Monday, September 8, 2014

Catching Up

Just to take a step out of the land of serious blogging, I thought I'd give you all a little glimpse into the recent goings-on in my life.

WARNING: This post is going to be rambly!


I moved!  Again.

As much as I loved my darling loft apartment with its exposed brick walls and the elevator and the little call-box thingy that I'd get to use to let people into the building, back in March/April I decided that I'd had enough of living alone.  I was tired of eating poorly, spending the majority of my income on rent/utilities and coming home to cold polished concrete floors and echoing 12-foot ceilings.

Around Memorial Day (end of May for my non-American readers) some of my closest friends found a newly refinished duplex for extremely reasonable rent that is just a block from my work.

I love it here.  Our house is spacious enough that even with four adults living here it never feels like we're on top of each other.  Our house was built in the 1890's but with the recent upkeep that was done I think it manages to look quite stylish, especially since all four of us like decorating.  (Come Christmas, we'll put the Griswolds to shame.)

I moved the last carload of stuff out of my old apartment at precisely 11:30pm on June 27th.

I woke up at 5:00am on June 28th, drove to my parents' house and then my dad, brother, and I drove to Chicago, caught a plane to Milan, Italy where we met my mother and boarded a train to Venice.

We did a whirlwind tour of Europe that included two nights in Venice; 5 nights in Switzerland staying with our family; 1 night in Germany; 1 night in Luxembourg; 1 night in Belgium; 1 night in Amiens, France; and 2 (or 3?) nights in Paris.  We also had dinner in Holland and visited Bruges for an afternoon. At least... I'm pretty sure that's how that all went.

It was an amazing experience that I'd love to talk on and on and on about right now, but I'll just post a bunch of pictures

Venice was beautiful.  I've kind of been saying I didn't think I ever needed to go back.
But looking at all of the pictures... I think I need to!
On the way to the top of Jungfraujoch in Switzerland.
Green grass, snowy peaks, and weird t-shirts.

At the top - low altitude is to blame for that facial expression.

The house in Bischofszell, Switzerland where my great-grandfather was born.

Celebrating the 4th of July with my cousins in Bischofszell.
Wearing an America on my chest and a Swiss flag on my head.
At least I represented!

Der Kindlifresserbrunnen (The Child-Eater) of Berne, Switzerland
We explored the ruins of an old castle in the German countryside.

Bruges, Belgium - I could have spent weeks exploring this town.

I got to explore the city on my own, so I made
sure to find my way to the canals.

Did I mention it was raining the whole time we were in Bruges? I was a pretty! 
It also rained most of the time we were in Paris - 

It was rainy and foggy - but that didn't stop me from going all the way - 

To the top of the Eiffel Tower!  I was the only one of my family brave
enough to tolerate the cold, wind, rain and fog for pictures of mist.

Our last day in Paris had beautiful weather. 

I walked all over and explored the city on my own.  It was amazing.

So many lovers have visited this bridge and locked their love to stay forever.

I met a surprise bicycle marathon as I was approaching l'Arc de Triomphe

Our last night in Paris ended with a sunset visit to Sacre Coeur in Montmarte.
I would go back to Paris, just to visit this church again.

Needless to say, June/July were a couple of crazy intense months for me.  As soon as I returned home from Europe I had to finish unpacking from my move.  Luckily, my roommates had done a lot of work in the weeks I was away, but we planned a house warming party for two weeks after I returned so the house needed to be in tip-top shape.

But we got it done! And we got a fully-stocked liquor cabinet as a result of the party... which I've already had to partially replenish...  I like making weird shots, it's a problem.


Other than that, I've been camping, kayaking, swimming, boating, and getting up to all manner of other summer shenanigans.

Our house has become a meeting place for many of our friends since we're right in the heart of downtown and are within walking distance of everything.  I've always loved having a house full of people so it's a great situation for me.


I'm still working on my book, though the behind-the-scene planning is still getting in the way of me doing much development with the story-line.  It's going place though, which is a wonderful feeling.  I got a lot of writing done in my downtime in Europe and hammered out a lot of the holes with the main character's back-story.

I estimate you'll see it on the shelves of your local bookseller (aka Amazon...) no later than the fall of 2030.


So that's kind of a whirlwind tour of the big goings-on in my life.  A lot has changed, more has stayed the same.

I'm still struggling to figure out adulthood and asking myself really hard questions about what I want my future to look like while simultaneously recognizing that much of it is already here.

I hope you had a wonderful summer!

Is anyone else as excited for fall as I am?

Much love,
Annie Jay

1 comment:

  1. Your trip sounds amazing! So glad you had a great time. :-)

    Congrats on the new living arrangements, too!