Salzburg, Austria

We had one day off when we were in Munich thanks to a public holiday, so a few friends and I jumped at the chance to cross the German-Austrian border and visit Salzburg for the day. The city was fairy tale picturesque with arched bridges all along the river, cobbled streets and village shops, and lively people sitting in the square chatting and drinking beer.

IMG_6827

IMG_6836

IMG_6595Okay, enough with the tourist pics– a quick google of Salzburg and you could probably see the same thing. So there’s two places that stick out in my mind the most when I think about this particular adventure, and while they might not be the most conventional sightseeing hotspots, I have yet to find anywhere in the world like them.

1. Afro Cafe

When we first came across this cafe, we were just looking for a quick bite to eat, and this place just so happened to be at the end of the street that we were on. I usually try to stay away from restaurants so close to touristy areas, as the food quality to price scale is not quite satisfying for me. Nonetheless, when we spotted Afro Cafe tucked in a corner, its quirkiness sparked my curiosity.

IMG_6611 IMG_6616 IMG_6618 IMG_6619 IMG_6623 IMG_6626 IMG_6628

IMG_6624 IMG_6620Pretty quirky right?? The entire cafe was themed around 60’s disco Afro Divas and pink and fabulousness. The food was delicious and had its own quirky flair to match its surroundings. Example: their corn chowder soup was served with popcorn! Their coffee products did not disappoint either- the iced cafe latte was just the perfect blend of fragrant espresso/milkiness. The waitress told us that the only other Afro Cafe that exists is in South Africa (!).

They had a sweet selection of coffee/tea products for sale that were so well-branded I could’ve just died. I had such a hard time deciding what babies to bring home with me… I finally decided on a tin each of beautifully packaged tea leaves and coffee beans that I could enjoy for a while after my adventures. Le sigh.

2.  Augustiner Braustubl

This is the famous monk brewery. Need I say more? Trying to find this place was a bit of a challenge, but a little detouring on the “scenic route” and we managed to get ourselves to the right address. Nonetheless, when we got to the outside of the building, it was completely deserted–there were absolutely no signs of any people let alone people drinking beer.

IMG_6871

So we ventured on to explore a little…I was a little worried we were going to walk into the middle of a mass service or something…

IMG_6873

When instead…we find the first signs of life! A food court filled with all the sausages and pretzels you could ever want in life.
IMG_6874

Annnd….the real party. Whut whut. It was completely packed and there were no signs of life outside. Oh you crazy Germans. IMG_6890IMG_6879

We wasted no time in getting ourselves settled in with some of our own party supplies, and spent a blissful afternoon in the company of the beer monks.
IMG_6880 IMG_6883 IMG_6889

Oh, what a life.  More fun adventure finds to come.

Halfway There

I signed up to start big girl world in October, meaning that I have four blissful months of relaxing and doing absolutely nothing until then. My international travels are all finished for the year (I think), and I’m at my halfway point before I take a step over to the new world. I have two months left, a month at home and then I’m moving up to the city in September to get settled in. Now that I have some free time I wanted to be share some snippets of what’s happened in life as of late and maybe some plans for what’s to come.

After graduation I took a quick trip to Germany with my Masters program on our “required” study tour. I say “required” because while it really is required for us to graduate, the trip itself was hardly a drag.

IMG_6475

biergarten

I came home for five days and then started a new trip to the other side of the world, first to Taipei, Taiwan to pay the grandparents a visit and fill up on the delicious food.

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 5.30.01 PMNext stop was Shanghai for the rest of the time (a whole two months) with a quick trip to Tokyo in between. Got to spend some good quality time with the pops, Ding Tai Fung, and all of sweltering hot Shanghai.

IMG_5045

IMG_4802

IMG_4981Some pics from Tokyo:

DSC01801

DSC01685

DSC01719

DSC01708

My last three weeks in Shanghai I attended a foreign exchange program called Antai Global Summer School at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where I made a bunch of new international friends.

3m

18CC2D135C36494D9EDB711ED7750680

More detailed posts about each adventure to come! I stumbled upon some super cute places along the way and would love to share them with you!

The End of An Era

Not to get sappy and all but… it’s so true what they say about how college is where you find you truly learn about who you are. These past four years at UF have been unforgettable, and have taught me so much about who I am, who I want to be, and the kinds of people that I want to surround myself with. 

I must say, I’ve been blessed in the friendship department thus far in life, and I am so so thankful that I got to share my laughter (and a few tears) with these sweet sweet faces.

IMG_6271

IMG_6277

IMG_8936

IMG_6327

After we snapped some shots in the Swamp we managed to sneak into our freshman year dorm where our friendship began! Oh how time flies.

IMG_6408

IMG_6418

IMG_6442My freshman year dorm room!

IMG_8943

 

Here’s to lifelong friendships, and life after college!

Gainesvillian Adventures

Knowing that my days left in Gainesville are numbered is such a bittersweet feeling. Gainesville, despite its tiny size and the majority of its population being students, is filled with hidden gems.

A few weekends ago, Alexis and I took a little nature adventure  where I got to check off two things on my Gainesville bucket list: alligator spotting at Paynes Prairie and a trip to the Devil’s Millhopper.

IMG_6155

IMG_6156

IMG_6170

We stopped and refueled with a good old southern rib feast complete with sweet potato fries, mac and cheese, fried okra, and sweet tea at good ol’ Pearl Country Store in Micanopy.

Le sigh. Southern comfort food is one of the many things I will miss about the South…IMG_6172

Our second stop: Devil’s Millhopper State Park!

IMG_6177

IMG_6186

IMG_6192What’s a nature adventure without an adventure hat?

IMG_6197Thanks to my little environmental enthusiast Alexis I learned all about sinkholes and how water is recharged into the aquifer.It’s most certainly a refreshing break from being sucked into the business world all the time.

On the rest of my Gainesville bucket list: East End Eatery, Jones B-side, star gazing at Paynes Prairie, rock climbing, Cedar Key pier, Waldo flea market, Micanopy (again).

Until the next adventure, J.

Granny Status

I have reached ultimate granny status and I am not ashamed.

Knitting has always been something that I’ve been meaning to learn, I’ve just never really mustered up the patience or the courage to try. This past December I decided to take the plunge and purchased my first pair of needles. After watching countless Youtube videos, a lot of frustrated grunting (sorry roommates), and pulling out my stitches way too many times, I started to get the hang of it.

IMG_3565This was my very first patch of knitting EVER.

My sister and I, being the really hip kids that we are, got really antisocial and really into knitting over Christmas break. She knit up this little number for her little pup:

And I slaved away over this baby that I finished not too long ago.

IMG_6232

IMG_6230

I am obsessed (as evidenced by my specially dedicated Pinterest board ). Knitting is just the perfect activity to keep my hands busy whilst I catch up on queue of trashy tv. Needless to say, I cannot wait to find granny friends in a knitting club in NYC and make regular trips to the Purl Soho next year!

For anyone looking to start out, here are a few of the youtube videos that I found particularly helpful for a complete beginner like me: 1. Slip Knot 2. Casting On, 3. Knit Stitch.

Any fellow grannies at heart that love this knitting thing as much as I do? Speak up!

Famsick

As crazy at it gets being back home for the holidays, returning to big-girl reality makes me miss the ones who know and love me the mostest.

A few highlights from our Chang Family 2012 Christmas Extravaganza: IMG_3662We immediately fell in puppy love when my sister brought her new doggie (she’s a blog star!) home for a visit.

IMG_5460

IMG_5447So I guess everyone felt bad that I didn’t have a pet of my own– my dad felt the need to bring me back a nice and creepy fake cat from Japan for Christmas: IMG_5537(We kind of look strikingly similar…which isn’t weird at all.)

And my sister gifted me with a Boo of my very own:IMG_5614

Me thinks Riley developed some jealousy over our new cat friend.

IMG_5552

IMG_5733
IMG_6019

Hope your Christmas break was filled with just as much sweet silliness.