Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looking Back....

I was just looking at my ical and thought how funny it was to see the difference between my MCAD and Brighton schedules....
Brighton schedule basically = footie matches
Mcad schedule basically = lack of life due to work

Friday, June 26, 2009


I am back in AMERICA!!!!!!!!!
I never cried (and only came close once) while in England. But the second I was going through passport control and the good ol' guy with the Chicago accent told me "Welcome home" I got all teary eyed. And then the second I walk into the arrivals thing I JUST LOST IT. LOST IT COMPLETELY. My family got this adorable little kid standing near them to say "WELCOME BACK TO CHICAGO, JULIE!" which really confused me because I thought "Why don't I recognize this kid?" but then I figured out what was going on, said thank you, and started SOBBING LIKE A CHILD. Happy happy and sad sad tears! I just kept crying and all I could say was "I missed America!" hahahahahahahahahhahahaahahaha. But it was so weird because I was just so happy and proud to be back in America that while I was sobbing, I had a HUGE SMILE ON MY FACE. Try to imagine how creepy that is. Or don't.

Um not sure what's gonna happen to this blog now. Maybe a few more posts and then it's over. We shall see!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Had a fun and happy but oh-so-sad night in Brighton last night. Jenny and I went out to the pub and met with Ally, Ant, Alex, and Tom for one last bit of fun. Then the four of us (- Ant and Alex) headed over to a different pub up the street to meet Rob and some friends. But on the way there the best thing in the world happened, we decided to stop in a few different news agents and buy a ton of candy that I haven't tried yet. YUM WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA! Such fun, I'm really going to miss Brighton and everyone in it! I'm not ready to say goodbyeeeeeeeeeeee boohoo.

Today finished up at Topman and said super depressing goodbyes to Ramzy and Jenny, both of whom I MISS ALREADY! (I can't wait to go home and pig out on cheeseburgers in your honor, guys!). And when I got home Frankie was waiting to take me to her favorite special pub. We walked passed Kate Moss' house and there were 4 paparazzi outside, crazy! Anyway, we met Ihab there later and this pub was amazing, it was the poshest pub I've ever been in and I had the most amazing meal and it was just so nice of Frankie!

But I guess that just means it's the beginning of my SUMMER '09 AMERICA TIME adventure, right?!?! YEAH!

Monday, June 22, 2009


No it really was my last Sunday in England and Jenny and I spent it out and about having an amazing time in London going from markets to galleries and all over the place. At the end of the day we headed back to Frankie's where we along with Frankie and Ihab had a picnic outside her flat with amazing food and just a fun time as usual.

Ihab told me today that he thought I was going to write about how he snuck chilis in the salad (he said he didn't want the chili to be lonely in the fridge.), so there you go, I thought they were tomatoes and just about died when I ate them.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I forgot to mention one crazy coincidence from the Lisbon trip. When Alex and I were at the airport going back to England we ran into a friend who had stayed in our hostel room in Barcelona with us for two nights!!! How crazy is that? He is from Brazil studying in Spain and happened to be in Lisbon and at the airport the same time as two Americans also in Lisbon at the same time! It was so nice to see him again out of nowhere, quite an awesome coincidence!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lisbon Love

Sorry this has taken me so long, I've been super busy working on very exciting things at my work placement, but anyway here goes:

Once when I was talking to my friend Marin (who I love and who is hilarious), we were discussing Portugal and she said this: "oh well what is there to do except get tan n be gay?" (referencing Cristiano Ronaldo).
Let me say that as much as I love to make fun of Ronaldo, there is sooo much more than that! PORTUGAL IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE and if I spoke more than a few phrases of portuguese I would seriously seriously consider moving there in the near future. Seriously. I'd start somewhere by getting a job at the wonderful hostel I stayed at and then move into a little apartment in the Barrio Alto and spend my nights out on the street grilling food and listnening to music with my new Portuguese friends. It needs to happen. SERIOUSLY.

Alex and I got in to Portugal late last Thursday night and by the time we found our hostel (which was spectacular on so many levels) it was about 10:30 pm and we chatted with some nice people staying there and then settled in and eventually went to sleep.
The next morning we started exploring the city in the pouring rain. Even though the weather was awful, it didn't stop us appreciating the beauty or fun of the city! We walked around and found ourselves at the top of the giant Elevador da Bica which has a lovely view. Right next to it is the Convento do Carmo which is an old church/convent that fell in during an earthquake hundreds of years ago. It is just stunning to look inside, it's really like nothing else I've ever seen and is quite beautiful! From there we wandered and went to some beautiful miradouros/viewpoints. Then we walked all around the Barrio Alto which is just the coolest place everrrr and I love it. And we had the worlds yummiest mini steak-like thing there. After that we headed to the Belém district and went to a huge old cathedral and cloisters and stuff and then headed to the contemporary art museum which was suchhhhh a great space but it wasn't utilized to it's full potential i think. After all that, HEAVEN. We went to Cafe de Pasteis de Belem and OH MY GOD I swear I just about died when I ate one of their pastry thingies. I can't een begin to describe how good they are other than the fact that on our last day in Portugal in just a few hours Alex and I bought 10 more of the things from various cafes around Lisbon.

We made it back to Barrio Alto pretty late and decided to explore a little bit of the night life there. IT IS PERFECT. The steep narrow old beautiful streets are lit up with Christmas lights and colorful banners of triangle flags are strung up cross crossing over your head and music (most of the time live music!) comes from a different source around every corner. People stand out in the middle of the street and talk and drink and grill fish and play catch and football. It is such a vibrant and friendly and carefree atmosphere, I love it!

The following day at the suggestion of one of the nicest guys ever who worked at the hostel, we took the famous (i guess?) tram 28 and went to the Alfama area. Absolutely gorgeous. The weather in the beginning was also awful and rainy but it got much better as the day passed. We saw some incredible views of the city and also saw a lot of churches. We kept getting lost and wandered the streets a lot but it was sooo pretty and nice and fun. Eventually we found the "Thieves' Market" which is just what I always imagined a dream market would be like. Like the brighton sunday market but times 10,000 and mostly on the ground and not tables and stalls. I got the cutest dress in the world for 5 euros and also a big cool old portrait photograph of a portuguese soldier guy for 4 euros. Score! After that we visited some other church and cloister and museum of tiles/azulejos that was unintentionally hilarious because of al these weird fable stories in it. Then we ate more pasteis de nata and walked up to the castle which is gorgeousssssssssss as expected and had more views of the city, hooray!

Later that night we made it back to the hostel where we had dinner with Ana who works there and is one of the absolute nicest friendliest and most genuine people I've met while traveling. It was so nice and fun! Then around 10:30 Alex and I headed out to this miradouro we had been to the day before because there was a small festival with free concerts going on that night! We went and it was SO MUCH FUN! I can't even describe how great it was, but I have two short videos of it so maybe those will help. After that we walked back and strolled Barrio Alto again because we are in love with it and then walked a block or two over to our hostel.

Next day we went to the new design museum and saw some amazing exhibits that were pretty thought provoking! Thennnnnn we basically spent the rest of the day walking around the downtown area and eating more pastries. Our flight was supposed to be at 9 pm butttttt we ended up getting back to brighton at 3:30 am. And I woke up the next morning at 6 am to hit the road for my internship. FUN! Nooooo but it was 1,000,000,000% worth it. I LOVE YOU PORTUGAL, YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I'VE BEEN (besides Ireland maybe but that is different!), AND I CAN'T WAIT TO RETURN!!!!!

Plenty more pictures of the pretty place here.
And some short little videos (that I want you to watch because I think they give you a taste of how incredibly cool it is there) here.

Friday, June 5, 2009


In Lisbon and I think I tasted heaven today. Yummy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stratford Upon Avon

I have realized that when I do things I need to blog about them right away because when I put it off I totally loose the motivation and interest in writing about them.

But anyway on Wednesday, very very bright and early Jenny and I set off on a nice long train ride to Stratford Upon Avon, which is not only Shakespeare's birthplace, but Jenny lived there for a year when she was 7 so that was her main motivation for going back and I figured "why not come along on the journey? It'll be fun!" and it was!!!

Our first day there we not only saw Julius Caesar in the Royal Shakespeare Company theater but we knocked on the door and met the lovely family who leased Jenny's family their house when she lived there. So kind of them to let us in and talk to us and show us around the house, it was adorable! Later that night after we saw the play we met up with Andy, the son of the people who own the house and he took us out for drinks at a nearby pub called the Dirty Duck. It was a blast! I love how friendly people are in England!

The next day we ate a scrumptious b&b breakfast and then spent the day sightseeing more around Stratford and wandering around and having more delicious tea. We even got to go out to the country a little bit and sat in the sun and had a grande old time. Later we wandered Stratford more and sat by the river and had fun watching the hilarious combinations of people row past in their boats. Then we met back up with Andy again before saying goodbye and catching the train back to Brighton late Thursday night. The trip was soooo much fun! I'm definitely not properly expressing how fun it was in this post. The whole weekend we just kept bursting into giggle fits. We still talk about it and burst into giggle fits, haha!

Read about it on Jenny's blog here. And see more of my photos here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Saturday Jenny and I went to Arundel on a day trip. The city was super cute and the castle was veryyyy impressive! It was a great trip but I am lazy and don't feel like writing much so here are some pictures. I really liked the library-esque room, which I am stealing a photo of from flickr to show you:

If you want to see more pictures, they are here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Today Jenny and I went on a fun little day trip to Arundel. But more on that later, there are much more important things to focus on. Such as the two PURE GEMS OF COMEDIC GOLD that we encountered today.

First, feast your eyes on this amazingly tacky thing we found in one of the gardens of Arundel Castle:

Too good, I tell you!

And second, the best for last. When we saw this we stopped dead in our tracks and burst into absolute hysterics:

Um.... southern railway, as much as I love you, who on earth do you think you're kidding? Trying to say that this:

is somehow "the new" this:


Friday, May 15, 2009

My Kind of Town

It's not exactly that I'm homesick, I just really really really love Chicago. A lot.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I do actually do stuff here sometimes

So um I guess for maybe the first time ever I'm going to actually write something about what I'm actually doing here in regards to school work (extension studies doesn't count cause that's different....).

It's getting to the end of the year and the 3rd years (seniors) are putting up their degree shows (senior shows) and each 3rd year is assigned a second year (junior.... me) to help them and basically be their personal assistant/do whatever they want, whenever they want to help them get their show ready. So I've been super busy helping my lovely 3rd year, Pat, get ready for her degree show by binding book upon book by hand. It's been great cause I'm learning so many new techniques and it just feels really good to actually spend time in Brighton working for hours upon hours. Feels a little like Mcad, awwwww. But it makes me REALLY thankful for the perfect binder we have in the service bureau... F'realz.

Apart from that, I'm really having fun because I am working on this new project and I've been inspired by the Kanye - Welcome to Heartbreak video and the Chairlift - Evident Utensil video to learn how to data-mosh. And it's SO FRUSTRATING sometimes but it's really rewarding to teach yourself how to do something. Andddd it's appropriate to the idea I have for this project, so hoooooray!

Here are two ugly dumb experiments I tried. They mean nothing and they look like poop but I MADE THEM and I'm proud of myself. And to all my family out there reading this and watching the videos: Yes, they are supposed to look like that. Your computer isn't really crashing.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pretty Pretty Panorama

Ben showed me how to make panoramas in photoshop, soooooooo now I've become addicted. Here are some pretty ones from my travels! Click to make them bigger.

Lakes and mountains district around Salzburg, Austria.

The blue lagoon on Comino, a super small island off Malta.

Another of the blue lagoon on Comino, a super small island off Malta.

Gozo, one of the other islands of Malta.

At the bottom of a mountain in Ballyvaughan, Ireland.

Brighton Pier yesterday on a windy windy day.

View from the top of this fountain thing at the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona.

View from the top of the Gaudi Casa Milla apartments.

View from the Parc Montjuic of Barcelona's ports at night.

View from the Parc Montjuic of Barcelona at dusk.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chocolate, Waffles, and a Beetle on a Needle: Belgium

Another TL;DR TOO LONG DIDN'T READ for you all. No, this is probably my last real travel excursion here so I'm gonna write about it... so there!

So a few days ago I got back from Belgium, yay! It was nice and fun and it just felt really good and relaxing to have a mini-reunion with Mary Ellen (one of my BEST BUDZ on the planet for those of you who might not know that)!

So Friday afternoon I took the Eurostar on a nice little two-hour train ride from London to Brussels and when I got off the train Meo and my Belgian friend Filip were there waiting for meeeee, HOW NICE! So right away we got to walking and talking and exploring around Brussels a tiny bit before heading back to Leuven where Meo studies. Once we were there we ate at this cuteeeeeeeeeeeee little restaurant that has fun little christmas lights and even has blankets on the back of each person's chair incase they get cold outside. TOTES PRESH. Anyway after that they gave me a little tour of Leuven where we saw the absolutely stunning city hall building, the beetle on a needle sculpture (google search "beetle on a needle leuven", it'll make your life 10,000 times better), some funny statues, and other general charmingness. It was interesting to hear about the city from an actual Belgian, we learned some funny things like how cobblestones are called "children's heads" in Flemish, apparently! Hah!
Then we went to the ode-markt or something like that and after that had gelato because how can you not? Anddd then we said goodbye to Filip for the day and me and meo went back to her student house which is innnnnnnnnnnnnnncredible! Once we got there I met a bunch of her absolutely wonderful friends and housemates and stayed up for quite a long time talking and having fun!

The next morning Me, Mary Ellen, and her friend Zach went to the market and got some dried fruit and yummy stuff and then wandered into the mini flea market. After that me and meo walked to the Begijnhof which is like this weird but pretty little village for single ladiezzzz who want to be single but not nuns I guess?! ok. After that we met Filip again who so kindly took us to Brussels and showed us all around, we saw the Atomium, Mannekin Pis (as well as a pissing girl and a pissing dog... Belgium is weird), and a ton of other things! Brussels is a pretty little place to walk around.

After spending most of the day in Brussels, Filip suggested we go to this little village called Mechelen to see this light art show. So we did! The three of us went there and once we got there we needed to wait a tiny bit for it to get dark for the sculpture things to start. Anddd Mary Ellen and I were pretty desperate to try this fancy hot chocolate so we did that and it was amazing! By then it was dark and we walked throughout the city/village finding the art pieces scattered around. It was SO COOL. One of them was the craziest thing ever ever ever. Basically it's this hugeeeeeee box made of LED lights that change colors. And you go in it. I know it doesn't sound like anything special but it was UNREAL. At one point the three of us were standing in it with these two older people and the lights turned to this crazy green color and literally I can't even begin to explain the effect it had! Meo and I looked at each other and screamed! And we didnt scream because we heard each other screaming or because we felt like being stupid and screaming, but literally that was the only way to react to it! It turned your whole vision green..... the only way i can think to explain it is in dumb graphic design terms but it was like someone duo toned my whole life and everything was only green. Meo's face was all green. IT WAS INTENSE AND KINDA SCARY, OK!? After that one we saw lots of other cool ones, and one really scary one that we literally stood and stared at for a good 10 minutes just going "oh my god what is it doing now?! I'm scared!" hahahhahahhahahahahahha it was so fun! As we were finishing up finding all the art things, we passed this free concert that a brother of Filip's friend was playing in. It was in a giant movable circus tent type thing with mirrors and a disco ball and magical circus looking stuff everywhere, it was absolutely incredible! The band was really fun and kind of gypsy style so being in a tent in the middle of belgium watching them was pretty awesome.

After that Filip drove us back to Leuven, and once we got back even though meo and I were literally falling asleep in the car and couldn't keep our eyes open, we decided to go out with her friends from the house. So we spent the night out in Leuven having a great time! Andddd time really flies when you're having fun because we left the last place and it was light outside.... 6 am! Then we decided to get frites so there were the 5 of us left at the end of the night sitting eating frites in the broad daylight talking to some man who thinks America sucks. Interesting. Then we walked home at 7 am and had some interesting experiences along the way before going back to the house and crashing right into sleepy time.

The next/same day we were pretty exhausted so we basically just took it easy. In the afternoon Me, Meo, and super nice friend Abbey went to this really fun amazing park by their house that had so many crazy things to play on. Did we care that there were Belgian kids and parents in the park playing? Kinda. Did we let it sop us? HELL NO! So we spent some time running on spinny things and climbing up stuff before heading back to the house and later that night we went for kebabs and then sat around and talked and then watched tv (I miss tvvvvvvv) and it was nice to just sit around and be normal.

The next day Meo and I went to Antwerp! It was cold but it was still lovely! We did some shopping and smoothie consuming and wandered around a lot. We walked to the square and saw some crazy cool church and the city hall and the wacky doodle statue of the giant who cuts people's hands off and that was all good fun. Then we walked along the river port and eventually wound up in this really incredible church that had this thing outside that neither of us knew what it was.... it was like this little garden but.... unexplainable. Kinda with sculptures and stuff... but it was SO COOL. Then we went inside the church and that was really lovely too! And then we both had to go to the bathroom so we asked one of the guys who worked there where the bathrooms were and he told us to follow him and he took us through the church into this area that i'm pretty sure we werent really supposed to go in but it was so cool and he was giving us lots of little info about the church and antwerp and stuff so that was cool. Oh but he was kind of a little bit of a crazy religious guy who is scared of people of other religions so that was awkward. But other than that he was a jolly old man! After that we continued our Antwerp adventure and bought candy and waffles and all that good stuff. I guess all the sugar in Antwerp made us a little hyper or something becuase the whole train ride home we were being the way we typically are together but extra like if all our friends were there. We made up tons of new words (tipsywinks and queek being new favorites) and FREAKED OUT over something that is really ridiculously hilarious to us and our friends but to the rest of the world would be weird so I won't talk about it but basically it set us up for a night of weird fun. When we finally made it home at the end of the night we decided to make a thank you card for Filip for showing us around and for some reason we basically spent four hours being really stupid and making really dumb funny jokes about the weird pictures we found in the magazine we were collaging from. Fun times.

The last day we accidentally woke up late and rushed over to the really beautiful botanic gardens in Leuven. After seeing that we headed back to the center and went to this crazy event thrown by the economics department at KU Leuven and got tonsssss of free stuff like ice cream and cheese and fries and anything you could ever wanttttt, it was cooooool! Then Meo had to go to class so I took some time to go shopping, bought two jars of the most heavenly substance on earth, Speculoos (it's like spreadable teddy grahams..... one of my jars is almost completely gone already) and did some shopping. After that I met meo again and we got more free stuff at that thing before meeting Filip to say goodbye and going to the olde-markt place again. Then basically around 7 pm I got on the train and was on my way back to England andddddddddddddd due to some minor complications I finally got back to Brighton around 2:30 am, hhahahaha!

Now I am back in Brighton, taking a break from frantically trying to finish my homework for tomorrow, feeling sick and like i'm going to die, anddd hanging out with friends from mcad, how fun! The last few days here have been pretty eventful too. Oh, Brighton.

Anyway Belgium is cool, yay! More pictures HERE.

HAHAHAHA OH MY GOD. I have to add that if you click and make the first picture big it is SO FUNNY because it looks like I photoshopped this weird cartoon guy into the picture "where's Waldo"-style. But it's really there. And I don't know why but to me it is just about the funniest thing on earth.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ace of Cakes

There were real fireworks in my cake! Thanks, Choccy Woccy Doo Dah and Jenny! And thanks to everyone who came out and made my 21st so fun :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thanks, Ally!

Yesterday Ally took Jenny and I on a wonderful day trip through something like 6 or 7 different counties in England!

First we drove to Tylney Hall in Hook, which was just absolutely incredible! It's a huge old fancy hotel that is on lovely grounds and feels like a movie set because it's just so picturesque. It feels like the kind of place that if you were filthy rich and getting married, this is where you would dream of having your reception or something. Anyway, we strolled around the gardens and explored the water garden as well before we decided to feel really posh and order coffees at their terrace. It was such a beautiful day and we enjoyed feeling really fancy and sipping our drinks in the sunshine.

After that we headed to Henley upon Thames but before going there we passed through Reading and met Ally's friend for lunch. Then we wandered around Henley, a cute little town on the river filled with little boats and things. And after that we went and visited Ally's house and had a lovely dinner with her and her parents. It was such a nice treat and a great way to spend a spring day in England! Thanks for such a fun day, Ally!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baffling Bavaria

I always leave Germany feeling very very confused (to say the least.... if you know about the last time). I try so hard to like you, Germany, I really do. But all you can do is hate me. Whyyyyyyyy?

This time in Germany was certainly much much better than my last time but I still feel a little let down. And I know that I didn't really give Munich the chance it deserved (I wasn't there long enough [only 2 full days properly in the city]) so I want to go back and really have a good time there like I want to do for Berlin. But I think I will wait a very long time before returning to Germany to give it those second chances. Looooooooooong time.

I had a lot of fun though, I swear!

Day 1 was mostly spent traveling. I got in to Berlin pretty late and eventually found my hostel and checked in. As I was making my bed and locking up my things one of my room mates came in, Kok Liang, originally from Malaysia studying in France. He was super nice and interesting to talk to, although I was a little sad to hear that he disliked Munich and found that there was nothing to do there. As we were talking a new roommate came in, Rodolfo from Brazil now working in the Netherlands. Also super nice and interesting. We decided that once Kok Liang's two friends came back we would all go out to dinner, so once they did, the three of us and Young Chang and Daniel all went out to the Augustiner Brauhaus restaurant on the way to Marienplatz. We ate some surprisingly delicious typical Bavarian food (free pretzels yeah!!!!!) and had a great time. I was really relieved/comforted to hear that all five of us have similar struggles as people living abroad in foreign countries. It felt really good to relate and commiserate about things and to know it's not just me! After dinner Rodolfo, Kok Liang and I wandered around the city at night and walked down Maximillianstrasse which is super posh and high-end. After that we returned to the hostel and went to the bar at the hostel and continued hanging out and having a good time. A nice introduction to Munich!

Day 2 I woke up and met a new roommate, Sarah, from Boston studying in Bilbao, Spain. We went to breakfast together where we met Alexandra, originally from Paris, now living in London. We all hit it off and decided to go on a tour of the city together. We ended up deciding on a free bike tour that departs from Marienplatz. The three of us walked over to the square early and sat down to people watch and we were actually just in time for the glockenspiel! It was really cute! Right as that ended we hopped over to the fish fountain where the bike tour group was gathering. There was a pretty big group, about 35 of us and 1 tour guide (from America!) He gave us a little history of Munich and then lead us over to get us our bikes. It was pretty entertaining seeing 35 people test ride bikes in a small little area off the main square. The bikes were the kind where you have to pedal backwards to break, it was hard readjusting to that. On the tour we stopped at a bunch of interesting places and learned about the history of Munich and it's buildings and stuff. About halfway through the tour we entered the English garden which is apparently the biggest park in the world? Like a few times the size of Central park? It was gorgeous and full of curious little places. We stopped by the nude sunbathing section which was PACKED and full of characters. Then we stopped at the Chinese Tower Beer Garden in the middle. Sarah, Alexandra and I decided to split two of the obscenely/heavenly large pretzels, and it turns out they were so big we couldn't even finish them off, although we came close! It was really hot out though and there wasn't much shelter from the sun, but there was an Oompa band playing so it was all fine and dandy! After that we went to go see the river surfers. Yes, surfing in Munich. There is a standing wave in the river that flows through the park and surfers flock to it! It's super entertaining. After that we continued our ride and at one point, RICK STEVES RODE PAST US AND WAVED!!!!!!!! Ok so I was too busy trying not to kill myself or someone else on my bike to notice, but our cool tour guide dude told us after! Apparently Rick went on the tour last year and loved it, haha! After that we headed back to the hostel for a little bit of much needed rest, and Alexandra switched into our room because her roommates were a little inconsiderate. So we were resting when Rodolfo returned from the BMW museum and as Sarah and Alexandra were napping he showed me pictures from his trip so far and it was nice to see how someone else was enjoying the city. Once everyone was recharged, all four of us went out to dinner together at Weisses Brauhaus. Sarah and I split wienerschnitzel and steak which were both once again absolutely mouthwatering. After that there was no way I couldn't say no to dessert, so I had this spectacular thing that was sliced pancakes with apple slices and raisins covered in cinnamon and icing and with fresh apple sauce on the side. Heaven? Maybe! It was soooooooo gooooooood and there was soooo much of it! Deeeeeeeeelicious! After dinner we wandered around some more before heading back to the hostel and eventually going to sleep.

Day 3 Sarah and I headed out to catch an early train to Fussen to see Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. After the 2 hour train ride we got there and got our tickets (you can't enter the castles without participating in a tour.). We climbed up to the Hohenschwangau castle and met a nice older man and his daughter who was also studying abroad in England. After chatting with them we went and it was time for our tour. That castle was interesting and pretty but not as impressive as the next one. Once we left Hohenschwangau, we climbed back down the path and got ourselves some bratwurst to charge us up for the 40 minute climb up to Neuschwanstein. It was a tough climb but it was nice! The castle was pretty but unfortunately not nearly as fantastical as in the photos you see but the time of year has a lot to do with that as the trees weren't green yet. However, the inside of the castle is absolutely STUNNING. I would have loved to have spent hours in there but unfortunately you have to go on a tour and the tour isn't very informative and it only lasts about 45 minutes and barely shows you much of the castle, maybe like 6 rooms! I was pretty disappointed :( On the way back down we got some yummy doughnut like things and looked at the touristy stores before heading back to Munich where we met back up with Alexandra for dinner. This time we traveled in the opposite direction of Marienplatz and went to Augustiner Steuben which felt even more authentic than the other two! Actually as soon as we walked in, on the only-for-drinking side a man theatrically drunkenly fell to the floor (he was fine)... Oh, Bavaria! We sat down to order some food and I got the German version of mac and cheese which is wayyy better and has cooler noodles for lack of a batter way to describe them. doughier, I guess. I also got potato pancakes with applesauce. Scrumptious indeed, probably one of my favorite meals although they were seriously all spectacular. After that we were desperate to go to Hofbrau Haus, I was particularly excited because it's my dad's favorite place everrr and I really wanted to experience it and tell him about how I like it. But by the time we got there it was closed! BOOOOOO! So I never made it there, sadly :(

The next morning Sarah, Alexandra and I had breakfast together before Alexandra headed out to catch her train back to London. Sarah and I then headed over to the Alter Peter Church where we climbed an exhausting 306 steps to the top for a lovely view of Munich. After soaking in the sights we got back down and I said goodbye to Sarah as she left for the airport to continue on to Barcelona. Right after I said bye in Marienplatz, this young guy came up to me and started talking really fast in German. Once he realized I didn't speak German he switched to English and asked me to let him ask me a quick interview question for this magazine, Neon. He and his friend were so nice and also they caught me off guard (exhausted and sweaty from the climb, hadn't really brushed my hair, wearing clothes that i've been traveling in for a good two and a half weeks...) so I agreed. They asked me "What is overrated?" and I thought and though and thought and couldn't think of anything. Eventually macaroni and cheese popped in to my head and i thought about it for a second and i was so desperate for an answer that i just blurted it out. And then i though 'ughhhh what a dumb answer'. It totally sounds like the answer you read of someone TRYING BUT FAILING to sound funny. So now I look like the idiotic egotistical American girl. Yeah cause next they took like a mini-photoshoot of me.... ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhugggguhguhgug. Funny but embarrassing but entertaining. Oh and then of course after it all I thought of some good answers to the question but it was obviously too late. I don't know what to think of it all! Now I just need to find someone who can get the magazine when it comes out and send it to me, haha!
Anyway after that fiasco I was on my own for the first time, and I headed over to the hauptbanhof and caught a train to Salzburg, Austria. Once I got there I walked over to Mirabell Garden and enjoyed the flowers and fountains in the sunshine before heading across the street to get on the "Sound of Music" Tour. I don't care if you are reading that and laughing at me, whoever you are, I had a good time and that's all that matters to me! It was really fun and it was an opportunity to see more than just Salzburg as it took us to the lakes and mountains region. The tour guide was absolutely hilarious and entertaining and knew so much about the history of the place and the movie and tons of other little tidbits as well (and he is from Florida!). I sat next to an absolutely fascinating man originally from Lebanon but working in Germany after studying there for something like 6 years. He was such a nice and funny guy and told me lots about German culture and history and random stuff. Later on the tour we stopped in a mini town for an hour and we just got to walk around and explore. I ended up spending the entire time with another fascinating person, a lady who had grown up in Chicago, went to college in NY, and just 2 years ago moved to Budapest with her husband and had a baby there and just absolutely loves the place. It was really interesting to talk to her about living abroad and the culture in Hungary and all kinds of things. Really lovely.
Once the tour ended we were back in Salzburg where I wandered the city for quite some time before going to the Modern Art Museum which had some nice exhibits. After that I wandered around and got really lost and confused but eventually found my back to the train station. And that is when things started going down hill. I got on the wrong type of train back to Munich and ended up having to buy a different ticket on board for 33 euros cause mine was for a different type of train. Whoops. Then I got back to the hostel pretty late and did some stuff before going to bed. However, everyone who had been in my room the previous nights had left, all of them, and they were all so wonderful! So when i went to bed that night I think there was one new person in one of the beds across from mine, and then the other ones were empty but had sheets on them so i knew there would be new people in those beds, too. Wellllllll there certainly were. I tried to sleep as i was dead tired, and i was half asleep around 2am when i heard someone come in, TURN ON ALL THE LIGHTS, and laugh (probably cause they saw me sleeping... jerk!) Then he left. Then maybe at 2:30 he brought his friends back and once again turned on all the lights even though there were CLEARLY people sleeping. And they laughed and spoke in German and laughedddddd and were loud and rude and obnoxious. But I just pulled the covers over my head and pretended to be asleep. Then they left. Then at 3:00-3:30 ish they came back, turning all the lights on again and being drunk and loud and rowdy and rude and obnoxious but i just stayed huddled under my covers. Well then I heard one pull up one of the chairs by my bed and sit down and talk obnoxiously loud. And then like 5 minutes later he just RIPS THE COVERS OFF FROM OVER MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!! I WAS FURIOUS TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!!! And he just starts laughing with all his friends, THAT ASSHOLE! So I look at him and say "I'm trying to sleep" and he laughs and says "oh." and I say "you're being incredibly rude, am I going to have to switch rooms?" and he said "you can switch rooms if you want" And i say "Ok then i will. I'll be back" and he goes "i no speak good english" WHEN HE OBVIOUSLY DOES! Anyway so little old me heads downstairs in my pajamas at 3:30 am to the "24-hour reception desk", only to find that there is absolutely no one there. And I waited downstairs all alone for a FULL HOUR until at 4:30 am this guy waltzes in and seats himself back behind the desk where he belongs. Luckily he was really nice and helpful and immediately switched me to an all girls dorm room and came back up to my room with me to help me get my stuff cause I sure as hell didn't feel comfortable being back in a room alone with them. And he talked to them in German and then told me later they apologized..... suuuuuuuuuuure. So anyway that is when I decided that Germany really really hates me.

The next morning I woke up in my nice all girls dorm and met a lovely person named Becca from England and talked to her for a while, then had breakfast with her and a guy form Australia, and they both were very compassionate when i told them about my nightmare night before. Then I headed over to the Viktualien Market or whatever it's called and wandered around the stalls for a while and found there was an oompa band playing and old men cracking whips to the music and it was pretty entertaining. Then I went to some church that starts with an F that's name I can't remember. It was pretty allright inside. After that I headed over to the toy museum and enjoyed their adorable collection. Then I went back to the hostel because I had to check out and then check back in to yet another all girls dorm because the one i was in the night before was booked out for the next night. As I was making my bed I met my new roommates, two super nice girls form Barcelona and another girl, Wendy, from Australia. Wendy and I decided to head over to the Munichen Stadtmuseum together. It was quite a strange museum. The first few floors were dedicated to the history of Munich but it was all in German so we basically just talked about traveling and stuff which was nice! Then we go to the good part of the museum, the floor dedicated to puppets and freak shows and circuses and amusement parks and curiosities of things like that. It was soooooo creepy and cool, especially cause it was kinda dark and empty and creepy in the first place and then certain things would just start moving on their own when you walked by them! there was one that made us both scream! After that we walked around and ate at the Augustiner Brauhaus again where I had wiener sausages and potato salad followed by an apple strudel that was pretty good but not as good as the bit i tried of sarah's at the augustiner steuben. Then we headed back to the hostel where I packed my things and got ready to leave the next day.

The final day I had breakfast with the two girls from Barcelona and then headed out to run some errands and mainly find tea and kinder products. Which I successfully did! I even found NEW (to me) Kinder things in the refrigerator aisle. Let me tell you, I was ecstatic. And so I bought 2 individual fridge things, a 5 pack of fridge things, and a pack each of two limited edition things. Anddddd i ate the 2 individual and 5 pack things right away cause they were going to melt otherwise! hahahah but it was so worth it! Then i packed up some more and headed off to the airport where I finished my book (the brief wondrous life of oscar wao... go read it it was incredible). Then I finally made it to Brighton where I am now and will need about 2 weeks of recovery time, sadly I dont really get any. Oh well!

So Munich just didn't really do anything for me, but I feel like it could if I give it another chance. We'll see.... someday.
More pictures here and here.