Wednesday, May 15, 2019

return to milan.

when i knew i was leaving milan, i had this notion that i wanted to get back to milan on my way home at christmas. 

for the longest time, the flight scenarios just looked impossible. 

but one day, i happened upon an affordable and doable flight path and i bought it. 

my school in dubai has an extra week off at the holidays, so my friends in milan would still be in the city so that i could say hello. 

caitlin, of course, let me stay at her apartment...i just had to figure out how to get in the door! 

the key was with the doorman, who was nowhere to be found...of course! coffee break, i'm sure! 

so i dropped my bags outside her door hoping i'd be able to jump on her wifi since i'd used her network before...and success! 

after a little while, i checked back downstairs and the doorman had returned. 


and, of course, we had to hit our favorite places.


i love this little wine bar, convivio, and have posted about it many times before.


some of my favorite people!


then it was off to pizza am, one of the best pizzerias in town. you must arrive before they open if you don't want to wait forever.


ugh, so delicious.


good friends, good food.



see? #cleanplateclub


i'd basically been begging for a starbucks to arrive in milan the entire time i lived there.


and then three arrived as soon as i left. #figurati


so i had to go and get a latte. just because i could.


but there were plenty of lines!


i miss watching the little old italians walking the streets.


and i miss this foccacia. it's one of my favorites.


all that deliciousness.


channeling girl eat world.


another mandatory stop was luini's. i mean, when this is the line, you know it's good, right?


panzerotti. basically baby calzones.


delicious food, historic background.


milan was all decked out for the holidays.


blue skies and the duomo.


i was also able to swing by school to say hello and see how the renovations finished up over the summer.

and i couldn't pass up chocolate brioche.


and discovering i've been immortalized on the school's timeline.


i asked my italian teacher to meet me for lunch, somewhere we could have a bowl of delicious pasta.

she insisted on her sister's.


so we lunched over traditional italian ragu.

buonissimo!


it was awesome to get back to milan so soon after leaving. and honestly, surprisingly reassuring that i made the right decision to leave when i did. i'm so happy to have had the experience of living in italy for seven years, but am thrilled to have taken the leap into a new adventure.

until next time, milan.

Monday, May 13, 2019

december in the middle east.

leading up to winter break we had a staff holiday party at a hotel in jbr. a huge spread of food was provided by the school. 

notable difference from school parties in milan? drinks were not on the house! 


but so cool to have a holiday party outside- in december!


lynn and lindsay photographing the scene!


fun times with these amazing ladies...and i found a killer dress!


also in december, a group of us went to this fancy hotel for tea.


i've got to say taking holiday-ish pictures in summer dresses is weird!


blue skies and the burj!


this lounge was an awesome place for a chill afternoon.


fyi, for those of you in dubai, there are some discounts available in various entertainer type apps to save some cash.


and the food was delicious. and cute.


with some classically beautiful christmas decorations.


and right before we headed out for winter break the elementary staff had a potluck afternoon.


there was so much food!


after all this i was off to reunite with my friends in milan!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

a weekend in lebanon.

holidays seem to be a lot fewer and far between here in the middle east than when i was living in italy.

part of it is because the holidays aren't planned in advance most of the time.

since many holidays in muslim countries are based on the moon (islam uses a lunar calendar) the holidays aren't announced until the moon has been sighted within a certain window of time.

but, thanksgiving was a planned weekend, so lindsay, lynn and i planned to go to beirut, lebanon for that weekend.

warning- photo overload coming. a lot of the pictures look so nice, i just can't decide which ones to share!

after a late night, in the rain struggle to find our airbnb, this was what we found in the morning.


blue skies!


scattered street art.


the wiring was completely reminiscent of southeast asia.


we decided to spend our first day wandering about...with a few sights in mind, figuring we'd just let the day play out and see what happened.


the mohammad al-amin mosque, a sunni muslim mosque located in downtown beirut.


cool things to see if you look left and right!


ruins next to the mosque.


it was funny because we happened at this spot just as a very large and somewhat ominous appearing protest headed this way. we took some pictures and quickly got out of the way before we became the next americans on the nightly news.


seems every city has their own photo op just waiting for ya!


the nearby harbor.


if you look closely, you'll notice that some apartments in the building appear occupied.

and others don't even have windows and appear destroyed.

i was quite curious about it.


there's a looooooong boardwalk along the harbor.


the raouche rocks, beirut's iconic rock formations.


the second day we hired a driver to take us outside of the city to some other notable sights. he was so helpful and basically planned the whole day for us and accommodated any of our requests.


we went to the jeita grotto, but no photos are allowed, so you'll have to click the link to see it! it was cool, and worth the time to make a stop there.


we took the cable car up to our lady of lebanon.


that ride was something else.


but the views were definitely worth it.


views from the byblos citadel.


byblos is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.


the clouds and storms in the distance made for some incredible photos.


we had a great meal at local lebanese restaurant, feniqia, which was just a little walk up from the harbor.


my travel buddies for the weekend, lynn and lindsay!


we ate here, twice, so we definitely recommend it!

we also had a great driver for our day trip out of beirut. you can reach salah at +961 79 101 909 via what's app and he'll happily help you plan whatever you need and give you a fair price.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

return to milan.

when i knew i was leaving milan, i had this notion that i wanted to get back to milan on my way home at christmas. 

for the longest time, the flight scenarios just looked impossible. 

but one day, i happened upon an affordable and doable flight path and i bought it. 

my school in dubai has an extra week off at the holidays, so my friends in milan would still be in the city so that i could say hello. 

caitlin, of course, let me stay at her apartment...i just had to figure out how to get in the door! 

the key was with the doorman, who was nowhere to be found...of course! coffee break, i'm sure! 

so i dropped my bags outside her door hoping i'd be able to jump on her wifi since i'd used her network before...and success! 

after a little while, i checked back downstairs and the doorman had returned. 


and, of course, we had to hit our favorite places.


i love this little wine bar, convivio, and have posted about it many times before.


some of my favorite people!


then it was off to pizza am, one of the best pizzerias in town. you must arrive before they open if you don't want to wait forever.


ugh, so delicious.


good friends, good food.



see? #cleanplateclub


i'd basically been begging for a starbucks to arrive in milan the entire time i lived there.


and then three arrived as soon as i left. #figurati


so i had to go and get a latte. just because i could.


but there were plenty of lines!


i miss watching the little old italians walking the streets.


and i miss this foccacia. it's one of my favorites.


all that deliciousness.


channeling girl eat world.


another mandatory stop was luini's. i mean, when this is the line, you know it's good, right?


panzerotti. basically baby calzones.


delicious food, historic background.


milan was all decked out for the holidays.


blue skies and the duomo.


i was also able to swing by school to say hello and see how the renovations finished up over the summer.

and i couldn't pass up chocolate brioche.


and discovering i've been immortalized on the school's timeline.


i asked my italian teacher to meet me for lunch, somewhere we could have a bowl of delicious pasta.

she insisted on her sister's.


so we lunched over traditional italian ragu.

buonissimo!


it was awesome to get back to milan so soon after leaving. and honestly, surprisingly reassuring that i made the right decision to leave when i did. i'm so happy to have had the experience of living in italy for seven years, but am thrilled to have taken the leap into a new adventure.

until next time, milan.

Monday, May 13, 2019

december in the middle east.

leading up to winter break we had a staff holiday party at a hotel in jbr. a huge spread of food was provided by the school. 

notable difference from school parties in milan? drinks were not on the house! 


but so cool to have a holiday party outside- in december!


lynn and lindsay photographing the scene!


fun times with these amazing ladies...and i found a killer dress!


also in december, a group of us went to this fancy hotel for tea.


i've got to say taking holiday-ish pictures in summer dresses is weird!


blue skies and the burj!


this lounge was an awesome place for a chill afternoon.


fyi, for those of you in dubai, there are some discounts available in various entertainer type apps to save some cash.


and the food was delicious. and cute.


with some classically beautiful christmas decorations.


and right before we headed out for winter break the elementary staff had a potluck afternoon.


there was so much food!


after all this i was off to reunite with my friends in milan!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

a weekend in lebanon.

holidays seem to be a lot fewer and far between here in the middle east than when i was living in italy.

part of it is because the holidays aren't planned in advance most of the time.

since many holidays in muslim countries are based on the moon (islam uses a lunar calendar) the holidays aren't announced until the moon has been sighted within a certain window of time.

but, thanksgiving was a planned weekend, so lindsay, lynn and i planned to go to beirut, lebanon for that weekend.

warning- photo overload coming. a lot of the pictures look so nice, i just can't decide which ones to share!

after a late night, in the rain struggle to find our airbnb, this was what we found in the morning.


blue skies!


scattered street art.


the wiring was completely reminiscent of southeast asia.


we decided to spend our first day wandering about...with a few sights in mind, figuring we'd just let the day play out and see what happened.


the mohammad al-amin mosque, a sunni muslim mosque located in downtown beirut.


cool things to see if you look left and right!


ruins next to the mosque.


it was funny because we happened at this spot just as a very large and somewhat ominous appearing protest headed this way. we took some pictures and quickly got out of the way before we became the next americans on the nightly news.


seems every city has their own photo op just waiting for ya!


the nearby harbor.


if you look closely, you'll notice that some apartments in the building appear occupied.

and others don't even have windows and appear destroyed.

i was quite curious about it.


there's a looooooong boardwalk along the harbor.


the raouche rocks, beirut's iconic rock formations.


the second day we hired a driver to take us outside of the city to some other notable sights. he was so helpful and basically planned the whole day for us and accommodated any of our requests.


we went to the jeita grotto, but no photos are allowed, so you'll have to click the link to see it! it was cool, and worth the time to make a stop there.


we took the cable car up to our lady of lebanon.


that ride was something else.


but the views were definitely worth it.


views from the byblos citadel.


byblos is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.


the clouds and storms in the distance made for some incredible photos.


we had a great meal at local lebanese restaurant, feniqia, which was just a little walk up from the harbor.


my travel buddies for the weekend, lynn and lindsay!


we ate here, twice, so we definitely recommend it!

we also had a great driver for our day trip out of beirut. you can reach salah at +961 79 101 909 via what's app and he'll happily help you plan whatever you need and give you a fair price.