Tag Archives: Food

ZZZs and Zaps (A-Z Challenge)

This is it! The last post of the April (now May, I started late) A to Z Blogging Challenge! I’m here in New Orleans still, leaving tonight to head back to San Francisco, and it’s been an interesting couple of days.

On Saturday, our group went on a FANTASTIC walking tour of the Garden District in NOLA, where all the huge mansions are, including the one from American Horror Story: Coven AND Anne Rice’s old house!

wp-1462161432072.jpg
Who’s the baddest witch in town?
wp-1462161480317.jpg
Do you see a vampire? I hope there’s a vampire!

Then we got brunch (see below to gain five pounds by looking at a photo):

wp-1462161502133.jpg

And then it started POURING. And thundering and lightning. And JazzFest flooded and shut down (no Stevie Wonder :() because lightning was zapping the stages and equipment and stuff, and then I realized I was ill from too much rich food and also had come down with a cold complete with sinus congestion, sneezing, coughing and fatigue. Soooo, I spent all of Saturday afternoon and evening napping, and after another INSANE brunch today, followed by more lightning and downpours and thunder, napped some more. So, basically, I’ve done a lot more sleeping (zzzzs!) and listening to lightning zapping (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? THIS IS THE Z CHALLENGE AND I’M RECOVERING FROM NYQUIL AND I AM REACHING HERE, PEOPLE) than tourism the past 48 hours. But you know what? It’s okay, because at least I can say I’ve seen the real NOLA weather, which is apparently out of control without the least provocation. Or maybe I offended some voodoo practitioner on my first day here, and he or she punished me with the rain and the cold virus. Or maybe I am rambling because YAAAAAWN this Nyquil is good stuff, y’all.

In any case, despite illness and rain, I’m really glad I came down to the Big Easy, and while the bons temps didn’t rouler so much in the last day or so, I have some good memories (and probably a good extra 3-5 pounds) to remember the trip by. See ya, New Orleans–I will be back!

As for the challenge, now that it’s finished I’ll be trying to stick to a regular blogging schedule of 2-3 times per week, starting with a recap of what I’ve learned from this experience. Thanks again for sticking through it! ‚̧

Yum & Yeah Ghosts! (A-Z Challenge)

Wow, I can’t believe we’re almost done with the challenge! Thanks again for sticking with it ūüôā

Today’s “Y” word is yum, because the food here’s is amazing. Also, I have a ghost #goal update I MIGHT HAVE SEEN ONE!

image

image

image

image

image

We got lasagna, fried kale, cauliflower with whipped feta, crawfish Monica and strawberry lemonade, and a traditional southern breakfast. All delicious.

Also, we went on a ghost tour and I took a picture of the allegedly haunted alley behind the oldest pharmacy in NOLA/the US, and this is possibly a ghost?

image

All in all, a very successful Friday in the Big Easy!

image

X-treme Walking & Drinking

Soooo…remember how I was only going to have two drinks per day in New Orleans!? LOLOLOLOL OK, YEAH.

Technically, I only had three drinks yesterday, but the third was this Hurricane from Pat O’Briens (thanks to the commenter who suggested it!) which had, like, several shots of rum in it. So who knows what my count was yesterday lol.

hurricane

I was preeeety tipsy. However, that didn’t prevent me from walking nearly 10,000 steps yesterday! Before my injury, I was walking minimum 10-12,000 steps a day, but over the past two weeks I’d probably been averaging 2,000 per day, so I am VERY proud of my X-TREEEEEEEEME (yeah, I’m really reaching for the letter X here, but the only other topics I could think of were Xerox machines and Xenophobia, which are both boring and/or enraging subjects. And I am proud of my walking, god damn it! And even proud of my drinking, because I knew my body and only had water at dinner last night and had a veggie pasta dish (which was delicious). Basically, I am a FUCKING PARAGON OF VIRTUE.

But, yeah. New Orleans is pretty great, though the heat and humidity are INSANE. You know it’s hot¬†when you drink three big cocktails and countless glasses of water and barely need to pee because you are sweating it ALL out. So in terms of my NOLA goals, I’m at least meeting the sweating one.

Today is day one of JazzFest, and we’re hoping that Lauryn Hill shows up for her set, because you never know with that girl. Happy Friday!

 

If y’all have any more NOLA suggestions, please do leave them in the comments, they are GREAT.

April A-Z: Apples, A Definitive Ranking

I found out, a few days late, about this April blogging challenge called the A to Z challenge, where you do a blog post every day about whatever as long as you do it alphabetically by topic or title (thanks to TheLonelyTribalist for sharing the idea). So now I am doing it to up my spontaneous blogging skillz game, HA, and you have to read all these posts now, HAHAHAHA. So basically everyone wins. Or…loses.

As this is Day 1, we are dealing with the letter A. I therefore present a DEFINITIVE and IMMUTABLE ranking of APPLES for your perusal. You may certainly add your opinion of my list in the comments, but remember that whatever your differing opinion may be, you are WRONG and I am RIGHT because this is the INTERNET and that’s how it works.

Apples, Ranked

10. Crabapples:¬†What the fuck are these, even? As a kid, adults would point out crabapples to me and be like, “That is a crabapple tree. I know I just said ‘apple,’ so you will try to eat them, but don’t because they are super bad for you and you will die.” I, of course, was like, “Well, if they are bad WHY DID YOU NAME IT A CRAB-APPLE tree¬†when apples are delicious?” I never ate one, and now it turns out that they are NOT generally poisonous, but do taste gross and sour, so the takeaway here is adults are the worst and I knew it!

9. Fuji apples: I had one to eat once because I thought it was a Macintosh apple and it was waaaaay too sweet. Also it is from Japan, and when I think of Japan I get mad because I was supposed to go once for a work trip but it was canceled due to giant, tragic earthquakes. Fuck you, Fuji apples.

8. Apple muffins:¬†A terrible idea. Almost every other fruit is better in a muffin than apples. I’d rather just eat a plain muffin, or an apple, but not an apple muffin with weird apple chunks in it. I’m not a monster.

7. Apple the Tech Company:¬†Cons: giant evil corporation whose overpriced. products are manufactured by poor, suicidal workers in Asia. Pros: I love my MacBook Air and am a hypocrite, so…yeah.

6.¬†Apple crisp:¬†Apple crisp is just lazy apple pie. If you’re going to make an apple pie, don’t half-ass that shit and just dump some ice cream on it, GO ALL THE WAY AND MAKE A CRUST, or just buy one or something. Also, it has the word “crisp” in it and “crisp” is the second-worst word in the English language, right behind “moist.”

5. Apple Vacations Travel Agency:¬†Got my family a good deal on a trip to Tulum, Mexico about five years ago. We were upgraded, too, because there was a Swine Flu outbreak and everyone else canceled. The resort was empty and the bartenders LOVED us. That may have been luck but, whatever, I’m giving a major travel agency credit for it.

4. Macintosh apples:¬†Best and most delicious eating apple–suitably tart and sweet at the same time, also available for picking all over my home state of New Hampshire. Much better than that golden delicious crap, which is like apples for weaklings who can’t handle A LITTLE FLAVOR.

3. Apple pie:¬†Unlike stupid muffins and crisps, apple pie is a real gorram apple dessert, with a crust and apples and everything. Also, don’t you dare put any whipped cream on that. That is for pumpkin pie. Get with it.

2. Apple-tini: Has alcohol in it. Is good. Much drunk. Very apple.

1. Apple cider:¬†Clear winner of apple category. Hard or non-alcoholic, you can’t go wrong with a mug of delicious apple cider on a chilly fall day while wrapped in an alpaca sweater in front of your fireplace.

Oh, and an honorary mention goest to:

Starbucks Apple Latte*: A delicious blend of apples, coffee, cinnamon, and joy. A great way to spend six dollars every morning on your way to work. Will soon outpace the PSL as the go-to Fall drink, I guarantee it.

*PS: To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a Starbucks Apple Latte. I bet you thought there was, though. HAHAHA I GOT YOU**.

**PPS:¬†Seriously, though, Starbucks, I want in on that now if you’re gonna do it. I better get a cut of that shit.

 

COME AT ME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, BROSEFS!

 

Sometimes We Are All This Delicious, Mangled Cake

Yesterday, it was twenty degrees out and snowing (IN EFFING APRIL), my broken foot was aching from the cold, and I was stuck in my parents’ house. I tried writing and failed because my head was foggy from weather-induced depression. The family dog, also suffering from cabin fever, was determined to spend the entire day either licking my nose or biting my right forearm (not sure why my arm and nose are yummier than other parts of my body) in spite of every treat, game, or other scheme designed to distract her. I was PMSing and on the constant verge of tears. So, after a few hours of trying to be productive and positive, I gave up on and decided I was going to bake an AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL chocolate cake with cream cheese icing from scratch, because IT WAS AN APRIL SNOWSTORM OF DEATH, SCREW EVERYTHING.

The cake itself turned out beautifully; the icing was easy to prepare and tasted great. Then I tried to put the icing on the cake, and it turned out like this:

wp-1459874153715.jpg

I don’t know what happened, but every time I tried to apply icing to the surface of the cake, it, like, tore the top of the cake up. I tried a knife, a spatula, a spoon, my fingers–it was all a bust. So, after mangling my beautiful cake with ill-applied icing for ten minutes, I gave up and began to cry.

Now, I realize that crying over a badly-iced cake is…not rational. But I was SO tired of the day, and my aching foot, and my foggy winter-in-April brain, and all I wanted was to PRESENT A PRETTY CAKE TO MY FAMILY AND EAT IT FRONT OF THE SAD-EYED, HUNGRY DOG AS RETRIBUTION FOR HER NIPPING AT¬†ME ALL DAY! WAS THAT¬†REALLY TOO MUCH TO ASK, UNIVERSE?

My mom, engaged in reading on her Kindle, basically rolled her eyes at my temper tantrum, and I snapped, “OH, FUCK IT!” and spooned a glob of cake-and-icing into a bowl and took a bite.

It was delicious. My parents had some for dessert and loved it, and the dog looked at us all as we ate with a satisfying mix of envy and yearning in her eyes (HA, DOG, THAT IS WHAT YOU GET).

As I sit here typing this and eating more of my leftover mangled cake, I realize that yesterday I WAS this cake: messy and ugly, but yummy inside. I took a useless, gross, bad-mood day and tried to make something good of it. We all do this–some of us more often than others–and the results are mixed. Sometimes we rally and create a beautiful masterpiece, complete with vanilla fondant and sugar roses. Sometimes, our best achievement is a shower and clean pajamas, and store-bought cake if we’re lucky. Most often, though, we end up somewhere in the middle, with a delicious chocolate-and-cream-cheese glob of almost-but-not-quite greatness to show for our efforts. All of these outcomes are okay, because despite the messy icing, we are all sugary goodness underneath.

Today, the sun’s out, and the cake will be gone soon if its current rate of consumption continues unabated, as will the snow. I hope you make the best¬†cake you can today ūüôā

wp-1459874139678.jpg
Witness the sad, cake-less dog in the middle distance.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post; please leave a comment below, or share or like if you’re so inclined!

 

Happy Nom Nom Nom Day!

wp-1454881486817.jpg

Every year on this day, people across the country gather in living rooms and bars, beers and margaritas in hand, and eat a ridiculous amount of junk food. I am happy to contribute to our national day of gluttony with one of the four things I can cook – mexican layer dip. NOM NOM NOM.

Oh, yeah, and there are sports, too. GO SPORTS!

The Thirty-First Year of the Jackie

So, it turns out that–despite the existence of alcohol and chocolate–I have made it to my thirty-first birthday. A year ago today, I was in a sort-of-impressive-sounding¬†corporate job with a four-hour round-trip daily commute and an email addiction. I was really depressed, and so, shortly after turning thirty, I took a leave of absence which ultimately led to me quitting my job. It was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life, with the possible exception of going into that super gross hot tub at Myrtle Beach during our senior trip in college (those flesh-eating viruses are NO JOKE).

Now, one year into this journey off the beaten high-achiever path that I’ve dutifully followed for most of my life, I’ve achieved a new milestone: being proud of¬†myself on my birthday.

This may not sound like a big deal, but for me, it really is. Once I was legally able to drink, I stopped enjoying my birthday. Every January 5th brought on a contemplative funk during which I lamented my lack of achievement and progress during the previous year: “Some people my age are olympic medalists! Half my friends have graduate degrees! Look at that guy; he’s only twenty-three and he makes so much more money than I do! Look at that girl; she’s only twenty-five and she’s married with a baby! ¬†What have I done? Look at how worthless I am!”

I once expressed this attitude to one of my coworkers¬†at Google a few years back. She was a pretty cool chick and refreshingly honest, and she was baffled by my view of aging. She’d lost a close family member at a young age and birthdays¬†inspired gratitude in her–she was always happy and relieved to make it another¬†year. I remember nodding and chastising myself internally for not being grateful enough for my birthdays and for not having cancer or losing an arm to that Myrtle beach hot tub, and then going right back to dreading early January and berating myself.

This year, however, is different. When it comes to traditional measures of success, this year¬†certainly hasn’t touched¬†most of those that preceded it. I can’t say that I work at a fancy company. I can’t say my salary is XYZ bucks per week. I can’t talk about awards or kudos or performance scores at work, or drop the name of any executives I work with.

What I can say, however, and what I’m proud of, is that I’ve had the most new experiences in the past year of my life than in the previous eight put together. These experiences ranged from¬†good to bad to everything in between, but they¬†made me think (and blog) about myself and the world deeply, and in different ways than I have before.

I experienced the joy of realizing that I could write, and write well(ish), and write enough words and sentences and paragraphs to make a whole book-type document that people might want to read. I experienced the excitement of getting an agent, and the subsequent anxiety and boredom of submitting to publishers.

I experienced the love of my family, and the grief of saying goodbye to a family member, albeit a furry one. I also experienced the excitement of welcoming a new love into my life, though this created drama with my old love, which was iced coffee (sorry bae).

I experienced the stress and exhilaration of travel, from people-watching the crazy costume-clad nerds of San Diego Comic Con to getting knocked up by food in Florence and trudging through the rain in Paris in super ugly shoes and seeing Britney dance way worse than when I saw her on tour when I was sixteen.

I witnessed two amazing couples get married on opposite-ish sides of the country and cried my eyes out both times because I AM A SAP, OK?

I experienced breakdowns and bad nights, and discovered new coping mechanisms to pick myself up when I fall or when the world seems too much to handle.

In short, I experienced life, and I had the time to really take it in, as opposed to watching it all pass me by. And, for the first time since I was a little kid, I’m proud of myself for that fact alone. I’m proud of myself for trying to live well, and I’m grateful to all those people (both IRL and on this blog) who have come along on the journey with me this year.

So, here’s to the thirty-first year of the Jackie! May the thirty-second be just as interesting, and may you still be interested enough to tune in and read about it once in a while ūüôā

Love,

The Birthday Girl

 

 

The Single Millennial’s 15-Step Guide to Surviving the Holidays

THAT’S RIGHT, KIDDOS! It’s the most wonderful time of the year¬†– if you’re rich, have excellent will power when it comes to eating and drinking, and are happily coupled. ¬†Otherwise, as I well know, it can be a tough time, so to help you deal I present to you the Single Millennial’s 15-Step Guide to Surviving the Holidays! READ WITH CARE.

Step 1:¬†Put up all your holiday decorations, including your organically farmed hypoallergenic spruce fir, energy efficient LED lights, and flameless menorah, all while enjoying the holiday stylings of Michael Bubl√© on Google Play! Check your calendar for the month to make sure you have all of your holiday parties and events scheduled. Make a detailed diet plan for those days when you’re not attending a holiday event to make sure you stay healthy and energized – and avoid putting on those extra holiday pounds! Pledge only to have 1-2 drinks per holiday event so as to remain hangover-free throughout the season!

Step 2: Mug of soy cocoa in hand, sit down to make your holiday gift list, including all your dear friends, coworkers, and family members. Smile as you plan fun surprises for the people you love the most in your life and imagine their faces lighting up with joy when they open your beautifully wrapped, thoughtful presents! And wow, that Michael Bublé can SING, am I right?!

Step 3:¬†Though you have¬†already planned out all your holiday events and shopping, you receive a last-minute invite to drinks with some friends the night before the company Christmas party. You decide to go, but you’ll just have one glass of wine – that won’t mess up your schedule!

Step 4:¬†Wake up the next morning with a massive hangover. You’re unsure how happy hour at the wine bar turned into karaoke at 3 am, but you know you have to rally for the company¬†party that evening so you try to¬†hold back the vomit. You promise yourself that you will not drink at the company party – last night was a fluke, and it won’t happen again.

Step 5:¬†Ok, so you got completely wasted at the company holiday party and dirty danced with your boss while your coworkers took videos and posted them to Instagram – so what? Everyone else was smashed, to0!¬†Besides, the rest of your holiday events this season are with family and close friends, so you won’t be drinking a lot. What’s one night of letting loose? Also, thank the lord that they didn’t play any Michael Bubl√©.

Step 6:¬†Still hungover from the company party the night before and in your pajamas, you go on Facebook at 2 pm and see a twelve-paragraph rant from your Great Uncle Ronnie about how Fox News says there’s a war on Christmas going on, led¬†by Muslim-In-Chief NOBAMA, Planned Parenthood, and Feminazis. ¬†Feel your stomach heave with too many mocha martinis as you thank your lucky stars you haven’t seen Great Uncle Ronnie in seven years and will likely never have to talk to him in person again.

Step 7: Around 4 pm, you receive a call from your mother informing you that Great Uncle Ronnie will be attending Christmas dinner this year and you will need to purchase a present for him. Take a long shower and cry from the DTs and then go to the bodega. Buy and immediately consume a Family Size bag of Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream chips. Go to bed at 7 pm full of self-loathing.

Step 8: You wake up early feeling much better the next day, so you decide to go online to attack your Christmas shopping. Let’s see…maybe a sweater for Lucy, and Eric might like that new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates…

Step 9:¬†…Jesus Christ, when did sweaters and books get so damned expensive? You haven’t seen Eric since Halloween, so he probably won’t get you anything, either, and he can just buy that book on¬†Kindle Unlimited if he wants it, anyways. And Lucy, well, that girl comes from money and her boyfriend’s always buying her expensive shit, so there’s nothing you could get her that she doesn’t already have. You’ll just get cards for everyone at Walgreens, that will be fine, right? You don’t need to spend money to show your love for your friends!

Step 10: Oh, shit, you have to buy something for Uncle Ronnie. According to his Facebook page, all he really wants for Christmas is an AR-15. You briefly consider buying him a copy of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay but decide you do, in fact, want to survive until 2016. You order him the latest Michael Bublé Christmas CD instead. Take that, asshole.

Step 11:¬†Attend your annual friend group holiday gathering. Every other fucking person there has brought gifts for you, and all you have for them are these damned Walgreens cards. Also ERIC GOT YOU A SEVENTY-FIVE¬†DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO TARGET ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You slink to the corner, ashamed, and drink the equivalent of two bottles of wine by yourself as you realize that not only is everyone else more generous than you are, they are all also in long term relationships and you are the only single person at the party. Are you the only single person BECAUSE you’re not generous? Is that why? Also, why is the host playing Michael Bubl√© music? Why are you alone? WHYYYYY AM I-

Step 12:¬†Wake up¬†feeling awful. Realize that after you blacked out the night before, Eric and Lucy had to pour you into an Uber during surge pricing¬†and drag you up three flights of stairs¬†to your apartment to put you to bed. Oops. If nothing else, you now owe them each a major apology gift. Get on the scale and decide that since you’re already fucked, weight-wise, you might as well go all-in. You order an entire large pizza and eat it alone while watching¬†While You Were Sleeping¬†on TV with commercials, even though you have the DVD on your shelf (you’re just too lazy get it and put it in). Fall asleep at 2 am with your head on the pizza box after watching your thirtieth commercial for the upcoming Michael Bubl√© Christmas special.

Step 13:¬†Travel home for the holidays. Somehow, end¬†up in the middle seat ¬†on your six hour flight. Because of “high winds” your plane needs to land in Vegas for 30 minutes to refuel. Thirty minutes becomes ninety and you order three of those little bottles of wine to keep yourself sane¬†as the two giant men on either side of you jab their elbows into your ribs and fart copiously.

Step 14:¬†Arrive home and watch your parents bite their tongues to avoid commenting on your disheveled and bloated¬†appearance. Go to your childhood bedroom and pass out for ten hours because, damn it, you’ve earned it, and you need to steel yourself for Christmas dinner with Uncle Ronnie, who’s told your mother via text several times that he’s¬†really¬†concerned that you haven’t found a man to take care of you yet and that it’s all Feminism’s fault.

Step 15: On Christmas morning, your mother lets you know that Uncle Ronnie is at home with gout and will not be attending Christmas dinner after all! Beam as you sit down with your family for the meal, and tear up as you realize that, hey, maybe there is a God, after all! Huzzah! Joy to the World, bitches!

Finally, after dinner, your mom tells you she’d like the whole family to join her in the family room to watch the Michael Bubl√© special, which she recorded on DVR.

WHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYASYD;LAJS;GAKS?

In the name of Bublé, I wish you a happy holiday season.

 

 

The Ten Worst Things about Europe: Eurotrip 2015, Part Deux/Due

As promised earlier this week, I’m back with my list of the Ten Worst Things about Europe. ¬†BE WARNED: THIS LIST CONTAINS PICTURES OF MY LEG AND ANKLE! ¬†(This warning is mostly relevant to any of my readers who have traveled in time from the nineteenth century. ¬†If you are reading this, sorry for lewd images, and also can I borrow your Tardis?).

10. Getting this bruise:

It has been nine days
It has been nine days

So I guess it’s kind of hard to see in that picture, but my first afternoon in Paris I was walking along the Rue Montorgueil (or as my non-French-speaking friends called it, the “Rue Mononmont…ugh, whatever”) and it was raining, like, SUPER hard, and I slipped in front of a bunch of skinny, smoking French people, and fell on my knee hard and it hurt like a motha, and the bruise is still there and going strong. ¬†MERDE!

9. ¬†Rain:¬†This is a continuation of number 10, I guess, but it rained hard three days when I was in Europe and THIS WAS BULLSHIT. ¬†Didn’t Europe know that it was me, Jackie, who was coming to visit it? ¬†It couldn’t have held off on the rain for, like, one more week out of courtesy? ¬†THANKS A LOT, EUROPE. ¬†This would never have happened in California.* (On the plus side, I guess Europe does look pretty cool in the rain, see below).

Siena in the rain.  Pretty awesome, actually.
Siena in the rain. Pretty awesome, actually.

8. Air France: ¬†Ok, this one isn’t funny and I don’t have a pic, but basically those assholes stole 216 bucks from me and I hate them and am never flying them again. ¬†It’s a long story but if you really care you can check out my Twitter from this morning lol.

7.  Hangovers: When I was last in Europe, I was twenty years old and could literally club all night and drink endless wine without any repercussions.  Now that I am thirty this is most definitely not the case.  I paid dearly for this concoction, for instance (but, my God, was it delicious):

omg omg
omg omg

6. These shoes: 

So...chic?  Ugh.
They speak for themselves

So this is also a result of #9 Рthe evil RAIN.  My friend T and I were walking in the rain in Toms shoes to the Louvre, which was ill-advised on many levels, and we had no choice but to stop at a random shoe store and try to find waterproof shoes in our size.  Sadly, the only shoes available in my size were these (though T picked up a decent blue/black glittery pair which she threw out Рbad decision, T!).  Apparently, the French have tiny feet.  The worst part was that I had to wear the above shoes with these pants:

The patterns really mesh well, don't you think?
The patterns really mesh well, don’t you think?

Not chic, guys.

5.  The number on this scale: 

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Who am I kidding? ¬†I’ve been too afraid to get back on this old horse. ¬†No matter how much walking I did, no way it made up for this:

TIRAMISU
TIRAMISU – I know I put this in the last post but it was SO GOOD.

4.  Bugs: The bugs in Europe are surprising vicious.  I was attacked by one especially horrid one in the courtyard of the Florence Basilica, leaving me with these scars two whole weeks later:

They still kind of itch, too.
They still kind of itch, too.

What I’m really saying is, the bugs in Europe hate Jesus. ¬†Yeah, that’s it.

3. Smoking:¬†Look, we Americans may be fat with big feet and cover all of our meals with melted cheese, but at least we’re not constantly inhaling poisonous fumes and blowing them all over other people. ¬†I swear, no one in Europe can go twenty seconds without lighting up. ¬†I’m kind of allergic, so this is genuinely awful for me.

2. Hot guys:¬†Too many of them. ¬†There’s such a thing as an embarrassment of riches, Europe. ¬†Though they’re all skinnier than I am, so that helped matters.

1.  Paper and Candle Stores: Ok, Europe, what the hell Рdo you want me to be INCREDIBLY BROKE?  YOU HAVE STORES THAT SELL JUST PAPER AND JUST CANDLES EVERYWHERE.  Just LOOK at this beautiful effing fan I bought:

It's not ok that it is this beautiful
It’s not ok that it is this beautiful

I spent, like, twenty euros on this fan. ¬†When, you may ask, am I ever going to use this fan? ¬†NEVER, THAT’S WHEN. ¬†But it is so pretty and made of hand-painted paper!

Also, LOOK AT THIS CANDLE:

Welp, there's another 20 Euro down the drain
Welp, there’s another 20 Euro down the drain

It looks like it’s made of glass, AND IT’S A WAX CANDLE. ¬†COME ON, ITALY. ¬†IS THIS A JOKE? ¬†I’M GOING TO LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER AFTER THIS TRIP.

Don’t get me started on the soap stores. ¬†I just didn’t go into them. ¬†I would have had to declare bankruptcy if I had.

So, yeah, these are my top ten complaints about Europe.  As you might imagine, this was my face when I had to leave:

BUT I DIDN'T BUY ALL THE CANDLES IN EXISTENCE I CAN'T LEAVE YET!
BUT I DIDN’T BUY ALL THE CANDLES IN EXISTENCE I CAN’T LEAVE YET!

Love ya, Europe.  Never change! xoxo Jackie

*I am aware that it is actually a bad thing that it never rains in California. ¬†I am not making light of the drought, which hopefully will be alleviated by El¬†Ni√Īo. ¬†Chill out, guys. ¬†I care about the environment, GOD.¬†

So I drank all the wine…

And ate all the food and walked to all the piazzas and saw all the things.

Advice for going to Florence:

Eat everything
Drink everything
Wear a scarf for churches #sexism
Love life
When they only offer wine by the bottle buy it and drink it and be drunk and post on WordPress.

Ciao!!!

image

image

image

image

image