monthly review | july

sweaty dorm rooms on the fourth floor, a hoarse voice + a stolen day on the boat. bus rides from here to there and back again-long days in the airport. the hustle + bustle of manhattan for a few quick hours. now that it's all over? summer can really begin.

New York City in July

july 23//manhattan, nyc//canon 5d

I live, compared to most, fairly close to new york city-five hours driving from home, three from school. Yet despite this, I've only visited the city
twice three times-partially because my allegiance is to Boston, but also because, logistically, it's a little tricky. It's just far enough that a day trip is exhausting, but finding somewhere to stay as a broke college student is also difficult. Now, though, with the age of airbnbs upon us and megabus tickets for one dollar, it's become a lot more manageable.

I just finished working for an international summer school up in Amherst-an exhausting but wonderful experience-and one of the trips they embarked on was a trip to NYC. So, I found myself on a bus at the crack of dawn last Thursday. After we had picked up and distributed 78 chipotle burritos, one of my co-workers and I had a couple of free hours, so we set off to explore the city.

Unofficially, we were headed to the Met-but the weather was so nice, and our feet so tired, that we ended up laying in the shade at Central Park, munching on burritos and flipping through giant art magazines (magnum x vice) that we had gotten for free at American Apparel. The rest of our time was simply spent walking-trying to find various metro stations, exploring neighborhoods and looking for the rest of the group. Nothing too exciting-but, I mean, New York. That made it exciting enough

{still not as good as boston, though}

Bavaria | Neuschwanstein Castle

May 5//Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany//Canon 5d 

Well, if you study//live abroad//even travel to Germany, then it's inevitable that, eventually, you will make it to Neuschwanstein-a.k.a the Cinderella castle. {chiddy chiddy bang bang was also filmed here, but i seem to be the only one more excited about that}. It's iconic, and a really big deal for anyone who's not from Europe. One by one, I watched most of my friends make the trek out to Bavaria for beer steins and the breathtaking views, and so, one weekend, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about.

Kay's mom woke us up at the crack of dawn, which was a good thing-even though the ticket offices at eight, there was a line outside at seven, and when we descended later at noon, the lines wound all the way down the hill. We trekked up the hill, up around the corner-and there it was, looming up above us.

Neuschwanstein is smaller than you'd expect-maybe that's just an American assumption of mine, that castles should be huge. But it's gorgeous. The castle is gorgeous, the views of the countryside are gorgeous and the interiors are gorgeous as well {can't take pictures though}.

The weather, in some respects, was not ideal. It was chilly, rainy, cloudy-enough that some of the tourists chose to take pictures in front of the promotional photos of the castle instead of the actual one {best part of the trip}. But even though I was cold + damp, it was so worth it, because it lent itself to some the most dramatic views, with fog shrouding the mountains and floating over the countryside. We headed over to the bridge, which is suspended over a gorge with a dizzying view; from there we could see the castle in all its glory, that iconic "Germany" picture that pops up on my pinterest + facebook feed all the time-and now I had seen it, experienced it, checked it off the list.

{I understand the fuss now}

Bavaria | Wieskirche

We've made it into May's travels, guys! Small victories.

One weekend in May, Kay, her mother and I took a quick weekend trip to Bavaria, to see Neuschwanstein {post coming soon} On our way to the hotel, she pulled up at a large, unassuming looking church, with tourbuses crowding the parking lot.

Wieskirche looks fairly simple on the exterior, but the interior is anything but. Every surface is painted, gilded, a wedding cake. Some might say that it's too much, too overstimulating, but I was enthralled, with the colors and the murals, the various shades of marble and white statues. All of this, and for a church-a well-known church, yes, but not one in a city, or by a castle-just a church amongst cow fields and next to a winding road! Crazy.

New England | Wellfleet, MA

june 26//wellfleet, ma//canon 5d

Europe is great, Europe is amazing, but New England? there's no place like New England. I'm biased, I know that-it's home though. There's something so comforting about salt air and weather-beaten shingles, ramshackle homes and quiet beaches.

I was only home for ten days after I came home, before I moved back to school to work-and our exchange student Emma would be leaving soon, so we headed down the Cape to enjoy one last day as a family.

Wellfleet isn't as polished + poised as its neighbors {hey Chatham}, which I prefer. It's still got that quaint, small-town, slightly tumbling down sort of feel-white clapboard houses with shutters, lots of greenery, little stores crowded together-that is just quintessently New England. We wandered all around, stopping for some Emack and Bolios ice cream and thrift store shopping. Then we headed off to a beach, just as the sun came out. Wellfleet is famous for its oysters, and the beach is littered with the most exquisite shells I've ever seen, beautiful, celestial golds and purples, strange amagalations of rocks and mussels stuck together. Some sit on my window-sill now, a piece of the ocean.

Our day ended with what all Cape days should end with-greasy fried seafood, clam strips and calamari and fish + chips, all shared at a picnic table in the sun. No better way to spend my last day at home for a while, am i right?

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