January 24, 2013 at 11:59pm
alessandrabozza asked: Hi! I love your blog and your exchange experience stories. I'd like to inform you about an intersting project... Could I have your contact?
Hey I’m sorry, but I am finally back on the blog scene. Are you still interested?
Stolen from my friend Matt’s camera. But these are two small towns we visited in Germany for the Christmas markets. Monschau and Aachen. So cute!
twitter is a little easier than this
Communication student who can’t blog
Wow! Life has been taking me the corners of the world lately, physically and figuratively! After a spontaneous weekend trip back to the States to commemorate my grandmother Alma’s death with my entire family on the dad’s side, surviving finals whilst still being jetlagged, and celebrating the end of the semester with my friends who left town, I was in dire need of Christmas break. A few fancy dinners, and nights of American style dancing at Mezzo later, I was back on another 16 hour journey to DTW airport.
Ann Arbor once again failed to disappoint me, as it really is my first love. I spent my days lounging on my big leather couch, coffee with my mom, hitting the gym full of old Ann Arbor hippies daily with Olivia, and spending my evenings in town with high school friends. The love in that town is undescribable. I also spent 5 days in New Hope, Pennsylvania with my Mom’s side of the family where we ate an excessive amount of holiday food, cooked fancy dinners, biked along the canals, played board games, and chased a little blonde 2 year old around. What a relaxing break, to be with my family that I am closest with and to really connect to every single family member of mine that is currently alive in the past 3 months. What an awesome opportunity.
My mom, aunt and I took the train in to New York City on Dec. 26th, where we dodged shoppers at Macy’s and had a fabulous meal on Stone Street in the financial district. Definitely a great recommendation from my best friend, a newly accustomed NYC local. NYC is a great city, and I grew up with envisions of the glamorous life there, but compared to European cities that place is shit ugly. But I can’t hate, I’m still a big fan. I honestly just missed the cobblestone sidewalks.
John, mom and dad and I also spend two days in Washington DC where we explored a few Smithsonian museums, all of the monuments, and I got to explore the area for the first time. What an awesome city, I could really see myself living there, and I love that now I have friends from GW who I could really go visit there in the future.
New years came along, and I planned a party at my big brother’s house in An Arbor, where 30 of my friends stumbled around the living room and the 20 year old girls scared away the ‘matured’ 28 year old women. It was a grand old time, with all of my loved ones. A few days later, Cara and Olivia and I drove 4 hours north to Elk Rapids, Michigan to snowboard a few days, relax in the small town lifestyle, and play board games with my ex summer-boyfriend and some other townie friends. I love them!!! I really do. All of my friends. You guys are all awesome… I wonder if people still actually read this thing.
A few days later I non-chalantly packed 3 hours before leaving for my international flight back to Brussels. I’ve never seen anybody so relaxed before flying to Europe, it just feels so comfortable now and I feel like I am returning ‘home’ to Belgium… really. It’s an awesome feeling.
It was not an easy flight, but when I unlocked my bedroom door and found 2 new fluffy pillows and a Christmas card on my bed I melted. The scribbly, yet adorable cursive hand writing was done by Jamil, the Belgian I met in Budapest and who I’ve been seeing lately. What a sweet surprise, since he knows how much I really hate my bed here in my student housing. The next day we met and traveled via Ryanair (plus the other inconveniant modes of transportation that coincide with Ryanair) to Venice, Italy!!!
What an absolutely beautiful weekend in Venice, we spent 3 days on the small island, slept in a very nice, quiet, beautiful Bed and Breakfast on a canal (which they took an hour of us ringing their doorbell at 11pm in the rain before they could first let us in… oh well). We walked all day long, ate gelato, had expresso, sipped prosecco along the canal in Murano, and ate picnics along the canal for about 3 hours a day. It was an amazing weekend, relaxing, exciting, and so good for Jamil and I. We got to know each other so well, and not once did we disagree on anything or fight. For once, I never got sick of a guy! Hahaha what a trip.
We spent the last night at the local bar scene, and crashed on the plane ride home after 3 days of constantly laughing and talking to each other. Even after all that time together, we returned to his house in Brussels where his mom made him Pakistani food and we spent the afternoon together again!
Well, that was Sunday and today is Thursday. I will explain more about my life another day because it is time for me to get out of the house and explore with my new friends. Until next time,
Peace. Miss you guys!
This is so cool!
downtown Ann Arbor
December 14, 2011 at 7:50pm
Back to the Deuce so soooooon!!!!!!
December 13, 2011 at 2:03pm
soooo guess who went home to Ann Arbor this weekend and got really really fuckin jetlagged and is completely over (not) studying for my 4 finals this week!!
December 6, 2011 at 1:15pm
My attempt to conceptualize without talking too much
Alright. So I definitely slipped up on updating this thing, as I promised myself I wouldn’t. But I guess I was just too busy finally living this normal life here, that it hasn’t felt like a crazy vacation that I need to rush home and update all my friends and family about on my blog. The exciting new things that I felt in September, and eagerly wanted to share ALL of it, yet I didn’t don’t even cross my mind as special anymore… it’s just life. For instance, I didn’t even feel the need to share my past Saturday. I spent the day with the other 40 Americans in my program, who have been lifesavers. Seriously. Okay, so when I’m at Arizona State I definitely struggle at making friends. My few (but good of course!) friends come from water polo, other varsity sports, working at Tempe Boat Rentals and frisbee. I’ve never made friends with somebody from class, and I never made friends with people in my dorm or apartment complex. The kids in my program here are amazing, we have no drama, no catty girls, no deuche-bag boys, and all of our different personalities from across the US blend to get this hilarious, awesome blend of people. We have so much together, and they honestly get me. I feel really understood, and accepted, where as at ASU I definitely struggle with that feeling.
But anyways! We boarded the bus and drove 2 hours to Aachen, Germany. We spent the morning in a terrential downpour, when we were supposed to spend it huddling around each other at the Christmas market in the small town of Montrau. Anyway, after our quick history lesson of the village, we were given 15 euro (about $23) just to spend on whatever we wanted. Of course at 11am we drank Irish coffees, and got in the holiday spirit, even though we were soaked from the rain. My 3 girlfriends and I ditched the rain and shared some salty vegetable soup and tea inside the cutest German tavern, and shared the several different countries we’ve all explored in the past 4 months.
We then boarded the bus a few hours later and headed to Aachen for the big Christmas market. This thing was huge! It was like the Ann Arbor Art Fair, but filled of Christmas booths made of wood, with lights and strands of pine tree things (??) all over them. They sold sweets, jewelry, ornaments, hats, mittens, art, and lots of German food. We got to eat fried potato patties, of course sausage, nutella crepes, and sauteed mushrooms. Every corner you saw a gleuwhein tent (similar to a beer tent, but serving warm, spiced wine in holiday decorated mugs). There were hundreds of people roaming the streets, the adults huddled around tall tables sipping their gleuwhein, the kids were riding the carousel, and Christmas music filled the air.
After playing around with my friends, we casually got a tour of Charlemagne’s cathedral and treasury. This church was built around the year 800, and since I have become so damn used to touring a different church/historical building weekly… this seemed average. WHAT. Haha what has my life come to?
I remember walking down the ghetto streets of Brussels back in August, and being in awe of just the houses, and the business buildings. I would take pictures of a random cafe, or a street corner. Now… I don’t even bother taking pictures of one of the oldest, and complex cathedrals in Europe.
I can’t forget to add that like every other CIEE sponsored trip, it always ends with free alcohol. We show up to a wine tent, with tables pre-reserved for us and we all huddle around each other as several mugs of warm, spiced wine are given to us. The Germans at the table next to us cheered, and basked in our presence. They were so proud to have us share this experience with them of drinking holiday wine at the Christmas Markets.
So we boarded the bus and made it home to Brussels by 9pm. I rushed to freshen up for a date with a Belgian guy I had met in Budapest, Hungary two weekends ago. Turns out, Jamil lives in Brussels, in my neighborhood! So here goes my European storybook life…
We met at the Montgomery fountain, and there are Christmas lights spread all over my neighborhood’s streets. We took a metro in to the edge of town, and walked along the decorated streets to a Greek bar where we talked about racism, and the problems in Brussels. We shared a few drinks, and laughted even though our conversation was heavy, and then casually walked through the Grand Place to watch the light show and see the nativity scene set up with real sheep in the city center. How freaking romantic. This can’t be real.
After plenty of gin and tonics, and lots of dancing to club music in french and english, we caught the 2am night bus with the other drunk Belgians and Jamil walked me home and told me “bonne nuit”. SERIOUSLY. WHAT A DAY.
Buuuut then… I called my parents to check up on my grandma only to hear that she had passed away while I was on my date. Buzzkill. Soooo now I don’t really know how to feel other than struggling to get through finals and end of the semester papers in this amazingly stylish, posh cafe that I always study in.
This is normal to me.
December 2, 2011 at 10:06pm
Today I got to speak with the head bureau chief of the Brussels Associated Press! It was awesome, and then my journalism teacher took our class (12 kids!) to talk to g+ a political and media advising agency. Then I got to walk home with my friend Bekka after some real Italian pizza for lunch. It was so sunny today! And there were 80,000 Belgians marching the streets in Brussels today to protest budget cuts that are expected due to Belgium actually coming closer to forming a government!!! WHAAAAT. So yeah, I got to walk home in the sun, in the beautiful park that I live by. It was a great day. Then I wrote some papers about issues in the European Union, and watched the Grinch.
I feel bad for being lazy on study abroad. But hey, what can ya do?
ps- I can’t forget that I had fries for dinner with my roommates. Oops
November 29, 2011 at 3:39pm
Tumblr_lp2greib7e1qeido5o1_500_large - thrilld.com on We Heart It. http://weheartit.com/entry/13054635