Mont-Saint-Michel (2014)

Almost exactly six years ago, Juan and I had a weekend getaway in Mont-Saint-Michel. Prior to our weekend together, I’d never heard of this magical place and I couldn’t wait to explore!

Mont-Saint-Michel is in Normandy, France and serves as a mainland commune. Back in the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries, the tidal island was founded and used to protect against the Vikings. Its rich history is something to be experienced in person…

Today, tourism is its sole source of economic stimulation. It’s estimated that only 25-50 people sleep on the Mont each night, which includes monks who live on the island. This made our time here extra special!

If you’re ever in northwestern France, please take time to visit this wonderful place!

France’s Spectacular Sénanque Abbey (2014)

I can’t believe it’s been six years since studying in the one and only Provence, France (time really does fly when you’re having fun!). I want to reflect on one of my most memorable days in southern France: our field trip to Sénanque Abbey.

My roommate-turned-bestie and I had professors who were actually married (hers was an art professor and mine was the creative writing expert), which led to a joint day-trip to one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever visited.

We started our journey by hiking around quite a bit, which would’ve been fun if it weren’t for the fact that we had to wear fancy clothes and dress shoes… still, we had great views…

The abbey itself is incredible; an order or monks still reside in this charming, yet powerful architecture. And obviously the lavender fields don’t hurt!

Despite the long, hot day Carolyn and I endured, we had a great time (even though the below photograph suggests otherwise)!

Reconnecting in Colorado (Part III)

[continuation from previous blog post]

Day 3: venturing around Telluride and kayaking in the evening

Day 4: Mesa Verde National Park and staying overnight in a teepee

Day 5: deciding that leaving on Friday was not okay and getting emotional during our goodbyes

Reconnecting in Colorado (Part II)

During quarantine, Bethany and I decided to write each other letters, which ultimately led to us planning our next adventure. I spend last Monday through Friday with her and her loved ones; it was exactly what both of us needed.


Day 1: LOTS of driving between Denver and Dolores


Day 2: hiking at Hovenweep in the extreme heat, then dinner with Bethany’s uncle and South African aunt

Reconnecting in Colorado (Part I)

Bethany and I met in Sweden while we were studying there in 2016. We’ve also visited each other in Chicago a couple times, as well as traveled to Iceland together in 2018. That was the last time we saw each other in person, until last week…

Kalmar, Sweden 2016
Chicago 2017
Chicago 2018
Iceland 2018
…still Iceland 2018…
Colorado 2020

Petoskey, Michigan with the Pup!

My mom, Linley and I went on another adventure this week. This time, we went somewhere we’ve heard about but have never experienced before: Petoskey.

Lin was really happy, I promise!

We chose to stay one night because our day trip to Empire and Traverse City felt rushed (plus that’s a lot of driving for one day, especially for the pup!). Once we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, we walked around downtown, Lin marked every plant and we had a tasty lunch at a picnic table. We all had some ice cream afterward and Linley stole all the hearts of the customers behind us!

The main event of the day was kayaking, which is something all three of us enjoyed! We kayaked for nearly three hours at the Bear River Canoe Livery and soaked up the sun, the water and the winding river. Some cranes and a deer even welcomed us as we kayaked near the shore! The tunnels, the views and the company were perfect.

Ignore Grams’s sunburn – ouch!

This was Linley’s first time at a hotel and he did amazing! He saw his reflection and everything…

The next day was even more relaxing. We hung out at Bayfront Park and got in the water with the pup. Lin was even helping us search for stones in the water!

We wrapped up our trip by stopping at Kilwin’s for some fudge and ice cream!

All in all we had an adventurous AND relaxing vacation up north. 10/10 would recommend!

Lake Michigan with mom and Linley

Yesterday I decided to take my dog, Linley, up north to hang out on the beach and do some hiking. Luckily my mom was able to join us and we had a fun, all-day adventure!

Linley and I picked my mom up early and we headed north around 7:00am. Before we headed toward the beach, we found a unique cafe where everything was gluten, dairy and soy free. We had to sip some iced coffee, indulge in morning pastries and take some photos on the butterfly bench!

Once we replenished, we ventured toward Empire Beach. This took as longer than we’d thought, however, because our GPS didn’t take us to the dog-friendly area like I’d hoped. We may have lost an hour of time, but we made up for it elsewhere.

I may be a prepared dog mom, but my mom is the prepared human mom! She brought us so many snacks and even some matching hats. I would’ve traveled north with Linley myself, but it’s always better when she’s around, too!

Linley had so much fun in the sand! We found a cool place where he had plenty of shade and could dig to make himself even cooler. We were on the beach for about an hour or so; we even put Linley’s life jacket on so he could swim a little!

After my mom and I had enough of the heat, we headed toward Empire Trail where we could all experience some shade. The trail is tucked back in the woods and once you reach the end, you’re in the midst of pristine sand dunes. My mom was intrigued by markings in the trees, where as Linley was busy leaving his mark on all the trees!

I didn’t capture many photos from yesterday; simply being with my mom and pup meant the world to me. Thankfully my mom took a sweet photo of Linley napping under our bench…

After we rested on the bluffs, we headed back down the trail, enjoyed a nice dinner in downtown Traverse City, and were back on the road again. Linley was fantastic in the car, on the beach and during our hikes; I can’t imagine going on these adventures without him (or without my mom for that matter)!

Llama Superpowers?

Let’s face facts: I’ve always known that llamas had superpowers.

But I NEVER thought I’d see the day that American and Belgian scientists found that llamas may have the antibodies we need to fight COVID-19.

It sure is an interesting world we live in these days…

Rain

Hitting the glass

drowning out my thoughts

yet forcing me to imagine more

to feel more

to hurt more.

People are like raindrops

some are perfect, content, stable

others are imperfect, running from pain

running from reality

running from this uncertainty.