After Dan and Kara's wedding, pretty much the next day I had to fly back to England. I was really quite lucky to have had such a long time between finishing my exams back in April and starting the internship/dissertation part of my Masters degree in Space Physiology and Health. Back when we visited ESA in February, we had had this cool demonstration of an analog Mars space suit, designed by the Austrian Space Forum, and it had been arranged that I could come and do some research,
and my dissertation with them at their offices in Innsbruck. So off I went, with Mummy in tow, to move to Innsbruck, Austria for 3 months. To be fair, I knew very little about Innsbruck before I went, although I had arranged some accomodation in an old monostary. I hadn't however, seen the small print that said they were only avalibale for moving in at 9am on a Friday morning, so there was so kerfuffle when I arrived at 3pm. But eventually, we got ourselves sorted, and made a trip to IKEA,
which was accessible by bus, and kitted by little room out. For the weekend, Mummy and I stayed together in a really old hotel, that was super lovely right in the middle of the square. The Maria Theresen strasse leads up to the famous Golden Adler or Golden Roof.
It is a building which houses the town hall I think, and has actual gold leaf on the roof. It's really popular and is a lovely little place to hang out in the cafes around there. We spent the weekend figuring out how to walk from my accomodation all the way to my work, where the shops were,
the train station, and all the other logistics. We spent the weekend eating gelato, and going in the little shops, and walking up and down the pretty river. Innsbruck is such a pretty little town, especially as a tourist. I don't think I would want to live there forever, but it was the perfect place to set up camp for three months and get some work done!
The day after the wedding, we had a nice wedding breakfast with the Dornbusch family, and then we took a little drive into the countryside to talk a walk up this mountain called Pyramid Point. I'm not sure really if it was a mountain exactly, but maybe more like a big cliff.
We walked through the woods, and then suddenly, it was like a beach, on top of a cliff, with a great view of the lake below. It was so pretty there, and so, so blue! It was good to be out and about after the wedding, in the fresh air. We had a nice snooze in the sand, before walking back through the forest!
A few of my friends have gotten married since we all became old enough. I've been invited to just one friend's wedding, and a few relatives weddings, but this was finally my first wedding so I was so so excited for them! I got to help in the morning, getting everyone ready and sorted,
and then Mummy and I helped to clean up and feed all the girls so they were all ready in the morning. The wedding was so beautiful, and so much fun - I got a great view of the wedding ceremony, the food was wonderful, and I got to sit with some really nice people at my table. I met some of Krista's friends
who had also been unable to bring their boyfriends because they were working like Josh, so we had a nice time chatting, eating cake and dancing! It was a beautiful wedding, and they are the cutest couple, and I know they will have many years of great happiness!
After the pre wedding BBQ, the next day we headed over to the wedding rehersal venue - it was some big kind of estate with a whole bunch of houses, and cabins, and fun activities. A bit like an upscale Oasis place. It was also the nearest place to Snow Moon ranch, where Dan and Kara were
getting married, so it was going to be where we were sleeping for the next couple days. Before the rehersal dinner, Mummy and I daddy and I went out to explore the area we were staying in. They had a cute little gold shop and grocery store, and we just walked up and down some of the hills in the forest. The rehersal dinner was really nice, down by the water and very low key, which was nice. I was really getting excited for the wedding now!
I had such a nice time up in Traverse City, first with Kara and her family, and then Krista and Jed came up from Detroit, and we had a grand old time, going out for lunch, running some errands for Kara with her ring, and things that just had to be done before the wedding. Two days before the wedding, the Dornbusches held a cool beach BBQ at their house. I was in charge of setting up all the food and arranging tables and such. I had a great time organising and an even better time when
everyone arrived and all the food was eaten! There were smores and everything too! The Guys are really into paddleboarding, and I even had a go at that! It was a really nice, casual way to get all the wedding activities started!
After a few more days with Grammie and Papa, Mummy and I drove up north to Traverse City, to go to Kara and Dan's wedding. It wasn't for a few days, but we were going early so that we could help Linda with all the last minute things and to run little errands here and there. Driving up north takes a long, long time, but it is very pretty along the way, which makes it quite worth it. We stopped along the way for some yummy ice cream at a pretty stop to break up our long drive through the countryside too!
After my bridal shower, Rachel and Mary stayed with us, and we went out to Bay City, to visit the shops and down to the harbour. The harbour is really pretty. It is lovely and sunny there - and they have all these lovely sail boats lined up along the side. I love to take
photos of them, I have taken them many times, but they are always so lovely! We had a dinner, and did some shopping, for bridesmaid dresses. Rachel visited us in Florida first to try on dresses, and now she got to try on more here! So we shopped for a while, until sadly they had to go home!
After my bridal shower, Mary and Rachel hung around We had dinner at this cute little restaurant which had just opened in Bay City - it was a vegan, dairy free kind of place, that was perfect for Shelby and Rachel. We wandered around
a bit before going shopping, exploring all the lovely little antique shops and my favourite sweet shop too, St. Lawrence Brothers, which has all those old fashioned sweets I love. We went down by the water, and took some silly photos, and even found this sign chalked onto the wall of an abandoned antique shop! Bay City is quite run down in the centre now, although it does have cute little shops here and there. We wandered down to the river below us, to see the boats, so we could then go bridesmaid dress shopping!
A bridal shower is a decidedly American thing, but a lovely tradition, and I was fortunate enough that my Mummy and Grandma decided to host one while I was in America. Mummy had ordered cute little invites, and sent them out to all of our family in Michigan. Grandma and I were together most of the time before Mummy even came to America, so we had to go shopping for
all the stuff that Mummy wanted to use as decorations and to cook and such. It was quite a long list - so it took us several days for us to go around and collect all the things we needed! I made cute pink and white chocolate dipped pretzels wrapped in cellophane bags as a favour, with little "Thank You" hang tags. It was much harder to make than advertised! And I never go to taste them either! That was pretty much my contribution to the shower, but Mummy made lots of yummy food.
We made together maple syrup bacon on sticks, which we then made in the oven, cute little shot glasses filled with yoghurt and berries on top, some great fruit skewers, and a bunch of bacon egg muffin things. It was a lot of cooking in the kitchen in the morning, that's for sure! We had gotten yummy coffee, and iced tea and pink lemonade too. I think the cutest thing was the cake, made of mini white donuts, piled up into a cake, decorated with little flowers.
It was simply the most adorable thing, but I never got any good photos of it before it was eaten! In the morning, all the family came, Rachel and Mary came from down south, Krista and Linda came from Traverse City,and even Heidi came up from Detroit. I wore a cute little dress,
and we played fun little games, and drank orange juice out of these cute baby milk bottles with pink striped straws! It was a lovely day all around, but best of all it was nice to finally spend some time with all of my extended family who I never get to see very often!
After my time in Florida, and then in Japan, I had to come back to London, to sit my exams. They were out at the Excel Centre in East London - a place completely difficult to get to! But anyway, they went well, and I passed, and so the teaching portion of my degree was finally over. Next, I had to move to Austria to fulfill my thesis part of the degree. It meant I was saying goodbye to my lovely little flat in London, and my time there. It was weird to leave - I had finally become comfortable
in London, and only nine months later I was having to leave. Mummy came down to help me move out. That part was easy - we packed it all up in her car no problem - leaving some free time to sight see, do some shopping on Oxford Street, and have a lovely high tea at the Dorchester. I had to take a few cliche photos before I left, of my favourite two things in London - the classic red phone booths, and the Shard. The skyscraper I could see out my window, and right next to my university - the new symbol of London.
Grandma likes to spend a lot of time outdoors, gardening. I try and get out with her, and while I am not so much help at the gardening aspect, I was able to enjoy the sunshine and the great weather. I love Grammie's dog Jackson - and so we got down and
took some cute photos of him in the pretty lilacs. I don't think I have ever seen Lilacs before, so it was nice, that while Grammie was cutting them, I posed Jackson with them, to take the photos. I only got a few before he wandered off, but they were cute enough to put in a frame for Grandma!
I left London, and went home for a week or so. Just a week to unpack my London life, pack for a trip to America, and then pack to move to Austria. I also had heard that I had gotten a job in Frankfurt, so I had to pack to start that job in August. To be fair, that whole week was packing and organising, and taking stuff out of my room
I wanted to keep and what could be left. It was hard to leave nothing at my parent's house anymore! I flew over to Michigan, mainly for Kara and Dan's wedding, but I went early so that I got to spend some time with Grammie and Papa too before hand. Papa knows how much I like to take photos so on our way around on errands and such, we went looking for some great barns to take photos of. This one, which is in the process of falling down, is just down the road!