what it all could be

ben and viv travels, london, park in london, borrowed from another blog, ben and viv, regents park, london parks, beautiful city

“i’ve hung my happiness on what it all could be. and what it all could be. what it all, what it all could be.”   i want to be a self-taught botanist. i want to acquire a bicycle and ride … Continue reading

a glimpse of a year

succulents, propagation, plants, nature, beautiful

i won’t be having the perfect new year’s. i’ll be coming straight from work to a local greek restaurant where my family and a band will be waiting, to bid the old year goodbye. most likely, i’ll slip on my … Continue reading

busy seeing the world…

and i prosper.

on recommendation from a lovely new friend in london, i am here, in turin or torino. i have yet to discover why italian cities have italian versions of their city names. i can’t think of another country that does this.
on the first of october, i set out on an eighteen day adventure {my biggest adventure yet} around southern europe.

there is so much to say about my experiences thus far. so much, in fact, that i don’t feel as though i can even begin to write about them.
there is not much time to blog when you’re busy seeing the world.

as for now, i should probably finish my (seventeenth) cappuccino of the day, and give myself back to the beautiful streets of turin.

[by the time i leave italy, i will no longer have blood, but cappuccino, running through my veins.]

i promise, i promise, i promise, hang in there for me. i have so much to write about, just very little opportunity to do so at the moment.

for now, i’ll leave you with pictures.

{barcelona, spain}








{bergamo, italy}








{turin, italy}








i no longer trust anyone who says “growing up is not all it’s cracked up to be” and “wait until you get to the real world.”
growing up is the most fun i have ever had and the real world is more beautiful than anything i could have imagined.

with love,

home sweet hampstead

old map of hampstead, london, old maps

i was told, on my recent {and only} voyage to hampstead in london, that the land was originally and primarily used for pig farming. i was also informed that shortly after the pig farming-era, it was transformed into a sort … Continue reading


today, it happened.
after two years of waiting tables at a local sushi restaurant, my “two weeks notice” was readily delivered to the manager in charge of constructing our schedules. she knew it was coming- i have been blabbering on about this trip for months now but still, during the very moment of this long-awaited discussion, the flood of words from my mouth conveyed a strange hesitance with a hint of “is this really happening?!”

the answer is, yes.
“it’s all happening”

downtown london, view from the london eye, a long way down, london 2012, olympics 2012

{taken last summer during the 2012 olympics}

i am moving there for just around four months to live with family and be the right-hand lady to my beautiful cousin, stephanie. her and eric’s lives changed dramatically [for the better!] on february 19th at around 10 pm – stephanie gave birth to their first child,
a little boy named henry.
needlesss to say, the entire extended family is elated. this is only the second baby to be born into our tight-knit clan in the last fifteen years! so, where do i come in? in the present, i am floating. i have a job that was always meant to be temporary, a home that i plan on packing up and relocating within the year, and a boyfriend who is super understanding of the opportunity that was presented to me when steph and eric offered their home and the charming english lifestyle in exchange for my help with little henry.
the word, au pair, comes to mind but we are family and this means so much more to me than an occupation would. this is my chance of a lifetime- to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world with a few of the most extraordinarily kind people that i have ever had the privilege of knowing.
and to think, we’re related!

roger rabbit at disney world, with my family, cousins, flashback

{i am the little blonde girl, obviously fearful of being eaten by roger rabbit, being held by steph.
disney world holds a special place in our family history}

this will not be my first time in london- christopher and i spent five fascinating weeks in europe last summer after a five month period of obsessively flooding trickling money into our savings accounts.


spain [ibiza]
italy [positano, rome, venice]

it was one of the best experiences of my life and i have thousands of pictures and memories to prove it. [many of which i will upload from time to time!]

in other news, my 5th generation ipod will not be making the journey this time –
sadly, it can no longer hold a charge, but when i find a new one before i leave, i will immediately begin to make playlists!

they will have names like:

the tube

journey through seven dials
this open air market
paris bound
the avett brothers
camden creepin’
car boot sale day

and they will have songs like:

bowerbirds – northern lights
ryan adams – new york, new york
spiritualized – ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space
laura marling – new romantic
the avett brothers – murder in the city
m83 – we own the sky
sigur rós – hoppipolla

and there goes my tiny music recommendation!
if you are going to explore just one of those links before moving on with your day, i greatly recommend hoppípolla by sigur rós. the rough translation goes a little something like this . . .

hendumst í hringi
höldumst í hendur
allur heimurinn óskýr
nema þú stendur

allur rennvotur
engin gúmmístígvél
hlaupandi inn í okkur
vill springa út úr skel

og útilykt af hárinu þínu
ég anda eins fast og ég get
með nefinu mínu

i engum stígvélum
allur rennvotur (rennblautur)
i engum stígvélum

og ég fæ blóðnasir
en ég stend alltaf upp

og ég fæ blóðnasir
og ég stend alltaf upp


spinning in circles
holding hands
the world is a blur
except when you’re standing

dripping wet
completly soaked
no rubberboots
running inside of us
wants to burst out of the shell

wind in
and the smell of your hair
i hit as hard as i can
with my nose

jumping into a puddle
wearing no boots
completely soaked

(dripping wet)
wearing no boots

and i get a nosebleed
but i’ll always stand up again

and i get a nosebleed
but i’ll always stand up again

their lyrics are often simple but their songs, simply amazing. the only chance i will get to see sigur rós live [christopher has several times] is at the uic pavilion in chicago, the week before i depart. we are doing everything possible to set this trip in stone as it will be our last hoorah together before the big day. no other “last hoorah” could make as much sense – our first date was an adventure very similar to this – we journeyed to chicago while we were still in the “talking” chapter of our relationship, to see lykke li at the vic theatre. that show was energetic and fun, but i don’t doubt that a few hours of sigur rós will be anything other than a holy, mind-altering feast for the ears, eyes, and soul.
i could not ask for a better kind of farewell from the states, from my home.
31 days and counting.

you took my breath away

people speak of rebirth, the idea that one can begin again in this life, perhaps with an altered state of mind, as a holy commitment, or with a sparkling new view of human existence- the whys and hows. i came to venice to see the canals and soak up it’s history. little did i realize whilst bouncing about on the waves, clutching my belongings on the vaporetto, that the endearing charm and old world magic of venice was going to swallow me up whole and discard almost every bit of me back to my normal life. every bit of me, except perhaps a part of my heart, which aches from that labrynth city, calling me back every day since my departure..
from venezia.

my first, and only time here, was in august of 2012. so that this blog is as easy to understand as possible, i will do my absolute best to accurately represent the very title of my little work in progress, “the lady’s guide to adventure.” here is my brief but well thought-out guide to..

losing yourself in venice, italy:

  • just go.
    i spent five crazy weeks bopping about europe last summer and to be honest, albeit a lovely option,
    venice was almost overlooked due to the rushed timeframe of my trip.
    [three italian cities – positano, rome, venice – only nine days, including travel time]
    but i made it happen and i’m so glad that i did.
  • the logistics.
    are you vintage or modern?
    be sure to keep a notebook and pen (vintage) or a smart phone (modern) on hand at all times with important information such as: instructions to find your hostel or rental, a few phrases in italian, and a map of venice. you may also want to know the routes and schedules of the main form of transportation here, the vaporetto [vaporetti if plural] or “waterbus”, especially if you decide to visit the lovely islands of murano [murano glass] or burano. to be as helpful and specific as possible, i will include the exact instructions sent to me via email from the hostel where i booked a private, ensuite room. (remember, you have the option at many hostels to book private rooms and it’s still usually cheaper than a hotel!)

destination: locanda ss. giovanni e paolo
coming from: venice train station, venice s.l. santa lucia

  1. waterbus n. 5.2
  2. get off at stop ospedale
  3. (the cost of the waterbus is about 7,00 eur one way but you may want to spend more to get a twelve hour ticket, especially if you are arriving and have the whole day to explore!)
    prices* are: 12hr 18,00 eur, 24hr 20,00 eur, 36hr 25,00 eur and so on and so forth!
    *this may change but was accurate when i arrived
  4. go to your left after stopping at ospedale [hospital]
  5. turn right and walk fifty metres until you arrive in a small square
  6. turn right again into main street called calle del caffettier
  7. eighty metres further, there is a street on your left (calle dell’ospedaletto)
  8. the locanda is just a few steps down this street, you have arrived!

for two nights here including a lovely breakfast delivered each morning, the price was €196,00 – very reasonable for venice!

my point? please ask for written directions!
if you do not know italian, this is much easier than simply having an address, as the “roads” are usually no more than four feet wide and surrounded by beautiful but view-obstructing buildings. and keep in mind that you may be able to find your own room in a hostel for much less than we found ours – especially considering my trip was taking place during the 2012 olympics and during summer months, prices always go up! it doesn’t hurt to start your dreaming / planning now though! —>hostels.com

  • look with your eyes.
    this may seem silly but you will have a million photo opportunites.
    everything is picturesque and you will want to capture it all but quickly! stop! it is important to breathe in the italian charm.
    feel the walls of the stone that was laid over a thousand years ago.
    hear the chatter of this language that is so robust and strong and proud,
    and while you are tantalizing your senses with the rush of these new physical and mental stimulants, keep an eye out for a little shop..
    it is called … il papiro … and is located just over the ponte san maurizio bridge (depending on which side you are coming from, i suppose.)
    it is here that i purchased my absolute favorite souvenirs / trinkets / baubles of the entire five-week long trip. more specifically, i walked away with a gorgeous wax seal stamp with my first and middle initals, some pink rose-colored wax just pleading to be dripped and sculpted, and some beautiful, hand-painted paper. this intriguing little store with it’s whimsical window-shopping, boasts handmade leather-bound journals, seals and their wax in every color imaginable, and superb stationary – it was like a dream to be there and i count it as an honor to leave il papiro with many of my hard-earned euros.
  • get lost.
    but remember to be safe while you are doing so!
    the streets of venice are more enchanting than the canals. i was never quite informed of how lovely the bones of this city are; it’s people, like the living marrow of the maze, and i dare you to lose yourself. you’ll believe you’ve died and gone to heaven.. or pehaps hogwarts.
  • and as for a bit of sound advice before i depart from this post?

    i do not often use capitalization but please know which one you are flying out of and learn from my stressful mistake,
    go to the right one the first time around!