Milan Per Un Giorno

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I apologize for my lack of posts. Since I got back from Europe I have been catching up on summer activities, hanging with friends, and also catching up on sleep. With all of that meant no posts for a little over two weeks. It has been a nice little non-posting vaca but I am back and ready to share my time in Europe with you. My first post is what to do in Milan when you only have 24 hours.

MILAN

1. Start with Coffee

If you are smart you will start you day off with free breakfast at your hotel/hostel but if you are like me and can’t seem to get out of bed instead head into the heart of Milan and get yourself an Italian coffee. I headed into tourist central and decided to have coffee in the Galleria next to the Duomo. Some might not suggest this but I found an infamous spot, Camparino, to sit at.  When you sit down and have your coffee you are removed from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist. I started my morning with lemon pie and a cappucino.  Perfetto!

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2. Visit a Church

My next plan was to go into the Duomo but I quickly learned that it is not just shoulders you need to have covered but also your knees so I could not get in with my shorts. My advice for anyone visiting Italy and wanting to go into any Churches come prepared with a pashmina to either wrap around your shoulders or legs, depending on which one isn’t covered. Some churches will sell covers too.

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3. Explore

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A perfect way to see a city is by bike. If you want to bike around Milan you can rent one from BikeMI. You have to create an account online before. It is € 2.50 to create the account and then it gives you a user name and password. You go up to one of the bike stations (that are everywhere) and put your information into the kiosk then go get the bike that it tells you to. The first 30 minutes are free then € .50  per 30 minutes after that and you can only use it for two hours at a time. This is a great way to see the city but also scary because you are biking around not really knowing where you are going and you have to be careful of cars. I was trying to go see the Navigli District but no surprise I got lost. I finally just put my map away and biked around for a bit. Then I found someone nice enough to just show me where I was on my map so I could find my way back.

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4. Public Transit

Use the subway system in Milan. So, so easy. I am serious if I can do it and I didn’t get lost once then anyone, including a four year old, could do it. Not sure if I was buying the correct ticket but it was € 1.50 a ride.

6. Find a Hidden Spot

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For lunch I went to Panzerotti Luini and I highly suggest you do to. Italy is expensive, but this little lunch spot was cheap. It was great to watch the business men and women stop by for a quick lunch. They serve panzerotti’s that are sweet and savory; these are similar to calzones but much better. I almost feel like I am insulting it by comparing it. The dough is similar to an elephant ear dough; light and fluffy and a very simple dough flavor. Then you get the fresh tomatoes and the salty creamy mozzarella taste and voila you have magic. Be prepared for a line but it moved quick.

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5. Don’t Miss Apertivo

This was my favorite discovery about Italy. Apertivo is basically happy hour but much better. Starting around 5 pm most bars/restaurants start apertivo hour. You order a cocktail like normal but you get a buffet with it for FREE! Seriously this is no joke. I couldn’t believe it was real. It was like I had died and gone to happy hour heaven. I ordered a negroni and it as € 9, yes expensive but I got dinner for free; cheese, olives, bruschetta, salad, rice, meats. I had happy hour at a bar in the Corso Como area. So so good and so so amazing.

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6. Mushrooms

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This is my final suggestion. If you love mushrooms go to Antica Trattoria Della Pesa and get the funghi porcini pasta. This was defineitly a fine dining situation (I spending about $50 by myself #sorrynotsorry) but it is worth it. This tagliatelle pasta was the most perfectly cooked homemade pasta I have ever tasted and the sauce though no cream was incredibly creamy. Perfect bites of mushrooms that still have a bite to them. I am becoming depressed just thinking about it knowing I don’t know when I will have it again…

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Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

End of An Era

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Anyone with a computer has a fear that it could crash and you could loose everything. What everyone who owns a computer doesn’t do is back up their computer because the idea of their computer crashing has yet to become a reality. I unfortunately learn how real your computer crashing can be two years into owning my first computer. I lost everything. When I got my new hard drive I also purchased a back up hard drive and backed up constantly.

Over the past five years of my computer running smoothly I have become more comfortable and the terrible feeling of loosing everything slipped further and further out of my mind and with it so did back up frequently. On Saturday night the fear I dreaded became a reality; I went to turn on my computer and all that would happen was a blue screen. Three Apple store visits later it is official that my hard drive has a serious failure and the only option for saving the files is a data recovery service which can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,200.

Like I mentioned before I have been backing up but I the last time was January 2nd. Luckily though this time around since I knew I had most of my files backed up I made the Apple technicians must less uncomfortable since my visits were only filled with frustration not sobs.

So my poor little MacBook is dead. My first computer. Its the end of the white-MacBook-era for me.

On a positive note I have most everything saved on the backup hard-drive/this blog/my camera. Like I said much less tears this time.

Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

We Day California!

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On Tuesday I got to go to Oakland to celebrate We Day California!! Not sure what that is? Here is how the site describes it:

What is We Day?

We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.

My company, EF Educational Tours, is partnering with Me to We and selling their tours in the US. So we got to go and see what We Day is all about. We got a sneak peak of the stage being set up the day before.

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We went out for dinner in the Berkeley area at Gather.  I had my first vieux carre cocktail, which I loved, and another first was beef tartare, which I also loved. The beef was so fresh and light with an egg yolk on the side that made it so creamy, smooth, and delicious. We also ordered a pizza that had spicy tomatoes  olives, capers, chili oil, parsley, and the kicker cashew puree. I was very skeptical to order this pizza because of my love affair with cheese and I didn’t think anything could act as a cheese replacement, but I can now say I was wrong. While I’m not saying I will stray very far from my cheese pizzas but the cashew puree really was delicious and the pizza was full of flavors.

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Below are some pictures of We Day and some of the speakers.

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EF employees giving away our free trip.

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Orlando Bloom!!!

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Founding brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger

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EF staff  :)

Follow me on Twitter @Pilots_Daughter

DStill and The Irish

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(The Golden Moon Distillery and Breckenridge Distillery table)

Last night marked the start of two things: DStill and St. Patty’s Day week countdown. DStill is a week long event for small batch distilleries. I figured tasting whisky, gin, absinthe, and vodka were something the Irish would appreciate.

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(The Green Russell bar)

Here are two recipes if you are thinking of making something Irish this week!

butter

Irish butter

potatoe

Potato and leek gratin