Further Tales of 4 am Wake Ups.

I would like to be one of those wholly annoying individuals with sparkling eyes and bouncy locks informing you over coffee with a dazzling smile that “They have never suffered from jet lag. Their perfect body must just adapt better than the average troll.” This is the same person who you will later see flirting with their checkout person at Whole Foods or running that 5K you kept putting off.
What this person doesn’t know is the true marvels of 4 am! The ample opportunities that live in this odd sphere of time between 4 am- 7 am were largely unchartered for me, that is until now.
I have (finally) gotten that meddlesome iPhone update, I have caught up on ALL my blog reading, begun writing an introductory paragraph to my novel (yes you read that correct. MY NOVEL. 4 am you are too good to me), actually started one of the 1,000 crafts I have pinned, and to top it off I have ran every morning.
Who is this well adjusted individual?!

I have clearly come so far.
I have clearly come so far.

I think 4 am needs a little more credit. If it can transform ^^^that person into this person:
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Who is really this person:

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Then truly, anything is possible.

Things a person does after returning to America.

I have now been back in America for 3 days after a 9 month stay in Europe. I find myself having to relearn my own country, which mostly involves me relishing in the little things.

Things a person (probably only me) does upon returning to the States:

1. Pass out at 6pm and wake up at 4 am. Every day. It’s awesome.
2. A TV show binge. Waking up at 4 am has been giving me ample time to watch 30 Rock and discover all the really bad television I have missed out on. I LOVE NETFLIX.
3. Forgetting how US currency works. I handed a quarter to the girl at the coffee shop thinking it was a 2 dollar coin. That was probably confusing for her.
4.  Forgetting your cellphone everywhere. I have not had a phone for 9 months. This has caused me to forget my phone every place I go. The short list includes:  Kaladi brothers, the Veggie section in Safeway, the checkout counter in Safeway, the hood of my car, and at my aunt’s house.
5. Become wildly overwhelmed by having to check said cellular device. Remind me why I was ever so attached to this thing? It’s really quite meddlesome.
6. Talk to your dog for lengthy amounts of time promising you won’t ever leave her again. She seemed to understand although I sort of think she was only there because I was petting her.
7. Rearrange your entire room.
8. Put your entire room back the way it was.
9. Go on another TV show binge. Girls is brilliant.
10. Get confused about all the celebrity gossip you missed. They got divorced?! She’s dating him?! THE WORLD IS SO DIFFERENT.

My family bikes through Holland. Hilarity Ensues.

My lack of posts recently I attribute to multiple causes. Primarily, I have left my European home and returned to beautiful Alaska. (more on that to come). However, I realized I had barely covered my family’s incredible travels over the past week and a half. I was delighted to have my mom, aunt, grandma, and baby brother join me in Salzburg for a week and a half adventure. We covered  A LOT of ground (Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam) however, the best part of the trip was our 4 day biking tour through Holland.
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The biking was so beautiful I nearly crashed on multiple occasions mesmerized by fields of color. These biking trips are only offered in late April to mid May as that is when the Tulips are in bloom and the farmers have not begun to harvest yet.

It was the most glorious reminder of how astonishing our world is.

Our days were unbelievably blissful. However, on the first day hilarity ensued. To begin, we nearly missed our barge/cruise/trip leader all together. My mother and little brother were in the science museum next to the harbor and were running late. (Sidenote: according to Eli he wasn’t even that interested it was my Doctor mother who was completely infatuated with the exhibitions of the brains.) I had to have them paged and then have a sprint (while casually holding my chest in place. bad day to forget a sports bra) back to the barge as they pulled away from the dock. It was a great start off to what would be a highly entertaining 4 days. Our group was a delightful eccentric group of recently retired professionals, adorable elderly (mostly English) couples, a professional organizer (yes they exist!) and our family. Needless to say, this dynamic was absolutely wonderful.
However, my grandmother was the stealer of the show on this expedition. My 80 year old grandmother, she’s absolutely inspiring and incredible, wanted to try out biking for just one day. She was doing amazing at first:

Thats her leading the pack.
Thats her leading the pack.

However, she began to grow tired (even I was tired! She is such a trooper!). She struggled to start up once again so we would have to push her along, something akin to teaching a youngster to bike and pushing them off.

My aunt accidentally assisted her in running into a car.

It should be noted that she was fine which allowed me to positively cry with laughter. The image of my grandmother with my Aunt chasing running into a parked car is something I will never forget.
About 5 minutes later, unfortunately, she had a bit of a crash resulting in slight injuries. My grandmother can now officially say she has had a bike accident in Holland.
Oh family memories.

On to the Next Adventure.

I am writing this post in the nicest hotel I have stayed at in 9 months of traveling (beats all the benches, parks, and train stations I have taken residences on at least).  However, I am already experiencing some post-Salzburg depression and missing my Salzy family. Mainly though I have been randomly telling different stories to my family over dinners, breakfasts, walks through the Louvre etc that have made me quite introspective.

In 9 months I have traveled to 20 countries and made 39 new family members that are more precious to me than anything I have ever owned. I don’t have words that can sum up my feelings regarding leaving behind Salzburg and my (semi) nomadic life however, I know that I was destined to have to say goodbye to it. I know that this year, this incredible unbelievable year is only the beginning of what will be a lifetime of adventure. More than anything else though I am so unbelievably thankful. I could never thank my family, my friends from home, my family from Salzburg enough for everything they have given to me in these long and simultaneously short 9 months.  I am incredibly blessed in every single way.

My life has been irreversibly enriched.

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” -Jack Kerouac.

On to the next adventure!

First Beer. First Night in Salzburg. I had no idea what was to come
First Beer. First Night in Salzburg. I had no idea what was to come
Opera at the Vienna Opera House. I may have slept but I looked awesome.
Opera at the Vienna Opera House. Also the beginning of a year long perfect picture partner involving Jill.

 

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Pure Glee on that face.
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Pure Glee on that face.

 

Keeping it classy in Budapest, Hungary.
Keeping it classy in Budapest, Hungary.
Amazing day trip to Innsbruck, Austria.
Amazing day trip to Innsbruck, Austria.
Champagne tasting in Reims, France
Champagne tasting in Reims, France
Notre Dame with a few of my favorites. Paris, France
Notre Dame with a few of my favorites. Paris, France
John Lennon Wall Prague, Czech Republic
John Lennon Wall Prague, Czech Republic
Thanksgiving Dinner with my Salzy Family
Thanksgiving Dinner with my Salzy Family
Beaches of Barcelona, Spain
Beaches of Barcelona, Spain

 

Only presentable picture from Amsterdam, Netherlands
Only presentable picture from Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mumford and Sons in Nottingham, England
Mumford and Sons in Nottingham, England
Christmas Markets in Salzburg
Christmas Markets in Salzburg

 

Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland.
Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland.

 

Skiing in the Alps.
Skiing in the Alps.

 

Doing some Yoga in Scotland.
Doing some Yoga in Scotland.
Monasteries in Meteora, Greece
Monasteries in Meteora, Greece

 

Athens, Greece.
Athens, Greece.
Rome, Italy.
Rome, Italy.
Spring Break in Gozo, Malta.
Spring Break in Gozo, Malta.
London, England.
London, England.
Easter Break in Istanbul, Turkey.
Easter Break in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

Krakow, Poland
Krakow, Poland
Plitvice National Parks, Croatia
Plitvice National Parks, Croatia
Fruhlingsfest Munich, Germany.
Fruhlingsfest Munich, Germany.
Last weekend in Salzy
Last weekend in Salzy

 

On to the Next Adventure.

I have not blogged in what feels like forever (realistically a week and a half) which actually is pretty pitiful.

I WILL blog about Fruhlingsfest and other activities I have been doing in Salzburg later.

For now, I want to just say this. I am packing up after the best 9 months I have ever experienced. My family arriving in Salzburg two days ago was a weird sudden meshing of my European life and my reality life. (someone notify MTV STAT)

Regardless, I am already experiencing a lot of separation anxiety and I have not even left yet.

This also isn’t my last post. I owe you Fruhlingsfest, my final days in Salzburg and a much more heartfelt and devoted letter to my time in Europe and to anyone who is considering traveling.

For now, I am going to go give my Salzy family a huge hug and get a little weepy.

On to the next Adventure.