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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 so far

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2014 has been a weird year for me. It's largely because I'm still in Frankfurt and don't want to be, and am trying to get to Nuremberg but can't be there yet because I haven't gotten a job there yet and my visa depends on me having a job. (The not-at-all joys of being a foreigner.) Stephen has been in Nuremberg since October, and I've been to Nuremberg probably a dozen times since then, visiting -- I'm there most weekends -- but still don't live there, and that is all kinds of frustrating. I haven't been writing here because I find this space to be most compelling when I feel like I have some kind of news: I went on a trip to a new city, or to the same excellent city I've been to many times! I took some really wonderful photos that I want to share! Spring has sprung!

I guess it's not entirely accurate that there is full-on nothing going on. Spring is making a serious effort to spring, for one, with sunny days (!) and temperatures around 16 C and up. And for two, much as it feels as though I have been nowhere except for Nuremberg since Christmas, that's not 100% true: I did go to see Mandie in Cologne for Karneval this year. Which I realize is still nothing like the amount of travel I've had under my belt in past years by this time of year, and is certainly contributing to my feelings of being in limbo. But good things are coming. I've made a bunch of excellent vacation plans, among them:

+ Long weekend in Paris with Stephen at the beginning of April, along the lines of last year's crêpextravaganza

+ Girls' weekend with Lucy and Megan at the end of May/beginning of June, location TBD, but overall trip awesomeness level something along the lines of Stockholm or Berlin

+ Long weekend in Denmark in mid-June with Stephen and friends to see Arcade Fire at NorthSide and to give Copenhagen another chance (it was a little unfair of me to expect to be charmed by cold, blustery springtime Copenhagen less than a week off lounging on a Valencian beach)

+ Ten-day trip through the South of France in August with Amanda, who'll have just passed her bar exam and be quite deserving of a lazy vacation on the Côte d'Azur with possible jaunts over into Italy (Cinque Terra? finally, hopefully?? we're flying into Nice and that's not that far at all and I have wanted to see Cinque Terra for years!)

+ Lucy's bachelorette party in a top-secret location in September, followed (naturally!) by...

+ Lucy and Mark's wedding in London in October, which Stephen and I are planning on doing as a long-weekend trip (I really do love London)

Stephen and I had talked about going to Iceland to (hopefully) see the Northern Lights and (definitely) go swimming in all of the hot springs, but that didn't pan out (turns out it had been so long since I'd moved anywhere that I had forgotten that all of your money goes to the bottomless pit that is New Apartment Costs -- true even though I have not actually moved to said New Apartment yet!). Hopefully next year. We're still wanting to go to Greece this summer, which is pretty much the only trip out of the ones that I definitely want to take this year that I haven't already booked. In spite of the fact that I have no guarantee that I will be at the same employer I am currently with by the time I take any of the trips listed above (in fact, I really HOPE I am not -- not because my current employer is not excellent, but because it would be so nice to finally be able to actually go on and move when I've known for months and months that I was going to move eventually), I still feel like it's the best policy to go on and book. You know? One of my old NYC roommates used to talk about how it was vital to have something to look forward to, and that's how I feel about travel: once it's booked, it's happening, and I can start looking forward to it. Until then, it's just an idea, and paying for washing machines and curtains and all of the IKEA runs in the world can get in the way.

I always feel better about living in Europe when I write about traveling and remember all of the wonderful places I still get to see while I live here. The jury is definitely still out about Nuremberg (you know, that place I'm trying to move to), but so far I've only seen it in winter and the barest bits of sunny fall/spring weather, so I'll hold off on passing judgment for the moment.

Other than that...I had a 2014 resolutions post open for months, and really had nothing to say in it, because I feel like what I want for this year is so obvious to me that I did not really need a reminder of it. I want to get a job that will allow me to move to Nuremberg and see Stephen all the time instead of just weekends and on the phone. I want to keep running regularly, because even a couple of miles a couple of times a week works wonders for my mood, and I want to keep walking to work as long as the weather is good (please stay good, weather), because it turns out that with a tiny adjustment to the route I can walk to work in approximately the same amount of time it takes via public transportation and this way my commute goes through a park. (I used to be a bicycle commuter, but I have not replaced my broken bike in spite of the fact that it has been broken for many months; see above re: "feeling of being in limbo"). I want to build my love of calligraphy and invitation design and all things stationery into a business. I want to budget properly, once and for all. It's all very much a work in progress at the moment.

Monday, January 13, 2014

best of 2013

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In no particular order, some of my favorite photos from the last year from a bunch of places: Germany, Sardinia, Prague, Paris x 2, Stone Harbor, NYC, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Gran Canaria.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

german november/december

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Writing from Virginia Beach, where I haven't yet taken a single photo with my big camera. Here are a few shots from Frankfurt and Nuremberg from late November/early December. Happy holidays! And yes, that is Santa playing an accordion with a dog who is also dressed as Santa. Nuremberg has not one but two sets of Accordion Santa and Dog Santa. They sit about a block apart from each other and we assume that they are bitter rivals.

Friday, November 29, 2013

brussels

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Stephen and I went to Brussels last weekend to see Arcade Fire in concert*, selecting Brussels out of the European options (Brussels, Paris, Berlin) because neither of us had ever been there. In the five years I've lived in Germany, I'd still never even been to Belgium! Through Belgium, sure, but I hadn't ever stopped there.

The weather wasn't terribly inviting and we were both pretty badly in need of a chill weekend, so we took it pretty slow. We didn't even see the most famous sight of Brussels, in spite of being only ten minutes' walk away. However, we did eat a couple of waffles (the street waffle was far superior to the indoor waffle) and drink a bunch of Belgian beer, if only to prove to ourselves that we like German beer a heck of a lot better. A La Mort Subite was our favorite place to hang out (other than our hotel room -- it was a good weekend for napping). Despite having seen only a tiny bit of the city we both really liked it. I'd go again! Brussels. Who knew.

*The Arcade Fire concert was very, very fun. It was a fancy dress or costume concert, so we busted back out our crocodile and roach costumes from Karneval -- you know you're in for a good time when you go somewhere in a full-body costume. I haven't historically been an Arcade Fire fan with the exception of a couple of songs, but I've really been digging the album Reflektor, and have slowly been tiptoeing into the prior three albums (off The Suburbs, the title track and "Ready to Start" are both excellent).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

freiburg

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In the middle of October, the weekend before the Frankfurt Marathon, I went to Freiburg with Mandie and a couple of her grad school friends. The first day was warm fall perfection: no jacket, sunshine, blue-skied beautiful. The second day rained with a fury so powerful it was not worth trying to ruin my camera taking a picture of it. So all of my photos are from Saturday, which was a marvelous day full of outdoor brunch, many Feierling beers in the Biergarten, wandering along the river, and surprisingly non-awful Mexican food in Germany. I'll take it.
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