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Flying first class

18 Jan

Have you ever flown first class? I never had until our recent trip to San Antonio. And I probably never would have except the bf is a travel genius. He knows how to find the best deals and always finds the loop holes. Point being: he’s a premier member on pretty much every airline, which puts him first for upgrades and gives him access to all the airport lounges. There is he below enjoying our complimentary Bloody Marys at the American Airlines Admiral Club lounge in Dallas. Let’s just say, I like traveling with him better than by myself.

airport_lounge_bloody mary

So of course while we were waiting to fly to Texas, his name gets called for a free upgrade to first class. I’m not sure how he managed to swing it (maybe the guy at the counter was feeling extra nice on New Year’s Day?), but he upgraded me too, for FREE. It was the bomb.com.

I had way more room than my short legs could possibly ever need, a blanket to keep me warm, a real glass to drink from and breakfast on the house. It was one of the most pleasant flights I’ve ever taken, and now I know what I’ve been missing out on all these years.

The best part was spending the first day of year with my favorite person doing what I like to do best: travel. Although I probably won’t fly first class again for a long time, there are great trips to be had this year, and I can’t wait.

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Vacation memories

12 Jun

It’s hard to believe two weeks ago today I was on my way to the South of France. Vacations always fly by quickly, but it seems the weeks that follow go just as quick. Reality returns with a strong vengeance and gives you a good slap in the face. No worries folks, I’m hanging in there. And I have some great pictures and memories to keep me smiling for a while.

With that being said, let’s do a quick recap. After a delayed flight to Germany, I finally arrived in Düsseldorf, and we were on our way to Sebastian’s hometown of Warendorf to spend the day with his parents. Since Sebastian lives in Berlin, the opposite side of the country, I hardly ever see his family when I visit. In fact, I hadn’t seen his parents in two years (talk about pressure to make a good impression). We had an awesome visit though – from lunch with his Mom to cheering on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final with his Dad, it was an awesome (and very full) day.

strawberrycake{strawberry cake in the garden}

garden{Mrs. B’s backyard}

soccergame{BVB fan club of Warendorf}

cookies{Borussia Dortmund themed cookies}

Due to my delayed flight, our time in Germany was shortened, and the next day we were already on our way to spend a week in France. This was my first trip there, and I absolutely loved it. From the architecture to the food to the people, it really was a lovely country. I’ll be spending the next couple weeks recapping the trip, so stay tuned!

Up next: our morning at the Eiffel Tower and lounging on the Champ de Mars.

Three years

15 May

Another year spent apart, but another year together. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Many people don’t understand our relationship, and why we choose to make it work, but I’m OK with that. What’s important is he gets me, and I get him. It doesn’t matter if people don’t get us.

I’m reminded every day that we’re 4,206 miles apart, yet he’s the closest person to me. He knows all my secrets, my hopes and my dreams. He knows what makes me laugh and how to push my buttons. He knows my favorite color and my silly routines. He’s seen me at my best, and he’s seen me at my worst. He knows it all, and still chooses to love me for me. I never have to pretend who I am with Sebastian.

So today we celebrate our crazy relationship – the relationship no one else truly gets, but the one we do, and that’s all that really matters.

Basti and Me

Dear Sebastian – you bring more joy to my life than you’ll ever know. Thank you for the most wonderful three years.

Happy Anniversary, love.

xoxo

Wallowing

8 Apr

I can’t deny it; I’ve been having an extra tough time since Sebastian went back to Germany. So much so that I let it take over my life this past weekend. I’m embarrassed to say I spent 80 percent of the time in bed and may or may not have finished an entire season of Mad Men. So many questions were running through my head and overwhelming me. How long are we going to do this? Are we ever going to end up in the same place? Why does long-distance have to be so hard? And then on Sunday I broke down.

But luckily, I broke down in front of Sebastian on Skype. He is such an incredibly understanding guy. I was a blubbering, snotty mess, and he stayed there with me, letting me cry it out. And then something really good happened. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I remembered, despite the ups and downs, long-distance is worth it. I remembered he’s worth it. So after we hung up the call, I picked myself up out of bed, pulled it together and stopped wallowing in self-pity. I know it won’t always be like this, and if I’m patient, everything will work out some day.

So here’s to feeling better. Here’s to feeling normal. And here’s to all the long-distance lovers out there. This one’s for you.

dance in the rain

images via 1, 2

Counting down

20 Mar

countdown

Can’t wait!

You’re my sweetheart

14 Feb

Even though I can’t spend Valentine’s Day with my sweetheart, it doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the holiday. I spent the evening going through old photos of me and Sebastian. It was nice reminiscing on all the trips we’ve taken and memories we’ve made. Looking forward to many more to come.

mjandseb

card2

mjandseb2

We may be a thousand miles apart, but I’ll be with you, wherever you are.

Happy Valentine’s Day

xoxo

The sunshine state

24 Jan

It’s a little funny writing about Florida, especially since we’re experiencing the coldest temperatures yet this winter, but it’s also nice to think back to our week in the sunshine state. Even though Sebastian and I had originally planned to ski in Breckenridge over New Year’s, we decided to travel to Orlando instead. Winter was wearing us down a bit, and we both thought some warmer weather would do some good.

Our trip started out a little rocky, as I came down with the flu the night before our flight. Fortunately, I was able to fly the next morning, but it made for a quiet New Year’s Eve. Once we landed in Orlando, we drove to Melbourne to spend the afternoon on the beach. I spent most of the day sleeping instead. In fact, I may or may not have slept through midnight and woke up five minutes after the ball dropped. Despite being sick, it was nice spending time at the ocean. And it was even nicer waking up to a beautiful sunrise on New Year’s Day.

ocean1

ocean2

Basti

We spent the morning walking along the beach, and then took a longer drive along the coast before heading back to Orlando. We stayed at the Parc Soleil Suites, which was awesome for lounging on a beach chair. Nothing better than lying by the pool, soaking up the Florida sunshine. We called it an early night because the next day we were heading to Disney World, and I planned for it to be a full day.

hotel

We spent the morning at Epcot and had a blast. This was my third trip to the park and Sebastian’s first. Our favorite ride was the Test Track presented by Chevrolet, and it was a ton of fun walking around the World Showcase. Of course we had to make a stop in “Germany,” and even had lunch in “Italy.”

disney

epcot

nemo

Italy

Later in the afternoon we headed for Magic Kingdom, and boy was it crowded. I’m talking wall-to-wall people. We still had a nice time, but the kingdom wasn’t quite as magical as I remembered as a kid. The wait time for most rides was two hours, so we skipped them and explored the park instead. I got my picture in front of Cinderella Castle, and then after feeling like sardines for too long, we decided it was time to go home.

swiss family

us

castle

On day three we drove to Wekiwa Springs State Park, which has, you guessed it, a natural spring. I wasn’t brave enough to go in, but Sebastian enjoyed swimming in the clear, cool water. The spring also had a wildlife center, which had recently obtained a baby American Alligator. It was the only one I saw the whole trip so I was super excited.

wekiwa

swimming

We spent our final evening at Universal CityWalk and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It was touristy, as I expected it would be, but the food was actually good. And I loved the Forrest Gump movie trivia. Sebastian was a little confused when I answered every question correctly, but who doesn’t love Forrest Gump?

It rained on our last day, which was appropriate since we were heading home to cold weather. We were glad to have chosen sunshine over snowy ski slopes. The vacation was much-needed, and we arrived back feeling relaxed and recharged. Another great trip in the books. Thanks, Florida!

A day in Pittsburgh

27 Nov

It’s hard to believe another Thanksgiving is over, and December is right around the corner. How quickly the holiday came and went. This year was even more special because both my siblings came home, and so did Sebastian. There was plenty of noise and laughter in the house, and now it feels quiet and empty again. I’m already counting the days until Christmas.

Thankfully, I was able to take some time off work while everyone was in town, and Sebastian and I thought it would be fun to spend a day in Pittsburgh. Even though I’ve traveled to some pretty fantastic places, sometimes it’s nice to rediscover the areas in your own backyard.

We set off in the morning, and after a light breakfast, we quickly decided our first order of business should be a stop at Primanti Brothers. For those of you not familiar with the restaurant, their signature items are sandwiches consisting of grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato slices and french fries, piled high between two slices of Italian bread. We both went for the pastrami sandwich and shared some chili cheese fries, too. It was a delicious way to start our day.

After lunch, we headed to the Monongahela Incline, the oldest continuously operating funicular in the U.S. It was fun stepping back in time, riding the wooden cable car up Mt. Washington. It also offered spectacular views of the city, and we happened to visit on a perfect day to see it.

Our next stop was the Andy Warhol Museum, which I’ve always wanted to visit. The museum is definitely worth seeing. Some things I didn’t know before we visited: it’s one of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. We weren’t allowed to take pictures beyond the first floor, but the other six floors had some phenomenal displays. If you haven’t yet been, I recommend planning a visit.

The last two stops of the night were the Penn Avenue Fish Company and Andy’s, a little jazz bar that happened to be located in the lobby of our hotel. The restaurant was exactly what we were looking for. It’s BYOB, which I thought was fun, the atmosphere was relaxed, and they had great seafood, including sushi. After dinner we walked back to enjoy some drinks at our hotel, the Fairmont Pittsburgh. Dear Fairmont, you were quite expensive but totally worth it. We loved the views from our room, the convenient location and the incredible service. Needless to say, we enjoyed our time in the Steel City.

Until next time, Pittsburgh. xoxo

Birthday wishes from afar

29 Oct

It’s days like today when long distance is especially hard. Today is Sebastian’s 25th birthday, and just like the ones before, we won’t be spending it together. In fact, we have yet to spend a birthday together. Yet, we always try to make it special for the other person, even from far away.

If it were possible, I’d hop on the first flight to Berlin to wish him happy birthday in person. But until that time, a package and a birthday call will have to suffice.

happy birthday, love

sending extra good thoughts your way

xoxo

A little faith and some random thoughts

15 Oct

Two weeks have gone by since I arrived home from my vacation in Germany, and I’m starting to get back into the groove of things. I’m always in this weird funk when I return – my physical body is here, but my heart is somewhere else.

Last week felt especially difficult. It was a rough week at work, and I was seriously starting to doubt myself. Just when I was feeling really down, I came across this quote:

It’s so true that we often put ourselves down, or at least I do. It’s something I will try to change because I know I am worth a lot, and I should try to have more faith in my abilities.

Speaking of quotes that helped me get through the week, I am obsessed with the character Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family” and his Phil’sosophy on life. This one is my favorite:

And finally, this Saturday I attended a wedding for two of my close friends Kyle and Danielle. It was a beautiful ceremony for a beautiful couple. The reception was a blast, and I feel in a much better place this Monday.

{the lovely couple}

{Nick photobombing us – Lauren, Erika, me}

{in John’s words: we would absolutely survive the zombie apocalypse}

Cheers to the week ahead!

images via: 1, 2, 5 and my friends’ FB photos