img_0407I have the pleasure to babysit a little girl named Winnie on Wednesday mornings. She is bright, bubbly and always happy! She LOVES books and is constantly asking me to read to her. Plus, she speaks only German with her mother who went to art school in Dresden, Germany. I speak a mix of German and English with her, and honestly I think her’s is much better than mine! Below are a few Winnie-isms, or cute things she said to me throughout our time together. Enjoy!img_0370^”Look Micah, I’m a shark! I’m gonna get you”img_0350img_0353^She didn’t want to take out her pigtails last night, so she woke up with “Cindy-Lou Who” hair as I like to call it ;p img_0354img_0377img_0378img_0379img_0386
^”Winnie can you cook me something to eat?”
“Yes, I will cook you watermelon.”img_0388img_0389img_0391^”Where’s my dolly? She misses me”img_0393^”There’s an alligator down there! He’s gonna eat me!”img_0398^Winnie took this photo of me…never mind that I look like a psycho! img_0401^I couldn’t resist braiding her hair in these teeny tiny baby braids! I don’t have any sisters but I always wanted to practice hair styles on others, so I used to braid my dolls hair.img_0405img_0406^These “Little Golden Book” from Disney are classics!img_0408img_0414^”The mommy and daddy live in this house together”img_0419^When the braids came undone, I settled on a little pony tail!img_0422img_0423I forget how hilarious kids are! Do you remember funny things a child has said to you? I’d love to hear.

An Afternoon at the Pumpkin Patch

img_0167Happy Fall friends! Yesterday two of my dearest, oldest friends and I headed to the nearby pumpkin patch– actually, it was more like a pumpkin patch on steroid. Festival is a more accurate word as there were booths, food, music and plenty of festivities. Below are a few photos from our afternoon if you’d like to see!img_0330img_0278img_0198img_0220^Asada fries did not disappoint. They reminded me of Döner, a similar turkish meal I always used to order in Germany.img_0229img_0236img_0238Pumpkin hat anyone? Anyone?img_0243^What a beauty, this oneimg_0249img_0254img_0262img_0267img_0275img_0281^Wow, is she stunning or what?! img_0284img_0290img_0295^Green pumpkins are just as cool as orange if you ask meimg_0297img_0301img_0306^True loveimg_0308img_0310^I was very attached to this gourd…img_0317img_0324^These mini, misshapen gourds were adorableimg_0327img_0333img_0340img_0341img_0347^The happy coupleimg_0154Hope you are able to celebrate fall this week! What are you planning to be for Halloween? My top contender currently is White Trash (i.e. wearing a white trash bag over my clothes…). Pretty lame, I know :p

A Sunday Tradition

img_1397Yesterday afternoon my housemate and I decided to go on a hike in Malibu Creek State Park. We’ve been wanting to spend more quality time together, and it was so much fun that we are determined to make it a Sunday tradition! Sometimes the week is so stressful I don’t make it off campus until the weekend. It is important for my mental health to get out of my room and explore the beautiful world around me once in a while! Below are a few pictures if you’d like to see.img_1398img_1406^I don’t know if I’ve ever seen California this brown. We need rain desperately!img_1409img_1411img_1417^Hope is a great model 🙂img_1419img_1430img_1435img_1437img_1439^This outlook was stunning. I forget how mountainous this area is!img_1448^Then we stumbled upon a watering hole of sorts– a small lake with people swimming, paddling around in row boats, and even slack-lining. img_1451img_1452img_1454img_1455img_1456^I slack-lined quite often at the rock climbing gym in Frankfurt this summer. But never this high up across a lake! These guys were intense…img_1457^Whoopsy daisy, time for a little swim!img_1459img_1468^The second watering hole we visited reminded me of the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. Anyone else get those vibes or is it just me?img_1475img_1478img_1479img_1438Have a great week friends!

Santa Cruz

IMG_5073This past weekend my little brother and I road tripped up to Santa Cruz to visit my long-time friend Colleen who is a student at UC Santa Cruz. She showed us around the town, the campus, and the beach. We went to some of her favorite restaurants and coffee shops, and even got to go to church with her on Sunday. The seven hour drive was well worth it, I mean just look at that view! Below are a few pictures from the visit if you’d like to see 🙂IMG_4957^The entire campus is up on a hill in the middle of a red wood forest. I was awe struck by the beauty and seclusion! So peaceful. IMG_4973IMG_4974IMG_4982IMG_4984IMG_4999^A few shots from around campus. We toured all the various colleges and took a hike through the woods.IMG_5007IMG_5008^Isn’t she a gem? IMG_5023IMG_5031IMG_5034IMG_5035^Commonly referred to as ‘The Squiggle’ by UCSC students, this sculpture made for a surprisingly comfortable resting spot!IMG_5038IMG_5040IMG_5045IMG_5048IMG_5051IMG_5060^Into the wilderness!IMG_5061IMG_5072IMG_5075IMG_5076^That landmass cross the bay is Monterey.IMG_5078IMG_5081IMG_5083IMG_5089IMG_5107IMG_5108IMG_5112^Good friends are such a blessing in life! I will gladly put in the effort to keep them 🙂IMG_5117IMG_5118IMG_5121IMG_5125^Tell me that bay is not the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen! I had so much fun, thanks for having us Colleen. We will definitely be back one day, so try not to graduate any time soon :p


IMG_9288.JPGDo you ever just feel blah?! I sure do today. I woke up with a horrible soar throat and slight fever, so I’m lying low to nurse myself back to health before school tomorrow. Luckily, this is giving me a chance to catch up on some random tasks, like editing these photos. My sweet friend Michaela, who I’ve mentioned several times before on this blog, and I went on a walk yesterday along the creek near her house, and of course I had to bring my camera. It felt good to be creative without any rules or guidelines. As a creative writing major, I often have to create under pressure or deadlines, which can take some of the joy out of the process.

Michaela and I talked about a myriad subjects, ranging from religion to school to relationships. It was refreshingly genuine. I love conversations like these, when you leave feeling like you took something insightful away. I need to go on walks more often.

Anyways, there is no real point to this post other that to say it’s okay to feel a little blah once in a while. You are not alone, we’ve all been there.IMG_3381.JPGIMG_3391.JPGIMG_9361.JPGIMG_9287.JPG^We found a time machine and went back to Fall…IMG_9347.JPG^My pouty “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow” face.IMG_9306.JPG^Maybe if I hide in my sweater, I won’t have to do my homework…IMG_3506.JPG^Never too old to play on the playground.IMG_3382.JPG^Still obsessed with my tattoo…IMG_3353.JPGIMG_3356.JPGIMG_3357.JPG^Isn’t she a stunner?

Heidelberg Through Another’s Eyes


Ladies and gentlemen, I am beyond excited to introduce my dear friend and fellow blogger Jessica from Further Up and Further In to you to day! Jessica is currently studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany through the same Pepperdine program I participated in last school year. She kindly agreed to do an interview about her experience thus far, and I’m trying my best not to turn green with envy. So, without further ado, let’s put our hands together and welcome the funny, beautiful and insightful Miss Jessica!

1. Hi Jess, introduce yourself to the amazing Passports and Paintbrushes readers!
Hi Micah! And hello lovely readers. I’m Jessica, a nineteen year old studying abroad for the year in Heidelberg, Germany. Me in a nutshell: little adventures, German pastries, and any piece of fiction I can get my hands on.
2. How did you decide that Heidelberg, Germany was the right place for you to study abroad?
I think I’ve always known the Pepperdine Germany Program was for me. Being the ninth member of my family to call this city of brown and red my home, Heidelberg may very well be in my bones. Not only is it the perfect jumping off point to other European countries on the weekend, but the city is safe, homey, and positively enchanting.
3. What was your first impression of Heidelberg?
My first impression of Heidelberg was the spirit of Disneyland instilled in a city. The European influence of storybook culture is written down its cobblestone pathways and the flowerpots hanging from each windowsill. Heidelberg is famously the City of Romance, and I fell in love with it at first sight.
4. What are a few cultural differences have you noticed between Germans and Americans thus far?
Well. The differences are certainly everywhere. The streets have a hushed feel to them– the restaurants too, for that matter. People draw deeper into themselves, their thoughts and their purposes. You’ll never hear unbridled laughter break out at the next table over. Transparency is a German ideal, but I’ve learned not to confuse that with expressiveness. If you enter the town with the wrong mindset, you’ll draw the conclusion that the Germans are a cold people. I’ve had to make necessary adjustments.
5. What’s been the hardest part about this experience? The most rewarding part?
The hardest part of the experience is juggling time. There are fifty seven friends to invest in here: which ones do I go out with today? There are only so many weekends to travel: where is a priority to me? There are five classes to balance: which takes precedent right now? And when, and where, do I get some quiet time to myself at the end of each day? It sounds harder than it is, but still, the stress always finds a way in.
The reward is certainly worth it all; this may very well be the greatest month of my life thus far. It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint what’s best about it, but I’ll focus on the self discovery I’m experiencing in this foreign place. I’ve been ripped away from my hometown, my country, my family, my previous friendships, my language, even key parts of my religion. It makes a girl think. What’s my identity in this micro-ecosystem of fifty seven other American students? What’s my identity in this foreign place, as a regular fish out of water? I’m learning things about myself through the changes; the facets of myself that transcend country and culture; the values that don’t waver when cut away from family and church; the passions that still take precedent when time is a commodity. It’s a growing experience. Journeys, of course, do not always occur by foot and train.
6. Describe your dream trip while abroad!
My dream trip? Honestly, anywhere in Europe is a dream. It’s not the place as much as the people, pace, and activities done there. Flexible and fun friends, a balance of go-getting and relaxation, and a strand of simple adventures is a magical formula. But, if I have to name a couple places: the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Santorini in Greece, and Prague in the Czech Republic.
7. Advice for others thinking about studying abroad?
My advice for those thinking about studying abroad: stop thinking. Sometimes you have to jump, and this is one of those times. Trust me, the plunge into this bewildering new world will take your breath away.12065649_994208257298182_503413629337318281_n.jpg
Isn’t she a gem?! I loved her words, “Journeys, of course, do not always occur by foot and train.” Heidelberg is lucky to have her, even though I wish she were here with me. Why doesn’t teleportation exist yet? Her reflections remind me of my wonderful eleven months abroad, and all the lessons I learned through the challenging yet rewarding process. We wish you all the best on your crazy adventures Jess, and we will be sure to check back in in the future.11998939_1003413256367995_8222839048226043113_n.jpg
Question of the Day
Have you ever studied abroad? If you could choose anywhere on the map, where would it be and why?

P.s. Photos from here, here and here.

Hamburg: A Short Film

Well hello there friends, old and new! I recently spent a weekend in the city of Hamburg, Germany. Although Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, it doesn’t seem to receive as much attention or recognition as other german cities like Munich or Berlin. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into the trip, a position I actually prefer, as it leaves room to be blown away. And Hamburg definitely blew my socks off! Now I’m determined to put Hamburg on the map and convince you of its greatness. I’m in the process of writing a post all about my trip, complete with three billion photos, but here is a little video I put together to tide you over until then. Enjoy!