Remember

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.” ― Jack Kerouac

Berlin

I spent the last part of my trip in Germany. I stayed with my friend Kristina; she was an exchange student in our high school and we’ve kept in touch over the years.

2014-06-20 21.34.53Drinking some German beer. I can’t remember. By this part of the trip I was pretty emotionally exhausted, had blisters on my feet and I was ready to relax and let Kristina be my guide.

2014-06-20 18.54.51-1Berlin Wall

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2014-06-20 13.42.46-1swinging by the Berlin Wall (NBD)

2014-06-20 17.46.56-1Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) on Museum Island was beautiful neoclassical architecture.

2014-06-20 16.23.28-1Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe designed by Peter Eisenman. Kristina told me this memorial was pretty controversial because the architect is world-renown but Germans felt this wasn’t his best work. Kubrick-like monoliths stretch out of the ground at varying heights. Kristina, Jasper and I went through the negative spaces and I think she had a change of heart after interacting with the piece. She said it did feel kind of solitary, changing and confusing.

2014-06-20 15.34.30Kristina, Japser and I enjoying some dipped ice cream cones. Yumz.

Her parents live on a beautiful farm in Strausberg, Germany (about 20 mins outside of Berlin). They have a to-die-for farm.

Kristina said they are trying to build a factory farm down the street so on their front porch, her dad made a sign that says, “Yes to Farms, No to Factory Farming Here or Elsewhere”.

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2014-06-20 09.51.00Kristina made bread, a cake topped with berries from the garden, egg scramble with their eggs, bacon from the neighbor. I was in brekkie heaven.

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Berlin was great. I wish I had been able to stay longer. I flew from Berlin to London and had an overnight stay where I jumped on the Underground, picked a random stop (Leicester Square), had fish and chips and beer and watched the World Cup in a packed bar. Met a few sweeties, smoked too many cigarettes then tipsily made my way back to the airport where I stayed in a super mod pay-by-the-hour Yotel.

Feels good to be back. XO

Marseille, France & Liège, Belgium

Met up with Katy when she flew into Paris. Had a little brekkie then got ready to head to Lyon.

Luckily , there was train strike in France. Had to cancel part of our trip (no Lyon), spent hours in the train station with multiple non-English speakers that gave us the wrong instructions on attaining a ticket the fuck out of Paris. I will spare more details of utter disappointment, confusion and frustration to say – we finally got on a damn train headed south. Not really sure where we were going to stay, no real solid plans, hoping we were just heading the right direction.

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We made it to Marseilles, stepped out of the train station, and saw this:

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Most hotels were booked. It was easier to get on my phone and make a reservation. So dumb. Liked this pretty little place. Had lots of espresso.

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We decided to hike up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde. It is a Catholic basilica that residents traditionally see as the guardian and the protector of the city.

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On our way back to our incredible b&b (below) we stopped at a market (the best one I’ve EVER been to ever) and loaded up on things to make dinner.

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Din with lots of bread, cheese, goodness, wine.

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Marseilles was actually kind of tough. It was a much different city than Paris. I will say, I had some killer seafood there.

Katy and I split ways and I took off to Belgium and she went back to Paris a day early. Train shenanigans again prevented me from taking a train to Liege. I had to stop in Brussels and Lylou was the most incredible friend and offered to pick me up even though she had to drive almost an hour. Got off the train, my phone died, stood there for a good 10 minutes just not knowing what to do – and then she appeared around the corner. Starving and shaken, I was overjoyed to see her.

She took me to A Pilori where we had HUGE meatballs, beers and peket violette (peket is Belgium’s local version of gin and it’s typically flavored). We grabbed some beers & hung out at my place, taking photos and catching up. It was a short visit but SO SO good. I miss this girl.

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Paris, France

I just got back from a wonderful visit to Europe. It was a quick and busy trip but I wanted to see all of my lady friends that are currently across that big blue water. I stopped in Paris & Marseilles in France, Brussels & Liege in Belgium and ended up in the countryside of Berlin.

My plane out of Little Rock was majorly delayed. Which meant that all of my other connections were missed. I connected from Dallas to London and the doors were already shut but they let me on. Barely made it across the sea. By the time I finally arrived in London I had to hurriedly scramble for another flight to Paris. Which all meant when I finally did arrive, I hadn’t eaten anything in a long while. My nerves were shot, my adrenaline was skyrocketing, I was finally on vacation and wanted to get a drink.

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First stop, Experimental Cocktail Club. Cozy little place in my neighborhood. I taught my bartender from the UK how to make a Manhattan. I sat at the bar and met some expats from Canada and the cutest french girl that could speak English. We proceeded to drink way too much and then we relocated to some dance club. I danced until 4AM then stumbled back to my place in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.

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I slept until noon. Woke up completely hungover and starving. It had been over 15 hours since I’d eaten. I met up with My Tam, a dear friend from the U.S. doing an internship in Paris. We walked around collecting fresh baguettes, meats and cheeses and made ourselves a meal by the Eiffel Tower.

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After our lunch, we walked around the city all day. We went to the gardens outside of the Lourve, had some incredible gelato, swooned over the architecture at Notre Dame, bought some books at Shakespeare & Co.

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Then by sunset finally felt like going all out at dinner. Super french style. Fois gras, duck confit, cheese, wine and escargot for dinner. After dinner, we got our wine to-go then took a taxi back to our neighborhood. Stopped by a bar called Le Sully for a nightcap. Ended up meeting some lovely Frenchmen.

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I love how we walked under the street light and it just turned on.
– Jason Anderson

vingt sept

Ah, 27 hath arrived.

We had an incredible house party with 5 bartenders making crazy cocktails upon request. The special ingredient was flamin hot cheetos bitters.

I couldn’t party too hard on my actual birth date due to a massive final the following day. I played hookie at work and had ice cream with AiLien then my friend Eric made one of my favorite french dishes, Coq au vin.


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Whirlwind of a year, for sure. Here’s a little tipsy 27 selfie. For giggles.

I’ve gotta move through the weeks without you here,
I get a shock, shock hurts to heal

– Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton

Heartbreaking Work

Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one’s past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way – not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I’ve-seen/lessons-I’ve-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers…

― Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Another Year

As life goes, there are both ups and downs. I feel the need to highlight some things from 2013. It was a whirlwind of emotions and I haven’t felt settled in a while. I feel like I’m trying to fiercely carve out my identity in my mid 20s. So, here goes.

2013

• I began to feel comfortable in my Creative Director role at work. I have the best co-workers and get to work on great design projects. I’ve learned a lot.

• I went to Chicago in March with AiLien & Andrew. We had amazing Italian food, watched the Blackhawks play from the hotel bar, met up with Kurt and saw Django Django.

• Protested legislature’s assault on women’s rights at the Capitol with AiLien, Andrew and Kim.

• Attended the Made by Few design conference.

• Designed invitations for and attended two weddings within two weeks.

• Broke up, got together, broke up.

• Went on a partly solo vacation to Utah and Colorado. Rock climbing, camping and exploring the west.

• Learned to bartend. It has always been a dream of mine. I’ve enjoyed reading about and making cocktails. You meet so many new and interesting people behind the bar.

• Adopted a kitty named Rosie.

• Went to Seattle with an old friend.

• Major hang time with those I hold near and dear.

2014 is starting off a bit weird. I can’t shake these winter blues, but I’m trying. I’m hoping that warmer weather will bring more optimism.