windows to the world in dubrovnik, croatia

Dubrovnik is a ancient wall city that hugs the Adriatic coast. It’s old buildings and rich history provide views like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Through 16th century church windows, spy holes that dot the medieval walls, and venerable Roman ruins, I spotted some breath-taking views that range from the clear waters of the Adriatic to leafy hill tops. What’s captured through these windows is more than a scene; they reflect the unforgettable experience of pausing and seeing the world anew.

Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 2 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 3 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 4 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 5 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 6 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 7 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 8 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 9 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 10 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 12 Windows of Dubrovnik, Croatia #100DaysofMiaPrima 13

Vidimo se uskoro!

Sarah

This post is #63 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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five unexpected events

A not so happy traveller

A not so happy traveller

Last night, I finally arrived in Connecticut after a full day of driving from Pittsburgh. In just twenty four hours, I cleared out my apartment of everything I had accumulated from the last two years of living in the city, packed up my tiny sports car with everything I needed for the summer and my crazy little cat, and drove the long eight hour trip to my sister’s place on the east coast.

The move was so hectic that by the time I made it to CT, a blog post was out of the question. So here it is, just a few hours late, five unexpected events from a very hectic yesterday:

1. Using my cat’s leash. Naya Cat was so freaked out by the whole moving business that she wouldn’t get into her carry case, and I pulled out her leash for its first-time use. Which meant I spent eight hours with her roaming my car after she escaped from her collar. Seriously, I don’t know how we didn’t get into a car accident…

2. My one joy in long distance car rides is coffee. I love a good iced coffee on a car ride. Unfortunately, about five minutes into the road trip, Naya spilled the complete contents of my untouched coffee. We were both in for a long, long ride.

3. Losing a part of my car…and then having a friend find it again. I absently-mindedly left a part of my trunk on the side of the road while I was packing up. Thankfully, I have good enough friends willing to do slightly random favors for me. The plus side: it gives me an excuse to visit Pittsburgh soon!

4. Actually fitting my life for the next three months into my car. If you have a Toyota Celica you are constantly surprised at how much stuff you can cram in that little two door car.

5. Just an hour or so after settling in for the night in CT, Naya Cat was relaxed enough to ask for multiple belly rubs. It’s a good sign for things to come!

Cheers!

Sarah

This post is #10 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

farewell for now, pittsburgh!

Tonight is my last night in Pittsburgh.

Crazy!

So, in honor of the last two years in the Steel City, here are some of my favorite moments:

#100DaysofMiaPrima

Angie comes to town

Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

Book art

Fall Mix Tape 2014

eclectic bedroom gallery wall

Gallery Wall

beautiful Siberian cat #miaprimacasa

Naya Cat!

audere" tattoo: "be bold" in Latin

Audere Tattoo

hot-metal-bridge background

Hot Metal Bridge

these streets: image of Pittsburgh #miaprimacasa

Murray Ave, Squirrel Hill

these streets: image of Pittsburgh #miaprimacasa

Birkenstocks become the best trend of 2014

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Hot Metal Bridge

pittsburgh primanti bros.

Primanti Bros.

Vegan meal

Going Vegan!

Because I Can: Pittsburgh Marathon Highlights miaprimacasa.com

26.2 Miles at the Pgh Marathon

Keepin' it real for race day! #aerie #aeriereal #marathon #26.2 miaprimcasa.com

Marathon #OOTD

Easer outfits

Michelle comes to town

Vintage-inspired Monaco Grand Prix poster screen print miaprimacasa.com

Screening printing class

"…I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension." -Ben Franklin #vegan #vegetarian miaprimcasa.com

Stip District haul

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District

"Never Look Back" Screenprint on canvas miaprimacasa.com

Spring Mix Tape 2014

My Eclectic Living Room #apartmentliving miaprimacasa.com

Pretty apartment

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

Fall Mix Tape Art #miaprimacasa

Fall Mix Tape 2013

Cathedral of Learning pgh #miaprimacasa

Cathedral of Learning

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Much needed visit from Mom

Pgh Bridges in Autumn

Running under and on Pgh’s bridges

Graphic Sweaters

Getting Graphic

NaNoWriMo in Pgh

NaNoWriMo Winner- 2 years in a row!

Take My Hand and Run Fashion Inspiration miaprimcasa.com

Running, Cycling, and Fashion

Carengie Museum

Museum hopping

Frick Cafe Pgh Tea

Proper English tea at the Frick

Visit from the youngest sister

Visit from the youngest sister

The Gibbson Girl Esty Shop begins

The Gibbson Girl Esty Shop begins

Cheers!

Sarah

This post is #9 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Big Dog Coffee and the Kindest of Strangers

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When I lived in Europe, it was not uncommon to share a table with strangers. That’s how I met an Australian woman who’s daughter had just ended a engagement with an Italian man. And the kindest pair of old Sicilian men who insisted my sister and I partake in their homemade Easter meal. And those Canadian students traveling around the world. Maybe it was because many of us were foreigners and travelers. Traveling makes one so adventurous. You’re willing to strike up a conversation with anyone who can point you in the right direction or offer up their recommendation for the perfect restaurant. But how often do we keep that adventurous spirit when we get home?

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Not often. Which is why I swore to explore a new place in Pittsburgh every weekend; hence this “Adventures in Pittsburgh” series. My adventurous spirit comes out in a myriad of ways, from asking the bar tender to pour me his favorite draft, to venturing to a local brewery alone and meeting a group of young Midwesterners willing to share a counter and their choice beers, to what happened today at Big Dog Coffee: offering a couple to share a table with me because all other seats were taken. It seemed like the right thing to do. An Australian in an Italian cafe would do it. A couple of Canadian girls would do it at Dublin hostel breakfast table. So of course I would too.

What touched me was how unexpected the couple felt the gesture was. How pleasantly unexpected. And intriguing. And adventuresome! Pretty soon we were chatting about our jobs, our education, how we found ourselves settling in Pittsburgh. And as soon as the topic turned to sports (are you surprised?), we had the whole coffee shop chatting.

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Surely it’s the small things in life that make each day feel new. And surely we can all create a little adventure and camaraderie, whether we’re are exploring cathedrals in Palermo, climbing bunks in dirty Parisian hostels, or kicking back with a great cup of coffee in our own town. I’m pretty sure everyone at Big Dog had a morning they won’t forget for a long time; a small reminder that we’re all living our own adventures in the same big, awesome world.

Oh, and the coffee here is excellent. I dare you to try it. And maybe you’ll ask to share a table with strangers while you’re at it.

Cheers!
Sarah

Adventures in Pittsburgh: The Strip District

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

To an outsider’s ear, the Strip District doesn’t exactly sound like a place you want to spend a lovely Sunday morning. Let alone a place you’d pick up a slew of produce at dirt cheap prices or stock up on bulk locally roasted coffee or admire beautiful art from local artists. But the Strip is just the place to go for that sort of adventure. For the first seven months of living in the city, I actively avoided going to the Strip. The traffic is awful. Parking is worse. And there are so. many. people.

But let me tell you, it’s worth every minute you spend stuck waiting for j-walking pedestrians or battling your fellow drivers for a just-barely-big-enough stretch of curb to park on.

Why exactly?

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.comAdventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

Firstly, because I bought a week’s worth of produce for $15. FIFTEEN DOLLARS! In the middle of the city! I even found daikon root. I still don’t really know what it is, but it was less than a dollar and tastes delicious in fried rice.

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

Secondly, because the Asian markets are numerous and well priced. I bought a jar of umeboshi plums for $6. The same sized jar costs about $9 at my local co-op. I did my shopping at the first place I found, which was a small Korean market with an extremely helpful owner who tolerated my request for lotus root. But I was told that Lotus is also a great Asian market (and presumably also has lotus root…).

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.comAdventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

Thirdly, because coffee. So much coffee! I even asked the guy behind the counter if I could buy one of their empty coffee sacks. Yes, yes I could. So I did. For $2, which means I now have the cheapest wall art ever.

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Vegan Groceries, Coffe, and Art in the Strip District miaprimacasa.com

And fourthly, because of the people. Ok, I know the vendors might be overly friendly because you have a wad of cash in your pocket, but trust me, I’ve seen vendors in northern Italy blatantly insult customers, so… I was satisfied. There was the bread guy who went into his (then closed) shop to find me olive oil. There was the Russian photographer who chatted with about being a Pittsburgh newcomer (“No matter what they say, you don’t have to be a Steelers fan.”), and whose beautiful photo of the city is now hanging in my living room.

With it’s fresh, affordable produce and Asian markets, the Strip District is a vegan’s dream. Toss in some quality coffee and some quality people, and you have a recipe for one of the best Sunday mornings you can find in this town.

Cheers!

Sarah

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Adventures in Pittsburgh: Exploring Oakland

Exploring Oakland #miaprimacasa

This weekend my mom came to town. Woohoo! It was the first time I got the chance to show someone around my new city. Hard to believe I’ve been in Pittsburgh for three months already…

Cathedral of Learning pgh #miaprimacasa

We started our day with brunch at The Porch, which was lovely. I highly recommend the salted caramel French toast! Back in Madison, weekly brunch was a staple of a Saturday or Sunday morning, so it was good to kickstart my brunch-going in Pittsburgh with my mom.

Oakland Pgh #miaprimacasa

Afterwards, we explored the Oakland neighborhood a bit, including wandering through Schenley Park and the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon campuses. Coming from the Midwest, it’s refreshing to see beautiful, old academic buildings. Actually, it’s refreshing to see old buildings in general! Thanks to The Fire, Chicago is pretty lacking in old structures. One of my greatest joys in Pittsburgh is admiring the old brick home and Gilded Age architecture.

Carnegie Mellon pgh #miaprimacasa

Schneley Park pgh #miaprimacasa

Some other great sites in Oakland include:

Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History

-The trails at Schenley Park

-The Cathedral of Learning at University of Pittsburgh (second-tallest educational building in the world)

Adventures in Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museums

Carengie Museum

Arabian artifacts, dinosaur fossiles, glittering cases of gem stones, Renaissance paintings, and of course conceptual sculpture. These are just a few things to completely and totally over-stimulate your mind at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. As if a museum of either natural history or art wouldn’t be enough, the two are connected (under one roof and under one admission fee), so be sure to plan a whole day around this museum.

The Roads of Arabia exhibit was excellent. Beautiful, intriguing artifacts combined with video, tours, and very helpful volunteers, make this exhibit a success in my book. I spent at least a half hour in there, which I think is a pretty good testament on how much the exhibit held my attention (for an art major, I move pretty quickly through museums…)!

The art portion of the museum held an array of everything from Renaissance to Impressionism, to my personal favorite, conceptual sculpture and installation. Sadly, this piece by one of my favorite artists, Rirkrit Tiravanija, was not open. Which means I’ll be back!

Alexander Calder

Thankfully, a good supply of Alexander Calder works made up for my disappointment over Tiravanija’s closed exhibit.Carnegie Musem of Art Carnegie Sculpture Evening Richard Hughes

All this because the Andy Warhol Museum was closed and I was bent on spending my President’s day at a museum. Maybe that’ll be next week’s adventure…