Posted in 2015 (Europe)

31/08/16: Bonjour, Paris

Day 5 was my last day in Barcelona and I slept in the airport that night, so I spent Day 6 (green) sleeping and basking in the hotel room I was staying in.

Day 7 (green-blue) started at the Eiffel Tower, since I had looked online and Sept 1-2 were the least busy days that I would be there. I also wanted to go in the morning because it would be less crowded, of course. I was amazed at the structure, it was so gorgeous and mostly because I was astounded at the engineering! I wanted to take the stairs up, but the stairs from the ground level to the next floor up were closed, so I had to get the elevator. I’m glad I did, since I got to walk from the toppest level down to the next levels, so I still got to see the views and such from the walk, but going down instead of up.

After the tower, I went on a river cruise; I really enjoyed seeing Paris from a boat on the Seine. I like boats.

After the boat trip, I walked along the Seine to the Musée d’Orsay, which was amazing. It’s housed in a former train station that was built for the World’s Fair and from the clocks in its front face, you can look out and see the Louvre. An old couple told me about the museum when I was visiting London ages ago, so it was cool to go see. That, and the Degas dancers were there. Since I did ballet for 9 years, it was amazing to see the paintings and statues there in person.

Day 8 (light blue) turned into a Museum Expedition day, since I get into the museums for free I wasn’t too worried about getting my “money’s worth” since the money was 0. I started at the Louvre and got a ticket for the audio guide, but decided to start at Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée des Arts Décoratifs before heading back to the Louvre, since they’re smaller and I wouldn’t have to wait in line for any of them with my Irish ID. I was really excited to see the Barbie exhibit at Musé des Arts Décoratifs, since my mom sent me a link to an NPR article about the exhibition.

The exhibition was, honestly, the best one I saw all day! Mostly since the other places I went were museums, not exhibitions. I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the most common complain about Barbie, that her figure is outlandish and impossible, wasn’t addressed (it’s because the clothes when she was first made would literally not stay on her body otherwise), but I loved to see the evolution of Barbie, the diagram of her family and friends, and how they make the choices for new couture Barbie styles.

The highlight of the Louvre, for me, was to see one of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Young Beggar. I’ve been fascinated with Murillo’s paintings of street kids since I was a kid myself, sparked by three decorative plate-versions of the paintings my grandma had hanging in her dining room. I distinctly remember examining the paintings every time my grandpa put my shoes on, singing “Put Your Shoes on Lucy” since I always, and still, preferred to be barefoot.

My final day (Day 9, dark blue) started at Montmartre, where I saw the Moulin Rouge and the café from Amélie before walking up to Sacré-Cœur. I mostly walked around the streets for the first half of the day before hopping on the subway and heading for Cimetière du Père Lachaise. Just outside the cemetery walls was a little sidewalk market, where I, naturally, bought a new-old camera.

Lumière F:6,8 c1937
One of my fav photos I took of my new camera, but really I’m just trying to figure out what that little metal thing on the base is!

With my new camera in hand, I walked through the cemetery, amazed at what I call the Death Houses.

Of course, I also hunted down Oscar Wilde’s resting place, but I found the Death Houses to be cooler. From the cemetery, I went and sat at the base of the Eiffel Tower, waiting for the light show when the lights turned on. Once the Eiffel Tower lights came on, I walked back towards the Louvre to head back to the hotel and grab my suitcase before heading to the hostel I was staying in before going to the airport the next morning.

All I’m going to say about my airport experience is that Beauvais airport is the worst airport I have ever been to in my life, and I have been to a lot of airports.

And that’s the end of my trip! You can find all of my photos at my Eurotrip 2016 Flickr album and below is a map of where I went!

 

Posted in 2015 (Europe), Blog

18/07/16: A …Sunny? Day in London Town

So I went to London (again) for a few days and, in fact, I just got back yesterday. I think I get some kudos for posting this relatively quickly….

I booked this trip a few months ago because I had tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and didn’t know I was going to be visiting London twice in March, but that meant I had the chance to book a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Although, the booking of that was a DAMN MESS because I am apparently terrible at dates/times. I booked the wrong times TWICE before finally getting it sorted and correct.

Museum of the Year 2016!!

A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

I did luck out and happen to be in London at the same time as the Victoria and Albert Museum was offering a free behind the scenes tour of their Conservation Studios, so I got my ticket for that while I was visiting in March. That was so cool, even though I was the youngest person there by about 40 years (or more…) Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take photos, but I did get to see the paper, books, painting, textiles, and sculpture conservation studios. The textile studio was my favorite, there was a gorgeous 1950s-esque dress on display in the studio and “The Souper Dress” was just visible if I stood up on my toes and peered around everything.

 

The Souper Dress

After my tour of the V&A, a couple of artists I follow on Tumblr who happened to be in London at the same time met me there and we went through the V&A and its Undressed exhibit. I had already met up with them the day before for ramen and wandering after I landed in London and we planned to meet up again, but it never worked out. It was fun to hang out with them, though.

The next day, I was looking for weird museums to go to, so I went to the Ragged School Museum, which was really small. It was a school started for orphans and homeless children by a doctor who came to London from Ireland intending to be a doctor missionary in China, but he decided to stay in London and help children there. I was talking to the volunteer and he was super friendly and knew a lot about the museum, so it was nice to chat with him before the school groups descended on the museum. Once the kids got there, it was too loud from them walking around and he was busy so I went on to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory.

I got a ticket for the Royal Observatory and it included a free ticket to the space-themed exhibit, Above and Beyond, in the National Maritime Museum that I wanted to go to but didn’t want to get a separate ticket for, so that worked out really well! In the Royal Observatory, I got to stand on the Prime Meridian line and go up in the giant dome where the telescope used to be. It was so lovely out in Greenwich, I was amazed at all the greenery and the big boat (the Cutty Sark)!

A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

My last stop of the day was the Harry Potter play, but I won’t say anything about that because #spoilers. Except that my heart was full of feelings for these guys:

malfoys

So the weirdest thing happened when I was on Facebook, though, because it turns out someone I worked with at Best Buy who had been going to university in Hawai’i since I had left for China was in London at the same time! What a coincidence. So we decided to meet up for tea the next day at 3.

Before meeting my friend, I went to the Wellcome Collection, which wasn’t as weird as I was hoping it was going to be, and I tried to go to the Zoological Museum, which was closed. But I did get to see a trepanned skull, so that was cool.

On my way to meet up with Josh, I went to a vintage shop and flicked through the jean jackets, ultimately finding one that was super cute AND super marked down. The original price in the vintage shop was 50GBP but I got it for 18. Yes, I am bragging about my name-brand jean jacket being HELLA CHEAP cause a brand new jacket from the same company is like 100GBP. DEALS.

So then I went for tea with Josh, who I hadn’t seen in 3 years. We talked about vintage cameras, which was awesome, because he works at a camera shop in Hawai’i and does photography and stuff. We decided there are three kinds of Camera People: Big Tech (like him), Vintage (like me), and Hobbyists (like my dad). He was impressed with my vintage collection and I with the massive expensive cameras that he got to work with, so it was awesome to be able to talk to someone about cameras and them actually understand.

After that was part 2 of the HP play, where I definitely DID NOT CRY ABOUT THE MALFOYS.

The next day was my last in London, so I decided to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon. The adventure was a bit of a mess, from not having the card I used to book the tickets to not finding a place to store my bag (I left it with some theatre staff, not technically a cloakroom at all), but I did get to see Shakespeare’s house and grave and gardens, and the town was super nice even if I was a little ill. (Did I mention I got sick like Day 2 of this trip and felt like I was dying by part 2 of HP?? Cause I was DYING.) On the train back, though, I chatted with these two nice old men because one of them brought out his lil packet of travel tissues because I was very obviously snuffly and miserable. We talked about 60s TV shows and SciFi and traveling, and when I went to leave, he gave me the lil packet of tissues!

Said hello to the Bard today.

A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

So after my train back from Stratford-Upon-Avon, I went to the airport, because that’s where I was sleeping, and I managed to get a two-seat section that I wedged myself into for a nap. Then I caught my flight at 6:30am and went home and slept!

Posted in 2015 (Europe), 2016 onwards, Blog

18/06/16: ConGRADulations and Other Updates

So this year, my brother graduated high school. It looked like it was going to be a logistical nightmare to get me home for his graduation (not to mention the cost!!), so I booked my own flights back in February, managed to keep the surprise to myself until 3 weeks before the trip (my family is not very good at surprises, we like to be informed), and surprised everyone by showing up to my little brother’s graduation!!

SpockSurprised

When I first booked the flights, I thought I would feel not-great about the amount of money they cost, but I actually felt a great weight lifted from my soul because I wasn’t going to miss my only little brother’s only high school graduation.

Over the course of the week, I saw my grandparents, my mom’s younger brother and his wife, family friends, Danny’s friends, some high school friends, and, of course, neighbors. I also made use of mom’s sewing machine and supplies and made a few gifts (which I can’t post photos of yet, because I haven’t given them) and a dress and ran a bunch of errands.

1920s dress done!! Too bad my ’20s Brownie is in Ireland. #AprilMakesThings

A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

I even ended up with a flight delay of 24-hours (I voluntarily chose to reschedule and go home than to get stuck in Chicago O’Hare for an indeterminate number of hours) that worked out really, really well. I got a post card I would’ve otherwise missed, grabbed the books I meant to bring with me but forgot, and set up my parents website on the exact day mine renewed! Crazy timing.


Which brings me to the updates!!

As some of you may know, but probably not, I have a portfolio set up on this website as well as a digital repository set up on a subdomain. Over the next few weeks (hopefully), I’ll be updating the portfolio with info on setting up and using WordPress as well as a few other techie things for my parents, who will be new to the blogosphere. I’ll, of course, add a link to their website when it’s up and functional. Currently, it’s empty.

I’ve also migrated My Makeshift Kitchen into this website, no more separate URL for it! In light of that, different post types have different headers, which you might have noticed! (Probably not, it was a really quiet change 😛 ) I aim to have header images for the different projects within my portfolio, for the locations in the travel blog section, for My Makeshift Kitchen, and for those that don’t particularly fall under any of the previous categories (which I mentally refer to as Articles).