Monday, April 21, 2014

Genoa + Columbus's House

Genoa, Italy
First of all, I would never recommend visiting Genoa on a Sunday. Almost nothing was open except really downtown. And who wants to stay downtown all day? 

We hopped aboard another sightseeing bus and zipped around the city to see the major sites. That day was soooo muggy and not very sunny so I felt like I should be cold, but really I was sweating.
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
I took most of my photos from the bus because it's a much better vantage point than on foot, hence all the nifty angles.
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
We hopped off the bus at the Piazza De Ferrari (which was really beautiful and in the picture below) and gallivanted off to see Columbus's house nearby. 
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
It's a pretty small house, as you can see. There used to be other houses just like it connected on either side of it all up and down the street. There's not much inside except a little bit of original flooring underneath some plexiglas, but we weren't allowed to take pictures anyway. It was still fun to see it and now we can say we have been inside Columbus's home. The tickets for the house also come with tickets to go up in the medieval gates to the city for an extra euro or something really cheap. The buildings in this part of Genoa were really pretty!
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
We climbed up the Porta Soprana aka the gates of Genoa to see the lovely view. Porta Soprana was built around 1155 and has two different towers that you can climb. We were literally the only people there. We looked down on all the buildings around us and into the small rooftop terraces full of lovely flowers and greenery. It made me really want a rooftop terrace. Isn't terrace a lovely word?
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Going through these pictures has really made me appreciate just how tan I was by the end of this cruise (and how pasty I am now). Look at my legs! And I was using SPF 45! I never just tan. I burn. I am the kind of person who gets burned slightly (or so I think) and people gasp when they see me. I have that kind of skin.
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
This was the part of Genoa I wanted to see: the stacks of colorful buildings and the rolling hills. We tried to take a bus up to a famous cemetery, but we could not figure out the bus schedule no matter how hard we looked at it. It was printed out on a piece of 8.5x11 paper and taped to the bus stop. And we never saw any buses stop the entire day! I'm telling you, don't go to Genoa on a Sunday unless you are prepared to walk. Or take a taxi. We walked for a while along the river and when we decided we had gone far enough, we tried to find a taxi. There were none to be found. Isn't that how it always works? Seriously, go to Genoa on a weekday.I will say this though, we probably passed like five people the entire time we were walking, so that is a bonus. Genoa is not very crowded on a Sunday.
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
It got very stormy all of a sudden and we had to hide in the train station for a while. While pretending to study train schedules, we encountered a very angry (and possibly drunk) Italian man who wouldn't stop screaming at the random passersby. A train-station woman made him leave eventually, but it was an entertaining break from all the walking.
Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Also, here we are on the night that we sailed past the two islands of Corsica and Sardinia. I'm pretty sure that's Corsica in the background.
Mediterranean Cruise June 2013
Mediterranean Cruise June 2013

So I'd like to end by saying that this post has been sitting half-finished in my drafts folder for more than a month! I've been guiltily thinking about it almost every day and finally decided that today was the day I finally finished that sucker! I've just been so exhausted. Nearly four weeks ago, I finally put on my big girl panties and landed myself not one, but TWO new jobs. Then I started taking a calculus class down at the local community college (I don't want to talk about it. ugh, math). So I guess you could say I've been pretty busy lately.

As a non-member of the workforce for the last three-ish years, I have had a large abundance of free time to blog and edit photos and just generally hang out and have a good time (and also do laundry and develop my homemaking skills, obviously. Thanks, for the three years off, Forrest!). 

No longer! I am now an employed woman with a schedule!

I'm sorry, poor neglected blog, I'll try not to go another four weeks without updating you. I missed you!

P.S. There is one last stop on this trip: Marseilles, France!



Friday, March 28, 2014

Jasper + Pendleton

We've been working kind of hard to get Jasper (pup) and Pendleton (hedgehog) to exist in the same room together without a)Pendleton having a heart attack or b)Jasper ending up with a mouthful of quills.

Jasper just gets SO excited whenever he discovers that hedgehog in the room. He bounces around sniffing excitedly while Pendleton turns into a ball of really sharp points and hisses ferociously. Inevitably, Jasper gets too close with his sniffing and receives a poke in the nose. By then he has usually had it with all the excitement and starts barking at this frustrating little ball that won't stop hissing at him or hurting him when he tries to play. He's actually kind of terrified of the hedgehog.

Meanwhile, Pendleton wonders why he keeps being prodded (and occasionally licked) and why won't this gigantic nose stop bothering him.

I mean, it's Megan's fault, really. She bought Pendleton a little hedgehog friend stuffed animal when she first got him, which he ignored completely. Eventually it was passed down to Jasper in his early puppyhood. And who would blame him when he tried to pick up his toy which actually happened to be a real live hedgehog?

Thus began the Jasper/Pendleton relationship.

So we decided to try again a few times and finally accomplished something when we managed to have Jasper lay quietly until Pendleton got used to him.
To be fair, Pendleton isn't actually a very nice hedgehog friend to Jasper. When Jasper wasn't paying attention to him, he tried to crawl on him and/or poke him on purpose. This sent Jasper two feet into the air and it was actually really hilarious, but it doesn't really do much for mutual trust, if you know what I mean.
Then Jasper got real protective of his rawhide bone.
At one point, Jasper was actually chasing Pendleton around the room barking. Generally the second Pendleton hears a loud noise, he rolls into a ball, so this was real progress. 

This hedgehog knows who's in charge around here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Quest for a Succulent

I really love greenhouses. Really really really. The number of greenhouses/botanical gardens that Forrest and I have visited in the past couple of years is kind of silly, but I also feel good about it because, flowers.

I feel great when I go into a green house. It must be all that extra oxygen. It's kind of what I think being in an oxygen chamber would feel like, maybe? I have never been in one.

Being in a greenhouse speaks to my soul. If you know what I mean.

But anyway, I bought this really cute pot at a thrift store the other day and I knew that I really needed a succulent to fill its loneliness. I gave away all of my plants when we left England (and I had some really cute plants) and I've been feeling a plant void in my life lately.

I looked up a good nursery and off we went to fulfill my mission.

We walked in and I had this eerie feeling I had been there before. Then I saw the ferns hanging up and I knew I had been there before. This was the very nursery my mom and I had visited to buy some ferns
(as greenery for the stage) for my wedding almost three years ago(!). We spent a really, reaaally long time trying to find two identical ferns.

I inquired about the succulents and was directed to the lovely cacti and etc. that THE Cactus Man had delivered only the week before! I did not know there was a Cactus Man but after being informed by no less than three separate employees that the succulent I picked was from his very own famous cactus van all the way from Oregon, I knew I had something special. I guess. I mean I paid $9 for the thing.

After spending easily 30 minutes pondering the vast selection of succulents (and cacti!), I let Forrest pick for me because my mind would not be made up. Then we wandered around the rest of the place and I snapped a few pictures. Here they are!

I asked Forrest if I could take a picture of him holding my new Echeveria. He said no way! Then he changed his mind, wait, okay! because that's just the bearded kind of man he is. And he is cute. Although his beard is getting a little our of control, I think.
I really loved this cactus and was this close to buying it instead. Then I thought that me + cactus was probably not a good idea and maybe I should go with a less dangerous houseplant.
Alllll the mosses! I was delighted with how they arranged them.

I can't wait for real spring!



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fake Springtime at Snoqualmie Falls

Last week, we had a few days of unbelievable weather up here in this little rainy corner of the states. Forrest even dragged a lounge chair out of the garage (which I promptly stole) and sat in the WARM sunshine! 65 degrees, we thank thee.

So Brandan (Megan's fiancé) came up last week (from Oregon, duh) and had the bright idea of taking a nice little trip to Snoqualmie Falls. Prior to this beautiful weather, we had been having a pretty wet month; we've got the pond next door to prove it (said pond is usually a raspberry field). So, obviously, the falls were supposed to be quite intensified. Forrest and I got ourselves an invitation to this affair and off we went into the sunshine.

I'll let these next few pictures speak for themselves.
I really love all the mist in the photo above. It was quite misty.
Brandan and Megan hiked the path down to the bottom whilst Forrest and I met them in the car at the new lower parking lot. I had never been to the bottom of the falls before. They built this nice wooden pathway to a lookout where I'm assuming there used to just be a dirt path. People used to hike down to the bottom (I know, I've seen pictures) and stand in front of the falls, but now it's all blocked off.

As you can see, we are not above jumping over railing. 

Then we drove into the town of Snoqualmie for some ice cream.


The End