Journey Into The Renaissance

A Crack at Travel Writing as a Genre:

If there was one piece of advice I gave myself before landing in Florence, the city where classical learning blossomed after a millennium of darkness… it was to avoid being a tourist. I came here to feel, to explore, and to learn. The aspirations for my journey were clear-cut, leave the selfie stick in New York and bring an open mind to Europe. Continue reading

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Milk and Cookie

I think you and I are as different

As a warm cookie and a cool glass of milk.

There is nothing similar about either of us,

We come from different ends of the kitchen.

You rest in the pantry and I chill in the fridge,

You are a solid and I am a liquid,

You crumble and I spoil.

We couldn’t survive together.

But above all of our differences,

And despite our ability to coexist,

We are an exceptional duo.

And one hell of a midnight snack.

An American Dream

Athens, 1939

I was drinking my morning coffee on the terrace, same as I do every morning, with the roar of car horns and ambulances sweeping through the streets below my feet. The buzz of this city pairs nicely with my mood: anxious, restless, and excited. Athens never skips a beat, not even then in 1939 when war is beating down Greece’s door. I lift the welcome mat behind my chair, the place I stash my father’s finest cigars, and light one up before the big journey. Inhaling the smoke from that flavorful montecristo, I remember thinking about giving them back to him before I take off, but then he’d realize I took them, and saying goodbye would have been much more burdensome.

I toss the ashes out from the tray over the railing and make my way back inside, the cigar tucked neatly inside my pocket. Mother is packing away everything I don’t need, the routine of her hands and feet masking the worry on her face.

“Ma.” I wait for her to stop folding my socks, socks I probably won’t need. “Ma, please stop. It’s almost seven, I have to get going.”

She doesn’t stop. Instead, she continues to fold my shirts, my pants, my underwear, and all other items that will most likely be thrown over board if I am caught. I rest a hand on her shoulder, humming her favorite old folk tune. She relaxes and I can almost see a smile tugging on her cheek. “The boat will be cold at night,” She finally looks up at me, “At least let me pack you a few extra pairs of socks.”

“Nicholas,” My father enters the room. His hair gelled tightly behind his ears and gut tucked firmly beneath his belt. He places today’s paper on the counter and picks up his coffee with both palms. I assume it’s so that he has an excuse not to hug me goodbye. “All packed I presume?

“Yes, Papa.”

“Got your bags?”

“Yes.”

“Crew pass?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure that thing will work?” He eyes my white pants and jacket with the navy blue trim, then studies the identification pass strung around my neck.

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False Epiphanies

My creative writing class teaches us about the art of different topics in writing. This week was all about epiphanies. Here is the fictional snippet I wrote during our 15 minutes of free writing class time. 


Then it hit me, Jack thought of me as more than a friend. His smooth talk and charismatic flirting, the way he sprinkled on the compliments as we were growing up. That blue eyed wink – oh – that baby blue eyed wink.

That evening after everyone had gone to bed, I snuck out of camp to find his tent. I knew exactly which one was his, the olive green with five gold stars on its fabric. Approaching his tent I became wary of the noises inside. There was laugher, female laughter. Jack was not alone.

I knew then that his infatuation with me was not real, but a tease of my own imagination. we had grown up together, of course I would have confused his charismatic personality with that of flirting. We were friends, and that is all we would ever be. I backed away slowly, keeping my head up high and my breathing low as I disappeared behind the trees.

Scraps – No mom, I’m not ACTUALLY failing school.

College students. We lose sleep over the hundreds of homework assignments, tests and papers we complain over. However, we get them done… Don’t we?

Don’t take us seriously when we say we’re lazy, nap-abusing failures. Yes, I JUST started writing that paper due on Tuesday. Maybe I had a billion other things to do beforehand. I’m still going to Ace it. 

Here’s to the 18-22 year olds all over the world complaining about two hours of sleep and stress eating the night away… Because those are the hard workers with the 4.0’s.  

So don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about any of us. We just need a shot of tequila and we’re right back in the game. 

Journal Entry #22

~An Entire Bag of Potato Chips~

There is only a hand full of activities I would like more than to spend every moment of my twenty-four hour day writing… writing blog posts, snippets, poems, and even those little notes I like to scribble myself before bed. 

However… when the writing task is mutilated into that of an essay or a case study, as I am hopelessly procrastinating from at this time, the intrinsic motivation has flown from my body and migrated south for the semester.

As I spend time writing this post, I ignore the fact that this paper is due on Tuesday… three days from this exact point in time, minus eight hours. I ignore the test I have scheduled for this Monday, you know, the one based on all those readings I neglected? I ignore the millions of letters, which make up the thousands of words I will have to skim – not read – that create hundreds of sentences inside tens of books I have barely dusted off from the bookstore.

What day is it? The nineteenth?! Has it really been three weeks?

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