The plan for the morning was to go see sakura trees at Osaka Expo Park, but it was so far away from everything else we wanted to see. Luckily, I found an “alternative” park near where we were staying called Utsubo Park in a guide book in our hostel. Utsubo Park is located in Nishi-ku, near the Awaza Station. We hoped that there would be cherry blossoms there, and lo! There were. :)
Utsubo Park (or what we saw of it) was fairly small. There’s a lot of other foliage, but we naturally gravitated towards the cherry blossoms.
So pretty, in the mid-morning light.
These happened because we are tourists.
In case you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I just got back from Japan! I went with Sarie, Isa, and Barby, and we explored Osaka and Kyoto. We were also there for the sakura festival, which was magical to say the least. Sarie had been to Osaka a long time ago, but it was the first time for the rest of us.
My beautiful best friends. :)
Airline silliness with Sarie.
Weak attempt at funniness.
Kansai Airport! Hello, Osaka!
This is going to be a long post, so click-through if you want to see! :) Inside: Kuromon Market, Cat Cafe, All-You-Can-Eat Yakiniku
I’ve been back on YouTube a lot lately, and though I’ve mostly been goofing around with beauty-related channels (and videos of my own), I’ve been getting back into the habit of checking vlogs and channels of people I used to enjoy watching for hours on end. I’ve been discovering a lot of new people on the site as well, and watching these videos really rekindled a love for YouTube that began in 2006. Here’s a video I made, recounting “My YouTube Story,” though there isn’t really much to say.
Succinctly, I wanted to vlog, so I uploaded random clips in 2006, my first vlog in 2007, and then I stopped shortly after that. I’m not the best speaker, especially when it comes to new people, so I rarely ever say ‘yes’ to invitations for me to speak in public, though I do think that I am getting better at it.
All this time, I assumed that I stopped vlogging or recording because it was so taxing to film and edit and try to upload videos because of our Internet (snail mbps) and my school load at the time, but watching an episode of Becoming YouTube brought to light some “trauma” I’ve buried in my head (I talk a bit about those particular moments in my video).
“Girls on YouTube,” Becoming YouTube
There have been mixed reviews on that particular episode, but my main take-away from that video is I love YouTube, so I will make videos for YouTube. Fairly simple. I know it’s not for everyone. Whenever I watch vlogs or online shows and videos, people find it weird, and I feel like a leper or something.
As awkward as it is to watch the videos I made years ago, I did manage to make a few friends who I sadly never kept in touch with, unlike the friends I made over at LiveJournal. I guess that’s inevitable, as contact should be sustained, but yeah. It’s just a nice memory and I keep those videos up just to remember how putting my awkward self out there could maybe be a kind of bravery in itself already. I don’t know.
Content creation for YouTube is so fascinating to me. It’s an exercise in creativity, and it forges relationships with people from all over the world. It makes people think; it entertains people and makes them laugh. I love the democracy of the platform, even though I’ve come across a lot of—let’s face it—crap. I know that there are a lot of avenues to exchange ideas and meet new people, but YouTube is a really different animal.
Anyway, that’s that! I just wanted to share that part of my life with you. :) I’m working on some travel vlogs (I took a lot of footage on vacation), book reviews, et cetera, so if you’re into that sort of thing, subscribe to my unfortunately-named channel: carinatragedy.
As always, thanks for reading.
Some pictures from various train rides. During the course of the month, I believe we’ve had at least thirteen major transfers when we were trying to get from city to city. This doesn’t include day trips to Château Versailles or Schloss Neuschwanstein. The novelty of train rides quickly wore off, when we had to haul all of our luggage, stow them in easily-accessible places, and then run to the next far-away platform for a transfer to our final destination.
Not that I’m complaining, though. Sometimes, train rides can still be magical. See for yourself.
(I don’t understand my title segregation and formats anymore, but I think they are pretty descriptive anyway, so whatever you need to find should be easy to find.)
My sister is nuts.
From our second European morning, she had been bugging me to go jogging with her. She had coerced my dad to go jogging with her one morning in Paris, and another morning in Rome, where they did a Rocky in St. Peter’s Square, aka the Pope’s front yard. I, for one, value the little time I get to be sedentary.
Waking up at the crack of dawn to jog is absolutely nuts to me because a) we already spend the whole day walking around until our toes are numb from the tired and also, shoe friction, and well, b) that is the only reason.
Of course, when I had spent the previous day admiring the Florentine sunset, I figured I might as well see a Florentine sunrise for myself.
We crossed the Ponte Vecchio to the other side of the river. The sun was still low, by this point. We intended to follow the river, up to a certain bridge (I forget which one), but we had been jogging for quite a while before we decided to head back, since the bridge was farther than we anticipated.
Thank you to all my supporters and everyone who believed that I could rouse myself from sleep before seven in the morning, on a European vacation. Which is to say, nobody. Because nobody thought I would actually do this. So, thanks to no one for believing in me.
Just for the record, again, Florence is beautiful. I’m so glad I got to see it at all times of the day. It really stirs up something in you that inspires you to create something beautiful, just because you’re present in some place beautiful. While I was here, my hand rushed to finish scenes of a young adult novel I had been meaning to write for years. I think I actually have a plot line now.
I wish it weren’t such a tourist trap, because I honestly loved this city a lot.
All photographs were taken with a Lomography LC-A+ loaded with Kodak Ektar 100, aka my new love.
After the Colosseum, we walked along Via dei Fori Imperiali to see the Foro Romano, Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, and Il Campidoglio. Via dei Fori Imperiali was built by Benito Mussolini to connect his office in Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum (also passing by the Roman Forum), destroying 40,000 square yards of important Roman history, as this area was heavily populated in medieval and Renaissance Rome.
The view of the general vicinity of the Roman Forum from the Colosseum’s higher levels. We didn’t enter and chose to look at it from the outside, along the via dei Fori Imperiali. It used to be a bustling area, the center of Roman public life.
If you follow the street towards Piazza Venezia (that is, away from the Colosseum), you will run into the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It’s also called Altare della Patria, or “Altar of the Fatherland,” honoring the first king of unified Italy, Victor Emmanuel.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by two soldier and is watched over by an “eternal flame.”
We went to see Il Compidiglio, and there aren’t much pictures because that’s when it started to rain harder.
We took a bus to SS Quattro 24, because I read about a good pizza place called Pizzeria Li Rioni. We were lucky we got there just before their kitchen was going to close! The pizza was GOOD. I got bresaola with rocket and parmesan (of course). They serve everyone a whole pizza! But I was happy to eat all of it. HEH.
In pursuit of tiramisu that the entire internet has spoken about, we walked to Bar Gelateria Pompi at Via Albalonga. We thought we could walk it without a problem, but the scaling of the map we had was deceptive! We saw a lot of nice things along the way, though, but then it started to rain.
A vinyl store! I wish we had time to stop over, but alas.
SPQR is an initialism of the Latin phrase Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, or The Senate & People of Rome. It appears on Roman coins and documents and refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. I find it fascinating that this is still pretty widespread even today.
FINALLY! We found it! Bar Gelateria Pompi was bigger than I thought and served a wide array of sweets, pastries and drinks. We had the tiramisu, which was as good as people made it sound online. I mean, coffee-soaked ladyfingers with mascarpone? Yes, please! I wish I had tried the other flavors (e.g. strawberry), but I’m perfectly happy with the original. I’m glad we looked for it, even though we ended up soaked. The cafe latte we got was really more of milk, but that was okay since it went well with tiramisu anyway.