Many writers and bloggers can attest to how challenging it can be to make time in everyday life to write. I am no exception. Even though I told many friends and family members that they could rely on my blog to hear about what I am doing and where I am, I have realized that this isn’t realistic and doesn’t produce what I am looking for, it just yields a list of events and facts without much depth. Instead, looking back on events in a reflective manner produces more insightful postings. The problem here though is that, as an artist and ahem perfectionist, I then feel like I can’t be rushed or put a deadline on “how I feel.”
But don’t worry, all those events you may have seen me post photos or heard about in passing have been documented and drafted to be revisited and published when I have sufficiently marinated my thoughts and feelings. Until then, you can follow my daily moves and routine on Instagram and my larger trips on Flikr. I have made a promise to myself that I will indeed post all my drafts by the end of summer 2016 and I intend on keeping that promise.
Blurry snap from the last night of my last trip with aunt, uncle, and cousins
Arriving home from Paris, where it was in the 40s and 50s, I entered a full wintry mix. Ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain. My lovely host mother drove the normally easy 40 minutes to get me in an hour and a half. The way home was no faster.
School started up again; it was good to be back. Classes now trust and know me, they raise their hands and talk, respect me when I try to keep them on task, and always say hi to me in the hallways. It is a great feeling to see what an influence, however small, I am having on their learning experience.
While studying in Hamburg and taking a mix of classes at the university and also ones taught by Smith professors, I took a class called “Landscapes of Northern Germany.” The class was taught by Professor Kai Jensen, who, although employed now by Uni Hamburg, used to specifically teach the class for Smith JYA students. Kai also spent a year or two teaching at Smith in Northampton with his family.
Many love stories start out the way this one did. As I walked through the park this Sunday morning, I watched two dogs chase each other. The larger one ran just out of reach of the smaller, plump, couch dog as if to say, “Nah nah na naa nah!” The owner whistled, breaking my fascination with the dogs when I heard the same notes used by my mother. I thought about how I hadn’t been running, I hadn’t even walked through the park on a Sunday in many weeks. The bitter cold 25F/-4C temperature is not that inviting, but I’d forgotten all the things it gives you as it simultaneously takes away all your body heat. You see the families, the children shrieking, the runners, the dogs, the adults- all relaxing with nowhere specific to be or rush to.
With our EuroRail passes, we added a few extra days of travel so we could do day trips. We already had purchased Germany, Denmark, and Austria (and Ashton had France because she took the train to Hamburg first) so adding days of travel isn’t tooo much more expensive and was well worth it. In Sweden, we took day trips to Stockholm and Copenhagen with the train, and in Austria, we just took one to Salzburg.
Photos from around the city, our wine tasting at the apartment, and seeing the famous flying Lipizzaner horses. I wasn’t so sure about Vienna when we first got there, but after a few days I realized what a cool, different city it is and wished we had more time to explore the far corners. Continue reading →
New Year’s Day we designated for Museumsquartier (the museum quarter) because Vienna has so many amazing museums. Wikipedia puts it into numbers: “The Museumsquartier is a 60,000 m² large area in the 7th district of the city of Vienna, Austria; it is the eighth largest cultural area in the world.” Hence why Ashton wanted to make a day of it.
We arrived in Vienna late Sunday evening and Monday was New Year’s Eve Day. Just the day before we had been cramped on the train for 23 hours and before that, we had had a cranky day in Malmö. So I suggested, being the German-speaker of the two, that I go grocery shopping and Ashton could stay home and have some space. So I set off in my fur coat and cloth bag in hand, not quite knowing where the grocery store would be but trusting my instinct and not being too afraid to use my German. Continue reading →