Thursday, April 19, 2012

crazy dreams come true

Today is my final day as an intern in London.  For the past few weeks now, I have been asked relentlessly by my colleagues, advisors, and peers what I have learned from this experience.  After giving much thought to this question, I can finally sum up my findings in a few words.

I know that...

I DO NOT want to work in finance or investment

but I DO NOT want to work in the art world either.

I do not want to stare at computer screens all day or be surrounded by close-minded individuals who simply dismiss people who are different as 'weird'. 

I also know that...

I DO want to enjoy going to work every day,

and I DO want to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness. 

I want to travel, to collaborate with people, and to feel as though I have made a positive impact on the people and the world around me. 

Some people may say that I have returned to 'square one' or wonder where I may possibly go from here.  For me, though, reaching these conclusions is a huge step, and, when I return home in three weeks time, I intend to stop at nothing until I bring these dreams to fruition. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

coffee - you can sleep when you are dead

This weekend, Emily and I hopped on a plane to Dublin to explore the Emerald Isle for Easter weekend.  We certainly had our ups and downs, but - like all good Brits - we kept calm and carried on.  

We woke up early on Saturday morning to catch our flight out of Heathrow at 7:30am.  When we arrived into Dublin, we were greeted by sunny skies and cheerful Irishmen who directed us toward a coach to get to the city.  Exhausted from our early morning, we decided to head first to The Bald Barista, a cafe with supposedly the best cup of coffee in Ireland.  
Outside of The Bald Barista

truer words were never spoken
My Americano absolutely did not disappoint.  In fact, it was the best cup of coffee that I have experienced thus far in Europe.  The barista really was bald too.  

Afterwards, to take advantage of this beautiful sunny day, we decided to go on a walking tour of the city.  We began at Dublin Castle where we took some time to learn about the history of this site and to explore the lawn and gardens. 
The castle courtyard

On the green

We continued our walk toward the historical Trinity College where I - as an obsessive Art History major - jumped at the opportunity to educate Emily about The Book of Kells manuscript, which is housed at the university. 
Trinity College

Since we were both tired, we decided to go for an early dinner at a restaurant called Cornucopia that I had learned about through my favourite vegan resource -  Rumoured to be full of wholefoods and vegetarian, I was certainly very excited for this meal.  Ultimately, the food completely exceeded all of our expectations.  For my main course, I enjoyed a plate of curried sweet potatoes with brown rice, a quinoa and mint salad, as well as a plate of mixed greens.  To top off the perfect meal, I had a delicious coconut oat bar filled with plump raspberries.  Even as a well-seasoned vegan restaurant connoisseur, I think this may have been the most amazing meal that I have ever experienced.  
In front of Cornucopia Wholefoods
The next morning, we woke early again because we were scheduled to take a tour to the Cliffs of Moher.  We waited out at the bus stop, however, for over a half hour, and the coach never arrived.  For a moment, we panicked at what a horrible day this was shaping up to be.  Quickly, though, we regrouped and began to consider our alternatives.  Back at our hostel, we grabbed a brochure for a tour company that offered day trips to the countryside to County Wicklow.  After a few quick phone calls, we were booked, and we headed off to meet our guide.  

Despite being cold, we had a very enjoyable day exploring the Irish countryside.  Quintessentially, we saw plenty of sheep, craggy rocks, and rolling hills. 

Just like with every other aspect of this trip, our tour of County Wicklow did not disappoint.  Ultimately, while we never did get to see the Cliffs of Moher, I had a wonderful weekend enjoying velvety rich coffee, delicious vegan food, and beautiful scenic sites with a fabulous friend.  The cliffs can wait anyways - I have a feeling that I will be back to the Emerald Isle once again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

a very important date

I have always loved the tales of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland so, when I learned that the Royal Opera House would be presenting this story in ballet form, I knew that I needed to find tickets.  Yesterday, I had the most magical afternoon enjoying a beautiful, artistic performance while reflecting nostalgically on a childhood favourite.  The bright and colorful costumery, the skill and strength of the dancers, and the innovative retelling of this tale made this show one of my best experiences in London thus far.

After all, on a dreary Saturday afternoon, who would not want to fall down the rabbit hole and go through the looking glass?

original illustration from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice meeting the caterpillar in Disney's Alice in Wonderland 
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland
The Royal Ballet presents Alice in Wonderland at the Royal Opera House 
Alexis, Emily, and I in the stalls