1. Two days before departing for Singapore, another thing off the bucket list. Kyra and I have wanted to go skydiving together since the day we met more than 7 years ago - and we’ve finally done it! I can easily say it’s one of the most surreal feelings I’ve experienced; who knew free-falling for 60 seconds from 13,000 feet in the air would feel so good? An amazing way to end my stint in the US!

     

  2. Kyra and I went on a 10-mile hike through Point Reyes National Seashore. The hike took us over a hand-painted bridge, through an abandoned Christmas tree farm, past a beautiful pond full of lilies, and led us to a series of waterfalls overlooking the ocean.

    I love this planet.

     

  3. Spent a day being an idiot with my sister in San Francisco. These pictures always make me smile. The time we get together is never enough!

     

  4. Once I was back in America and trying to see all the friends I’d missed, I realized that it was very unlikely that I’d be able to see one of my best friends, Michaela, unless I was able to make a trip out to Las Vegas to see her. We consulted our calendars, and realized it was affordable for me to visit on the July 4th weekend, and she had the weekend off from work to hang out with me! The stars aligned.

    It was fun to be in Las Vegas and see it from a local’s perspective. Although, since we aren’t 21 yet, we couldn’t visit the casinos or the bars, there was plenty for us to do. Michaela took me to an area named Container Park, aptly titled since all of the buildings are made from shipping containers! Such a creative idea. The center was filled mostly with boutique clothing and gift shops, including a really cool place that converted glass beer and wine bottles, etc. into other things – cups, vases, flower pots, rings, you name it! Outside the Container Park was a giant statue of a praying mantis about 3 stories tall, which according to the artist breathes fire and can speak several languages.

    On the night of the 4th, we wandered the strip and were able to see fireworks from every direction all night long. It’s very strange to be under a drinking age restriction again, after living in a place where alcohol simply isn’t taken so seriously. But with Michaela it doesn’t matter if we’re drinking or not; if we’re together, we’re bound to have a good time. I’m so glad I got to see her again after such a long time without one of my best friends.

     

  5. All the while I’ve been away, my parents have been on working on building a new house in Reno, NV. After listening to them talk about it for so long, I was excited to go see what progress had been made, and to explore the city! We spent some time wandering along the riverside, which is constantly changing with new events and attractions, and stopped for a moment in a garden to smell the roses.

    Although no pictures are shown here, the house is absolutely perfect. It’s situated on a golf course, less than a 3-hour drive from my hometown, and in a neighborhood full of intelligent, friendly people. My parents don’t even live there full-time yet and already have a huge friend circle up there! Reno is great for them because there’s always something going on. They have a better weekend life than I do sometimes! I’m so happy to see that they’ve completely forgone the “empty-nesting” stage moved straight on to the “party like we’re 25” stage.

     

  6. I hadn’t even unpacked from London, or San Diego, before my parents announced that we were going on another adventure. My uncle Harry was in town from Virginia, and we were off to go wine tasting in Napa! Growing up in the Napa area is very different from being a customer in the Napa area, so it was really fun to go inside the wineries and learn more about both the beverage and the industry.

    It shouldn’t be fun to hang out with your parents all the time, but mine are really fucking cool. And photogenic. Love them! Happy to be home.

     

  7. When buying my flight to return to the States, my parents and I discovered that the price of a flight from London to San Francisco is actually absurd – but a flight from London to Los Angeles is actually pretty affordable. So my family decided to make a trip out of it!

    My sister Haley and my parents drove down to LA, stopping on the way to look at college campuses to give Haley an idea of what she was looking for. They picked me up from the airport on the way, and we drove down to San Diego and met up with my brother Riley! Since he lives in Arizona, it was a great halfway point for us to see him and his dog Katie, who just keeps getting cuter. It was such a shock to leave London weather and arrive in San Diego sun, but quite a welcome change.

    My jet lag was pretty rough, too. The first night, I woke up wide awake at 3am California time, ready to start my day. But it’s really difficult to complain about waking up at 3am if you can walk out to a completely empty beach with a good book. Coming to San Diego was a great way for me to transition back to America.

    As an American living in London, your ears sort of perk up whenever you hear another person with an American accent. You may even go so far as to ask them where they’re from, and even start a conversation. So when I got back to the US, my first thought was, “Why are there so many Americans here?!” and immediately after, “Oh.” I had a bit of trouble transitioning back to American currency, which my parents found hilarious, and I got horribly sunburnt after being exposed to so little sun for so long.

    All in all, though, I was so happy to see my family again. It doesn’t matter where you live – your family and friends can make any place your home.

     

  8. LAST DAY IN LONDON

    Post-spring break was panicked flurry of studying for finals and revisiting favourite London haunts. I absolutely loved every moment in that city and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study abroad in the United Kingdom, and to have travelled and seen and learned as much as I have. Sad to go, but I know deep down I’ll be back some day.

     

  9. A short post! For once!

    After Judy went home to London, we were very sad that she wouldn’t be with us on the rest of the trip – and more importantly, that she wouldn’t be in all of our selfies. :(

    SO, inspired by the story of Flat Stanley, we created Flat Judy. Born from the cardboard packaging of a pair of nylons, a black pen we found in a Barcelona gutter, and some nail clippers, Flat Judy accompanied us every day in her poorly proportioned leopard skin bikini as we wandered through these beautiful cities. It wasn’t the same, but nevertheless, it was nice to have her with us.

     


  10. "I’m obsessed with the way that the ocean is a different color in every part of the world."