European Nostalgia

Suddenly I miss Europe real bad.

Maybe it was because I just saw Midnight in Paris. Or maybe it was because I decided to scroll through all the posts I wrote while over there. Or maybe because I made myself dinner from fresh-ish ingredients, and while it was good, it was nothing like it was there. And all of a sudden, it was like a wall of emotion hit me.

Like how simple life was. How beautiful places were, how wonderful things tasted. Just… everything. I miss it all. Okay, maybe not you, mosquitoes… you were the bane of my existence while I was there. But apart from that, everything else.

How churches just were, and how people were religious but not in an overbearing way. How it was just worked into their culture, their life. How seamless it all was. How natural it felt to go in and pray, since everyone else was doing it too.

Or how life… life was just so beautiful. It still is here, don’t get me wrong, but things are just different. Slowed-down, relaxed, less fast-paced. Maybe it’s because everything there has been there for, like, at least 100 years. Because roads aren’t usually paved and are instead cobblestoned and because there are statues from all eras all over the place. Because the sky is big, the water is bluer, the air, while occasionally smelling of cigarette smoke, seems more fresh.

And most of all, how wonderful my writing was. I’m very critical of myself, but reading some of that stuff… it was like, damn, I can write! And this feeling doesn’t come over me often, let alone for fifteen or twenty posts at a time. My words just flowed. No struggle. It was natural, it was graceful, and it is something that I’m always going to have.

Okay, Sarah, it’s time to pull yourself up and do something. You’re going back to Europe! Not today, not even this year, but somewhere around 604 days from now, it’s very likely that you’ll be on a plane heading over there once again. So don’t worry: it’ll be there. Right now it’s time to do something here. Like dye your hair purple since Halloween’s this weekend.

Yes, yes, I think it’s time.

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Midnight in Paris

I’d forgotten how much I loved Midnight in Paris.

Davis and I went to see it a few nights before I left for Italy, and while I’d heard good things about it, I wasn’t even prepared for just how fantastic it was. The movie is everything a great movie should be: smart, funny, and romantic. Oh, and it was (obviously) set in Europe.

So going to see it again today was amazing. Our favorite indie theatre brought it back by popular demand, and I caught it just as it was about to leave theatres for good. And it might have been even better this time: even more enchanting, even more magical. It was also really cool to see it in an almost-packed theatre at four o’clock in the afternoon in which I was the only antendee that didn’t get in with a senior discount. :3

And the nostalgia it brought with it! Oh man, it was really kind of cool, seeing it both before and after my trip. Because before, I was fascinated with Europe and so so excited to go. And this time around I spent half the movie smiling to myself because I had been there and seen what the characters were seeing. I went to Versailles. I saw the Eiffel Tower light up at night. I walked along the River Seine. One of the first scenes is just of this row of trees, but I know exactly where that is because I’ve been next to them before. It was so wonderful, and now I want to go back and do it again.

So long story short, go see Midnight in Paris. And then go to Europe. The combination might change your life.

(If you want a more technical analysis of the film, check out Davis’s review: http://notionofpictures.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/midnight-in-paris/)

1000 Days

Today. Today was a good day.

Why? Well, let me tell you…

I spent 10.5 straight hours in my favorite building on campus, leaving only for eight ish minutes to stand ten feet from the door to talk to my mommy on the phone. Yeah, it was a really long day. But I feel pretty good about the time I had in there.

AND THEN. It was Mylo Xyloto time.

So Davis and I drove to our local record store and each bought a copy, then hopped back in the car, grabbed dinner, and went for a drive as we listened to it. And it was amazing, not only because it’s Coldplay, but because we were in his car driving around in the dark and listening to it together, just like we were 1000 days ago when we told each other we had feelings for each other.

I love coincidences. Or rather, when things coincide that couldn’t have happened solely by chance. I know it’s little and might be viewed as dumb, but I think the fact that the Coldplay album came out exactly 1000 days after we started dating is nothing short of fate. I mean, if it were any random band, then whatever. But it’s Coldplay – the band that brought us together in the first place.

I like just knowing there’s someone up there looking out for us all. It makes me smile to know that we’re not alone.

(The CD’s very good, by the way – I highly recommend it. Especially the song “Charlie Brown.” What I want to know now is: who is Mylo Xyloto?)

Running?

There is so much in life that I want to do.

Like become fluent in Italian, practice yoga, run a half marathon. These are my current goals, the things that have caught my eye simply because they all seem awesome. So I’m going to do them!

And two of these seem to fit with me, but one… not so much. I know what you’re thinking (Mom!) – I am no runner. I never have been. Running makes me feel wheezy and gross and very very unathletic. So where’s this idea that I should run a half marathon coming from?

I’ll tell you exactly where it starts: the Nike Women’s Marathon was this past weekend. And I’d never thought anything of it before (have I mentioned that I’m not a runner?) but a lot of the girls in my major actually went and finished. And everyone who did felt really good and looked really good too! Plus you get a Tiffany’s necklace at the end… who wouldn’t want that?!

So here’s what I’m proposing to, well, myself, I guess: I’m not saying I run the whole half marathon. Heck, I’d be happy with just walking the darn thing – all I want to do is finish it. And that’s a whole year away, a whole year that I have to get myself in shape to do that. And by getting myself in shape for that, I’d be getting myself in shape for something else: my wedding. So why not try, right? 🙂

It’s been a while, WordPress.

Last I left you, I was exploring the world!!! Well, I guess I still am… though unfortunately not by being in Europe anymore. I feel the need to fill in all the details since my most amazing days in Paris, but I feel like I can accurately sum it up by saying a few short words:

Paris was wonderful. My expectations were well-exceeded by this great city. The people were friendly, the place was clean, and things were just… magical. There was something to do every day, and while I love love love Italy, I absolutely love Paris too, though in a different way. Paris, I’ll be coming back to you, don’t you worry.

London… I can’t say I had the same feelings. London was… dark. It was dirty. It was full of people rushing from place to place, who were overall kind of rude. I think by the time I got to London – a place that spoke English, which was something I wasn’t used to after the six weeks prior to my arrival to the UK – I was ready to go home. And I think our hotel put a damper on everything: it was really small, really cramped, and the people who ran it weren’t nice at all. I seriously think they had something against women travelling alone, like we were. Oh, and the movie theatre in Piccadilly Circus wanted to charge me £25 to see Harry Potter over a month after it was out. Which is, like, forty bucks in the US. Yeah, definitely a damper.

Though not all of England was bad. For one thing, the food was delicious! Way more tasty than I thought it would be. Bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie – it was all really wonderful! Top it off with Pimm’s or a pint of cider and boy was I happy. Also, we got to tour Buckingham Palace and see Kate’s dress (!!!) which was really cool. But by the time I got on the plane headed home, I was more than ready.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t so short. I might post pictures of it all later if I feel up to it. Anyway, the real excitement comes after I get off that plane heading back to the States.

My life drastically changed that night, the eve of my 21st birthday… and in a good way, I promise!

After my 11+ hour plane ride, most of which was made up of two obnoxious girls climbing over me every twenty minutes while I tried to sleep, I scooted through customs and met Davis at the airport. We were so excited to see each other, and I talked his ear off on our way to my house. Once there, I said a brief hello to my family and crashed for a few hours on my bed, until I was awoken by my wonderful boyfriend, telling me it was time to go on my birthday date. I threw on some clean clothes and off we went to a surprise destination.

We soon arrived at our stop, which turns out to be – get this – a gondola service that would take us on a romantic cruise! Davis explained to me that he knew I’d be missing Europe already, and that since I hadn’t gotten to go to Venice, he wanted to take me to the American equivalent of it. We were introduced to our rower, a beachy-looking guy whose name escapes me now, and hopped in our boat to start our cruise.

And it was wonderful! And romantic! And just a little awkward cuz it was me and Davis and this guy we’d met ten minutes before, who was encouraging us to be lovey-dovey! But let’s rewind for a second, and just go with romantic, cuz that’s really what it was.

And then, it happened.

(And if you know me, you know what I’m talking about 😀 )

Davis got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

I’m not going to rewrite everything he said, because to be honest I want to have it as ours and no one else’s. I want to hold it dear and remember it whenever I’m feeling down or just want to smile some more. He put it beautifully, and it still makes me giggle like a giddy schoolgirl when I think about it. But so does every little sweet thing he does.

(Oh, I said yes, by the way. 😀 And apparently in a very “Well, um, duhhhh!” type of way. And as another sidenote, he was so adorably nervous right beforehand… it was really really cute, and I love him ever so much for it.)

Then we finished our gondola ride and giggled profusely some more, and upon leaving the establishment we rounded a corner and all of my close friends were standing there. Like, all of the Drake family, plus my roommate and good friends from home… everyone. And they scream their excitement and glomp me, and my brain can’t handle the awesomeness and I’m laughing and smiling like a mad fool and recounting the events of the night. Then after so many awesome pictures are taken and passing my hand around so that everyone can look at my new engagement ring (!!!) we’re whisked away to my roommate Kaylinn’s house, where her family so generously hosted us with dinner and drinks and celebratory goodness. And we talked! And I told them tales of Europe, and how excited I was to be back. Then we went to my friend Lauren’s house and then out on the town for my birthday! Not too much alcohol was consumed, for which I was grateful – we went to two bars, so it was the right amount of fun without being overwhelming or sickening, then hung out some more at Lauren’s. And after talking for hours, a very tired Davis finally had us go home so that we could sleep and I could get used to the American time zone again.

The next day we went out to breakfast and I called a few people to tell them. (I continued to do so over the course of the next week or so) My mom and sister got home then too – they were on a different flight than I was, which was annoyingly delayed, so they were very tired by the time they finally got back to the states. We hung out some more at Lauren’s and had dinner at my house. There was just… so much overwhelming excitement, in the best possible way. I still can’t believe that all of my friends drove up/down to see me, to celebrate with me. If any of you are reading this, you are the most wonderful people, and I am so so lucky and blessed to have you in my life!

Okay, so now that that’s been summed up, ish… I’m going to try to breeze through the weeks that followed:

Davis and I were orientation leaders at school! It was SO tiring, but such good fun that it was entirely worth it. We had some pretty awesome freshmen to introduce to their new home. We kept our big news to ourselves and didn’t tell them until the last day of orientation. They were surprised but very happy for us.

I built myself a bed! This monstrosity came in three huge and heavy boxes from Costco, which we hoisted up two flights of stairs into my bedroom and then took a week or so to build. But it’s done! And it’s beautiful! It’s a full loft bed with a desk and an obscene amount of shelves underneath. And I love it 🙂

I’ve gotten comfy in the rest of my new apartment too. It’s so lovely! And it’s got a beautiful view of the mountains.

I’m trying to continue to learn Italian – that’s not something I want to give up even though I’m back in America. I’m hoping to take Italian II next quarter, and I’m brushing up on my current skills. Reverse culture shock didn’t hit me very much… except for one day in Paris, but once my mom pulled me out of bed, I was fine. I’m doing really well, and it’s great to be back, especially now that I have a fiancé. As my friend Mat said, “Sarah and Davis… it was only a matter of time.” *Lord Inglip look*

Oh! And on that note, one more thing:

Isn’t it purty? 🙂

And we went to a bridal fair yesterday… gah, it’s so exciting. Now I’m planning my wedding to the man of my dreams!!! 😀

Okay, now I really have to go – I have my first midterm in a few days, and it’s study time. I’ll update more often than I have these past few crazy weeks. But ciao for now!