Tag Archives: travel



Life is essentially comprised of experiences with opportunities for opposing interpretations. TRANSLATION: It all depends how you look at it.

For example..

Fear of going somewhere new is no fun, but the excitement that comes along with it is.

Missing your bed(s) at home is no fun, but bringing your comforter with you to another country is!

Five hour layovers are no fun, but people watching is–particularly in the international wing (think lots of languages)

I refrained from taking pictures hah in effort to conceal my rudeness

Saying goodbye is no fun, but going away parties are!


  • Chips, salsa, and guacamole
  • Chicken and shrimp kabobs
  • Polenta
  • Fruit Salad
  • Caprese
  • Jenny’s coconut cupcakes

It was so nice to see everyone, sorry if you didnt make it into a picture (most of you didnt) because my camera went out at like 8 hah BUT I was so glad that I got a chance to see the people I care about all in one room!

I am sitting in the Dulles airport right now, I am boarding the plane in about an hour and a half and I am incredibly nervous. Not only for the plane ride (yes flying scares me a bit), but for navigating by myself from the airport to the train station in Stockholm to Linkoping to my dorm room. Also, the concept of being cut off from the world basically by turning off my phone for five months is just crazy to think about.

My anxiety is seriously taking over my body right now(room is spinning a bit and I have a headache and feel nauseous), but writing about it seems to help. I really hope that I can address this problem once I get settled in. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am fine and that nothing physical is wrong with me.

Ill keep you all posted! :)

catch-up time


Sorry I have been MIA for quite a while, after leaving off with such a dismal (and apparently worrying) post. Luckily for me, I have the best mom in the world (no offense to any other mothers out there, but it’s my opinion) who flew her cute little patootie out here and to spend some quality mother-daughter time! and okay, a side of business as well

Thursday night she met me at the office, I got to show her around our little Congressional box before taking her poor, dizzy daughter to the sole urgent care facility in DC that takes our insurance.


This may not come as a surprise but apparently I am officially a resident of Crazytown. It appears that nothing is physically wrong with me, so this little bit of vertigo must originate from within my noggin.

That said we chowed down at Hank’s Oyster Bar before metro-ing out to her lavish hotel where I enjoyed a KING SIZE BED and wonderful sheets. AH. I also indulged in coffee for the first time the next morning and it actually helped my condition a bit.


My caffeine needs met, I set out to enjoy my Friday decked out in a yellow shirt (bright colors=happiness) and successfully gave my second tour of the Capitol in addition to a slew of other various tasks throughout the day because we were down to 2 interns.

Kept busy, the day flew by and Mom and I ate out at Founding Farmers before going to sleep like the little early birds we are. There was a justifiable reason for heading to bed so early this time, however:

I had to wake up for my 7:30 tour of THIS baby..


YEP, it was actually not all that interesting but I tried to take my time and remember all the details because it is not every day that you get to step foot in a place where so many great men and women who have shaped America’s history have resided. You can imagine that security was quite abundant, if you even bring a bag with you to the grounds they shut down the tours for the rest of the day.

All the secret service men were quite good looking, but they were pretty staunch about following the rules dang it hahah. I asked one how the rooms could ever be used by the president if people were always walking through them on tours but he informed me that tours happen in the mornings and then they shut it down for afternoon business.

And no, the Obamas were not there. They were in Maine for the weekend, as were the rest of my family all together without me :(


I was back to my dorm by 8:30 so mom and I grabbed coffee at a cafe downstairs and planned our day. We first went to Georgetown for a bit of shopping and then lunch at THE DISNEYLAND OF FOOD

DEAN AND DELUCA people..The granddaddy of Whole Foods. I will never look at WF the same again now that I know what is out there. ONly I would take pictures of this store but I was in HEAVEN.

Their samples of baked goods were too good to be true. I seriously have never tasted anything so wonderful in my life– I am not exaggerating–I am returning before I leave.

Then we headed out to Great Falls–My mom’s childhood home. We drove around, and I got the full run down. Saw all of her houses, schools, friends houses, hang outs, horse stables, etc. With some time to spare we made a stop at the Great Falls nature park.

Over on the other side of the Potomac you could see people in Maryland looking out at the falls from their side.

We then went to her childhood friend’s home to clean up and relax before dinner at a fabulous French restaurant with a crowd of very well educated and diverse individuals. I had the best halibut I have ever encountered this night.

I realize I look really thrilled in this picture but I didn’t think I was in  it haha and the other one half the people aren’t paying attention SO we are stuck with this one. I promise I wasn’t an angry bunny  this night..just this picture. I generally don’t genuinely smile in pictures anyways though because I feel uncomfortable and fake. It drives everyone crazy but I cant really bring myself to do otherwise.


was filled with the Tour de France, visits to mom’s old friends, a proper grocery store run, and then I was returned to my dorm and said goodbye to the momster

this brings us up to speed..


I began this morning filled with fresh resolve to face my situation positively. I woke up extra early for a light jog–after breakfast and a shower I was feeling worse than ever and was worried I couldnt even make it to work but I pulled it together and somewhere along my day I started feeling LOADS better.

Possibly it was because of

–A member of the staff’s birthday Chipotle and baked goods

–getting to leave office for a bit to retrieve aforementioned Chipotle

–being occupied with tasks

–having coffee

–leaving an hour early to attend a reception with glorious fruit platters everywhere

–a heart pounding sprinting run followed by 20 minutes of relaxing hatha yoga

–taking out my contacts

–a generally positive attitude

As of now I am feeling a less horrible, not perfect but alright, I am reluctant to say that in case I jinx myself but I am going to keep taking it easy and see how it goes.

Time for laundry now!!

the term ‘desperately need to do it’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.


I remember receiving the reading assignment for One Thousand Paper Cranes at some point during my mid-school years. In conjunction with the book we completed a project in which a woman was brought in to instruct us in the art of folding cranes. I’m not entirely sure of the relevance of the craft in relation to the book, possibly so that we could better understand the time and care that it took to make one (much less a thousand). I suspect my teacher was just pawning off her students to an innocent bystander for a day and writing it off as ‘creative’. Who knows?

I just distinctly remember I hated it.

I mean I love the idea of creating art, I enjoy reading about it,  I appreciate looking at it, I admire those who successfully do it, I even occasionally attempt to do it myself–for about five minutes. Then I get frustrated and/or bored and shove my half finished in-progress work of art into a drawer to be found at a later date and recycled.

I truly hold those with creative intelligence in the highest regard, as well as those with the patience to follow something through to the end mostly because I seem incapable of doing either.

I bring this up because after work yesterday my roomate and I walked to Georgetown to meet her friend for some sushi and to go out. On the way we came along a salon front filled with paper cranes. I truly am in love with this city–it has so many dimensions both architecturally and culturally. It is a large city but at the same time is so welcoming and I feel as though I belong.

(Many, many more pictures are sure to come of this wonderful place in the future but for now all I have is some random ones from my internship. From the very moment I arrived here I have not had a chance to sit and do nothing or to whip out a camera and I love it!)

The past few days I have woken up at seven, gotten ready and left for work at 8, worked from nine to six, then walked home (which takes an hour or so), and then immediately gone out, come home and gone to bed, then repeated the following day. I love the busy atmosphere of d.c. but at the same time it is bustling with young energy.

There are a ridiculous amount of interns on the Hill–not to mention other internships available for students including  lobbiest groups, non profits, and business organizations–according to my calculations there are 435 house representatives on the hill alone (not counting senate or other political people) and each of them have one to 35 interns!

I realize it is a bit soon for me to proclaim my adoration for our country’s capital considering it has only been 2 days but things are looking good at this point and I am enjoying myself to the highest extent.

did I mention that my dorm is three blocks away from this baby?

rainy monday

Is not just a song title, is also the foundation for an ideal day. Growing up in the desert, you really learn to appreciate the merit of a summer stormy day.

Monday, though three days ago, was just that and I took full advantage.

7am. breakfast

2pm.-5pm read in bed with tea–turned into impromptu nap followed by more reading.

5:30pm. nails with mom

730pm. dinner at outback with mo and tess

10:30. more reading and then falling asleep really early.

If rainy monday described the previous day, bustling tuesday would be the appropriate label for the following one. I fueled myself and then proceeded to begin packing up a storm:

Tired out from all that folding I met dad for some sushi!

A nap with the boy was definitely called for, followed by dinner with friends, and then a movie with Kemp. I would say these past few days have been rather ideal–aside from yesterday I suppose which was filled with plane travel. Now I have arrived!

ain’t it cute?


Washington D.C is blowing up the Bravo network right as I am about to go there!

This one is obviously a joke, BUT there really is going to be a real housewives of dc that premieres in august!


SOOOO freaking much to do but I am getting excited :)


Seeing as I have significantly reduced my coffee intake recently, I should not be surprised that I was still feeling the effects of a five o’ clock grande black coffee at almost one last night. I was feeling slightly fatigued when Kemp and I opted out of hanging with the gang at eleven thirty, but after brushing my teeth and settling down with my book before bed I realized I was too antsy to catch any zzz’s.

I am slightly cursing myself for not joining Leah in her choice of herbal tea over coffee yesterday afternoon, but I figured I would go ahead and begin writing a post to clear my head and possibly tire myself out.

Father’s Day was filled with cooking (any excuse I get these days I swear). I had stayed out a bit late the night before so I crashed in town at my mom’s house, and the drive out on Sunday morning to my dad’s was CRAZY pretty. Driving while taking pictures is obviously not advisable I realize BUT on did it quickly, while not looking at the camera, and strictly on straightaways.

On the Father’s Day menu

(*= from scratch)

  • Baba Ghanoush*
  • Chilled Asparagus
  • Shrimp and Scallops de Jonghe*
  • Green Salad
  • Cinnamon Ice Cream*
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream*

I feel as though I can’t say that I made a salad or vegetable dish from scratch because I didn’t grow the veggies in some garden or something..what exactly qualifies something as being from scratch?! That term just sounds gross in my opinion, but I diverge..’From scratch’ or otherwise IIIITTT was delish of course and the weather cooled down a bit so it was pleasant eating outside.

hahah we are all making ridiculous faces. My dad is the photographer

Me dishing out some de Jonge..unaware of picture taking at this time

MMmmmK people fast forward a bit to Monday!!

Can be described in two words : lazy day. I drove into town early, got my oil changed, hung out with the boy–he was subjected to two episodes of the O.C. in exchange for some quality world cup watching–grabbed coffee with leah and then dinner with my mom, and then Kemper and I headed off to Morgan’s to hang out with everyone.

Over our dinner conversation I was reminded by my mom of all the things that I was unaware of about my looming internship. I realized I had a multitude of questions about the dorm where I would be staying, what the dress code is, the hours involved, etc.

I arrived home and jotted down these questions to call about in the morning but realized with a little online research that I had all the information at my fingertips.

Here’s some things I discovered!

What my room will look like–I WILL HAVE A KITCHEN AND BATHROOM!! I will share this with one other person so hopefully the other intern and I are of the same political party…hahah. Actually that is not really a concern, considering I have a step dad and boyfriend who do not share the same political views as I do and I love them just the same :)

Also I cleverly figured out where I would be commuting to and from campus to Capitol Hill every day using a little thing I call Google Maps..perhaps you have heard of it? Total distance is 3.1 miles on the dot. So unbelievably tempting to forgo the metro and rent a bike instead but I have been assured that aside from the problematic heels+skirt+bike issue that it will be RIDICULOUSLY hot and humid and therefore a horrible idea to attempt to walk and or bike to work.

YIKES I have so much to do before I leave. Gotta get my stuff together for my Swedish Visa, call the internship office with my questions, do laundry and pack (duh), spend time with all my loved ones, work (if I ever manage to stop being such a sketch-ball writer..I swear I don’t know what it has been about this past month but I feel flakier than a croissant), etc.

Overwhelmed is an understatement.


Let’s see if I can remember how to do this. I was greeted yesterday when I stepped off my flight towing my significantly larger bag into 90 degree weather. Since then there were some other signs signaling that I was home:

-construction everywhere, and traffic madness

-the heat (obviously)

-difficulty breathing on my run today

-the empty fridge at my mom’s house

-my crazy kitties

Wow, it is astonishing how quickly these past three weeks flew by, I can hardly believe that they are over. Here’s a little recap of my trip in picture form.

I went on a nice run in Portland

The next day it was beautiful outside, so we dragged our hungover selves to the Saturday Market

As we lay there, someone played a harp at our feet!

We ran across the CUTEST antique store. I wanted to steal everything, but seeing as that would be exceedingly difficult I settled for taking pictures.

Fast forward a few days and I was on beautiful Bainbridge Island (off the coast of Seattle) for my cousin Chandler’s graduation! Shout out to my fam–I know you guys are reading this :)–They have the cutest house off in the forest. So green and cozy!

I feel so creepy that I took these hahah but I really do love your house Kirsten and William! My favorite part of the house is the porch and views, I read outside quite a bit while everyone was doing their thing.

I went across to Seattle to retrieve my aunt and her hubby, and of course a stop at Pikes Market was necessary

There was so much beautiful produce

And flowers!

Seriously, unreal. Here are some scraps of pictures that I cant really place.

I really like these last two :)

I’m a sucker for teacups and flowers.

that’s all folks

rabbit rabbit

Why yes, I did in fact make Kemper stay up till precisely 12:00 am this morning so I could make sure I would have luck this month. Does anyone else do that? Better safe than sorry I’d say :)

We were thoroughly exhausted after our weekend spent in Grants Pass, Oregon. Kemp’s friend invited us to stay with his family for Memorial Day weekend where his hometown holds a giant celebration. We enjoyed boat races, a carnival, rhino driving (?? it’s the little car), beautiful weather, and each other!

Today I am off to Portland, Kemper is going to drop me off after he finishes up his last class of the day. I have only gotten a small taste of the place and I am ready to devour the whole dish! Six days of exploration, I can’t wait :) I seriously love traveling and bopping around new places by myself. (Tess will of course be there but she will be busy with finals around the corner, so I anticipate alot of solo navigation).



bye bye sunshine!

Traveling is not conducive to blogging one might say, but I do not consider this a bad thing necessarily. It has been interesting to say the least, but I find the fact that I wake up at the same time as Kemper when he is going to his Airforce class at like 6 in the morning slightly disturbing (although in my defense my body DOES think it is an hour later).

While he goes to class in the morning I have taken it upon myself to not sit in his tiny dorm room and listen to the rain, so despite my lack of a key to get back in I layered up and set out in search of coffee!

(secret picture taken in corner of coffee shop hahahah COOL)

I am a strong believer in seasonal affective disorder, and I can tell it is really getting to kemper. The break from the sun is kind of nice for me (at least at this point) but I have never seen him so worn out and lackluster. It is probably not as pronounced when I am not around because he feels comfortable confiding his frustrations to me, but I just want the happy boy I know and love back!

Another thing cloudy environments brings about in my brain is contemplation.

Right now I am at a point in my life where there are certainly a fair deal of things for me to think about. We are in college, these years are the most important in our lives. We are in between the abiding by constraints of our family and being limited by the constraints of adult obligation. I love having nothing else to worry about except enriching my life through study and travel, with no one to answer to if I come home wasted at 4 in the morning yet finding myself still WANTING to get up and go to class the next morning.

Today, I am thinking about my current relationship status. Some might find it beyond tacky that I am choosing to write about this on a BLOG (and I would agree with you to some extent) but I am too lazy to keep a journal so this is the closest thing I’ve got to sorting out all these clashing thoughts.

Long distance relationships are absolutely impossible: they are draining and make everyone involved miserable. In my opinion, the largest and most important part of a relationship is actually being with one another, so I think we did the right thing by breaking up. Obviously we have been a part of each other’s lives for over four years (and together for two and a half) but I like that we are free to do what we want with who we want when we are apart, and enjoy each other’s company when we have the chance to be with one another. It is difficult to hear about the other people that we encounter but I know at the end of the day we are the best for each other.

I have to keep reminding myself that there will be other girls and boys, I certainly don’t want to miss out on the dating experience of college, but the person that I honestly care about at the end of the day is my best friend (the other one, not jenny hahah). If it is meant to be, then it will happen but for now I am just working on enjoying who I am with wherever that might be. I will never get this week back in my life, so I do NOT want to waste it by dwelling on unpleasantries.