Friday, March 28, 2014

Grand European AdventureTime Part VII FINALLY

Seeing as April is staring us in the face (umm...what. how.), I felt it apropos to take it upon myself to finish that epic adventure that was the holidays.

Yes. I still haven't finished blogging about the holidays. Sorry.

We left off here, as our trip in Prague came to a close. Next stop: Tirana! Unfortunately, Em couldn't get on the same flight as Danielle, Kate, Meg, and I, so she ended up in Athens for the night. That's an entirely different story - involving a greedy cab driver, a grand tour of the Grecian countryside in the night time, and a sunrise on the Mediterranean. But I headed back to pick up Em, and after spending the night in Tirana (traveling after daylight just doesn't happen in this country), we FINALLY landed in Lushnje.

Hey everyone, we made it to Lushnje in one piece!
Also, that's Emily's hand on the left. I'm not a weirdo holding two hand up like life's a rollercoaster.

We spent the next seven days sleeping, talking, eating, cooking, exploring, visiting, taking pictures, snuggling, watching movies, reading, napping, and just generally doing the wonderful and weird things only sisters can do together. It was so fun to see Lushnje through Em's eyes!

"Don't take a picture of me, take a picture of him!"
"Not me! Not me!"

Yum. Chai malli (mountain tea).

Emily had to get a thousand pictures with all the ladies at Lena's favorite coffee stop. 

We also went to the museum here in town (which is actually really cool!) and the guide was all, "Look at this 15th century Turkish sword! Wanna hold it?" UM, YES. (The historian in me cried a bit when I realized that nothing was protected and I could literally pocket ancient greek pots or weaponry from centuries past...)

Part of a mural in the museum painted by the current Prime Minister, Edi Rama.

Moza's office!

Main office!

Emily's flight left at 4am on the 13th, so we spent the day in Tirana on the 12th before taking the bus to airport at 5 pm. (We're cheap and we figured, why waste money on a hotel room and a taxi just to get a few hours of sleep, which would waste the precious little time we had left?) Tirana doesn't have a lot of "sights" to see, so it didn't take us long to cover the big ones:

The city recently put together this little corner showcasing some relics from communism, including part of an old factory, a bunker (above), and a piece of the Berlin Wall (below). 

And of course, no trip to Tirana would be complete without a trek up the pyramid! When Enver Hoxha died, his daughter and son in law built this mausoleum to his "greatness" to be remembered forever...

It's now an abandoned hazard and a fantastic cultural icon. The graffiti is ever-changing, and students are always climbing up the walls to get a birds-eye view of the city.

Emily Anne, I love you. Spending those three weeks with you in Vienna, Prague, and Albania made me so incredibly happy, and I will absolutely treasure that time forever. #ewgrosssappysisterlove

Miss you!

And that, my friends, concludes the marvelous grand European adventure 2013/2014.
(Just in time for Easter)
(I need to work on my timing)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Megan!!

It's my super special site mate's birthday today! Gezuar ditelindjen, Megi, edhe nje qind! 

I LUCKED out with Ms. Megan Bowman. 

She's smart.
She's funny.
She's pretty.
She's kind...
...and totally badass.

First day out on our own in Albania!

New Year's Eve 2014 in Prague

Overlooking Lushnje, last summer

She puts up with and partakes in my harebrained ideas...even though she seems to draw the line at a dramatic musical reenactment of Let It Go with a comforter for a cape and dramatic hair flipping.

Not that I've ever done that. Or that there's a video of it.


Vienna. "Man Punching Horse"

Kulmak, last summer

And we're a lot alike in so many weird ways: 

M. Elizabeth
little sisters named Emily
childhood obsession with Nancy Drew
and so many other things that it's kinda strange.

 Hey, remember that time we shared a sleeping bag on a mountain?

Or that time that we volunteered to play the awkward awesome male parts of a student-written soap opera?

And that time we took truly inexplicable Christmas photos?

(and showcased our Twin Peaks gang sign?)

How about that time we got locked out of our hostel in Budapest for half an hour at 2am Christmas morning?

Dude, Meg. You rock.
 I love that you're my sitemate. You da bomb.

(And you have that Albanian photo pose down to a SCIENCE.)

Happiest of happy birthdays
gezuar ditelindjen edhe nje qind
shume urime
feliz cumpleanos
joyeux anniversaire
...and all the rest cuz you're the best!

Friday, March 21, 2014

This is how I look when...Part Who Cares

How I feel trying to find more community contributions for my project:

When I came up with that AWESOME my post title:

When no one comments on how AWESOME it was:

My new favorite response to street harassment (I don't actually do it, but I relish imagining it):

(so appropriate for Albania!)

How often do I forget about my milk on the stove and it boils over?