so long, 2011. i loved you and i hated you and i loved you some more.

Monday, January 2, 2012



After dramatically dubbing a flight from the US to Europe as “the worst thing that ever happened to me", I celebrated New Year’s in Poland but secretly missed my friends back home (or maybe just the Thai food).  I posted some fisheye shots from Wels, AustriaBerlin, Germany….and Rome, Italy and got a teensy bit nostalgic about my college life.  A conversation with a random girl on a Polish train blossomed into a new friendship and my oldest friend back home turned 23.



I made my official debut as a professional accordion player and became well acquainted with ‘anonymous’ after posting an open letter to gyms in GermanyI dined at Mozart Cafe in Salzburg with Kayla, wished a happy 2nd birthday to my European life and laughed hysterically at this text messageI became completely obsessed with HIMYM and returned to Vienna only to realize I missed it so.  I ate Sacher Torte for breakfast and attended church at this famous cathedral.  I visited an old friend in Mannheim and ate a lot of crap.  I wore this outfit (or something to the effect of it) almost every day.  I ate this marvelous breakfast in Heidelberg and posted about the best weekend plans I’d had in a long, long time.  I also started this little series that turned out to be a great big hit.



I embarrassed myself by doing this and then we learned about the difference between Veruca Salt and Angelina Jolie.  I flattered myself by thinking this was cool and then began endorsing the Swiss army knife as the perfect bangs-cutting tool.  I reminisced about my best friend and liked the way this book smelled.  I ate McDonald’s for breakfast, followed by Burger King for lunch.  I wished my mom a happy birthday by posting these gorgeous pictures of her.  I had mixed feelings about living in Europe and found solace in a Polish grocery store.  I had a hellish experience on a German train and then my students fell in love with my sisters.



I took a 5 hour road trip to Berlin and I missed America some more.  I finally got a bus pass and it was a huge deal.  I declared my love for my new living situation as well as these heavenly creations.  I had a euphoric experience at Ikea and then ranted out a plea to Europeans.  I professed my love for Marie Antoinette (the movie) and I wrote a letter to the city of Salzburg.   I remembered my favorite Easter – spent in Germany and Austria (imagine that!).  I deemed this weekend the best of the year and I provided live(ish) commentary on the Royal Wedding.



I smuggled french fries into an Irish pub and then took a page out of Maria von Trapp’s book.  I experienced a bout of travel-induced delirium and wrote about how special it was introducing my parents to Salzburg.  I wished my mom a happy Mother’s Day and then ended up in a German hospital.  I realized I have a bathroom-related addiction and then missed my sister’s birthday.  I wore a giant blue cast and took Caroline to Poland.  I ate my weight in these and proved myself to be somebody’s favorite daughter.  I accidentally dressed up as Waldo and then nearly scared my mom silly with this post right here.



I continued to horrify my mother by posting this, this and this.  Caroline and I flew to Spain and ate plates upon plates of tapas.  I posted my first work-out tutorial and climbed to the top of Alhambra.  Caroline and I forgot how to speak English and  I almost injured an old woman on a train.  I posted my favorite photo of all time and confessed a deep, dark secret



I boycotted the 4th of July and spontaneously met up with an Italian friend in Salzburg.  I took another trip to Berlin and made my affinity for the Berliner Dom very clear.  I visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber and dramatized my history with Harry Potter.  I introduced everyone to my Franconian family and then took a day trip to Munich.  I explained why I was hospitalized and the chaotic aftermath that followed.  And I wrote about the Nazi rallies in Nuremberg as well as a beer festival in Erlangen.



I became an au-pair (for all of one day) and took a trip to Stuttgart.  I posted about an unexpected trip to France, followed by a blogger meet-up in Salzburg.  After another trip to the Berlin wall, I ate the best meal of my life in Berlin’s Turkish district.  ‘Anonymous’ yelled at me again and I went to Krakow!  I posted about two of my favorite Bavarian towns:  Salzburg and Rosenheim.  I shared deep thoughts after my trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, followed by even deeper musings on McDonald’s milkshakes.  I said good-bye to two American girls and wanted to strangle an Austrian man.



I posted some lovely instax photos of Munich and Salzburg and then documented my flight home to the US (including a 6 hour layer at JFK).   I summarized my time in Oklahoma, which included indulging in Mexican food and non-Mexican food.  I awarded this town the title of one of my favorite places on Earth and then provided a fisheye illustration.  I read The Help and posted this strange, yet amazing, video.  Jetlag plagued me for what felt like months and I moved to Dresden!  I posted about my commute to school and found new ways to identify with the Kardashians.  Oh, and I turned 24.



I posted about friends in Dresden and my favorite restaurant.  My students asked me hilarious questions and I documented my day at Oktoberfest (and my night there, too).  I decided this day in Salzburg was perfect and this day in Cologne wasn’t so bad itself.  I realized living in Europe is really quite humbling. These fisheye shots of a summer trip to Cinque Terre finally made their debut and I shared my favorite Halloween costumes with the world.



I decided I have a few bones to pick with the Frankfurt airport and shared photos and a video of the wedding I flew home for.  I discussed my occasional struggle with being content and received a lot of nice feedback (thanks!).  I posted a second work-out tutorial of sorts, a fisheye tour of London and a glimpse of Dresden at Christmastime.  And I closed out Novemeber’s posts with a “Thankgsiving in Alaska” series.


Family on wallphoto 2 (22)

I found a way to incorporate Andy Warhol into a post about Ireland (which isn’t easy).  I complained about early morning train rides and channeled Maria von Trapp once again.  I shared both my dilemma of cake-baking in Germany and a hilarious conversation with one of my students.  I wrote about a cloudy day in Munich, a trip to the baths in Budapest and a sleigh ride in the Alps.  I posed a serious question and wasn’t even being sarcastic, either.  I expressed my gratitude to be celebrating Christmas with family and reviewed the holidays here, here and here.


…and a happy New Year.

Let’s hope it’s a good one

without any fear.

-- John Lennon

19 comments: said...

I kind of want your life. You travel all the time! So lucky.

FeeMail said...

I really like visiting your blog to see what an american girl thinks about us :)! I'll do so in 2012 as well. Happy new year to you, Fee

Nikskie said...

happy new year for you!!! can't wait to hear your adventures in 2012

peteandkimmybird said...

This was such a great post! I'm excited to read some of the posts I've missed!

Dearest Lou said...

Wow it looks like you had quite the year! Well I'd be more than happy to keep you motivated if you wanted to do the same new year resolutions (;

Charlotte Pahline said...

Amazing compilation post!!! It's fun to look back down memory lane with you. :-)

Ashley said...

You have had a waaaay cooler year than I have. Just saying!

Bon Bon said...

Phew. What a year! You lived and learned and all that jazz:-) Cheers to a jam packed 2012! xoxo

Jan said...

What a year. I loved the appropriate John Lennon lyrics!!

Barbara said...

What a fantastic year you've had! All the best, looking forward to reading your 2012 adventures :)

Celeste said...

I can't believe another year has gone by. I'm glad I had your blog to read along the way to make it a fun 2011. Happy New Year, Jenni!

I'll always appreciate that anything Salzburg/TSOM will always bring us together :)

Priya said...

happy new year!

i seriously adore your blog- i've been following for a while, as a huge lover of all things european. i graduate high school this year, and i aspire to be like you! you've done some awesome things this year, and it's been a blast to read about them.

keep up the awesome blog! can't wait to read more :)


Jenni Austria Germany said...

thanks for all the new year's wishes!

and @privya, that is so sweet. thanks.

Ariel said...

Sounds like quite the year! I'm moving to europe in exactly one week and hope to have at least half of the adventures you've had. :) I hope 2012 is good to you!

Mr.Clive said...

this is a very detailed post with all the relevant links along the way! im hugely impressed! :D
happy new year!

Lottie said...

Your year ounds amazing and kicks my 2011's little butt! Wish I could go traveliing.

Have only just discovered your blog and love it!

brittany said...

wooooowee, what a year for you! i'm glad you survived all that. and i love your sweater in your food buying binge photos!

Bri said...

WOW I'm envious of your 2011, it looks like it was an adventure! Isn't is awesome to look back on the year and remember everything that happened? I did that yesterday. Happy 2012, I wish you all the best!

Megan said...

i always love recaps :) i didnt start following you until this summer i believe so it was nice to see what happened in your world prior to then. and relive the moments since. happy 2012!