18/08/08-09 Savannah, pt.1o (in which something new is tried)

Day One – in which the road is boring and the audiobook is good

Savannah

is hot.

I know that seems obvious, but there are not a lot of situations where I am noticeably warm. I stepped outside and the air felt like it was the same temperature as my body, but humid. Every open restaurant door blasted cold air out onto the sidewalk, I’m still not sure if that was nice or disappointing. It wasn’t until the cold air hit me as I passed a restaurant that I really knew just how hot it was outside. I started off in my t-shirt, sun hat, and backpack, but quickly realized that with no real goal in mind, it was way too hot for that much. I needed to find a place to eat, but I wasn’t super hungry, so I dropped some stuff off at the hotel, French braided my hair back, and started again, this time with just my camera case.

The drive to Savannah is relatively quick when you consider how large America is, but it’s also relatively dull when you consider other, nicer drives through more interesting things like mountains and forests. I frequently found myself hemmed in by giant semi trucks, which is not terribly enjoyable in a VW Beetle, but then again I can’t imagine anyone finding that enjoyable. The road was long, the road was actually a boring highway, but I’ve made it to the apocalypse in Good Omens, so I might actually finish it on my way home. I normally do not like audiobooks, but I was so bored, it was nice to have something to listen to on the drive.

Day Two – in which the weather holds and the museums are blissfully air conditioned

Although the weather said it was supposed to rain most of this weekend, it only rained once today and I was safely inside the Davenport House Museum when it happened. I heard the thunder and worried I was going to have to walk back to the hotel in the rain, but what luck, I did not. This was later in the afternoon, so I think whatever rain god minds the south was feeling a little bit guilty about the way I was treated on my trip to Roanoke and decided to spare me the discomfort of being absolutely drenched while trying to enjoy a holiday where it’s possible to walk everywhere.

I didn’t walk everywhere today; really, Davenport House Museum was the furthest I walked since my plan is to go to the other half of interesting things tomorrow. My morning started, as they tend to, a little later than I meant. I’ve taken a much more relaxed view of holidays, where I used to meticulously plan where I was going to go and I’d get up early to get a good start, now I just sort of put things on a map and say “eh I’ll see what I’ll see today” and then just… go. So I just… went to Huey’s for breakfast (eggs Benedict) and then made my way to the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace.

“Are you a Girl Scout?” is the question on everyone’s lips in the house where the Girl Scouts of America founder was born. “Ah, I was, very briefly,” I laugh. “Turns out I don’t like being outside, I don’t like camping, and I don’t have much patience for arts and crafts…” I pay full price for the entry ticket. The tour guide is young and seems a bit anxious. I bet she’s a Girl Scout. She tells us to ask her any questions, like every guide does, except I also hear her answer questions with “I don’t know.” She seems like a summer intern. The house is nice, anyway, I stop for a moment to take a photo of the toilet to the curious looks of the other tourists. I told my friend two days ago that she “needs one of those toilets, you know the ones” and gestured pulling a cord and made a “wshhh” sound. She did know. So I sent her a photo of a toilet.

In my hunt for tea, I found a coffee shop, a honey shop, and an antique shop. The coffee shop had cheap, sad tea that I was not going to pay money to drink, the honey shop was full of delicious goods but none of them were tea and even though it was 90F outside I was on a mission, and the antique shop had a light meter approximately the same age as my preferred camera. So, of course, I paused my mission for tea briefly to see if the light meter worked by comparing it to the one in my phone. “I have a kind of weird request, but I just want to step out into the full natural light to test this $16 light meter, but I’ll leave my $300 camera with you as insurance.” The light meter worked, so I had a more decent look around and found a treasure trove of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and other Stratemeyer books in the back. None of the Bobbsey Twins books really impressed me, but there was a bookmark advertising the store they came from, so I decided I would check it out later in the day.

Light meter successfully purchased, my hunt for tea resumed. I found a British pie shop that had twinnings tea, head a mug, and went back to my hotel to gather myself and my purchases.

Advantages of carrying a camera case and no other bags:

  • Can’t fit a lot in it, thus not very heavy
  • One strap, thus not very hot on my back
  • Three pockets, so organized
  • Disadvantages of carrying a camera case and no other bags:
    • Can’t fit a lot in it, must carry everything that doesn’t fit in hands, increasing chances of them being set down and never picked back up
      One strap, makes one shoulder hurt
      Three pockets, everything sticks to everything else and sometimes end up on the floor

    But it was too hot to carry my backpack all day, so I did what any sensible person would do and I had a midday rest when I dropped off my purchases at the hotel. Then I made my way to the Davenport House Museum, which I must admit I chose partially because it’s the name of a character in one of my favorite podcasts. There are a lot of House museums in Savannah and I wasn’t sure which to go to, so that seemed like a good enough way to choose. I really enjoyed the museum visit, but there were no toilets to photograph, so I settled for photographing the wallpapers and the desks. It wasn’t until I was posting the photos to Instagram that I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the upstairs, but really once you’ve seen one old bedroom, you’ve seen em all. And I’ve been to a lot of house museums. I was delighted to find, in the gift shop, that the company who made a delightful blend of Earl Grey for the Biltmore House in Asheville had made a couple of blends of tea, both for the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace and the Davenport House Museum. I couldn’t resist the tin of English Breakfast, especially when I thought back to my tea cabinet at home and its relative emptiness.

    I did make it to the book shop with the Stratemeyer collections and nearly cried at the original 1930s Nancy Drew’s which were, sadly, way out of my price range. It’s understandable, though, Nancy is popular in a way other Stratemeyers, like the Bobbsey Twins, just aren’t. I was a bit disappointed in the Bobbsey Twin collection, they were all the purple reprints, of which I have many, so not really anything that spoke to me. At a vintage shop in Raleigh, I found some Tom Swift, Jr. with their dust jackets and loved the design of those (space! adventure!), but I can’t remember which one it was I bought then and none of the others in the shop really called to me. There was a Space Cadet one that I really liked the design of, but it was only sold as one in a set of three in the main bookstore, so that may forever be a missed connection. (Unless I go back to the vintage shop tomorrow and buy the one they had…)

    Another good thing about all these gift shops and other cutesy shops in Savannah is everyone is getting Christmas and birthday gifts from here. I was a bit lax in my gifts last year because I didn’t think about them while I was in California and I really regretted it later. So I decided to start getting everyone’s gifts while I was here to take some of the pressure off when Christmas gets near. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’m going to spend while I’m here, so I just keep thinking to myself “three paycheck month.” That, and the fact that these will be very good gifts when I finally give them.

    18/02/19: Wow! Well… My bad….

    It’s been a while since I last posted! At first, I thought it had been over a year, but that’s because I only just glanced at the date. It’s been over six months and, well, a lot has changed since then!

    The last time I updated, I had just gotten two part time jobs at two different libraries in two different library systems. I started as a Library Page at Kernersville Branch Library in Forsyth County Public Libraries, which was a part-time, high-school minimum education position in the library system I wanted to work in (my family had been going to Kernersville Branch Library since I was in high school and I fondly remember hating shelving kids books there when I needed to get volunteer hours once). I also started as a Library Assistant at Hemphill Branch Library in Greensboro Public Libraries, which was a part-time, I’m-not-sure-of-the-minimum-education-but-it-wasn’t-a-masters-for-sure position in a library system that I’d interviewed in before (I actually realized later that my boss was at that original interview). I liked the location of the first and the duties of the second, but both helped me get my foot in the door for what would eventually lead to….

    MY FIRST FULL TIME JOB.

    I’m now the Youth Services Librarian at Walkertown Branch Library, which was my ideal job in the county I wanted to work in! It especially helped that, as the Kernersville Page, I went to Walkertown Library once a week to shelve books. It’s been an amazing opportunity, and I’m six months in now! I really cannot explain just how much I love my job. I get to hang out with toddlers, school-age kids, and teenagers while providing them low-stress education-adjacent activities while also caring for a collection of books that I don’t have to buy with my own money.

    I also have the great fortune of having an amazing first boss (and coworkers!). Not too nitpicky, but still great at offering guidance, which I really need and appreciate since this is my first job. She’ll ask me to do something, but let me figure out how to actually do it myself. Sometimes, I’ll have to ask her the best way to do it because I’m not sure how to get something done, but then she knows how it’s been done successfully in the past. For her, our success is her success and you can really tell in the way she runs the library. (I still think my coworker should be able to count my questions in our daily statistics because I ask him a lot of questions and he always takes the time to show me the best methodology of getting something done or offers me his honest opinion, even if it’s not really what I was thinking. Sometimes, I’ll ask him questions just to work through things as a sound board, which he goes along with willingly. It works out awesome.)

    I also have moved out of my parents house and into an apartment 1mi from work and about 5mi from mom and dad’s. Although it’s not exactly where I thought I would end up (FIVE MILES FROM HOME??? I KEEP SEEING PEOPLE I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH????? WHY), it’s a great first-start. It was especially great when I sliced my thumb while cooking and didn’t know what to do and mom and dad were at my apartment within 10min. I do plan to eventually get out of this small town, but for now it’s right where I should be. PLUS, I have a beautiful little cat now! And I wouldn’t have been able to adopt him if I immediately moved to some far-flung place.

    You can’t see it in this photo, but Cleveland only has three legs!

    Hope this is a good update, we’ll see if I can remember to update any other time… I did travel some last year but definitely didn’t blog about it…. My bad! I’ve been updating my Etsy shop again, which you can find a link to in the sidebar.

    2017 Year in Review: Part One

    January – February

    • I started working at Petco
    • Had a few interviews, didn’t get any of the jobs

    March – April

    • Went to the Welcome to Night Vale live show in Raleigh with my friend Laura
    • Had a couple of interviews

    May – June

    • Got those jobs!
    • Quit Petco & babysitting ( :'( )
    • Started two part time jobs in two different libraries
    • Visited Gage in NYC
      • MET MISTY COPELAND

    31/08/16: Bonjour, Paris

    Day 5 was my last day in Barcelona and I slept in the airport that night, so I spent Day 6 (green) sleeping and basking in the hotel room I was staying in.

    Hated Barcelona el Prat, but I am LOVING this room upgrade. #Paris

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    Day 7 (green-blue) started at the Eiffel Tower, since I had looked online and Sept 1-2 were the least busy days that I would be there. I also wanted to go in the morning because it would be less crowded, of course. I was amazed at the structure, it was so gorgeous and mostly because I was astounded at the engineering! I wanted to take the stairs up, but the stairs from the ground level to the next floor up were closed, so I had to get the elevator. I’m glad I did, since I got to walk from the toppest level down to the next levels, so I still got to see the views and such from the walk, but going down instead of up.

    Goal: make it to the highest point that is possible as a tourist ✅

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    After the tower, I went on a river cruise; I really enjoyed seeing Paris from a boat on the Seine. I like boats.

    Goal: Be as water-adjacent as possible without being in the water ✅

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    After the boat trip, I walked along the Seine to the Musée d’Orsay, which was amazing. It’s housed in a former train station that was built for the World’s Fair and from the clocks in its front face, you can look out and see the Louvre. An old couple told me about the museum when I was visiting London ages ago, so it was cool to go see. That, and the Degas dancers were there. Since I did ballet for 9 years, it was amazing to see the paintings and statues there in person.

    Day 8 (light blue) turned into a Museum Expedition day, since I get into the museums for free I wasn’t too worried about getting my “money’s worth” since the money was 0. I started at the Louvre and got a ticket for the audio guide, but decided to start at Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée des Arts Décoratifs before heading back to the Louvre, since they’re smaller and I wouldn’t have to wait in line for any of them with my Irish ID. I was really excited to see the Barbie exhibit at Musé des Arts Décoratifs, since my mom sent me a link to an NPR article about the exhibition.

    The exhibition was, honestly, the best one I saw all day! Mostly since the other places I went were museums, not exhibitions. I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the most common complain about Barbie, that her figure is outlandish and impossible, wasn’t addressed (it’s because the clothes when she was first made would literally not stay on her body otherwise), but I loved to see the evolution of Barbie, the diagram of her family and friends, and how they make the choices for new couture Barbie styles.

    The highlight of the Louvre, for me, was to see one of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Young Beggar. I’ve been fascinated with Murillo’s paintings of street kids since I was a kid myself, sparked by three decorative plate-versions of the paintings my grandma had hanging in her dining room. I distinctly remember examining the paintings every time my grandpa put my shoes on, singing “Put Your Shoes on Lucy” since I always, and still, preferred to be barefoot.

    My final day (Day 9, dark blue) started at Montmartre, where I saw the Moulin Rouge and the café from Amélie before walking up to Sacré-Cœur. I mostly walked around the streets for the first half of the day before hopping on the subway and heading for Cimetière du Père Lachaise. Just outside the cemetery walls was a little sidewalk market, where I, naturally, bought a new-old camera.

    Lumière F:6,8 c1937
    One of my fav photos I took of my new camera, but really I’m just trying to figure out what that little metal thing on the base is!

    With my new camera in hand, I walked through the cemetery, amazed at what I call the Death Houses.

    I visited a cemetery and decided I want a DEATH HOUSE when I die.

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    Of course, I also hunted down Oscar Wilde’s resting place, but I found the Death Houses to be cooler. From the cemetery, I went and sat at the base of the Eiffel Tower, waiting for the light show when the lights turned on. Once the Eiffel Tower lights came on, I walked back towards the Louvre to head back to the hotel and grab my suitcase before heading to the hostel I was staying in before going to the airport the next morning.

    All I’m going to say about my airport experience is that Beauvais airport is the worst airport I have ever been to in my life, and I have been to a lot of airports.

    And that’s the end of my trip! You can find all of my photos at my Eurotrip 2016 Flickr album and below is a map of where I went!

     

    30/08/16: Adíos, Barcelona

    The weather has cooled and it’s raining. It’s been hot the past few days and I’ve spent most of them outside, walking the streets of Barcelona, so the light breeze that comes through the open door is nice.

    When I first arrived, I didn’t have plans for much, I just knew that I wanted to go to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and that I wanted to get my feet wet. Day 1 (red) was spent getting acclimated to the heat, getting food since Alex’s fridge was almost completely empty, and figuring out what else I wanted to see and the best way to do it. I ended up going to the supermarket up the street from Alex’s apartment twice and I used my (limited) Spanish to find whole milk and sandwich bags. It was at that supermarket that I discovered I can’t read Catalan. I also needed to buy sunscreen, since I didn’t bring enough with me, and the pharmacy was right by the water, so I took a walk along the beach. While researching, I found info that some of the museums were free after three on Sundays and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya was free after three on Saturdays, which was the following day.

    My days all pretty much started off the same, I would get up around 10am (I’m on holiday and Ireland is an hour behind), have a bowl of cereal and a cup of chai, get my things together and slather on a layer of sunscreen, then walk along the beach to Montgat Nord train station. Saturday (Day 2, orange), I got off at the Arc de Triomf station, which was the first Barcelona station on the R1. I walked through the nearby park before heading to La Central bookstore to pick up a Catalan edition of Harry Potter, then to Plaça de Catalunya to eat my sandwich before making my way up up up to the museum. It was a hike, but it was gorgeous and worth it when I finally made it. The art in the museum was absolutely gorgeous and apparently I was also near the olympic stadium, which I discovered later when I was looking at a map and because I found the Font Magica.

    Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

    Sunday (Day 3, yellow-orange) a lot of the museums were free after 3pm, so I started at Plaça de Catalunya again and this time walked down La Rambla towards the water. At the end of the big walking street was a huge monument to Christopher Columbus, the Mirador de Colom, but I kept meandering past him along the water, admiring my proximity to it. I love to be near/on water but not necessarily in water. So I like to be on piers and boats and the like. Once it was close enough to 3pm, I made my way to Museu Frederic Marès, which I thought was going to be like Ed’s Museum in Wykoff, MN based on its description, but instead it was a bunch of creepy wooden religious statues. A lot of versions of the same statue of Jesus on the crucifix and Mary and Jesus. There were four floors, but I left after three…

    Museu Frederic Marès, Barcelona, Spain

    From there, I went the Picasso Museum because it was also free but the line was way too long and I knew I would see something of Picasso’s again. Instead, I went to the Museu d’Història de Barcelona, which had a cool underground archaeology area that was the old city that they built the new one on top of. The coolest thing, though, was part of their temporary exhibit:

    Museu d'Història de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
    Her skull had been trepanned THREE TIMES.

    At the end of the day, I had a ticket to the Palau de la Música Catalana tour and miniconcert and, honestly, you just have to look through the photos of this one. It was absolutely gorgeous. The detail work in every part of the theatre was incredible and the sun skylight/chandelier in the middle was amazing.

    Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona, Spain

    Monday (Day 4, yellow), I started back at Plaça de Catalunya and went down La Rambla again, this time because I was heading to the Oficina de Correos. At the Mirador de Colom, I wondered which way he pointed.

    I was MONUMENTALLY disappointed that it wasn’t towards America or even India. After that disappointment, I got my stamps, went to a café called Clandestina, and finished writing/stamping my post cards.

    My last day in Barcelona (Day 5, green) I spent at Platja Montgat. I had to pack and plan for Paris and finish writing my post cards before I left, plus I was spending the night in the airport…

    You can find all of my photos at my Eurotrip 2016 Flickr album and below is a map of where I went!

    22/08/16: What’s Coming Up

    Man, oh man, I submit my thesis today. Including cover page, index, appendices, references, and the actual content itself, it’s 50+ pages. It’s good to be done, but I was using the Gatsby Party as the bookend of the summer and that was a week ago…

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    The Gatsby Party was the day before my 25th birthday, so that was awesome timing. Then, the day after my birthday I went to visit my friend Edith in Killarney, Co. Kerry. It was great seeing her and Maël (her boyf) before they move to France in September, although I will see them in Maynooth for her graduation. It seems like only yesterday she was a first year! (Edith and I met when we lived together when I was studying abroad, she was a first year at the time.)

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    This week (on the 25th!) I go to Barcelona and from there I head to Paris. I’m going to be staying on a friend’s couch in Barcelona and my dad got me a hotel room for my birthday in Paris (I called my mom to ask for advice on booking a hostel because the cost:hostel ratio was not worth it and instead ended up with a hotel room! BEST FAM).

    Then I’ll be back in Ireland for a week and a bit before Katie comes to visit, so hopefully in that time I can visit a friend in Limerick, go to Howth with some other friends, and pack… Maybe I’ll go to Howth with Katie and my friends here! Two birds, one trip.

    Then once Katie is here, we’re going to Edinburgh and then traveling around Ireland and then we’re flying home together! I’m very excited to go home. 😀

    In the meantime, there’s still posts scheduled in my portfolio for every Monday at 4:30pm and a new series of articles is going to post here on travel tips for Katie called Travel in (Relative) Style. They’ll post at 4:30pm, too! I’m also working on a page for the site that will have a description of the projects and posts and each of the sections of this site, since there isn’t one of those…

    18/07/16: A …Sunny? Day in London Town

    So I went to London (again) for a few days and, in fact, I just got back yesterday. I think I get some kudos for posting this relatively quickly….

    I booked this trip a few months ago because I had tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and didn’t know I was going to be visiting London twice in March, but that meant I had the chance to book a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Although, the booking of that was a DAMN MESS because I am apparently terrible at dates/times. I booked the wrong times TWICE before finally getting it sorted and correct.

    Museum of the Year 2016!!

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    I did luck out and happen to be in London at the same time as the Victoria and Albert Museum was offering a free behind the scenes tour of their Conservation Studios, so I got my ticket for that while I was visiting in March. That was so cool, even though I was the youngest person there by about 40 years (or more…) Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take photos, but I did get to see the paper, books, painting, textiles, and sculpture conservation studios. The textile studio was my favorite, there was a gorgeous 1950s-esque dress on display in the studio and “The Souper Dress” was just visible if I stood up on my toes and peered around everything.

     

    The Souper Dress

    After my tour of the V&A, a couple of artists I follow on Tumblr who happened to be in London at the same time met me there and we went through the V&A and its Undressed exhibit. I had already met up with them the day before for ramen and wandering after I landed in London and we planned to meet up again, but it never worked out. It was fun to hang out with them, though.

    The next day, I was looking for weird museums to go to, so I went to the Ragged School Museum, which was really small. It was a school started for orphans and homeless children by a doctor who came to London from Ireland intending to be a doctor missionary in China, but he decided to stay in London and help children there. I was talking to the volunteer and he was super friendly and knew a lot about the museum, so it was nice to chat with him before the school groups descended on the museum. Once the kids got there, it was too loud from them walking around and he was busy so I went on to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory.

    I got a ticket for the Royal Observatory and it included a free ticket to the space-themed exhibit, Above and Beyond, in the National Maritime Museum that I wanted to go to but didn’t want to get a separate ticket for, so that worked out really well! In the Royal Observatory, I got to stand on the Prime Meridian line and go up in the giant dome where the telescope used to be. It was so lovely out in Greenwich, I was amazed at all the greenery and the big boat (the Cutty Sark)!

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    My last stop of the day was the Harry Potter play, but I won’t say anything about that because #spoilers. Except that my heart was full of feelings for these guys:

    malfoys

    So the weirdest thing happened when I was on Facebook, though, because it turns out someone I worked with at Best Buy who had been going to university in Hawai’i since I had left for China was in London at the same time! What a coincidence. So we decided to meet up for tea the next day at 3.

    Before meeting my friend, I went to the Wellcome Collection, which wasn’t as weird as I was hoping it was going to be, and I tried to go to the Zoological Museum, which was closed. But I did get to see a trepanned skull, so that was cool.

    On my way to meet up with Josh, I went to a vintage shop and flicked through the jean jackets, ultimately finding one that was super cute AND super marked down. The original price in the vintage shop was 50GBP but I got it for 18. Yes, I am bragging about my name-brand jean jacket being HELLA CHEAP cause a brand new jacket from the same company is like 100GBP. DEALS.

    So then I went for tea with Josh, who I hadn’t seen in 3 years. We talked about vintage cameras, which was awesome, because he works at a camera shop in Hawai’i and does photography and stuff. We decided there are three kinds of Camera People: Big Tech (like him), Vintage (like me), and Hobbyists (like my dad). He was impressed with my vintage collection and I with the massive expensive cameras that he got to work with, so it was awesome to be able to talk to someone about cameras and them actually understand.

    After that was part 2 of the HP play, where I definitely DID NOT CRY ABOUT THE MALFOYS.

    The next day was my last in London, so I decided to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon. The adventure was a bit of a mess, from not having the card I used to book the tickets to not finding a place to store my bag (I left it with some theatre staff, not technically a cloakroom at all), but I did get to see Shakespeare’s house and grave and gardens, and the town was super nice even if I was a little ill. (Did I mention I got sick like Day 2 of this trip and felt like I was dying by part 2 of HP?? Cause I was DYING.) On the train back, though, I chatted with these two nice old men because one of them brought out his lil packet of travel tissues because I was very obviously snuffly and miserable. We talked about 60s TV shows and SciFi and traveling, and when I went to leave, he gave me the lil packet of tissues!

    Said hello to the Bard today.

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    So after my train back from Stratford-Upon-Avon, I went to the airport, because that’s where I was sleeping, and I managed to get a two-seat section that I wedged myself into for a nap. Then I caught my flight at 6:30am and went home and slept!

    18/06/16: ConGRADulations and Other Updates

    So this year, my brother graduated high school. It looked like it was going to be a logistical nightmare to get me home for his graduation (not to mention the cost!!), so I booked my own flights back in February, managed to keep the surprise to myself until 3 weeks before the trip (my family is not very good at surprises, we like to be informed), and surprised everyone by showing up to my little brother’s graduation!!

    SpockSurprised

    When I first booked the flights, I thought I would feel not-great about the amount of money they cost, but I actually felt a great weight lifted from my soul because I wasn’t going to miss my only little brother’s only high school graduation.

    Over the course of the week, I saw my grandparents, my mom’s younger brother and his wife, family friends, Danny’s friends, some high school friends, and, of course, neighbors. I also made use of mom’s sewing machine and supplies and made a few gifts (which I can’t post photos of yet, because I haven’t given them) and a dress and ran a bunch of errands.

    1920s dress done!! Too bad my ’20s Brownie is in Ireland. #AprilMakesThings

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    I even ended up with a flight delay of 24-hours (I voluntarily chose to reschedule and go home than to get stuck in Chicago O’Hare for an indeterminate number of hours) that worked out really, really well. I got a post card I would’ve otherwise missed, grabbed the books I meant to bring with me but forgot, and set up my parents website on the exact day mine renewed! Crazy timing.


    Which brings me to the updates!!

    As some of you may know, but probably not, I have a portfolio set up on this website as well as a digital repository set up on a subdomain. Over the next few weeks (hopefully), I’ll be updating the portfolio with info on setting up and using WordPress as well as a few other techie things for my parents, who will be new to the blogosphere. I’ll, of course, add a link to their website when it’s up and functional. Currently, it’s empty.

    I’ve also migrated My Makeshift Kitchen into this website, no more separate URL for it! In light of that, different post types have different headers, which you might have noticed! (Probably not, it was a really quiet change 😛 ) I aim to have header images for the different projects within my portfolio, for the locations in the travel blog section, for My Makeshift Kitchen, and for those that don’t particularly fall under any of the previous categories (which I mentally refer to as Articles).

    26/05/16: A Backlog of Updates

    Hello, readers! Thanks so much for reading even though I’m a trash panda (n; raccoon I’m tired of those trash pandas eating my garbage.) and can never stick with an update schedule. Or even remember to update hardly anything.

    So let’s work our way backwards.


    Today, my friend Lisa (who I met in Shanghai and hung out with many times in Beijing and visited last November in Leeds) went back home after visiting for a few days. We didn’t really get up to much, we spent a day wandering about and then hung out at my house the next day. I made vegetarian sloppy joes and Snickerdoodles, though, for that Ultimate American Experience (obviously).

    Two weeks ago, I submitted my final assignment for semester 2. That means I’m now finished with classes for my master’s degree and just have the capstone (like a group thesis project) to focus on over the summer. Looking at my grades, I’m doing pretty well. I haven’t gotten less than a B- and in Ireland, it’s a lot harder to get an A than in the US. At least, according to everyone I talk to and everything I read.

    About a month before that, I finished up my crazy-busy travel month. In the month of March, I went to London twice, went on a road trip around Ireland with my family, and visited Milan, so here’s a quick breakdown of those trips:

    Milan

    I spent a few days in Milan, where I saw the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as a museum full of da Vinci sketches. I went to a lot of churches, but the coolest was climbing a million stairs to get to the top of the Duomo cathedral.

    251 stairs later…

    A video posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    I also went to a really nice Alfons Mucha exhibit that was absolutely gorgeous.

    The last thing I did was wait in line for a really long time to get a ticket to an opera at the Teatro alla Scalla, where I paid 13 Euro and ended up sitting in a 200+ seat.

    What a great way to end this trip! #IdueFoscari

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    Mittelstaedt Family Trip 2016

    A week after Milan, I met my family in London where we spent 2 days before going on an Irish road trip. We went to Bru na Boinne, Newgrange, Belfast, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney, the Blarney Castle, and Cork (plus 12 places in London and 5 in Dublin and we spent a day in Maynooth). It was an exhausting trip, but I’m glad I waited to go to most of the places on our trip instead of going without my family. Even though I’m used to traveling by myself, the Mittelstaedt Family Trip is an awesome tradition and it’s nice to spend that time with my family instead of not spending quality time with them now that I’m grown up.

    It’s hard to say what was my favorite location on the trip, but I think it was the Tower of London and the little place Danny and I hiked just before we got to the Cliffs of Moher. We got lucky on our trip because it was sunny the days we went to Giant’s Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher, but started raining as we were on our way back.

    My brother is soooo attractive and also singlleeeeeee

    A photo posted by Apers (@apparentlyapril) on

    London with the Hughes Family

    I started the month of April with a weekend trip to London where I met up with family friends I’ve known since I was very young. I had a great time showing them all my favorite places of London and going on (yet more) walking tours with them. For whatever reason, I didn’t write down all the places we went and they sort of blur together with visiting London with my family, but I did get the chance to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum (on my own, they were still in Paris when I arrived) and we went to Tower of London (which I still really enjoyed!)

    One thing I didn’t even think to do when my family was visiting was go on a Jack the Ripper tour. We went on the one done by the Beefeaters (the guards at the Tower of London) and it was fantastic. I had such a great time showing the Hughes around London, I could honestly be a tour guide (HINT HINT LITERALLY ANYONE NEEDING A TOUR GUIDE IN DUBLIN).


    I’m currently sitting in a tea shop (the same one I’ve come to like 5 times in the past week in Dublin) waiting for my friend to meet me, but I hope to write an article-style post about dead things to see in Dublin and maybe another about museums to visit here. I’ve found that my favorite museums in Dublin have dead things as my favorite exhibit, so look out for that.

    Anyway, Happy May!

    <3 April

    15/03/16: March Madness

    Wow! I’m already halfway through what I hope will be my busiest month this year! I’ll try to update my blog as time passes, but it’s going to be tough as I’m only halfway through and I’m already exhausted!

    I have written about my Milan trip, but I won’t type it up and upload it until after the post cards have made it to the US! I don’t want the tidbits and info on the cards to be spoiled by those who (maybe??) read my blog. (Does anyone read this thing?! If yes, COMMENT! If no,

    My family will be here to visit in a week (or so), but I do have some posts scheduled in my Portfolio that post Mondays at 4:30pm GMT. 😀 I’m currently working on a lot of neato school projects that I’ll get to uploading once I’ve finished them / turned them in, but in the mean time I’ve got some projects from last semester and my internship uploading. I’m probably going to upload some projects from my undergrad days as well, so keep an eye on that page!

    I’m most excited about this cool project I’m working on for my Digital Libraries course, which should be live the first week of May! (It is, after all, DUE the first week of May…)

    Anyway, I’m going to go crash in exhaustion as it’s currently day 2 of 3 of a 9-5 course that’s basically a workshop. The stuff I’m working on will be part of my portfolio eventually but, as I said, I have to finish it first!

    Happy St Paddy’s Day!
    🍀 April