18/05/26-29 Not Enough Garden Gnomes in Roanoke, VA

Day 1: Wait, What Day Is It?

One thing you’d know about me if you’ve ever worked with me is that time has no meaning to me. It’s yet another reason in the “She’s probably an alien list,” time travels differently in space. And in my brain. So I decided to take a weekend trip to Roanoke, Virginia a couple weeks ago during this three-day weekend. Sadly, I had to work on the first day of the three-day weekend, but only for 4 hours, so the 2-hour drive to Roanoke was totally doable after work. So I did it. I didn’t leave immediately after work, taking pity on my sweet cat boy and spending a bit of time cleaning up the apartment a bit before I left (I’d gone to Kennedy Space Center the weekend previous, but was only gone for two days). Once in Roanoke, I checked in to the hotel (thanks dad!) and set out on foot for downtown to get dinner at a Lebanese restaurant, which was delicious. The hotel staff at the desk expressed some concern about the weather, but sure I would be fine, I had a waterproof backpack and a water resistant jacket in my backpack. And I was fine. That night……

After dinner, I walked back to the hotel to plan my weekend, which turned out to be a good idea because the museum I wanted to see the most doesn’t open on Sundays or Mondays, which were the only two days I was planning on being in Roanoke. Luckily, dad could extend my stay by another day and I didn’t have to be to work until 4 on Tuesday, which meant a trip to the museum on the horizon.

Day 2: Rain Rain Rain

So one of the problems with starting a trip on a Sunday in the southern United States is… things are closed. Or they don’t open until late. And they still close at 5. So I had plenty of time to get breakfast and tool around Roanoke waiting for the art museum to open up so I could visit it while waiting for the transportation museum to open. I visited the wire man who stands on the third floor of the art museum and keeps watch over the city, before heading to the transportation museum to check out the trains and old cars. The museum was pretty neat, but neither art museums nor transportation museums are “my thing,” but they were enjoyable all the same. Of course, when I left the transportation museum to walk the 20min back to the hotel, the sky opened up and… well, it turns out my jacket isn’t as water resistant as I’d like and my backpack, while still way more waterproof than other backpacks, not 100% waterproof. More like 80%.

I took a similar photo with my #analog #yashica365 and then I had to count out my photos again to make sure I didn’t accidentally double-expose it. “I took one inside and then 1-2-3 up here so I should be on frame 5 ok good” at Taubman Museum of Art

After hanging everything to dry and having a nice mug of tea, I went on a hunt to buy dry socks and rain boots (ended up with kids boots a size too big, but they’re better than completely wet leather Doc Martens!) before heading to the antique mall, which wasn’t as impressive as I was hoping. There was a lot of fine china and Star Trek books (which seemed weird to me. Did Roanoke have it bad for Star Trek more than other places I’ve been to? I’ll never know), but not a lot of old cameras and definitely no light meters, which is what I was looking for. So I decided to head to Black Dog Salvage to check it out in the, oh, 30min I had before it closed. That was a very cool visit, I was much more impressed with their goods than the antique mall. Sadly, they only had one garden gnome in all their concrete statuary. I love garden gnomes…

After a quick stop at the hotel to drop some stuff off, I headed to a burger and beer place for dinner on recommendation from the desk guy (who kindly lent me his umbrella as I was leaving to go shopping), which is a weird choice for me as I don’t eat red meat or drink beer. But I figured “why not, I’ll eat a cheeseburger.” The cheeseburger wasn’t amazing, I didn’t realize there weren’t any veggies on the burger, and the drink was bottled, but there was a regular standing near where I was sitting working towards 1,000 total beers (the place is like a motorcycle gang or the Girl Scouts, for every 100 beers you get a patch to put on your custom shirt and at 1,000, you get your own day and you can add a burger of your own creation). He was at about 890, which is a lot of beer. I ended up sitting and chatting with him, a couple of people who came in to eat, and the waiter for a while and it was really good company. I left a bit earlier than I otherwise might have because the plan for the next morning was to leave around 7:30am to go to the Green Bank Observatory.

Day 3: She’ll Be Going Up the Mountain When She Goes

After a very groggy re-check-in and a mediocre (but free) hotel breakfast, I started off towards the Green Bank Observatory in the Monongahela National Forest. I was a little worried about the drive, which was about 3hr and went through the National Radio Quiet Zone. Luckily, my GPS saved the anticipated directions because I had downloaded the map to my phone the night before, so I didn’t need to worry. I even had a “friend” driving behind me for 1.5-2 hr of the long trip. It was fun to see my “Truck Friend” behind me during the journey.

Once I got up to the Observatory, I was surprised at how not-busy it was. I figured it was a holiday weekend and that there would be more people, but there were maybe 10 people on the tour. It was an interesting trip and I’m glad I decided to go as part of the Roanoke trip, making the drive 3hr instead of the 5 it would have been from home, but by that point in the weekend, I was tired and kind of wanted to go home. If you’re interested in space science, the Green Bank Observatory has many very cool, very historic telescopes, and is worth a visit, but maybe not an all day one.

After driving back down the mountain, I ordered a pizza and watched Star Trek in the hotel room. I had one more stop to go before I could call my Roanoke trip complete and it was the reason I extended my stay by a day:
O. Winston Link Museum.

Day 4: Flash Photography

As a vintage camera person, the main reason I came to Roanoke was its relatively convenient location and the O. Winston Link Museum.

Link and George Thom with Link’s Flash equipment, 1956 20 x 16 inch gelatin silver print

I started my morning at the O. Winston Link Museum and was the only person in the museum. Seeing the equipment and the black and white photography was amazing. My favorite photo was the photo above that had been blown up to be larger-than-full size, where O. Winston Link and his assistant were surrounded by their equipment. It’s amazing how many flash pieces it took to take the photos.

After my time in the museum, I drove home in time to freshen up before heading to work! Long-weekend trip, complete! Overall, I had a nice time, but I was very happy to be home.

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

23/02/16: Ooops

Well hello again!

I know, I know, it’s been over two months since I’ve updated but I’ve been busy! Here’s a brief summary:

  • 8 Dec – Made it home in time for my brother’s 18th birthday
  • 9 Dec – Bro’s BDAY NOW AN ADULT WHAT
  • 16 Dec – Turned in my last assignment… Semester one complete!
  • 20 Dec – Started the trip to gramma&pa’s house!
  • 22 Dec – Gramma&pa’s house!
  • 25 Dec – Merry Christmas! My aunt (mom’s sis) and cousin (mom’s oldest bro’s daughter) surprised gramma & grampa by coming to visit, another cousin (mom’s oldest bro’s son) got engaged, and we had the whole family (gramma&pa, mom & dad, her 2 bros, her sis, uncle’s wife, 3 cousins, me & Danny, cousin’s fiance & her son) all together for the first time in years and years and years! AND IT WAS A WHITE CHRISTMAS!!
  • 29 Dec – Snowed in on the way home. I hate snow!
  • 31 Dec – New Year’s with mah gurrrls + drunk Yoshi’s Wooly World
  • 1 Jan – We didn’t get tHAT drunk
  • 3 Jan – Family “Christmas” movie (we go to a movie on Christmas Day if we’re not traveling, after Christmas if we are) STAR WARS VII
  • 8 Jan – Piercings with mah bff!!
  • 11 Jan – STAR WARS VII with mah other bff!!
  • 13 Jan – Back to Ireland!
  • 27 Jan – Semester starts!

That’s it in a nutshell! I’ve been working hard this semester because I’m also planning on traveling through Europe as much as I can. Today I booked my first weekend trip, so here’s upcoming plans:

  • 6-8 Mar – Family friends visit Dublin
  • 9-13 Mar – Milan, Italy
  • 22-25 Mar – #MittelstaedtFamilyTrip2016 in London
  • 25 Mar-1 Apr – #MittelstaedtFamilyTrip2016 in Ireland
  • 7-10 Apr – Maybe visit London? (Diff fam friends visiting LDN then)
  • sometime around 4 Jun – Barcelona with Lisa
  • 12-17 Jul – London (HP & the Cursed Child!!)

I’ve also got a few other weekends “flagged” for travel, so as long as I stay on top of my assignments, I’ve got a big semester ahead of me! Then the summer session where I’ll be continuing work on the group capstone project (like a thesis, but with a group) and that’s done 22 Aug. Hopefully after that all my bffs will come visit me in Ireland and then graduation! Alongside all that, I’m already applying for jobs and hopefully I’ll be working on building a better portfolio of my projects on here. 😀

2016 is going to be a big year!

<3 April