30 May 2008

i'd like to dream my troubles all away.

Three days gone, two days left. Madrid has been a first class city to visit. I may not fully appreciate what Darien does in Spain, but I am getting there. There is a definitely love in my heart for this country, if only I could spend more time. With our group we were able to visit three museums with the rest of our time to spend as we please. I could not imagine a better way to spend my free time than with my roommate and friend ALYSE MURPHY! Oh what a joy it has been to see a familiar face and have someone to walk around Madrid with.

Upon the final museum of day one (29 May) I left the group and ventured towards the ever so beautiful temple. Originally Alyse and I discussed I would meet her after her group finished baptisms for the dead but it just so happened that I ran into them on their way up towards the temple. I had the delightful opportunity to enter the temple and participate in baptisms for the dead too. It is great to come to the temple and leave the world behind; it truly is heaven on earth.

Alyse and I then ditched her group and ventured towards the more populated areas. The Plaza (platha) Mayor was one of the stops. We caught up on each other, made our way to my hotel, and off Alyse went. Until today (30 May) when we played again at the Royal Palace. It was a short visit but entertaining none the less. Like I said, it was just nice to see an old friend! Only a week and a half till I will see another dear friend, oh Kylie Nixon!

28 May 2008

just to find this perfect spot.

song of the trip: Treehouse - I'm From Barcelona

Before we came to Barcelona PJ warned us that the city was currently in a drought. The first thing I thought of was taking showers. I do not need to a long one but some other girls do and I did not want to be roommates with them taking all my water. Our first morning in Barcelona, beginning with a seven am run, was very wet. It happened to rain, I would call our group a good luck charm for the city. For some reason though, the rain has followed us everywhere. Despite the reflecting ground, the day was eventful, and as follows:

We took a train to the top of a hill, where I was swinging on poles and managed to loose my water bottle (it took a trip under the tracks). Atop the hill was a museum that provided a FANTASTIC! view of Barcelona. The arties also took a stop at the location of world expo right in Barcelona, Spain. We had our regular visit to the grocery store to purchase the same meal of tomatoes, apples, and yogurt. (You would think it gets old after awhile, but some how doesn’t). The lunch break soon ended and we were back with the arties visiting the peculiar architecture of Gaudi. Despite 10 of us getting lost from the group, we continued to travel around Barcelona to see the buildings designed by the Gaudi.

I decided if for some reason I ever become famous or rich, I will build a park where people can play. For those of you who have been to castle park in Irvine, California and thought that was cool…the Park Guell wins. I could spend an entire day there. While at this spectacular park we practiced our modeling (apparently an episode of America’s Next Top Model was filmed here), played with a cute Italian child, were questioned by American boys as to whether we were cheerleaders, and watched male pigeons attempt to ‘woo’ the females. (The most entertaining event of the evening was watching one particular bird chase another around the entire platform. Oh they pain boys have to go through to get the girl.)

A couple gift shops later I decided I am starting a pin collection of my travels. I have an obsession with pins, and figure this is a super way to remember the places I have seen. Oh how I miss my pins.

For the final moments of sun the lost 10 arties continued toward the port where I had an adventure of my own. While dangling my feet over the water I couldn’t help but notice a bar surrounding and supporting the entire dock. “What a perfect place to hang,” I thought. So I did just that. I hung from the dock and did not think about the fact I would have to pull myself back up. Needless to say, if was thrilling and a struggle to not fall in the water.

I danced for the musician in the metro station, got a wink, a FANTASTIC from the hotel employee, ate my fourth apple, and retired to bed. Longest day of the trip, but what can you do when you only have one day in Barcelona?

25 May 2008

new energie.

As it would, the treacherous piercing sound of the metro has pilfered that extra day of being able to hear fully. (It is too bad I have already put myself in that dilemma of being deaf from too loud of music). Imagine all the violinists in the world playing an awful note simultaneously, but louder and more painful. If that sounds beautiful to you, then you probably do not hear well. My ears may still be ringing. Lucky for the trains, I love them too much to let their music bother me. If Provo had some of these fine machines I would be in heaven. The past couple of cities there was no metro for us to travel to and fro and I am so glad to be back in the habit. Every city from here on out will have rails. Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London. The last three weeks of this trip will be sensational.

Today is Sunday, the twenty fifth of May, in the year of the rat.
“Every day we’ve got to hold on ‘cause if he hold on we can find some new energy.”

Today is also the beginning of a new challenge for me. I am calling this challenge the one-hundred day adventure. It just so happens that there are one-hundred days from today that I will officially begin fall semester at Brigham Young University in my new major (which is Media Arts). This I could not be more excited for. My schedule is set all I need to do is get through the summer, move back to Provo (with my brother Robert this time), and attend classes with complete motivation. One hundred days to be excited and have something to look forward to.

Today also marks the last sixty days of Darien’s mission. I know my family is ready to see her beautiful face in person again. I could not be more proud of her and everything she is accomplishing in Spain. That is one lucky country to have such a fantastic human being.

One hundred and ninety-five days from today is my twenty-first birthday. It may seem far away, but I know it will be here before I have time to breathe. This would be the miraculous age that I can legally enter a bar in the United States (but we all know I do not plan to do that). This is also the age of huge decisions, hopefully by the end of one hundred and ninety-five days I will have a better idea of where I am going in life. For now I will enjoy every second of the present, looking forward to the future.

This one-hundred day journey, if it proves successful, will be a chance for me to reflect on my life. What I have done, and what I plan to do. I will still be Frederique Stone Carroll, but possibly a little more learned and primed for life’s pursuits.

For now, I plan to enjoy the next eighty-five days of this European life style, because, it too will be over faster than I want.

particular yellow buildings I passed on my walk home from church.

the yellow and red stairwell that provided my exit from the metro underground.

sunday presents a lifeless station.

24 May 2008

i regret that it takes a lifetime to learn how to live.

the following is a passage from a fantastically written book which i read a couple of years ago and decided to pick up and read it again. everything about this book inspires me. oskar is my friend, one of my bests.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer:

It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about "Eleanor Rigby." It's true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?

What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and your body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you were angry you'd turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you'd turn brown, and if you were blue you'd turn blue.

Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, because you'd never want to tell a person who skin was purple that you're angry at her for being late, just like you would want to pat a pink person on the back and tell him, "Congratulations!"

Another reason it would be a good invention is that there are so many times when you know you're feeling a lot of something, but you don't know what the something is. Am I frustrated? Am I actually just panicky? And that confusion changes your mood, it becomes your mood, and you become a confused, gray person. But with the special water, you could look at your orange hands and think, I'm happy! That whole time I was actually happy! What a relief!

you will cry. you will laugh. you will love.

i have taken the opportunity to read two other books while i am traveling and would highly recommend both.
1. The Road - Cormac McCarthy
2. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer

23 May 2008

ain't nobody knows.

song of the day: Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron and Wine

This morning Molly and I went for a run with intentions of returning in forty minutes. The forty minutes turned into an hour and fifteen minutes when we got lost jogging over unknown bridges and alleyways. We were fine, yet as lost as you could be in a city where it is impossibly to tell where you are. If only every city in the world were mapped out like those in Utah, if only. Running in a foreign city is always thrilling and getting lost makes it that much greater, and keeps you on the move longer, so it is not so bad after all.

Museum Choice Day presented plenty of options, but of course we chose the modern route. Peggy Guggenheim was so kind to provide us with an attractive house full of exceptional art. Displays of work by Pablo Picasso to Jackson Pollock. I still wonder how these artists think, I admire them, I envy them, I appreciate them, I love them. I took vigorous and detailed notes and plan, upon my settling in Siena and my return to the states, to attempt more art (even if it is my simple card making hobby that I love so dearly).

Lunch, nap, sunset. It was a Venice dream day. Despite the few hours of rain, the perfection of the today’s journeys leaves pleasant memories. Mistakenly we left unduly late to catch the sun in the downward motion, but we still witnessed water like glass while the clouds hid the last of the suns rays. An ultimate end to the day and stay.

Tomorrow to Milan, Monday to Barcelona (so close to my sister, it is unreal).

post script – I opted out of purchasing a train ticket for my friend to come to Milan and bring my suitcase back to Siena. I will now ship it to my future residence in the fine Tuscan city to await my arrival (one month!).
I also spoke on the phone with Rita and my excitement soared. Rita is a pleasant, single, retired woman who I will be sharing living quarters with for eight weeks. She keeps bees and sews; I plan to participate in her hobbies. She was kind on the phone and seems ecstatic that I called, my four weeks alone with her are going to be a dream.

i stirred it with my finger.

Song of the day: Heart it Races (Architecture in Helsinki) – Covered by Dr. Dog

The city of gondolas, men in striped shirts, pigeons, fruit vendors, and tourists. The only mode of transportation is by foot or boat. The train virtually pulled right up to the water, we exitedly and thankfully only walked the one hundred or so yards to our hotel. Hidden back in an alley is where I lived for three days. The neighbors across the street even hang their clothes on the line that connect to the walls of the hotel. I wonder if they get embarrassed about hanging their underwear up.

Another day of ambling on our own. I decided since I had a week and a half without communication for parents I should call. Unfortunately I could not stay on the phone for hours, I have to save minutes in order to communicate with the girl who is coming to get my suitcase (finally). The conversation was brief and the sad news came at the goodbye. My mother informed me that my beautiful dog of fourteen point five years (of my twenty point five year life) was being put to rest. It may seem that although she was stuck in our basement with infrequent visitors during the week we did not love her like we do Bailey. But that is all assumptions, and you know what happens when we assume. In the words of Natalie, “Bailey is still the beast, and Chipper will always be the beauty.” I will miss the times when we walk in the door and she smiles at you, a true, loving grin.

Following my sad moment, I immediately got ready to go out in order to distract myself from my sadness. What do I notice but dogs everywhere. Taking the liberty and use of my camera, I took pictures of every dog I saw. Be it large or small, I was envious of the owner. As we meandered over bridges and through alleys, I happened upon a beautiful dalmation. Her blue eyes stared at me and immediately I saw Chipper, with the weak Italian I know I asked the owner if I could snap a picture.

I only wish I could have said a final goodbye. Here is to the dog that used to scare me half to death when I would take out the trash but would so lovingly lick you to death while you sat with her on that green leather couch (yes there was once a green leather couch).

All in all, Venice is a beautiful city and there is so much more to be seen.

eyes from sorrento to pompeii to capri.

*just click the photograph to view it larger.


our journey to sorrento, and the cow enjoyed every second.

a train at the station in naples waiting to continue our venture to sorrento.

an old couple I took a seat behind, then the man exited the train, i suppose they were not an old couple after all.

three phone calls on my cellular (at five thirty am) woke me so i enjoyed the rising sun in an alternative to more sleep.


"everybody grab a pole." no one got it, but this is for you mom. <3

as previously stated, the cow enjoys all her travels. here you will see her at pompeii.

they look as though they could make a humble abode here in this house.

mano e mano andiamo. (hand and hand we go) and not to forget the yellow hats

the cow. the poppies.

the cow. the poppies. some arties.

the possibly smiling plaster individual.


a city on the hill.

"im a lawn nome." ramsey this is for you, even though it is not exactly a lawn nome.

big cow little cow. they belong together. these chupa chub cows were everywhere on the island of capri.

22 May 2008

and she's chosen to believe.

The following refers to my stay in Florence. May seventeenth through May twentieth.
song for the remain: The Gloating Sun - The Shins

And now for the City of Florence…Here is where I would lose my second suitcase, but was unsuccessful in all attempts. I must travel to Milan in hopes that I can lose it there and venture to Spain, France, and England without it. It rained the majority of the time during our visit in Florence and I still enjoyed every second. I learned a few things here and am hoping to take a day trip or two back when I settle in Siena.
Of course this is the city that is the home to the famous Duomo. As impressive as exterior is, the interior is bland. They took all artifacts out of it to put in a museum where you must pay to see. Yes, we still visited that museum but I do not think there is the same effect of seeing the art and sculpture inside the Duomo. Still impressive as it was.
below: a night shot of florence along the river.

Ravenna is another city in Italy that the arties visited. We found plenty of byzantine art, and if that means nothing to you...it consists of many mosaics and gold. Surprisingly I enjoyed this art more than the previous. I wrote a paper on one of the mosaics so it was exciting to see the work in real life. (as opposed to fake life). Everything is much more impressive in person, so I will no longer judge the art before I have the chance to see the real deal. If I were to ever move to Italy I would choose Ravenna. The streets are lined with bicycles and if you did not know already, I am obsessed. Rain or shine, there are bicyclists getting to and from places, twenty-four hours a day. Oh the life I would live. I wish I could make a living riding my bike everywhere. My plan for the upcoming semester is to say goodbye to the trusty beast of a land-cruiser (Robert will have the joy of being taxi driver) and ride my bike anywhere I need to go. No commitment to anyone – except for the seat I plan to put on the back like all Europeans. Exercise. And most importantly saving the environment one car at a time. (If it should happen that I never marry, I will make a living traveling the world on my bike peddling flowers or something of the sort. If not the world, the states. I have been inspired by a young man Alex Supertramp, his nom de plume) Although I joke, I really would fancy this lifestyle. I refer to “Into the Wild” a book I am currently reading.

After Ravenna came our last day in Florence and a day when the term “it rained cats and dogs” would be appropriate. Mud up the back of my skirt from flip-flops doing their fair share of spraying. A broken yellow umbrella. The anxiety build-up for my five minute. Crowds of tourists. Despite the downfalls, I was still surprisingly (I say surprisingly because I am fairly worn out) happy to have another day to wander. We did group visits in the morning, had a break, and finished at the Uffizi where five of us arties presented different works of art. I built up way too many nerves for the presentation which was successful and complete! Break time: I made my way back to the hotel, assembled dirty laundry, read, napped, prepared the presentation, and had an adventure. I happened upon an eclectic vintage store where I wanted to buy everything in there. What is the my appeal to all things old, I do not know. There may be a trip back to see what I can find. They may not say “Italy”, but I found some great souvenirs. Anyone? Anyone? I dropped off my laundry, packed, and slept.

another uncertainty in Venice awaits.

21 May 2008

dream i'm in the salt water.

May 14, 2008. Sorrento Sorrento. The city that does not like the traveler with suitcases. I spent the majority of my walk from the train station to the hotel walking down the road with cars coming so close I was nervous of my suitcase being ripped to shreds. Alas we reached the hotel and were given time to venture on our own. How we cherish the time of freedom. We chose to bask in the sun and eventually find dinner. The day was relaxed yet enjoyable.

not a beach in sight. all cliff to water.

May 15, 2008. The still active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, can do some real destruction. What seemed like it would be a pleasant town is now in ruins. Pompeii is an interesting place. A little eerie if you ask me. Once I watched a movie on the city in elementary school and they scared the bejeebees out of me with the plaster people. The way the archeologists were able to capture the body positions was to poor plaster into hole underground where a person was laying. The bones are still intact and the plaster essentially recreates the body, probably a little smaller than the human actually was. Now I have seen them in person and am still creeped. Their body positions show so much fear and pain. I cannot imagine knowing my life is going to end right at that moment. I wonder what their last thoughts were. One of these individuals (I say individuals because they once were alive) almost looked as if s/he was smiling, but probably is the face of immense pain.
song of the day: Volcano - Damien Rice

the clouds may be hovering, but that is the suv back there in all her glory.

May 16, 2008. Capri, an island of the coast of Italy, is such a pleasant yet touristy place. We had the opportunity to hike to the highest peak (which really isn’t terribly high, but steep cobblestone paths paved the way). We had a view of the blue blue sea and green green island. Really it was beautiful. I do not even remember whose ancient villa it was that we saw, all I know is it must have been nice to be a Roman emperor. After our hour hike in and out we were free to do as we pleased. I chose not to pay twenty euro of visit the blue grotto (which apparently is beautiful) with the mind set that I would be coming back to Italy some day. Instead I walked the streets of Capri around the residential area. Because the whole town is on a hill there were lots of stairs and hills. There was a pleasant little bench in the shade where I sat and wrote for a couple hours. I cannot figure out why I love it, but I enjoy sitting by myself. Another pleasant day in Italy and more to come.
song of the day: House on the Hill - Beach House

the picture speaks louder than words.

knee bone connected to the shin bone

song of the day: Collarbone - Fujiya & Miyagi
May 13, 2008.
During the train ride I counted nearly thirty-five times (in the space of five minutes) the word ‘like’ was used in the wrong context. We must work on this. Now that we all know what I was listening to, a series of ‘like’, we can move onto the good stuff.

The train took me from Rome to Napoli and another train transported us from Napoli to the pleasant town of Sorrento. Again I looked like the high maintenance traveler carting two matching suitcases up and down the cobble stone streets. I have been getting a little better with the travels and have considered writing a book: “Traveling Europe with two Suitcases.” I wonder how people backpack for a couple of months with only a few items. Four months of European living and I still feel that I do not have enough. Let us just say, I look like an American, I need to learn to blend in..

The last full day in Rome was a “free” day. But we were still required to visit one museum of choice. The girls and I chose the one modern art museum in Rome that we could locate. Remember how some artists do something strange like sign a urinal, turn it on it’s side and call it art? I love how oddly people think. I often wonder what actions, thoughts, people, objects, stories are running through their head when they create a piece of art. I was thoroughly impressed with the collection the Gallery of Modern Art housed. If I were better at the visual arts I would attempt the modern side of things.

Also on this last fabulous day in Rome, I took my mothers advice and decided to not be a “loner”. I spent all my time with the girls finding a few fun places to see. I should mention an interesting and immensely disturbing church we visited. It is known as the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. To me it will forever be known as the church of bones. From ceiling to floor, bones are used for decoration. Apparently 40,000 monks bones have been used. I looked at the monk who was sitting at the entrance I could not help but think he would be there in 30 years. I tell no lie when I say there is still skin on some of those skeletons. Whoever had the idea to do this must have been troubled.

forgive the crooked, we were forbidden to capture photographs. the coughing of us four drowned out the sound of my shutter.

17 May 2008

internet is at a loss.

Because the past couple of hotels the arties and I are living in have no internet I have trouble updating you on my adventures. As soon as I can get wireless on the mac I will be uploading picture after picture. Believe me when I say how wonderful this country of Italy is.
Here is a quick run-down of what I have visited...
The group left Rome on wednesday morning and headed for the beautiful coastal city of Sorrento. We took a day trip to Pompeii and Capri. Now I am here in Florence after having seen the Duomo, Michelangelos David, and explored my surroundings. I found this little internet cafe on a walk around and only have 30 minutes. So far so good. I am making new friends everyday and look forward to the many places, people, and things I will be seeing.

for now all the love I can send, is sent to you!

12 May 2008

you are my sister.

The other day I walked through the met.ro. station and on came Spice Girls “2 become 1”. The risqué lyrics were sung, every one, by me as I continued out the exit. Not only did I think about my two wonderful roommates, Sarah and Alyse (who will forever remind me of Spice Girls), but I also reminisced about the years when my sister and I made up dances to those repugnant pop songs. I laugh and I cry. I once was nine, she was twelve. Today she is twenty three and the time in between is lost.

Since it is her birthday…My first night in Rome. One week ago I stepped of the plane into the country of my dreams. The second visit of that evening was the Spanish steps, apparently popularized by the film “Roman Holiday”. Ever since Italy can remember, the Spanish embassy has been located here with their red and yellow flag flying high and proud. I was proud. I felt so close to my best friend when I looked at that flag and sat on those stairs. I was doing my usual daydreaming before I realized there were tears rolling down my cheeks. Embarrassed and unsure of the people around me I cleaned my face and stood up. Darien rocks Spain, and I am jealous of that country to have her right now. Is it wrong for me to count? 72 days.

I found another favorite location in Rome today. It was a beautiful road surrounded by the luscious green trees. The bus took us past a quaint park which made me think of the parks I visited in London. Why was I in London, but to visit my sister on her study abroad. Why am I in Europe now? To be like my sister and study elsewhere in the world. Why is it that everything today reminded me of her? It is her birthday and I was sad I was not able to spend the day with her.

From the musicians on the train, the lady on the bus stroking my arm while mentioning sister missionaries, the sisters singing in church, to sitting here on my balcony. It all reminds me of Hermana Darien Lauren Carroll. A special day, and will be even more so when I can share all my feelings face to face.

(if you click the link below, a song will download. listen, it is good)
Antony & The Johnsons - You Are My Sister

You are my sister, we were born
So innocent, so full of need
There were times we were friends but times I was so cruel
Each night I'd ask for you to watch me as I sleep
I was so afraid of the night
You seemed to move through the places that I feared
You lived inside my world so softly
Protected only by the kindness of your nature
You are my sister
And I love you
May all of your dreams come true
We felt so differently then
So similar over the years
The way we laugh the way we experience pain
So many memories
But theres nothing left to gain from remembering
Faces and worlds that no one else will ever know
You are my sister
And I love you
May all of your dreams come true
I want this for you
They're gonna come true
gonna come true

they will see us waving.

One of these days I am going to learn to play the organ. I want the pipes to jump up and down with every note. I will frantically move my hands up and down the keys while my foot struggles to reach the base notes. One day, one day.

In the United States of America there are helicopters, fences, guards, surveillance cameras, guns, and more protecting the President's, not so humble, abode. Here in Italy the quote un-quote whitehouse is along a busy road with a guard out front. Seems odd, until you look in the entryway and there are guards with machine guns. I daydreamed I ran through the courtyard and was brought down. I decided an attempt of entry was not feasible.

If I were to spend longer than 4 months in Europe I would purchase myself one of these fine man-made machines. Preferrably THIS. I would ride all day long.

The cobblestone walk that lead to a mausoleum, converted into a church, and is now frequently used for weddings.

Soccer, or calcio, is obviously a popular sport here in Italy. I spied on the kids at recess while they enjoyed their games. It reminds me of my days on the playground. I would go back in a heart beat.

The offerings outside of Sant'Agnese's basilica. Even on a rainy day, offerings are given and candles are lit in thanks to a martyr.

A contribution of 50 cents gave me the opportunity to light this splendor. It took a couple tries of borrow the flame from the by-standing candle, whose flame was hotter than I anticipated.

Between lighting my offering candle and leaving I couldn't help but notice the lonesome toy cow lost in the bush. Happily rescuing it from the rain, she is now safely in my pack going on adventures with me.

This could be compared to the entry way of Narnia. Not quite as amazing, but I imagine what lies through these arches is almost as beautiful as Aslan's country.