Yale University

Fortunately my host family is able to always give me some time off when a holiday is coming up, which means that on Monday (President’s Day), I could go and explore the East Coast a little more. This time Luisa and I went to Connecticut to visit Yale, one of the famous Ivy League Colleges. Thanks to my awesome host family I can always use „my“ car to drive wherever I want, so it only took us two hours on the highway and one stop at Starbucks to get to New Haven, a cute town in the South of Connecticut. The campus expands over a large area, just like Harvard in Cambridge and Brown in Providence, so that there’s a lot to explore. Of course certain areas are restricted and you can only get in the buildings with a valid student I.D., but there’s still a lot to see. We went to the visitor center where we learned amongst other things, that Yale was founded in 1701 and that their mascot is „Handsome Dan“, a bulldog who is trained to react aggressively to the color crimson, which is the symbol of their biggest rival Harvard. The campus and its architecture are really impressive and I really liked the composition of old historical buildings next to new and modern ones.
After we got ourselves a sweater with the typical „Yale“ print on it, we went out for a late lunch and headed back home before traffic hit us.

 

Lux et veritas! Katharina ❤

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Snow Storm

Everybody knows that the East Coast usually gets a lot of snow durning the winter months. We all have been waiting for the big snow storm to come, because until now, there was not too much snow and the weather has been great! Last week it started snowing and at first it didn’t stop, so that schools were closed or delayed, driving was not recommended and some neighborhoods didn’t even have power. I was really surprised that the roads were in such bad conditions, because one would think people here know how to handle that much snow, but obviously everybody was a little overwhelmed with that wicked big stawm coming in. This is true New England weather, and as a true New Englander you still get your iced coffee at Dunks‘, even though it is 20°F outside… 😉

Stay warm, Katharina ❤

Happy Birthday

Finally 20! A couple weeks ago I turned 20… I can’t believe that I’m that old already. It feels like yesterday that I turned 16 and was allowed to go out and have a drink or that I turned 18 and I could finally drive the car by myself. CRAZY!

Anyways, my lovely host mom wanted to throw me a special birthday party and she went all out. The whole house was decorated in „Tiffany Blue“, we ordered Chinese and Sushi, made cupcakes, got balloons and had a really nice gathering. I am so thankful that she  organized such a fun birthday bash – I think it was the best that I ever had.

 

Happy Birthday, Katharina ❤

Happy New Year From Montreal

Every year the same problem: the expectations for New Year’s Eve are waaaay to high and everybody wants to have the best night of the year (usually doesn’t work out anyways). Last year a couple of friends and I decided to head to Canada to celebrate 2017. Big benefit: legal drinking age 18! I usually don’t really mind being under age and not able to go out and party (saves me a lot of money), but on New Year’s Eve I really wanted to go out and have a fun night with a couple of drinks.

We drove up to Montreal on Friday night and stayed at a Hotel close to a lot of clubs and bars. Of course we headed out to party that night even though we were super exhausted and tired from the six hour drive. The next day we spent sleeping and eating at the hotel until we got ready to head out again to welcome 2017. We had a really good time in Montreal, and even though we only went to an overlook on a little mountain and didn’t really see much of Canada, I have to say it was pretty amazing.

 

Happy New Year, Katharina ❤

An American Christmas

As always, the holiday season is filled with laughter love and joy, but most of all food. I knew from the beginning that food is a really big deal in my italian-american host family, but the christmas dinner exceeded all the expectations. The feast already began on Christmas Eve with a small gathering of the closest family members, because other than a traditional german christmas, the main event is christmas day, the 25th. We had a humongous spread of presents for the kids, christmas music was cheering out of every corner and the Irish Cream was flowing all day long. In the morning the kids got to open their presents, which I think was more fun for us than for them. I have never seen a kid that got that many presents, but don’t forget… we had everything twice!! One present for each kid, sometimes the exact same one, all to prevent fighting over toys. I gave my presents to my host family as well, and of course I got a little something too. Not only did my host mom get me a Michael Kors bag that I always wanted, they also gave me an extra week of vacation! YEAH! 🙂 Not to mention all the gift cards and little gift that I got from the rest of the family. I definitely felt like I was part of the family and they made me feel like I was living with them for years already. Anyways, the boys had a blast and after their nap it was time for the legendary christmas party. Everybody came over to celebrate with us and with all the guests, even more presents came through the door. The celebration didn’t stop until all the Irish cream, the sweets and the jello shots were gone, the annual gift exchange took place and the boys eventually had too much whipped cream that they stole from the hot chocolate bar.

I will NEVER forget 2016s christmas with my special american family ❤

 

Stay merry, Katharina ❤

Thanksgiving and Harvard Hockey Game

I just realized that I didn’t write anything about Thanksgiving, and then I also realized that I don’t have any pictures either… Only a few really cute ones of the kids that I took for my hostfamily. We celebrated Thanksgiving only with the close family and the amount of food was enormous. We had turkey, pasta, chicken, salads, a bunch of sides, potatoes in three different versions and of course A LOT of dessert. So basically we were just eating the whole day and afterwards I went black Friday shopping with my friends from midnight to 4am. My family already warned me that Christmas will be even worse and that there’s gonna be way more food than on thanksgiving. I will make sure to take pictures!

A couple days after the holiday, Vanessa and I went to a Harvard women’s hockey game. Her host dad works at Harvard and got us tickets to the game. The Americans sure love their sports, so it’s a must, to go and see as many games as you can. It was really cool to see a completely female team playing such a quick and sometimes painful game.

 

Go Crimson! Love, Katharina ❤

New York for the weekend

„In New York, concrete Jungle where dreams are made of, theres nothing you can’t do!”

I have always been in love with New York and by living in Massachusetts, it only takes a four hour bus ride to get to „The Big Apple” , „The city that never sleeps” , „The urban jungle”, whatever you want to call it… Last weekend, I took the chance and accompanied two of my friends, Michelle and Luisa on their trip to New York. We left early on Saturday morning and stayed at an Airbnb in Queens. Unfortunately we didn’t have that much time to go and visit every touristy thing that you could probably see, but we narrowed it down to a few really cool spots.
First things first, we went to the famous time square which is overwhelmingly big and all the lights are just driving you crazy after a while. It’s a lot to take in, all the people, the lights, the noise and the big screens with commercials all over the super tall buildings. It is interesting that the time square is such a popular spot in Manhattan, because a real New Yorker would never go there voluntarily.


Afterwards we went to 5th Avenue, the famous shopping street with a lot of luxurious stores and important business buildings. On our way to Tiffany’s, we had to pass the Trump Tower, where Trump apparently stayed while we were there, so the security level was set really high. In front of the building were a bunch of police officers from NYPD and some special forces with pretty big and scary guns. The street was blocked as well and you could only get by with a security screening.

New York during Christmas is gorgeous, but packed. It took us ages to get through the crowd to take a look at the huge Christmas Tree in front of the Rockefeller Center. Music was playing all over town, lights were shining from every building and every tree. It was simply stunning.

Something more serious and an actually really sad visit was the 9/11 Memorial. The last time I was in New York, at the age of four, the skyline of NY showed two towers that looked exactly the same. The twin towers were still standing when I live in New Jersey with my Family. Now, 15 years later, it is shocking how much time passed since the attack of 9/11. Usually the city is super busy and really loud, but as I was standing at the ground zero, which they turned in to a beautiful memorial, it was dead quiet. People don’t really talk there and it has a really unique and special feeling to it. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the museum, but that is definitely on the list for my next visit.

Another point on my list for the next time in NY is the Statue of Liberty. This time we only went to the Battery Park and saw the statue from far away, but we enjoyed some street performance there from a pretty cool group that did some stunts and dances to entertain the crowd.

The last landmark we visited was the Brooklyn Bridge. We didn’t walk all the way over it, because there were so many people and bikes that it was almost impossible to cross the bridge and actually enjoy it, but we definitely enjoyed the view. Also, the architectural aspect of the bridge is pretty impressive as well.

The time went by so fast and after a short walk in Central Park, we headed back to the bus and made it home safely an hour earlier than planned.
I really enjoyed the short trip to the Big Apple and I am really much looking forward to go there again. Hopefully pretty soon.

Hugs, Katharina ❤