Showing posts from September, 2014

this is my jam today

As we're constantly barraged about the way that we look, and achieving that perfect body, it's nice to hear a song (and see a fun video!) about someone rocking their body image. Love it!

Director posting, Petoskey, MI

Library Director – Petoskey (MI) District Library
Petoskey, Michigan has been a destination for generations. Make it your destination, too! The Petoskey District Library’s new Library Director will be a critical contributor to the Petoskey arts and cultural community. The successful candidate will lead a committed, talented staff and active, vital Friends of the Library bringing innovation and creativity in generating new and effective library programs and services for the 14,568 residents of the City of Petoskey, Bear Creek Township, and Resort Township. Building on a new strategic plan outlining core values, the Director, with a five-member Board of Trustees, a $1.2 million budget, and a stunning, new Library (2004), will work to implement goals including, but not limited to, building relationships with surrounding townships, expanding library hours, and developing the talents of a dedicated team of library staff.
Petoskey, MI, known for the famous “Petoskey stone” and be…

furry sweetness

It is hard to think of something as grand to write about as, as I recoup, I'll share a picture of my adorable furry son, Hemmy.

the fellowship ended in Berlin

So, I fell in love with Berlin and can't promise that I won't be going back there for more. The "free tour," we found--which winds up being free, with you paying what you feel the tour was worth at the end--was amazing! I would definitely recommend this tour company (New Berlin Tours), but be advised that you should go online the night before and register, so you have a spot when you show up. There were over 100 people at the meeting place when we showed up and they split us into groups of roughly 25, those who hadn't registered weren't guaranteed a spot.

Our group had this wonderful tour guide named Alexander "Zabi," a half German, half Englishman; a fascinating fellow who knew his history (and could have been James McAvoy's cousin!), and who loved to tell the most fascinating stories (both of the history and the players) of each thing we saw. He was well versed in the history of each place and absolutely interesting as hell! And funny. An…

Denmark to Berlin

I am still amazed and envious at how accessible European countries are to one another! In no time we were leaving Hamburg and Germany behind for flat, lovely southern Denmark. Aside from the Danish signage, much of it looked so much like home.

We stopped in Esbjerg, Denmark, which is a seaport town, on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in the southwest part of the country, where we did a little shopping, enjoyed coffee and lunch before paying $415 Danish Krones (about $40Euro) for a ferry that took us and the car over to the island of Fano.

Fano, an island in the North Sea off the coast of southwestern Denmark, is the northernmost of the Danish Wadden Sea Islands, and is absolutely gorgeous. The middle of it reminded me of farmy New England, while the sand dunes around the beach (near where we camped) and their neighboring brushy areas looked almost like the southwestern deserts that my brother A3 and I drove past on our roadtrip to California so many years ago. I hiked alone…

mac n' cheese and our last day in Hamburg

You know that feeling you get when you're traveling and you feel almost overstimulated by the amazing food you've been eating, but there's something a little not realize that what you're really wanting is some "home food." That happened yesterday. 

Yannick and I were supposed to run to the market to get stuff for dinner and today, so I offered to make Mac n' cheese--I based it extremely loosely on Mark Bittman's recipe--and what I made was pure magic! Normally I just use Vermont Cheddar, but as they don't have that here I used half Irish Cheddar, half Dutch Gouda. Oh my sweet and gentle Jesus!! WAY BETTER with real European cheeses. Nadine requested it again for dinner tonight. Yannick and I agreed. :)

Today we'll be going out to see a few more things here, but we're going to stay in tonight and get to bed early. We want to have the car packed and be on the road tomorrow by 9a.m.; we're heading to Denmark, to one of it…

my favorite photos of Europe



Yesterday Yannick was able to take a break from his paper long enough to spend the afternoon with Nadine and I. I've never been in a foreign country and spent time so leisurely, normally each day is very planned out, making sure to hit all the major sights and toursity things, so this time in Hamburg has been a blessing. I've caught up on mounds of sleep--I know they say you can't catch up, but still!--and have finished all 3 books I brought along, and just feel wonderful. The word leisurely keeps popping into my head.

Getting out of the house after a slow and sleepy morning, we took the train to downtown Hamburg, mailing postcards and wandering in and out of boutiques. Nadine introduced me to the amazing homemade soap at LUSH, where I bought two hunks of soap to take home. Can we just say, my suitcase smells amazing!

Then we were off on a culinary journey in what Yannick and Nadine described as the Hipster section of Hamburg, noticeable by its hipster glasses and clothin…

amazingly rested

We've been in Hamburg since the weekend and are here until mid week--a little exloring of Hamburg, but mostly lots of reading and writing as my friend Yannick works on his paper. It feels so good; finally feel like I've caught up on sleep that has eluded me for months.

Yannick, Nadine, and I head to Denmark mid-week for one more camping stint and a little exploring; heard that it's beautiful there this time of year. Our goal is to be in Berlin by Friday, hopefully to meet up with Magdalena for one last hoorah, and more exploring of Berlin.

About to head out for a walk with Nadine, and a little shopping and exploring. This is the life.

resting in Hamburg

We said goodbye to Bonn yesterday morning, taking a 5 minute ferry over the Rhine River, before heading about 40 minutes north to Cologne. I would have liked to spend more time here and see this lovely city at night, but we were all getting car weary and were looking forward to Hamburg (where Yannick and Nadine live) and rest. 

Cologne's stop was with the sole purpose of seeing the world famous Cathedral. The Cathedral is across from a very bustling train station, and as you walk in there are beggars on either side of the door (we found this at all the Cathedrals thus far), and just inside priests standing sentinel, making sure male visitors take their hats off--I overhead one priest ask a man to take his hat off and I quickly took mine off as well, pleased as punch that I understood the priest say to me in  German that women didn't have to remove their hats. I am picking up bits and pieces of the language...we'll get there eventually!

The Cathedral was breathtaking, and eve…

back in Germany

Freiburg was unbelievably beautiful and so old; Magdalena goes to the University of Freiburg which was founded in 1457!! That makes her college 500 years older than mine. 500 years old--did you hear that?! Just think of how young the U.S. is in the scheme of things!

We spent yesterday morning wandering around Freiburg, taking in the old town, spending our last minutes with Magdalena eating ice cream and taking in the hum of this wonderful city. It was sad to say goodbye to Magdalena, (my backseat-car-mate) and to know that the greatest part of our roadtrip is behind us, but we we were at least happy to know that Magdalena hopes to join us next weekend in Hamburg or Berlin. 

We are now in Yannick's (and Beethoven's!!) home town of Bonn, which is also the hometown of Haribou, makers of gummies. We went to the grocery store and they literally have a half an aisle just dedicated to gummy choices in dozens of flavors--I was in heaven! Bonn is also very beautiful, aside fr…

Lausanne to Freiburg

We made it to Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday(?) night and camped in a campground alongside Lake Geneva! LAKE GENEVA! I continue to be amazed at the beautiful things that we keep seeing--this trip is such an enormously wonderful gift and I am absolutely grateful for every minute! We watched the sunset over Lake Geneva before pitching tent and eating our travelers meal (we've had many like this) of baguettes, bread, cheese, wine, and Normandy (hard) cider (cidre!). Deliciously bubbly and slightly drunk me fell asleep under the Swiss stars. *sigh*

This morning was a repeat of dinner, though we replaced alcohol with juice. ;) We headed to a local lookout of Lausanne, and then moved on, wanting to spend more time seeing the Swiss countryside, than the city--the drive from France into Switzerland, then Switzerland into Germany was absolutely stunning. We didn't quite make it to the Alps, but saw them from a distance, and instead drove through what I can only assume were …

the Eifel Tower in the moonlight

Writing from Paris! It is late here and we should be getting ready for bed and another long day tomorrow, but delicious chocolate ice cream has wired me; the Germans are coming up for a route for tomorrow's adventures: maybe Lusanne, Switzerland en route to southern Germany...?

I know some people have said Paris is no great shakes, but I love it here. I know that the locals must get tired of us tourists, but we've encountered kind Parisians too, and sweet waiters who were kind--we haven't found a place yet in any country where the waitstaff doesn't speak English! Also, every place we've been has English menus too., makes it easy to be a lazy traveler. I still try and order in the native tongue, to the entertainment of the waitstaff, I'm sure.

It was hard to walk around Paris this evening, as we tried to find a dinner spot and we walked a city where kitchen windows were open and everything smelled divine. I ordered from the menu, not knowing exact…

driving through a Van Gogh

Though Bruges is beautiful and full of old architecture it is smaller than Amsterdam, so after a short walk yesterday morning and the most delicious breakfast--can we say Europeans love their carbs!? I had a pastry and a "bun," (roll)" with my breakfast--we headed out in search of 1. waffles (yes, we just ate!!) and 2. Belgian chocolate. We found both. Belgian waffles are different than what we are used to in the States, the Belgians use a dough instead of a batter, which gives their waffles a surprisingly fluffy, rich flavor. I. WANT. THE. RECIPE.

Short drive from Bruges before we were in the beautifully bucolic, rolling hills of France. It is not being dramatic to say that you feel like you've literally driven into one of Van Gogh's countryside paintings! I could do little more than stare out the window, mouth slightly agape. At times it almost felt like home, looking out to see rolling hills and cows that reminded me so much of the Berkshire Hills of Massachu…