Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summertime Update: Northern Europe edition

Hi friends! I’m sorry that every time I post on here, I start with an apology. Since I last posted about our trip to Mexico, I’ve been hanging out in Miami (mostly eating and drinking coconuts that we pillage from the neighborhood) and enjoying the low-key lifestyle of Norbert’s native Germany. When we arrived to Schleswig-Holstein in late May, the region had been enjoying nearly a month of freakishly warm and sunny days. While I won’t complain about the weather, I will specify that this is “warm” by German standards, so my fleece has certainly come in handy.

Solar panels and windmills pepper the rural German landscape

The best thing about our visit have been the glorious display of flowers everywhere—after the horror of winter, plants bloom with a fierceness that is breathtaking. I can’t get over the many different varieties and colors, and I can’t take a walk around the neighborhood without snapping a dozen or more pictures. We’re staying in a small town not too far from Kiel that has lots of great walking trails and a small forest nearby. Up here in the arctic North, where the sun stays up until late, I accompany Norbert in the evening on his runs through the forest—while riding a bicycle, of course.

At the Tiergarten, Berlin


My other favorite part of Germany are the saunas—ubiquitous, elegant, and relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of our many sauna experiences as cameras are frowned upon in the mostly nude environment. But believe me when I say, an afternoon in the sauna will change your life. Reset your soul. Recharge your battery. Etc, etc. You gotta experience it to believe it! And since we’ve been dealing with our fair share of overly-complicated German bureaucracy, I believe we’ve earned the right to relax!

Here are some pictures of a quick trip we took to the Netherlands!

A horse-zebra!
Cheesing with racing pigeons

The crepe master at work

Bucolic wedding location

I also had the joyful opportunity to visit my family in Belgium. It was a laughter-filled, waistline-expanding weekend. I did my best to see as my relatives as possible, all the while eating as many delicious Belgian dishes as possible. It’d say I was successful on both fronts. Belgian beer, cheese, chocolate, waffles, freshly-made summer fruit tarts—what else can a girl ask for??

And I’m happy to report that, all the while, I’ve been writing. Still not finished with my novel that’s been sitting on the backburner for the past year, but I’ve been writing a lot about my social media sabbatical experience and a little about dealing with my father’s dementia diagnosis. I’ll be sure to keep you updated about these upcoming publications! The freelancer grind can be tedious and frustrating, but I’m excited to be writing and get my work out into the world.

I am also proud to announce that I am working as a writer at Story Terrace, a company that helps people write the memoir of their life. A few months ago, I had the good fortune of spending a few days interviewing my beloved photography teacher from high school who I wrote about a while back in this blog post. Then, I went home with my notes and recordings and wrote the story of her spectacular life. It was a fantastic experience and an opportunity that I’m grateful for.

Thanks all for now, folks! In the meantime, please check out my spanking new website, designed by yours truly! Happy summer, everyone!