All in Travel Log
It's been one year since Ieft for London. Here's a collective account of my summer interning abroad.
A traditional Latvian wedding: Flowers, trolls, ribbon tree-climbing, and dicovering Peiter Bruegel the Elder's muse...
I've made it back to the USA after spending two months in London, where once again I was blessed with a native surrogate family to teach me the ropes. I shared a bunkbed with Fanny’s (my New York roomie) fifteen-year-old niece, Britney, at her home in East Ham.
Fairytales. How we love to dream about these idealistic worlds where glass slippers fit and straw can be spun into gold. According to anthropologist Joseph Campbell's monomyth, "The Hero's Journey," virtually every story is made up of fairytale ingredients — a call to adventure, a wizard mentor, a hero prince, a daunting dragon.
The hardboiled egg that hatched a college degree, a trip to Europe, and a mind stretched.
Kūldīga, Latvia — I can hear soldiers in the tree line. The deep rumbling of Russian syllables carve into the sandy hillside, as empty and cool as the stone fortresses that lay in ruins along the shore. Salt water covers the traces of gunpowder that haunt the ghostly cement walls, deeply saturating the clear cerulean sea.
Liepāja, Latvia — I got another stamp on my passport last night! I have also been properly introduced to eating pickled herring for breakfast.
My mother's oldest brother, Dan, and his family have been settled in the Baltic country of Latvia for nearly 20 years now,running a summer camp and sheep farm in Ergli.
Dan's oldest kids, Jonathan, 15, and Anna, 13, go to school in Bath, England, and invited me to come home with them for the week as schools and some businesses take their May bank holiday. I had time off from my internship and it was only a 2.5 hour flight from London to Riga, so I thought I might as well!
Today marked the sixth day of my London adventure and I’ll assure you I was the one asking for directions; camera and tennis shoes and all. I am a tourist after all, no matter what my pride tells me, so I have the right to go all out if I want to, right?
oday, 10 a.m., London — After a ten-month hiatus, I was finally able to sit down in a proper sewing studio with my beloved Juki’s long lost British cousin. I bathed in the silky glow that the ivory in-work wedding gown left on my hungry fingers and delighted in every tiny stitch.
My new friends, Appa, Nyleeta, and Tina and I took turns sharing our Harrods research with Lucy Tammam (our boss), with wide eyes and enthusiastic hand motions.
But the excitement did not stop there.
I must be in England.
Why am I in England? I hadn’t thought much about it until I woke up this morning. As the airplane wheels hit British soil it finally hit me: Holy crap I’m in England.
12:23 a.m., Maiden Lane, N.Y. -- “Katherine, I’m right outside!”
I nearly leapt out of my fluffy red stockings as I raced to the door. It had been a long day — a great day — the first day of my much anticipated internship at Nicole Miller’s and day one of the visit from one of my very favorite souls who had flown all the across the continent .
“Ok, I’ll buzz you in!” I ran out into the hall, where the elevator door opened to reveal the long-legged, adventure-seeking Elisabeth Gerda Hyde. We both still had our phones to our ears talking a hundred miles per hour, making us the subject of many a grumble from sleepy neighbors tucked behind neighboring apartment doors.
The day after Christmas, mom rode back into New York and I traveled on to Oregon with Uncle Walt to surprise my grandparents (all of whom, had been laying the guilt trip on me for weeks). While I was mostly excited to see my family, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the pang of joy in my heart as I spotted a dozen black dots from my window seat in the small airplane above Redmond, Ore.
What really made me feel at home was the first order of business upon landing in Redmond. The urgent notification on my uncle’s phone when we landed was a text from my second brother, Andrew. “Can you pick up some 22 shells on the way home?”
Over the river and through the woods, to cross New New England in the fall off my bucket list. Here are some snippets of our weekend escape to New Hampshire.
We arrived in Rumney, N. H. in time to watch the light splash it’s softest hues of pink down the brick library over which my grandmother’s cousin-in-law, Susan, presides.
The village was first settled by farmers in 1765, and was once home to a dozen sawmills, a tannery, and even a ladder factory. While many of the structures still remain, the hustle and bustle has disappeared, leaving the village both charming and quiet.
And the Best thing about Thanksgiving being over is?
Now that Thanksgiving has passed and I can officially patronize the bakery downstairs that set up holiday decor weeks ago, I have been been getting into the Gilmore spirit as well. In preparation for that, however, there was one thing I needed to do.
If you want to see God laugh tell him your plans. 😅
We made it to Manhattan.... Magellan is loving the new digs!