November 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Greetings from Liberty Bridge in Budapest!

Bridges is a theme in Budapest.  In the city center there are five main bridges that connect the two sides, Buda and Pest (hence Buda-Pest) across the River Danube.  I preferred the quieter Liberty Bridge (also known as the Green Bridge).

The Liberty Bridge was constructed from 1894-1896 in a chain-type bridge style.  The bridge was so special that Emperor Franz Joseph I, the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, placed the last silver rivet to complete the bridge.

Budapest does an excellent job lighting their historical monuments and Liberty Bridge is no exception.  At night the lights on the bridge make it appear extremely monumental and statuesque.  Just by the lighting you know its important.  What a beautiful night in Budapest!


Happy Turkey Day fra Danmark!

November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

So since I am in Denmark you would assume I would not celebrate Thanksgiving, right?


Not only did I celebrate this splendid American holiday in Denmark

I celebrated it THREE times!

In the States Thanksgiving is a family affair, so if you have one family, you celebrate it once.

When you are studying abroad in Denmark and don’t have your family who do you celebrate with?

Your friends!

And apparently I am just too popular for my own good because I got to celebrate three times.

Hat trick!

Allow me to share with you the three very special and memorable Thanksgivings of 2011…

(I apologize for not taking many photos.  I was busy in the kitchen everytime!)

Thanksgiving I

I helped my good friend Kathy cook and eat Thanksgiving with her host family and friends.  We were both complete rookies in cooking for this holiday, but somehow everything worked and was delicious!


Kathy and I tired and hungry after cooking all afternoon. Let's eat!

Kathy's host mom, Brita, getting ready to cut her first turkey!

Thanksgiving II

I hosted my very own Thanksgiving!  My host mom, Katrine, has been talking about Thanksgiving since the day I walked in the door.  Her past host students had introduced her to the American tradition and she wanted the same this year.

This was my first time flying solo.  So after a day of preparation and a full day of cooking in the kitchen I pulled off a meal for eight of us without burning the apartment down!  Success!

Homemade bread rolls. I am becoming so domestic here.


Real stuffing. Not the stuff from a box!

apple crisp for dessert. Classic, easy and delicious!

celebrating with friends!

Thanksgiving III

My third and final Thanksgiving celebration was my most diverse Thanksgiving ever.  The food was the traditional American feast, but the people were…well, not American! This was my ‘international’ Thanksgiving celebrating with 36 other young adults from over a dozen countries (with only 8 Americans!).

Since moving to Copenhagen I have started to attend an international church that draws people from well, all over the world!  We gathered together to give thanks and share a traditional American holiday together.  It was some people’s first time eating turkey, trying stuffing and tasting pumpkin pie.  Everyone loved it and can’t wait for Thanksgiving again!

Picture this: I sat with a woman from Indonesia on my left, a South African across from me, a Romanian next to her and a Dane (who lives in Sweden) to my right.  Four continents represented within a 1 meter radius!

my homemade place setting

Representing the Americans! My fellow DIS student friend Alexis and me are ready to eat!

some of the group. my camera was not a fan of the hyggelit lighting and motion, but you get the idea.

Maybe I missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, American football and my family but it was still a fabulous Thanksgiving(s).  Thank you to all of you who made it special and I missed all of you back home.

No matter where we are, America or Denmark, we can always gather, give thanks and praise the Lord for our blessings. 

 Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s now socially acceptable for me to start blaring my Christmas music!


November 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Welcome to Salzburg!

Although every place we visited during our two week travels was wonderful, Salzburg was definitely the most breathtaking.  Not only were we in one of Europe’s most beautiful historic cities but the weather was perfect.  Warm winds, comfortable temperatures and clear blue skies!  It felt a bit like home in California.

We spent a relaxing 2 days in Salzburg, experiencing the history of Mozart, the von Trapp Family (of course we went on the tour!), the mountains and the end of autumn.

This painting is Old Town Salzburg at dusk overlooking the river.

I miss Austria already!

watercolorWEDNESDAY XI

November 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

As I settle back into school here in Copenhagen from my two-week travel break I am overwhelmed by the amount of pictures to surf through.  Two weeks and 1000+ pictures!

A bit more manageable is my sketchbook.  Although we were constantly moving, I tried my best to take time to sit down, soak up the experience and sketch.

I will remember sitting on the ledge of a roof, sketching skylines and having nosy tourists or funny old men peek over my shoulder to take a look at what I am drawing.  Oftentimes these curious strangers would strike up a conversation.  These conversations are some of the best memories of the trip.

To introduce my travels I will give you a peek into my sketchbook.  I added some watercolor paint after so this qualifies as watercolorWEDNESDAY XI.

E n j o y !

p r a g u e

Clock Tower in the center of Old Town in Prague. Every hour a clock show would entertain mobs of tourists, ending with a live trumpet player announcing the hour with his horn.

Interior of a Cozy Cafe, the cutest old man treated us well while we enjoyed sandwhiches and mint tea.

b u d a p e s t

Matthias Church, the entire church painted in beautifully colorful patterns. I could spend days here!

some of my favorite patterns from Matthias Church, getting ideas for painting Easter eggs

Budapest Parliament, one of the only gothic government buildings I have seen!

s a l z b u r g

ahhh! the Alps!

Towers of Salzburg while sketching from the Fortress

More Alps!

Salzburg Fortress, the oldest and largest fortress still standing in Europe!

Smaller Fortress from our hike up Kapuzinerberg

v i e n n a

a fun 'napkin' light in a cute cafe we relaxed in once we arrived in Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace botanical greenhouses

Schönbrunn Palace

Interior of Central Cafe, a 100+ year old cafe in the heart of Vienna where many artists, architects and writers spent a good amount of time. We enjoyed coffee and dessert while being entertained by a live piano player.

Eastern Europe Excursions

November 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

My first real European excursion: complete.

 I spent the last two weeks romping around Central Europe visiting Prague, Budapest, Salzburg and Vienna.  

The facts:
15 days.
3 countries.
4 cities.
4  hostels slept in (and one train).
5 train rides.
2 plane flights.
3 castles visited.
5 synagogues visited.
8 churches/cathedrals visited.
4 concerts attended.
3 times we ate at the Hummus Bar in Budapest.
3 hikes walked.

1 great travel buddy (thanks Kathy!).

Countless miles walked.
Too much money spent.
Infinite memories.

1 amazing adventure.

I will be posting a more detailed account of each place once I start to organize all these photos so check back!

A day in Budapest

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

8am: I wake up in my hostel room in Budapest, Hungary. The hostel is a converted 18th century baroque residence across the street from Hero’s Square and the City Park. Thanks to it being low season my travel buddy, Kathy, and I have the room to ourselves.

10am: We return from a run in the Park, shower and are on our way downtown for some exploring.

While walking down the beautiful boulevards of Budapest we stop and sketch. While sketching a friendly old Hungarian man covered in age spots and hair growing out of his ears stops to chat. In broken English he asks about what we are studying.  He tells us a bit about his experience in California and how he was tricked by American propaganda…whatever that means.

11am: we arrive in the City Center and are quickly distracted by shopping. Budapest’s cheap prices are just too good to pass up! We stumble upon a quirky design shop where everything side is painted white. I stock up on postcards.
We continue our shopping journey and find more cheap and eclectic shops.

2pm: we are famished and take a break at our new favorite restaurant The Hummus Bar to enjoy a bowl of hummus, chicken, vegetables and homemade pita.
I am starting to feel drained, so naturally, it’s coffee time! We stop by one of Budapest’s thousand cafes and I grab a quick latte. The to-go cup has a fun sippy-cup top…perfect, they must know I am prone to spilling.

3:30pm: another great find…world class chocolate store. We spend way too long examining the overpriced and delicious sweets before caving in and buying some delectables for ‘souvenirs.’

4:30pm: we watch the red sun set over the Dunube River and head to the Central Market. The market is a historic building filled with vendors selling everything from paprika to Hungaian souvenir magnets. We spend a good two hours roaming the market and buy way too many gifts. We meet a vendor from Nigeria and have a great twenty minute conversation with him about cheese and Yugoslavia.  This is definitely the best central market I have ever experienced!

7pm: we head over A38, a docked boat on the Dunube River that is home to a restaurant and concert venue. We order hot chocolate and a chocolate streusel. Hot chocolate was what I got! The most delicious liquid chocolate in a cup topped with whip cream…all for under $2.

8pm: we head downstairs to the concert venue where Schradinova, a Dutch blues-rock-jazz band plays one of the best concerts I have ever attended.

10pm: the concert ends and we start our trek back to the hostel, enjoying the fresh autumn air and people watching along the way.

11:30pm: return to our hostel, slip on pjs and start writing all those postcards!

Now: reflecting on a wonderful day and how blessed we are to travel.

I love seeing the world.

Where Am I?

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