Kicking Insomnia’s Butt – the Right Way (this time)

FOOD

It’s been pretty quiet on the food front and mostly smoothies, soups, and stir fries as usual!  Still up to my big batch cooking on Sunday’s.  Makes the rest of the week MUCH easier.

busted out the juicer for the first time in ages
threw quinoa, chickpeas, corn, and peas in the rice cooker. For meals, I would put them in a bowl and toss them with various sauces.
roasted corn in the air fryer! 20 min at 425. Totally perfect.
of course there HAD to be a green curry meal!
batch cook on Sunday of beans and rice – basically my lunch for a week!
roasted tomatoes and onions with basil from the garden!
Irish oats with cinnamon

FITNESS

Runs and hot yoga have been my go-to 5-6 days per week.  Trying to keep to one rest day.  Be warned – these are not “cute Crissie” pictures, but “ass kicking Crissie” ones 🙂

LIFE

Life has been wonderfully full of AC since my last post!  But honestly, not a whole ton going on.  Work, workout, spend time with my kids, spend time with my friends.  Rinse and repeat.

Saturday I did have overnight guests though!  One of my closest friends moved out of state a few years ago, but her husband and kids (including my Godson) were back in the area.  They spent the night here on their way back out of state.  JC and I had a really nice time catching up, and the kids got to run around, play, and then pass out.

One of the most fun activities was taking my young one to a start-up pitch competition!  I knew she’d love it, and she did.  My budding entrepreneur 🙂  I’ve been getting more and more involved in our local start up community and have been loving every minute of it.

discussing the pitches we’re seeing!
2/3 of my cabbages! M met us out for dinner at Waterside after the pitch competition

The biggest thing is the my focused effort on my insomnia.  I haven’t really talked about it, but it’s been a big problem for 13 years now, and I haven’t handled it well or in the most healthy ways.  Journaling, meditation before bed, no electronics, no alcohol, lots of exercise.  It can take months, but as long as I keep a positive outlook, it’ll be okay.  Every time I tried to deal with this in the past, the anxiety of “knowing I can’t sleep” overwhelmed me and I gave up.  But not this time.  It’s not been fun, but it’s also not killing me, and working with cognitive behavior techniques, I’ve avoided the anxiety I’ve had about sleep so far.  So – apologies to those who know me if I’m a bit cranky for a few weeks.  It’s not you.  I’m just tired:)

Fluffballs have been fun and busy too!

cats coming together over “sink water”
laundry day – Ginny hanging out in the drawer
new bling for Kuma! With the divorce, I needed to change the contact info, so hellz yeah, UVA!!! #Wahoo

the one thing I needed from Home Depot was a light bulb. But..denied.

was doing some life planning Sunday and she wouldn’t let me get at my planner
kitty stalkers wanting me to get up Sunday when I didn’t want to
seriously!! I could tell someone was watching me.
my meditation buddies! One there when I start, one when I finish.

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.
D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!
Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder
batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!
a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!
potato broccoli soup
potato broccoli soup
BBQ Chikun Empanadas
BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite
from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning
after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise
looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise
lame attempt at a smile
lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does
before and during her does
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!
they legit had a DJ!
how well they know us!
how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant
Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...
she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees
I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees
Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow
Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow
pure genius
pure genius
after a wet night out in Orlando
after a wet night out in Orlando
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk
cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger
congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)
yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!
LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite
salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline
view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India
my class in front of the Gateway to India
beautiful train station
beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....
yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.
a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.
one of the Mumbai slums
one of the Mumbai slums
a gift from the co-op
a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(
view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!
in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!
tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.
tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.
lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.
this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle
this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants
built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning
on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day
she loves laundry day
seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India
seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India
M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!
M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!
me as I landed in Mumbai
me as I landed in Mumbai
me and two of my awesome classmates
me and two of my awesome classmates

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Still Here – Promise!

Okay, last post was about Halloween.  I swear, I’m still kicking.  Just been – uncontrolled chaos!  I normally refer to my life as barely controlled chaos, but even I can admit it’s gone overboard!

Not going to try and do a 2 month update.  Many trips have ensued, family, school, work, friends, fun, tears, frustration, and an appreciation for life.

FOOD

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in my kitchen, and not making nearly enough of my super healthy eats!  Too much eating out or no eating at all, and I’m certainly feeling it.

But there were a few highlights!  One of them, is I got a new appliance!  An Air Fryer.  I picked up the GoWise on sale on Amazon, and it’s been a lot of fun to play with.  Kids love it, and it’s fun to have that fried food without added fats – which just end up hurting my stomach.

red lentil soup
red lentil soup
green curry.  of course!
green curry. of course!
tuna-less chickpea salad
tuna-less chickpea salad
butternut squash soup
butternut squash soup
a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath - topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing
a BAS with roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, and tons of raw veg underneath – topped with a yummy lemon/maple/tahini dressing
air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried french fries.
air fried tofu, roasted maple carrots, and air fried French fries.
Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies
Dijon tofu alfredo with veggies
air fried falafel
air fried falafel

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cream of broccoli soup
cream of broccoli soup
tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion
tempeh taco salad with pickled radish and onion

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air fried tofu stir fry
air fried tofu stir fry
ranch kale chips from the air fryer!
ranch kale chips from the air fryer!

 

FITNESS

A few runs per week is about what I’ve been able to sustain.  One kickboxing session too.  Longest one was an 8 miler when I was staying with my sister on Thanksgiving weekend.

apparently this run was a little more difficult
post kickboxing – which kicked my butt

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a lovely Christmas morning run!  It was 50 and sunny and perfect
a lovely Christmas morning run! It was 50 and sunny and perfect

LIFE

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and her family and seeing my mom.  She’s now out of the hospital and hopefully on her way to a long, strong, and healthy life.

The week after Thanksgiving I was in Chicago for a week for a conference.  It was a great show, but the best part was staying with my best friend – who moved to New Orleans nearly a year ago!

I’ve been back home for about 3 weeks, and it’s been quite hectic between work, school, and prepping for the Christmas holiday.

Last weekend D took Kuma to the mountains for a long weekend, so it was mostly just R and me (M worked all weekend).  We watched movies, painted (pics of that later) and I studied.  All of us were sick for a few days this past week too, which sucked.  D had it the longest – pretty much a full week – and he’s still stuffy.

But last night for Christmas Eve A and her boyfriend came over and we had a blast.  Red beans and rice for dinner, movies, jammies, and board games!  I went to bed just after midnight, and left the rest of them playing card games!

And as she’s done since she was little – A woke us up stupid early for presents.  From there, it was our big breakfast tradition, cleaning, and lazing about.  I actually started packing for my India trip!  I NEVER pack early, so this is a major thing 🙂

Anyway, will leave you with a few fun pics!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful family if you celebrate, and if not – just an all around fantastic weekend.

~Crissie

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that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum
that look when you pick up all the cat toys so you can vacuum

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road trip Kuma!
road trip Kuma!
hide and seek Kuma!
hide and seek Kuma!
R out on M and R's boat in early November (it was a really nice day)
R out on M and R’s boat in early November (it was a really nice day)
at an artisan fair in Chicago
at an artisan fair in Chicago
saw this in a European lotion store.  Made me giggle.
saw this in a European lotion store. Made me giggle.
a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.
a lovely gift from a friend/classmate.
almost snuggling!
almost snuggling!

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Home and Hydrated!

FOOD

Let’s just say that I’m incredibly happy to be home.  Neither Germany nor Finland were my favorite places on the food front, but it’s really irrelevant now.  I apologize now for how whiny I’m going to sound – at least I HAD food, so that was good enough.

I imagine had I been left to my own devices in meals (or had a kitchen), it would’ve been an entirely different experience.  The administrators of my program try VERY hard to be sure all of us in class with special dietary needs are well cared for and eat well.  I just think I don’t like German food as a whole.  In pretty much each meal, I found the food heavy and bland.  I’m typically “gluten light”, but that was pretty impossible while I was away.  There were literally days when bread was the only option.

Oh – and the most prolific veggie I was given was celery.  Braised, roasted, etc.  Very weird.

Breakfast each day was grapefruit and orange segments, bran cereal, and soy milk.

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One day I did order a beet/orange/ginger juice from room service.  It was amazing!

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Lunch was only eaten on occasion.  It depended on if what was served contained a vegan dish.  A few times they did make me a special dish, which I appreciated greatly!

tofu with celery and shoestring spuds.  Pretty tasty.
tofu with celery and shoestring spuds. Pretty tasty.
cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes.  Eh.  Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).
cabbage, zucchini, rice, and tomatoes. Eh. Filling enough (but lacking in beans/tofu, etc).
miso soup.  Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu
miso soup. Freakishly salty, but was grateful for the tofu
a German ratatouille (which was actually gross - had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.
a German ratatouille (which was actually gross – had olives in it, which is just strange), some greens, cabbage, and bread.
more tofu!  And celery...
more tofu! And celery..

Dinner was also only an occasional event.  Most vegan eats were bready and pasta, and that was a challenge.  Quite honestly, I’d usually grab a salad from room service.

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our final farewell meal.  Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickels, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)
our final farewell meal. Potato/leek soup, potato/pea pancakes, pickles, and cabbage (at least the company was wonderful!)

One exceptional meal stood out though!  One evening a few of us went to a restaurant after an afternoon and evening spent at a start-up incubator (called Axel Springer – freakishly amazing place).  I had this AMAZING dish of whipped vanilla carrots topped with mushroom ragout and micro greens.

I could've licked this plate if we weren't in such a nice place!
I could’ve licked this plate if we weren’t in such a nice place!

The other thing I struggled with the entire time – surprisingly – was water.  I’ve never been one who didn’t get enough H2O!  I easily drink a gallon per day.  That was impossible in Europe.  Water is never served at meals unless you ask (and it’s always bottled), and I found the significantly reduced water intake to be the most difficult.  Coffee, orange juice, beer, and wine – yes.  Water – not so much.

Needless to say, I’m so excited to be back where I clearly take my ready access to water for granted.  As soon as my plane landed, I bee lined for a drinking fountain to fill up my water bottle.

Naturally my first at-home meal was a big ole green smoothie!  Never mind that it’s my usual breakfast!  It’s always what I want when I first get home after travels.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale
coconut water, banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, and kale

For lunch, I made a quick meal (I had a ton of meetings and work catch-up to do).  Rice noodles with cabbage, water chestnut, green beans and peas, and a creamy sauce of silken tofu, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and hoisin sauce.  No real measurements, but one container of the Mori-Nu tofu blended with about 2 tbsp. each of soy sauce and hoisin, about 1/2 tsp each of ginger and garlic.

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FITNESS

I went for two runs in Germany as well as yoga.  That was by far the most fun.  I don’t know German – no one at the studio spoke English – but it was perfect anyway.  Everyone was super nice and all I can say is thank goodness for Google Translate!  Class was easy to follow without knowing what my instructor was saying.  Yoga is universal!

where I hit up a vinyasa class.  It as perfect - not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much
where I hit up a vinyasa class. It as perfect – not only for the workout, but my stress levels were horrible, and I needed this very much

I went for a run today and got caught in a total downpour!

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LIFE

Oh jeeze, not even sure where to start!  Of course the purpose of my trip was school and that was most definitely the majority of what I did while away.  We had some amazing school-related events (Axel Spring Plug & Play incubator was by far the best and most inspiring thing EVER).

We met with representatives from Aston Martin, CNN, and The Economist.  Helped people with start-up ideas work through things on their pitches, and spent time learning how Europe views the world (like the refugee crisis).  My mind is still blown from the entire trip, and I’ve taken away some amazing lessons that go beyond my classes.

Berlin is a beautiful city, but felt strange in it’s newness.  About 80% of the city was destroyed in the war, so almost everything you see is built post-1950.  But there’s an intense history underneath that is told in different ways by different people.  My favorite was a cabbie who grew up in Hamburg but moved to West Berlin in 1984.  His retelling of the wall falling was one of fear that the East German and Russian army would take him away.

I went to two museums while I was there.  One was Neus Museum where the bust of Nefertiti is (no pics allowed in that display)  and one was their Natural History museum.  Pics below!

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called a Face Urn and I love it
called a Face Urn and I love it

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this was amazing - to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!
this was amazing – to see original artist renditions of Nefertiti!
rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin
rusted gear from the war, found in a river in Berlin

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they LOOK like rocks and minerals.  It's melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war
they LOOK like rocks and minerals. It’s melted glass from stained glass windows from a church that was bombed in the war

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meet Tristan the T-Rex!
meet Tristan the T-Rex!

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I went to the expo for the 43rd BMW Berlin Marathon, which was fun, and then cheered on the runners the next morning.

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I had a brief stop in Helsinki (where I want to go back and spend real time), which was beautiful.

um.  no thanks.
um. no thanks.

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Random other pics

the last evening, after classes were done.  Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!
the last evening, after classes were done. Chilling out with a newspaper and a glass of wine!
finally found a grocery - which was in a mall.  My goal was dental floss...
finally found a grocery – which was in a mall. My goal was dental floss…
goal achieved!
goal achieved!
my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!
my classmate AF found these while out shopping and bought them for me!

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loved these!  France had them too.  Electric Smart Cars for rent
loved these! France had them too. Electric Smart Cars for rent
how I'd get around - take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names
how I’d get around – take a screen shot of my destination and then have fun pronouncing street names

But – there’s no place like home 🙂

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Au Revoir, Paris! Guten Tag, Berlin!

FOOD

All I can say is – I’m definitely not traveling for the eats.  Ugh.  Vegan options here are just too heavy for the way I’d like to eat.  Honestly, my best meals are makeshift eats from the local market, and I find myself eating very little otherwise.  And I’m getting kind of sick of bananas.  But alas – I can’t complain because the trip has been awesome.

One thing I love the French for is a yummy Dijon beet salad.   Germany has yet to impress me much, but it’s early yet 🙂

do love me some ginger ale!
do love me some ginger ale!
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
more beets!
more beets!
my entree at the Eiffel Tower!
my entrée at the Eiffel Tower!
my last morning, took off to a little cafe down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
my last morning, took off to a little café down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
Starbucks in Berlin!
Starbucks in Berlin!  Because it’s universal
today's lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.
today’s lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

One of the grocery stores I went to (we actually did a case about them a year ago!)

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FITNESS

A couple short runs (1 outside, 2 on the hotel treadmill) and some in-room yoga.  And hiked up a ton of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s that…

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!
ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

I am excited that I found a hot yoga studio just down the block from my hotel here in Berlin.  It’ll be interesting because I don’t know diddly about the German language, but I figure I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I’ll be able to follow along just fine!

LIFE

Okay, busy few days!!  I may just tell it in pictures!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
and after...another bit of fun in the park
and after…another bit of fun in the park
me and J after the parade!
me and J after the parade!
walking back to the hotel
walking back to the hotel

Thursday night was spent at the Eiffel Tower, including having dinner at one of the restaurants.  We then went to the very top (a combo of a TON of stairs and elevators that move in a diagonal), and had just an incredible view.

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goofy face, and my "photobomber" is actually one of my classmates, MS!
goofy face, and my “photo bomber” is actually one of my classmates, MS!

 

restaurant menu
restaurant menu
not photobombing this time...
not photobombing this time…
The Seine and the city!
The Seine and the city!

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After our last class in Paris Friday, and we celebrated with a lovely champagne lunch.

me and B and champagne!
me and B and champagne!

Then, me, NS (HUGE Liverpool fan), and WB left the group to hit up a local bar called Lush to watch the Chelsea v. Liverpool game.  Being the ONLY one in a Chelsea shirt (and only 1 of 2 supporters in the place), it was a bit unfriendly at first.  That vanished quickly when they realized I was a good sport.  The evening was a blast, and we hung out for a long time talking politics with the locals!  (They find our situation in the US both hilarious and troubling…pretty much like the rest of us to!).  Beyond that, I met some wonderful people, exchanged contact info, and hope to come back soon!  (and actually have Chelsea win…).

yum!
yum!
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
on the metro back!
on the metro back!

By the way, NS sang annoying Liverpool songs at me for 2 days.  I figure he ought to enjoy it now, because despite Liverpool’s win, Chelsea is still beating them in the EPL standings….

Did pick up a magazine for those rare non-school reading moments…

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Yesterday was traveling to Berlin (flight was delayed), but the hotel is freaking amazing!  Oh – did I mention that during my stay in Paris a Saudi royal Princess was at my hotel with her entourage?  Yeah – there’s that.  And the Berlin digs are even better!

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.
setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

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Of course D is at home holding down the fort.  I missed R’s 13th bday 😦  However, A and M went to her school and took her for lunch in a little picnic – and then Skyped me so we could sing and I could see them.  The 6 hr. time difference is probably the worst so far in being able to talk to my family regularly.

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!
fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

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me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!
me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

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2 days of morning pictures!
2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!