Friday, July 30, 2010


i'm entirely overwhelmed here! in the past few weeks i have seen more & experienced more than i thought was possible. my head hurts & everything is far too beautiful & inspiring.

some quick observations {i never have much time online} :

*in nice, you feel like grace kelly or carey grant {depending on your gender of course}

*in venice, you feel like a rat in a maze {but it's a really exciting maze}

*in florence, you feel like an art student

*in cinque terre, you feel like an explorer
* . . . like every summer abroad, k & i are coming back fat & happy : ) the food here is to die for! & i thought i was going to starve. . . hmm. . . i keep thinking of elizabeth gilbert's time in italy. . .
*even though i'm loving every minute of all this madness, i am so excited about my time home & the rest of the year.
*dana saladoff is my soul mate. k & i had a really hard time saying goodbye to her today at the station in la spezia.
* i know that i'll be back here again one day to paint
* like airports, i have an interesting relationship with hostels. i love all the people & excitement, but sometimes i crave a little quiet place to sit & meditate for a while
*i miss yoga like something fierce
*it is so sad watching your bank account slowly diminish before your eyes
* i need to travel with a raincoat that actually works {abby, i didn't believe you when you said that garish green one doesn't work}

* i cannot wait to share some of my own photos!
*cinque terre is the place to meet up with random carolina grads/undergrads {no joke, we met up with so many through the 7 hr. hike!}
tomorrow, we leave for rome. i hate that our time in florence was short, but we're excited to fight the crowds & heat in rome! we've heard some ridiculous stories so far. maybe, just maybe, i'll get to ride on a moped through the streets of rome. also, kandyce, k & i still might take a trip to orvieto from rome! i'll keep you posted.

{photos by k. the first is our first view of venice in the rain & the second is from our hike through cinque terre today}

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in nice

if ever there has been a time that i have felt more like grace kelly it is now. our life on the french riviera reminds us a whole lot of this right now {minus the thief and jewels of course!} . . . i cannot wait to share more of my own pictures and more stories.

maria & sarah, if you're out there, i wish more than anything you could see this beach. as much as i love charleston with all that i have in me, this beach here is perfect.

nice is idyllic & we are not sure if we are going to leave anytime soon.

we still have to figure out a way to get into italy in the next few days. our plans have already changed three times today alone. we have loved our time in france {except for one unfortunate day, but all is well now} & we are curious to see how italy treats us.

i wish i could write more, but kelsey is ready for our picnic dinner: a baguette & cheese ! {it's the same everyday but we cannot complain}.

much love,

p.s. i have been so thankful for this experience & it certainly has given me so much inspiration for my art, my gap year {at home & abroad}, & for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 12, 2010


a favorite since i was just a little girl. . . the drama/the action/the elegance, everything about this is inspiring.
see, we're still good friends! we're having a hard time getting pictures of the two of us here. often they turn out like this.

et pourqoui pas? yoga at the louvre is a must.

i'm so in love with paris. i'm sitting at a tiny cafe with k right now. a darling petit chat is also sitting at the table with us. every once in a while she'll rear up & swat the flies away. it is hard to believe this is all my life right now. {we watched the world cup final here last night & had the time of our lives. we cheered loudly for the Netherlands just because we liked their bright organge jerseies}.

the night is quickly approaching, but everyone in this city is still out and about. the weather is perfect, the people are happy, and i am in love with everything.

i think that's all for now.

p.s. the lovre is ridiculous. i honeslty don't know what to make of it. my head felt like it was going to explode. my dear friend virgina quillen likes to remind me that "the human brain can only fully appreciate 15 great works of art in one day," therefore, the louvre was too much. that said, it was an experience and i walked away with a sense of accomplishment. k, on the otherhand, was angry when the people kicked us out parce que she did not get to see everything. she never likes to leave things unfinished. i tried to remind her that it would be impossible to see everything, but she was still determined. it turns out we did not see everything we had wanted to. . .

one final note - all of these pics are k's again . . . & she doesn't know that i got a hold of them! il est notre secret. . .

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

london loving

we're alive!

already i feel surprisingly confidant with my ability to navigate this city. although it is different and far away, i honestly don't feel that far away. sure there are funny little cars, massive double-decker buses, and adorable accents, but honestly it resembles nyc and d.c. {some of my favorite places on this wide planet}.

i'm in love with a lot right now and my heart is so happy. k & i have already invested our time doing what we both love & it feels so right. yesterday, while she was busy interviewing professors about the EU/NATO military alliances {having the time of her life i might add}, i was busy walking ALL of hyde park! i took time out at the princess di memorial & painted a little sketch. i also wandered down a street that led me to the v & a museum. there by chance, was the grace kelly: icon of style exhibit! i did pay about $8 for it, but i justified it as my one real expense for the day. the budget hotel {in the perfect location} & the food {whole, unpeeled carrots & lance crackers from home! ha. i love traveling on a budget!} were both paid for already, so i felt fine about the money.

today, i spent a lot of time at this darling little library in the heart of the city. i'm still there now, typing this little post.

i've seen so much & i am so thankful for this experience already. k & i have loved our times of independence, but we're both having a wonderful time together too. all i have ever wanted to do is wander, travel without a real plan, & take pictures & paint, & you know what ? . . . that is exactly what i have been doing.

much love-


{photo by k. . . after wandering the streets near victoria station we were exhausted. our packs were heavy and we were jet lagged, but we eventually found a place to stay and everything was just perfect. p.s on the first day we met a local who lived in mooresville, nc for two years (what are the chances!) and then this ny couple who, once we mentioned we lived in nc, said that they had a cousin who lived "in this small town called davidson." it's a small world. }

Saturday, July 3, 2010

one last thought. . .

does anyone else find it ironic that we are leaving on america's independence day to go to ENGLAND?

it makes us laugh.

away we go!

there's no turning back now! : )

i feel good about what i will be bringing with me although i think k & i will still be up all night thinking through what we have & what we might be missing.

yoga class this morning helped us all & i am so thankful to have found that sense of calm in the middle of this packing storm.

my other favorite part of this day was k & my hug fest. all along k has not shown the same sort excitement as i have. . . that is until today. she can't stop smiling & neither can i! every time we pass each other we look at each other & say - "hey, we're going to europe. . . TOMORROW!"

as i was packing away my bathing suit, i looked down & thought - the next time i'll be wearing this, we'll be at the Mediterranean! it was terribly thrilling & motivating?

money is still a little overwhelming, but then again when is it not? everyone has been remarkably encouraging & comforting, so i know that it WILL all work out in the end. we will survive! k has said that the Lord's prayer will certainly have a new meaning for us - "give us this day our daily bread."

before i sign off. . . i want to share our inspiration for our whole trip.

from a rolling stone
to pitch my tent with no prosy plan,
to range and to change at will;
to mock at the mastership of man,
to see adventure's thrill.
carefree to be, as a bird that sings;
to go my own sweet way;
to reck not all what may befall,
but to live and to love each day.
to scorn all strife, and to view all life
with the cautious eyes of a child;
from the plangent of sea of the prairie,
from the slum to the heart of the wild.
from the red-rimmed star to the speck of sand,
from the vast to the greatly small;
for i know that the whole for good is planned,
and i want to see it all.
- robert service

please keep us in your thoughts & prayers!

p.s. we still do not have a place to stay our first day. . . it shall be an adventure & i cannot wait to see where it takes us.

in the garden

mom's garden this year is both delicious & breathtaking.

Friday, July 2, 2010

we want to go here

how could we work in scotland???
k & i have a place to stay in scotland, but. . . we have no way to get there. . . at least no way to get their on our budget!
maybe some other day!
: : : : : : : : : : : : : :
we leave on sunday. yup, THIS sunday. we're currently researching hostels, train routes, etc. with a furry, but we're enjoying the process!
packing, although a little stressful at times, is one of my favorite activities in the world. i love to pack for myself & others.
i'll hopefull write again before we leave {& post some pics from the past few days}.

much love.