"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day. And I believe in miracles."
~ Audrey Hepburn


the beach, the city, stars, and mysteries

Well I am back from my SIX MONTHS of studying/traveling in South America!! Home feels so so good and I honestly feel like I never left. I am excited to continue spending time with my family and friends and visiting all of my favorite places. But I still have soooo much to share with you all from my trip! Before I go on and on about all of the places I went, things I did, and people I met, I am proud to announce that I accomplished three goals while on my 3-week vacation :) Oh and one on my first night back!

Firstly, I accomplished goal...

#026: Touch the Atlantic Ocean.

Although Uruguay and Argentina both appear to border the Atlantic Ocean, the body of water they are adjacent to is actually known as Rio de la Plata (the Silver River). I am not really sure why because it sure looks like an ocean to me!!!!! Anyway, I wouldn't have wanted to touch the ocean in Uruguay or Argentina anyway because it was seriously freezing there. And, besides, what better place to touch the Atlantic Ocean than at the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?!


I first touched the ocean at a beach in the town of Niteroi, which is across the bay from the city of Rio (but is still in the state of Rio... I think? Confusing!). It was a beautiful beach and very secluded from the public. We laid around on our sarongs (RIP Lara's rainbow sarong which I lost), ate oranges, drank water from freshly cut coconuts, and watched a breath-taking sunset. Incredible day... 

The second goal I accomplished was goal 
#003: Eat at an upscale
 restaurant alone.

I did this on my last night in Santiago, which was after my vacation but before I flew home to LA. 
The restaurant I went to is called Giratorio and I have been dying to go there ever since I first arrived in the city. It is a restaurant on the top floor of an 18-story building that is supposed to have incredible views of Santiago. I thought having dinner there by myself would be a great way to say goodbye to the beautiful city that had been my home for the past six months. I forgot to bring my camera, unfortunately, so please excuse this photo I found on Google Images:

Snapshot 2011-07-27 12-15-19

I thought it would be embarrassing to eat by myself haha, but it really wasn't! None of the employees made me feel like I was doing anything out of the ordinary and none of the other patrons seemed to care.  I am a little disappointed with the experience because, well, too be blunt, the food wasn't that good.  I had house wine (delicious & sweet), shrimp bruschetta (which turned out to be shrimp on a stick... with bland guacamole on the side), and some sort of chocolate symphony dessert (white chocolate mousse and dark chocolate mousse with pistachio truffles. Sounds awesome but it tasted... refridgerated...). I mean, it was okayyyy, but not what I thought it would be. Yikes, maybe I am just a food snob??? I just think that if I am going to dine by myself and I have nobody to share the experience with, there better be some damn good food to distract me! In its defense, the restaurant was definitely a cool place!! It was beautiful inside and the dining floor was actually spinning veryyyyy slowly, so that the patrons could see the entire city during their dining experience. It was definitely a unique experience. 

For my third goal, I accomplished
#057: Shake hands with a celebrity.
Hahah! Can you guess who it was????????????????

So I was sitting in the Santiago airport with two girls from my exchange student program when one of them pointed out that there was a man wearing a huge clock around his neck like that one famous guy always does. We spent the next 30 seconds waiting for him to turn around so we could laugh at his clock necklace and we finally got a glimpse of it (but not his face!). I actually said out loud, in jest, "FLAVA FLAVVVV". Well, the joke was on us ten minutes later when all of the passengers started lining up to take pictures with him. It was actually Flava Flav! My friend wanted to take a picture with him but I was too embarrassed. I hate bothering celebrities -- I always feel like people should just let them live their lives!

Later on the plane, although Flava Flav was flying First Class, he was wandering around Coach with a glass of wine in his hands and talking to his friends. He was also talking to passengers and seemed to be really enjoying the attention. And then, suddenly, I remembered that shake hands with a celebrity was on my list!!!! So I set aside my fear of bothering him and worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation with him when he passed by me! I shook his hand and we talked for a little bit (hello, how are you, why are you in Santiago, where are you from, please come see me in LA, etc.). He was soooo nice! Sorry I don't have any pictures! You will have to take my word on this one :)

And the other night I accomplished a goal but, for legal reasons, I do not think it is advisable to publicly announce that I did it hahaha. You can look at my list and take a guess at which goal it was... Maybe I will tell you if you guess right :) And those are the goals I accomplished!

Tomorrow I will write about/show you pictures from Uruguay!


A Preview

Hello there :)

I am still traveling (a few more days in Brazil and then I will start making my way back home), 
but I feel so bad for neglecting my blog! My mom recently asked why I have not uploaded any photos 
and, besides the fact that I do not have my laptop with me, I realized I have no excuse.

So here goes, a little preview of posts to come...

Montevideo, Uruguay
montevideo 090
montevideo 003

Colonia, Uruguay
montevideo 002
montevideo 001

Buenos Aires, Argentina
montevideo 004
montevideo 005

Iguazu Falls, Argentina
montevideo 007

Sao Paulo, Brazil
montevideo 009
montevideo 010

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
montevideo 011
montevideo 015


And We're Off!

I am leaving tomorrow at 9 AM for my 3-week trip across the continent.
I should be packing up my room right now, but you all know how I love to procrastinate!

I just got back from saying goodbye to all of my friends. 
It is crazy to think that this amazing experience we all shared is coming to an end...
I became really close to many of the people in my program and I feel so lucky
that I had the opportunity to get to know such amazing people. 
I am sad that we are all going back to our old lives, but I also know that the friendships 
we made are not ending any time soon. I can't wait to see everyone again, at home. 
We'll probably be at In N Out, Chipotle, or Sprinkles, if you're wondering. 

This week felt like it passed by at 100 MPH. 
My last final (a presentation) was on Thursday, and with the end of that final 
also came the end of the semester, the end of my exchange program, and the end of college.
That is a lot to take in! This week I also went to my internship at the daycare for the last time.


The teacher asked them if they had anything to say to me. So, one by one, 
the students walked to the front of the class and gave me a personal goodbye.
Here are some highlights:

"Quiero decir que... que... te quiero"
I want to say that... that... I love you

"Te quiero tanto"
I love you a lot

"Te quiero hasta las estrellas"
I love you to the stars

"Te quiero hasta la luna"
I love you to the moon

"Te quiero hasta el sol"
I love you to the sun

"Te quiero hasta el cielo"
I love you to the heavens

"Eres muy linda"
You are very beautiful

"Su ropa es linda"
Your clothes are beautiful

"Me gusta su pelo... es muy linda"
I like your hair... it is very beautiful

Yeah, I just about died. It was very likely the sweetest thing that I've ever witnessed.
Saying goodbye to them was different than saying goodbye to my friends because
I know that I will never see them again. I wonder what will become of them? 
Who will teach them the ending to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star???

But I guess that is life. 
So many people come into our lives but some stay and some go. 
And some, we just talk to on Facebook. HAHAHA.

Okay, sorry, its late and I'm getting delirious haha.
I'll try to keep the world updated on my whereabouts during the next 
three weeks but I am not quite sure how easy Internet-access will be.

Talk to you soon :)
And, for those of you at home in Cali, see you soon :) :) :)