Exciting News and Exciting photos

I’ve received really exciting news recently, which has let to some really exciting photos. I’m excited to share more of them with you, but here a preview.

French: A Language And A Way Of Life

 

Bonjour! Parlez-vous français? Ouais, moi aussi! J’aime les chatons, aimez-vous les chatons?

I could probably keep going for three more minutes talking about cats or the weather before scrambling for my pocket dictionary. I’ve been taking French for around a year and a half, starting in my sophomore year of college. My university, like most, requires three semesters of a foreign language.

Continue reading French: A Language And A Way Of Life

Chamonix, France

 

Chamonix is a beautiful place-probably one of the best places you could go skiing in. Not only for the amazing views of Mont Blanc, but also the apres-ski activities. One of my favorite bars from my time there was Moo. A simple and comfortable bar for the

 

 

 

Basel, Switzerland

 

Basel was a great town! My parents have lived in Geneva, Switzerland for a few years and during that time, we had never been to Basel! It was really exciting to finally go, especially since I had heard it was a different vibe than in Geneva. I found that was totally true, it was grungy! I saw so many young and old couples with colored hair, bomber jackets, doc martins, and dark maroon lipstick (though that’s like high fashion now?). It was like a ritzy version of freaks and geeks. I definitely have future plans to go back there.

Okay my little travel tips. (1) Bring a camera with the right lens. I usually just bring my little nifty fifty when I travel because I want more room for scarves from Venice on the way back. Unfortunately, when I want to take landscape shots, I forget all about those scarves and just groan. Another thing, (2) pack only what you actually think you’re going to wear, and remember if you’re going to have a washing machine! I probably could have saved myself six pounds in my suitcase. Lastly, and this is something I’m planning on investing in and I don’t have yet, (3) get a Fitbit. Find some device that tracks your steps. I love long walks around the city, but then I have no way to track how far I’ve walked. Vacation doesn’t always leave time for four miles on the treadmill; using a Fitbit will help you feel better about the heavy fondue dinner you’re eating!

What You Learn Without A Camera In A Different Country

I’ve been incredibly blessed to travel quite a lot in the past few years, and in a few weeks I’m going to set off again to Switzerland. Most times I’ve been able to take my handy dandy Canon 60D with me. This past summer I wasn’t able to, so I had to get creative when it came to memory making. Of course, all phones these days have some pretty nice cameras on them so I was still able to capture some pretty buildings and sunsets. I was also able to experience the countries differently than before. My face wasn’t always constantly behind a lens; it was in the sun or in the moonlight or singing along with a band. I learned more about how to pronounce ‘Je voudrais steak at des frites” and less about ISO numbers. I focused first on eating my food, not taking pictures of it. There is a lot more to culture than the way a country looks, and I was lucky enough to learn that this past summer.

I did of course take some photos on my phone, so please enjoy them.

Jake, Samee, and Rory: Castle Exploration

Maastricht

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Typical transportation in Maastricht

I traveled to Maastricht in May of 2013 and it was a breath-taking trip. It’s amazing how the culture can change in only an hour long plane ride. The top three things I learned there were to (1) not be afraid to walk on the grass. There was so much green everywhere, and sometimes I wasn’t sure if i was supposed to walk on the lawn or follow the path. Then I saw lots of people running and biking over the grass, so I learn it was okay. (2) They plant a tree when they get a new queen. I didn’t quite understand this tradition, but it seemed to be a specific type of tree that was planted and had a dainty little gate around it. (3) There were roman baths here. I was walking through a square and I saw different colored tiles on the ground. The family I was visiting there explained to me that there used to be roman baths in that area. Instead of preserving them by not building over them, the builders of the town decided to remember the baths differently. they outlined them in different colored tiles. Now that I knew, I started seeing them everywhere! Interesting!

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A peaceful scene in Maastricht
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One of the many cafes in Maastricht
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The sunsetting on a beautiful street in Maastricht
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A quiet holland street
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Lighting Candles in a cathedral