How to Re-pot a Cactus

How do you manage to plant those prickly guys anyway? It took a little googling and some trail and error, but I’ve found a method that works for me.

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Step 1: Get yourself some cactus soil. Miracle Grow has a generic “cactus mix”, which is what I bought. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious though, you can also make your own. Just look up some cactus soil “recipes” and go for it! The most important thing is that your soil drains quickly and doesn’t hold onto too much water. Your cactus friends won’t like having wet roots.

Step 2: Put on your gardening gloves. I skipped this oh-so-important step because I left mine back at the College Cottage. If you don’t have gardening gloves, just prepare yourself for a few accidental pricks from your cactus. They can’t help it!

Step 3: Get out some paper. Newspaper works best, but you can also use regular printer paper in a pinch.

Step 4: Fold your paper in thirds “hot dog style”. In other words, you want to fold the sheet of paper so it retains its length while tripling in thickness.

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Step 5 (if moving to a new pot): Prep the new pot by adding your soil mix. Don’t fill it up all the way yet, and dig out a little indent for your cactus.

Step 6: Wrap the folded paper around the cactus, gather the ends of the paper together, and pinch. You should have a pretty decent grip around that cactus without actually touching it with your hands. Brilliant!

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Step 7: Lift the cactus up and out of its old pot (or pot with old soil). Gently loosen the root ball (they can get pretty tight in those plastic nursery containers). If you’re just moving the cactus, plop it into its new pot and fill with extra soil. You can top with rocks if you’d like, but it makes it harder to tell when its time to water. If you need to add new soil to the pot your cactus was already in, set your cactus aside and read on!

Step 8: Dump out the old soil and fill with new. Don’t fill it up all the way and leave an indent for your cactus.

Step 9: Pick up your cactus again with the paper and place in the new soil; fill in with extra soil and top with rocks if preferred.

Step 10: Water to help compact the soil.

That’s it! Happy cactus gardening!

-M^3

 

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Status Update: Summer is Over?

Sorry it’s been a while! Summer is basically over, and I’m already moved back into my College Cottage. I’m a little sad I didn’t get to do more craft posts this summer, but it’s still been a good break… I’ve just had a lot going on! I thought I would get you up to speed on the goings on in my life before I embark on another semester and you don’t hear from me again… I’ll be living in architecture studio, but maybe you’ll get to see some projects here and there.

As I probably already mentioned, this summer was a bit busier than I had anticipated. First of all, I got my first ever internship at a real architecture firm – and I loved every second of it. I also went on two trips: the first to Washington D.C. with a scholarship group (you can check out that post here), and the second to D.C. (again) and New York City with the school of architecture. I had a blast.

The rest I’d like to present in pictures. Here are a few exciting highlights of my summer:

The cactus family got new pots and soil.

All my little cacti are happily re-potted in well draining soil with rocks on top

All my little cacti are happily re-potted in well draining soil with rocks on top

I started carpooling with a friend to my internship…

This little tree frog hopped on my windshield one day and rode with me to work

This little tree frog hopped on my windshield one day and rode with me to work

The cactus family grew again… I swear I don’t have a problem.

Einstein the cactus (Old man of the Andes) joins the family

Einstein the cactus (Old man of the Andes) joins the family; my Mom enables my addiction to cacti…

I made my brother, who is about to ship off to Notre Dame, a goodbye present.

The final watercolor for my brother: a globe with Notre Dame colors

The final watercolor for my brother: a globe with Notre Dame colors

I saw some really cool things in New York City!

The Flatiron Building, New York City

The Flatiron Building, New York City

Santiago Calatrava's Transit Hub, New York City

Santiago Calatrava’s Transit Hub, New York City

The View from the observation desk on One World Trade Center, New York City

The View from the observation desk on One World Trade Center, New York City

And I finally learned how to sketch!

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It all went by faster than I would have liked, but all in all, it was a great summer.

Here’s to a great new semester!

Cheers!

-M^3

 

Meet my (Cactus) Family

As you probably already know, I’m a pretty quirky person. It might not be a huge surprise that I have a small collection of cacti… and they all have names. I think they’re adorable! How could I not name them?

Anyway… My cactus family has two exciting new additions!

Meet Alfred the Golden Ball Cactus and Cora the beautiful succulent!

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It’s so hard to find a cactus that doesn’t have a flower hot glued to it, so when I saw Alfred at the grocery store, I couldn’t help myself!

Remember my other three cacti? From left to right, there’s Herbert, Philomena, and Oscar. This picture is from last summer; they’ve grown a bit since then.

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From left to right: Herbert, Philomena, and Oscar!

Since it’s summer, I’m going to re-pot my little friends in some cactus soil mix. I’ll post a picture of them all potted when I’m finished!

Scholars Trip to DC

Right after this spring semester ended, I flew out to Washington, D.C. with a scholars program at my university. We spent ten really busy days in DC (admittedly far more busy than I would have preferred, but that’s okay). Here are the highlights:

First we went on a Segway tour of the National Mall… Honestly I would have never done this on my own, but one of our group members was adamant that we go on a Segway tour, so we did. Riding a Segway was actually pretty fun, but it was still a little embarrassing to be seen riding Segways in a giant group of people… on the road no less. But hey, I did get to see a lot of monuments in a short amount of time.

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The Washington Monument rising from the trees across the Potomac River

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The Washington Monument rising from the trees across the Potomac River

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The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

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Washington Memorial lit up at night, viewed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

While we were in DC, we had the opportunity to meet both of our state’s senators. It was a very interesting experience. I’m not a huge politics buff, but I still really enjoyed the experience. If you are going on a school sanctioned trip, I highly recommend that you at least try to meet your senators. We also got a tour of the Capitol Building, which was cool to see.

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A crazy contemporary sculpture in one of the senator buildings

We went to a ton of different museums, but the best (in my opinion) was the Holocaust Museum. From both a content and architectural standpoint, it was a moving experience. As an architecture student, seeing the design of the museum was particularly amazing. There are so many breathtaking moments within the architecture itself that practically demand that you pause and contemplate. The glass halls that connect the different exhibits, for example, span the central atrium and are etched with names – the entire hall is filled with names. It is simply stunning. As you walk, there is suddenly a break in the etching, and it frames this perfect view of part of the building; you just have to stop and think. There are so many moments like this throughout the museum – deliberately designed spaces for reflection. The architecture enforces the content of the museum so well, it’s almost impossible to not be overwhelmed at some point. Everyone should experience this museum.

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The roof of the main atrium in the Holocaust Museum – the shifting form mimics the roof of a barrack

Our day trip to Annapolis brought us to the Naval Academy, which was actually a lot of fun. We had a great tour guide, and the campus is filled with some amazing and historic architecture.

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The Naval Academy

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One of the buildings on the Naval Academy campus – the architecture here is a fantastic example of the Beaux Arts tradition

On one of our free days, we went to the National Zoo. If you get the chance to go, be sure to check out the pandas! We even got to see the little baby panda playing and rolling around in the grass.

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The new baby panda at the National Zoo!

We went to the Air and Space Museum (part of the Smithsonian Museum) on another free day. It’s probably my favorite Smithsonian, but I might be a little biased because I’ve always loved planes.

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The Air and Space Museum

On Sunday, we enjoyed a great brunch at Farmers, Fishers, Bakers in Georgetown. It was delicious! We spent the rest of the day exploring historic Georgetown. We stumbled across the Old Stone House during our adventure. It’s a free museum and definitely worth seeing if you’re in the area.

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The Old Stone House in Georgetown

Arlington Cemetery is a must-see of DC. We didn’t spend long there, but we did get to see the changing of the guard and a wreath-laying ceremony. It has it’s own subway stop, so it’s super accessible and worth the trip over – even if you only have about an hour and a half.

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Arlington Cemetary

As an architecture student, I just had to go to the National Building Museum. The building itself is really cool, and the exhibits were pretty interesting. The best exhibit explored the history of houses, with live-size mock-ups to illustrate different building techniques.

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The National Building Museum

We also went to the Newseum, which was designed by same architect that designed the Holocaust Museum. This museum was my second favorite, and it covers the history of news. The FBI and Pulitzer Prize exhibits were my favorites. They also have the longest segment of the Berlin Wall in the United States.

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The Capitol as seen from the top of the Newseum

The Anderson House was one of the last things we got to see. It’s a historic home on embassy row that was built around 1900. It might not be for everyone, but I love historic architecture, so I really enjoyed it.

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The Anderson House

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Rubber kitchen floor in the Anderson House – I just love the pattern and colors!

I even got to tour an architecture firm while we were there!

All in all, ten days provided us plenty of time to see and do a lot of different things in DC. It’s a great city filled with history and architecture, and I enjoyed getting to see so much of it.

Cheers!

-M^3

Summer Break at Last

I made it to the end of the semester! Since my last post, I’ve done a lot! (I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been terrible at posting frequently…) First, I finished the spring semester, ending studio with a final project of course.

This project was designed for a non-profit organization that helps musicians in need. We designed offices, outdoor spaces, a small museum, and living quarters for musicians to stay in. Here’s the final result of 6 weeks of work:

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After the semester ended, I flew out to DC as part of a scholarship program I’m a part of. We spent ten days touring the city, and we saw a lot. It was non-stop, but I’m glad a got to see so many different things.

When I got home, I interviewed with an architecture firm for a summer internship! And guess what… I got it! I’ve been working for about two weeks now, and I absolutely love it!

In about a month, I ship off for yet another trip – I go back to DC and then to New York City for a sketching and journaling trip with my architecture school. I’m very excited, and I can’t wait to share!

Anyone else have a fun summer trip planned? Or maybe have a super cool internship?

That’s all for now! I’m so glad everyone has stuck with me through the crazy busy semester and equally crazy (but less busy) start to my summer. Thank you for reading!

Cheers!

-M^3

Spring Break Status Update

Status Update: I have not fallen off the face of the planet.

But I have been insanely busy. This semester has been just as difficult as I expected (which was crazy difficult). My classes aren’t the easiest and the grades are not given out without a fight… Did I mention this is the threshold before professional school? Yeah… this semester has not been without its melt downs.

On the bright side, it’s spring break! And I’ve slept about 12 hours every night. (Hey, don’t judge! I’m making up for two weeks of about 5 hours every night. I think I deserve it, right?)

I’m preparing to return to my college town tomorrow, and then the real fun begins: picking up the pieces after project week. My room is a wreck and I have a month’s worth of clean laundry to put away!

You’re probably wondering what has kept me so busy since January. I’m so glad you asked! My first project of the semester lasted for four weeks. We designed an architect’s firm in San Antonio, Texas. We took three weeks to develop a design and then cranked out 3 boards and a model in the final week. That was crazy.

Next we launched the project that I turned in before spring break. This was a temporary American pavilion for the Venice Beinnale. Oh yeah, and it was in the middle of a harbor. This one we developed for about four weeks. Then I took 9 days to build the model and make the board. This model took about 120 hours of labor… I’m still not sure how I finished in time!

In the midst of these two projects, I’ve been working rather diligently to secure an internship for the summer. I went to my school’s architecture career fair and did a lot of networking. I even scored an interview! This week I toured a different firm and had a casual interview with one of the partners. Now I’m just going to sit back and wait; maybe something will come of it!

Sadly, I’ve had to ditch the formal meal plans I made for last semester, but I have continued to cook and pack healthy snacks for my rather long days. I just want to say, if I can cook in college, you can too! My life is crazy busy all the time and I still manage it.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I can post pictures of my first project soon. In the mean time, I’ll post the picture of the new porch on the College Cottage (because I forgot to post it in January!).

Cheers!

-M^3

How to Nonchalantly Carry a Map

As you may have heard, Rome is notorious for its pickpockets and scams. The trick to avoid problems is two-fold: be aware of your surroundings and don’t look like a naïve tourist (look like a pro traveler instead!). Sometimes it’s hard not to look like a tourist, especially when you have to carry a map. But with a simple journal and some folding skills, you can nonchalantly carry a map and still navigate!

My Moleskin journal hid the map but kept it accessible.

My Moleskin journal hid the map but kept it accessible.

Cheers!

-M^3

Italian Holiday

So I know this isn’t primarily a travel blog (I usually post about the architecture student life and being crafty), but I love to share my trips! This is the story of my family’s trip to Italy, including Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Venice. This is a long post, so please stay with me (just look at the pictures if you’d like!). The text is mostly just narrative and extra info, and hopefully it helps if you’re planning a trip to Italy yourself! Here’s our Italian Holiday!

TRAVEL DAY:

My family and I embarked on our trip to Italy on December 19, 2015. We flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, then to London, and finally to Rome, where our first apartment was. We rented an apartment through a local company and we were welcomed inside after we arrived in the afternoon. The rest of the rather short day was spent exploring the city, mostly for an ATM machine. On our way, we walked across two bridges, the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II and the Ponte San Angelo, both decorated with statues and beautiful in the setting sun. We crossed the Tiber River and saw St. Peter’s Basilica lit up against the darkening sky. We found a restaurant near our apartment and ate before turning in for the night.

DAY 1:

We took a slow and meandering self-tour of Rome the next day, starting with Piazza Navona, which was only a ten minute walk from our apartment. This is a very unique Piazza, primarily for its elongated shape and history. In ancient times, it was a circus, or chariot racetrack, a place of entertainment just like the Coliseum. The Piazza is marked with an obelisk and is very handy to nearby shopping to the north (there are several places to buy fresh meats, Italian wine, and other groceries in addition to clothes). We discovered this area later.

This picture is actually from when we re-visited the Piazza later, but it shows the obelisk and the elongated nature of the Piazza.

This picture is actually from when we re-visited the Piazza later, but it shows the obelisk and the elongated nature of the Piazza.

We made our way east to the Pantheon next. Since we went in an off-season, the crowds were thankfully manageable, but the peddlers selling selfie sticks were very aggressive. (My advice: don’t make eye contact if you can help it. If ignoring them doesn’t work, shake your head no and say “no, grazie” or even just “no”.) Little did we know, this would be a common theme throughout our trip (selfie sticks weren’t a thing when we went to France in 2014!).

The exterior of the Pantheon; the obelisk that marks the Piazza is just behind us.

The exterior of the Pantheon; the obelisk that marks the Piazza is just behind us.

The interior of the fabulous domed space.

The interior of the fabulous domed space.

The world-famous oculus of the Pantheon. It's unglazed, so it can rain inside!

The world-famous oculus of the Pantheon. It’s unglazed, so it can rain inside!

Just next to the Pantheon, but tucked out of the way is the only Gothic church in Italy. It’s very pretty and free, so it’s definitely worth a trip inside. Head toward the Piazza Della Minerva and you can’t miss it (it’s marked with an obelisk that has an elephant base!)

Inside the church.

Inside the church.

Side note: if you’re in Rome in the summer, make sure you’re dressed appropriately to tour churches. That means no shorts, tank tops, or short skirts!

Next we made our way to the Trevi Fountain, another iconic landmark of Rome. It’s a slight  trek from the Pantheon, but definitely do-able (just make sure you have a map!).

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain

From there we decided to scout out some lunch on our way to the Coliseum, and after eating we stumbled across the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II. It’s free to climb the stairs to the top, and the views are quite spectacular. We managed to get there just as the sun was setting and captured some great pictures of Rome.

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There are some stairs on the west side of the monument that lead you around the west side of the Campidoglio and Paletine Hill and next to Circus Maximus. If you continue this way, you reach Via Di San Gregorio, which is a main road that leads straight to the Coliseum. We (accidentally) started this trek after the sun had already started to set. In all honesty, we never really planned any of our activities that day! While the Coliseum looks pretty cool lit up at night, the Campidoglio, Palentine Hill, and Circus Maximus look better during the day. I recommend doing this same loop in the sunlight, cutting back toward the monument on the east side of the Roman Forum after seeing the Coliseum.

The stairs on the west side of the monument.

The stairs on the west side of the monument.

Approaching the Coliseum.

Approaching the Coliseum.

The "front" of the Coliseum, with a Christmas tree.

The “front” of the Coliseum, with a Christmas tree. The lights on the tree turned on just after we started walking away.

We walked back to our apartment, which was quite a distance away. We walked over 20,000 steps that day! Then we sat down at a very nice restaurant, Osteria Dell’Antiquario, and enjoyed a seven course tasting menu! Some of the best food we had in Rome!

DAY 2:

The next day was dedicated to touring the Vatican. We booked a tour through a tour group (very uncharacteristic for us to do, but it ensured short lines and a fast track to the Basilica.) The Vatican museums are huge, and we only saw a tiny fraction of them unfortunately. If you don’t book a tour, give yourself plenty of time to see the museums. It was very crowded inside… We saw the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed inside) before heading to St. Peter’s Basilica.

The terrace before heading into the museums. You can see the dome of St. Peter's in the distance.

The terrace before heading into the museums. You can see the dome of St. Peter’s in the distance.

A courtyard inside was covered in thick clovers.

A courtyard inside was covered in thick clovers.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica. You can see Bernini's pavilion.

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica. You can see Bernini’s pavilion.

A member of the Swiss Guard!

A member of the Swiss Guard!

The exterior of St. Peter's Basilica.

The exterior of St. Peter’s Basilica.

We ate lunch at a touristy restaurant nearby and then headed back toward the river. We decided to pay to go inside the Castel San Angelo on our way back to the apartment. There wasn’t a lot to see inside except for the building itself (but that was okay with me!) Also, architecture students can get in for free (or for a discount, I don’t remember). The best part though was the view from the top.

The view of St. Peter's dome.

The view of St. Peter’s dome.

The statue at the top of the Castel San Angelo.

The statue at the top of the Castel San Angelo.

DAY 3:

Although we got a late start on day three, we wanted to make the pilgrimage out to the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. After our plan to get a taxi fell short, we opted to take the metro. We decided to head toward the Metro station near the Spanish Steps, another landmark we had yet to see. This was a great way to see the steps, and I recommend using the metro system when you go to see them. You can board a train there and get to many other landmarks across Rome, including the Coliseum.  After navigating the metro system, we finally arrived at St. Paul’s. We stopped for a snack before going inside.

There are these fabulous mosaics inside St. Paul's.

There are these fabulous mosaics inside St. Paul’s.

The exterior and courtyard of St. Paul's. This is probably an excellent break from crowds in the summer, since it's quite a distance from the rest of Rome.

The exterior and courtyard of St. Paul’s. This is probably an excellent break from crowds in the summer, since it’s quite a distance from the rest of Rome.

We ended our short day at the Piazza di Popolo, since it’s a metro stop like the Spanish Steps. We wandered our way through the streets back to our apartment.

DAY 4 (CHRISTMAS EVE):

We walked to St. John’s in the Lantern, although it’s completely possible to take the metro there. Our apartment was near the Piazza Navona, and it was about a 45 minute walk from there (when planning to walk somewhere, it’s important to also remember how hilly Rome is!). The advantage to walking was getting to see more Roman ruins as well as the Coliseum in the daylight.

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Anyway, we toured the church and stopped for some amazing pizza.

The interior of St. John's

The interior of St. John’s

The exterior of St. John's

The exterior of St. John’s

We took the metro back to the Spanish Steps and walked back to our apartment. We watched Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter’s Square, just outside the Basilica. It was an amazing experience.

The bells of St. Peter's ringing on Christmas Eve.

The bells of St. Peter’s ringing on Christmas Eve.

DAY 5 (CHRISTMAS DAY):

We decided to do what Italians do and sleep in on Christmas Day. We did a bit of shopping and walking and went to the Campo De’Fiori. We ate both lunch and dinner at different restaurants on the square.

Campo De'Fiori

Campo De’Fiori

DAY 6:

The day after Christmas was another travel day. We left our apartment in Rome and took a train to Florence. We spent the evening exploring the city after settling in to our second apartment.

The Duomo of Florence.

The Duomo of Florence.

The fog descending on a Piazza

The fog descending on a Piazza

DAYS 7-8:

We spent the next two days in Florence exploring the city and shopping. The lines to get into the Duomo were horrendous! We opted to just appreciate the exterior. We had some amazing food, too. My favorite restaurant was Trattoria Gabriello. Florence is typically a not-so-crowded tourist destination, but around Christmas and New Years, apparently it is not. There were masses of people nearly everywhere!

DAY 9:

From Florence we took a day trip to Pisa (to see the Leaning Tower of course!). The train station is about a 15 minutes walk from the Duomo (our apartment was near there), and from there we boarded a train to Pisa. I don’t remember exactly how long the ride was, but it was probably about an hour (most of our train rides were). We arrived in Pisa and made the trek toward the leaning tower. The walk wasn’t terrible for us (by then we had already walked quite a bit in Rome), but it is quite a distance, or at least farther than I expected it to be. Pisa itself is a quaint town with some pretty photo ops here and there. There isn’t much to see or do other than the tower, though.

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa!

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa! Side note: we didn’t actually climb to the top. If you decide you want to, just be prepared to pay a small fee to wait in line and then climb a bunch of stairs. (If you haven’t noticed yet, my family doesn’t like to wait in line!)

The Baptistery (on the left) and the cathedral (on the right). I highly recommend seeing the inside of the Baptistery.

The Baptistery (on the left) and the cathedral (on the right). I highly recommend seeing the inside of the Baptistery.

The cathedral near the famous tower.

The cathedral (view from the Baptistery) near the famous tower.

A snapshot of the rest of Pisa.

A snapshot of the rest of Pisa.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s certainly worth the day trip. We were back in Florence by 4:00 pm. We spent the rest of the evening eating and shopping. If you’re looking to try some hot chocolate (Florence is known for its particularly thick hot chocolate), there is a terrace restaurant overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica that we visited before dinner. It’s at the top of a store/shopping mall (the 5th floor, I think) at the corner of Via del Corso and Via Calamala. There’s a good view of the Duomo from there, too.

DAY 10:

We left Florence for Bologna, a little-known Medieval city with lots of good places to eat. After arriving at our hotel, we took a cab to the city center and explored. There’s a cathedral on the main piazza worth visiting. It’s free to get in (which is sometimes rare, especially in Florence), but there is a small fee if you want to take pictures. I thought this was a brilliant way to charge people. Anyone can get in, but you have to pay to take pictures; fair enough in my book! We saw the two towers of Bologna and walked down the market-filled streets nearby. We ended the evening with an absolutely amazing meal at Osteria dell’Orsa. I thought it was the best meal of the entire trip!

DAY 11:

We spent New Years Eve in Venice, which was about a three hour train from Bologna. The holiday drew some impressive crowds that we weren’t expecting. I should imagine it’s typically much less crowded in the winter. Given the crowds, I was glad we only spent the day there. After getting off the train, we opted to walk through the winding streets to Piazza San Marco. This was a great way to get a feel for Venice in our short time there. We waited in line for the Basilica, which was quite pretty inside. We also saw the Doge’s Palace, which I recommend mostly for architecture enthusiasts. It was rather expensive for what it was (especially for all five of us), but I made a lot of connections to things I had learned about in previous architecture history classes. Venice is beautiful, but I would caution against spending more than two or three days there; we saw the highlights in our short day trip (it’s also expensive to stay there).

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

Doge's Palace

Doge’s Palace

A snapshot of Venice

A snapshot of Venice

We rode the ferry from Piazza San Marco back to the train station. A Word of Caution: Some ferries make lots of stops (like the one we got on). If you want a more direct ride to the train station, make sure you board the right ferry or consider a water taxi.

An image of Venice as we rode the ferry back to the train station.

An image of Venice as we rode the ferry back to the train station.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the awesome contemporary bridge by Santiago Calatrava!

We took the train back to Bologna and celebrated a low-key New Years in our hotel room.

DAY 12:

We took the high speed train from Bologna to Milan, since that’s where we were flying out the next day. Unfortunately, our hotel was far from the city center (it was near the airport), so we didn’t get to see Milan. I hope to return someday. It’s a major hub for trains, so if the price is right, it makes a good place to fly in or out of. We spent a lazy day at our hotel and got some rest before our (super long) day of travel.

TRAVEL DAY:

We flew from Milan to London, then to Dallas, and then back home. It was an extremely long day!

And that brings our trip to an end! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and found some of my narrative helpful. I highly recommend Florence to anyone traveling to Italy. What’s your favorite Italian city?

Cheers!

-M^3

 

 

Happy (Belated) New Year!

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since the end of the semester, but I’m finally back home and (somewhat) caught up. I finished the semester strong and drove home just before my birthday, and a week later my family and I left for our vacation in Italy! We just got back on the 2nd, and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. I’m happy to report that I almost have all the pictures downloaded, and I’ll be putting up the post about my Italy trip soon!

In the mean time, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year and new semester! I plan to bring you a few more architecture projects in the next few months along with some more DIY and crafts this summer. Oh! And I almost forgot, the College Cottage got a new front porch, so I’ll be posting that picture as soon as I get back!

Stay tuned for my Italian Holiday…

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Cheers!

-M^3