Tag Archives: memories

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.

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

Painting the rock

24 Aug

I was recently looking through old pictures on my laptop and came across a few of me and Sebastian painting “the rock.” It was one of Sebastian’s last nights before heading back to Germany and still one of my favorite memories.

The rock is located on Front Campus at Kent State University, and painting it has been a long-standing tradition for students. Greek organizations started the tradition of painting the rock in the 1930s, and since then, it’s been covered with many layers of paint.

On most days, the rock displays a fraternity symbol or sorority achievement. Sometimes it’s promoting an upcoming sporting event, and I’ve even witnessed people painting it for their engagement photos. Occasionally, though, there will be something painted on the rock that only means something to the ones that painted it.

The particular night we painted the rock, it was late and most people were downtown partying (after all, it was the night before graduation). We didn’t really have a plan as to what we were going to paint. We ended up drawing a bunch of random words on it. Sebastian painted a giant German flag. We laughed and had an absolute blast.

The following morning, I noticed our masterpiece had already been covered by some fraternity symbol, but it didn’t matter. For me, it was one of those moments where you realize how easy it is to be with the other person. And Sebastian must have felt the same way because the next night he asked me to be his girlfriend. I know, super cheesy, but if you can’t paint a giant rock together and have an awesome time, you’re probably not meant to be.

To all my Kent State peeps out there, have you ever painted the rock?

Christmas memories

25 Jul

Merry Christmas in July! Christmas was and still is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. There is something truly magical about Christmas morning, and the joy during that time of year is contagious. I love the music, I love the season and I love sharing time with my family. I am always so sad when the day is actually over. A couple of times growing up, I was lucky enough to celebrate Christmas twice.

My Great-Aunt Georgie owned a cabin at a campground near Lake Erie. Almost every summer we’d spend a few days there with my Grandma. And some years, we’d get to be there during Christmas in July. You see, the people who owned cabins at the camp were pretty close. They’d spend a good majority of the summer together, yet didn’t see each other very often during the year. In order to enjoy the holiday season together, they started celebrating Christmas in July.

They’d decorate the camp grounds with lights and red bows. Some people wore reindeer ears and Santa hats. There were even little gifts for all the kids. One year, someone put together a Christmas scavenger hunt, and it was awesome. I’ll always remember those summer days by the lake.

So when I saw an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in July again this year, I couldn’t pass it up. Daryl, Alyx and Cecilia were kind enough to put together a fun blogger gift exchange, and I was paired with Lauren from Pink on the Cheek.

Lauren sent me some great gifts. I received running socks and cute colorful hair ties – both will come in handy as I keep training for races. She also sent Essie nail polish (my favorite!) and a set of pretty earrings. I love everything – it’s like she read my mind!

Thanks to Daryl, Alyx and Cecilia for putting this together, and thank you Lauren for the thoughtful presents. Merry Christmas!

Life could be a lot worse

22 Jun

This was the phrase I heard over and over from Sebastian during our vacation in La Romana. And he was right – life could have been a lot worse. Our stay in the Dominican Republic was relaxing, romantic and so much fun.

We stayed at an all-inclusive resort in La Romana, about two hours from Santo Domingo. Staying at this type of resort wasn’t the best way to explore the country, however our main goal was to relax, and that’s exactly what we did.

{pictures taken during the car ride to the resort}

We spent a good part of the first day exploring the resort. The complex included three pools, tropical gardens, eight restaurants, several activity areas and a beautiful beach. Our favorite spot quickly became the infinity pool with the swim-up bar. After breakfast each day, we lived at that pool. We swam, drank mojitos, took naps and completely forgot the “real world” existed.

The best part was having time to do what we wanted. Sebastian played volleyball and ate burgers from the beach grill. I read by the pool and took walks along the beach. And we both loved swimming in the Caribbean Sea together.

When the pool closed for the day, we’d head back to our room to get ready for dinner. Each night we tried a different restaurant. Our favorite was The Jungle, a restaurant on the beach serving traditional Dominican food. We tried goat, rice and beans, fried chicken, plantains and shrimp. It was amazing.

The resort provided an entertainment show each night, but we never went. Instead we walked along the pier, listened to live Jazz music in the lobby or spent time talking and laughing. Those are the moments I love the most when we’re together.

On our last morning, we woke up early to watch the sun rise and take one last walk along the beach. We were sad to go, but both agreed we wouldn’t mind coming back.

Interested in visiting the Dominican Republic? We both highly recommend Dreams La Romana Resort.

Our next trip will be in September. I’m visiting Germany for Oktoberfest in Munich! Can’t wait!

Two years

15 May

Two years ago today I graduated college, and while that is a pretty significant event in my life, it’s not why this day is special to me. Two years ago today I started dating Sebastian.

I never expected to fall for a German guy, as I’m sure he never expected to fall for an American girl. But sometimes the unexpected happens. We met while playing soccer at Kent State and quickly bonded over our love for Chipotle, traveling and How I Met Your Mother.

Our relationship had an interesting start. I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and he was heading back to Germany. It didn’t seem like the most ideal situation, and we both had our doubts.

That first summer was filled with Skype dates, phone calls, letters, emails and eventually a trip to Germany. It became pretty clear that we were both in this for the long haul.

What a whirlwind these past two years have been. We’ve traveled to more than 20 cities, stayed in 15 different hotels and learned a lot about each other along the way. And I think we both agree we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Dear Sebastian – thank you for the most unexpected and wonderful two years.

Happy Anniversary, love.

xoxo

Laughter

23 Feb

Every time Sebastian visits, I find it hard to believe he was actually here. Was it really just Monday that he was sitting next to me? He was and it was the best surprise visit EVER.

Now that he’s back in Germany, there are a lot of things I already miss, but the thing I miss the most is his laugh. It’s the one sound that can instantly bring a smile to my face and make me laugh too. There’s nothing like being goofy with someone and laughing together.

When it comes to relationships, find someone who makes you laugh.

laughterimage via

A happy memory

24 Jan

When the weather is cold and gloomy, I like to think back to warmer days and happy memories. This past June, I traveled to Germany for Sebastian’s graduation. Afterward, we spent three glorious days in Mallorca, Spain. Here is one my favorite memories from that trip:

It was our second night in S’Arraco and we had spent the entire day at the beach in Sant Elm, soaking up the sun. It was one of those really perfect days when the weather was spectacular and the water temperature just right. There’s something rejuvenating about lying on a towel, listening to your iPod, feeling the warm sand between your toes – it just makes you happy.

{Sant Elm}

After a relaxing day, we came home and decided to make shrimp alfredo for dinner. Sebastian started preparing the meal, and I began setting the table out on the terrace. It was a warm night, but the village was quiet, and I enjoyed watching the sun set and playing with the house cat. I sat at the table and smiled as I listened to Sebastian singing while he cooked.

{kitty}

When everything was ready, we set out our feast. Fresh bread, tomatoes with mozzarella and of course the shrimp alfredo. We ate until we were stuffed and sat there talking while the candle burned down. When the temperature had cooled down outside, we cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed.

{dinner is served}

{homemade shrimp alfredo}

A perfect day, a yummy meal, a happy memory.

I Amsterdam and a little Berlin too

4 Jan

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2012 and my trip to Europe has come and gone. It was another wonderful trip though, and I’m already looking forward to the next one (fingers crossed for Oktoberfest this year).

We started our vacation in Amsterdam. I was flying there to save money, and we figured we might as well make the most of it. Sebastian had been to the city before, but it had been almost ten years, and we were both excited to explore. If you’ve never been, it really is a charming city with all the lovely canals and diversity among its residents. We spent the first day getting to know the city and the majority of time walking around. Our hotel was located in the Red Light District. The stories are true, and the girls really do stand in the windows – wearing nothing but lingerie. Once you get past that though, I have to say it is one of the nicer and more livelier areas. And home to a Burger Bar, where I had one of the best burgers and the most AMAZING Belgian Fries – freshly cut, cooked twice, fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, delicious.

{charming canals}

After spending the day exploring, we took a candlelight cruise through the canals. We sipped red wine, ate a variety of Dutch cheeses and watched the city float by. It was a very relaxing and romantic evening.

The following day we went to the several museums including the Rembrandt House and the Heineken brewery tour. The Rembrandt House was fantastic. It’s so cool to be in a building more than 500 years old and stand in rooms where Rembrandt lived and created art. The Heineken Experience, as they call it, was also a lot of fun. The tour is very interactive and of course there is drinking involved. We spent a lot of time laughing together (as we did for most of the trip).

{Basti enjoying the Heineken Experience}

We finished the second night by trying Lieve, a Belgian restaurant – after reading a review on another blog (thanks Glocal Girl) – and it didn’t disappoint.  We chose the Living Room style dining with three courses. During the dinner, we tried potato sushi, steak tartare, grilled steak of Boeuf Blonde, deer and wild boar stew, mini chestnut cakes and an apple cinnamon parfait – amazing.

The final day in Amsterdam we spent the morning at the Anne Frank House. I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was a young girl, and it was incredible to be in the room where she actually wrote. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to experience what she did, and I’m thankful the museum was created so we don’t forget those times. After that we went to our favorite breakfast spot in the city, Bagels & Beans, and spent the rest of the day sightseeing. This included a stop at the famous I AMsterdam sign and of course another meal at the Burger Bar. That night we flew to Berlin for the next part of our trip.

{me and the I AMsterdam sign}

We spent four days in Berlin and it absolutely flew by. I had already visited Berlin before, and Sebastian is frequently there for work, so it was nice to relax and not feel pressure to see the city. We stayed at a hotel that offered apartment-style rooms, which means we had a kitchen. Almost every morning we  went to the grocery store, bought food for the day, and came back to our little kitchen to make breakfast together. I can’t express how nice it is to do day-to-day activities with Sebastian. These are rarities for us and it’s nice to enjoy them.

{the Brandenburg Gate – looking stunning as usual}

Of course we didn’t spend all the time relaxing. We ate at some great restaurants, visited with a friend and did some sightseeing, including the Checkpoint Charlie museum, Brandenburg Gate, the Museum Island and the Reichstag building. We returned to the Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve (along with one million other people) and it was crazy. The Germans sure know how to party, and it’s definitely a night I won’t soon forget. New Year’s Day was our last day together and the following morning it was back to the States.

{Happy New Year!}

I already miss Sebastian, but it’s a new year, and I’m excited to see where it will take us. Cheers!

Christmas memories

12 Dec

This time of year always makes me feel nostalgic. I think back to Christmas mornings as a little girl, when I’d wake up and know that there were presents waiting for me under the tree. I’d creep down the stairs and peek into the living room to see all the beautifully wrapped packages. Those mornings always felt so magical.

Even though I’m older, I still cherish the Christmas traditions that I loved as a little girl. Every Christmas Eve my family attends Midnight Mass, my favorite mass of the year. The church always looks so lovely, and after we leave it feels like Christmas has officially arrived. When we get home, my siblings and I get to open our first present, and it’s always new pajamas. I love falling asleep in new pj’s, knowing I’ll wake up to Christmas.

And finally my favorite tradition, but certainly  not the last, is our ornaments. Every year my Mom buys each of us a new ornament. She says when we leave home some day, we’ll have ornaments to put on our trees. I think this is such a cute tradition, and I hope to continue it when I have children of my own.

{little figure skater}

{cute penguins}

{my first ornament}

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?