Dutch Tulips with Mom and Dad

Have you ever been to the Netherlands? I have been twice before, but this time was extra special. My parents picked me up in Münster and whisked me off to the tulip fields across the border. I don’t have a particularly green thumb (re: black) but I can appreciate gorgeous flowers as much as the next person. And man, these flowers inspired me to plant my own! These photos were taken at the Keukenhof garden, which is basically Disneyland for flowers. I was awe-struck and couldn’t help saying “Look at that, Mom!” around every corner. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see.Dad thoroughly enjoying the tulips…All in all, an inspiring visit! I’m off to purchase gardening supplies…

Germany, Round Five

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Hello there friends, how are you? I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas at 3pm on a Saturday. All is well. All is very well. There is a huge rain storm in DFW right now, complete with thunder and lightning and flash floods– oh my! But coming from California, where it only rains like two days a year, I am secretly really enjoying this weather. It is so soothing.

Anyways, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about my upcoming adventure. I am returning to Germany on September 25th for two more years of grad school. I know, I know, you probably saw that one coming given my history of obsession with Germany. Sometimes I joke that I’m getting my Masters just so I can keep this travel blog going haha!

But I am very excited. And scared. Yes, I am really scared. I had a tough time last year in many regards, so I’m nervous to go back. But I know it’s the right decision. I learned so much last year, and I feel confident that this time will be 100 times easier because of those hard lessons.

Here is a link to info about my Masters program for those of you interested. I plan to keep blogging (duh) but will probably need a million weeks or so to get adjusted.

Hope your summer ended well! Cheers to Germany, round 5 🙂

P.s. Photo from here

Germany Week 1

fullsizeoutput_4cf6Hello friends! I apologize for the radio silence around here lately– I’ve been busy readjusting to life in Germany. My brain is on over-drive trying to speak German and remember all the little ins and outs of another culture. It’s been both challenging and rewarding. Below are a few photos from the last week and a half in Frankfurt if you’d like to see 🙂IMG_4409Strollin’ around the Altstadt with a friend. Are those building gorgeous or what?IMG_4429IMG_4467IMG_4469I love the mix of old and new architecture in Frankfurt. Fun fact: it is the only city in Germany with a big, recognizable skyline.fullsizeoutput_4cf7Processed with VSCO with b1 presetThe Alter Oper, or old opera, is one of my favorite spots in town.IMG_4506IMG_4507My friend and I at the indoor market. IMG_4509IMG_4510IMG_4511IMG_4512IMG_4513The flower market is so beautiful. It made me want to have a garden like a good German!IMG_4515IMG_4525IMG_4527Friends at small group. It was so nice to reconnect. The little boy above has grown so much in the last year and his German is better than mine now. It blew my mind.IMG_4529IMG_4546This kiddo turned one years old. I went with a friend to his birthday party in a small town just outside Frankfurt. I want a cake like that for my 23rd birthday this year!IMG_4555Now I’m off to Cologne for a week of Fulbright orientation. Wish me luck!

I’m comin’ for ya, Germany!

21034614_10214094112849154_1542056307746449990_n.jpgGermany round FOUR, here I come! Are you ready for me?

I’ve been overcome by a strange, vague sort of homesickness. I feel a longing– but for what, where, who? I can’t pin it down exactly. These past few months have been a huge season of transition in my life. My parents moved, I graduated university and moved to Texas for the summer, and am now moving to Germany for at least a year. My sense of home is certainly out of sorts. It must be redefined.

When I first set foot in Germany at age 19, I felt as though I was coming home to a place I’d never been before. And the same is true now. I’ve missed this country more than I can articulate in a blog post, or at all really. It has settled deep in my bones and won’t leave no matter what I do or how long I’m away.

So, at the risk of sounding terrible cliché, today feels like the first day of my life. Let’s do this. 20954078_10214094112689150_3685987330583897698_n.jpg

an afternoon in Austin

img_2686Yesterday my little brother and I drove down to Austin to explore! It is the capital of Texas, something you can’t miss because the giant capital building is smack dab in the center of downtown. Congress Street leads up to its steps, and is lined with the cutest shops and restaurants you ever did see. Austin has very hip, chill vibes and I couldn’t get enough! Below are a few photos if you care to take a gander.img_2562img_2571img_2578img_2588img_2594img_2597^Inside the State Capital building. It is so beautifully designed, I was in awe!img_2609img_2611img_2622img_2632img_2646img_2647^A few trees hung on to their fall colors!img_2654img_2670img_2679^The Colorado river runs through the city center, and is spanned by several bridges. Fun fact: hundreds of thousands of bats live under the bridge during certain times of the year.img_2687img_2747^EP dropping soon…img_2755img_2760img_2763img_2765img_2781We went to the Hope Outdoor Gallery, where graffiti artists can have a hay day!img_2786img_2794^Lastly we stopped by a famous park in Austin where the popular music festival Austin City Limits is held each summer.

I would definitely recommend a trip if you’re in the area 🙂

The Last Bookstore

img_2096Yesterday my friend Jessica and I spent some time exploring Downtown L.A. Honestly, I don’t think people give this city enough credit– it has its moments! Sometimes I find myself wishing I lived in a bigger, more traditionally structured city like New York or Berlin, but then L.A. pleasantly surprises me with something cool. We spent a large portion of the afternoon in The Last Bookstore, an incredible bookstore in the heart of DTLA where you can buy and sell books. There is a coffee shop inside, couches and chairs to relax, and even a few art vendors. I bought “This Side of Paradise” by F. Scott Fitzgerald to read over Christmas break. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!img_2099img_2100img_2106img_2107^I feel lucky to have made even one friend like Jessica in this lifetime. I can’t express how much she means to me!img_2108img_2110img_2112img_2114img_2115img_2117img_2122img_2123img_2125img_2126img_2129img_2130img_2131img_2132img_2136img_2138^Christmas is in full swing inside the store!img_2140img_2145img_2146^”The Catcher in the Rye” is one of my all time favorites.img_2148img_2150img_2152img_2154img_2155img_2164^Trying to look intellectual…is it working?img_2165img_2166img_2167img_2168^A tunnel of books…casualimg_2170img_2174img_2177^I’ve been listening to Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas album non-stop, particularly the songs from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”img_2185img_2188img_2197After this we headed to The Grove, an outdoor shopping area with lots of lights and festivity. What are your plans for the upcoming break? Be sure to get out an explore your own city one of these days friends!

A visit to LACMA

dsc02623Yesterday afternoon I went with my girlfriends Alexa and Sarah to the LA County Museum of Art, or LACMA, in downtown LA. It has a wide array of art, ranging from sculpture to painting to photography and more, as well as from ancient to contemporary styles. Sarah and Alexa are art majors, which is how we met back in the day when I was an art major, so it was fun to explore and appreciate the museum with them! LACMA is known for its unique art instillations like these lamp posts out front– below are a few photos if you’d like to see.dsc02577dsc02601dsc02616dsc02652dsc02659dsc02674dsc02681dsc02693dsc02694dsc02696dsc02700dsc02711dsc02719dsc02728dsc02729dsc02731dsc02749Have a good one friends!

Little Letter

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Dear Fall,
Can’t you visit SoCal, even just for a little? Summer doesn’t seem to want to leave but I’m eagerly awaiting your arrival. My scarves are bored just hanging limp in my closet!

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Dear Polaroid,
Why do you take such over-exposed pictures sometimes? I’m always disappointed when I wait and wait but you never develop properly. Your film is much too expensive for these games!

Dear Blog,
I love you. I never thought I could grow so attached to a non-existent ‘place’ in cyber space. It’s so fun to look back in time and reflect on all the places I’ve seen and things I’ve experienced over the last three years.

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Dear Graduation,
I simultaneously can’t wait for you to come and am dreading your arrival. Lots of weird, mixed emotions over here…

Dear Parents,
Thanks for visiting me this week and taking me out to breakfast! I can’t wait to spend the first weekend in November with you in Texas.

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Dear Coffee,
You sustain me. I don’t know what I’d do with out you sweet, dark one.

Dear “New Girl,”
Season 5 on Netflix is cracking me up. You are hilarious.

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Dear Money,
Somehow you always disappear. One moment you’re in my wallet and the next you’re gone! It blows my mind to think that soon I will (hopefully) have a steady income.

Dear Sleep,
I value you more and more each passing day. How do people function with less than eight hours?

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Dear Sunsets,
Thanks for being particularly beautiful lately. I appreciate it.

P.s. I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite blogs Love Taza. And these photos are from a few weeks ago when we went out for a friend’s 21st birthday!

Iceland

jhygtfrdWow, Iceland took my breath away. I had a quick two day stop before I head home to California today and I must say, two days is certainly not enough to discover this incredible island! I’m not even sure an entire lifetime would be enough. Below are a few photos from my tour of The Golden Circle and my day exploring Reykjavíc. Enjoy! asdUntitledsdafsdszvc^Our first stop was a hollowed out crater-turned-lake. I’m not even going to attempt to write the names of all these places because they are incredibly complicated. Icelandic is such an interesting language. It reminds me of German in some ways, but is considered one of the most pure languages on earth– since the island was so isolated for so long, the language has changed very little from the viking days! asdcvbasdfvsfdghvj^Next was this beautiful waterfall on someone’s private property! Imagine having this in your backyard. Iceland is definitely the land of a thousand waterfalls.cvcxvbnm^Reminds me of Montana or Wyoming!dsdgfhgjfdssfggfsd^This national park was probably my favorite stop of the day. It is the sight of the first parliament of Iceland, back in the days of the vikings, as well as the place where the European and North American plates collide! rtuyihureagfdlk^You can actually walk between the two continental plates! So cool. It seemed symbolic of my life right now– half european, half American haha.IMG_8148kdfgjhkdgfhjflsdfgh^Geysers that go off every five minutes or so. The temperature of the water was between 80-100 degrees Celsius, but I still wanted to take a bath in it. sdfgzfxgfchvcfghj

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset^I even got to walk on a glacier. This is the second largest glacier in Europe and third largest in the world. I felt like I was floating on clouds (and I got really sunburnt!).

sdfgc^Waterfall from glacial run-off! fgs^Downtown Reykjavic is so colorful! I enjoyed the Scandinavian design aesthetic. fsdxz^Cool photography shop!gfdsgfdsda^Arresting views from the Hallgrimskirkja, the famous church in town.ghfhgfsdmjnbghfvhnfgdcsikojujhgjhgfdkujgtgfdsuikyjghfgdfsdThanks for the fun times Iceland! I’ll be back one day, but for now I’m off to sunny Southern California 🙂

A Day In Königstein

IMG_5987Last Friday I took a day trip to the charming town of Königstein to visit my grandpa and his girlfriend Gabby. It is about thirty minutes outside Frankfurt in the foothills, and it was exactly the peace and quiet the doctor ordered! Sometimes you just need to get out of the big city and breath in the clean mountain air or take a walk through the forest. Gabby and I went to the swimming pool (though I did more sunbathing than swimming to be honest), visited the local burg (a defense fortress that looks like a castle), and wandered through the adorable streets. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!IMG_5918IMG_5925IMG_5926IMG_5927IMG_5928^Me trying to work up the courage to actually jump in the cold water!IMG_5930^Sweet Gabby. She is a dream.IMG_5940IMG_5953^Oh hello, there’s a face on this tree!IMG_5957IMG_5961IMG_5963^The quaint evangelical church where Gabby’s daughter was baptized!IMG_5965IMG_5967IMG_5977^The preacher’s house– not a bad gig!IMG_5990IMG_5993IMG_6001^This Burg was built in the year 1,200! WHAT?!IMG_6008^Those skyscrapers in the far off distance are downtown Frankfurt!IMG_6017IMG_6018^The beautiful German countryside, dotted with little villages.IMG_6022IMG_6025IMG_6034^Posing awkwardlyIMG_6037IMG_6050IMG_6056IMG_6058IMG_6060IMG_6063IMG_6066Don’t you agree that Königstein is the picturesque little town that comes to American’s minds when they think of Germany? I love it. Have a good day friends!