crisp, and smelled worse than anything I’ve ever imagined, if the ‘anything’ in question lived inside a toilet in India. Anyway, we bopped around the city and went out for Paella Night with a group of Australians from the hostel who were hilarious and had a waterproof camera (# of pictures of ourselves taken through the inside of a glass of sangria: infinity). We found an extremely authentic (i.e. the best dancer was wearing zip off cargos and a polo shirt/belly top hybrid) Flamenco place where everyone just gets up on the stage at will to show their stuff. One of the Australians, Chris, and I practiced SO HARD in the corner and got really good and asked if we could dance onstage. They said “si” enthusiastically, then proceeded to ignore us until 2:00 in the morning when the festivities ended. We were so unnecessarily nervous. The place closed so we all went and hung out down by the river for the rest of the night and I finally rejoined The Trifecta as the sun was rising. A great day.

The next morning we took the train back to Cadiz and hung out with everyone there until we had to be back on the ship at 6:00pm. I had such an unbelievable time in Spain and I can’t even wait to see what’s next. NEXT STOP: AFRICA. Hasta Morocco mis amigos.

Monday, August 24, 2009

i'm studying abroad - the sequel


Summer (see above) has met its demise... school is back and Target has already sold out of protractors. I'm now a senior with no legitimate reason not to graduate in May, despite my robust attempt to fail one class per year, subtly tricking them into letting me stay until 2011. When you're this intelligent, failing becomes a chore.

Anyway, an unrelated and insignificant side note: I'm going on Semester at Sea tomorrow. Yikes.

(^ that's where we're going)

I am now not only blogging for the Admissions Department, but for the Study Abroad Department as well, which explains why my picture appears here and here. I say this to dispel ALL RUMORS circling about how my ever evasive twin, Kristen, is blogging for the latter while I, Kristen, continue blogging for the former. Anyway, two birds are dead and I am the stone thrower. I'm not sorry.

So my bags are (not) packed, and I'm (not) ready to go, so without further ado please excuse me while I embark on a daring nautical voyage to circumnavigate planet Earth on the high seas, come Hell or high water (or Hurricane Bill... who I am not enthusiastic about).

Goodnight and good luck to myself,


P.S. Next time we meet I will be scarfing tapas and overusing the phrase "HASTA LA VISTA BABY"... see you in Spain my friends.


Here is a link to the web page that tells you how to send me letters on the ship. Fan mail readily accepted. (Here's lookin at you, Grandma)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer. (also known as The End)


Hello my friends,

My apologies for all my empty promises. When technology (video camera connector cord) goes on strike there is little I can do but scream and flail it around like a whip. Now summer has arrived and I'm technically not getting paid anymore. I could turn this blog into a Curse Word Sanctuary and my bosses have no legal right to punish me. (That may not actually be true; I'll ask my lawyers) But instead I think I will continue with business as usual. Old habits die hard.

Before I continue my Point Loma related blogging, I want to take a Time Out to shamelessly promote my pathetic stab at summer moneymaking. I give you...... an online vintage 'boutique' (that's rich...) featuring Things I No Longer Want.

Yesterday I coerced my sister Alli into hiking out to a field behind our house and trying on all my merchandise so I could take pictures of it. Here are some of the fruits of our labors. And by labors I mean me wearing a bucket hat and rainboots while swatting mosquitos off her face and yelling "STOP SMILING, THIS CAN'T GO ON YOUR MYSPACE."

I'll be back before long to fulfill my long list of promises (maybe.)
Until then (potentially never),



Saturday, May 9, 2009

irrelevance is bliss


So the year is winding down and classes have ended. Starting Monday we'll all be taking an unpleasant jaunt down Finals Week Lane (not to be confused with Caf Lane, the fashion capital of the Northern Hemisphere). As my good friend Ally Beardsley (alias: BeardsQuest) explained, finals week is like that man you see standing by your car late at night wearing latex gloves and a ski mask. You think to yourself, 'Oh that'll never happen.' Then he's putting you in your trunk. Luckily most of my finals consist of distinguishing between a Cotton blouse and a Rayon blouse, so I'm not as worried as some.

All in all, this has been the best year of my life. I'm a liar by nature, but this time I'm loosely serious. Lessons were learned (i.e. DON'T NOT REGISTER YOUR CAR!!!!!!!!!), pranks were pulled, 3am burritos were consumed (two in a row is not unheard of), important documents were lost, and I laughed until I threw up on hundreds of occasions (white lie). A good year. I'm working on something special for my last post of the year, but until then here is a rundown of some of my Junior Year's Last Hoorahs:


I'm sure many of you heard about this. It was an event in support of the Invisible Children... we slept outside by the bay downtown in simulation of what the kids in the LRA camps have to suffer through on a nightly basis. On a much safer and more luxurious scale, though. In accidental keeping with the theme of destruction and misery, the sprinklers came on around midnight and even the typically composed were screaming bloody murder and clawing at the necks of those who weren't running fast enough. My friends and I ended up sleeping on a sliver of grass in the middle of a parking lot and somehow missed the 'waking up' portion of the event... leaving us sketchily passed out until almost noon, while mothers wheeled their strollers past us and shielded their babies' eyes.

(This was supposed to say "LOVE" I believe. The universe couldn't stomach the cliche and instead churned out a lovely "SUK"... Bravo on the end there, Christie. That squiggle is beautiful, if irrelevant.)

...and when i wasn't doing that, I spent the rest of my time doing this:

I'm kidding... I was only like that for a couple of hours.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Everyone! Mainly Me Though.


I turned 21. It's the end of an era... life as a pre-teen is officially OFFICIALLY over. No more acting offended when waiters refuse to bring me the '12 and under' chicken fingers. The proverbial 'they' dragged me kicking and screaming into adulthood though, and I still managed to proverbially punch them in their faces by having a bounce house at my birthday party.

Case in point.

But anyway I had a whole weekend of festivities in addition to The Afternoon Delight, including but not limited to: a trip to Santa Monica Pier and the original Hot Dog on a Stick , a night of hijinx and hurting people at Disneyland, a secret midnight kidnapping of myself (not by myself) complete with midnight bonfire dance circle (less creepy than it sounds, but still significantly creepy), and dinners and movies and smiles and butterflies, yada yada yada. ALSO, my parents graciously gifted me a new iHome to replace my old one because I taped it to the front of my bicycle and then left the whole musi-cycle-morph sitting in the bike rack during a torrential rain storm. So I obviously earned and deserved a new one. Responsibility yields results, my friends.

Anyway, here is evidence that everything I've told you is true:

(I took the liberty here of protecting the identity of the unnamed girl in the front seat. I took an additional liberty in protecting the identity of her double chin)

Your Sister in Christ,
Krizz 10 Reformation