Planning the Second Time Around*

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have been putting off replanning my Eurotrip (previously Eurotrip 2016, now Eurotrip 2.0 or Eurotrip 2017). I think it’s pretty obvious why it has been hard. BUT, I finally did the biggest thing necessary and purchased my tickets for Eurotrip 2017. My plane tickets are booked.

My last two visits to France have both been important milestones.

In 2005, it truly felt like a coming of age. The 19-year old that went to Paris came home a 20-year old that knew herself a little bit better, believed in herself a little bit more, and from that point forward she challenged her preconceived notions about the world a little bit more.

In 2016, obviously, my life changed big almost immediately after setting foot in France. Seeing Paris through shocked, grieving eyes was at best what can be described as surreal. Looking back on it now, barely two months later, I recognize that I felt comfortable there, even in the worst possible emotional circumstance (much of that was also thanks to a very dear friend). For a while recently though, the idea of going back made me nervous. Paris will, for better or worse, now always bear the association of being where I learned of and began to grieve my mom’s death. What would it be like returning to this place that I have always loved, that now holds this connection with the loss of one of the most important people in my life?

Before I left for this trip, my mom was so excited for me. Her last words to me were full of excitement, pride, and hope for my time there, for my adventures, and for what I was going to try to accomplish regarding my work. There is no one who would have wanted me to go back to Paris, and enjoy myself, more than my Momma.

EuroTrip 2017 will unfold much like EuroTrip 2016 was supposed to, save one destination. I will not being going to England. My stop in England was essentially only for fun, and in getting reimbursed for my lost expenses by my department, it didn’t feel right to include those monies and London is not cheap. I’m okay with that though — this will certainly not be my last trip to Europe.

Here are the original destination blog posts I made for EuroTrip 2016.

Paris * Besançon * Venice * Pula * Ravenna * Rimini * Torino * Avignon

 

*I had the Step-by-Step theme song stuck in my head the entire time I was writing this post. If you’re a child of the 90s like me, I hope it is in yours now too 😛 

From the Archive: Carlotta conquista Firenze!

tumblr_nqb3nzjhfs1uvkpmlo3_1280

Before I came to Italy I knew I wanted to come to Florence especially to see a bronze show at the Palazzo Strozzi, called Power and Pathos Hellenistic Bronzes. My friend Eric made most of the plans and off we went to spend Saturday in Florence.

The train was very comfortable and I had been looking forward to taking in the view, but unfortunately, I fell asleep almost immediately. We arrived in Florence promptly (under 2 hours thanks to the speedy train) and quickly found the Palazzo Strozzi and then wandered to find a bite to eat.

The bronze show was good, but they did not allow photography, which was ESPECIALLY disappointing because there’s no reason (besides protecting the exhibition itself) to restrict taking photos of BRONZE. The two main things I wanted to see were Aulus Metellus (L’Arringatore) and the Terme Boxer. I saw them, but I found the layout of the show (especially for the Terme Boxer) kind of prohibitive in regards to actually looking at it. The room was too crowded so people were in the way when they weren’t even looking at the Boxer itself. It was also super stuffy in the exhibition space– I think we might have lingered more if it wasn’t so uncomfortable.

The other big stop was the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. On the way, I saw Santa Maria del Fiore and the DOME. It was huge and fascinating and I didn’t get to see nearly enough of it.

The line system for David was really disorganized and full of mainly Americans. There were peddlers and booths and a man playing the accordion and at that moment it felt *really* Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, for those of you that think of Busch Gardens is safari-like). Eventually we got it all figured out and got into the museum and saw him. I knew he was large. I knew he was a big guy, but I was not prepared for his scale. SO large.

After that we wandered a bit, got dinner, and then sat ourselves in the Piazza in front of Santa Maria Novella and listened to this charming street musician play covers of classic songs. It was delightful and idyllic and a relaxing way to end a busy week.

Florence was a city that I need to see more of; I’ll come back and do it up proper one of these days.

Today I engaged in simple house-keeping affairs. I did laundry and longingly thought of my washer and dryer back in the States that would have made the whole endeavor take half the time. But, this too is part of the experience.

This blog was originally posted here, with pictures!