Wednesday, June 17, 2009


full length stories and tons of photos coming soon. promise.

Friday, May 15, 2009

home is where the heart is.

so for almost the last two weeks i have been traveling... back and forth from boston to taunton. and its been great. at the last minute i decided to come home during the down time i had between being done with london and meeting katie in italy and i couldn't have been happier with my decision...

since i booked my flight home pretty close to the day i acutally left, i was able to keep it a secret from james. with help from vicky, max and heather, i was able to get tickets for the graduation and senior ball and have a perfect long weekend. james' face was priceless when he opened his apartment door and saw me standing on the porch. and, just as i had hoped... i was able to pick up my heart from the spot on the hill in boston where i left it four months ago.

watching james graduate (well, really playing connect four and the box game with his brother...) was really great. hanging out with the mannings for the weekend was such a pleasure, as always. and my heart floated around the whole time because the happiness i felt was hard to contain within my chest. the weather last weekend was absolutely perfect. i'm glad i didn't miss spring time in boston. mother's day was great, too. i really find solace in the fact that i have managed to fill my life with the most amazing people.

reuniting with kate was obviously amazing. we sat in her car, turned up the radio, looked at eachother, smiled, drove off and realized we were back in action. about to embark on an italian adventure, nonetheless. anticipation is bittersweet.

speaking about anticipation for the upcoming italian chapter of my life... james' dad just bought his graduation gift... a round trip ticket to rome.

the rest of my two weeks in the states has been filled with family, friends, cookouts, going out for ice cream, forever 21, target, watching the office for hours, smores, pizza, fruity pebbles, gold fish... really everyone and everything i missed while i was away. and though somethings about my life may have changed, everything happens for a reason and things work out excatly how they are supposed to. i am about to repack my suitcases, charge my ipod, pick out a book i haven't read yet and continue traveling around europe enjoying what has inevitably been the most life-altering, action packed, perfectly amazing few months of my life.

see yah in june!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

we all love you lots.

i said goodbye to modus and to all my friends. its so weird to think that i have spent basically everyday with a group of people for the last 3 months... and now i will probably never see them again. we'll keep in touch through the internet, but the likelihood of them visiting or me coming back and seeing them is very small.

my last day at work was really great. everyone signed a card for me with really sweet, sincere messages. they got me a cake and gave me a gift card to a cool london store. they let me listen to whatever music i wanted to all day. we all went out for dinner and drinks afterwards. it was a lovely last day. im going to miss it very much.

this past weekend i have spent wandering around from one part of london to the other. i have spent precious time with amazing people. this was my last weekend in london. everything that i did had a sense of finality to it. i don't think i have ever appreciated a city more than i appreciate this one. london is beautiful, it pulls the stars from the sky and wears them around it's neck.

as for where i'm off to next... i'm about to pack my bags, go to the airport and figure that out...

<3 Rd

Sunday, April 26, 2009


i don't think i really need to say how beautiful greece is on a warm weekend in the end of april, but...

the city was stunning. it was everything i had envisioned. the ancient monuments were breathtakingly overwhelming. i felt honored to be able to see them for real. i kept closing my eyes and having flashbacks of what it all must have looked like during 400 BC.

the world's oldest city proved to have stood the test of time. the amount of knowledge that came from this place... all the philosophers, all the ideas, all the concepts... unfathomable, really.

dana and i spent the weekend on our own. which was totally fine. we napped in the national park, surrounded by flowers and ruins and covered in a blanket of sunlight. we found an amazing cafe under a canopy of vines where we sat for hours drinking iced cappuccinos and writing in our journals and looking at maps and pamphlets about athens. then we hit all the tourist hot spots. (the temple of zeus, hadrian's arch, the first olympic stadium, the acient agora, parliment, the national library, the acropolis and more).

on our way down from the acropolis, we stopped to eat dinner at a traditional greek restaurant. we obviously ordered greek salads and smiled at eachother as we ate the most delicious feta either of us had ever had. the owner of the restaurant came over to our table to clear our plates and bring us our check and he started talking to us really fast in greek. we smiled and shook our heads and said, "yeaaaaaaaa... it was.... greaaattt..." he started laughing and said (in english) "i'm sorry girls, you look like you are from greece. you are visiting? i'll be right back." so he took our plates and when he returned he had a dessert for each of us in his hands. baklava... it was perfect (and free)!

later that night, we found this really cool street in the neighborhood called psirri. we sat at an outdoor bar and listened to traditional greek music and absorbed the culture. there were so many people hanging out on the street. so many lights. so much buzz. the energy of this city was unforgettable. it seemed as if everyone was so happy and grateful to be alive enjoying such a beautiful spring night. i know we were.

we spent the next day at the markets. obviously i can't go to a city and not go to a market. the strawberries were amazing and i think i had about 4 more iced cappuccinos. the jewelry was so beautiful and i wished i could have bought everything i saw.

we met back up with lindsey and kristen for a big lunch before we headed back to the hostel and then to the airport. another lovely weekend for the books.

<3 Rd

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

rachel duarte photography.

my website has been launched. i built it from scratch and it took forever. hope you like. =)

Monday, April 20, 2009


i fell in love with another city... and i didn't see it coming. i wanted to visit amsterdam because i thought it would be something fun to do while i was young and traveling around... but i didn't have high expectations. i actually anticipated a grey city with with smog and smoke hovering around all the buildings. i thought the sun wouldn't shine and the trees would all be leaf-less. i imagined there being a lot of litter because i thought the residents of amsterdam would be too lazy to do anything about it. i was wrong.

not only was amsterdam not what i had expected, but it seemed to be a parallel universe. comparable to the truman show... it was perfect in every aspect of the word. the people were all so friendly. everyone was so environmentally conscious. everyone rode bikes... everywhere. there were canals that ran through out the entire city. it was beautiful. the weather was amazing. the park was green. the flowers... the flowers in holland are possibly the most beautiful flowers in the entire world. the children all seemed so well behaved. the city itself was quiet... peaceful. there were so many shops and restaurants... and they were all quirky and cute. the laws are progressive and liberal. amsterdam seems to be booming. i truly think it would be a great place to live and raise a family and i think to agree with that statement you need to visit the city for yourself.

so we rented bikes. which was probably the best decision we could have made. the canals were breathtaking... and we rode up and down them for hours. we hung out in vodelpark and basked in the sun. we went to the van gogh museum. we found this amazing bagel place that we ended up going to every day. we went to a street market... because i love them... and we walked through the floating flower market. i stole a tulip from the garden in front of the airport. its currently being pressed in my journal. we met so many young people who were traveling around the world and just happened to stop in amsterdam on the same weekend we did. its really weird to think about the decisions and circumstances that influence the people who end up being in the same places at the same times...

anyway, i had a lot of time to think and realize this weekend. and no matter what my thoughts started out with... they always finished with images and memories and ideas about being home. i came to the conclusion that i am absolutely thrilled about all the things... all the people... basically the future... that i have waiting for me when i get back.


Friday, April 17, 2009

etro aw09 press day.

"you know, we have never posted an intern's writing or photos on the website before..."
-louisa, senior account director, big wig

ps. check out the rest of april 09 to see all the cool events we've been doing at modus!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

easter weekend.

when our weekend trip to spain got cancelled and we found out the forecast for the weekend in london was nothing but drizzle, our hopes were sort of crushed. almost ever person in london has traveled out of the city for the weekend... whether its to the family's house in the country or to a warm beach in italy. kristen, etosha, lucy and i remained here, though. in drizzly london. for the weekend. but we had loads of fun anyway.

on thursday we went out for a big dinner in richmond. we each got 3 courses and hung out in the resturant for hours. its nice when you find a group of girls that have good chemistry and can talk and talk about love and life.

on friday morning i met etosha under london bridge to go to a market. it took me forever to get there because the tube system gets confused on the weekends. it was worth the effort though. the market was amazing. there was nothing to buy there but food. delicious food. i went starving and left completely stuffed. the smells were indescribable. the tastes were perfect. i have such an appreciation for markets. i think they are the best way to see the local culture of certain parts of what ever city you are in. cheese was the main focus of this market... cheese and bread. and the samples were to die for. im so glad etosha forced me into going with her. i never would have known about it otherwise. it also made my brand new white plimsols not so brand new white anymore... which is good because i looked like a dweeb.

the rest of the weekend sort of all melted together because there was nothing too distinguishable to separate day from day. i went to see a movie by myself at an old movie theater in richmond on the thames. it was really lovely. i went groccery shopping. i picked some flowers. i read my book under an umbrella in the park.

a penny fell out of my purse and landed heads up. a little boy picked it up and started to hand it to me. i told him it was from america and he could keep it if he wanted to. as he put it in his pocket i told him not to loose it because it was good luck. he ran to find his dad, holding his hand on his thigh to make sure the penny didn't jump out.

i spent another night with a bunch of friends drinking down by the river. it was devans birthday. it was nice to be surrounded by a group of people who love being together. the river is amazing. once it gets warm so much of life revolves around that river. it doesnt matter if its drizzly. as long as the night is nice and the breeze is warm, the river is amazing.

and yes, kate, every time i walk down there i think about that bruce song.

i went out to east london one day. i saw the tapestry replica of picasso's guernica. it was amazing. never has one image captured to much despair. i guess the original painting was displayed at the very same gallery in 1939. it was the beginning of all anti-war protests and propoganda. it made east london the artsy-liberal side of the city that its known as today. picasso is amazing.

i had an easter dinner with some friends from work. we went to a pub and ordered the easter dinner special. it consisted of roast beef, pototoes, yorkshire pudding and veggies. it was ok. we also played monopoly, so that was cool.

i have half of a chocolate egg left to eat. some homework to do. and a bunch of magazines to look through. im hoping tomorrow is sunny so i can find a park to go to.

<3 R

Monday, April 6, 2009


this weekend we stayed in london. it was nice. we definitely had that relaxing feeling of hanging out at home and getting errands done and just chilling out. the weather has been absolutely amazing. spring has always been my favorite season and being over here during this time of year just confirms that.

so jules bought a house. its insane. and ginormous. he had a housewarming party on saturday and it was so much fun. we cooked out and got tossed in the pool. very typical. but as i was sitting in the sun, watching people talk and catch up or bring out another tray of freshly grilled hot dogs it made me realize how much i miss my friends from home. the excitement i feel for summer is welling in my chest. i can't wait for the familiarity of having a cookout and a fire and spending precious time with people who you know inside and out.

saturday night we went to international night. it was put on by richmond students and it was amazing. there were dances and performances from all countries that richmond students represent. it made me realize how incredibly small and insanely huge the world can be and how crazy where i am going to school this semester is. the production was all about raising money for invisible children. i bought a bracelet, and i recommend doing the same if you can, because it is such a great cause!

yesterday i went shopping on oxford street. i bought some new key pieces for my wardrobe... which, i have decided, i am going to completely revamp when i get home. i am going to simplify, streamline and purge.

last night, dana's parents took us out to dinner. the resturant was beautiful and our meals were delicious. dana's parents were so sweet and i invited them to stop at our house when they are on their way to the cape this summer. (i still assume the only way to get down the cape is 495). seeing dana's with her parents and sister made me feel a little homesick for the first time.

im bummed about missing opening day. but, since i will be living so close to fenway next year, im sure il run into jacoby all the time.


Monday, March 30, 2009


as i sit here, my butt muscles, thighs, calves, shoulders, forearms, triceps, biceps, pectoral muscles, upper back, lower back, abs and knees are all in pain. it was worth it though.

our adventure weekend started out with an adventure at paddington station... we couldnt find dana... she had kristen's train ticket, but was no where to be found. she forgot her phone at the flat... as she usually does... and it wasnt until 2 minutes before our train was about to depart that we saw her, in her little red jacket, wandering around the station looking for us... we also had to run and jump on to a moving train at our switch over in swansea... we really were quite the daredevils these last few days.

we get to preseli venture at about 11 on friday night. we walk in to the only building with lights on. it was the bar/ game room, and it was filled with about 30 guys. they all went silent when we walked in... us with sleep marks on our faces from the train ride, huge backpacks with our trainers dangling from the bottom... them with pints and pool sticks in their hands... we stare at each other for about 20 seconds until charlie (the bar man/ concierge) comes to great us. the guys go back to their party and we follow charlie to our room. the encounter was very awkward and funny. come to find out preseli is hosting a bachelor party this weekend.

anyway, this place was awesome. its called an adrenaline junkie ecofriendly adventure lodge. (which, by the way, screamed alex koerten. they talk about moon cups in the bathrooms, which have showers that only allow water to pour for 1 minute before shutting off and you have to push the button again. there is a compost in the kitchen where you put all your apple cores and banana peels. and loads of the guides had dreds). our room was so cute. it looked like a room right out of the parent trap. it smelled of cedar wood and i chose the bed which was up against the wall, nestled in a little corner, just the way i like it. the ceiling was slanted because we were in an attic, basically, and there, right above my head, just a few feet away, was a sky light... it was a dream come true. that night it rained like crazy and i felt like i was teasing the water as it violently hit the glass creating the most perfect sound. i slept soundly listening to my favorite noise in the world.

saturday morning, at the crack of dawn, a lady ran up and down the halls knocking on all the doors, "breakfast is ready, come and get it." later we found out she was called libby, and was the sweetest, coolest lady in the world. but at that moment we hated her.

after breakfast, which was delicious and painstakingly made for about 50 people by libby's mum (all the meals were), we spent about an hour trying to get all our wetsuits on. we piled into a van and went down to the shore. the weather was chilly and windy and grey. the sea was choppy. but we were going to coasteer anyway. coasteering is a combination of rock climbing, swimming and cliff jumping. the cliffs were huge, unreal actually, and every once in a while when a big wave would crash against one of these huge cliffs, it would cause a bunch of little foam bundles to fill the sky. they looked like little pieces of a cloud, good enough to eat. and watching them fly through the air and land back in the ocean reminded me of life and death almost... beautifully and tragically poetic. we slid off smooth rocks slides into freezing a ocean. we jumped off a cliff into waves and swam with all our might against the current, trying desperately not to be carried away into the unknown. we jumped off an even higher cliff, and then when we climbed up to the highest one, everyone hesitantly held back. our guides looked at us like we were sallies so i walked forward, with out a word, and jumped. i felt like i was falling for hours, and even more, i felt like i was underwater for hours. it wasnt until i surfaced and gave a thumbs up that everyone started cheering.

the next bit was hilarious and i wish we could have recorded it... picture us... 10 girls trying to get our wet wetsuits off... in the middle of a car park. when we were all in the mists of undressing, with our hands and arms stuck above our heads trying to get our vests off or with our legs glued together unable to walk because the waist of the wetsuit was around our knees... the other van... filled with those bachelor guys pulls up... theres nothing we can do. and the guides just start cracking up. there i am... trying to get my damn wetsuit booties off and my fingers are numb and i can't breath from laughing... i have managed to get the top half of my suit off though... and one of the guides (his name's brumble) comes up and tells me to just sit down. he pulls my booties off for me. he tells me to stand up... he yanks the wetsuit down to my ankles and i stand there... in shock... freezing... and have no idea if my bathing suit bottoms came down as well... all i can do is put my hands on my butt cheeks to feel if its skin or fabric... it was fabric, fewh. "hurried that right along, didn't i," he says. and he goes along helping the rest of us wetsuit novices because hes hungry and wants to get back.

piping hot vegetable soup for lunch and homemade bread. to. die. for.

after we've eaten and changed into warm, dry clothes - its time to pile back into the van. libby drives us 10 miles down the coast, gives us a map, kicks us out, and tells us to make it home for dinner in 5 hours or we will have to eat it cold. i didn't realize this was part of the adventure, but it was fun just the same. the southwestern coast line of wales is unbelievably stunning. miles and miles of barbed wire, sheep, these bushes with yellow flowers, cliffs and the sea. there is nothing like hearing ginormous waves crash against massive cliffs. it was quite majestic really... and once the sun started to set the sights were sublime. there were moments when the 10 of us were chatting away, talking about places and people from home, cities we want to visit, things we want to do. and there were other moments when we just walked... in a straight line, along a path, looking out onto the ocean, deep in our own thoughts. we made it home in four hours.

piping hot curry chicken and steamed rice for dinner. there is nothing like the satisfying feeling of eating a delicious, warm home cooked meal when you are starving and cold. i will absolutely start putting in more effort at soup kitchens during the holidays.

later that night we had a bone fire and hung out with the bachelor dudes. they were funny. the stars were so bright and the air smelled faintly of salt water and sheep. such a nice break from london, really. dana and i went up to go to bed a little earlier than everyone else. i fell asleep listening to laughter from outside and looking up out the sky light window at the most beautiful stars, wishing i new what was so funny and what the names of all the constellations were. i slept soundly knowing that everyone i love from home would look at that same moon in a few hours.

crack of dawn. breakfast is ready. gotta love libby.

sea kayaking with brumble and johnny. another hour getting out wetsuits on, really, i don't understand why its so hard. then we drove down to abercastle, got a quick tutorial about how to row and what to do if you capsized, and we were off. it was amazing. and so much fun. johnny said i was the best kayaker of the bunch. i winked at him and then almost tipped over. we spent the next few hours going in and out of sea caves, rock jumping in our boats, having races and playing games. at one point, i stopped, turned my kayak in the direction of the sun, closed my eyes and just relished in the fact that i just partook in an adventure weekend, in wales, and it was an unbelievable amount of fun.

we returned to the lodge for one more meal. we packed up our stuff, said goodbye to everyone, and jumped back on the train. it took forever to get back to london because of signal failures and what not, but i finished another book (the hours, so good!) and took a nice long nap. over this weekend i ate the best i have since coming to the uk, i had the most sound sleeps, i dreamt really cool dreams, i saw beautiful stars, i did things i have never done, i met a bunch of interesting people and learned even more about myself.

everything in the world is a lesson and i have never had my eyes and ears open this much, i dont think. i wish i had a waterproof digital camera so i could have captured everything i did. believe me when i say the cliff we jumped off was epic.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

sunny day.

the weather here has been great. its been sunny during the day, a little breezy, beautiful really. there are often rain showers at night, but it helps me fall asleep.

i have to say, i love getting all these emails from home. the internet really is unbelievably helpful for keeping in touch with people on the other side of the ocean. every time i read a message or speak to someone from home, i am overwhelmed by the way i have some how managed to surround myself with the most amazing people. my friends and family are always there for me. my life is filled with people who care about my growth, my experiences, my health and well being... you guys still miss me, you guys haven't forgotten about me... thanks! i appreciate the fact that i have big, heavy rocks in my life and i take solace in the fact that no matter how hard the world or life may try and push those rocks away, they aren't budging. (jesus, my analogies have been so cheesy lately).

time for me to go eat my lunch and drink my tea in the park... turning my cheeks up to the sun, thinking about how much i miss everyone from home, reminiscing about all my happy memories and day dreaming about how nice summer will be.


ps. cliff jumping in wales this weekend!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

luck of the irish.

dublin, what can i say. you are a unique city and hard to describe. let me quote jim, an old, chubby, red-nosed, white-haired irish man we met at o'sheas while we were eating dinner last night... "dublin is the best of all the capitals in the world. the technology is more advanced than anywhere else in ireland, there are more people, more things to do, more business... but everyone knows everyone. you always feel like your at home no matter where you go."

starting back from the beginning... we arrived in dublin at 8 in the morning on saturday. we easily found a bus to o'connell street, which is basically the center, and went to breakfast. 1 egg, 1 piece of bacon, 1 piece of toast, a cup of coffee and 10 euro later (not joking) we started venturing off to find our hostel and make our weekend plan.

after storing our bags until check in time and talking to the woman at the front desk of the hostel, we decided to walk the city. it seemed small enough. we went to grafton street which has a bunch of shops and street performers. we went to the little park at the end of it. we went to st. patrick's cathedral, we found a parking lot with cool graffiti. we went to the guinness factory. and then we took a cab back, because it started to rain, and the city was, in fact, a little larger than we anticipated.

my favorite part of day 1, sightseeing: the guinness factory. it was really cool inside. definitely not what i was expecting, seeing as i have no interest in beer what so ever. but kristin, dana and i found ourselves pursing our lips and nodding our heads as we learned a lot about something we knew little about. at the end of the tour, you are on the 7th floor of this cool old factory, over looking the city, and they give you a pint of guinness. you watch it change from an orangey-caramel color to dark black-brown. and the put a little shamrock in the foam. it was nice, but not very enjoyable. i tried my hardest to quickly acquire the taste and drink my pint, but i got about 3/4's of the way down and just couldn't go on anymore.

back at the hostel, we met up with lindsey, my friend kristin from home and her friend sam from boston. we were hungry so we decided to go to a pub... little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. we sat down, ordered some burgers and jacket potatoes, and wondered why on earth all the tv's were so loud and all the people were standing on chairs. through further investigation, we realized that ireland was playing wales in the championship rugby game as we ate. two huge rivals. one big game. when ireland beat wales in the last second, winning the title for the first time in 61 years, we jumped out of our seats and joined in with the cheers, hoots and hugs. what a scene. typical irish, i'll tell yah.

after that we went to a bunch of pubs in temple bar. every one was completely different. one had a band singing old irish songs. (i'd never heard of them, but them seemed like old irish songs.) one pub played american 80s and 90s songs and was filled with trinity college students jumping up and down. one pub had these two old men singing rockabilly and you could hear them from outside. everyone in there was just sitting down, drinking, listening, laughing and swaying their upper bodies in perfect beat with the songs.

is not the most pretty of cities. the architecture isn't very interesting, the landscape is quite average, the river is a little dirty. there doesn't seem to be much emphasis on art. but i think dublin holds its beauty in the people. never have i seen a culture so content with being merry. everyone was so laid back and full of a love for life... no doubt all of this was aided by beer. but nonetheless, it was fun to get caught up in the happiness of ireland on the night that their team just won the game... we couldn't have planned a more perfect irish evening.

sunday morning we boarded a little 14 person tour bus and took off on our trip to the country side. we went to wicklow and glendalough... and believe me when i say... we went the scenic route. it was utterly breathtaking, though. i tried to take photos, but they just didn't do justice... so i resorted to putting my camera in my bag and trying my hardest to just memorize everything. to fully appreciate the sights we saw, you would need to breath the fresh country air, hear the trickling streams and smell the grass and the ponds. we ate beef stew and mashed potatoes for lunch. we saw the ruined churches and towers at glendaough. we watched our tour guide do a jig and we saw a group of people in kilts playing bag pipes.

there is no other place like ireland in the world. its very hard for me to describe the feelings and emotions that i experienced there. while laying on a big grassy field, in the middle of the irish countryside, looking up to the sun... i wondered if anyone from home would look at the same sun in a few hours and be able to appreciate it as much as i was in that moment.

we went back into town and ate dinner at a pub across the street from the bus that took us to the airport. we met old jim. he told us about life in ireland. about his wife, his kids... he told us about the beauty of the 60s and about his hopes for our generation to point the world back in the right direction.

we arrived back in london at 11. i fell asleep in the same clothes i had travelled around ireland in.

<3 Rd