Tuesday, November 26, 2013

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

To reiterate, I've got nothing else going on...

Photo courtesy of Brianna Boyer

Here is some of the Fitzgerald family on our trip to view the second installment of the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, at the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Goody bags were provided. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stevo Miklos' Days Off

I finally made it to Slovakia! 

That may be the first time in the history of the world that sentence has been uttered. Regardless, it was a long-time dream of mine to meet my high school pals, Stevo and Rob Euell, in their natural habitat in Bratislava. 

Stevo, me, and Rob Euell

The question wasn't "what are we going to do." The question was "what aren't we going to do."

We ate a breakfast of cheese and hot chocolate.
We frolicked by vast fields of sunflowers. 
We reflected on the Iron Curtain. 
And the short distance to freedom across the river.

We rambled around the streets of Bratislava.

Found cannonballs.
Posed with and as statues

And with castles.

And city views.

"We went to a museum. We saw priceless works of art..."

We ate marrow...
...and mousse! 
And drank the Slovak version of Coke, Kofola, as we relaxed by the lake.
And don't forget the babies!

We missed out on the parade float, but we sure got a healthy dose of Eastern European rollerbladers! Amazing. Bummer they were going to swiftly to photograph.

"What have you seen today?" 
"We've seen everything good...we've seen the whole city!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Water Fountains, Cheese, and PhDs!

As my first stop back into the West, I swung by to visit my friend, Rachel, in Geneva the day after she submitted her doctoral thesis. Not too much to report here. She was tired, and I was tired, so there was a lot of napping.

And cheese. 

I also offended a Frenchman. And then he took us in his boat to France for the afternoon for Bastille Day.  

The height of civilization - public water fountains!!!!

Max and Rachel! Heart.

Rachel eating ice cream by Lake Geneva after our bike ride.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


After doing some hard-core eating and resting after the Bali marathon*, my pal John and I took off for the island of Flores. We had little-to-no plan. 

In the end, we were pretty successful, with the Flores journey including:
1) The greatest experience of my life: legally riding motorcycles (officially no longer Peace Corps volunteers) up a mountain before dawn to illegally view the sunrise over the colored crater lakes of Kelimutu.

 2) Finding the loves of my life in Moni:

Karlitos and Ranti. "KarLItos!"
This is forever, people. It should be noted that the rest of the Moni posse not pictured here included Intan and Vikri. 
After a couple of days hanging out with the fam and learning the local language, bahasa lio, from the kids, sadly we had to wave good-bye and board our travel experience from hell to Labuan Bajo. 

3) And the first giant sea creatures and dragons of my life 

John with Ashley and Joe, the New Yorkers we met on the boat. They come into play later. Foreshadowing.
 No way you'd ever catch me scuba diving, so I happily snorkeled while John, Ashley, Joe, and the Italians dove to find some mantas. As I was floating by my lonesome, I swore the mother of all naughty words underwater into my snorkel as I found myself face-to-face with a ginormous manta cleaning itself. No one told me they'd be bigger than me! I was in awe - much like my sister, Colleen, was at the size of the Liberty Bell. It's really not that big. She just thought it'd be like a tiny dinner bell.

Sorry, no pictures of these guys. But they are BIG! And then I saw 3 more.

This lady Komodo in the island of Rinca just lay there like a slug. John actually got pictures of the male Komodo that came out afterward. After hearing our guide's tale of how he was previously attacked by a dragon, chased up a tree, and hospitalized from a tiny prick of the venom penetrating through his shoe to his foot, I cowered and observed from afar. 

 The beautiful island of Rinca. 

 Boating back to Labuan Bajo and flying back to Java...but not before we had one more tasty sandwich and chocolate milk treat!


Afterword: A Love Story Continued

Ashley and Joe were traveling Flores in the opposite direction, so after Labuan Bajo they were headed to Moni. Missing my Moni monchichis, I wrote them letters on my Hello Kitty stationery (never leave home without it) in bahasa lio and gave them to Ashley to deliver. 

Below are the photos she emailed when she met up with them, and you can check out their blog post here:

Imuku Ranti with my letter. Aku meto mbana Moni!!!

*For a read-up on the Bali marathon and end-of-Peace-Corps experience, go here: