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Thursday, June 15, 2017

My family and biggest blog readers: Mom, Aunt Nancy, and Dad at the Pardee School Graduation

One of the first tips you read when you search "blogging tips" online is to never start a post by apologising for having not posted in a while. So, I won't apologise for having not posted in a while, but I will definitely acknowledge that time has passed between my last post and now.

First of all, I returned to the United States on May 1st. I made sure to drink champagne on every possible leg of the flight home, because I was definitely in a celebration mood. Then I was home for a week before flying to Washington DC to look for an apartment with my boyfriend. We found one... and we're officially moving to Arlington, VA in early July! 

A week later, I turned 21 in mid-May and my wonderful boyfriend took me to see Blue Man Group. I saw Blue Man Group as a kid, but it was even better the second time around! Then I embarked on Senior Week prior to my undergraduate graduation. It involved clubbing on a Monday (?!), going to a casino for the first time on Tuesday, and a Thursday clambake that my friend Lea (and my former roommate from Geneva/London) correctly described as the "least-clammy clambake ever" as it failed to have even a single clam (don't worry, there was lobster instead). 

I think that was the craziest May that anyone possibly could have had, and it was a wonderful month. 

Then I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Art's in International Relations (policy/security track with a focus on Asia) and hit the ultimate fast forward button for life. I have no idea where the first two weeks of June went, but it's mid-June already. Now I'm applying for jobs, packing to move and learning how to drive (it's about time). I have so many things to do and seemingly no time to do it. 

But that's okay. I'll learn as I go! 

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Frankly, I'm not sure how to update this blog.

I never meant to go a month without posting, but I was so busy and exhausted that it somehow slipped my mind! As you can probably expect, it was a crazy month. I travelled around Switzerland. I went to Vienna (and got my wallet stolen). I looked for apartments and jobs and drivers license laws and all the crazy things that come with post-graduation life. I learned a lot about European Union funding at my internship (it's a bore). I wanted time to go by faster so I could go home, turn 21, and graduate.

But now that I'm just under a week away from returning to the United States, I want time to slow down. I do not regret my decision to graduate a year early... I feel like a senior, and I feel ready to be done with my undergraduate degree.

I just wish these last few days in Geneva could be a little bit longer.
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

I have just returned from the most awesome weekend in Paris I could have ever dreamed of. I went with a friend of mine from the program who is also an oversized child, and it was a really fun experience. We went to Disneyland Paris the first day, and ran around to see the sites of Paris the second day. 

....I have no idea who those people are in this photo, but such is life. Anyways, the castle at Disneyland Paris is Sleeping Beauty's, and it's very fantasy-looking. I think it's because there are so many real castles in Europe, and they didn't feel like trying to compete! Anyways, there's a dragon under it which makes it pretty cool. 

I'm a huge Disney fan, so I had a great time at Disneyland Paris. We went on the Buzz Lightyear ride (twice), the Haunted Manor ride (turns out I'm still afraid of skeletons), the Peter Pan ride (my favourite), It's a Small World (why does it even exist?!) and those funny teeny cars in Tomorrowland. We also did the Alice maze, watched the parade with the amazing huge floats, went in the submarine thing with the creepy giant squid, and ate an excessive amount of sugary treats. I do not know why I decided to eat a waffle, a cake on stick, and a candy apple all in one day, but it seemed entirely necessary at the time. 

I also finally got a pair of Minnie Mouse ears! I wanted to get some in Florida but didn't for whatever reason. I was hoping to get a toy Pascal (from Tangled) but could not find a cute one. There was also a strange lack of Pooh Bear tsum tsums. Such is life... and frankly, it was probably better that I didn't go on a crazy Disney shopping spree. It's expensive!

Today we ran around actual Paris. I remember Paris as being hot and hellishly crowded, but it was a really nice day today. My friend had never been to Paris before so we saw as many iconic things as possible. We started by running past the Louvre on the way to the Arc de Triomphe. After that we wandered around the pretty streets of Paris until finding the Eiffel tower, then took the Metro to Notre Dam.  We also ate crepes and went to a neat bookstore. I do not know what I was expecting from this weekend, but this weekend vastly exceeded any and all expectations. It was so much fun!

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

... better late than never, right?

I went to Copenhagen, Denmark and Duved, Sweden like three weeks ago, and it was a lovely trip! My boyfriend Erik flew over to visit and it was so good to see him again. The trip was a bit of an adventure... Erik's luggage got lost in transit, so we had to find him a coat when we landed in Copenhagen! We spent a few days there before flying to Sweden and skiing for the rest of the week. Also, we're both terrible at taking pictures of each other, so there's exactly one couple picture at the end. Whoops.

Lego is a Danish company, and the Copenhagen Lego store had these cute Danish guards! We saw real Danish guards marching around and doing a guard change every day. 

I ate the most amazing, artsy avocado toast of my life! The red things are pomegranate seeds.

Erik is a goofball. He's lying on his snowboard after sledding down it back to the inn we stayed at. The inn was called Pensionat Mullfjället and it was nice and cozy. Breakfast and dinner were included, and the dinners were delicious! Unfortunately Erik doesn't like fish and potatoes and there were kind of a lot of those in Sweden. But there was also reindeer in every way imaginable, so that was interesting (and tasty).

I tried to snowboard the first two days and hit my head pretty hard on the second day, so I took a day off to hang out in town and recover. This is the cute little church in town. I appreciate that it's simple but still pretty. The best part about my day off is that I swapped my snowboard for skis. Turns out that while I'm a terrible snowboarder, I was a quick learner on skis. I'm not ready to come off the bunny hill any time soon, but at least I spent more time on my feet while skiing. 

I look a little dork here, but that's okay! This was taken on our last day at the inn. It was nice to see Erik again and have a proper couple's holiday. I wish I had gotten skis on the first day... but besides that it was a really fun trip. 

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Instagram is cool for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons I love it the most is how people are able to create and share comics. I'm an absolute sucker for adorable comics, so I figured I would share some of my favourite accounts. 

Gaston Millefeuille

I LOVE Gaston. Gaston is my number one motivator to learn French. Gaston is this adorable cartoon about this Parisian baker bunny who lives in a neighbourhood full of cute animal friends. I've showed Gaston comics to my French teacher and many of my French I classmates, and we all love him. He was so relatable on Saint-Valentin eating chocolate all alone on his bed :(


Cantana Comics are amazing. Cantana Comics are relatively new and have quickly gained a ton of popularity. I think it's because the comics are simple and relatable without trying too hard. The best part about the Cantana Comics to me is that they strongly resemble me and Erik. While Erik isn't super tall like John is, they both have awesome beards. The comics have also inspired me and Erik to put googley eyes on a Roomba if we ever get one. 


I know Pusheen is really popular and that a lot of the account is merchandise these days, but it doesn't mean Pusheen isn't cute. Pusheen is this silly cat that only vaguely resembles a cat, and I absolutely love him. He's so soft looking and does silly things in his little comics. I do wish they would post more proper comics on their account these days, but I still love Pusheen anyways. 

Speaking of Instagram, you should go follow me at natalie.mei where I post photos of my travels, aerial and life! 

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