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The Best Memories from 2009

For posterity, I wanted to document some of the most memorable moments I experienced in 2009.    There have been some amazingly wonderful times .  .  .

Last January, I was blessed to visit my good friends Leigh and Chris in Seattle.  I stayed for a few days and brought along Oreo and Buttercup.  I ate a HUGE burrito, hung out with a troll, visited Bainbridge Island, visited the grave of Bruce Lee and his son, had a lovely ferry ride, wandered aimlessly through a cubist library, and pretty much took photos of O and B all around the city.  More than anything, I enjoyed spending time with Leigh, Chris, and their beautiful daughter Sophia!  It was the best trip ever.

In February, my sister made a second attempt at teaching me how to knit.  The first time it happened I got really frustrated and tossed it all aside.  For whatever reason, something stuck this time around.  My first project was a beautiful maroon and beige scarf that I still wear to this day.  So far, I've knitted eight scarves, two hats, a bracelet, and half of a throw blanket ever since.  It is such relaxing and rewarding way to pass the time.  I'll be knitting more in the next year.  Here is a photo of the first scarf I ever knitted:

Last February, I visited Atlanta with my friend Chris.  We were mainly there to see an Antony and the Johnsons concert, but we decided to make a whole weekend out of it.  Of course, I took Oreo and Buttercup along.  We visited some fancy malls, and I ate this AMAZING butternut squash dish that I will never forget as long as I live.  It was a really wonderful trip.  My friend Chris was the best host ever!  Here he is being slightly embarrassed having his picture taken with a miniature piano and a rowdy bench:

Simply put, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to.  This was one band that did not need a bunch of crazy pyrotechnics and theatrics to put on a beautiful show.  They were on tour to support the release of the new album "The Crying Light" and sang most of the songs from it.  There was even a cover of Beyonce's hit song "Crazy In Love".  I sat in the front row in direct sight of Antony playing the piano.  It was so mesmerizing.  After the show, my friend Chris and I got to meet Antony.  He signed a copy of his CD for me, and I gave him a copy of my album "Seahorses".  It was the best concert ever!  For sure, I will see them perform again whenever I possibly can.

ITALIA

On Wanderlust

Land of pizza and gelato!! I was lucky enough to travel to a few cities in Italy. My first stop was a short trip to the leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa Italy! It is a very cool building to check out but it is so packed with tourists that it’s hard to take a cliché photo of the tower. Also try and avoid the pizza from the carts here, its not very good and its pricey!

Next stop was down to Firenze!! A couple of my friends were studying in Florence for the semester and was able to show me the secret perks of the city. An incredible Panini shop that everyone needs to go to is called “Pinos.” Every sandwich is inexpensive and made with the freshest ingredients. Anything you try will not disappoint.

For some authentic incredible pizza, I recommend making your way to Gusta Pizza and get the classic margarita. You get a small pie to yourself and the sauce, bread, and cheese is amazing! After lunch you obviously need some gelato!! I went to probably ten different gelato places in Florence but my all time favorite with an incredible view of the Duomo was “mordilatte”. Try the Crème Catalina flavor its awesome!

For a fancy dinner I recommend making your way to Zazas. Sit outside and enjoy the freshly made bread and a nice tall glass of wine. Another great place to eat dinner is at “El Gato y El Volpe“ The portion sizes are huge and the pasta is so fresh! If you do the family option dining, you have unlimited wine as well! My friends and I probably went through 4 bottles by the time we made it to dessert!

Two tourist spots that you must visit is the Duomo cathedral and the bell tower. The Duomo is absolutely beautiful on the outside and the inside. The paintings and architecture is amazing. The walk up to the top is pretty crazy but it’s a fun experience! WEAR COMFORTBALE SHOES!! The bell towers hike is even more intense but the view at the top makes it all worth it. You have a 360 degrees view of Florence and its breathtaking.

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