Home for now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home for now with this little puppy to greet me.  

Loving Oklahoma in the fall, and loving OSU, and my friends and family.

But also loving the fact that Lindsay and I will be back in Salzburg in less than two months. :)

See you soon, Austria.  Don't change too much while we're gone.

Goodbye (for now), Salzburg.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's time to go home and get my ducks in a row (e.g. sort out how I'm going to graduate with my bachelors with a degree from my home university and also continue to live here), but it's not easy to leave.  I have an interview with the Embassy in late November and I'll be back in Salzburg after Christmas, but regardless, Salzburg, as I knew it when I fell in love with it, will never really be the same.  Caroline, Kayla, Lindsay, Tim, Sergi, Roman -- all the people who played an integral role in the magic that has been these past several months are no longer here and it's teaching me that it's more about the people than the place.

I wandered through the city this evening -- wearing my Uni. Salzburg hoodie, of course, and enjoying the cool breeze --  and I said goodbye to the city as I know it, in my own way, alone.  I took a video (a screenshot of which is included in this post) while walking across the Mozart Fußbrücke and felt like Kathleen Kelly when she's putting up ornaments and "missing [her] mother so much it hurts."  It really is the people, more so than the place.

But I do love the place.  I really, really love the place.

Tears in Paris

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

After Brussels, I Chunneled back to Paris to meet up with Lindsay. The weather was 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) and we were in heaven.  I had little to no money at this point, though, and spent the last of it on a Nutella crepe while walking to the Eiffel Tower with Lindsay one night.  I'm not sure how it happened -- I didn't even trip or fall -- but I somehow dropped the Nutella crepe on the ground.  And I did not have enough money to buy another one.  Is that not the worst thing you've ever heard?  Talk about traumatic...

Speaking of actual trauma, though, maybe someday I'll tell the story about trying to meet up with Lindsay at the hotel around midnight, on the night I Chunneled in from Brussels, and how I was followed by a strange man while wandering the streets of Paris alone, lost and looking for the hotel.

On second thought, I would like to keep living here and if my mom hears that story, she might organize a family intervention and bring me home.  So I'll keep that story to myself... for now...

7 pictures/facts about our trip to Brussels

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1.  Jenny and I took the Chunnel from Paris to Brussels.  I love the Chunnel.  If I could travel everyone via the Chunnel, I would, but, you know, that's not exactly possible.  Thanks a lot, geography.

2.  We stayed with Christie, who is a good family friend.  She not only graciously opened up her apartment to us, but showed us around town as soon as we arrived.

3.  Obviously, our first stop on the trip was a falafel restaurant.  Huge thanks to Jenny for tolerating my falafel addiction throughout this entire trip.  It could be worse, right?  I could be addicted to . . . BBQ?  Hard Rock Cafes?  Hot dogs?

4.  Sadly, this was Jenny's and my last night together, as she was preparing to return to the States.  I have no idea when I will see her again, but I already want her to visit me once (or twice) (or 100 times) more.

5.  The weather was unseasonably warm.  Too bad that I only had one clean pair of pants at this point, and they were drawstring 'lounge' pants at that (aka glorified pajama pants).  Fashion has not been my forte this trip.  Chalk it up to depression over the fact that I, too, will be heading back to the States in a couple of weeks!  But I'll be back in December, so I can handle this for now...

6.  Of course we had to try a Belgian waffle.  It wasn't my favorite treat, but I think that just means I need to come back to Brussels and try all the waffles until I find just the right one.

7.  The only picture we got of the three of us was a blurry one.  Again, all the more reason to revisit Christie in Brussels!

Dear Jenny, all of our travels together were so memorable and I'm so flattered that you worked so hard to raise the money to stay here and travel with me for so long!  I miss you already.

My favorite night in Paris

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our best idea in Paris: to stop by a grocery store and pick up a baguette, a jar of orange-honey, a bunch of grapes, some brie, and a bottle of red wine (with plastic cups! can't forget the plastic cups!), and then lay out a blanket in front of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy our feast, drink our wine, and take in the Eiffel Tower as the sun went down.  But our best memory in Paris came en route to the Eiffel Tower after our trip to the grocery store: we were walking down a sidewalk in an abandoned alleyway (less sketchy than it sounds -- more, like, a side street that just happened to be uninhabited) when a mysterious door opened and a group of young French men poured out onto the sidewalk, gathering all around us.  A few of them grabbed me and a few of them grabbed Jenny (physically grabbed our arms, linked theirs with ours, etc.), laughing boisterously, singing loudly, and skipping along the sidewalk with us.  Let it be known that Jenny and I are both cautious, careful, and intuitive, and we don't carry personal myths around with us, believing that no harm can befall us.  All the same, our reaction to this very strange and somewhat surreal turn of events was to laugh hysterically -- so hard we could not speak.  We let them more or less carry us down the sidewalk toward the Eiffel Tower laughing and squealing and trying to get our wits about us when Jenny finally shoved them off of her, I shoved them off of me, and Jenny firmly announced: "And that's the end!"  They obliged, retreated back to the illusive door from which they came, and we continued on down to the Eiffel Tower wiping tears from our faces and asking to one another, "Did that just happen?"  It had just happened, and it was the precursor to one of the weirdest, most magical nights of the trip.

(And of course we got some ice cream for dessert).

5 Paris highlights (only 3 of which are food-related)

Monday, October 5, 2009

1.  Obviously, the most important thing we did in Paris was eat at LA's du Falafel: Lenny Kravtiz's favorite restaurant and mine too.  It's been called the world's best falafel and let me be clear -- I do not disagree.  I think it is better than Falafel King in Notting Hill but only a little.  Sadly, we only ate here just once... I could have eaten here every meal of the trip.  But it is Paris, and, ya know, there's more to see and do than just hang out with Lenny Kravtiz (.....he wasn't there, but we felt he was there in spirit).

2.  THIS PASTRY.  We stopped in a little bakery on a post-falafel jaunt and ohmygoodness, this pastry changed our lives.  It was sort of like baklava but more honey-based.  Someday I will be back and I will find it and learn more about its origins...the name of the bakery would be a good place to start.

3.  Reading Edie outside the Louvre while Jenny perused the museum.  And yes, we went to Etam beforehand and yes, I bought more clothes and no, I did not need them nor do I have a place to store them, but a blanket in the park with a good book is usually where I want to be (when I'm not eating falafel, that is), so that is all that matters.

4.  Touring the Latin Quarter.  This part of the trip actually involved little to no food!  Surprising, huh?

5.  NUTELLA CREPES.  I eat these wherever I am in the world (Cinque Terre, Brussels, London, Stillwater, OK), but I have this theory that they taste better in Paris and I think I'm right...

But the number 1 highlight is yet to come!
Okay, the number 2 highlight (nothing trumps the falafel).

My favorite part of Munich

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Doing the Geschwister-Scholl "tour" at Uni. München is a must when in Munich, but first, please read the book, see the movie, do whatever you need to do to educate yourself about the story of Sophie Scholl and her brother.  It is so fascinating, and when you see the site for yourself at the university, goosebumps are inevitable.

I love Uni. Salzburg but imagine walking the halls of Uni. München and seeing these every day on your way to class? ^^ Crazy.  Maybe I should come here for my next degree...