Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Best Photos and Moments of 2015!!!

Without further ado, the most loved moments and experiences of the last year for me.  I was overjoyed, reminded and thrilled to realize there were so many :-D

Day trip with my wonderful friend, Sally to Mainz, Germany.  I was surprised at how beautiful, vivid and ornate so much of the city actually was!  The following four photos are from Mainz as well.

Mainz.  I LOVE this German architecture.  The timbered houses, the color scheme, the way they are shaped like homes that could be found in an enchanting fairy tale. 

The Hallalujah chorus rang out when I opened a package from my Mom to unearth two BRICKS of Cheddar cheese!!!!  My very favorite and my most loved brand.  Sharp, slightly smokey, flavorful, delicious.  I immediately commenced in making Macaroni and Cheese, mein lieblingsessen!!!

A thing of true beauty :-p oh yeah.  I relished every bite.  Plus the leftovers.

Cake by the river.  LOVED these walks with one of my very best friends, Somayeh all through past spring and into the summer.  We would stroll along the river, bring tea or cake along, converse for hours about all sorts of interesting and fun topics, sometimes stop to sit on a bench, and just enjoy the view.  So great.  Hope to do this lots more again when it moves into spring time this year :-D

Day trip to Kronberg with Sally :-D  Loved this city.  The woodwork on the houses, I just cannot get enough of this.  Especially the house pictured above with the vines crawling up the side.  

The following 17 photos are all from Kronberg and Konigstein.  I am not sure it can possibly get more charming or lovely than these towns.

Tea and green tea cake at one of my favorite tea shops with one of my favorite friends <3

Spending a Saturday with Philipp, one of the children to whom I grew quite close here.  I used to go to his house often to spend time on weekends with both Philipp and his little brother.  I miss that.  This is Philipp having built his own kayak (with a fair amount of helping hands ;-)) and now giving it a spin on the river with one of the instructors.  
Philipp and I had kayaked across the lake together, just before this.

Teaching one of my favorite childhood card games to one of my stellar friends, Dali at Cafe Crumble, one of my usual haunts ;-)

The most perfect break activity from work.  This.  :-D

And now, on to my SOLO trip to Portugal.  SUCH a blast, so thrilling, I fell in love.  Absolutely one of my favorite European cities now.  I cannot wait to go back sometime in the hopefully near future.

My god.  This dessert was a sweet-lovers game changer.  In other words, it was a game changer for me.  On my first day in Lisbon, I walked into a local bakery and asked them for something traditionally Portuguese that they would recommend.  This was it.  A sweet bread topped with a coconut paste.  I hesitated, as I am not super into coconut.  These were hands down, one of the BEST desserts I have eaten in my life.  I am STILL dreaming about them.  Lightly sweet, a tad bit eggy, SO good.  I think I ate around 14 of them over the course of the one week I was there, no joke.  I devoured these as I devoured one of my now favorite books (which I discovered while on this trip), The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Loved returning to this room each night.  So cozy, inviting, comfortable and relaxing.  This made me really happy.  I did a ton of reading and writing snuggled in here during the evenings.

This elevator was designed by Gustav Eiffel, the man who designed the Eiffel Tower.  Looks kind of apocalyptic, mysterious, haunting and creepy, eh?

Be still my heart.  Here it is again.  My sweet coconut bread.  Delectable.

Riding the traditional Lisbon trams.  SUCH a ball!!!

Some of the BEST seafood I have eaten in my life.  Super simply cooked and seasoned, but to die for.

I sat right here at this cafe, having tea, reading and looking out at the view for a few hours.  Time slipped away, the breeze blowing, the sun warming me, totally immersed in the dark, Gothic, Dickens-like-world of Donna Tartt's story.  Talk about the PERFECT reading locale.

Getting this photo was insanely terrifying.  I literally could have died, not a joke.  However, it was SO satisfying when I did get the shot.  So heart-racing and exciting.  I felt like such a bad-ass. ;-p

My last morning in Lisbon.  And a delicious morning it was.  I enjoyed another one of the delightful coconut bread rolls, a cheese tart, and finally, a succulent chocolate tart to top it all off.  Whoa.  Outstanding.

One of my BFFs here <3 Judith.  She is the best.  So kind, so open, so loving and warm.

Street Festival/market time!!  Lots of yummy eating (one of my favorite things ever) with my friend, Travis :-D .

Somayeh and I had a LOT of fun together this summer.  So many silly, sweet nights out as well as exploring the street markets.  We had a ball.

Sugar Mama cafe.  Whiling away afternoons here were some of my favorites.  

This is also largely where I wrote the first half of a book I recently finished writing <3  
This photo was actually taken on one of these book-writing afternoons.

4th of July celebration/fair in Wiesbaden.

My 30th Birthday Party!  I had SUCH an outstanding time.  I felt so loved, special and just really, really happy to have all my closest friends (well, my closest friends here at least.  A few key ones from back in the USA were missing) here.  It was stellar.

Francine, one of my great friends, drew this for me!!!  Her and Jana's (another awesome friend) birthday gift to me was a dinner here (pictured in the drawing), at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt.  Whoa.  Ultra swanky.  Such a generous and super delicious gift.

With Somayeh and Jana <3

Birthday cake :-D

More birthday celebration :-D I am so blessed.  Very, very lucky.

Solo adventuring to Rudesheim an Rhine.  GORGEOUS town.  One of the most beautiful I have been to in Germany.

The following 8 photos are also from Rudesheim am Rhine.

Rudesheim am Rhine.  Stunning.

Jenn and Steve's visit to Germany to see me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THE best thing EVER!!!  
Oh. My. God.  We had such a fantastic time.  This photo was taken on our day trip to Heidelberg!!!

With Jenn, one of my best friends, in Rudesheim am Rhine!  Check out that view!

Traditional German dinner out with Jenn and Steve.  SO much laughter, great conversation and fun!!

Short and sweet 24-hour trip with Judith to Berlin!!!!!  
Also a totally marvelous time :-D

Bike tour throughout Berlin.  This was during one of our pit-stops/historical informational sessions.

These two photos are not the same ;-p they are slightly different.  And both awesome.  Easily THE photos of our trip to Berlin.

With Meghan, whom I became friends with while working at the Danish Pastry Shop in Medford, MA!  She came to Frankfurt so we met up.  This was such fun :-D I loved it.  We explored Alt Sachsenhausen, then enjoyed a beer at a lively street festival and finally, dinner in one of my favorite cafes.

With Valerie :-D  She is fantastic.

Lichtenstein with Andy!!!  
Another friend/visitor from the USA who came to visit and thus, I was lucky to be able to embark on an awesome adventure with.

Cochem, Germany.  The second stop on mine and Andy's road trip adventure.  
I fell in love with this city.  Its like something out of a slightly dark fairy tale.

The view from up at the castle in Cochem.

Tea and cake.  Always a good decision.

With Andy in Cochem.

Budapest, Hungary with Somayeh.  

Oh my god.  This trip was amazing.  This is now one of my favorite European cities.  I had some of the best meals I have ever eaten in my life, for mere euros.  This city was SO cool, so unique and interesting.  It had a slightly dark, enticing, intriguing vibe.  Like a finger curled in creepy beckoning invitation.

I cannot wait to go back.

Plus, Somayeh and I just had a super time together :-D  We spent four days there together and I loved every minute of it.

Hungarian sponge cake.  Heaven.

One of the most famous "ruin pubs" in Budapest.  Google this concept if you are wondering, "Ruin Pub..?  Huh??"  Its pretty neat.

"Good girls go to heaven.  Bad girls go to Budapest."  ;-)

Spending the day at one of the famous Hungarian baths.

THE photo of the trip.  AWESOME.

With Bhakti :-D  Another one of my favorite friends.  
She is so open, kind, loving, curious about others, warm and interesting.

Thanksgiving dinner party, which I threw myself as the sole host.  Very nerve-racking but it turned out to be so much fun!!

This is how Judith transported the turkey!!!!  LOVE this!!!  We all had a pretty great laugh over it.

The Thanksgiving dinner party in its entirety :-D

From a couple of my favorite students <3 <3 <3

Freiberg with my great friend, Travis!!!

The next 5 photos are all from Freiberg.

With Travis at the Christmas market in Freiberg!!

Christmas market in Heidelberg with Judith :-D

Heidelberg.... <3

The next 6 photos are all from Heidelberg.

Siblings reunited!!!!! 

This was one of the most awesome things of the year for me.  My trip home to the USA, my first time being there in TWO years!!!!  

All of the following photos are from that trip, seeing my Mom, brother (Spencer), sister (Lexie) and best friends from home.  This was so, so wonderful.  Words cannot even explain fully how happy I was during this entire visit.  It felt as though I had never left.  The entire trip filled my heart and took my breath away.

Sisters <3

Brother and sister <3

Mom and daughter <3

New Years Eve with Mom

The wedding of one of my very dearest friends, Sarah.  I was SO thrilled and honored to be there.

Sarah and her son, Caleb :-D

Exploring Boston with Alex.  Another one of my very special and most cherished friends.  She is just the bomb.

I am so grateful :-) to be so close to all three of these women.  They are all incredible.  Such good friends to me.


Alcohol, girl talk, and cupcakes.  A match made in heaven ;-p

Dinner out in Boston!!!  The same three ladies in the black and white photo previously, who I commented that I feel so blessed to be so close with.  As well as Dan (now pictured in this photo with all of us), Alex's husband.  Another outstanding and very cherished friend of mine.

Moms house on Christmas <3 LOVE this.  So cozy.

Jenn :-D in our traditional meeting spot when I lived back in Boston.  
At Crema Cafe in Harvard Square.

Boston again <3

New Years Day celebration at my Moms house!!

Derek!  We have known one another and been friends since we were 16!!  How incredibly cool is that??

Reunited with my dear, sweet Bug.  He was mine and Adams cat for 5 years before I gave him away, my heart smashing when I said goodbye to him, in order to move to Europe for a while.  I miss him often and love him so much.  It was so special for me to be able to finally see him again.

Detour to Beacon Hill, my favorite part of Boston, before my Mom dropped me off at the airport.


  1. Replies
    1. YAY!!!! Thank you :-D I think so too. It was a totally great year. And you were a huge part of it too!