dreaming of cinque terre.

the five cities you must see.

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My time in Portovenere, Italy was short. But I made it a must to see the five cities nearby – also known as Cinque Terre. In one day, I saw views that many people wait a lifetime to check off of their bucket list.

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Cinque Terre includes the cities of Monterrosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. This beautiful area and popular landmark of Italy translates to ‘five lands,’ and I promise they are all uniquely and colorfully beautiful.

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My wonderful hotel, Royal Sporting, recommended I take a boat before the hike in order to see all of the colorful towns. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip, which is easy to understand when you see my view from the water.

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Although I would have loved to hike all five cities, I was short on time and still wanted to get back to explore Portovenere before dark. I hiked part of the Blue Trail between Monterrosso and Vernazza. If you’re more willing to climb than me, you can hike the whole trail that runs 12 kilometers long. Even though I only hiked 1/5 of that, I saw views that will last a lifetime.

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Vernazza was in my sight after a couple of hours. The stairs and sweat was worth it when I saw the view of the colorful buildings just a few flights below. Let’s just say I was ready for more than one cone of gelato.

The streets of Vernazza led me right to a little cove where I could relax and dip my toes into the Mediterranean.

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Not only did I have a good workout, I had an unforgettable view that I can’t wait to get back to someday.


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See you again, Cinque Terre!

always,
della
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are you going for it?

some people want to fall in love with the one. i want to fall in love with places.

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For the first time in my life, I have been faced with the unknown. With no set path, I am finally being forced to make tough decisions based on a gut feeling. In a mixed emotional state of fear and excitement, I attempt to plan out my life play by play.

Until I realized, in my case, that’s not how it is going to work.

At some point we have to give up what we can’t control. The endless questions from people around me asking what my future plans are lead to nights full of worry, and have consumed my thoughts for months.

I was anxious over the unknown of where I’ll end up, the possibility of living off more ramen noodles than I did in college or being completely unknown in a big city.

My biggest fear is to end up in the first cubicle that opens up simply to make ends meet. I have no clue what my next move will be, which fills me with anxious moments, but brilliant and inspiring ones as well.

I consistently catch myself daydreaming of what else the world has to offer and what I can make out of my life. The constant Retweets and Pins of beautiful places around the world flood our news feeds. I think to myself, “Wow, wouldn’t that be the life?” or “I wish I could go there.”

In a world full of what ifs, will we actually ever go for it?

I believe we are meant to take a chance, because without chances what would this world be? The thought of being out of my comfort zone is intimidating, but so is doing the same thing every single day for the next 60 years. The fear of rejection and failure are inevitable, but without moments of humility and struggle, I am afraid I will never find out where or who I’m truly meant to be.

Maybe your world revolves around raising a family, falling in love with “the one” or working nine to five. But it could also be seeing the world, forcing yourself to be uncomfortable or focusing on experiences rather than the materials you attain.

Some people want to fall in love with boys. I want to fall in love with places. There’s a beautiful world out there to experience, and I am afraid to miss it.

I believe everyone has their own dream and purpose to fulfill. In my current absence of security and abundance of freedom, I feel as if it’s God’s way of telling me to go for it and not miss out on a dream – something I thought would always remain what “I wish” I could do.

So the real question is, will you be content to fit the mold or are you going for it?

always,
della

my time at the 9/11 memorial & museum.

never forget.

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Many people remember the day vividly. Whether you were in second grade or sixty years old, you can visualize the moment the world stopped turning. Lives changed instantly, chaos was among us and our country would never be the same. As citizens faced terror, the rest of the world watched in fear. Fear of what was to come after this horrific event.

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September 11, 2001 was a day that should never be relived. But a day that we should also never forget.

When I arrived in New York City, I knew one of my must-do activities was to see the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more, so I made it a priority.

The memorial was absolutely breathtaking. Names of the nearly 3,000 victims line the structure as water falls throughout the memorial. Many visitors go to the memorial because it is free (and beautiful at night, I must add), but I highly recommend paying to actually go into the museum.

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The museum is built within the remaining structure of the World Trade Center and has over 110,000 square feet filled with exhibitions that represent different aspects of the event.

If you plan on visiting the museum, prepare to spend a few hours inside. You will learn about how many minute details there were on that day – it was hard to believe. My afternoon was spent looking at pictures, watching videos and reading everything I saw, yet I never lost interest.

The common theme I noticed while walking through each exhibit was the silence. Always silent.

Through the photography, artwork, voice overs and artifacts that symbolized 9/11, visitors felt the weight and sadness that filled each room. There was never peep of laughter or loud talking, just silence, respect and sadness. Many people were seen crying, in shock and deeply feeling for the tragic event that created a ripple effect through our country.

The 9/11 Museum was unforgettable and symbolized the darkest day in the most beautiful of ways. Take a look at what I saw:

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Thank you, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, I was moved by my experience and will recommend it to everyone visiting the city.


Interested in leaving a donation? Find that here.

always,
della

my broadway experience with americana tickets.

tickets you can trust.

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Anyone who walks through Times Square in New York City notices the mad line of people waiting for Broadway tickets. For hours and hours, tourists spend time they could rather be exploring the city waiting in line for a ticket they will ‘maybe’ get.

The myth is that this is the best way to get cheap tickets. Well, we are here to tell you a little secret: Americana Tickets.

For over a century, Americana Tickets has provided price point Broadway, sports and concert tickets to thousands of visitors every day.

Not only are they there to give you the best deal, they are also going to give you the best customer service. The awesome employees at Americana Tickets are filled with a range from sports pros to aspiring Broadway singers. Without a doubt, you will be provided with the top knowledge for whichever event you are aspiring to see.

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Jamane and Ryan showed us around the office (with a great view of Times Square might we add) that is located in the Marriott Marquis Hotel. We can tell you this is the perfect location, but you’ll see soon enough when you realize it is literally steps away from the Hamilton theater. Yes, Hamilton.

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We ended our amazing tour through Times Square with tickets to Matilda, our childhood dream. Let’s just say… it’s a must see.

Thank you for the amazing New York experience on Broadway, Americana Tickets. We are now lifelong customers and can’t wait to see you next time we are in the city!

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always,
della

della explores oslo, norway.

my last European stay in Norway. 

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After two months of European exploration, I landed in my final city of the tour: Oslo, Norway. The brisk air hit my face as I walked out of the train and stared in awe. The morning light bounced off the city’s modern architecture mixed with the old, vintage buildings.

In my five days spent in Oslo, I stayed at two separate Comfort Hotel locations, but both were located in the center of the city.

As they say, Oslo starts here.

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first stop: grand central comfort hotel.

I quickly fell in love with the city during my short walk to Grand Central Comfort Hotel. But really, part of the hotel is made from an old station building – it is close, which makes transportation simple. Grand Central is the epitome of trendy style with a twist of modern design, and it doesn’t disappoint the second you walk into the doors.

Also, don’t forget the free coffee and tea available 24/7 in the lobby. I would make my way down to the cafe stand almost five times a day!

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lobby

bike

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The room was a rock and roll dream. The all black interior made me feel like I was entering one of the hottest clubs. From glittered floors to the Rolling Stones tongue on the wall, I was nothing short of impressed when I stepped into this room.

The rocker elements in the Rolling Stones room were found everywhere. The glass bathroom door had Rolling Stone tongues etched into it, the leather desk had metal studs and the high vaulted ceilings were covered in black drapes.

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second stop: grand central karl johan.

If you’re looking for the place to be in Oslo, it is Karl Johan. Just opened in March of 2016, Karl Johan has provided hospitality for A-list musicians like Kygo and Bebe Rexha. The catch is, there is a recording studio in the hotel. I know you’re curious – yes I had a tour of the studio, but no I did not record an album. (Don’t worry).

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As if the musical attraction couldn’t get better, there is also an event every Friday after work that provides live music, drinks and socializing with some of Oslo’s most artistic socialites.

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Going from the rock and roll room to my space at Karl Johan, I was in awe at how two sister hotels could be so different. The exposed brick, white tile bathroom and playful pink walls made us feel cozy when I wasn’t in the Oslo cold.

There are 181 rooms in Karl Johan, yet you will find a different design in each room. Yes, each room. So no matter when you stay, you can always count on Karl Johan for a different view – but always the best experience.

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wake up & smell the coffee (& bacon).

Breakfast at both Grand Central and Karl Johan is served from 6 to 9:30 a.m. each weekday, 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday and 7 to noon on Sundays. Don’t forget the ‘Lazy Sunday’ rule, you don’t have to check out until 6 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to relax and recover from your fun weekend in Oslo.

The breakfast is an American-styled buffet with plenty to eat for everyone’s taste. The classic bacon, eggs, potatoes and sausage were our favorite – it was just like home! There was also plenty of fresh fruit, cereal, bread and drink choices. As you all know, I love my breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed at either spots.

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around the town.

Grünerløkka

Venture to this urban neighborhood filled with grafiti. Around every turn, I found a new piece of art being created.

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Akershus Fortress

What kind of girl doesn’t like a castle? It was a blast running around this nature-filled beauty, I could have spent my entire day there. I even met this cute world-traveling couple!

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Oslo Opera House

A modern building in a city of history. Climb the ramp of the building to find the best view of the river and skyline of Oslo. I promise it is worth the climb, even the birds agree.

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Celebrate Holidays

I spent my Halloween weekend in Oslo, therefore I had to celebrate. Although this city doesn’t go as crazy as the Americans, I still had fun getting in the dress-up spirit.

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And off to America I go… Thanks for an unforgettable experience, Europe!

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always,
della