...a place where beach hair, foggy mornings and laughter come together...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4 days and counting...

4 DAYS, 4 Days, 4 days...

This past weekend the main man and I stayed in Vancouver for 2 nights, and in that time hit up the Richmond night market. I thought I was already in China, the smell of foods cooking late into the night, and finding everything and anything under a tent for less then a purple one. It was brilliant, and has definitely got me more and more excited for the departure to Shanghai.

I'm trying to pack, but really, what is there to bring to a country that has it all?

I suppose just a few photos of the glorious countryside that hasn't been touched by intense globalization and pollution. Thank you Okanagan for finally smartening up!
Good bye Rocky Mountain Camping!! You treated us much too well!
Good bye lovely hikes along Knox Mountain, your picnics were swell too!
Wine tasting along Naramata Bench, and a casual stop off at Greata Ranch...
And beautifully undisturbed sunrises along the Vancouver Harbourfront....

4 DAYS, 4 Days, 4 days...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A New Adventure Brewing... yes, Like a HOT bubbly cauldron.

Hello to all stumbling-blog-wanders and friends who still take a peep every now and then:

Biggest travel news to be informed on?

I returning to Asia once again for a 4 month study and Fudan University! Get the chopsticks sharpened and dim-sum steaming... because this girl is ready to try it all!

I will be studying Chinese Politics, History and Globalization in Shanghai along with Mandarin. In addition to classroom studies, I will be working with a development organization 10-12 hours/week. WHAT a neat experience!

So get ready people... tales will be told. Perhaps I'll even try and brush off some of dust from my "blogging fingertips" and write a few inserts every now and then :)

Good Day all!
Enjoy the sun when it peaks through the clouds, I know I am!! ;)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

WOWZA time friggen flies!

Hello hello!! So I love the concept of blogs, I love reading them... but the thing that I hate about them.. is when you FORGET that you are a blogger.. and you just don't keep up to date. In blogging standards.. I think I would be classified under "totally unreliable blogging companion" Beuuff.. perhaps that's why I'm still single.

So.. what can I update YOU on in the past well.. 7 months? Frig.. too much.. when I'm back in Canada it'd be much better to just zip over to my house and pick me up for a coffee (come to my house because A. My dad sold my car since I've been living in Switzerland... B. I won't have any income for a few weeks after arriving in the Motherland.. this little country sure knows how to empty one's pockets!)

Since December I've done some traveling.. and I mean some AWESOME traveling.. Rome for my 19th as well as Easter.. oh the cappucinos, the gorgeous men in suits.. my search for Luigi still hasn't finished.. the pizza, the pasta.. having tea with Michaelangelo and the Pope (okay maybe not the last 2) but HOLY la Capella Sistina! That's some serious ceiling man! Actually brought a tear in my eye as I observed. I could go on about Rome forever.. the Pantheon.. the city of Roman Holiday.. I DID feel like Miss Audrey Hepburn.. yet missed out on the vespa ride (hence not finding Luigi) But keeping it short.. next adventure... FAMILY COMES TO VISIT>

Yes, my beautiful, tall and funny Canadian family hopped on plane and came over here to visit me! Wooohoo. We traveled across Switzerland... to the one and only Salzburg.. where the HILLS are a ALIVE, danced the do-re-mi stairs, ate apple strudel at the church Maria was wedded, patted the giant knome on the head.. and was whisked away by the "fake" dream of the Sound of Music.. Fake as in hardly any Europeans actually KNOW the story of Maria and the Von Trapps.. (well the american musical version that is) but being there was like a little kid in candy shop.. so overwhelming! Plus, skipping on by Mozarts house and saying hello wasn't too shabby either! We dined with Family there.. then made our way across the Hungarian border..

We visited my Grandma's house of which she escaped from during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, met one of her old school friends.. ate some tasty tasty tasty true motherland food.. and then went to Budapest. My hungarian roots sprouted faster than salad after a storm (or at least like the salad here in Switzerland does) History upon communist history hit us from all directions.. along the river we explored both Buda and Pest, shopped shopped shopped after Dad's luck out at the casino (or pure skill.. we'll never know) meeting up with Megan and zooming through an underground labyrinth under the Buda Castle.. creeping seeing as it was only discovered 4 years ago.. meaning their could have been real ghouls living there.. that HAVEn'T been outed yet.. yikes. Basked in the hot Hungarian sun.. got a taste of Palinka fest.. danced the night away.. exhausted ourselves enough just to be able to relax in Italy.

Romeo Romeo where art thou my Romeo?! That's probably cited wrong.. but you get the jiff, we stayed in Verona.. trained it into Venezia.. oh Venice, what a melancholic city.. yet with a tranquility and romance. Naturally met Andrea.. a first "Venetian then Italian" who happily took mom and I through the canals.. Venice lived up to my expectations.. so welcoming, and peaceful.. other than that little asian dude with bread at la Piazza San Marco where I was nearly attacked by 238 ravid pigeons. Pizza and wine once more, ducking into the little shops, pictures, and just living in the moment. 

After a quick stop in Lugano.. and Troistorrents.. and more dinners filled with overconsumption of wine and laughter, my family jetted back off to the Canadian lifestyle.. with me to follow soon in their footsteps. 

BUT the travels didn't cease at that.. oh no they didn't. Last week my English adventure occurred.. As Mariah and I arrived with our faces rouged and hair blown in all directions towards our gate which was closing at 6:35 (we arrived at 6:33... grace of Switzerland's transit system always being on time) Mariah and I boarded our plane from Zurich to Birmingham for the 100th Rotary INternational Convention. Keynote speakers such as Shelter box, Mia Farrow and yes.. JANE GOODALL were present giving us all a breath of fresh air that there IS still hope for the world we live in.. and WE TOO should help. The human heart is the seat of Love and Compassion, join the head and the heart and peace will prevail! So naturally after receiving all such motivation and bliss, the week should have passed on by perfectly.. but NO, not for Mariah and Jill! Day one accomodations.. The Bailey.. UUUGHHH GROSS!! Spider running through the sheets, hairs in the bed, pillow cases and beyond.. windows that don't shut.. and creepy doorman? Oh and the drug park across from us.. Day 2. better? no, scammed our way out of the Bailey and their 48 hour cancellation fees.. and made it to.. better yet, the Dubliner.. or Cat-Piss motel.. once again, slept in all our clothes.. breathed through are scarves.. and got jipped out of breakfast (included) cause no staff was up by 9am.. jeez! 

London was another story however, London greeted us with a smile straight away.. Picadilly Backpackers was brilliant, accomodating.. and most of all. CLEAN! hallelujia! We made our way through Picadilly Circus... dug up the Dancing Queens while jamming along to ABBA as we sat in our floor seats (LAST ones available.. SO lucky) to Mamma Mia... sushi.. OH the sushi how it just replenished my soul!! Went out Dancing to Tiger Tiger.. yes Mariah did use my idea as a fake.. woohoo.. and it worked. baha. walked along the river, say hello to Big Ben, saw the PM, Westminster Abbey.. ate real Fish and Chips. And much more! Oh... and in England I did get my Starbucks kick :) yes I sure did.. everyday x2 baby!

And now.. we are winding down the the last few weeks.. few days.. few moments of Switzerland.. and who knows.. maybe I'll have time to actually blog about it? Buuuut until the next time.. European adventures are calling.. Ciao!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coming from the girl who wanted to live in the Artic...

Okay for all those people who follow this blog, aka the amount of people I can count on one hand, you are in for a treat.. this is taken directly OUT of my travel journal, word for .. minus the stick figure skier...

December 13/2008 --> 8h07
I am going skiing in the Swiss Alps today!!!!

17h26 ---> même jour
*Après j'ai fait du ski*

Holy MOLY!! Well positive first because one should always begin with the glass half, no more that half full. I, Jillian Fugedi, at 18 years old skiied the Swiss Alps today, but not only the Swiss Alps, I skiied from Suisse to France during one descent!!! That's right, all day under crystal blue sky I skied Suisse -->France-->Suiss-->France and so on. There was tons of poweder, and WOW was teh landscape incredible!! ANd heck, the longest I waited in line was about 1min28 second. There is nearly 250 tele siege/ tele skis. I though they were LYING but 250 lifts was legit! Freaking incredible. I am truly greatful for the experience. I used Flo's (host sister who is in Australia) skis/boots and Michel paid for my lift ticket. Truly blessed, oh and it's self check lifts here, and I got caught halfway between one once.. yes that's right.. there I was.. the little Canadian with one through the gate, one not, That's right, I'm still as clumsy as ever.

Okay, moving on to the slightly emtpier glass, because after having such a thirst, one drinks the glass, and the waterline descends.. it's only natural... My legs hurt like a B**ch! <-- And frankly I rarely swear all that often, so there is weight behind the word. My thought process on the last descent: "Oh eff, sweet mother of les vaches, goodness freaking me, allow me to make it to the F***ing bottom of the run, sweet mother of pearl"

I don't think i'll be able to walk tomorrow, or let alone for the next week..

****Side note**** I was inspired by the book I am reading, and decided to do some Yoga/stretching.. which was actually very beneficial for my wake up this morning and my legs... but as everyone says.. beware of the second day... so tomorrow we shall see..

I remembered the concerstaion Max and I had over one facebook thread, that he feels truly happy when he's on the mountain carving through the fresh snow, during that conversation I had such a beautiful image in my head of serenity and freedom. I really coudn't have asked for better conditions today, brilliant sun, gem blue sky, not too cold... I thought I'd feel that same degree of happiness and all i could think was:

Jill, you're hooped. You're true happiness is laying on the beach under +30'C sunshine, glistening with sweat and listening to the waves crash.

the complete opposite. Hardly and clothes, hot hot hot, and essentially doing nothing remotely physical except reaching for tanning oil, ice cold water, or replacing my shades.

Don't get me wrong, I love physical activity, I DO enjoy a good cardio workout and stuff like that, by my true happiness is franchement tranquille.

xoxoo Jillie

Monday, October 06, 2008

A spontaneous reunion.. definitely the best ones...

Mais bonjour à toute la monde!

Just a really quick update on the past few days...

I have officially begun my Autumn Vacation. Haha, yes you heard that right.. Autumn Vacation, 2 weeks of "regrouping" before heading back to school. I swear, Europe is definitely a continent of fêtes et vacances... but I have no problem with that. 

Saturday I ended up going to 2 Expositions with the fam... a furniture one, and then the infamous "champignon" exposition... I would like to stress once more how much my host dad here loves his mushrooms. I'll admit, it was interesting... but after 3 hours of staring at fungi? Tell me if I'm wrong, but I was about to sit on the floor and bang my hands up and down like a 2 year old having a temper-tantrum.. perhaps if I caused enough embarrassment we would leave sooner. But being the polite woman I am, I smiled graciously at the 236th different species of fungi that was shoved under my nose to "smell the wondrous scent". After that, we returned home, popped open a nice 1996 Bordeaux bottle of rouge and relaxed. Nazia came over after dinner.. we had some dessert and watched a french film.. naturally I understood only 40% of what was going on; I pulled off the Joey from friends and laughed when everyone else laughed in order to not seem completely dense.

Sunday was such a blessing!! I hoped on a train to Geneve at 8:01, and met up with a girl I used to work with at camp, Caitlin, or for those who only go by camp names "Baloo". I was such a bizarre feeling meeting up with someone I actually KNEW from CANADA.. We talked a mile a minute, attended church in France (a really awesome english church.. not as kicking as Marshall's worship, but still..) Then went for pizza and just strolled the streets of Geneve. Lots of laughs, and definitely meeting up again soon!

Today, I'm just getting some stuff together for a little package I'm sending... strolled the streets of La Chaux-de-Fonds... and who knows what else! The day is young :)


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

7 weeks down

So basically I am writing this blog/post for Chelan. Yes babycakes.. for you, since no one else really checks these things.. even when you tell people to.. post people just completely ignore you and don't. SO here I am baby, writing away.. and update of the past 7 weeks.. Really condensed though because I started making my "Canada Presentation" today.. and eff, I probably spent a good 3 hours on my computer translating/picturizing, and blah blah.. hence my neck and back feel like they've been run over by the train that goes from Geneve to St. Gallen.

Arrived. The whole "host family who only speak french" rush hit me like a brick wall laid down by the Romans.. cause after a lonnnng flight sometimes its nice to just be able to describe your travels.. well that wasn't possible.. so had a 1.5 hour drive pretending to understand what my host mom was saying.. We talked about that actually the other day.. and I totally confessed how I actually understood nothing of what she was saying that day :)

First Rotary weekend in Olten.. met with all the other exchangers.. 60 in the Swiss German, 12 in the French.. YEAH got the lottery there.. considering we couldn't choose which section we were going into..

Took a month long language course in Lausanne with the other frenchies.. it was nice.. easy.. but really helped with the language.. I LOVED taking the train every day.. yea yea.. 1.5 hours each way.. but a great way to people watch, as well as catch a few extra zzzzzz's. And of course just discovering the beautiful city.. 

I've been to the family's chalet in Valais a few times.. went to the fête de vache.. hiked.. here hiking through the Alps is less of a sport.. but more of a social.. aka every hour.. we would stop for wine and cheese breaks.. but hey.. it was lovely!

Travelled to Nîmes France with the Rotary club, as a get together with the "sister club", we went to the Haribo Candy Factory (the original gummy bear manufacturers), la pont-du-gard (an oldschool roman aqueduct.. obviously old school.. its roman) which was amazing.. INCREDIBLE to actually see and walk through such history.. if you know what I mean.. Swing danced the night away with a bunch of old men.. who can really dance.. and jam.. Lots of Wine.. wine wine wine.. LOVE my rotary club though.. super chill! Also went to the Salina Sea Salt factory.. and to the Mediterranean Sea!! SWAM IN IT BABY.. and it was glorious..

2 Weekends ago hiked up to a cabin called Prarochet.. 2 hour hike up what seemed like the Lord of the Rings setting which turned into the Moon, honestly it was incredible.. another exchanger (Bianca.. a good friend of mine here) came with my host family.. and friends.. hike hike hike.. but through the Alps, and the scenery.. absolutely breathtaking.. so when the rump starts to hurt.. I just would think of where i was and BAM, all was better.

Last Weekend I flew a plane.. No you didn't read that wrong.. I FLEW a plane.. yes. One of the guys from my rotary club is a flying instructor.. so he took me up over the west side of switzerland.. and taught me to fly!! We went over the alps.. over lake Geneva, Neuchatel, Fribourg.. Simply beautiful.. a little cloudy.. but nevertheless, SO fortunate.. And also the next day to the fête de vendages :) Naturally more champagne and wine.

Got my hair trimmmed, going out dancing soon.. uhmmm School's going good... I was originally in the bilingual class.. aka most classes in English.. SO STUPID>. so then I had a good chat with the director.. and NOW i am in full french.. WAYY better.. plus the people in my class are super nice. I don't have to take tests.. so It makes it okay that I can actually only understand 40% of whats going on at all times.. It'll come!!

BUT YEAH. a quick update.. cause I know when they're super long.. most people are afraid of reading them.. soo yeah! Je t'aime.. gros bisous.. et.. à la prochaine!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Japan sick.

I'm Japan sick.. not home sick.. or more or less homeyjapansick.
honestly.. what a blast :)
Hopefully I'll be able to go back againnnnnn.