Rome

roman reflections: craving rome

it has been about a month and a half since my return to america. most of you are probably curious as to why i haven’t posted lately! i didn’t even get to upload a final reflection. for this, i am sorry!

upon returning to america, i was thrown into my fifth year at the university of alabama. not only is this an extremely stressful semester, I’m taking 17 hours in hopes of graduating in december.

so, that’s where i have been. i was home for 2 days before school started. i just got so busy, i couldn’t keep my life together!

since returning home and starting school, i was hired as a staff writer at a newspaper for collegiates called the odyssey. i’ve been getting to write and express myself in an extremely open environment. i love working with them.

it’s a beautiful day in tuscaloosa today, but i am missing rome. i wish i could hear someone trying to sell me a selfie stick. i wish i could be looking at the vatican walls.

later this month, i am going to publish a rome travel guide on fast foodie, so be on the lookout for that. thanks for sticking with me through everything! i hope to get some new content very very soon!

 

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fashion, Rome

roman reflections: eden

As the heat rages on, my time here is getting shorter. This is what a typical weekend outfit looks like for me. The heat is so brutal, the less clothes the better. I don’t typically wear wedges due to the cobblestone, but Paul and I had a “Treat Yo Self” dinner at Hotel Eden. They have an incredible rooftop restaurant.

Remember that adorable striped dress from a few weeks back? Well, this is THE SAME dress, just in black! I love when I find a piece that looks great and they have it in multiple colors. PS- I got this dress in navy too… I have a Zara problem….

dress Zara / shoes Clarks / tassel necklace Melody Vintage Jewelry / short necklace Brevity Jewelry / purse Gucci / wristband Fitbit Charge / headband LuLu Lemon

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clarks shoes are a must here. not only are the comfortable, but they are so cute (and they do well with cobblestone!!)

I’m beyond obsessed with this necklace. A few months ago, my mom asked me to sign a blank sheet of white paper. I didn’t know why until I got this necklace in the mail. It is my ACTUAL signature. How cute is it?!? 

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the italians live a simple life. i decided to leave my engagement ring at home to blend in

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thanks to my fitbit, i know i’m walking an average of 3-5 miles per day

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it is so hot, i’ve been wearing my hair up every day!

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melody vintage jewelry is hand made in tennessee

now, I have 4 weeks until I come home!! I am going to try to get a bunch of good content in before I head back home. Have a great week!

ciao for now,

parker

photography / paul bohn

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Opinion

the victory lap

today, i stumbled upon an article from The Odyssey Alabama titled, Thoughts When Beginning Your 5th Year At Alabama.

i am currently about to start my 5th year at alabama, and i’m not thrilled about it.

a) i’m not thrilled because i don’t like school work (but who does)

b) most of my friends have graduated and have moved to cool cities and live in cool lofts with their cool new friends

c) i want to drag the college world out as long as possible, and this is the beginning of the end of that

i’m not really sure what to expect for my 5th year. i think i expect something along the lines of golden girls mixed with animal house… but only time will tell.

this is my favorite article posted by the odyssey i think ever. here are my reactions to their list:

1. Where did all my friends go?

again, they are living in cool cities, drinking after work cocktails with all of their old looking work friends…. oh to be in their shoes.

2. “Mr. Jones” is older than most of these kids.

it’s time to graduate…..

3. I’m five years older than when I began college…great.

only two more years and i will have been in college for 1 dog year!

4. Anyone remember when Gallettes was for upperclassmen?

now when i go to gallettes, i feel like I’m babysitting little girls who wanted to play dress up with their moms lipstick and stilettos (and bandage dresses with ombre hair)

5. Phi Delt used to be next to Bryant-Denny—fun fact.

oh yes, i am well aware. may the old phi house rest in peace… along with my innocence

6. Rose Towers used to exist.

my innocence can also rest in peace here

7. How are there now three Dunkin’ Donuts in Tuscaloosa?

great.. now there are 3 dunkin’ donuts. would have been nice to have when my roommate and i would drive an hour and fifteen minutes to get a 50 pack of munchkins.

8. Burger King used to be located in the Ferg.

but now there is auntie anne’s so i think I’m okay with that

9. DG didn’t have a sorority house.

and now their house is the smallest one. when it was built, it was one of the largest in the country

10. Where did all these apartments come from?

absolutely none of these apartments could be built to standards. they go up in 3 months, and people are moved in within 4 months…. i think i’ll stay in my cement fort for now, thank you

11. eLearning was a pain to use before Blackboard Learn.

i have two words for eLearning. and neither of them are appropriate for this blog.

12. UA parking is still the worst. Yes, that is AJ McCarron’s car that girls used to stalk around campus.

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sometimes, i feel bad for the ua parking attendants. they have THE most hated job on campus. usually, i kill them with kindness. i still get a ticket, but hey at least i wasn’t the guy who made their day worse. *we used to try to find aj mccarrons (my auto correct changed mccarron to macaroni and i am currently dying) obnoxious car on campus. i think that he had more than one and hired dark haired guys to just drive them around because you could see him ALL the time.

13. Dinning dollars used to only consist of Buffalo Phil’s and Dominos.

wait, other places take dining dollars? if you know which ones do, comment below because *BrOkE CoLLeGe GurL*

14. Where did all these northerners come from?

i’m pretty sure 70% of the university is from new jersey or new york. the occasional texan slips in there… but where did all the southerners go?

15. Dr. Whitt was so much better than J-Bo.

you didn’t see a twitter account called @definitelydrwhitt, did you? dr. whitt is a saint.

16. R.I.P. The Corner Store.

coke icees, boiled peanuts, ice sent from heaven, weird pickles in a baggie, ironic bama bumper stickers, koozies… you will be truly missed.

17. Mallet and their stoop.

mallet isn’t a thing anymore? i guess i have been living under their stoop…

18. Why does everyone say they are from Birmingham?

like, we live an hour from birmingham… i think we know the surrounding neighborhoods…

19. The University’s idea of a Snow Day is now anything less than 35 degrees.

i’m not complaining. and neither is gallettes… i’m pretty sure 40% of their annual profits come from snow days.

20. Snowpocalyse 2013, the day Gallettes ran out of beer.

oh look, see i was right… this was the best day of every UA students college career.

21. The statue of Coach Saban only had 2009 on it when I started going to school here.

roll. tide.

22. Harry’s used to be 19 and up—remember that?

harry’s bar is what i imagine the tenth circle of hell in the sequel to dantes inferno. but i don’t like it, i love it love it love it.

23. Some people thought we should have started Phillip Sims over AJ McCarron. History proved otherwise.

as big of a creeper as aj is, there is not denying he was the best choice… it took him a minute to warm up, but look at where it got us.

24. The football team still can’t kick a field goal.

i don’t think we ever will…..

25. But J.K. Scott for Heisman 2015.

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is this kid 12?

26. Dierks Bentley performed at Greekfest across from Delta Chi. He was terrible.

i wouldn’t know because this was the first social event of the season my freshman year. shout out to my friend (we’ll call her scmicole….) for having one too many. but we also made my favorite memory from college this night. glad i didn’t miss dierks doing anything incredible. schmicole was way more entertaining.

27. Bid Day is still like Christmas morning.

not going to lie, i already have fomo… the year i had to run with the letters from the stadium… i pray there are no photos.. i showed up with the “Z” like ten minutes after all of the new members got to the house

28. The Package Center used to be in Patty Hall.

now there is a raising cane’s, i’m really not complaining. and paty hall smells like a liter box. *also, whoever wrote this article – do you even go to alabama? you spelled paty hall “patty hall”…. rookie mistake

29. T.C.B security was the go-to for parties.

what ever happened to these guys? remember the guy with the handle bar mustache who I’m pretty sure had a gun, not a taser? he was a nice man… i ate dinner next to him at ichiban once. *SwEeT MeMoRiEs

 

30. Bo’s Bar. Enough Said

i mean, there was a zeta flag on the wall…. pi kapp / zeta forever

 

if you remember any of these, share this post with your friends!

ciao for now,

parker

 

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Opinion

a short story

today, someone was asking me questions about my sorority. It’s been a while since I have really talked to people about my sorority. This is a lengthy story, but Here is what I had to say:

A (not so) brief history – after rushing at Alabama, I was placed in my second choice of sorority. Instead of being upset, I looked at the bright side and made friends immediately. 

I spent my freshman year along side of 89 other perfect blondes with perfect tans and pearly, white chompers. We went to date parties, swaps, and even class together. We were inseparable. It felt like I was living in a stereotypical sorority movie – Braiding each other’s hair, pillow fights, drinking the hunch punch everyone tells you NOT to drink. Freshman year was filled with joy and love. 

  

When sophomore year rolled around, we lived the title “wise fool”. We knew everything, everyone, and we were unstoppable. I served as rush intern that year. This task was filled with running errands and doing some fairly manual tasks for the rush chair. The rush chair that year was an unexpected pageant queen. Her hair was perfectly rolled at all times, even without make up looked perfect, and had the strongest backbone of anyone I’ve ever met. She knew what she wanted and she wouldn’t sleep until she got it. I remember looking at her every day thinking, “How can I be like her”. 

Following in her footsteps, I ran for rush chair later that year. After a battle in the voting room, I won. This was it. I was the rush chair. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that I was going to be the girl who people looked up to for mentoring and leadership. 

I got to attend a convention and various leadership workshops. Eventually, I hosted an extremely successful recruitment along side of some of the most incredible women in the world. I had assistants and interns, but most of all, I looked to the president at the time for the most advice and support. We were the dynamic duo.

At this point, I began having similar feelings towards the seat of president that I had not so long ago about rush chair. I had to be president. I wanted to be that mentor to the next recruitment chair. I wanted to inspire people to be better, kinder, and more whole. 

So, I did it. After another battle in the voting room, I was elected president. The feelings of joy, terror, and anxiety consumed me. I was in charge of 300+ girls between the ages of 18-22. I was morally, physically, and legally responsible for these women. 

What I didn’t know was that I was a puppet. I would act out the actions of those superior to me. Thoughts and actions I thought I was having were just manipulated dreams of someone else. 
A couple of months after my term got going, an advisor asked me to sit down for a meeting. She told me a tale of happiness and a day when I seemed to be a different person. She told me she wanted me to resign, but for my own benefit. 
I couldn’t wrap my mind around the thought of me quitting. I had incredible ideas and I was prepared to implement them. But then, I began to look at myself. I had gained so much weight, I was shutting people out, and I rarely made time for myself or school. So, I declined her offer to resign, and instead, I decided to work on myself. 

We fixed some of the issues going on and things were looking up for me and the chapter. The summer months rolled around and various things had a worry in my gut. They had asked me not to attend our national convention, communications started dying, and some of my relationships began to grow a distance. 

The week of July 4, 2014, I received a phone call from the same advisor. I knew the minute I received a text saying she wanted to talk that my fate had been sealed. The call was short. There were some excuses made for why they wanted me to resign. I won’t bore you with the details, but I was so exhausted of fighting for myself, I accepted their wish and moved on. 

Having to write a letter announcing my “resignation” was the most shameful moment of my life. I had not been that inspiration I intended. I let myself, my family, and most importantly, my sisters down. I convinced myself and the chapter that I would remain involved. The advisors told me I would be considered a “consultant”. But none of the above happened. 

I couldn’t bare the questions, the ridicule, and the humiliation. Whether it was real or just in my mind, I was ashamed. It seemed as if everything with my “resignation” had been too perfectly planned. Everything picked up like nothing had even happened. It seemed as if my dismissal had been planned all along.
  
I picked up some hobbies to distract myself such as working out and more serious blogging. But I never addressed the issue. I wrote about food and fashion, but I never wrote about my feelings. I never talked to anyone about it because I was ashamed. 

I stopped going to date parties, sorority events, and hanging out with my friends. I would come up with any excuse to remove myself. And if I went to something, I would drink a lot to mask my pain and embarrassment. 

So here I am, one year later. Today when someone asked my about my sorority, I told them the truth. It was worth every second of my time. I made my best friends in the world. I found myself. Will I ever be the same? Probably not. I lost a big part of myself dedicating so much time to the sorority. But someone had to do it. I don’t regret it. In fact, I would do it all over again. The pain, the joy, and the emotions reminded me that I am a human. I’m not invincible. I’m not perfect. I’m just me. So, thank you to my friends and sisters who stuck with me through thick and thin. You were there for me and I will be there for you for eternity. 

  
Ciao for now, 
Parker 

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Rome, Travel

roman reflections: friendly resting face

I was talking with some people today about southern hospitality. It evoked many realizations in my mind about myself and Italians
1. I smile a lot.
2. I greet stranger. A lot.
3. I’ll talk to just about anyone.
4. Italians don’t smile that much (in public areas, that is)
5. Italians don’t greet strangers on the street.
6. Italians don’t talk to “anyone”.

I wonder why street peddlers come up to me and offer me selfie sticks and knock off prada bags. I wonder why EVERY SINGLE DAY while walking to work, a man comes up to me -speaking English I might add- asking if I want to “skip the line for the Vatican museums at a great price”.
At first, I thought it was my blonde hair and long champ bag. But I quickly realized it was the perma-grin I have sitting on my face. People know I’m American because of my friendly resting face.
Friendly resting face. It’s an epidemic in the south.
Why do I smile all the time? Sometimes, I’m not even that happy. Sometimes, doctors don’t think I’m sick because I am smiling or perky. Is it because I’m southern?
I know there are a lot worse traits I could have. And don’t get me wrong, I love being happy. I guess I just need to start blending in with the locals.
For now, here is a lovely photoshoot from my trip to Amalfi!
Thank you to Belmond Hotel Caruso for the incredible facilities and staff. It felt like a dream.
dress and sunnies zara / shoes Danielle Italy / bag Rebecca minkoff

        

Ciao for now,

Parker

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Rome

roman reflections: distance

“distance makes the heart grow fonder” – false

Distance gives my heart anxiety. Distance prevents me from sleeping. Distance is causing the rumble in my gut every time I’m reminded of paul. 

Before I left, people would say to me, “Oh, it’s great you’re spending time apart this summer”. And for a while, I agreed. I thought I would “find myself”. I thought it would be “healthy” for our relationship. But it isn’t. 

Being apart just isn’t good for us. We are a team. We are a pair. We haven’t spent any time apart because it doesn’t work for us. I don’t function right without him. 

I can’t sleep, so I thought I would write. I haven’t slept well since he has been gone. I feel fuzzy. The room spins. My body feels like it’s missing something. And it is. 

When you’re by yourself, you think about things and people and places. And I can’t stop thinking about you. With tears in my eyes, I wish you were here. I need my partner, my best friends, and the only thing that makes me whole. 

It’s only been three weeks since he left. But that three weeks feels like eternity. I would do anything for him to be here now. And until he gets back, I won’t be the same.

It makes me sad thinking about people who can’t be with the loves of their lives. How do you do it? I feel selfish because I want him to be here. My life will go on even though he isn’t. But I can’t imagine going longer than this. 

My favorite bible verse is Matthew 6:34. 

“Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day is enough trouble of its own” 

While I sit here selfishly sad and lonely, I pray for those who can’t see their loved ones. Ones who are overseas, working thousands of miles away, or ones that have gone to Jesus. I pray that Jesus can keep the other side of the bed warm for me or for anyone missing someone. I pray that we can stop worrying about tomorrow because HE will take care of it. 

   
    It boils down to three words. Three words can explain everything. 

I need you. I miss you. I love you. 

Ciao for now, 

Parker 

Photos : h.davis photography 

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Rome

roman reflections: wet hot italian summer

*some photos may not show in the correct orientation on a smart phone. for optimized viewing, use a computer or a tablet!

this past weekend, we travelled to the amalfi coast. we had an incredible driver, andrea, and it just happened to be his birthday. we got to celebrate with him in positano.

our first stop of the weekend was to pompeii (which is where i took these photos). pompeii was incredible. we grossly underestimated the amount of time needed to spend there. we spent an hour and a half, and we barely got to see the entrance.

naturally, i dressed cute. pompeii is not the place for your cute new open-toed booties…. here is what i wore:

top and sunglasses zara / shorts j crew / shoes danielle italy / bag rebecca minkoff

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after my first week of work, i was so ready to kick back and enjoy the coast. lucky for me, i love working. my co workers are so amazing. i feel like i have known them forever. i now understand what people mean when they say that enjoying your co workers and the work environment makes things so much easier.

check out what I’ve been eating here!

i hope to update you all as soon as i can!! have a great week!

ciao for now,

parker

*thanks to my mom for taking these pictures

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Rome

roman reflections: week 1

ive made it to the end of week one. Luckily for me, week one was filled with adventure and vacation. Here is a recap of everything that has happened this week: 

Visit to the coliseum  

Visit St. Peter’s Square and Vatican Gardens  

  

  

View from Taormina, Sicily    

Ancient Greek amphitheater in Taormina   

    
Grotto Azzure boat tour

  
A visit to my great-great grandfathers tomb in Linguglossa, Sicily   

      

Lunch on the hillside overlooking volcanic rock in Sicily 

  

Wine tasting at Planeta Winery (full post coming to Fast Foodie soon!)

Meeting my cousin, Antonella, in front of the house where my great grandmother was born and lived in until she moved to America    

The gentle giant herself, Mount Etna 


They say Linguglossa is the only place in the world where you can be 20 minutes away from skiing and 20 minutes away from the beach at the same time!!! Needless to say, this has been one of the most incredible weeks. I will be posting food and wine to Fast Foodie soon, so make sure to check back for that!!!!!! I can’t wait to see what next week brings!

ciao for now, 

Parker 

  

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Rome

roman reflections

as I lay here, the night before my flight to Rome, I reflect on the journey that has gotten me to this moment. This post may be a bit long, and I promise the won’t all be this long, I just have a lot to say tonight. 

Back in January, I applied to work at the Vatican, just for giggles. Never in a million years did I think that just 5 short months later, I would have my life packed in three bags to move them across the world. 

People have been asking me tons of questions so I am going to address them here: 

1. Are you nervous? 

Um, yeah. I’m moving across the world. Alone. Yes. I am nervous. I’m terrified. But am I taking that nervous energy and creating excitement? YES! There are so many dangers in the world. There are dangers in my own home. But why would I let that hold me back? If God’s plan is for me to go to Rome and do something incredible, then that will happen. If His plan is something different, then let it be. ( I really hope His plan is for me to be in Rome ). 

2. What will you be doing? 

To be honest, I don’t know what my day to day jobs will entail. What I do know is that I will be working with the Patrons of the Arts. Our program sponsors the restoration of Art in the Vatican Museums. So, that hopefully gives you a better idea of WHERE I’ll be. I will update you on WHAT I’ll be doing as soon as I know. 

3. Do you speak Italian? 

Nope. I know basic greeting and count to 3. I can also say “vino, pasta, limoncello, Gucci” etc. (the basics). I am hoping to learn some conversational Italian while I am there. I also am taking some free online courses. 

*my grandfather speaks fluent Sicilian (I say that because it is very different than formal Italian) and he decided NOT to teach my mom. If I have children and I learn the language, I will absolutely teach them

4. Do you know anyone there?

Luckily, I can answer yes to this question. Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to connect with my third cousin who will be living in Rome this summer as well. She will be working in the same office as me one day per week as well. 

I also have connected with a few people from school who will be there as well as some friends of my parents. There will be people in and out all summer on vacation. (If this applies to you, please contact me!)

So there you have it. The FAQ’s for my big trip. Now I’m going to share my goals with you. 

  • Get back in shape
  • Grow in my relationship with God
  • Take the time to reflect on my religion and learn more about it 
  • Start planning my wedding 
  • Create new relationships 
  • Be spontaneous and explore 

Before I leave there are a few people I would like to share my thanks with. 

  1. Mom and Mark, thank you for always pushing me to limits. You encourage me to go further. Thank you for telling me that relationships are one of the most important thing in life. Zero percent of zero is zero. You never know til you try. You are my hero and I love you to the moon and back. 
  2. Dad and Fitz, you have always been my biggest fan. You are always there for me, encouraging me to be my best self. From you, I truly learned what it means to be a genuine person. There is no better lesson than “you can catch more flies with honey”. To the most kind hearted people walking the earth, I thank you. 
  3. My friends (all of you), you guys get to see the raw, unedited version of myself. It isn’t always pretty or relatable. But you all are always there for me. Always. I love you all more than you will ever know. You are my rock and without you, I would be nothing. 
  4. My family, thanks for being incredible role models. To my grandparents, I’m so thankful to have you be such an active part of my life. Ashley, Jeff, Asa, and Katie, thank you for creating a true family unit. Grant and Beebs, thank you for showing me what it’s like to be a role model. The Bohn family, thank you for showing me how I want my own family to be. To my aunts, uncles, and godfather Mark Bachara, thanks for showing me the road less traveled on gets you where you want to go.   and finally to sweet Jase, you are the light of my world. Never let your sweet smile fade. I love you all. 
  5. Last but not least, Paul, you are my world. I would be nowhere without your love. I have never cared about anything or anyone the way I care about you. You are truly my best friend. Although we will be apart for 3 months, I truly believe distance makes the heart grow fonder. I can’t wait to get home and be your wife. I love you. 

Thank you to everyone who reads my blogs and thank you to everyone who supports me. This will be my new segment, roman reflections, where I will reflect on my trip and share my experiences. I will have other posts that will include photo and video, but this one will be mainly stories. 

ciao bellas,

Parker 

Opinion

name equality

recently in the news, there has been lots of talk about gender and race equality. this is all well and good and i agree with both of them. but there is a type of equality out there that NOBODY is talking about and i am going to bring this issue to light.

NAME EQUALITY

here is a little story for you.

the other night, i went to walgreens to pick up a prescription. the pharmacist stood at the computer for about 15 minutes and proceeded to tell me my insurance wasn’t working. i told her there must be some mistake and to try again. after another 15 minutes of vigorously searching on her computer, she informed me that she had solved the problem. my insurance has had me listed as a MALE.

i mean, shouldn’t they know i am a FEMALE? shouldn’t they have asked someone? how have i gone this long with NOBODY noticing that i was listed as a MALE? (how have they been paying my gynecology exams…) anyway………

this is an issue for me. growing up, people always told me i had a “boys name” (whatever the hell that means).

i got used to saying to people, “I know, it’s a boys name” when they would look at me funny as they said the name Parker.

THIS IS NOT OKAY

my god given name is PARKER. and frankly, I LOVE THE NAME PARKER. i love being different and it is an awesome name. but every time someone mistakes me for a boy, it is degrading and I HAVE  HAD IT.

i want people to stop ASSUMING i am a boy (because when you assume things you make an ass out of u and me, right?). i want people to ask if i am male or female before ASSUMING i am MALE!

IT’S NOT FAIR! (yeah, yeah i get it.. life isn’t fair)

doctors offices ASSUME i am making appointments for my son. hair salons book me for a mens cut. starbucks autocorrects my name on my cup to some version of what they think my name is (it’s usually margaret).

I’M SICK of people asking how old is he, what is his address, please inform him of his appointment.

don’t get me wrong, i appreciate people who make appointments and remind me of things. i just wish we could have a system where people could STOP F%$#ING ASSUMING THINGS.

so for all of the girls out there with a “boys name” and for all of the boys out there with a “girls name”, LET’S BAND TOGETHER AND STOP THIS SHIT!

for all you people with “confusing names”, lets ban the phrase, “I KNOW IT’S A BOY/GIRL NAME”. I AM OVER IT. ARE YOU?

share this if you agree!!!

y’all come back,

parker