In the summer of 2008, my senior year of college, I studied in Madrid. Amazing experience. If I recommend nothing else to my children, it will be to travel and do it while in school. No other life period allows for one or more months of traveling with a few classes mixed in. You won’t learn nearly as much in the classes as you will while trying to navigate a foreign place.
Learn the language or not, it doesn’t matter. Just go. Don’t be afraid, don’t second guess it, just go. Cultural sensitivities on the other hand – learn them, follow them, and ask for forgiveness when you make a mistake. Graciousness, humility and kindness are universal gestures, language not required.
The past few months has got me thinking about Europe. Moving to Denver, getting outside my extremely safe box that was Chicago (which, actually is only semi-safe, but I digress), it’s making me think about priorities. I want to travel. I want to smell different places. I want to see unique smiles. I want to imagine what wears on the skin of people in far away places.
I want to go back to Japan and explore the places I saw during a whirlwind three week adventure in 2009. I want to return to France and see the whole country, not just a corner of the Basque region. I want to explore. Now I just need to figure out how to make it happen. I want to write about what I see and not lose all the photos and travel journals due to a hard drive fail. Note: write travel journals in a notebook moving forward, not on your un-backed-up computer.
I’ll start with exploring California in two weeks. What makes California California?
Go USA!! Love the Olympics, love nail polish. Perfect combo.
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Cheering for my favorite country in various sports I pay attention to for two weeks every 4 years is amazing. Doing it with my favorite hometown food – pizza from Lou Malnati’s – and Leo? Doesn’t get much better for a Saturday night.
My parents sent me these pizza for my birthday, they know me so well. I get so homesick around my birthday every year, but Leo, his family and my family cured that! I’m so blessed. Go team USA!
An hour with my Google Reader, design blogs and a really clean apartment is starting my day off right. Feeling inspired, enthusiastic and energized. Add into that the fact that I’m hatching a plan for something new and challenging with my outside of work time?
Time to put on the glasses like this absurd Hello Kitty spotted at the airport and kick today off!
After Georgia, I came home for a few more days of relaxing before getting back to the grind. A visit to the Denver Art Museum, of which I’m now a member, was in order. The YSL Retrospective was superb, inspiring and thoroughly stimulating of multiple senses. I wish photography was allowed in the exhibit, but I wouldn’t have done the pieces justice.
Saint Laurent’s perception of the female form and what clothes mean (nothing without a body) will continue to pique my interest of design for a long time to come. Prior to the exhibit, I knew of the designer, the fashion house and some basic history of his designs – women pant suits are a thing because of this man. All of DC and the female working class would look different had Saint Laurent not created the risqué for the period (seemingly demure today) outfits of his time.
My favorites pieces within the exhibit were from the late 1970s Spain-inspired collections, the 2002 chiffon evening dresses in the room of color swatches (also my favorite albeit simple museum exhibit that I’ve ever seen) and… Oh to pick just a few! There was a 1969 wool jersey jumpsuit in burgundy that evoked my emotional perceptions of an era I think I would’ve loved. I wanted a bit more information on the canvas and leather purse in the Catherine Deneuve closet, but the show was about the clothes.
Fabulous details and precision seams all drilled into my mind the designers perfectionism, vision and belief in the women for whom he designed. His desire to provide ready-to-wear when nobody thought beyond haute couture, his belief that the street was where fashion really should live — I wish I could see this side of every design house. I like art, I love design, but mostly I adore function. In most of YSL’s designs I saw function paired with form to create art. Easy to understand and enjoy, this art is a must see if possible.
Have you ever been to a museum exhibit that entirely rearranged your perceptions of an industry?
These should fit in nicely in Colorado, what do you think?
This dress is still among top five items in my closet right now, but I’m seriously thinking about my aversion for patterns. Time for a cure. Something obnoxious and not solid. Stay tuned…
Flights were delayed out of Denver last night so I didn’t get in until 2 am.
Thank goodness this guy was able to pick me up from the airport! Mad truck tie-down skills in action.
Then, I got to wake up to this little creature and another black ball of fur. I adore puppies! I rounded the day out with some napping, as any good vacation includes, and sitting out on the porch in the hot Georgia sun. Project: chill the eff out, phase 1 complete.
Two weeks ago we went up into the mountains which I already recapped, but I wanted to share a few more shots. The first one was snapped from the car as we drove out of the city. Imagine if only I used a real camera… You’ll note the traffic (not anything compared to Chicago, though)! We’d heard about this phenomena when we got here – folks leave the city to go into the mountains on the weekends. Less than two hours and you are a world away from work, stress and the city. This is why I moved here.
So, on Friday night, we saw tons of folks driving up into the mountains inspiring various recreational activities with all the trailers, bikes and boats we saw behind SUVs. Funny thing is, people here with SUVs actually use them for SUV-esque activities. Who knew?
Also wanted to shares these shots of Leo and I because they make me laugh! Love the final resulting photo, but sorta love the laughs that led to it. Love this kid and love getting away from it all with him and our friends here! Neon is also a fave for sunburns. Looks good and cotton feels great against the skin.
What’s your favorite way to escape?
My lovely mom sent me some goodies on Wednesday. They totally made my week! Included:
- Canvas purse with faux ostrich leather, perfect for carrying a book, some sunscreen, a water bottle…or wine…to a park. Already used it to go out this week! In Denver, it gets crazy cool at night, so I always need a sweater. Big purses are put to good use here!
- Sports bra and cotton shorts, perfect for lounging around the house during 100 degree heat waves. FYI: 100* with no humidity > 80 with 80% percent humidity. Don’t miss that part of Chicago.
- Cotton dress, perfect for a summer BBQ.
- Cotton loose fitting tank, ideal for summer nights at a bar with a sunny patio.
Last night we went to a local spot, the Fainting Goat, which I’ve heard raves about since we got here, but I’ve never made it. Our guy friends go there for happy hours weekly and I’m going to make it priority to make it to them after seeing this place. The patio is on the top of the three story bar and is gorgeous and allows attendees to enjoy the sunset over the mountains. White shorts with the light top hit the spot for each of the 100 degrees we were enjoying.
Huge thanks to my mom for keeping me stylish and in tough with the light cotton hippie wears. She’s the best and I can’t wait to see her next week in Georgia!
What’s in your ideal 20-something care package?
Our friend Tom has a place in Beaver Creek (disclosure: Vail Resorts is an Edelman client) so we went up there this weekend. We headed out of Denver right after work on Friday and in two hours, we were in heaven. Two of out other friends were running the Tough Mudder race, and they needed cheerleaders. Mix that with a big group of guys and girls, add an adorable baby, and you get a great weekend!
There were lots of cold drinks to be drank, sun to soak up and relaxing to be done. The sun, the mountains, the fresh air, the great company. All said and done, a superb weekend!
Can’t wait to head to Chicago in a couple days for another relaxing summer weekend. Praying this sunburn goes away by then…