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

Heidelberg Revisited

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Even now, three months later, I remember the day like it was yesterday. I lugged my suitcase down the stairs, said my goodbyes, and boarded the bus. I stared out the window as Heidelberg grew smaller and smaller in the distance, eventually fading from view all together. My year of studying abroad in Heidelberg was officially over, and I didn’t know if or when I would ever return. But instead of feeling sadness, a sense of peace washed over me in that moment. I didn’t cry because this chapter in my life was over, but rather I smiled because it was written in the first place. I felt overwhelmingly grateful for the chance I’d been given, and was glad it had ended on such a high note. I realized I may never live in this city again, but I can always visit and add new memories to the old. And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend!

Since I was given the opportunity to stay in northern Germany this summer as an Au Pair, I knew I had to return to Heidelberg for a day or two. So I hoped on the train Thursday afternoon and made it to Heidelberg by early evening. As I approached the main station, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Would it look the same? Would I have fun traveling alone? I’m pleased to report I thoroughly enjoyed this new experience/version of Heidelberg in every way.

My German teacher from the school year kindly offered to host me for the weekend, and we had the best time talking in both English and German! Two of my classmates who also decided to stay for internships this summer came over for dinner, and we swapped ‘Awkward American in Germany’ stories. The next day I walked around my old stomping grounds, visiting a few favorite spots and bought more unnecessary souvenirs I can’t fit in my suitcase. I just can’t get enough of this town. As I wandered the streets I’ve walked a thousand times before, I noticed new and wonderful details. It is impossible to be bored in this place.
Below are a few pictures from the weekend if you’d like to see.
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I know one thing for sure after this revisit: Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren! (I lost my heart in Heidelberg). Or, in the words of Buddy the Elf, “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” Have a great week friends, I miss you already.

Question of the Day
Is there a place you’re dying to revisit?