Monday, August 19, 2013

Roadtrippin Postcards

After lots of miles and hours and money, I made it to Seattle! I started the week by live-tweeting my adventure https://twitter.com/liztowne #roadtrippin, but then I started doing other things besides driving and I didn't have coverage most places and my sister only drove a little bit the first 2 days so I didn't even have any time.

goodbye Austin!
We drove straight West on I10, and it was the best experience I've ever had driving in Texas! We only had like an hour of boring driving!

Then we camped in Las Cruces, NM. It stormed so bad that night and it was so windy that even during the couple hours when it didn't rain, Carolyn still got dripped on. We both ended up in the car and didn't sleep much.

leaving Las Cruces
Sunday night I arrived to stay with none other than the bestest roommate ever, Hannah!! It was just like old times. We did some touristing in Los Angeles, and then Monday night I got to see Betsy! and remembered how much I miss having her in the same physical location. Someday.

Hollywood sign!
Tuesday we made our way up to Santa Barbara, where we net my aunt and uncle for dinner. We got an early start Wednesday morning so we could take Highway 1 up the California coast to San Francisco. It was probably the most beautiful and stressful drives of my life! We saw elephant seals and I had to pay lots of money for gas so I wouldn't get stranded in a random state park.

Santa Monica pier
Santa Barbara Farmer's Market
Driving in San Francisco wasn't exactly a pleasant experience, but it was okay. We had to spend lots of money for a pretty average hostel. But at least my bike didn't get stolen. We had a little time to sight see but didn't make it to the Golden Gate Bridge in the small window of time where the sun was actually out.

elephant seals!!
Golden Gate Bridge
We drove north the next morning, and drove through a redwood tree! We also saw an Elk herd right by where we camped, essentially at the south end of Redwood National Park. Luckily it only rained a little and the tree above us protected us.

I drove through this tree!
Friday we drove into Oregon and met Meagan, who was an au pair in Hannover with me, in Portland. Traffic in Oregon was annoying. We saw a family friend from Germany in Tacoma, and then finally made it to my new home and Kate Finman at 11pm!
welcome to Washington!
my new home. I have upgraded to a futon in the living room








Friday, August 9, 2013

Home again

I've been home in Austin for a couple weeks, and it's weird. Germany feels a long way away, and things here are just like they always have been. I start driving to Seattle tomorrow, so I've been spending all my time packing, replacing things from my lost wallet (it was stolen from a swimming pool a couple weeks before I left - fun, right?), getting things taken care of, and applying for jobs. Lots of jobs. And I still don't have one. At least I'm not homeless anymore!

I've been meaning to write this for a while. Between France and Germany, I was in Europe for just over a year.

In that year I went to 9 Countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal. and the USA for vacation, so it counts)

and 9 Cities in Germany (Hanover, Frankfurt, Bremen, Goslar, Berlin, L√ľneburger Heide, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Hildesheim

flew on 21 planes, and ridden on numerous trains, buses, trams, boats, and a couple times in cars.

eaten apples, potatoes, strawberries and raspberries that grew right outside my front door

rode my bike 1200 miles through the Alps, ran my first half marathon, and did the first ever Tough Mudder in Germany

took care of 5 beautiful, adorable, crazy, high energy children

and most of all had a fun year. It wasn't the easiest year, mentally and emotionally, but I really did enjoy it and was sad to leave.