I'm in love with this color palette and everything about this living room. I need to redecorate, everything  in my house is too much...... the same.


some polaroids

Here are some of my favorite polaroids from my trip. The scans aren't the best, but they'll do :)

(In order from left to right and going down the photos...
Notre Dame back view. The Seine River, Paris. Versailles. Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame front view. Bike from our Paris bike tour. Barcelona palm trees. Alley way with a restaurant in Spain.)


goodbye europe

For my last day in Europe, we all went to the beach. It was super fun once you master the tunnel vision technique to avoid the naked peeps. Weirdos.
I also got fried. I wouldn't suggest getting a nasty sunburn on your back right before 13 hours of sitting on a plane. It's not the best thing I've ever done.
After we went up the Sagrat Cor (Church of the Sacred Heart). It was beautiful and set up on a hill that overlooked Barcelona. We got up right as the light was perfect and got some beautiful shots. They had just barely closed but Clark talked sweetly and convinced them to let us up because I was leaving the next day. They were so nice and let us up, they were really great people, I'm happy I was able to meet them and see the church.
After we went to dinner and hung out and whatnot.
It was a good last day (even though this post is really short and you could probably think otherwise because of it).

Coming home from Europe was really hard. I wasn't ready to leave. But I'm excited for the adventures that this summer will hold, I can just tell that it's going to be full of a lot of them :)


day 29 - new hostel and friends

We moved out of the hotel today and into our hostel. There was a 2 hour lag where we just hung out at the park because we had nothing else to do. Tia and Meghan went on a walk and came home with a mannequin arm that they found in a dumpster. (Awesome? Yes. Do they still have it now? Of course.) I came up with a very entertaining idea and stuck it in my sweater sleeve to make it look like I was crossing my arms on my leg. Clark walked up and it took him about 15 seconds of eye contact and conversation before he noticed my new white plastic extension. He was confused for a second and then he understood what was going on. It was hysterical. I could not stop laughing. His reaction was priceless!

Once we got to the hostel, it was really nice. I'm pretty impressed with the price and the awesomeness of this hostel. Right now it's Mirielle (she's leaving in the morning), Tia, Brea (Tia's twin... which, btw, the whole twin thing is throwing everyone off, it's hilarious) Clark, Rick, Michelle, Elyse, Meghan, Kayla, Sammy and me. It's been really fun just hanging out. We went to dinner, which was delicious, and then hung out, relaxed and goofed off. Then we had a music party where Elyse, Clark and Meghan educated on the subject of epic music that I should be listening to. It was much needed and much appreciated and I'm very excited to listen to my new long list :)

PS - I adore Elyse. So so much. She's incredibly talented, hilarious and just awesome. I want to be her best friend all the time.

That was my day today. I'm dreading coming home. Bleh. But tomorrow is beach day, so I'm excited for that :)

day 27 & 28 - dali, farewell party and clubbing

Day 27...

Today's activities were optional. And of course all the cool kids went ;) We went to the Salvador Dali Museum.  I'm not the biggest Dali fan. Actually, he's on the bottom of my list. But once again, the museum fairy has blessed my eyes with appreciation and love for a not liked artist, this time SeƱor Dali. Something I never thought would happen and it did. Something I really admire about Dali as an artist was how experimental he was. All you really see when studying him in art history is his work like Persistence of Memory. You don't ever see his other work like his pen and ink and watercolor, etc... I loved his other work. His creativity is so inspiring. He would take ideas and run with them. And he was all over the place, it was incredible.

After the museum, we walked around the town and went to eat. The town was adorable, very "spanish". And the restaurant was great. All the restaurants I've been to so far are so friendly! I don't know if I've had awesome good luck or if it's just the culture, but I really like it.

We took the 2 hour plus train ride home and I slept the majority of the way (apparently through a lot of commotion and a lot of people, I must be one talented sleeper). When I woke up, Rick and I had a great conversation that eventually led to how I'm going to meet my future love through Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. I'm excited for that to happen.

When we got home, we had another family dinner with the leftovers from the night before. Spaghetti. Yummy. Clark set up candles and a fern in a nice arrangement on the table to make dinner that much better. What a great guy. He's such a romantic and I love it.

Wanna know a secret that's not going to be a secret anymore? After dinner, some of the girls and I went clubbing. Bah ha ;) It was basically amazing. I had the best time. Seriously. It was such a classy club, too, not trashy at all. Some of the girls that I went with who club often said that it was the best club they've ever been to. We danced until it closed and then watched the sunrise on the beach. It was such a great night, one of the best. And one of the highlights? I danced/hung out with a beautiful, beautiful frenchman from Marseille for a good chunk of the night. He kissed me on the cheek :) (everyone was mad I didn't mac his face off haha, ya, that's not gonna happen). But wow, such a great night!

Onto day 28...

After about an hour and a half of sleeping, Tia, Mirielle and I headed off to church. However, after about 45 minutes of searching, we gave up trying to find the building and accepted failure. So we went back home instead and I went back to bed. 

I spent the rest of the day editing and getting ready for our photo final and dinner party. 
We had the best dinner party. It was a last hoo-ha hoorah, farewell send off party. Bittersweet. John and Courtney bought us dinner and we all ate and laughed and had a really good time. It was an amazing night with people that I've gotten to be such good friends with. I can't believe that the program is already over. I can't believe this trip went by so fast. This has been a life changing experience and I'm heartbroken that it's already over. I've gotten so close to everyone in the program. I'm so sad that I won't be waking up every morning with Mirielle and Tia. I'm going to miss family dinners and hanging out. I'm going to miss all of it.
We gave Courtney and John little books that everyone had written notes in. Courtney started crying and John was so sweet about accepting it. It was an emotional night. I love John and Courtney so much, they have impacted my life in such an enormous and life changing way. I could never thank them enough for what they've done for me as an artist and an individual.
Sigh. Okay, enough of that.

We went to desert afterwards because it was Cassie's birthday. John and Courtney met up with us and it was so much fun. John and Courtney ended up paying for everyone, it was so sweet of them. 
After desert, we went back to the club, he he :) More girls, more fun! I didn't dance the night away this time, I went home a little earlier because I was so tired. 

I'm going to miss everyone so much. I'm still in Europe for a few more days, but everyone else except a handful of us has gone home. It's sad... I'm so grateful for this experience though. I have learned so much from this trip that I could never have learned in any other way. Like I mentioned before, it has been life changing. My vision as an artist has changed for the better in so many ways and I'm that much better because of it. 

Ps- For those reading this, thanks for reading my blog :)

day 25 & 26 - hola barcelona

Day 25...

Today we rode a train to Barcelona. It took about 7 hours to get there. And we had our class final for art history to take while we were on the train. Unfortunately, I was so motion sick that writing out a final was not gonna happen so I just put it aside and either slept or watched the country side to kill time. I don't mind traveling by train actually, it's kind of nice.
Once we got settled into our hotel (which is totally awesome and way nice), we walked over to a great little family owned restaurant to get dinner. They were so funny and so friendly. And it was so great with our huge group of people.
Once we got home, I started chippin' away at my beast of a final. I typed it so it went by much faster than a lot of people who hand wrote it and I got it done in a little under 5 hours. Ya know, 5 hours of straight typing for a final. No big deal. It was only just a little intense ;) I finished it the fastest out of everyone, too, because I typed it. Crazy! It was satisfying knowing that I learned so much and seeing it all written out. Kind of awesome for sure.

Day 26...

After a late start and some minor complications (like ticket booths not taking credit cards, lame), we finally were able to see the Sagrada Familia. And wow. I have never seen such an amazing building. Gaudi, the architect, started building it in 1882. He knew that it wouldn't be finished in his lifetime and so he planned it to be built over the next two centuries. He wanted it to be passed down and worked on by future generations. And so, ever since 1882, the building has been off and on under construction to work towards completion. It's estimated completion date is 2026. It's the most unique and beautiful building I have ever seen. The details and the sculpture are astounding. The stained glass windows are rainbow colored so when you walk inside the chapel, it's a sea of gorgeous color and light everywhere. It's breath taking. It was worth coming to Barcelona for that alone.

Afterwards we made a trip to the beach to say hello to the sand and waves for a bit. We didn't stay long, but it was fun to take some photos and stick my feet in the sand. Some of the girls and Rick jumped in the water, super funny! And I don't know how I missed the memo, but people like to be naked on the beach apparently.
If I had a nickel for every topless woman ....

When we got home we had another family dinner hosted by the boys. Rick made sloppy joes. And not just sloppy joes, but sloppy joes. Yum yum. While we were eating, some of the girls came down to inform us that they had locked themselves out of their hotel room. Their window was open and on the second floor so of course our first logical thought was to hoist little miss Tia up to the window so she could climb in to get the key. Great idea right? ;) Unfortunately she couldn't get up. I was spotting to make sure she didn't fall and die. It was sooo funny. She got down when she realized it wasn't gonna happen right when John walked in. He about died when we told him what we were doing, poor guy having to be responsible for all us crazy student artists (those are the most dangerous type I'd say).
John stuck around and hung out with us after that (while I type it, I wonder if it was to make sure we didn't kill someone). We ended up getting on rateyourprofessor.com to read his and Courtney's rating. We could not stop laughing! Have you ever used that site? Students rate professors and you can read the ratings to see if you want to take their class. There's also an option for a hotness scale. If the teacher has looks, they get an icon of a hot tamale pepper. We looked at Courtney's ratings and she of course had a hot tamale pepper and... wait for it.. it was on fire! Hahaha, no one had ever seen that before! She's gorgeous of course and it was so funny to see the flaming pepper for her rating. John and Courtney both had great ratings which are well deserved. They're definitely some of my favorite and most impactful teachers I've ever had. I really appreciate everything they've done for us for this trip. They're both amazing.

(One of my shots from the beach. I had fun playing with color.)

day 24 - day of the dead, last night in paris

Today was the day of the dead.

We went to the catacombs in Paris along with Pere Lachaise.
The catacombs were abandoned quarries that were turned into the tombs they are now and they are crazy intriguing. Right before you enter where the tombs really begins, there's a sign that says, "Arret! C'est ici l'empire de la Mort" (Stop! This is the Empire of the Dead). I'm not gonna lie, it was a little creepy to have that be the welcoming sign. And when you walk in, it's surreal. You're walking through tunnels that are lined with skulls and bones. Thousands and thousands of skulls and bones decoratively lining the walls. It made me a little sad because of all the bodies that no longer had identities. No names. No one to remember them. And there are literally millions and millions of bones. The catacombs go for miles all under the city of Paris. It's very mysterious, eerie and intriguing all at once.

After we went to Pere Lachaise. Pere Lachaise is a famous cemetery in Paris, one of the worlds most visited cemeteries, too. It has many famous people buried there from artists to musicians to scientists. And it's beautiful there. The headstones and sepulchers are amazing. I found the ones that were abandoned the most interesting. I kept wondering why and when were their grave sites forgotten? What is their story? How did they end up in the Pere Lachaise? It actually gave me a huge desire to do family history work, I don't like the idea of people being forgotten.

When we got home, we decided to spend our last night in Paris at the Eiffel tower. A big group of us took the metro over to the tower and we bought tickets to climb to the top. We walked the stairs the first two flights (all this walking has been doing me good! I'm staying in pretty good shape :P ) and then took the elevator up the rest of the way to the top. The view is amazing. Oh my goodness. We went right after sunset, too, so the lights were bright but the sky still had some light in it. It was magical. I loved it so much.
We also were kinda bad and broke the rules a little bit....
We all wrote love notes on a piece of paper and Clark folded it up into an airplane to throw off the tower. We all imagined that it would float off in the air and romantically glide it's way down to the bottom of the tower to fall into the arms of some individual in need. Once we had our cameras ready to document this epic event, Clark threw the airplane threw the grate and into the air. Off it flew, triumphantly soaring into the night sky... until it took a sharp turn and b lined it straight into the tower floor just a few feet underneath us.
Epic fail.
It was so anti climatic that it was hysterical and we could not stop laughing. So funny. I'm glad I got it all on video :)
As we were heading down the stairs of the tower, I ran into a friend from high school. What the what? How crazy is that? Who just runs into random friends in Europe? Apparently me. Because I've done it twice.
Once we got down, we bought delicious crepes (and chef Rick can attest to how amazing they were) and ate them at the base. It was so great to hang out with friends and enjoy the tower at night with good food.

It was a wonderful last night in Paris I would say :)

(Photo 1: long exposure in the catacombs to get a ghostly look. Photo 2 (left) Clark in the catacombs. Photo 3 (right): stained glass threw a cross on one of the sepulchers. Photo 4 (left): Pere Lachaise. Photo 5 (right): me wearing Kelsey's sunglasses. Photo 6: The view from the Eiffel Tower.)


day 23 - a day of freedom

Today was a free day. John wanted us to go around the city and shoot for one of our last days in Paris. So we woke up and walked around and shot stuff. T (Tia) and I were super tired from our late night and it was hot and bleh, so we went home and took a quick nap. When we went out to shoot again later that day, we ended up going to Sacre Coeur. I really wanted to go because it's a place that my dad recommended to me, he said it reminded him of me and I especially wanted to go because of that :)
It is beautiful there. The basilica is gorgeous and it has an amazing view of the city of Paris because it's set up on a hill. Around the basilica are art markets with artists painting and sketching in the streets and lots of cute little shops. It's an ideal little spot that I was absolutely in love with. Picturesque in every way.
We really wanted to get something to eat before we headed out. We found the cutest, most ideal, could've been out of a movie scene restaurant named La Maison Rose. It was right as the sun was going down and the light was gorgeous. The company was amazing. The service was so sweet and funny, they kept wanting to see the pictures we were taking and would give Clark old wine corks :P And the food was delicious. It was by far the best experience at a restaurant I have ever had. It was definitely an incredible, romantic and magical evening to remember.
I was sad to have to leave. But it made me happy to find a graffiti elephant. T kissed it :)

We then had critique time on our images with John. He looked at my first image and said, Missy, this sucks, the lighting sucks. I'm not going to lie, it shocked me a little at first, I've never heard anything like that from an instructor at first. But oddly, I really loved it. I always want honest feedback from people whose opinion's I value and I really appreciated John being so honest with me. I need that kind of feedback to be able to push myself past my comfort zone. I'm happy that John knows me well enough, trusts me enough and sees me as a strong enough student to be able to say something like that to me. Because I didn't see it until he pointed it out, but yes, the lighting really did suck.

We just hung out after that and it was wonderful and fun :)
Yay for day 23!

(Top two are from the restaurant. Bottom is T kissing the elephant.)

day 22 - da vinci, arc de triomphe and night life

Oh boy, I am so behind.
Okay, here I go.

Have you ever had those moments where you're just so excited about life that you could dance? Today is one of those days :) Europe has been life changing and it's thrilling. And considering last summer and the bad cards I got dealt, this summer can only get better and so far, it's had an amazing start!

Today we went back to the Louvre to see a special exhibit on Da Vinci and his painting of St. Anne. It was an interesting exhibit. The part I liked the most was after seeing Da Vinci's painting, they had a section full of paintings that were influenced by his work. There were so many that just straight up copied him and it was kinda cool seeing how many there were and how Da Vinci influenced so many other artists.

Afterwards, Tia, Rick, Mirielle and I headed over to the Arc De Triomphe and on the way we stopped by Champs Elysees and of course I got a video of me singing the song. It made me extremely happy and made me think about my good ol' high school french days (miss Ms. Petey!). When we got to the Arc, Tia, Rick and I climbed to the top. The view was incredible. Rick, Tia and I had an awesome talk on the top, too. Just bonded, love those two.

When we got home, some of the girls wanted to go dancing so Tia and I dressed up and we went out on the town! Unfortunately, we never got to go dancing :( Instead, the girls went to a bar after meeting up with a good lookin' Aussie dude and Tia, Kelsey, Megan and I went out to get some ice cream to avoid the awkwardness of being in a group of one boy and 8 girls and well, the bar scene. It was so fun walking around. I still adore Paris night life. So great.

When Tia and I got home, we hung out with Rick and Clark all night. That was fun... and hilarious. Ba ha :)

That was day 22!

(The view from Arc de Triomphe - I'm experimenting with different color palettes, kinda fun, we'll see if I like it in a week.)