7 Things Sunday

7 Things Sunday : Winter Break

One. Nothing beats the feeling of stepping off a train and sneak-hug-attacking one of your dearest friends who you haven’t seen in five years (and then proceeding to do a laugh/cry/squeal-thing and hold the embrace for a few more minutes). I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I kept wanting to pinch her and make sure she was real and not behind a screen. By day we strolled though art galleries, cathedrals, and Christmas markets. By night we feasted on delicious French food too beautiful to eat, played games, and stayed up giggling in bed until 2 or 3 in the morning. I tried caviar (hated) and escargots (loved). I drank some of the best wine and champagne I’ve ever had in my life. I impressed everyone with my very best French accent singing Christmas hymns at mass in a tiny village church. Everyone made me feel like one of the fam. I didn’t want the week to end. It is one I’ll treasure forever. I left feeling like the luckiest little lady in the world. And I miss this one already…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Two. I spent one tiny day walking the streets of Paris. One day to experience Paris feels like a joke, but I would’ve taken even an hour if its all I had. Paris is stunning even when it is freezing, windy, and everything is a pale shade of grey. Until I was surrounded by (sometimes overly) affectionate couples standing in lines, eating at cafes, and snuggling on the streets…I had forgotten about Paris’ reputation for being, you know, the city of love. This made being a lone ranger feel a little strange. There’s nothing particularly brave or novel about solo travel. Tons of people do it. But there is something just slightly transformative about the experience. I’ll try not to get all Eat, Pray, Love here…but you have to make all your own choices, which is sometimes harder than it sounds. You have to make snap judgements about people and places. You have to be brave enough to walk when you don’t know where you’re going. You have to learn how to be your greatest resource. You have to believe no one is actually staring at you when you’re eating lunch by yourself or taking photos of a knitted toy cat in front of the Musee d’Orsay. At one point during the day, I was sitting in Sainte-Chappelle, enamoured by stained glass so beautiful it could make a grown man cry. I was thinking about my stained-glass-making grandpa and how much he would geek out in this place. I suddenly felt a sense of selfishness come over me to not be sharing this whole day with anyone…which isn’t good or bad. It just is. Paris was an experience entirely my own. I was the only personal witness to my thoughts, feelings and reactions. It felt great and it felt sad. C’est la vie.

IMG_6187

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Three. I saw ‘The Theory of Everything’, ‘Birdman’, and ‘Into the Woods’ over break. I liked them in that order. T Swift’s song ‘Out of the Woods’ kept running through my head during ‘Into the Woods’. Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods? That’s pretty much how I felt about it.

Four. My friend Ali and I attempted to go hiking around Loch Lomond this week, but then there was rain, snow, and 100 mph winds. Trains were cancelled. The sea was raging. It was a mess. Instead we visited the Robert Burns Museum and walked around the town of Alloway, ate ice cream sundaes the size of our faces, kitchen danced to The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, and watched a lot of movies in bed. We had a real John and Yoko thing going. Ali had the privilege of seeing ‘It Takes Two’ for the first time. It’s a big deal.

IMG_2699 IMG_2705 IMG_2722 IMG_2726 IMG_6559

Five. I finally (maybe) have a part time job working at a coffee roaster/cafe in the seaside town of North Berwick at a place called Steampunk. I have trial shifts Monday and Tuesday this week! Now I can be like the cool kids and flood your Insta feed with urban, industrial, coffee-related photos…ha.

Steampunk-_-downstairs-web

Six. I’ve been on a Salt-N-Pepa kick lately and might be in the process of memorising all the lyrics to Whatta Man for no reason other than it may come in handy for karaoke one day.

Seven. School starts back up on Wednesday and I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to juggle a part time job, a (TBD) course placement, classes, and homework considering last semester I thought I was going to die solely from the school part. I guess my time management skills are about to get fierce.

Love,

Taylor

7 Things Sunday

One. On Monday I laughed until my sides ached, which is one of the better ways you can start off a week. Dave Ross and Kyle Kinane had a fantastic comedy set at Vaudeville Mews. And I was surrounded by these lovely gents from PHS days, making the whole situation even better.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

 

Two. Everything leading up to the ArtForceIowa Open House on Wednesday afternoon is pretty much a blur. But all the chaos and frenzy funneled into a successful event! There was art on the walls, students galore, performers singing, an interactive assemblage project exploding, doughnuts being eaten, etc.

983674_728727467170344_4279008269336680330_n 10338708_728727403837017_4821689731296497725_n 10371392_728727470503677_824034036057700223_n

Three. I sent my Grandma Jeanne a Happy Mother’s Day text. 5 days later she sent me this:

photo 1

 

Would you look at the use of that space bar?!  I’m keeping this forever. I know she’s reading this. I love you, Grandma. You’re really cute.

Four. I woke up Thursday with a really sore throat and by Friday afternoon it was gone. I thank this guy…

mbuEZWPaCvKzZRMEsHWvL6w

I’m a believer.

Five. These songs.

Six. Saturday was second annual outdoor Water Ride. Thanks to generous sponsors like Des Moines Water Works, 100% of the proceeds from this bike ride go towards clean, sustainable water wells and education in Ghana! We only had around 25 registrants at the beginning of the week, causing us all to mildly freak out. But we had over 70 riders yesterday and it was one of the most beautiful days EVER for a bike ride! The staff at Orlondo’s graciously “hosted” us and provided riders with specials on pizza and beer (they also brought us volunteers jello shots and maracas?…I don’t get it, but I’ll take it) Thank you to everyone who helped and supported- thanks to you, Tsipasi’s water well will be officially operative on Memorial Day!

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Seven. What a week. Phew. Sometimes the best gift you can give yourself is a guilt-free nap. True story.

Love,
Taylor