Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am thankful for...

I am thankful for... so many things...

Most recently, I feel thankful for:

  • Skype. ...and how easy technology has made it to be able to keep in touch with my family and friends. I am thankful for the long Skype call that I just had with Mom and Grandma!
  • Electricity. ...after being without electricity... heat... and hot water for over 20 hours earlier this week, I feel very thankful to be able to turn the lights on when I get home in the evening and put my hands up to the warm heater.
  • Thank you notes. ...three students thought of me this week as they also thought of things that they are thankful for... and I was one of them. Thank you to these little guys (3, 4, and 5 years old!) for being happy that I am your librarian!

And finally... although there really are so many more things that I am thankful for... 
  • I am thankful that 3 weeks really isn't that far away. My parents and brother, Sean, are coming to spend the winter holidays in Italy with me! I'm really looking forward to having them here and spending time with them.

traveling to Barcelona, Spain!

Well! --> Tomorrow I fly to Barcelona, Spain for a 3-night stay!

My school kindly gives us the American holiday of Thanksgiving off. A teacher at school, Carrie, asked if I would be interested in going with her and I've never been to Barcelona before. Everyone that I've talked to says that they love Barcelona and it's a great city.

Below are a couple screenshots of Google Maps:

We don't have plans set in place yet... but our broad itinerary includes going on the free Sandeman's 3-hour walking tour of the city on Friday. Saturday we plan to go to all of the Gaudi buildings... Gaudi all day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

more around Sutton, England

More photos from my morning walk around Sutton before heading to the airport...

Beautiful church:

Another church... this one with a little cemetery on the side.

Awesome that they have these bins for donated books and music... proceeds going to help fight heart disease. ...But sad that a bunch of the books are outside the bin in the rain!

High Street - Sutton, England

The main part of the little town of Sutton, England is High Street... it was just two blocks from the hotel that I stayed at... and was a lovely street, which cars cannot drive down. Lots of shops and cafes lined the street... below are some photos from this area:

I ordered a hot drink in a cafe and sat for a bit with my iPad... thankful to be able to check my email - both personal and school's. I don't miss many things from Vietnam too terribly yet... but I do miss being in the Land of Free Wifi! Thankfully this cafe offered free Wifi... and the latte was delicious as well.   : )

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sutton, England

The walk from the hotel to the workshop was too rainy in the morning to have my camera out... but I was able to take some photos on the walk home just as it was becoming dark:

Cute town with cute houses:

...and cute signs, too!

workshop in Sutton, England

The one-day workshop that I attended in Sutton, England last week was great! It gave me a good overview about the IB Diploma Programme and Extended Essay... it also made me realize how much work I have ahead of me in being able to help the students.

The workshop was in a book seller's shop:

The workshop took place a little over a mile's walk from the Holiday Inn where I stayed. The walk was cold and a bit rainy... but still a nice way to start and end the day.

...And my room in the hotel looked directly at the town's central library! (Very fitting...)

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I've had a great view of the Alps this weekend! --And there's snow in the mountains now!

Most days are not clear enough in Opera to see the mountains... but the weather has cooled down and is crisp and more clear this past week or so.

Yesterday's view:

And this morning's view (Sunday) - just a few minutes ago!

(The buildings in the distance and to the left are next to the school!)

Friday, November 22, 2013

in the city on a Sunday - Milan

Some photos from a weekend jaunt into the city:

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, just off of the Piazza del Duomo:

Cute passageway near the Duomo:

kitchen adventures...

The year before I moved to Vietnam I began collecting kitchen things here and there as I found cute items and as there were sales. I figured at some point I would have to move out of my brother's house in Denver, Colorado and would need to have some things to start my own apartment.

...THEN my teaching position was cut in budget cuts and up I moved to Vietnam with just two suitcases.

The cute, new kitchen things were packed and left in Lenny's basement for the two years I was in Vietnam. (Thankfully, Lenny was awesome and let me leave most of my belongings in his basement!)

Coming to Italy this past August, the school's teaching contracts includes a shipping allowance to send belongings by sea. It's been really, really nice to have my belongings here with me... AND be able to use some of the new kitchen items that I've never used before!

I'm a big fan of Anthropologie. ...Maybe not such a big fan of their prices... but if you can hit their sale shelves, it's great. The store's kitchen items are functional AND look nice sitting out in the kitchen when not in use. I love my teddy bear salt and pepper shakers:

And also from Anthropologie are my decorative measuring cups:

A purchase since being in Italy is my lovely yellow coffee percolator! It doesn't work as well as the original silver Bialetti Moka percolator (the main brand)... but it's cute and still makes happy coffee!

International Motorcycle Exhibition - Milan... parade!

Motorcycles from all over Europe came to Milan a couple weekends ago for the international motorcycle exhibition... I found out half-way across the street when I could hear a ton of beeping and see many flashing lights coming toward me.

Turned out, hundreds and hundreds of bikes starting going past me... and some gave a wave!

Below are a couple videos showing the bikes on parade through central Milano:

Below are a few photographs of the bikes on parade:

They came down the street and turned at the Piazza del Duomo:

fall tree treats

There was a tree in Pavia with these spiky pieces hanging all over. The ones on the tree were green and the ones that had fallen to the ground were brown, like the one below:

There are all some great trees around the apartment building next to time... I'm not sure what these are...?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

poster collages - Milano

I like the graffiti throughout the city that is done well and shows artistic talent. (Not all of the graffiti shows a ton of talent... but then some areas blow me away with the beauty and talent that is involved!)

Another piece of the city that caught my eye recently were the posters put up... seemingly both for advertising as well as for enjoyment:

cool camo celebrity graffiti:

Monday, November 18, 2013

framed outdoor artwork in the city - Milan

Along Corso di Porta Ticinese in the city... there are currently framed photographs along the street on the sides of buildings. I love it.   : )  Very random... and very awesome.

This is the first one I noticed:

And then I realized that there were more all along this side of the street...

3 framed photographs can be seen in this one below:

Milan's Duomo up close

I'm still in love with this city's Duomo!

door details...