Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Zürich for the Weekend

I've slowly began to travel a lot more since arriving to Switzerland, and thanks to this beautiful thing called Voie 7/Gleis 7, I have the ability to travel anywhere in switzerland after 7pm for free! When I first got here, my au pair family and i had been discussing options about how to keep my costs low for transportation and the best option was a combination of the Demi-tarrif and Voie 7, so half priced day tickets, and free rides after 7pm.

Anyways, My wornderful friend Evie, who went to school at the same university as me, is working as an au pair this year as well across Lac Léman in France. She recently got the Voie 7 as well, so we around noon on Friday October 10th decided we wanted to plan a spur of the moment trip to Zurich. I immediately got on and sent a few requests, hoping that someone would be just as spontaneous as us and host us for two nights. With little hope, because I really didnt know if this plan was going to work, a guy named Joel messaged me back and said that we'd be more than welcome to come crash at his place. Evie and I sent hundreds of Facebook messages in excitement and looked up train times to find the first train after 7pm. There was a train at 7:18 and another at 7:45. Evie had to work later than I did and almost missed her bus, so we ended up taking the train at 7:45. the best part is that evie was to arrive at the train station just a few minutes before the train left. Miraculously, we saw each other on the opposite side of the platform and ran straight to each other and boarded the train seconds before it left. In our panting, tired state, we saw a few people come by with cold beers in their hands and I was like, "Evie, beer, I want a beer, but not if it's more than 6 francs." We debated the possible price of a beer on a train and we bet no higher than 10 francs, and to my surprise it was 5.50 francs. We drank a beer, ate some snacks and quiche i packed, and chatted on the two and a half hour journey to Zürich.
Leaving Rolle

Train beer

Evie arriving to zürich in style
So, when we arrived to Zurich it was a little after ten, and in the middle of the train station was a party going on for Oktoberfest, which was incredibly funny for me because I thought that was a Bavarian thing, not Swiss. I was so excited to be in Zurich and I had been waiting so long to see the city. Evie and I caught the S24 heading to Wipkingen to meet our couchsurfing host. We got there pretty easily, almost climbed five flights of stairs before realizing there was an elevator, but still had to climb one flight of stairs because the elevator didnt go all the way to the top. We were greeted with an open door and loud music coming from a record player, which I was already really happy about. Our host, Joel, was having a little get together with friends. He introduced us to everyone and immediately offered us a beer and we spent the rest of the night discussing books and philosophy and finding out more about everyone. Most everyone there was a PhD student, or had just finished their PhD, in things like sociology, information technology, physics, and engineering. I have to admit I felt a little out of my league, being the only one there who studied languages and arts, and not sciences, but I still had a good time. Evie and I shared a double bed  in a tiny room with no windows, which for some reason was hilarious to us. at some point I remember saying to Evie, "I can't tell if my eyes are open or closed, that's how dark this room is." We laughed for about 10 minutes and then went to sleep a bit after 2am.
From the balcony of our host's apartment

We woke up the next morning and got dressed, and looked up things to do in Zürich. We hadn't really planned anything... luckily our host told us that he had two extra bikes for couchsurfers to use and that afternoon we went on a bike trip through Zürich! We first went to Hardbrücke and biked around, looking at all the shops and restaurants. We passed through a few really cool tunnels on bike and over some incredible bridges, heading into the old town, downtown, whatever you would call it. We stopped and bought beer from a microbrewery called Paul's Bier, and then we decided to go to a giant flea market in the streets near the lake. Evie was on the hunt for shoes, while i was just looking around, trying not to get tempted into buying records or old film cameras. Later, we went to this Market near Hardbrücke where we bought another beer each and Quiche for a late lunch. AND WE FOUND KALE. I have had no luck finding kale since moving to switzerland and I was honestly moved to tears when i found it. I bought a bunch of kale and then we also bought a bunch of veggies to make a stir fry with pesto and pasta for dinner.
Some really cool architecture on this building

Down by the River

Beers and Syrups galore!

school of secret photography

A Kale-filled dinner :))))

So Evie, Joel, Joel's friend Josephine, and I made a fancy dinner and had some spectacular beer and then decided to watch a few episodes of Broad City. Later, Josephine left and another friend of Joels made an appearance, and then we played a game called paper telephone, where you draw a picture or write a sentence and pass it to either side of you and the next person either draws a picture relating to the sentence they read or writes a sentence about the picture they, see, and you keep passing it for as long as you can, or until the original creator realizes what it is. We laughed a lot over it, and stayed up late talking. We eventually got to bed, but not before Joel told us that he was going to go mountain biking tomorrow and left us a key to the house and to the bikes so we could come and as we pleased.


some really good beers

The next morning Evie and I trekked out on our own, bikes and cameras and a few ideas of what to go do. We first went to Hardbrücke, to get a closer look, and ended up finding a Photoautomat which I had a crazy freak out moment because the last time I saw one of these was when I was in Berlin almost two years ago. Evie and I took photos three times, we were obsessed. Definitely going back to do more next time. Next, we found a little park and spielplatz witha  weird rope course and acted like children climbing around. Then we rode around the river to the Old Town and parked our bikes so we could walk around. We decided we needed lunch, so after much search the cheapest thing we could find was a Thai restaurant where we ordered pad thai with veggies and accidentally put to much spicy sauce on it. Evie was almost in tears over the spiciness and we quickly left to find a water fountain. We continued walking around and stumbled upon a Freitag shop where I got really excited over a convertible backpack/hand bag and promised myself by February that I would buy it for myself. Magically, the Cabaret Voltaire was on the floor just above Freitag and we went up to take a look.




Old Town

Cabaret Voltaire

After a while we got really tired. over the past two days we biked around 22km and We needed time to get our stuff together before heading back home. We got back to Joel's apartment and packed our bags and chilled for a while. Joel came home just in time for us to say goodbye, and we ended up making plans to meet up with him and Josephine in Lausanne the following weekend for LUFF (post to come). Evie and I then went on to the train station, I headed back to Rolle, and she to France.

Right before I left on this spontaneous weekend my au pair dad had said, "Last minute trips are the best trips." and he was right. I will definitely be going back to Zürich soon!

Tiny elevators

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The end is near....but so is the beginning

I've decided it's time that I start blogging again because since my last post, more things have happened than I know where to begin. I'm going to try my best to recap everything that has happened and share some photos, and then i will begin fresh and continue through the journeys that lie ahead of me.

Since my past most in November 2012, I moved back from Lyon, France to Tallahassee. While living in France, I took over an au pair position from a friend who had decided he didn’t want to be an au pair. I lived with a wonderful family with three amusing, energetic, and sweet children and learned so much more French living with them. I got to see what living with a French family was like and experience their culture and lifestyle. They took me skiing in the Alps and to Bandol in the south of France where I walked along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and saw some of the most beautiful landforms I have ever seen. I made incredible friends with a group of amazing people. They came from all walks of life and all types of different countries. We spoke a mix of languages and every time we were together, nothing could stop us from having the times of our lives.

Maria Alejandra, Sophie, Jeannie, Julian

Abi, Jeannie, Axel, and Juan Carlos in Emma's apartment

me on Christmas eve freaking out over pumpkin pie

Alyssa and I

Alyssa, Oren, and I

I went to Paris and stayed with my friend Elisa twice, and she sowed me the time of my life each time I visited. Her mom was the most welcoming woman in the world and I often told her than if she and my mom had a language in common, that they would be the best of friends. I explored Aix-En-Provence with my friends Leya and Alyssa, had numerous day-drunk picnics with friends at Parc de la Tête d’Or, puked over the side of Ayers Rock more than once after drinking on the steps of the Rhône, took more photos than I could afford to develop, saw the Molière play L’École des Femmes, and EXPERIENCED LIVING IN SNOW.  I saw Death Grips play a show in Lyon and made friends with a few English girls who were more obsessed with Death Grips than I was. I could go on forever about things I did in France, but now I want to talk about my return to Tallahassee.
snow from my apartment

Leya visits me in Lyon! in my favorite restaurant Mathilde

Axel Jeannie and David at Parc

Me in Vauvenargues

(Not) Skiing in Les Menuires

La Côte d'Azur

My Au Pair Kids

Everytime we roam the streets it's a party

Everyone at the parc skipping our classes

My first week back in the states, I went up to Tallahassee to see friends and meet my new roommate for the first time. I ended up having an amazing weekend seeing friends I hadn’t seen in over a year. A month later I moved into this amazing house with my roommates Tyler and Kelly. It’s a huge 1800 square foot house with wood floors and huge windows in the back room. I’ve finally got my room set up perfectly and I love it. I started my last year at FSU, and did pretty well in the fall semester, and I’m hoping to do well once I finish this spring semester. I have to take three courses this summer to meet graduation requirements, but after that my undergraduate degree will be over!

Since moving back to Tallahassee, I have made some incredible friends who fuel my life of life and art and music. I am constantly surrounded by creative and great musicians, talented writers, and amazing artists and it encourages me to keep doing new things and trying. I hosted my first house show called MEGABRUNCH, and had a bunch of local bands and two touring bands play a show in my back yard while we all sipped on mimosas and ate the biggest brunch ever. I got a Casio MT-100 a few months back and I love playing with it. I’ve recorded a few things and put them on soundcloud. I got to go to SXSW this year and see Austin for the first time. It was incredible and now I’m certain Austin is the place I want to move to, after my year off of course….

My front yard, and stolen sign from Seminole Grand

Kyle, Kasey, Me and Dylan

Friends at Total Bummer 4 Ever

Vacation dad, Meth Dad, so many dads, so many hawaiian shirts

Meth Dad at Megabrunch

Dave and Steve at Megabrunch

Kyle at Megabrunch

Amanda and Jordan

More friendssss

Junk's first show at Cuddle Punx Riot House

Which brings me to what the future will soon hold for me. I am going back to Europe in the beginning of august, less than a week after I graduate to be exact, to be an au pair again for a family living in Switzerland just 30 minutes outside of Geneva. They live in a beautiful apartment less than 5 minutes walk from the lake. They are very funny and nice people and I am so excited to become part of their family in just a few months. The wonderful part about all of this is that they will be paying for my language courses during my entire stay! And I’m also going to be making a ridiculously good amount of money, which will help me start paying off some loans from the first time I went overseas. I’m going to get to travel so much more this time around and spend time on bettering myself, developing the thousands of photos I have yet to develop yet, and perfecting my French.

There is so much change happening. One part of my life is ending, and another is just beginning and I only hope for the best.