Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nostalgic for New England

I am finding myself missing certain things about New England in the past couple months <3.  There are, of course, things I have loved about living in Europe thus far.  The cafe culture, one of my absolute favorite activities either with a friend or alone while reading or writing in my notebook.  Sitting at a cafe with a pot of tea, eating cake and assuming I am with a friend, having great conversation.  LOVE this.  Also, train transportation.  The ease with which one can hop on a train and be in another country in just a few hours (and for quite cheap if you plan far enough in advance).  I also love the sense that over here, there isnt the mindset that one should live to work.  Not like in the US, where to earn even a decent living, it seems like one has to wile away the majority of their waking hours in the office and only gets 2 meager weeks of vacation a year.  Here, you work 40 hours a week, are compensated fairly for it and if you work overtime, these are hours one can leave early on another day when they wish (Imagine that.  As an American, this was fairly shocking for me at first.  One's company not trying to take advantage of you and make you work as much as possible).  And you are given 5 weeks of vacation a year, STARTING out in your career.  That is the standard.  If a European were offered just two weeks, that prospective employee would laugh you out of the room.  Five is expected when starting.  Later on in one's career here, I believe they eventually get around 8-12 weeks per year.  NUTS, eh?

So there is much I really love about European life and life over here in general.

But, some things I am finding myself really nostalgic for in New England as of late...including:

1. New England snowfalls. Gorgeous, romantic, so cozy when you're watching the snow from somewhere inside (ideally by a roaring fire).

2. The fall foliage. My god. The explosion of colors is stunning. Makes me think of back to school and the exciting anticipation of a new year coming.

3. Seafood. First off, I'm not a big seafood fan. But what I do like, I love. And there aren't many better places for good seafood aside from New England. Especially crab cakes and salmon.

4. Being close (within 1 hour drive) to the ocean. The best.

5. All things pumpkin. But my personal favorites: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, bread and donuts.

6. Whoopie Pies. Enough said ;-)

7. Boston. LOVE this city. It has everything. Its charming, historic, modern, old. There are hundreds of amazing restaurants. You can see concerts or sporting events in the city. You are one hour driving from: mountains, ocean, fall foliage. The city is happening and exciting, yet peaceful and scenic too.

8. Back Bay in Boston. One of my two favorite parts of the city. Back Bay is the more glamorous and trendy area of Boston. Its also home of the famous Newbury street. I always loved walking down this street. It is THE place to shop, eat, see and be seen. Lots of fun fashion and people watching here.

9. Beacon Hill, my other favorite part of Boston. So charming and old. Cobblestoned streets, gas-lit street lamps, beautiful. In my dreams, I could afford to live here someday ;-)

10. Last but not least, I surprised myself by adding these to the list but Cosi and Panera Bread. Two chain but actually quite decent cafe/sandwich shops/bakeries. Yum. I've dreamed about the Tomato Basil Mozzarella melt at Cosi and the Frontega chicken melt, French onion soup and Bear Claw pastry from Panera Bread.

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