Monday, November 24, 2014

Barcelona Part II.

Hello everyone!

Long time no see :( It's been tough with my schedule to still be able to blog, and that's made me really disappointed and sad. I had hoped to blog A LOT more than I have this semester while abroad, but things just haven't worked out like I planned. The end of semester craze is alive and well here even in Italy, and I feel like I'm constantly running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Between all the group projects and such during the week, and popping in and out of different countries all weekend I can't seem to get it together long enough to be in one place at one time. I am counting down the days until I arrive home because it's just been a rough past couple of weeks. I wish I had time to write about everything I'm feeling but again; that's part of the problem-- there's just not enough time :(

Anyways, enough moaning and groaning (I need to get better about that). I needed to finish up photos from Barcelona from last weekend! It already feels like it was such a long time ago that I was there because I've traveled to Ireland since then, but it was really only a week ago. The second day I was there I went and explored Park Quell which is a park that the famous architect Guadi had a hand in creating for Barcelona. It's the photos above with the incredible view overlooking all the city, and the building that literally looks like a gingerbread house, ha. Later on that day, I continued to explore Guadi's art works across the city with a tour I booked where we hit all of his famous buildings amongst the city. The tour guide was awesome (which makes all the difference!) and I was able to learn so much I never thought would interest me. I also met the sweetest girl from NZ on the tour and we hit it off right away, going to get dinner after the tour ended. It was such a special feeling to connect with someone and have similar interests and thoughts with-- something I'm seriously lacking here in Florence. It was one of those once in a life time experiences where you meet someone you'll never forget! We went out for amazing tapas at a place someone had recommended to her and I fried fish for the first time? I know, crazy that I had never had fish, but I must say I really liked it!

Back tracking a little bit, the final stop on the Guadi tour was that of the Sagrada Familia which is a church that Guadi started a few hundred years ago and the construction of it is still going on. He passed much before a lot of the work even got going, but architects today are still trying to carry out his vision for this incredible church based on the Greek bible. It is absolutely MASSIVE and my jaw dropped when the tour guide told me that it still has like 2/3 of the way to go before being finish sometime near 2025 or so. Mind blowing. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before, so I felt so lucky to have gotten to see it/learn first hand!

Hope you all are well....miss you all so much. I'm trying to push through the craziness in my life right now and hopefully be able to get some more posts up soon! x

With much love, Lauren.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Barcelona Part I.







Hi everyone!

 I am back from Barcelona :) It was a good weekend in the beautiful Latin country of Spain. Since I've had an interest in learning Spanish since high school, it has been a goal of mine to travel one day to a Spanish speaking country to practice and see their way of life-- and I definitely got that this weekend!

It took 12 hours by bus to get to Barcelona (and 16 straight hours coming back--don't even get me started on that one) and we went right into a tour of the city once we arrived. Our tour guide was fantastic and it was lovely to discover the city by foot and see all the different parts that make up the dynamic culture there.

I of course had to try some tapas for lunch and got the classic patas bravas and croquettes. I liked them both very much and they surely didn't disappoint my expectations. Then I went to the beach...oh the beach. My favorite part of the entire trip. It was so calm and peaceful, with hardly anyone there. I got the chance to take the time from all the craziness my life is here-- traveling, going to school, living in a foreign country-- and think and reflect on my time here. It was nice and eye opening to look back at this semester; although it's been a hard one and at times, not what I wanted...I've learned a lot and I am grateful for each and every one of those lessons I've been taught and skills I've learned. Got the chance to listen to my always favorite Oceans by Hillsong which was really special to feel everything coming together; my purpose for being here, my relationship with Christ...all while sitting in front of the vast ocean to visually see everything I'm feeling and realizing. If you've never listened to Oceans while actually being by an ocean... I really, really recommend it. It was one of the times I could feel Christ so near to me and it was seriously magical.

Anyways, enough sap and life revelations for now (I always seem to be having one or another). That evening then I just found myself wandering around rainy Barcelona and checking out the amazing shopping they had. I've become obsessed with so many European brands that I can't get over in the US! Topshop, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Oysho, Primark...and the list goes on. I am obsessed with Pull & Bear and actually ended up getting a dress from them that I am rather excited about! It's a rib knit, sweater, maxi dress with black and red threads. Something super outside of my comfort zone for the length and the fit, but I tried it on and fell it love with it. Europe has done really strange things to my style since being here... I can't even figure out myself what my style is anymore, but I'm working on developing it and trying to grasp it after all of these new influences.

I should have part two up soon (thankfully that'll be the last one)--so until then! x

With much love, Lauren.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Say You'll Remember Me.

Gray Sweater, Scalloped Flats: H&M.
Black Peter Pan Collar Dress: Modcloth.
Lipstick in MAC's Speed Dial.

Hi everyone!

Just a quick little outfit post before I get on a bus to head to Spain here soon :) I am visiting Barcelona this weekend and am really, really looking forward to it. It's been awhile, but some of you may remember when I first started my blog how I wanted to be a Spanish teacher! I loved learning the language in high school and was really passionate about it. Sadly, since I graduated I haven't learned any more or practiced, but I still remember quite a bit to use this weekend which excites me. Finally! I can have a more in depth conversation with someone than "how are you?" ha. 

Hope to have many good things to show you all and write about when I get back! x

With much love, Lauren.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Golden Days Ahead.

Plaid Shirt, Leather Jacket: H&M.
Mini Skirt: Aeropostale.
Wide Brimmed Hat: c/o OASAP.
Loafers: TJ Maxx.
Cat Purse: Leather Market in Florence. 

Hi everyone! 

Finally a new outfit post! I've been dying to take photos lately because it's been so long since I last did (I believe back in London?). Thankfully I had some time today and my friend Haley was gracious enough to snap some for me in the FINALLY changing leaves! I'm going to be up for the biggest wake up call ever though when I go back home. It's still in the 70's here and sunny usually every day. Back home in Ohio it's already snowing and freezing cold, so it will be such a shock to not be eased back into winter weather. I'm ready for it though! I miss Ohio and the weather and my family and having a full wardrobe of more than 14 items ha. 

Although I grumble and complain a lot about living here though (honestly more than I should), I have been having pangs of sadness to leave here lately. I only have about one month left and I'm starting to realize the things I'll miss here that I'll never have again...throughout all the trials and hardships I've had I've realized that I have actually had a really good experience. When you're in the bad, it's hard to see the good, but now that things are coming to a close...I see how much good there really has been

With much love, Lauren.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pisa, Italy.

Hi everyone!

I just spent today in Pisa and it was super wonderful! My time is narrowing down here in Europe, and I've been anxious to still make it to Pisa and Rome. Last night I just decided that I would jump on the train this morning and make my way over to Pisa! I hadn't rode the train system yet since I've been here, so it was a little daunting to get the ticket, find the platform, and get the train, but I did it. I'm proud of the independence I've developed since coming to Europe. I arrived and didn't have a map or anything, so just kind of winged it walking around the city and exploring (which is the best way to explore in my opinion--getting lost!). 

I had a pretty darn good cappuccino pictured above and did some browsing in shops on the main street. I eventually found my way to the piazza where the Leaning Tower is, and I was so taken aback when I first saw it! I've dreamt for a long time to see the Eiffel Tower, so when I did I felt already so immune to it. But with the Leaning Tower, you don't really think about it as much and how impressive it will be to see it in person. I was super thrilled! I took photos all around it and had at least five different people helping me try to get a classic 'pushing the tower' pose. Ha, I kept finding people who didn't speak English so it was super hard for them to give me directions. Eventually I found and American speaking girl though and got it!

I bought a ticket to go inside and up the tower because I thought, "why not? When else am I going to get to do this?" and I absolutely loved it! It was so strange climbing the stairs at a tilted angle, and the view was amazing at the top. I just sat there for a good while, admiring the view, giddy over the fact that I was on top the Leaning Tower of Pisa! After the tower, I had a free ticket to go into the Cathedral near by which was wonderful, also! The inside was absolutely beautiful and actually the patron saint of Pisa, Rainerius, was actually buried there and you can see his casket in one of the photos above :O

It was such a good day! So glad I made it to Pisa before I leave back for the States. x

With much love, Lauren.