Wednesday, March 31

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sorry I forgot to put up something yesturday, I hope you guys did something fun. I was wishing you were here the other day to explain Foucult's Pendulum to me! Love you.

All by Myself

Hmm... some guy outside just said hello to me and told me that he's an artist and wants to draw me because he likes my eyes. Artist my ass. But I'll take it as a complement anyway! anywho... Hello! today I was on my own in Paris. I checked out of our hotel, but they let me keep my bags there. I headed out to the Musee D'Orsee. It was wonderful, really and truly. Absolutely remarkable. I don't know if it's a bad thing, but the Lourve didn't really awe and inspire me, but today was filled with awe. I Guess the older things just seem more like history to me and less like art. If that makes sense. I can't tell you how many times I audibly gasped when I saw a painting. I saw Monet, Van Gogh, Renior, so many others. I could have stood in front of every Renior for an hour, a few I think I nearly did. My nose was like <.....this far.......> from Monet's wather Lily's and Van Gogh's self portrait. Incredible! Of course I've seen Monet's before, but the Minniapolis Institute of arts tends to have the lesser known paintings by well known artists, so it's not quite as impressive. These were all THE paintings that you think of when you think of the artist. It was really cool to see the real thing, I was amazed by the gobs of paint on the impressionist paintings, it's really thick. There was also a lot of pointilism that was neat to see. There were a couple old American women near me looking at them saying "these look like mosaics or something, i like the texture" and I wanted to just yell... It's called Pointelism!! anyway, not that I know that much about art. There were some other neat exhibits and lots of sculptures, I spent about four hours seeing the whole thing. Then I took to the streets. I happened upon one street having some sort of little market thing with tents outside and they all had yummy food... I wanted to try so many things I ended up eating a bit too much probably, but oh well, it's my last day in france. I had Quiche, and cheese, and a Crepe with Nutelle and some kind of Liqure and some stawberries. yum yum. I walked some more, not entirely knowing where I was, and ended up finding the Luxenburge gardens! it was really beautiful, I'm sure it's amazing a little later in the spring. but there are lots of neat statues and plants and it's really big. One part has a huge playground with hundreds of french chilren and a spot for old men to play Bocci ball and tennis courts. It seems to also be where everyone in paris goes to Jog. It was nice to walk around it and sit for a while. Then it started to get cloudy and rain a bit. It took me a while to find a metro as I no longer had any idea where I was, but I did and I made it back to this nice little internet cafe that we've been going to. It's been night sight seeing by myself although I wish Shannon could have seen the things I did today too, I hope she made it back in time for her classes. I still have an hour at least though before I have to get my bags and head for the train station... but it's raining out now, so I think I'll just chill here and catch up on emails for a while. The weather up until half an hour ago has been absolutely perfect. Nice and sunny and just a little cool. I'm not especially looking forward to spending another night on a train, especially alone this time, but it's unavoidable I guess, and I know I can handle it now. I have a stop over in Frankfurt to pick up my other suitcas from the airport and I should get to Munster around 10:30am tomorrow, hopefully I'll figure out the busses and find the guy I need to while he's in his office. hmm. Eminem's Slim Shady just came on the radio in here... hmm, I'm getting sick of all the random american music they play everywhere, serioulsy, we were sitting in a cute little Crepperie yesturday and "It's raining Men" comes on. Huh? Disco? ah well, nothing is ever what you expect, there is a Mcdonalds on every other corner after all. Allright peoples, next time I write I shall be in Deutschland! Hoorah!

Tuesday, March 30

So... today... we headed to the Pantheon and had our morning pastery in the sun on the steps there before going inside. It was really neat, I didn't realize so many people were burried there, Voltaire, Roussaue, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and lots of other french military hero's, so that was really neat. Also I didn't know that Foucult first demostrated his pendulum there, they had a model of his set up hanging from the highest point, it was neat. After that we walked to Notre Dame. It's really really big, but somehow things don't seem big anymore because everything we see is big! The rose window is very pretty, they were doing some construction though in the middle of the Church. In they treasury we saw some bones of saints and stuff. crazy catholics. I did get some souveniers for youm Mom, rosaries and prayer cards and madalions. Then we walked to another church, I can't remember the name right now, it was built by King Louis the something, as just about everything was, origianally to house the crown of thorns and other relics (they aren't there anymore). it's knows for it's stained glass which is really amazing there are huge panes of it that make up almost the entire walls. From there we walked to a cute street with lots of little shops to look in and we ate at a Crepperie zhich was yummy, their creps were made with buckwheat, I had one filled with cheese and topped with a tomato sauce with lots of mushrooms. Then we got Itallian Gellati and stood in the sun on the bridge over the river to eat it, mmmmmm :) We walked by the modern museum of art which is a crazy building, very out of place with lots of colored pipes and funky stuff. Then we came back to our hotel and shannon packed up and such and now she's on her way back to Spain. I don't leave for Munster until tomrrow night to I have a day of sightseeing to myself. I think I'll go to the Musee D'Orsee to see the Monet and Renior and what not. I think I'll enjoy that more than a lot of the really old things at the Louvre. Then off to Germany, eee! I'm still a little nervouse about finding the right guy and moving in, but I think it will work out. I'll have a few days to get settled in and find stuff I need before my language class starts on monday. This is going to be a fun semester! Shannon said today that I was lucky that mine was just starting, she's already sad that her's is half over! San Sebastian is really amazing though, i don't blame her. Munster will be amazing too. I'm so glad I can early and that I convinced Shannon to skip classes and come to Paris with me, I'm such a bad influence :) it's been a whirlwind trip as expected, but lots of fun. hoorah for paris!

Ooh la la!

this keybored is diving me nuts! ok... where was I? theres so much stuff stuff here! it's like everywhere you turn you see something famouse! Yesturday we went to a big Opera house which was gorgeous, it's supposedly the one phantom was based on. the celing insice was painted by Chagal, it's beautiful. Then we went to the Louvre. The Louvre! (after crepes for lunch out by the fountain) We saw the Mona Lisa and Venus D'Milo of course and lots and lots of other old art that I wish I knew more about. the excavation underneath was really neat, I had no idea that was there, there used to be a Medeivil Caslt there and the dug it all out so you can walk through the foundations. After that we came bak to rest for a while and here to figure out registration stuff for next year, I'm registered for classes now but may chage them later. Then we went to a fancy gormet pizza resturant which was good and Shannon got to have Creme Bruoule because she never had! In our hotel we've been watching either Brittish CNN or german MTV, it's interesting. There are tons of Germans here! Ok, gottq to, Shannon has to get ready, she's leaving tonight, I don't go to Munster till tomorroz night. So I'll be back later to zrite about what we did today!

Monday, March 29


Turns out my french is even worse than my Spanish :P oh my goodness, I don,t know where to begin! But first I should apologize for typos, french keybored are strange. I,m in Paris!!!! in an internet cafe. We took the overnight train saturday, whih was an experience, six beds stacked three high in an itty bitty room and we had a very smelly guy in the car ith us who snored. ick. but, we made it! we took the metro to our hotel to drop off luggage, we couldn,t check in till 1. So we headed out to see the sights. We went to the Arch de Triumph, hade pasties and coffe in a cafe nearby and then clibed the stairs to the top where there is a great view of the city and the Eiffel Tower! so cool. then we started walking to the river. we stumbled upon the Hotel... something, it means the hotel of invalids and I believe Louis the XVI built it for all the injured soldiers, or something, I have a brochure... Napolean,s tomb is there. then we went to the Eiffel tower and took lots of pictures, which I will have online eventually. We waited in a long line to go all the way to the top. It was neat reading about the history and the various things they,ve used it for and of course the view is great. I,ve been up the Eiffel Tower!!!!!! We went to lunch/dinner in a nice resturant nearby and I had a yummy seafood salad that I think even had caviar on the bread with it. We took the metro back and checked into our hotel. The metro here is great, if Shannon and I can figure it out it,s got to be easy! Then I took a looooong nap, I was exahsted after sleeping on a train then sightseeing all day. around 10 after a shower we headed out again. We went to the... I,m going to spell this horribly wrong... Sacre Cour. The big church, you knozw what I,m talking about. I was beautiful all lit up at nigh and when we went in they were having mass so we sat down and stayed. I think God wants me to go to church or something, for the seccond sunday in a row I stumbled into a church just in time for a service. It was very nice. When we left we went out and looked at the Eiffel tour, which was lit up and sparkling, very pretty :) Then we went and saw the Moulin Rouge! unfortunately seeing a show there is a bit pricy for the likes of us, but we got pictures and walked around a bit before heading back. Today we,re off to an opera house and the louvre!

Saturday, March 27


Just printing out last minute stuff before we head to the train station.... to paris! Last night we went to a really nice resturant down on the warf. The have really really good fried calamari and I had clams too, and split a bottle of wine with Shannon. Then we packed up and stuff. Today we went to Bilboa and did a tour of Pintxos bars, Yum! I love this cultural tradition! And we saw the Guggenheim but didn´t actually go in, Shannon´s been there twice and we diddn´t have a whole lot of time, she said its almost all one artist that she didn´t like very much. We talked about things to see in Paris on the bus ride, it´s going to be a whirlwind three day tour I think, should be fun! Anyway, we´re back and I managed to zip my suitcase... no small feat after those shopping trips... and now I gotta run and catch a train!

Friday, March 26


Yay yay yay!! Shannon and I are going to Paris! tomorrow night! I asked if she´d come so that I don´t have to travel alone 24 hours strait again so she´s skipping a few classes and we´re going to paris tomorrow! First we´re going to Bilboa to see the Guggenheim and get some Pintxos (Tapas) and such. Then tomorrow night we´ll take the overnight train. We found a great deal on a hotel at I´m so excited! we´ll see the Eiffel tower! and the Louvre! and Notre Dame! Well, as much as we can in three days anyway, but it will be super fun I´m sure. We got a little guide book- in Spanish of course. But otherwise have no idea what we´re doing, so I´m sure it will be an adventure :) Ok, I just had to keep my loyal blog readers updated on my whereabouts, I´m not sure where or when I´ll write next. Someone tell me how synchro nationals went!

Post Card Perfect

If I´m ever fabulously wealthy... I think I´ll buy a summer home in San Sebastian :) or come visit Shannon in hers! I walked up to the top of the mountain this morning to see the fort at the top. The view is amazing, you can see the whole city from one side and way way out into the ocean from the other. Have a mentioned that this place is gorgeous? there were paths and benches all over the mountain, the fort is really neat, I don´t quite know the story behind it, but it´s old :-P I wish it were really hot so I could go lay on the beach, the beaches are so nice. I just jogged along it a little today. It´s still pretty cold and keeps raining, although it is at least sunny today. Yesturday Shannon and I took a train to a shopping center in a nearby city, it was crazy, it was like an american mall, which I didn´t think they had at all in Europe. It had all European stores of course and a HUGE grocery store that had everythign else, like a wallmart, Shannon was very excited by this and found some cheerios and salad dressing. A lot of trendy stuff seems to be trying to be American, like t-shirts with random english words on them that don´t always make sense, which is sad because I think it would be cool to have a t-shirt with spanish words :-P When we got back we took a little nap and then went to her Salsa class which was kinda fun, Shannon makes an excellent Man for dancing perposes :-P It kind made me miss salsa night at the Quest at home though. Then we went to an Irish Bar, Molly Malones, to get our complementary beer after class. We chatted with a few of Shannon´s girl friends for a while. I´m getting excited about going to germany, I ask all the germany girls I meet here what they know about Munster. Most say it´s pretty small and definitely a student town. One girl has a friend going there and wants to give me her phone number and stuff, which would be great, I´d have a real germany friend in Germany! It´s also nice just being here and seeing Shannon and her friends all adjusted and having fun and enjoying their experience, I know the first few weeks will be tough, but it´s going to be a lot of fun. Anyway- we didn´t stay at the bar very late. I fell asleep right away, yay! maybe I´m getting over the time difference now. Poor Shannon still had homework and then class early this morning. She´s taking a nap at home now. Tonight I think we´re going to one of the nice sea food resturants down by the fishing warf area. I love that there´s so much fishing here, mostly because I love fish, but it´s also just neat in that area. Today I saw a big group of little kids, maybe in kindergarten, out on a field trip around the city and they were watching the women who sit down there and sew up holes in the fish nets. it was so adorable. I miss my baby brother! Say hi to Scott for me, Mom! I apologise for not having pictures of all these pretty places up yet. I have my digital camera with me but I´m an idiot and left the USB connection thing in the case with my laptop in my suitcase in frankfurt, so you´ll have to wait. Shannon has some postcard type pictures up in her albums. So Pretty! Have a nice day everyone :) And if you want a postcard then e-mail me your address!

Thursday, March 25

From Sunny San Sebastian.....

Hola! como esta? See how much my spanish is improving? Ha ha. So... where did I leave off? yesturday I slept very late and then went out for a run while shannon was at classes and it was actually sunny! It was beautiful!! The water is a gorgeous aqua-marine color it was nice. I even started to walk up the mountain after running for a bit but man oh man, that thing is big and steep! maybe another day when I haven´t already been running... Shannon came home in the afternoon and we took to the streets- va a la calle as the Spaniards call it. We had coffe out in a plaza type area that was a bull fighting ring way back when, it´s pretty and there are lots of pigeons. Then we went shopping! yay! Don´t worry Mom, I didn´t spend TOO much. Well, maybe I did, but how often am I going to be shopping in spain? I did find a shot glass :) There are all sorts of fun stores, little artsy ones and bigger expensive ones like Gucci and Benneton and what not. We went back to her flat and she contacted a few friends with plans for the evening and I got all pretty and such in my new European fasions- ooh la la! We watched a bit of Zoolander with her flat mates, which I still have yet to see all of, and then headed out to meet her friend Jessica and her roommate. We went to a little Irish bar first and had some wine and a yummy spanish liqure, I don´t remember the name but it´s very sweet and mixed with milk. Then we went to Tas Tas which is well known as the bar where all the international students hang out, and wednesday is two for one for exchange students. I met lots and lots of Shannons friends and other people there. It was a little place but completely packed with people dancing to typical american party music in the back- something like an apartment party at UR only far cooler for being in Spain. I talked to lots of people and said ´no habla Español´a few times. I got to speak a little german with a few of the german students though. We also met a couple guys from California here on spring break from studying in Florence. One was going to culinary school, we chatted for a while but eventually he got very very very drunk- enough to buy me and Shannon a shot- and he admitted that he was learning to cook because ´chicks dig it´, riiiiight. When Tas Tas closed we went to another bar with more spanish people. Chef boy tried to get in also but was too drunk to get buy the bouncers. ooops. We said hi to the people shannon knew and hung out a little. She pointed out Hot Guy and Cute Friend to me who happened to be there (you´ll know these charactors if you keep up on Shannon´s live journal linked over there <----) She didn´t want to go talk to them so I was finally like if you don´t I will! so I did. I mean really, they´re drunk and standing there talking to each other and no girls, how hard can it be to aproach them? Shannon later called me her Heroine because I talked to them and even DANCED with HOT GUY. goodness gracious. And we met Danish friend, a friend of Cute friends. These people have names, but I don´t remember them all. oh well. Anyway, Shannon got to talk to them as well which is the important thing. Oh, and this little boy from El Salvador was there, I mean LITTLE, he had been dancing with me at the other bar, he was a crazy dancer and reminded me of all the little mexican men when I go salsa dancing at home. He was kinda funny though, dancing to club music and trying to get everyone and anyone to dance with him. On our way out we saw Chef boy STILL standing outside like an idiot. Why oh why to dumb american boys drink so much? sigh. Anyway, it was a fun night all together. And don´t worry Eric, I think you´re far Hotter than Hot Guy and cuter than Cute friend, although I´m not sure about Danish friend..... Kidding, love you! Today Shannon and I are taking a train to a mall type shopping center somewhere and coming back in time to go to her salsa class. Yay salsa! Adios!

Tuesday, March 23


Hello Hello. I´m out exploring San Sebastian on my own while Shannon has classes and such. She has a big group project due tomorrow she´s working on. This morning I woke up, made myself some eggs and went out for a run. It was chilly and windy but it´s soooooo gorgeous here. I went around the mountain and along the beach all the way to the other end of the bay where there are really neat sculpture things in the side of the mountain. At that point it started raining so I got nice and wet walking back, but I was too excited to be in such a cool place to really care much. After streatching and such I took a long nap, I haven´t quite recovered from traveling and time changes. I read a little of my german harry potter, had some lunch and then headed out to explore a little. Miraculously the first thing I stumbled upon was an H&M :) it was like it was calling out to me... so I got a couple sweaters mostly because I´m cold! I wandered in an out a some more shops and found the big grocery store and all the meat market things where I managed to get some sliced turkey, fresh veggies and some kind of spanish cheese. yum. It´s funny, I actually feel less afraid to interact with people here than in Germany, in Germany I feel dumb if I can´t say something because I feel like I should be able to, here I know absolutely nothing so I feel like they can´t expect anything of me and people are very nice when they figure out that I can´t speak spanish, I guess they don´t care as long as I´m spending money in their store! I love European cities. There are so many people just out walking around. even though it´s cold and rainy the streets are full of people. and you can walk everywhere! Ok, I should probably go soon... I´m not sure how much I´m paying for this. Good Luck at Nationals this week synchro girls! Go Spiders! and Happy Birthday a little late Chelsea! Feliz Compleaños!

Monday, March 22

I made it!

I´m in spain! San Sebastian to be exact, at Shannon´s school in the computer lab while she goes to class. Her flat mate is coming by to walk me back in a few minutes so I´ll just start as much as I can about my adventures thus far. I left Minneapolis Saturday evening, said my goodbyes to my family and then to Eric at the airport (sniff sniff- miss you sweetie). From there I flew directly to Iceland which was about 5 hrs. Now I really want to go to iceland for real some time, it looks neat and I read about it on the plane. There are only 300, 000 people there and half of them live in the capital city. They have the highest life expectacy in the world! And they have hot springs and world renowned spa resorts. and they speak some Nordic language which had little bits that were like german but mostly I couldn´t understand it. I was only there for 10 minutes to get on my next flight, but the airport is really cool. From there I flew another three hours to Frankfurt. and was served breakfast on the plane, the sunrise in Iceland was very pretty. In frankfurt I got my bags, put the big one in storage and managed to find the train station and get my Eurrail pass verified and all that. I had several hours before I had to get to Koln (Cologne) so I wandered around all the shops and resturants and stuff. I bought the new Harry Potter book auf Deutsch to get some practice while I´m here. Eventually I figured out that there were lots of earlier trains going to Koln, so I figured I might as well get their early. I love Koln! I was there on my highschool trip so it was kinda nice to be somewhere where I remembered where things were a little. I went outside to look at the Kolner Dome (Cathedral) which is one of the most amazing things I´ve ever seen, if you´re ever in germany you should make the hike up the little spiral stair case to the top of it. It´s a HUGE Gothic cathedral. I went inside and there was a mass going on so I decided to stay. I got comunion in the Kolner Dome! Then I go on my train to Paris which was a pretty long one, I got to Paris at like 11pm and had to take the metro to the another train station in paris, which was slightly frighting. A french man saved me at the metro station, I was standing in from of a ticket machine looking totally lost I´m sure and he came and helped me and let me pay him cash to put the ticket on his french card that you have to have to get a ticket. So I made it to the other station and found my trail, or what I thought was the train I had reservations for, I SWEAR it said "Irun" at the platform. It was an overnight train with little bed things, but I just went in the part with reclining seats, the beds stacked on top of each other made me clostrophobic just looking at them. So I managed to sleep for a lot of that ride- the buckwheat travel pillow was definitely a wise purchase. In the morning it started making stops in places in france. after a couple I asked someone if he knew if this train was going to Irun. First he said (in broken English with a very french accent) "no, that is the other direction" for a minute I was about to freak out because I though I´d gotten on an overnite train to the wrong end of Europe or something. But he got out a map and I actually wasn´t too far off. So I got off at a stop and found the next train to Irun. On that train I met another extreamly helpful person, he was french I think, but going to school in spain. I told him I was trying to get to San Sebastian and he was supper nice and helped me when we got to the station to find when the soonest bus was and everything. He said few Spanish people speak English. So I got on a little bus and got off at San Sebastian! By that time I actually had to pay for the bus pass because I didn´t want to use a second day on my Eurrail pass just for one buss ride. At the but station I called Shannon´s cell and she came to get me and here I am!!!!! whew. are you still reading? It´s been so crazy, I lost track of times and days and what meals I should be eating and I was disgustingly dirty, the first thing I wanted when I get to shannon´s flat was a shower! but I´m pretty sure that after all that, I can get just about anywhere. as soon as I got to the airport at Iceland I stoped being nervouse and started being so excited that I´m in another country! I´ve been in five countries and heard five languages in the last few days, only two of which I can actually speak. I´m amazed by how kind people are in general. I will never again stand for any french people bashing! I know you´re not supposed to be too trusting, but I deffinitely would have been lost without the kindness of strangers. Maybe going to church helped.... Anyway, I made it. I´m in Spain! look- I can prove it- ¿ ¿ ¿ ñ Ñ I have a spanish keybored :) If only I could remember all that spanish I learned in elementary school. It´s kinda cold and rainy here, kinda like it was in MN. There was a hail storm while I was on one train. The last train ride was pretty, along the ocean and by the mountains. San Sebastian is very pretty too. Oh, did I write that I have a place to live in Munster? I am eternally greatful to Susan Jordan who got in touch and someone there found me a place in the international house, I just have to go right to his office while I get there. Piece of cake :-D OK, I better get off for now, Connie is here (she´s german!) I love you all! even the people I don´t know! oh, and I know that 70 people have looked at this so why do I only have 2 comments???? If you miss me you´ll comment!

Thursday, March 18

2.5 days. ahhh! eeek! ack! eep! I haven't packed anything.... I don't know where I'm living... I don't know where to go what trains to take what language to speak what to bring what to do. I have to be missing something, am I supposed to feel like I have no idea what's going on? It doesn't feel real... next time I go to the airport I'm going to be getting on a place to Iceland...I keep thinking I'm just going to go drop Eric off and then come back here to sit around in sweat pants some more. We've been having fun this week. We experienced St. Patty's in the twin cities today going to BOTH the St. Paul and the Minneapolis parades. Which was interesting... St. Paul is where most of the really truly Irish people are which was apparent from the parade which was very true to the spirit of the holiday I think, mostly unorganized, lots of crazy people in crazy crazy green outfits wandering around shouting stuff and generally getting ready to pack into the bars as soon as it was over. It was very festive. The Minneapolis St. P's day parade is kind of an off and on thing that hasn't been going very long. There were a few Irish groups, dancers and a couple family clans- who they must have brought over from st. Paul because besides that there was a Mariachi band and a lot of radio stations. And people in Minneapolis were no where near as decked out or loud, Eric and I decided that all the hard core Irish folk would clearly be completely trashed by 6pm on St. Patricks day and too far gone to make it to the later parade in Minneapolis. But hey- both parades had candy so I was pretty happy :-P We also made a stop at the always thrilling MN history museum, one of Alexis and my favorite places ever. Yay History! (I am NOT a dork.... it's cool) yesterday Eric and I explored the sculpture garden and uptown Minneapolis a little. We also so The Passion of Christ. When I was reading blogs last week I found it interesting that every other blog I came across seemed to have an entry about this movie. Now I can see why, once you see it you just have to react. I'm not going to write a ton about it here, Eric and I already had a lengthy and academic discussion after we saw it. But at any rate, it's very powerful and I think well done and worth seeing. Tomorrow we're going to see the afore mentioned play at the Guthrie and at some point I have to get packing like a crazy woman. Oh yeah... and figure out where the hell I'm living in Muenster. I've finally contacted people and the international office at school is helping me out, God Bless Susan Johnson. I think it will work out, it's just very last minute and making me a little crazy. but then, when wasn't I crazy? Oh yeah, and any Richmond people reading this- does anyone need a roommate next year? hmmmmm. I can't worry that far ahead yet...

This has been a completely unstructured and unthought-out blog, and while there are plenty of clever and interesting links I could add I'm not going to- because you know what? my boyfriend is here :) So quit reading this already and go find yourself someone to make out with!

Saturday, March 13

I wrote this last night but internet explorer was being a dork and I couldn't publish it....

Scotty has a friend sleeping over tonight. They are currently watching Holes and falling asleep in the guest room. They made a serious dent in a Sam’s Club sized box of fruit snacks earlier this evening while playing x-box games. Oh to be a kid again. How can I be so old? All grown up and going off to Europe all alone… I’m scared. Trains are exploding… I don’t have a place to live, what the heck to I think I’m doing? Yeah, so, due to some phone service difficulties I didn’t get to call the housing people today, even after staying up until 3 and getting up again at 7 to try to catch them during business hours. Grr. I’m not used to these people who don’t go out of their way to accommodate me. I’m used to having the school set everything up for me. I realize that I’m spoiled and that part of the purpose of this whole venture is learning to do this kind of stuff alone. But really, why can’t they just do it over e-mail!? Or at least give me some indication of what I’m supposed to do….sigh.

I talked to Chelsea tonight who seems to be surviving her study abroad experience quite well. It was Saturday after noon there when she called and 90* and sunny. Why am I not studying in Australia again? She’s also adjusting to life as an English major after switching her major this semester. You know what that means… books books books! Is it bad that I’m envious of other people’s homework? It’s sick I know, but I miss classes a lot.. I’m trying to read One Hundred Years of Solitude but I’m going pretty slowly. I need assigned reading and class discussions for a book like this….. Oprah’s Book club just isn’t quite doin’ it for me. German classes are going to be a HUGE challenge, which will be good (in a thank God this is pass fail way) but I’m going to miss my English lit classes. Sigh. I want to go! I’m scared to go! Ahh!

Eric is coming tomorrow! Tomorrow! Hoorah! I love my boyfriend and I’m so glad he’s going to be here, hopefully he can keep me from going insane before I get on that plane…. I can’t wait to see him, Florida seems like an eternity ago. Anyway, I might not be getting to many blogs in for a while. I’ll do what I can!


Ok... I'm off to hit the MOA before I pick up Eric from the airport! later ya'll

PS- if you want to read someone else's travel blog- someone who can actuallly write- Garrison Kiellor kept one on his recent book tour.

Friday, March 12

Check this out... I think I found the Easter Bunny! I think I'd pee my pants if I saw that thing hopping around leaving eggs in my back yard. Anyway, what I was really looking for was pictures of cute babies because I was going to write about the adorable little one I baby sat tonight (I didn't find any, but you can find some baby pictures of your own). Her name is Georgia and she's a Peach :) There was also a Chandler (6) and an Olivia (3) who also have their good qualities. Chandler and I played battleship- I won, muh ha ha ha. kidding! anyway, I finally got them both to bed but Georgia was still up, so I got some baby time and you know what that means... Belly Zurbers! I love babies :)

I managed to do quite little today.... I may or may not still be wearing the pajamas that I woke up in, I'm not telling. I do have plenty of stuff that needs to get done before I ship off though. Number one being Laundry and lots of it. I need to pack! ah! I don't know what to bring! I'm the worst packer ever. I tend to bring everything "just in case", but I can't really do that in just a couple suitcases that I have to pack for an entire semester. Although, I'm confident that I'll be buying PLENTY of stuff there, so I'm not too worried about forgetting stuff. There are multiple H&M's in Muenster! Yesterday I bought a Eurail pass online, so I'm all set to get to San Sebastian and back to Duetschland from there. I however still I'm not sure that I have a place to live once in Muenster... I was going to call the international house tonight but I can't seem to find a phone... three cell phones in this house and none belong to me and not one is readily available... grrr. I also need to buy a laptop computer, if anyone has tips on the best to buy for under or around $1000 let me know! I'm so afraid of everything I'm going to have to do when I get there! eep! baby steps Annie... baby steps.... I just wish someone else would do all this for me but I suppose that would defeat the purpose :-/

Let's talk about something else shall we... Two days till Eric is here :) and amid all that packing will be lots and lots of boyfriend time... mmmm.. We're even going to see Romeo and Juliet, how romantical! ok ok, enough mushy boyfriend stuff.

Alexis is leaving for dazzling Las Vegas tomorrow. ooh ahh. If you've never seen this man made wonder you should go some time. seriously. as much as I want to dislike the monument to greed and corruption that it is... it's just so darn cool! and Alexis... I already gave you Las Vegas post cards so I better be getting one once I have an address! The kids I was baby sitting for got postcards from Chelsea today. I haven't even gotten postcards from Chelsea! I haven't even gotten e-mail from Chelsea. Get on your computer woman I know you have one!

Speaking of... um... something... My little brother Scott recently started begging my mom to find him "Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?" the CD Rom game. I though this was great because I have fond memories of the TV show, the Where in the WORLD version- you remember-- Do it Rockapella! Turns out that they aren't making the game anymore but we found a used copy on Amazon. Scott's been asking non-stop when it's going to get here and it finally came today. However, when I tried to install it and run it our computer FLIPPED OUT. It's only made for Window's 98. Bummer. Anyone know of a newer version?

Ok, that was a pretty pointless story and I mostly just wanted to work in a link to Rockapella... If Caroline ever reads this I'm sure she'll appreciate it :)

Goodnight blog readers.

Thursday, March 11

Bombings in Madrid, 190 dead. If you want to hear more about this from someone who knows what's going on I highly recoment you read Shannon's journal from Spain. She did a huge report on Basque Terrorism last semester plus she's actually in Spain and has much more interesting reactions than I. All I can ask myself is, what makes people think that blowing other people up is going to help them get anything done? I don't understand it. I certainly wouldn't give much credit to the political ideas of someone who just killed 190 innocent people. But that's just me. Keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

In local news.... So I woke up this morning and stumbled downstairs in my PJ's to get some breakfast and found my parents sitting at the kitchen table with two stange men. Great. I love strangers seeing me in my pajama's in the morning :-P They were actually two of the developers who will soon be turning the corn field next to my house into a lot full of duplexes. Now there's something to put a smile on my face in the morning. Yes the city of Corcoran has finally given in to urban sprawl and although I feel sad at the lose of my wide open spaces my parents could be getting enough money from these evil developers to buy a nice home on a lake.(I like this one).. so.. it has it's good and bad points.

In sports news.. my high school hockey team is currently playing in the state tournament at the xcel energy center-- Bob got to skip school to go to the game. Why didn't they ever make state while I was there?

At this point I should probably apologize for the excessive use of pointless hyperlinks... I just figured out how to use them. You'll also note that I've added lot's of links over there <--- and added a counter and commenting capabilities. I'm getting pretty fancy with all this blogging stuff. It's fun! I read lots of other people's blogs the past couple nights (instead of writing in mine). I especially liked what he has to say about blog writing. It got me very excited about blogs in a sick and twisted english major kind of way. Anyway, I'll probably be back tonight... you could probably stay here and spend all day looking at these links until I get back :-P

Tuesday, March 9

12:37am and no boyfriend online to speak of... none at all. And yet here I am, sitting at my mom's lap top slowly becoming adicted to reading other peoples weblogs.

Chatting with Bob tonight in the hot tub until I was quite pruny. He feels he was cheated on the SAT's because the math section wasn't hard enough for him to display his abilities, we discussed the value and validity of standardized testing for a while. And he's hearing from colleges now... got into USC, Santa Clara, Boulder, still waiting to hear from Pepperdine, Notre Dame and Stanford. Qualified for a pretty good ROTC airforce scholarship and could probably get sophmore standing at most schools. I'm proud of him. I really am. He's more interesting to talk to than many of the people I know. He's far more diligent about schoolwork than I ever was. He's confident. He cares about his friends and is well liked. And he's getting into great schools with good scholarships and is even considering the Air Force. I never could have done that, I'm such a chicken. Anyway, at the risk of getting all mushy I was just thinking about what a good guy I think he's turned out to be. Despite his 6th grade level vocabulary :P I can't wait to see what Scott's like in a few years... Maybe my mom should write a parenting book, she was thinking about it tonight, trying to come up with something different she could write next. I'd say that she and Dad have turned out three high quality human beings, which is no small feat. Mom and I were watching a program on PBS tonight called "The power of intention" a feel good self help connect with your source lecture by... some guy. He was pretty good actually, I feel inspired to think about my life- but then, I've got a lot of time to think. He was mostly about seeing yourself as a part of something bigger, or at least that's how I like to see things you have to let go of your ego "We are not human beings living a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings living a human experience" ... or something like that. Everything will work out if you believe that it will, good things happen when you let them. Anger, shame, blame, hatred, fear stop good things from getting to you, stop you from being able to see the good things. It's all about the good karma. I believe that, I believe that things don't "go wrong" in life. They just go. So many good things happen to me, I just want to believe that they will continue to and that I can pass that on and on and be of service. I've had way too much shame and guilt recently that I need to let go of and start appreciating myself and appreciating my life. I was intended to be here!! the PBS man said so!! I have a few fears to get over too because I can't let them hold me back. I'm just going to trust, trust myself, trust the order of the world and go for it. Go for everything. Yeah so I'm going to Europe and they'll all be speaking german and I have to take classes in german and travle by myself, blah blah blah. This is going to be the greatest oportunity ever to just let go and trust. I rememvber experiencing somethign like that one night on my high school german exchange trip. Keep in mind I was only 16.... I stayed out later than my host student and had to get a bus home myself. I got lost finding my way home from the bus stop and was wandering around the streets of Dusseldorf at 1am all alone. I stopped to look at a bus rout map and a creepy guy asked me to come home with him... I turned around and walked as quickly as possible in the other direction. I started saying the hail mary to myself over and over in my head. I know, I know... how very Catholic of me, but it's comforting. anyway, I was scared, but I knew that I was going to be fine, that I was going to find her house, it was just a matter of walking until I found it. and I did find it. It turned out my poor host student had gotten worried and gone out looking for me and I felt terrible. But it was an experience that has just kind of stuck with me, it was really the first time I'd been so alone somewhere, lost on the streets in a forigne country. I'm not sure where the point was in that, but what I'm trying to get around to is that everything is going to be ok. Better than ok. I just have to stop thinking about me and my limitations as a person, because there aren't limits, it's not just me. Nice people are everywhere, even in Erurope, and good things are everywhere, waiting for me. I'm going to " contemplate myself surrounded by the world I want to create" and "Think from the end". Just like the nice man told me to do. I'm doing a lot of talking about my impending trip to Europe... but it's begining to dawn on me that I'm really going to leave really soon and I feel like I'm way behind on mental preparation. I'm doing a lot of talking, well, writing, in general mostly because I have nothing else to do and a lot of time to think and not a lot of people to talk to. and even though Eric is the only person reading this right now... I'm still enjoying writing it.

Sunday, March 7

It was so so nice to be somewhere other than my house this weekend. First I baby sat my darling cousins who told me that I am THE BEST BABY SITTER THEY'VE EVER HAD!!! They later admitted that I'm the only baby-sitter they've had other than our grandparents. I have some very disturbing childhood memories of my grandmother threatening me with a spatula, so I'm not sure if that's much of a complement, but oh well, it's always nice to be the best. So anyway, as fun as hanging out with six year olds was I managed to pry myself away at the end of the day (literally pry-- Cassandra would not let go of my leg) and head up to the great white north that is Duluth, MN. My brave little car huffed and puffed it's way up the big hill (I still think cars with manual transmistins shouldn't be required to stop at red lights on that hill) and at last I made it to UMD and my best friend ever in the world Miss Alexis Lexi-poo Stapp. We had a lovely evening with her roomate Cassie, who is adorable, making some very messy sugar-free chocolate mousse with Tofu and consuming adult beverages before heading over to a house pary of some of her friends which turned out to be THE place to be. I mean, anyone who's anyone in Duluth was there- crammed into the basement sucking down 3 kegs of something loosely termed as beer. Ahhhh... I can't wait for German beer! Needless to say a good time was had by all. Especially Erin. I don't actually know anything about Erin, except that It's her 20th birthday today and she's probably in a dorm room somewhere feeling extreamly hung over and wondering what on earth she did to break her middle finger last night. I'd like to take this moment to thank Erin and other obnoxiously drunk girls at parties for making me seem that much more cool and mature because intoxicated though I may be- I'm not as bad as they are. Alexis's friend Brian was kind enough to drive us to and from the party so we made it back safely and were soon snug in bed. This morning- err- make that afternoon Alexis and I went out to breakfast/lunch at a Greek/American Resturant/Pancake house. I enjoy the amount of slashed used in that sentance. Only in Duluth could you find a resurant with Greek Spnakopata served along side Wisconsin Cheese curds and Fried Walley. Alexis and I both had the very tasty Gyro-omlet and I decided that far more foods should be availible in Omlet form. Serioiusly. This girl loves eggs. After lunch it was time for Good-byes :( By now I feel like I've said good-bye to my friends so many times that it's not so hard anymore. We've made it through them all thus far so I'm pretty sure this time won't be any different. Chelsea and Alexis aren't going anywhere. I mean, they are in a literal sense, Chelsea's in Austrailia already and Alexis may be going to Argentina, but I know that the next time I see them we'll all still be best friends. I'm sad that we can't all three be together once more before I go, I wish they could see me off, but I think that saying good-bye to Eric at the airport is going to be enough to make me cry as it is. Eric's coming! yay! I'm so glad because it's kinda sad and lonley around here especially now I feel like I've said good bye to everyone else. and as much as I love my family I would go INSANE if I had to stay here alone any longer. I'm not even sure I can make it though this week. I love my family very very much and they can be fun, friday afternoon my parents and I bult a snowman- that's right, the three oldest members of the household built a snowman without my ten year old brother, what cooler parents could I ask for? but... it's just time for me to never ever live in their house again. I need a life!! I need to go see distant lands and meet new and interesting people.... hey, what'd'ya know? that's just what I'm about to do! and it's a damn good thing too because being here is putting me into a vicious funk that often involves binge eating and never changing out of pajamas.... so it's beyond time for me to get outta here. Not to mention that UR is already on spring break and I haven't even started the semester! It's depressing seeing my half empty buddy list and knowing they're all having spring break fun- or in the case of the synchro team off having spring break intensly long and excruciating training. But soon I'll be having my own fun and excitement. Eric and I will have our own hometown vacation when he comes next week and then I'm off.... up up and away! Iceland, germany, Spain, France, who knows where I'll be next? I don't even know what dorm I'm living in in Muenster! I'm going to pretend that that doesn't make me extreamly nervouse and instead say that it's very exciting and adventurous. This is excessively long. I'm going to go. Aufwiedersehen!